Shelf Control – February 22, 2017

I stumbled across this new book blogging meme today, and I thought it would be PERFECT for me, because I have approximately eleventy-billion unread books on my shelf at any given time. So without further ado, may I present Shelf Control!

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly – every Wednesday – celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! Fore more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out the introductory post, here.

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
432 pages
Published: September 21, 2001
Series: Women of the Otherworld (Book 1)
Goodreads

I received this book from my mom when we moved into the house, which was about two years ago now. She bought it when the third book was fairly new, so 2004? She originally bought it for me, but I didn’t have much interest in it at the time. I have wanted to read it for a while but it never took priority. I want to read it now because I am going to be a panelist at a convention in May where Kelley Armstrong will be presenting as the author guest of honor. Also, Kelley Armstrong is Canadian, and I love supporting Canadian authors!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Reading, 0 comments

Housekeeping!

Hello bookish lovelies! I am currently going through the fun of redoing my blog theme. I ask that you bear with me while I do. I promise it will be worth it.

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Personal, 0 comments

2016 Nebula Nominees

These were announced yesterday, but it was a holiday in Canada so I didn’t turn on my computer. I grabbed this list from Tor.com (because Tor.com is AMAZING).

Novel

  • All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
  • The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor)

Novella

  • Runtime, S.B. Divya (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “The Liar”, John P. Murphy (F&SF 3-4/16)
  • A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)

Novelette      

  • ‘‘The Long Fall Up’’, William Ledbetter (F&SF 5-6/16)
  • ‘‘Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea’’, Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 2/16)
  • “The Orangery”, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • ‘‘Blood Grains Speak Through Memories’’, Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies3/17/16)
  • “The Jewel and Her Lapidary”, Fran Wilde (Tor.com Publishing)
  • ‘‘You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay’’, Alyssa Wong (Uncanny 5-6/16)

Short Story

  • ‘‘Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies’’, Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
  • ‘‘Seasons of Glass and Iron’’, Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
  • ‘‘Sabbath Wine’’, Barbara Krasnoff (Clockwork Phoenix 5)
  • ‘‘Things With Beards’’, Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld 6/16)
  • ‘‘This Is Not a Wardrobe Door’’, A. Merc Rustad (Fireside Magazine 1/16)
  • ‘‘A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers’’, Alyssa Wong (Tor.com 3/2/16)
  • ‘‘Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0’’, Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed 3/16)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

  • Arrival, Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer, 21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films/Xenolinguistics
  • Doctor Strange, Directed by Scott Derrickson, Screenplay by Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill, Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Kubo and the Two Strings, Directed by Travis Knight, Screenplay by Mark Haimes & Chris Butler; Laika Entertainment
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Directed by Gareth Edwards, Written by Chris Weitz & Tony Gilroy; Lucusfilm/ Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Westworld: ‘‘The Bicameral Mind’’, Directed by Jonathan Nolan, Written by Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan; HBO
  • Zootopia, Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, & Jared Bush, Screenplay by Jared Bush & Phil Johnston; Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Animation Studios

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi (St. Martin’s)
  • The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK; Abrams)
  • Arabella of Mars, David D. Levine (Tor)
  • Railhead, Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press; Switch)
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, Lindsay Ribar (Kathy Dawson Books)
  • The Evil Wizard Smallbone, Delia Sherman (Candlewick)

I have to say that the POC representation is getting better, at the very least. I am so happy to see Seanan McGuire nominated again, because she is one of my favorites! I have a few others on here that I would like to read, or that I grabbed from NetGalley, but as of right this moment Every Heart A Doorway is the only one I have read.

How about you? Which of the Nebula Nominees have you read?

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, Reading, 0 comments

Top Ten Tuesday – February 21

 toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the fine folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. They totally rock, so check them out!

This week’s topic is Books I Liked More/Less Than I Thought I Would. I really like this topic because it garners awesome discussion! It can be disappointing to read a book that you are super excited for, and realize that you don’t like it at all. But the opposite is so uplifting. When you go into a book that you don’t feel anything strongly about, or that you feel a little “meh” about… and it ignites your world? It is amazing. It is so very amazing.

Five Books I Liked Less Than I Thought I Would:

  • Dare Me by Megan Abbott – I really thought this book would be about awesome girls doing awesome cheerleader things. Instead, it perpetuated a lot of harmful stereotypes about girls in high school.
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – This was so predictable I was just… yeah.
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – I thought I would love this book. But I really really didn’t. There are many tales of Clare’s alleged copyright infringement, and I found a lot of parallells between this book and others of its genre. Far too many for my comfort.
  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken – I really hated the ending of this book. I feel like it undid the entire book’s worth of story.
  • The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa – I loved most of this series. The end of it, though, was terribly disappointing.

Five Books I Liked More Than I Thought I Would:

  • Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McInerney – I got this from NetGalley forever ago and I still haven’t reviewed it because I have no idea how to. How do you review a book that is so outside your wheelhouse? This is a contemporary fiction about a woman who had enough of putting on a front, so she writes a Christmas letter that just lets it all loose. And it gets sent by mistake. And it was so relatable and hilarious and I just loved this book.
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield – My mom bought me this book and I put off reading it for about four years. When I finally got around to reading it, I was kicking myself. It is so amazing and rich.
  • Lost Gods by Brom – I picked this one up on a whim from the Library late last year. I had heard of Brom, but I hadn’t read any of his books. So I grabbed this one and read. And I loved it so very much. It combines a whole host of cultural beliefs about the afterlife and underworld without treading on any of them.
  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – This is another series I was given by my mother. Just after the fourth book came out, I got the first four. And I put off reading them because I knew nothing about them. And then I read them and my world was shiny and new.
  • The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen – This was a recommendation I got through book blogging. I picked it up thinking “OK, whatever”. Romance is not my preferred genre. And then I read it and I was introduced to one of my favorite authors. Her magical realism is so amazing and her romance is organic.

So bookish lovelies, what books did you like more or less than you thought you would? Do you find over-hyped books are more likely to disappoint, or do you tend to agree with the masses?

Stay bookish!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, Reading, 0 comments

My Journey to Becoming a Little Free Library Steward

I need to start this post off by thanking everyone involved. The Winnipeg Public Library, the Winnipeg Public Library Board, and The Winnipeg Foundation for providing funds for this project. This never would have happened without you, and I am so thankful. I would also like to thank my mom and dad for helping me with decorating, assembly, and installation. Also, for letting me do everything and store everything in their garage for several weeks months. Even when the snow started and they REALLY wanted to park in there.

Back in June (? I think. I might have been July… SUMMER anyways) I noticed that the local library was accepting applications for stewards for Little Free Libraries in the city. Normally, to be a Little Free Library steward, you just fill out a form on the website and pay a small fee. Then you can either purchase a pre-fabricated library kit, or build one from scratch.

With the help from the Winnipeg Public Library, the Winnipeg Public Library Board, and The Winnipeg Foundation, I was able to become a steward for no money out of my pocket. The small registration fee was covered, and the pre-fabricated library kit was sent to me, free of cost, as well.

The excitement I felt when I got this box in my hands was SO REAL.

I asked to take the pieces home before build day, as I wanted to do some more intensive painting. It is a good thing I did, as I needed to do about four coats of paint on each of the pieces. I recruited my niece to help me paint. And then my mom. It was a great painting party at my house.

The first round of painting, done!

Then, we had to dig the hole for the post. My husband was recruited, as was dear old dad. No toes were lost, and it was a great success.

Dad and Mr Blue, digging me a post hole.

Dad and Mr Blue, digging me a post hole.

There was a build day scheduled where all the new stewards were supposed to get together and put their new Little Free Libraries together with some guidance from local handymen. I, unfortunately, had a severe migraine and had to miss it. So I had to do all the building and installation on my own. But thankfully dear old mom and dad were there again to help!

I used power tools and everything!

I used power tools and everything! (Yes, that is a hammer, but a drill was involved)

And finally the magical day arrived. The day when I got to install my Little Free Library and call it my own. Stock it with the books I had grabbed from various used book sales over the past months, and let my bookishness loose on the neighbourhood.

The Little Free Library in all its installed (but empty) glory!

The Little Free Library in all its installed (but empty) glory!

The books are stocked and ready to go!

The books are stocked and ready to go!

Once again, I am so thankful to the Winnipeg Public Library, the Winnipeg Public Library Board, and The Winnipeg Foundation for the funds they provided, I couldn’t have done this without my mom and dad to help with the decoration, assembly, and installation. And I am just… beyond grateful to my husband for his support in this whole endeavour. From agreeing to let me put this up in our yard to helping out, to not freaking out when I brought home more books… my husband really is the best there is.

And there you have it. My journey over several months to becoming a Little Free Library steward!

Have you ever used the services of a LFL?

Stay bookish, lovelies!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Personal, Reading, 3 comments

Top Ten Tuesday: November 8, 2016

 toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the fine folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. They totally rock, so check them out!

This week’s topic is Most Recent Additions To My TBR Pile. This is going to be super fun because it gives me an excuse to not pull from the same pool of like, 30 books that I usually post about.

nov8

According to Goodreads, that is it!

What have you recently added to your TBR pile? Have you read any of the books I have listed here?

Stay bookish, lovelies!

 

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Reading, 0 comments

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon – End of Event Survey

Which hour was most daunting for you?
Anything from about 18-on. I got really tired and just kind of threw in the towel (but was still really proud of myself!)

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
These weren’t from the readathon…
Newsflesh series by Mira Grant (including all the novellas because they add so much to the story!)
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
The Others series by Anne Bishop
Throne of Glass series (including novellas) by Sarah J Maas
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?
Not specifically. I would love to see how cheerleaders work, because I felt a little lonely on the blog at times. Otherwise I thought it was great!
For me personally, not deciding the night before might be a good thing. I chose some bad books to read and I didn’t have any snacks prepared.

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
I have nothing to compare it to, because this was my first time.

How many books did you read?
I read 4.75 books!

What were the names of the books you read?
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah’s Scribbles
(most of) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Which book did you enjoy most?
Adulthood is a Myth.

Which did you enjoy least?
Lily and the Octopus. It made me very sad.

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I will definitely be participating again! I am going to try and do some artwork to donate as a prize. I would love to host a challenge…
At the very least, I will be a forever cheerleader!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Personal, Reading, 0 comments

Mid-Readathon Update/Survey!

So it is Hour 12 of the Dewey’s 24-hour-read-a-thon, which I decided late last night to tackle.

1. What are you reading right now?
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
2. How many books have you read so far?
Four, working on my fifth!
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I don’t really have a plan, honestly…
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
OMG YES! Cricket has been constantly interrupting me to play, or to just lick my face (which skews my glasses and makes reading really hard) I throw her ball for a few minutes or pawn her off on Mr. Blue.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How restless I am. I spend most of my days reading anyways, but I guess reading with purpose makes it seem less relaxing somehow? Though I am really enjoying the books and the day.

Books read:
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah’s Scribbles

Currently reading:
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Naps taken: 1
Coffees: 1

For more bookish shenanigans over the course of the day, please check out my Instagram and Twitter! (Links at the bottom of the page)

Stay bookish, lovelies!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Currently Reading, Reading, 0 comments

Books Belong to Their Readers

**UPDATE, OCTOBER 20: S.E. Hinton seems to have backed off a bit. She is still adamant that she has written the characters as straight, but seems to be more accepting that readers will have their own interpretations and that it is not an insult to her that they do.**

This John Green quote gets thrown around a lot, and it seems like some people don’t really understand what is meant by it. In light of the recent nastiness on Twitter, courtesy of none other than Outsiders author S.E. Hinton, I thought I might take a stab at explaining what it means to me, as both an author and a reader.

Small disclaimer to start: I have never actually read The Outsiders, so I can’t comment on whether I feel one way or the other on the specifics of the debacle, rather I am commenting in broader terms.

A few days ago, someone said something on Twitter to S.E. Hinton about reading her characters in The Outsiders as gay. She responded with some homophobic nonsense and said, very vehemently, that they were not gay. When people tried to enlighten her to her homophobic ways, she responded by blocking them.

The first thing I want to bring up is that until recently, a lot of characters were only hinted at being gay. Books are getting better now with diversity and representation, but it is still something that happens. So LGBT people have gotten used to trying to find themselves in the subtext. To come back and say “Prove it” when someone says they read your characters as gay is very insulting, and completely disregards the struggles of an already marginalized community. To say that someone is out and out wrong to read your characters as they choose is just rude.

This is where “books belong to their readers” comes in. I actually saw someone try to dispute this with a reference to copyright. That isn’t what the quote means at all. The author started the characters and the story. It is up to the readers to finish them. Once the book is in the wild, so to speak, the author is powerless to stop whatever assumptions are made about their characters.

Some authors meet these assumptions with grace, humor, and a great sense of humility. Others… not so much. It is great when authors like Maggie Stiefvater and Victoria Aveyard take time to answer fan questions on various social media platforms. Sometimes they are silly (like when Maggie answered the question about the Raven Cycle characters’ middle names) and other times they are serious. But it is rare that I see a YA author of today be discouraging to a fan who is asking questions that expand on the story they have already written. It seems, to me, that they love it!

As an author (at least, an aspiring one) myself, I am personally delighted to think about readers expanding on my story. To think of readers flooding my inbox saying “Hey, so I read this character as a POC…” and me going “I think that is totally rad!”. Or whatever happens.

So why is it that this author is so vehemently against readers making their own conclusions? Is it because the conclusion in question is about the sexuality of the characters? Is it because the author is older and therefore more set in her ways? Is it because her book is considered a “classic” and is therefore above all this frivolous nonsense like reader interaction, etc?

Judging by S.E. Hinton’s reaction to a simple reader question, I am thinking we will never know.

The author gives a book its start in life – the reader makes sure it has a life.

Stay bookish, lovelies!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Random Thoughts, Reading, Writing, 1 comment

October TBR

octobertbr

For October, I am focusing on spooky reads and blending some classics and some NetGalley reads. What are you planning to read this month?

Stay bookish, lovelies!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Reading, 0 comments
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