Friday, December 8, 2017

On bookish yarn projects #9


“If I could grow wings, I could fly. Only people can't grow wings," he say's. "Real or not real?"
"Real," I say. "But people don't need wings to survive."
"Mockingjays do.”

Want to show your support for Katniss Everdeen? This knitted mockingjay pin is quick and an excellent challenge for any knitter who wants to oppose the Capitol. Knit it for yourself or for someone who you who just got entered into the Hunger Games. Pattern is only $5.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

On books for those looking for a new fandom

Fandoms have become an increasingly important part of our world’s society. But if you’re already impatiently waiting as the biggest SuperWhoLock fan you know, a lingering Marshmellow, or starting to lose your interest in Pokemon, it might be time to find a new thing to obsess about and discuss at length with the fandom community. Here are my suggestions:

  • Brandon Sanderson books - I couldn’t not put this, as Loverboy frequently chatters at me about his latest theories and does plenty of research on the 17th Shard forums. The Sanderson community is intriguing and very loyal and has all sorts of ideas about what’s going to happen next and how the cosmere all connects. Highly recommended for fantasy lovers.


Borderland (Borderland, #1)
  • Borderlands - This is a fandom that I’ve been hearing more and more about as I get deeper into SFF reading, but that I haven’t yet delved into. I’m intrigued by it and excited to learn more about this contemporary fantasy world and see why so many people love these books.
  • Shadowhunters/Infernal Devices/Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare - The two series are technically complete, but there are plenty of companion books still being released. There are many devoted fans of these series who will happily talk your ear off about why Magnus Bane is the greatest or how they feel about the new releases.

Welcome to Night Vale (Night Vale, #1)
  • Nightvale - The popular podcast has a few companion books that take place in the same strange world. Huffington Post also tells us that many people compare the Nightvale world to Louis Sachar’s Wayside School books - and that there are some creepy similarities.
  • Beauty and the Beast - This fandom is large with a few very dedicated followers and plenty of less-dedicated ones. In this fandom, people read every version of the tale that they can get their hands on. A few to start with: Beauty by Robin McKinley, Beastly by Alex Flynn, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, or Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodges.


What bookish fandoms would you recommend to other readers? Which non-bookish fandoms are your favorites?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

September-November: Best and Strangest

Well, it's been a very busy last couple months. As school has been back in full swing, it's been difficult for me to update as much as I would like and to read as much as I would like. Because of that, I've failed to post my best and strangest for each month lately. But not to worry! I am now posting everything that I have read from September through November and choosing the best and strangest of those books.

BEST:
American Gods
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman - I can't believe I hadn't read this before. It's absolutely incredible! This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful, haunting, and mysterious books I've ever read. Gaiman's characters are wonderful and so memorable, the plotline is beautiful and dark and unexpected, the storytelling so magical. I cannot recommend this book highly enough (but don't bother with the TV series. It's awful).


STRANGEST:
Horrorstör
  • Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix - This is such a weird book. It's a horror story set in an IKEA that is both terrifying and kind of hilarious. Like, a minor plot point is that an employee has the right screwdriver in their pocket to save them from certain death. It's ridiculous and one of the more bizarre books I've ever read. 


THE REST OF THE BOOKS:

Sag Harbor
★★★


The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions
★★★


Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1)
★★★


The Authentics
★★★★


Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day
★★★★


A Man Called Ove
★★★★


The Hate U Give
★★★★
(this was a close second for Best book on this post)


Yes Please
★★★


The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)
★★★


On Bowie
★★★★


A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths
★★★


Priest (Ratcatchers #1)
★★★


Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas
★★★


Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain
★★★★


Maniac Magee
★★★


Thrice Upon a Marigold (Upon a Marigold, #3)
★★★


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
★★★


A Crucible of Souls (Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, #1)
★★★


Girl Waits with Gun (Kopp Sisters, #1)
★★★


The Song of the Quarkbeast (The Chronicles of Kazam, #2)
★★★


What have you been reading this month? Have you read any of the book I've read recently? Any suggestions based on what I've been reading?

Monday, December 4, 2017

On just released books that I recommend

I haven’t been reading many ARCs or egalleys lately, but here are a couple books I’m really excited about (and highly recommend).



The Age of Perpetual Light
  • The Age of Perpetual Light by Josh Weil (Sept 12) - This collection of short stories spans centuries and gives the reader something to think about. Recommended for readers of realistic fiction.


Louise Thompson Patterson: A Life of Struggle for Justice
  • Louise Thompson Patterson: A Life of Struggle for Justice by Keith Gilyard (Oct 5th) - An early civil rights activist, Louise Thompson Patterson led a fascinating life and began the civil rights movement in the 1940’s. This biography is well-written and lends more understanding to the woman and the period she was born into. Recommended for activist readers and historians.


Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3)
  • Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (Nov 14th) - The third book in the Stormlight Archives continues the story of Shallan, Kaladin, Adolin, and Dalinar as they discover more about the radiants and come to terms with powers beyond their control. Recommended for fantasy readers.


The Nine (Thieves of Fate, #1)
  • The Nine by Tracy Townsend (Nov 14th) - This dark fantasy book has received fantastic reviews and the author interview at Fantasy Lit is one of the best I've read in a long time. With a mix of steampunk and religion (apparently including God's lab notes), this book sounds like it will be an excellent addition to the fantasy genre and I can't wait to get my hands on it.




What new books are you excited about? What new releases have you read recently?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Dear You: Driving Mixtape

Dear You,
Congratulations! You just got your driver’s license. This is a fun and exciting time and your life is about to change quite a bit - if your parents will let you use the car (he he). But in all seriousness, I’m proud of you. It’s really cool that you got to this point and that you’re growing up. And I love seeing that.
I’ve been thinking about some books that might be beneficial to you right now and a couple came to mind. If you’re looking into going on a road trip, try John Green’s Paper Towns - it might convince you it’s time to hit the road. For a more cautionary tale, try Jordan Sonnenblick’s Notes from the Midnight Driver. And definitely stay away from Stephen King’s Christine - that’ll just freak you out. If these books aren’t working for you, that’s okay. I’m attaching some music you should enjoy as you explore your new-found freedom.
Good luck out there.
Love, Anna


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

On my horror picks

Horror is a genre that I’m trying to get into more. But I have to be careful - reading the wrong book at the wrong time will keep me up all night (sometimes because I have to read a much calmer and fluffier book to calm down). For the moment, here are my horror story picks that will keep you on your toes:



Horrorstör
  • Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix - Dreadful things happen inside a haunted IKEA. This book is both hysterical and terrifying. It's a fun and quick read and definitely worth picking up (for the beautiful artwork if nothing else).


Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1)
  • Red Dragon by Thomas Hardy - This prequel to Silence of the Lambs is horrifying and incredibly memorable. This series is a must-read for those with a dark fascination with serial killers.


Coraline
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman - A little girl in a new home finds a passage to another world where things seem to be better. But what seems good on the surface might be far darker underneath. This YA horror novel is a great start for any young readers who are interested in the genre.


Slade House
  • Slade House by David Mitchell - Every nine years, someone disappears near an abandoned house. How long will it take before someone can stop the inhabitants of the house from taking more innocent people? This newer horror novel is terrifying and an interesting look at supernatural forces controlling a creepy house.


The Woman in White
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins - This early horror/detective novel is an excellent start to the genre and shows that people can be quite evil without any supernatural assistance.


What horror books have you enjoyed recently? What horror books would you add to this list? How do you feel about horror as a genre?

Monday, November 27, 2017

On melancholy books

One of my favorite things about books is that there are books for every mood. Below is a list of some books you may enjoy if you’re looking for a more melancholy and sad read:

The Things They Carried
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien - This book has funny moments and terrifying moments, but the overall feeling of this book is sad and thoughtful and definitely melancholy. This book deals with the Vietnam War in a very thoughtful and somewhat gloomy (but honest and vulnerable) way.


Hold the Dark
  • Hold the Dark by William Giraldi - Missing children, a cold and unforgiving landscape, and a narrator who’s experienced much loss come together to make this book both intriguing and pensive.


Go Ask Alice
  • Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks - This fictional diary of a young woman’s descent into a life of drugs, sex, and difficulties can be a difficult and sad read. Recommended for YA readers.


The Year of Magical Thinking
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion - Didion’s account of the year following her husband’s death is a serious and vulnerable look at encountering grief. This book is perfect for anyone experiencing loss and wondering how to cope with it.


What Daddy Did
  • What Daddy Did by Neal Shusterman - This fictional story regarding one family dealing with the death of their mother (at the hand of their father) is a difficult look at grief and at young children coping with loss and learning to move past it.


What books would you add to this list? What melancholy books have you enjoyed? What makes a book melancholy in your mind?