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.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Memories

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.

This week we’re reliving our favorite book-related memories!

1. Reading all of “Fahrenheit 451” in one day at Cannon Beach.  The Oregon Coast isn’t usually conducive to most beach-going activities.  It’s often windy and the water is freezing.  What the Oregon Coast is excellent for, though, is bundling up and reading lots and lots of books.  “Fahrenheit 451” was the first book I’d read all in one day.

2. Getting “Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince” at midnight.  I had the glasses, the lightning bolt on my forehead, and everything!

3. Getting “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows” on release day.  When the final Harry Potter book came out, Tess and I were visiting Jessica, and while we probably stayed up late, we didn’t go to a midnight release party.  Instead, we all went straight to a bookstore the next day, expecting to have to battle fangirls for the remaining scraps – but the store was deserted.  We each picked up a copy from the overflowing tables and spent the next two days not speaking to each other as we devoured the story.

4. Checking out huge stacks of books from the library for summer reading.  I haven’t gotten to do the gigantic-stack thing in a while, since my reading speed is slower and the books are longer, but in middle school and high school, I loved checking out six or seven books at a time.

5. Borrowing a gazillion books from my sister-in-law in 2011.  It turned out we have extremely similar reading interests, so she let me leave her house with about a dozen books, including “East of Eden” and “Daughter of Fortune,” which have since become some of my favorites.  I love exploring people’s bookshelves and seeing what we have in common and what I might like to try.

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Top Ten Tuesday Rewind: Favorite Heroines

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.

This week is a free-for all, so I went with one of my favorite things to discuss in any situation: my favorite heroines!  This is gonna be a long list.

1. Eowyn from “The Lord of the Rings” by JRR Tolkien.  A repressed upbringing, a secret dream, a crush on a man who loves someone else, a willingness to disregard authority to do the right thing – Eowyn is just a flat-out great character.  How can she be anything else with lines like this: “But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”

2. Hermione from “Harry Potter” by JK Rowling.  Hermione is clever, sassy, courageous, and would do anything for her friends.  She’s not a gorgeous Mary Sue – Rowling makes a point of Hermione not being traditionally beautiful – and her smarts and loyalty make her an excellent role model for young readers.  Heck, I still look up to Hermione.

3. Eliza from “Daughter of Fortune” by Isabel Allende.  Eliza makes a major mistake as a lovesick teenager and winds up pregnant by a boy who wasn’t as perfect as she thought he was.  Eliza follows him all the way to California from Chile during the gold rush and her quest to find him turns into an enthralling journey of self-discovery.

4. Esther from “Little Century by Anna Keesey.  When 18-year-old Esther is left orphaned in turn-of-the-20th-century Chicago, she decides to take the reins of her life and goes west to claim a homestead in Oregon.  She gets caught up in the range wars between cattlemen and sheep-herders, makes friends, works for the local newspaper, and gets embroiled in the most gracefully-written and least-obnoxious love triangle I’ve ever read.

5. Tarma and Kethry from “The Oathbound” by Mercedes Lackey.  Tarma is an asexual warrior; Kethry is a far-from-asexual sorceress.  Together they fight bad guys!

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Top Ten Tuesday: 24-Hour Life Swap

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.

Which characters would you switch places with for 24 hours?  The thing with good characters is that they don’t often live enviable lives, or if they do, something goes wrong to make their lives a lot less enviable.  Otherwise the book would be boring.  So while it might be cool to be Katniss for a day, you’d most likely spend that day starving and trying to escape hordes of teenagers and government cronies who want you dead.  Not very relaxing.

I bet we can come up with ten, though:

1) Harry Potter, of course, assuming there was a 24-hour span of time in which he wasn’t fighting for his life.

2) Eowyn, and it had better be the 24 hours in which she’s sneaking off to join the army and kill the Witchking, because otherwise that would be boring.

3) Laura Ingalls Wilder managed to have some pretty cool adventures without ever getting in too much danger, except for when she fell in the creek that one time.  Twenty-four hours would be about as long as I could last in a world without plumbing and a nearby grocery store, though.

4) Kethry is a sexy sorceress with a magical sword who roams the land defending women.  Sometimes she’s low on cash, but the rest of the time she’s kicking butt and slaying demons.

5) Speaking of slaying demons, getting to be Sabriel for 24 hours would be pretty awesome.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Vivid Settings

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.

This week I’m listing my top ten place books – books that had such a realistic setting that I felt like I was there, no matter when or where that setting was.  Whether or not I’d actually want to be there is a whole ‘nother issue.

1) The Arena, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.  Even more so than “The Hunger Games,” “Catching Fire” made me feel like I was struggling through the arena with Katniss.  The arena designed for the Quarter Quell is unique, terrifying, and scarily easy to visualize.

2) Paris, The World at Night and The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst. Atmospheric settings are Furst’s specialty, but he writes about Paris with a dark and aching nostalgia that stays with you.

3) New Crobuzon, “Perdido Street Station” by China Mieville.  This grimy mashup of Cairo and Industrial Age-London is built beneath the towering ribs of a giant dead creature.  It’s inhabited by eagle-people, bug-people, cactus-people, people-people, genetically modified people, crime lords, artists, prostitutes, totalitarian soldiers, and scientists.  It’s hot and smelly and sprawling.  How all of this came out of one dude’s head is beyond me.

4) Battle school, “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card.  Assuming you weren’t Ender, and you weren’t responsible for defending Earth from alien invaders, and no one was out to cause you terrible injuries, having organized battles in zero gravity would probably be pretty awesome.

5) Salinas Valley, “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck.  The valley’s varied colors, unpredictable weather, and precarious relationship with water make it a beautiful, timeless, and ever-so-slightly ominous setting.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Places

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.

This week is a freebie, so I’m revisiting my favorite settings!

1. Gatsby’s house, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It’s the ultimate party pad!  Huge, expensive, tastefully decorated, located on the water, flowing with champagne, packed with beautiful people cutting loose…and all that drama seething under the surface.  Ahhh.

2. MerytonPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  Their lives consist of going to balls, going on walks, reading books, and conversing through witty banter.  I could deal.

3. The Capital, the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  I know you’re not supposed to like the Capital, but who wouldn’t like a place where food popped out of the wall at a push of a button?  And imagine all the outfits you’d see – it would be like walking into a Vogue photo shoot directed by Tyra Banks on LSD.

4. The Abhorsen’s house, Sabriel by Garth Nix. This comfy fortress is perched on the edge of a waterfall and contains a library, a flying machine, and an irritable cat-spirit.

5. The Dreaming Realm, the Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman.  I think this place would only be fun if you were Dream himself, with the ability to manipulate every detail of your reality, but let’s say Dream was just letting you chill with his powers for a while.  You could hop from mind to mind, collecting things from people’s dreams, then return to his realm and do whatever fantastic things struck your fancy.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Characters

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.

This week’s theme is our all-time favorite book characters, which was, uh, hard.  There are a lot of really great characters out there!  And there are even more characters that are great, but I wouldn’t really say that I like them, like Mrs. Coulter from “His Dark Materials,” Elphaba from “Wicked,” everyone from “The Great Gatsby,” lots of characters from Alan Furst’s books…you get the idea.  Here are some of my favorites, which may or may not also be great.

1. Dodola from “Habibi” by Craig Thompson.  I read this 600+ page graphic novel in about two days last week and adored it.  The beautiful Dodola grows up in constant hardship, relying on her cleverness and, sometimes, her body to help herself and her adopted orphan brother survive.  Her experiences never break her, though – she reflects on them and the pain they caused her and she moves on, drawing on religious stories and a Scheherazade-like survival instinct to carry herself through.

2. Mary Boleyn from “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory.  Mary is surrounded by a scheming family that really just wants her to have the king’s babies.  How dare she want to do things like fall in love and not be a kept woman!  It’s not the greatest book, but you can’t help but root for Mary.

3. Elizabeth from “The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society” by Annie Barrows.  Elizabeth never actually appears in the book, but the anecdotes other characters tell about her reveal her to be loving and fearless, a devoted mother, and a leader in her community.

4. Hermione Granger from “Harry Potter” by JK Rowling.  Movie Hermione became blonde and beautiful, but Book Hermione remained bushy-haired and very nerdy to the bitter end.  Her smarts and her fierce bravery make her a great role model for young female readers (take note, Bella).

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