Top Ten Tues: No Longer Interested

Top Ten Tuesdays (created by The Broke and The Bookish) can be found at That Artsy Reader Girl (since January 16th) feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

February 20: Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

I tried to find titles for this, but I don’t keep track of books I’ve decided not to read, so these are more general, with some examples. In no particular order… Top Ten Five Kinds of Books I’m No Longer Interested in Reading.

 

  1. Books that don’t live up to the hype. Sometimes a book starts with 4 or 5 star ratings, then drops to 3 stars or below after it’s been out a couple months.

2. Books with unrelatable/unlikable characters. I’m fine with a villain lead, but if I don’t care about the characters, why would I read about them?

3. Depressing books. If a book is just overall sad–terrible things happening, terrible people, no hope–I really need to skip it.

4. Books with detailed assault scenes/ lots of references to rape. A specific kind of depressing I can’t stand.

5. Sexist books. No matter what excuses people try to make, these books have no excuse. Though I do understand that older books tend to be more blatant about it, still.

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Weekend Writing Warriors: 2/17

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a WIP from NaNoWriMo 2017, currently titled King Under the Mountain. Set in Casper, Wyoming, in a world where goblins trade in magical goods with humans, traveling from their world to ours through stone circle gates. But if humans aren’t wary in their dealings with goblins, they can find themselves stolen away!

Stephanie and Alix, cousins, are biking home from a party, a bit drunk, and Stephanie vanishes in a ring of toadstools. Alix calls for the King Under the Mountain, and is allowed to try to bring Stephanie back, going through a gate into the other world. On the second day, she is woken by an angry bird, and realizing it’s nest will be swamped by the tide, she moves it to a safe place, and then walks for a time.  The king under the mountain appears and offers her some food, and a change of clothes, and she washes up in a river before returning to speak to him.

PreviouslyShe scurried toward the nest, hunched over to protect her face, and scooped up the nest in her free hand with hurried caution. Her approach set the sea bird off again, its cries echoing harshly as it dove at her, scoring a few more pecks on her shoulders, and painful blows from its gray wings.

“Dang it, stop! I’m helping you!” She set the nest down well clear of the highest piece of seaweed and faintly rippled sand, and beat a hasty retreat.

When she glanced over her shoulder, the ungrateful bird had returned to the nest, frantically rearranging the pieces of dried grass and twigs with its beak. “You’re welcome!”

The bird swiveled its black capped head toward her, and let out another piercing whistle.

“Talking to birds,” Alix muttered, “I’m gross and dirty, and talking to animals. This is like a terrible children’s movie.”

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

“You have the tools to survive another day in my kingdom, but I am here to ask if you’re sure you wish to do so,” the king said.

“I can’t give up and go home, I’ve just started!” Alix protested, even though her feet ached, the bird attack injuries throbbed, and her stomach cramped around the unexpected meal.

“In just a few hours you will have been here for two full days,” he said, offering an insincere smile, “a valiant effort, and the area is not without its dangers, as I am sure you have noticed.”

“What is in the water, anyway?” she asked, remembering the surge of a large shape from the waves, and the flash of long, curved teeth.

“Many things, much like your oceans,” he shrugged, “Though you likely saw a serpent. Our other large shore predator… well, let us simply say that sea dragons are extremely aggressive when it comes to unprepared beach-goers.”

“What—what qualifies as unprepared?”

“Small groups and a lack of ranged weaponry, if you’re dealing with dragons, usually.”

“So I could have gotten eaten by a dragon yesterday?” Alix squeaked, and he shrugged in response.

*    *    *

I took inspiration from “The Ballad of Tam Lin,” and Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” The idea of people being stolen away, and a loved one journeying to get them back (though Tam Lin was stolen by the Queen of the fairies), and the bustling goblin markets with their dangerous fruit from Rosetti’s poem sparked this adventure. Alix and Stephanie are college freshman, 18 and 19 respectively, and cousins sharing a dorm room. They have just left an off-campus party where they did some drinking, and are biking back to the dorms in the evening.

Book Riot Read Harder 2018: January

Here’s the new Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for 2018! There’s 24 prompts to encourage you to read harder, and I urge you to check it out if you want to get outside your comfort zone. It’s always great to see the new suggestions, and I’m still working on finding the perfect titles.

(Click the link to see the challenge, and to download a PDF of the challenge list.)

book riot

To quote the article: “We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But this isn’t a test. […] We like books because they allow us to see the world from a new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try.”

***           ***          ***

Well, this was far later than I planned, but here it is!

  • Read a celebrity memoir.

The Princess Diarist; Carrie Fisher

This is Carrie Fisher’s memoir.

If someone narrates their audio book memoir, you kind of have to listen to it.

This is the story of how Carrie Fisher came to be Leia–how she was chosen to audition, how it went, etc. She describes how the filming went, with plenty of stories from the filming, including a whole chapter about Harrison Ford. Then, she describes the after effects–how she is basically Leia forever, how the fans react, and how she does signings and so on. Pieces of her diary from the time of filming are read (by another voice actor), but it’s mostly her reminiscing about the filming. It changed her life in a lot of ways–being Leia–and overall, despite some definite sad moments, she seems glad for the chance.

She was an icon and a hero for a lot of people, and it’s wonderful to hear her voice tell the story.

  • Read a the first book in a new to you YA/middle grade series.

The Lightning Thief; Rick Riordan.

This is the first book in a YA series.

I’d seen these books around, but never picked them up because I didn’t really have the time. But it’s a pretty decent, entertaining series, if you’re on the fence. This book is a solid start to a series, introducing the gods, their children, and the system they have in place to keep their children alive (the kids are monster bait, it turns out.) Now, the system isn’t very effective (the monsters come anyway). The gods are mostly terrible parents–inattentive at best–so there’s plenty of struggles for the young half-bloods/demigods. So, not always light-hearted, as kids do die. The monsters die too, but it isn’t permanent, which hardly seems fair.

The mythology is pretty spot on from what I can remember, in the way of powers and history. And it’s pretty well following the spirit of the old myths, where the gods were petty, and given to competition and fighting. And the poor humans (and half humans) caught in the cross fire don’t always fare so well. Percy is a likable character, as are other demigods (and assorted other species.) A lot of demigods are prone to ADHD and dyslexia, and they each have some very real struggles to get through, making them easy to relate to, instead of perfect heroes.

  • Read a comic written/illustrated by a POC.

Onwards towards our Noble Deaths; Shigeru Mizuki.

Shigeru Mizuki is a Japanese manga artist/writer.

Rather grim, as you’d expect from the title and subject matter. (As in, some fairly gory deaths, though it’s a not too detailed. Still, expect dying.) A mostly true story about a group of men who were told to make a suicide charge–who instead wandered away from battle. And then were forced to complete the charge, for ‘honor’ or at least to maintain control of all the rest of the soldiers.

It follows, mostly, the day to day–getting food and water, illnesses, talking about home, etc. The soldier’s humor is pretty questionable–plenty of bodily function talk, and there are prostitutes in the story, too. They mostly focus on understandable fear and homesickness, though. They don’t want to die, and there’s something unbearably tragic in realizing they will be forced to do so, for no good reason.

The author lived through the war, so everything feels very real. War is painful, and he shows that very well.

Top Ten Tues: Love

Top Ten Tuesdays (created by The Broke and The Bookish) can be found at That Artsy Reader Girl (since January 16th) feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

 

February 13: Love Freebie (Romances, swoons, OTPs, kisses, sexy scenes, etc.)

Here’s my Top Ten Favorite Romances out of Genre. Sometimes you want a good romance read, but other times you want a little more adventure!

  1. Cecil and Carlos. Nothing in the horror-filled weirdness that is Nightvale should be so cute… and yet, they are.

2. Dina and Sean. She controls a sentient inn, he’s an alien werewolf–and somehow, they still have a lot in common.

3. Ekaterin and Miles. The each needed someone–to help ground a high flying, slightly unpredictable man; and give a closed-off woman wings.

4. Hawk and Fisher. This tough as nails guard couple fights, keeps the peace, and solves crimes–as a great team.

5. Jim and Angelina. Her introduction was a bit tough, but I gradually warmed to her.

6. Kaylin and Severn. Some people might argue there’s not a real romance there, but I say it’s just a slow growing one.

7. Margrit and Alban. They’re magic! Literally, in his case.

8. Moist and Adora. They have a slightly antagonistic, but still very cute relationship.

9. Naomi and James. They’re pretty different, but they work well together.

10. Polgara and Durnik. She’s a favorite character who had to wait a long time for love, but she found it.

Weekend Writing Warrior: 2/10

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a WIP from NaNoWriMo 2017, currently titled King Under the Mountain. Set in Casper, Wyoming, in a world where goblins trade in magical goods with humans, traveling from their world to ours through stone circle gates. But if humans aren’t wary in their dealings with goblins, they can find themselves stolen away!

Stephanie and Alix, cousins, are biking home from a party, a bit drunk, and Stephanie vanishes in a ring of toadstools. Alix calls for the King Under the Mountain, and is allowed to try to bring Stephanie back, going through a gate with two guard goblins who then vanish. She has spent an uneventful day wandering the beach, fallen asleep, and woken the next day by an angry bird protecting a nest which she realizes will be swamped by the tide.

Previously: She stumbled farther away, backing up to keep an eye on the bird, which wheeled above her, still crying out in anger at her intrusion. Water splashed over her feet, cold against her ankles, and soaking into her shoes. Puzzled, she looked down, and realized rising waves nearly swallowed the long stretch of dry sand she’d slept on.

“How much higher does it go?”

The bird landed on the nest instead of attacking her further, though its dark eyes were fixed on her, red-orange bill parted, ready to scold her again. She rubbed the mark it had left on her arm, studying the area, and finding a few pieces dried seaweed strewn around, a sign that the water would continue to rise at least several inches more.

Enough to swamp the nest, and wash away the eggs nestled in it.

“Not my problem,” Alix reminded herself, turning her body a little so she could watch where she was going, but still keep an eye on the protective, nesting bird.

Behind her, the bird’s rolling whistle wavered out, rising and falling mournfully.

“Not my problem,” Alix repeated, trying to convince herself, but she was already shrugging off her backpack, and hoisting it over her head one-handed as an impromptu shield.

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

She scurried toward the nest, hunched over to protect her face, and scooped up the nest in her free hand with hurried caution. Her approach set the sea bird off again, its cries echoing harshly as it dove at her, scoring a few more pecks on her shoulders, and painful blows from its gray wings.

“Dang it, stop! I’m helping you!” She set the nest down well clear of the highest piece of seaweed and faintly rippled sand, and beat a hasty retreat.

When she glanced over her shoulder, the ungrateful bird had returned to the nest, frantically rearranging the pieces of dried grass and twigs with its beak. “You’re welcome!”

The bird swiveled its black capped head toward her, and let out another piercing whistle.

“Talking to birds,” Alix muttered, “I’m gross and dirty, and talking to animals. This is like a terrible children’s movie.”

*    *    *

I took inspiration from “The Ballad of Tam Lin,” and Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” The idea of people being stolen away, and a loved one journeying to get them back (though Tam Lin was stolen by the Queen of the fairies), and the bustling goblin markets with their dangerous fruit from Rosetti’s poem sparked this adventure. Alix and Stephanie are college freshman, 18 and 19 respectively, and cousins sharing a dorm room. They have just left an off-campus party where they did some drinking, and are biking back to the dorms in the evening.

Top Ten Tues: Longest on TBR

Top Ten Tuesdays (created by The Broke and The Bookish) can be found at That Artsy Reader Girl (since January 16th) feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

February 6: Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read.

Some of these books have been on my list since 201! 😦 Alphabetical as always.

  1. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet; Becky Chambers. Just waiting for space on my hold list.

2. The Thicket; Joe Lansdale. I can’t even recall what this one is about anymore!

3. Illusive; Emily Lloyd-Jones. I have to keep telling myself not to start new series until I finish a few I’ve started.

4. Riveted; Brook Meljean. There’s just too many books to read.

5. Phantom; Jo Nesbo. Because I struggle with how grim the series is, versus how compelling it is.

 

6. The Will of the Empress; Tamora Pierce. A book by a favorite author who fell through somehow.

7. Queen of Wands; John Ringo. Because I try not too start too many new series at once.

8. Mistborn; Brandon Sanderson. This is definitely going to be the year for this book. Hopefully.

9. Furthermore; Mafi Tahereh. This one has such a pretty cover…

10. Ms. Marvel; Wilson Willow. This one is partially a ‘wait to see how it goes’ kind of thing.

Weekend Writing Warriors: 2/3

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a WIP from NaNoWriMo 2017, currently titled King Under the Mountain. Set in Casper, Wyoming, in a world where goblins trade in magical goods with humans, traveling from their world to ours through stone circle gates. But if humans aren’t wary in their dealings with goblins, they can find themselves stolen away!

Stephanie and Alix, cousins, are biking home from a party, a bit drunk, and Stephanie vanishes in a ring of toadstools. Alix calls for the King Under the Mountain, and is allowed to try to bring Stephanie back, going through a gate with two guard goblins who then vanish. She has spent an uneventful day wandering the beach, fallen asleep, and woken the next day by an angry bird protecting a nest.

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

 

 

She stumbled farther away, backing up to keep an eye on the bird, which wheeled above her, still crying out in anger at her intrusion. Water splashed over her feet, cold against her ankles, and soaking into her shoes. Puzzled, she looked down, and realized rising waves nearly swallowed the long stretch of dry sand she’d slept on.

“How much higher does it go?”

The bird landed on the nest instead of attacking her further, though its dark eyes were fixed on her, red-orange bill parted, ready to scold her again.

She rubbed the mark it had left on her arm, studying the area, and finding a few pieces dried seaweed strewn around, a sign that the water would continue to rise at least several inches more.

Enough to swamp the nest, and wash away the eggs nestled in it.

“Not my problem,” Alix reminded herself, turning her body a little so she could watch where she was going, but still keep an eye on the protective, nesting bird.

Behind her, the bird’s rolling whistle wavered out, rising and falling mournfully.

“Not my problem,” Alix repeated, trying to convince herself, but she was already shrugging off her backpack, and hoisting it over her head one-handed as an impromptu shield.

*    *    *

I took inspiration from “The Ballad of Tam Lin,” and Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” The idea of people being stolen away, and a loved one journeying to get them back (though Tam Lin was stolen by the Queen of the fairies), and the bustling goblin markets with their dangerous fruit from Rosetti’s poem sparked this adventure. Alix and Stephanie are college freshman, 18 and 19 respectively, and cousins sharing a dorm room. They have just left an off-campus party where they did some drinking, and are biking back to the dorms in the evening.

Top Ten Tues: Can’t Believe

Top Ten Tuesdays (created by The Broke and The Bookish) can be found at That Artsy Reader Girl (since January 16th) feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

January 30: Books I Can’t Believe I Read.

These are books I wish I hadn’t spent the time on. In alphabetical order, as always.

  1. Crime & Punishment; Fydor Dostoyevsky. By the time I tackled this, I already knew I didn’t like much classic literature, but I read it anyway.

2. The Roanoke Girls; Amy Engel. Another deeply creepy book, that if warned, I wouldn’t have read.

3. Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies; Seth Grahame-Smith. If this had been a real variation, instead of a butchered version of the original, it could have been cool. Alas, it is not.

4. Tess of the D’Urbervilles; Thomas Hardy. I had to read this for a class, but I’m amazed I finished it.

5. The Library of Fates; Aditi Khorana. The reviews warned me this wasn’t a great book, but I was just so enticed by the summary. The reviews were right.

6. Breaking Dawn; Stephanie Meyer. A friend loaned me all of the Twilight books when they first became popular. I read the first one, and out of a misguided need to finish, then finished the series. I have since gotten a little better at letting go.

7. Gravity’s Rainbow; Thomas Pynchon. I should have realized that the comparisons to Ulysses, which I DNF’d, were a bad sign.

8. Unwind; Neal Shusterman. If someone had warned me how deeply creepy this series would turn out to be, I’d have run screaming.

 

Weekend Writing Warriors: 1/27

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a WIP from NaNoWriMo 2017, currently titled King Under the Mountain. Set in Casper, Wyoming, in a world where goblins trade in magical goods with humans, traveling from their world to ours through stone circle gates. But if humans aren’t wary in their dealings with goblins, they can find themselves stolen away!

Stephanie and Alix, cousins, are biking home from a party, a bit drunk, and Stephanie vanishes in a ring of toadstools. Alix calls for the King Under the Mountain, and is allowed to try to bring Stephanie back, going through a gate with two guard goblins who then vanish. She has spent an uneventful day wandering the beach, fallen asleep, and woken the next day.

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

 

 

Alix jerked awake, torn from uneasy dreams by a loud, repetitive noise. She sat up, and something large attacked her. A flurry of white and gray dove at her head, and she jumped to her feet and stumbled back.

The whistling cries and flapping motion resolved into an enormous bird, its wingspan nearly as wide as she was tall, or near enough for something so determined to harm her. The bird dove at her again, and she covered her head with her arms, a sharp peck sending up a flare of pain as she retreated, blindly, further from the animal. Stumbling over a fallen piece of driftwood, she narrowly avoided falling, catching herself in an awkward half-crouch.

In a hollow carved into the sand a few feet in front of her, she saw a bird’s nest, with two eggs resting in it.

“Oh,” Alix stared at the nest in surprise until the sea bird swooped on her again, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”

 

*    *    *

I took inspiration from “The Ballad of Tam Lin,” and Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” The idea of people being stolen away, and a loved one journeying to get them back (though Tam Lin was stolen by the Queen of the fairies), and the bustling goblin markets with their dangerous fruit from Rosetti’s poem sparked this adventure. Alix and Stephanie are college freshman, 18 and 19 respectively, and cousins sharing a dorm room. They have just left an off-campus party where they did some drinking, and are biking back to the dorms in the evening.

Weekend Writing Warrior: 1/20

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a WIP from NaNoWriMo 2017, currently titled King Under the Mountain. Set in Casper, Wyoming, in a world where goblins trade in magical goods with humans, traveling from their world to ours through stone circle gates. But if humans aren’t wary in their dealings with goblins, they can find themselves stolen away!

Stephanie and Alix, cousins, are biking home from a party, a bit drunk, and Stephanie vanishes in a ring of toadstools. Alix calls for the King Under the Mountain, and is allowed to try to bring Stephanie back, going through a gate with two guard goblins ( a rude man, Zimmah, and a more polite woman), and the woman offers Alix some advice.

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

 

 

“You might as give up now, before we have to bury your rotting corpse,” Zimmah, who had drifted a little closer while the woman explained, said.

“Zimmah!” the woman snapped, and said something in the same scolding tone, though not in a language Alix recognized.

He snorted in response, and turned his back on them both.

“Human!” the woman said, slightly more gently.

Alix nodded to show she was listening.

“Pay attention, and survive. Or better yet, go home–all of the stones here will carry you there. I hope not to see you again, human.” She turned and walked past Zimmah, kicking him in the ankle as she passed.

He swore at her, but followed, and they rounded the trunk one of the enormous trees towering over the beach, and didn’t emerge from the other side.

*    *    *

I took inspiration from “The Ballad of Tam Lin,” and Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” The idea of people being stolen away, and a loved one journeying to get them back (though Tam Lin was stolen by the Queen of the fairies), and the bustling goblin markets with their dangerous fruit from Rosetti’s poem sparked this adventure. Alix and Stephanie are college freshman, 18 and 19 respectively, and cousins sharing a dorm room. They have just left an off-campus party where they did some drinking, and are biking back to the dorms in the evening.