Links Lundi

We Need Diverse Books promotes, well, diversity in YA. It recommends books that feature LGBTQ characters, non-white characters, etc, in hopes of helping all young readers see themselves in a book’s pages.

Check out the Kickstarter for Ctrl+Alt+Clothe, a nerd-inspired women’s fashion line!

“The Wil Wheaton Project” is kind of “The Soup” for sci-fi/horror/geek culture, and it’s on SyFy and Hulu now, and if you like sci-fi or horror or geek culture or Wil Wheaton, you should probably check it out. From the premiere: “We here at The Wil Wheaton Project do solemnly swear to put funky 70s porn music under as many clips as possible from now until the heat death of the universe.”

This addresses exactly why it’s so bad for Ubisoft to ignore women’s contributions to the French Revolution.

GQ says Olivia Wilde is too hot to play a writer; she responds impeccably. And GQ apologized, so well done, everyone.

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2014 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

These are things I hope to read this spring. Let’s aim for five books because – well, see my previous TTT posts or my Goodreads TBR list for an indication of how awesome I am at following through on these.

1. “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller.  I am so late to this party. I think I got this from someone who was handing out copies on campus, which means I’ve had it on my shelf for at least five years.

2. “Jesus Feminist” by Sarah Bessey. When I was first tipped off to the Faith & Culture Writers Conference, I was not exactly thrilled about going – until I saw that book title associated with Bessey, one of the speakers.  There are enough people who consider themselves Christ-followers and feminists that there’s a book for them? A book that people have read? And the author is invited to speak at a conference? Yusss.

3. Wonder Woman books.  I have a list of graphic novels to check out so I can finally experience Wonder Woman beyond the Justice League cartoon.

4. “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene. At least until my head explodes.

5. “Neuromancer” by William Gibson. I read “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson recently. It was my first foray into cyberpunk, and now the part of my brain that’s a rabid but deprived science-fiction fan is rocking back and forth whispering “more, preciousss.

Yes, that seems doable. Let’s just ignore that I’ve been meaning to read “Blue Like Jazz” for about half a decade, shall we?

If We Were Having Coffee

Jamie at Perpetual Page-Turner posted recently as if she were chatting with someone, in person, face-to-face, at a coffee shop.  I’m just enough of an extrovert to be really really glad we have weekly game nights with our friends, and I know this blog has been, uh, quiet lately, so a faux chat over coffee is just what the doctor ordered.

So hello! Let’s chat.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Friday will be my last day at my job! I have two reasons for moving on, one being my tendonitis.

It is not improving, and this job requires me to be typing and using a mouse all day. Even with an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, by the end of the day, my wrists are swollen and sore. Recently it got so painful that I couldn’t even pet River, and I broke down completely.  Kevin held me until I’d cried out all the frustrations of the last six months (six, that alone makes me want to cry again) of pain and uselessness and finally just said, “Put in your two weeks.”

It was a lightbulb moment.  We had always been planning that someday I would work from home and write – that would be reason #2 – it’s just that “someday” came up a little sooner than we’d planned.

But I honestly don’t think I’d ever heal if I stayed at that job, and I’d be stuck in a cycle of under-productivity and self-loathing for God knows how many more months. Now, I can use my dictation software all day, and I’ll finally be doing what I’ve always wanted to do with my life. I can devote more time to my church job. River won’t be alone all the time. I can finally finish my books!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m pumped up and optimistic after a writing conference I attended this weekend. It made me feel brave and capable and yeah, naive, because it will never be as easy as I’m imagining it to be, but no matter what, Friday is my last day.  After that, all I’ll have are whatever words come out of me.  So maybe I’m a little nervous, too.  Just a little.

I would also tell you that I have a secret, deeply-rooted terror of never healing. People keep reassuring me that tendonitis takes a while to heal, and I think “of course this can’t last forever,” followed immediately by “oh god what if it does.

But it can’t.  Right?

And someday I’ll get published.  Right?

Right.

(I’ve also been thinking about having faith vs. being in denial of your circumstances but that’s probably not coffee shop conversation.)

If we were having coffee, I’d probably admit that I’ve been devouring “Bone.” I’d read the first few issues back when they were published in Disney Adventure magazine, and now I’m discovering that the story is so much vaster and even more shamelessly fun than I’d imagined. I’m also making my way slowly through “The World Treasury of Science Fiction,” which has stories from the dawn of science fiction in the 30s and from several countries around the world. I’m also reading “Cleopatra: A Life,” which is very interesting so far, especially because it gives cultural context to the Greek/Egyptian/Roman madhouse that was her era. Her family makes the Borgias look tame. How about you, what are you reading?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that River is doing great. She knows a few commands now, although she still gets “sit” and “lie down” confused. She even did them when my in-laws visited! We will have had her for one year this coming Sunday and she is scared of approximately 60% fewer things! She’s met other dogs and a puppy and lots of people, stayed with my mom, gone to (and been terrified of) the beach, been dog-sat, and discovered the deliciousness of scrambled eggs.  Do you have pets? How are they doing?

Thanks for chatting! Let’s do this again sometime.

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

I read 32 books this year!  Most of them were pretty good.  A couple were dumb.  Several were out of my comfort zone and others were just plain boring.

That said, here are the gems:

1. “The Second Duchess” by Elizabeth Loupas. I was expecting a standard historical fiction novel, but this turned out to be an enthralling murder mystery with a dash of the supernatural.

2. “The Tiger’s Wife” by Tea Obreht. This was just a straight-up beautiful book.

3. “The Book of Fires” by Jane Borodale. Another beautiful book, this one a little harder to stomach. I had never read any historical fiction set in late 18th century England, so that in particular was very interesting to me.

4. “The Time In Between” by Maria Duenas. I love me my WWII historical fiction, but this was a viewpoint I had never really read about: the perspective of a Spanish woman in Morocco.

5. “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. I haven’t read a lot of nonfiction, nor a lot of self-help, but I found this one really approachable and helpful.

6. “Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson. This wasn’t quite such a trope-buster as I had been led to believe, but I still enjoyed the unique system of magic.

7. Johnny Wander. I love these comics, even if they make me want to drop everything and move with four friends into a tiny cruddy urban apartment.

8. “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil” by John Berendt. I guess this one counts as nonfiction? It had a crazy cast of characters and a fun blend of murder mystery and travelogue.

9. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan.  I’m not totally head over heels for Saga, but I do love its themes and the incredible blend of fantasy and science fiction that it’s cooked up.

10.  The Pioneer Woman cookbooks.  Do cookbooks count? Because I am really loving these books so far.  The recipes are uncomplicated and they use everyday ingredients, plus they have step-by-step photos.  Why cookbooks don’t have photos sometimes is beyond me.  Plus they’re sprinkled with anecdotes about ranch life and her personal history.

What were your favorite reads of 2013?

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

On today’s episode: what ten books are on our winter to-be-read lists?

1. “Shogun” by James Clavell. It’s Kevin’s favorite book and I think it’s about time I read it.

2. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Seeing (the extremely good) “Catching Fire” made me want to read the books again!

3. “Trickster’s Choice” by Tamora Pierce. Got this at the library so I can finally read a YA book I ought to have read twelve years ago.

4. “The Angel’s Game” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  After the disappointment that was the re-read of “Shadow of the Wind,” I’m looking forward to a new adventure.

5. “Saga.” A couple of my friends absolutely love this graphic novel, so the last time I was at the library, I snagged a copy. I’m not quite sure what I think yet. Considering my response to the Goodreads page was “WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE ARE ONLY TWO VOLUMES,” I guess I’m enjoying it more than I thought.

Continue reading

Book Q&A

I am borrowing a meme from Fourth Street Review!

Book Q&A Rules

1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part!

What are you reading right now?

Eight Girls Taking Pictures” by Whitney Otto.  Lirael” by Garth Nix. Occasionally, “The World Treasury of Science Fiction.”

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?

Ha! Yeah, I think I know:

IMG_20131124_092906

What five books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to?

  1. “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy
  2. “Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys
  3. “The Eyre Affair” by Jasper Fforde
  4. “1984” by George Orwell
  5. “One Thousand and One Nights”

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/ lounge right now?

None in the bathroom, but the coffee table has a few old Vogue from before my free subscription ran out. 😦

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

I really really loathed “Heart of Darkness,” but I think it’s one of those books that actually is good, and I just hated it because it was assigned reading.  (Summer reading, no less!)  The book that I think actually is terrible and didn’t deserve to be published was “Intimacy” by Hanif Kureishi, which is the semiautobiographical account of how the author is a whiny cheating self-centered horrible person and crappy father.

What book seemed really popular but you didn’t like?

The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak.  Reviews promised a tear-jerking, life-changing story, but I couldn’t get past the experimental style.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?

The “Delirium” trilogy by Lauren Oliver for YA fans.  “Illustrated Man” and “Martian Chronicles” to people who have never read Ray Bradbury.

Continue reading

Links Lundi

A four-year-old girl wanted to dress as both Thor and Cinderella for her birthday party.  Solution: Princess Thorella.

Meyers-Briggs results as demonstrated by Harry Potter characters.

So this is awesome: once upon a time, the PS Vita came out with the game called “Assassin’s Creed Liberation,” featuring the franchise’s first female main character.  It was so popular that they’ve come out with an expanded version of the game for PS3, Xbox, and PC!

Life lessons from young literary heroines.

Three fashion items to make you look put together. I would add lipstick, especially in an eye-catching color, because whenever I’m wearing a different lipstick, it looks like I put in more effort than I really did!

What would Star Wars look like if it was played out as a tabletop RPG by people who knew nothing about Star Wars?  This comic goes through all six films and it’s my new favorite nerd thing.