Comic Bookish People to Follow on Twitter

I spend a lot of time on Twitter, so, I follow a lot of people. People that I think are great. Particularly, I love following my curated feed of comic people. Not only are they hardworking and talented at their actual profession, but they’re funny, passionate, and seem to just have a drive to find and create good art.

Some of these people I’ve been following for a while, some are artists I’ve found because of the other artists that I follow. If you’re on Twitter, and you love comics, I think all of these people are worth your time.

This post is done as part of The Broke and Bookish Top Ten Tuesday.

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Romance Stories I’ve Quit

This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday, although you’re going to notice, there’s only two things on the list. Maybe because I dislike these things enough for five each?

So, I like romances in my stories. Not all of them, but they’re nice, and when done right create a little warm spot in my chest. But sometimes they frustrate me. Here are those times.

Young Woman and Older Man

I’m not against this on principle. I know people who have married older men, and they’re wonderful together. And there are stories where I actually like this, like Emma. But in books that don’t do it well, I feel a little icky and uncomfortable about it. Often because there’s a weird thing with the power dynamics in the relationship, like the man is the teacher and the woman is the one developing feelings (lookin’ at you, The Paper Magician). Plus, I can’t think of a book (off the top of my head at least) where the reverse happens and a young dude in a lesser position must win the older lady (though I have a feeling that the dynamics would be different in that situation..). Maybe I’m being unfair, but knowing that’s part of the story is enough to put me off altogether.

My First Love, My Only Love

I say this as a woman who went out with one guy ever in college and then married him. I can’t stand it when the romance revolves around a girl who has gone out with one person ever in her life, and now they’re soul mates and want to spend the rest of eternity together (*cough* TWILIGHT *cough*). I think the issue I have with this is that it usually comes up in young adult novels, and how often does it really happen that you stay with the boyfriend you met in your Sophomore science class? (I know it does happen…but how often??) I prefer it even if she recently broke up with someone, or even, at the very least, had other crushes. But your first boyfriend ever?

Again, in some cases it does work out okay (Graceling) but often that’s because there are other circumstances, more of a point to the story than simply the romance. I do get very excited when young adult novels twist on this a little bit, where the main character thinks she wants to be with that one person forever, but then maybe she meets someone new. Because that’s actual life, even if it’s in a world with magic.

What do you think? Am I just being grumpy? And what kinds of stories have you sworn off? Let me know!

Favorite Fairy Tale Retellings I’ve Read

This post is a part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme on The Broke and the Bookish. Check out their blog for other lists!

Cinder, Scarlett, and Cress by Stephanie Meyer. I started reading Cinder and the other books in this series last year, and I was immediately super impressed that Meyer follows the basic story of the fairy tales, while making it her own thing entirely. In particular she blew my mind with Cress, her retelling of Rapunzel, when she seamlessly integrated some elements that I had forgotten occurred in the fairy tale.

Dearskin by Robin McKinley. I first read this book, a retelling of Donkeyskin, in high school from my school library. Honestly, I think that book was in there by mistake, since a big part of the story involves incest and rape, but I’m so glad it was there. It’s an excellent, emotional book, and I’ve read it a couple of times since.

The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block. This is an anthology of fairy tale retellings.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. It’s Snow White, but figuring out which character is the princess, and which one is the evil stepmother, is part of the fun in this one.

The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka. Obviously this has to be on here.

There’s five for me! There are probably others that I’m forgetting, or others that I forgot/didn’t know were fairy tales to begin with.

What fairy tale retellings do you love? Let me know, and go to Broke and Bookish to add your list!

Books on My Spring To-Be-Read List

This is part of Top Ten Tuesday (yes, I know it’s Wednesday) on The Broke and the Bookish. This week: what books do I want to read this spring?

Men at Arms by Terry PratchettMen at Arms by Terry Pratchett. I’m reading Guards! Guards! right now, and I have read this book before, but I want to go through all the Watch books in order in my quest to finally read all of Sir Terry’s books.

Dodger by Terry Pratchett. Not a Discworld book! (I think?) But I’ve been meaning to grab it for a while.

The Peculiar by Stefan Bachman. I’m getting back into my middle grade story, so it’s time to read a bunch more middle grade books.

The Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs. More middle grade lit! This is an older one, but it was a favorite of my husband’s when he was a kid.

The Sculptor, graphic novel by Scott McCloudThe Copernicus Legacy: The Serpant’s Curse by Tony Abbott. I…should have read this one already, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud. I’ve got my library copy wasting away in my book basket.

Get in Trouble: Stories by Kelly Link. Short stories! Yes! This should be good.

Lost & Found by Brooke Davis. A new adult novel that sounds really fascinating (a girl gets abandoned in a store by her mother). So long as it doesn’t get depressing at the end.

Cress and Fairest by Marissa Meyer. I’m putting them both in the same spot because I just, just started Cress.

That’s me! I might actually get to these ones? We’ll see.

What about you? What do you plan on reading?

Bookish Problems I Have

Though there are not ten listed here, this post is part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme: what are some bookish problems you have? Some of these are goofy, some have to do with space, and some are just weird ways I read.

  • Not Enough Shelves. Though I’ve done some culling in my book collection, I still deal with double-stacked shelves and books piled under desks (I’m kicking some right now). I’ve gotten my collection down almost to it’s purest form, so the next solution is more shelving! …Except that there are no more walls.
  • Too Many Books to Read. Sometimes, when I’m shelving books at the library, I look at all the new books and think, “Wow, I want to read a dozen of these.” Then I remember all the books on the graphic novel shelf, in the fantasy section, the classics, those children’s books, and then all the unread books back home…I have to stop touching the books then before I slide into a tear-soaked panic.
  • TSUNDOKU. I know I have books to read at home. And I have library books I’ve been renewing for weeks. But then I go to the store and suddenly I have five more books. It is a very real problem.
  • My Dog. Sometimes when I’m reading she starts licking the corner of my book, trying to figure out what’s more fascinating than she is. Or I’ll be dutifully rubbing her ears, but god forbid I stop for 1.5 seconds so I can turn the page, causing her to nudge my arm or whap me with her paws until I start again. (Yeah, much worse problems to have. And I realize, I made her this way, but she’s so dang cute.)
  • Can’t Always Visualize Characters. I feel like this sounds bad, but I don’t always manage to fully visualize people when I’m reading. If I slow down in my reading to think about it, I realize that most of the time people are like fuzzy outlines in my head, and unless I put a considerable amount of conscious effort into imagining them — THIS is what their hair looks like, THIS is what the dress looks like — they stay that way the whole time. Maybe that’s why I like comics so much…?
  • Flipping Ahead. I flip ahead through pages to see how much longer a chapter or an entire book is, so I can measure how many pages I have to go. Sometimes this is good — I don’t want to start 20 pages of unbroken text when I want to go to sleep in 10 minutes — but it makes me feel impatient about finishing a book, and I’ve even accidentally spoiled things for myself in the past, and I hate spoilers with a fiery rage. Reading on my Nook helps with this, since I can’t easily flip ahead, but then I find myself overcome by WANT to flip forward.

There’s my list — do you have any bookish problems? Let me know, or make your own list!

Fantasy Novels I Want to Read

For this list, I’m not talking children’s books or creepy magical realism. I mean hefty, high fantasy, the kind that are published in hardcovers that could be used as murder weapons and get reprinted in mass markets so thick that no matter how much you don’t want to crack the spine I’m sorry if you want to get through the middle you’re going to have to crack the spine.

After reading the Mistborn trilogy, and now finishing up Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, I have a hankering not just for his books, but for fat fantasy in general. I used to gobble those books up as a teenager, with Anne McCaffery’s Dragonriders of Pern and the first several volumes of Terry Brooks’ now seemingly-infinite Shanara books. There’s a lot that I want to get into, and a lot that I feel I’ve missed.

  • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. I just said that I love Sanderson now, so this should be obvious. Elantris is not as long as his other books (I’ve seen it side-by-side on the shelf) but it’s his first one, and also a stand-alone story, which would be nice to read.
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Yeah, two Sanderson books. But, this is the first of an epically long series that, currently, is only two books deep. They are monstrous books, but here’s a chance to get in at the beginning on something that could be big and wonderful.
  • Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn. Nothing particular drawing me to this book (except for dragons maybe), but I picked up this and its immediate sequel from the library when the fantasy section was going through a weed, so now those books are taking up a lovely little chunky space on my shelf. Like I’ve said, I need to get through the backlog, and I’ll probably love it besides.
  • Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. I feel like I did something wrong, having never once read anything by Robin Hobb. Am I missing out? Am I a bad fantasy fan? I want to amend this.
  • Something by Mercedes Lackey. I’m even more positive I’ve done something wrong by never reading a book by Mercedes Lackey. She’s written so many, I’m not even sure where to start. Any ideas?

If anyone reading this has any other suggestions for wonderful fantasy novels I may have missed, let me know — I am wide open for ideas. And if you have read anything on my list, please tell me, are they worth it?

This post was written as part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme on The Broke and the Bookish, where they asked if there were books in a certain genre you felt you needed to read. Do you have any books you want to get to, or feel like you’ve missed out on?

2014 Books I Never Got Around to Reading

I read almost a hundred books last year, but even with that there are a few books I totally meant to read…and never got to, for one reason or another.

  • City of Heavenly Fire. I’ve read every other book in The Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare, but I haven’t been able to muster up the motivation to read this final installment. Maybe because it’s over 700 pages and I have enough giant books in my life, maybe because by the fifth book I’d grown rather tired of the two main characters. Mostly, I just couldn’t get excited to read it.
  • All the Light You Cannot See. A historical fiction that everyone I work with has read and loved. It’s a bit longish, so I’ve been waiting for a combination of the right mood and a shortened hold list at the library.
  • The Invention of Wings. Basically the same as above.
  • Dreamwood. I learned about this middle grade novel on another blog, put it on hold, meant to read it…and didn’t. I’ll get to it, I swear.
  • Caminar. A middle grade novel in verse, a storytelling mechanism I’ve come to really love to see.
  • Afterworlds. I still have yet to read this Scott Westerfeld novel. I don’t…I just don’t know.

Any new books from last year that you never got around to reading? What books are you looking forward to this year? Let me know!

 

This post was completed as part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

Bookish (and Otherwise) Goals for 2015

Happy New Year! It’s a little late, but here are some of my goals for the upcoming year, many involving books and writing, and a couple not.

  • Get an Agent. Yeah, just…yeah. Holidays have caused me to slack a little in my agent researching efforts, but I’ll put more effort into it now that I have some non-family time.
  • Finish Rough Draft of New Novel. I’m pretty close with that one.
  • Polish Up Draft of Another “Finished” Novel. I’m waiting for when I take a break between drafts on the previously mentioned novel, and also for returned comments from some of my readers that I sent this novel to.
  • Catch Up On Reviews. I’m a little behind on my Fandom Post reviews, which I feel guilty about, but if I give myself a couple of weeks I can catch back up.
  • Complete My Goodreads Goal. I always give myself a high number, 100, because I read a lot of children’s books and graphic novels. I want to make it this year, possibly by allowing myself to count picture books I read while I’m at work.
  • Read More Nonfiction. Memoirs, nature books…some good true stories that don’t read like I’m in a classroom.
  • Read More Graphic Novels. You’d think I read plenty enough of these, but sometimes I really do feel like I’m out of the loop on too many things.
  • Finish the Couch to 5K Program. Maybe even run an actual 5K this year.
  • Find a House. That we can afford, of course. That is the trick.
  • Go on a Trip. Not just to the Cape, which we do anyway, but to someplace I’ve never been, like Montreal, or maybe California. (I’d love to plan a trip to Japan above all, but again, affordability.)

Those are some goals from me. What do you have planned for this year? Let me know!

This was written as part of Top Ten Tuesday (yes I know it’s Friday) on The Broke and the Bookish.

Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing This Year

This post is a part of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted on The Broke and the Bookish.

I have been quite the slacker with my blogging, but let’s try to get back in the swing of things with a nice little Christmas list. Some of these are books I’m sure I’m getting from someone or other, but others are likely not.

20701976Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo. I don’t always want to own art books, but this is such a wonderful and weirdly faceted show, I’m really excited to see early drawings and how the writers even manage to come up with things.

Nine Stories. I failed at reading Seymour, an Introduction, but I love Franny and Zooey and The Catcher in the Rye too much to not try more Salinger.

Alloy of Law. I’ve read a Brandon Sanderson blog post that he will be continuing the Mistborn universe with the characters introduced in this book, so I should get on it and read this one (though I’m still rather heartbroken over The Hero of Ages).

Elantris. Same thing, more Sanderson.

Hyperbole and a Half. I skimmed part of this when it passed through the library, why haven’t I read this yet? Why? It seems brilliant.

22078240Saga Deluxe Edition. I’ve already read everything in here, but I want to read it again. And what’s that, a hardcover collecting the first three volumes is out? Yes.

Cinder. I feel I need some new SciFi/Fantasy YA, and some of my friends and coworkers have rated this book highly.

I Shall Wear Midnight. I still haven’t gotten to reading this one, though I said I would. I just can’t imagine a world without more Tiffany Aching to look forward to.

The Maze Runner. Another popular, well-received YA I haven’t gotten to yet.

Show Your Work. I’ve read this from the library, and I bought Austin Kleon’s other creative advice book, Steal Like an Artist. But I want to own this book, so I can remind myself of some things, and also scribble all over it.

Of course, Barnes and Noble gift cards are always welcome.

Any books you want to see under your Christmas tree?

 

Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit

This post is part of the Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and Bookish. This week they ask, what places have books made you want to visit? I couldn’t think of ten but here are a few.

Hogwarts. Honestly, I mean, why wouldn’t I want to visit? I want to go to school there, I want to attend their adult education program. It’s too bad Universal Studios is the closest I’ll ever get…

Japan. This should be a little obvious, too. I don’t want to go because I think it’s going to be like going into a manga, or anything ignorant like that. But reading so many stories set in the place has definitely inspired an affection and curiosity about the culture and the food that has only accumulated over the years.

The Dragon Caves, Outside the Enchanted Forest. If I remember the books correctly, the Enchanted Forest itself is crazy. But if working for a dragon is as cool as Princess Cimorene made it sound, you can sign me up for that.

The Faerie Market, Village of Wall. Again, going into the actual faerie realm sounds a bit too dangerous, but going to the Faerie Market for a couple of days? Awesome.

England. For one more “real” place. I want there several years ago, but it was part of the EF Tours in high school, and while that was a lot of fun it’s not one for taking in the scenery (good for getting me hooked on coffee though, boy).

There’s me. What places have books made you want to visit?