March Wrap Up

Its the post that no one asked for but that your getting anyway!
The name of the game for March was making a dent in the comics and graphic novels in my collection.
Ok Team! Lets get a run down of what I read and how I felt.

25489134The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden: I started this one in Feb and finished it in early March. I was completely sucked in and only really stopped reading when I got super spooked in some of the later chapters. I really enjoy fairy tales and folk takes and was delighted to get some insights into stories of the Russian variety. I was also really interested in the way the church was portrayed, not as the enemy, but as deceived.                      4.5 Honey Cakes out of 5.

23129410Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor: I had such high hopes. I really love the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. Cecil and Carlos are my OTP and I am all about the episodic randomness that pulls together into a beautiful surprise. Unfortunately I just didn’t feel connected to either of the main characters. Neither Jackie or Diane really drew me in, and I was honestly much more interested in learning more about Josh or Old Woman Josie and the Erica’s. I did listen to this on audiobook, which is the only reason this got a 3 rather than a 2.
3 Flamingos out of 5.

29780171Archie Vol 2 by Mark Waid: I’ve really been enjoying the re-emergence of the Riverdale fandom. Archie himself has never been a favourite character, lets be real, he’s a total jerk. I’m here for Betty and Jughead and Dilton and Ethel. I’m not sure if I’m going to keep going with the next volume, not because I don’t like these last two volumes, but because I just don’t like Archie enough to keep investing $20 into these.
3 Fickle Redheads out of 5.

27405590Jughead Vol 1 by Chip Zdarsky: This is what we are here for!! Juggie has always been my fav. He was snarky and sarcastic and just not about that date life. This first volume paid hommage to the classic Jughead stories and it made me so incredibly happy. Can we also talk for a moment about Juggie being asexual? As someone who identifies as demi, I’m all about this. Its only dropped in passing, but I’m happy they did it this way rather than making it a big production.
4 Burgers out of 5.

2057897925943106Amulet Vol 6 and 7 by Kazu Kibuishi: I’ve been working my way through this series and have been liking it quite a bit so far. The only issue I’ve had so far is that the story can be hard to follow at times. I’ve found myself needing to go back and reread sections, and in more then a couple cases, feel parts of the story are skipped over and we are expected to fill in the gaps. Its a very interesting fantasy story with a delightful mix of mechs and sci-fi.
3 Robot Houses out of 4.

28354793Chupacabras Song by Jim C. Hines: I have weird feelings about this one. I love Jim C. Hines. He is a phenomenal writer. I have loved everything I’ve read from him. Sure it can occasionally be a little fan servicey, but heck, you do you Jim. I had to read this tiny short story 4 times before I got a solid idea of what was going on. I’m not sure if I just wasn’t in the right headspace for the story, or if it just wasn’t up to Mr. Hines usual calibre , but this one wasn’t for me.
3 Magic Vet Assistants out of 5.

30776605Jughead Vol 2 by Chip Zdarsky: Yes, just Yes. 100x yes. This volume was perfect, it was everything I wanted and more.  We get more Juggie, being Juggie, this time in less episodic and more slice of life story telling. Which is what I live for. We get to see Juggie interacting with his friends, and going on a date, which is a beautiful thing. That Juggie is ace is further developed in this volume and it truly gave me life. One of the things I found myself enjoying more than I thought were the interatctions between Archie and Jughead, where we explore how friendships change over time, and it was really delicately done.
5 Burger Women out of 5.

25138266B26067583atgirl Vol 1 and Vol 2. by Cameron Stewart: I don’t know team, maybe Batgirl just isn’t for me. Batwoman? Yes, always Yes. Batgirl… Meh. I had a really hard time with this one. I don’t know if its because despite this being a Volume 1 and 2 there is a tonne of back story that is hinted at rather then explained. I don’t think the story is inherently bad, it was just not an ideal jumping in point. I also found our main character to be rather dislikable over all. I’m down with flawed characters, and that your protagonist doesn’t have to be a nice person. I honestly just find her more annoying than anything.
3 Needy Batgirls out of 5.

28954189Scythe by Neal Shusterman: I need to stop trying to describe Neal Shusterman books to my friends. They can tell by my face how excited about them I am, but the content is so dark, and psychologically messed up that my friends become concerned. Scythe was absolutely phenomenal and I would 100% recommend. I will do a full on review of this one. I love it too much not to. Long Story Short: World without death gives two teens a license to kill.
5 out of 5 Flamethrowers

28186137Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood: I might have been mildly disappointed by Welcome to Night Vale, but that honestly is nothing in comparison to Angel Catbird. This thing was a monstrosity. Maybe it was intended to be one of those its “so bad its good” cult comics, but it blew past that and exploded into 3 years of unchanged kitty litter. Margaret Atwood has written a couple of my favourite books, and even though I had seen pretty brutal reviews for it, I wanted to give Ms Atwood the benefit of the doubt. This was a wrong choice. The art was good, but the dialogue was juvenile and story went from 0-60-300 in a matter of panels. The only reason my Goodreads says 1 star is because there is no option to give 0 and still give a rating.
0 Creepy Half Rat Harems out of 5

Thats it team. It was a pretty wild ride. I had some really amazing reads this month, and more then and a few disappointing reads. Heres to April and a beautiful new month of reading.

Top 10 Tuesday: Gateway Reads

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Hello Team!
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is a Freebie. So I decided to delve back into the days of olde and ran off with topic #184 Top Ten “Gateway” Books/Authors In My Reading Journey.

I feel like we all have those books that really launched us into reading. Whether that be a catapult into a new genre, out of a slump, or that magical first book that called your name and never really let go.

Image result for awake and dreaming1. Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson: This book was incredibly pivotal in so many ways. Its one of the first books that I very distinctly remember reading. I remember taking out of our third grade classroom library, and being completely immersed in Theo’s world. It featured a young Canadian girl who was a social outcast who coped by reading books, and I instantly connected with her. I had used the library as a sanctuary in the years before, but this cemented reading as both an escape and a pleasure. Kit Pearson remains one of my favourite children’s authors.

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2. Guardian of Isis by Monica Hughes: Ahh… a girls first science fiction. I cant remember for the life of me how I stumbled upon this book, but I know that it was in Grade 5, and if they hadn’t torn down my school I could have walked you right to its place on the shelf. Its a shame that I ran into this book first, as its the second book in the trilogy, but given the way it was written it didn’t take too much away from the story. I would later read and fall in love with the whole story, and I credit the third book with being the first book to ever make me cry.

Image result for dragons milk novel3. Dragons Milk by Susan Fletcher: I feel like a common thread with these books is how vivid the memory is to me of where I found them. This gem came to me at the local library, during a summer reading program. Like all good novels in the 90’s, it had a beautifully illustrated cover and an interesting enough synopsis inside the dust jacket. What little girl didn’t want to read about a brave young girl who risked her life for her sister, and gets to babysit dragons? This one was a heart breaker and is credited as being the second book ever to make me cry, and the first book I threw in frustration. This also kicked off a love of fantasy novels.

Image result for beauty robin mckinley4.Beauty by Robin McKinley: I grew up on Disney, if it was out on VHS, my mom probably had it. My favourite above all these movies was Beauty and the Beast. Belle is smart, and beautiful and brave, and witty and honestly the best princess ever. So when I found Beauty, it was like finding the biography of a character I already knew I loved. McKinley pours so much new and exciting mythology into Beauty, and I found for myself a genre that would be come one of my all time favourites. Fairy tale retellings rank high in library all because of this gateway book.

Image result for the chrysalids by john wyndham5. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham: I was lucky enough to attend a high school that had an English AP route. This meant that I got to take two semesters of English every year rather than the regular one. Some might count this as hell, but I loved it. Part of joy was being in a class with other students who enjoyed English, and a teacher who got to teach kids who didn’t hate being there. One of the books that we got to read was The Chrysalids. I fell in love instantly with this new and strange world. I loved the idea of a world gone wrong, and people striving to cope within it. I recall asking after we had finished reading this if there were any other books that the teacher could recommend and he mentioned 1984 and Brave New World. My love of dystopian was born.

Image result for fushigi yuugi manga cover vol 16. Fushigi Yuugi by Yuu Watase: My first manga series. It was wonderful and weird and I didn’t understand all the references, but the art was spectacular and  was being told stories unlike anything I had ever read before. The mythology and story telling fresh and brand new and I couldn’t wait for the next volumes. Thankfully I came onto this series once it was finished, and it was owned by one of my friends who was amazing enough to lend me the staggering (at the time) 18 volumes. I fell madly in love with this style of story telling and am an avid reader to this day.
Image result for the veldt ray bradbury
7. The Veldt by Ray Bradbury
: Is it considered cheating if I pick a short story? Its going to happen either way, I just want to know so that I can really own it. I read this short story in grade 11 English AP, and i think I can speak for a fair portion of the class when I say that the story is really unsettling. Its like it crawls into your body and shifts your bones two millimetres to the left. I found myself thinking of this story for years after I had read it. And while I had read Fahrenheit 451 (an abandoned copy I found in my pop culture class room) I never connected it to The Veldt. I was absolutely overjoyed years later to find out that the two works were related by Bradbury, and I was able to pick up a copy of The Illustrated Man, which is my favourite short story collection.

Image result for bill willingham fables8. Fables by Bill Willingham: I had read countless Archie comics in my growing up, and while I adored them I never really thought of them as books. They were kind of like a sub-genre of magazine. While I knew that graphic novels were out there I was pretty much convinced the only thing out there to was super heroes or arthouse style pieces. Much to my delight, on my search for more Fairy Tale retellings, I was steered toward Fables. Just like with manga I found a world with beautiful and amazing illustrations, that told stories in whole new ways, and had tiny nuances I never would have imagined. I eventually fell head over heels with graphic novels, both with its more common comic form (superheroes and the lot) and with all the amazing stories that cross all genres of fiction and non-fiction.

Related image9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: The first time I ever experienced this book was via audiobook. It was the first audiobook I had listened to since I was a child.  I can remember those audio books very clearly, on their cassettes sitting in the big tupperware in the car on road trips. I remember the narrators voice being spooky and giving me nightmares. No nightmares from the Book Thief, just uncontrollable sobbing. Which if you are driving down the highway at 110kph, is a really bad idea. Its not like I didn’t know what was coming, the book is narrated by Death after all, but this book was so impactful, and the narrator scream crying through my speakers struck me to my core. This a audio book taught me the incredible importance of a good narrator.

So I didn’t quite make it to 10, but I’m pretty dang proud of cracking out as many as I did.
Comment and let me know which books kicked off your reading!

Much love.

Reading Intentionally

So its been a while.
Lets be honest. I’m never going to be very good at staying up to date, logging in regularly, or sticking to a plan. There are a lot of things I say I am going to do that I never get around to, or things that, if we are being completely honest, I wouldn’t keep up with if it wasn’t for friends (lovingly) finger wagging.
One thing I do regularly, out of both habit and as a necessity, is read. I like reading, I love reading, I down right need to read. It helps me escape, and cope with a world that righteously blows some times. Reading is not something that I will ever really need to be forced to do.
So while I have a litany of other resolutions I’d love to try my hand at this year, I’d like to make at least one that has a chance of succeeding. This year I want to read more intentionally. My book collection has almost doubled in the last 3 years, and I’m constantly trolling the various Value Villages in my city for new books to add. Some of my hunting has been intentional. There are two Canadian children/middle grade authors that I purchase on sight, and have multiple copies of their titles. I constantly keep my eyes open for titles I recognize from my childhood that I never hesitate to throw in my cart. But if I’m being honest with myself, a majority of the books I’m picking up are impulse buys. Books I’ve either heard about on BookTube, authors I’ve heard about but never read, or books with an awesome cover and half decent synopsis. Considering I’m really only spending $20 at a go and walk away with 3-6 books, I guess it’s really not too bad. The problem is how many of these books just sit on my shelves, looking beautiful and not getting read. I’m much more likely to pick a book from a most recent haul then I am to browse my own shelves.
This year I want to pull up my socks and give my books the respect they deserve.

To do this I’d like to challenge myself to the following:

5 Book Challenge
There is a 5 book challenge that has been floating around for a while in the blogger and BookTube community. It’s not particularly new or revolutionary but it’s really smart. The idea is that you have to read 5 books before you are allowed to purchase one new one. The rule does not apply to books given as gifts or books received for free, but I’m personally only going to allow gifts. This will still allow me the freedom to pick up the out of print titles I am hunting for, while ensuring I’m purchasing more responsibly.

img_20160520_190823EOG Book Club
The Edmonton Open Genre Book Club is going on 5 years strong this year, and I’m pretty dang proud of it. What started out as an excuse to talk books without having to force a particular title on people, has turned into a solid group of friends. Yes, we can find just about way to justify how your read fit the theme, but the idea is to have fun and get us reading. I’d say I read about 40% of the genres in a given year, but this year I’d like to commit to reading at least 80%. I could aim for 100%, but think of how awesome I will look if I over achieve?!

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Monthly TBR
Loads of people have TBR piles, I have TBR shelves. Heck, I could probably make a whole bookcase of TBR without breaking a sweat. The problem is I have very little documentation to just how big my current owned TBR is. I can look through my shelves and easily recognize titles I’ve never read before, but I don’t have a list telling me just exactly which books those are. I also dont ever have a plan when it comes to what I’m going to read. I might pick up something from a recent haul, or take a quick glance and see if anything tickles my fancy, but I’ve never sat down at the beginning of the month and said, “These are the books I’m going to read.”. This year I’d like to give this a shot. Even if I dont stick to my list precisely, I think I will be good to know that I have a plan. This year my reading goal is 70 books, which equals ~6 books per month (or 5.83333333). By the 1st, I’d like to have a rough list of 5 books (leaving one free for book club) to get through that month.

So it’s not a lot, but the idea is not to overload myself with so many goals that it becomes unrealistic. I think all three of these “challenges” will help me to read with greater intention, as well as help save my pocket-book and floor space.

Heres to a bright and literary new year, and (hopefully) many new blogs to come.

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Top Ten Tuesday: What Books?

Top Ten Tuesdays

Hola!
How goes internet peeps?! I am back! Hopefully? Maybe? In an attempt to create some regularity and scheduling in my life, but I’ve made these promises before, so lets be forgiving shall we? At the very least I feel like I can do my memes. So lets take a trip back in time to the world of Top Ten Tuesday hosted over on The Broke and the Bookish.

This weeks topic is Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year, and unfortunately I’m going to have to cheat. See problem is this year has been 100% bunk in the way of reading. I’ve barely gotten any in, and some of it has been re-reads, and the rest hasn’t necessarily been awesome, so realistically this is going to be The Only Books I’ve Read In the Last Little While. But hey, its a start?

1. The Circle by Dave Eggers: Bought this book on a whim when I was in Costco, I cant seem to stay away from that giant isle all covered in books. As mentioned before, I 100% judge books by their covers, and this one drew me in. Flipping it over I saw a glowing quote from Margaret Atwood, a very strong point in its favour. But then I opened it up and saw the following quote, emphasis mine:

The Circle is Brave New World for our brave new world . . . Now that we all live and move and have our being in the panopticon, Eggers’s novel may be just fast enough, witty enough and troubling enough to make us glance away from our twerking Vines and consider how life has been reshaped by a handful of clever marketers . . . There may come a day when we can look back at this novel with incredulity, but for now, the mirror it holds up is too chilling to LOL.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

I knew I had to read it. I fell into this book and emerged a couple of days later more wary of Facebook then I had ever been. It was eerie in that this could be today, or tomorrow or 5 years from now. Its the future but today, and nothing is so blatantly wrong, but everything is just off enough to make you feel super uncomfortable, like someone shifting your furniture 3 inches to the left. It was marvellous.

2. Codex Born by Jim C. Hines: OK remember a million years ago? I had Libriomancer on my TBR for fall list? (OMG I looked it up, its from way back in Oct 2012) Well I read it, and I loved it. And I will be the first to admit that its not perfect. It gives into fan service a little too much, and all of the references will make no sense to anyone in 1o years, but dear lord was it fun. The premise is filled with potential, and despite some of the characters being a little flat, I loved just how nerdy Isaac is. So I read the first book and this year I devoured the second, Codex  Born. I would not say that it was as good as the first one, but I was glad to see old friends come back into the picture and have a chance to get fleshed out. The biggest downer to this book were the flash backs. I get it, Lena is a dryad created from a sci-fi smutt novel, she is going to be sexy and have some sexy times, but i feel like it got a little out of control at times. Lena is trying to grow from that, become a person in her own right so to keep throwing her own trope at her time and time again felt a little defeating. Don’t get me wrong, I will read the next book. And I will likely read just about anything that Jim C. Hines put out, I just wish he would trust his readers to be a little more intelligent and less hormone driven.

3,4. Orxy and Crake/Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood: So in an attempt to finish off the MaddAdam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood, I’ve gone back and done a little rereading. It was great going back and falling into the amazing world Atwood has made for us. Also, because I read them in quick succession it was easy to pick out all the places that the stories crossed over. I had initially read each book after it had been written, meaning I had a hefty 6 year gap in between, so getting the chance to read them both so closely together was a treat. Sneaky references to characters I loved and hated popping up all over the place. I’ve started reading MaddAdam, but shortly after starting reading it, I found The Circle, and if you cant tell from my love letter to it above, it consumed all my reading. Its back on my radar, but is playing second fiddle to The Cloud Atlas, which i need to crack out for book club this month.

5. Wandering Son by Hōrō Musuko, illustrated by Takako Shimura: There is always room in my life for manga, but I feel like I’ve completely ignored this medium as of late. So when we had Graphic Novel up for EOG Book Club last month, I decided to renew this passion and dive head long into this beautiful manga. Manga in general gets a lot of criticism for looking the same, and I cant agree more. A majority of the titles have a very similar quality to character design and plot, which means that you can have two characters from two different titles look identical. With that being said, I feel that i gravitate to the more unique drawing styles. This title isn’t vastly different, but the sketchy style and slow, very natural pacing of the story makes it stand out. The story (in as far as I am, because I am only at volume 4) follows two children, a boy and a girl, who are struggling to come to terms with their gender identity. Without going into it too much just let me say that its beautiful. The author broaches a very delicate subject with charm and tact, and like i said a slow plodding pace that is absolutely essential to the material. To have children come to conclusions and figure everything out at a normal manga style clip, would do the characters a total injustice. I will 100% continue to follow this series.

So its only five, but its a start.
Here is to trying again!

Much Love!
Micheline

Top Ten Tuesday: Not Listening and Making Goals

Top Ten Tuesdays
Not even going to apologize for my horrendous absence, they keep happening and I keep apologizing, and as my mom always told me “Sorry means I’m never going to do it again.” And I really do feel bad for being gone all the time but to be completely honest its probably going to happen again on more then one occasion.

I am also going to be sneaky and not do this weeks Top Ten Tuesday, and do the one from last week. Partially because I cant think of any debut novels I am really looking forward to, the other part is because its my first book blog of the year and I should probably lay down some goals and plans or what have you.

Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2013

1. Continue running the EOG Book Club: This last year has been so amazing with the book club, while some of the ladies have floated in and out and are kinda irregular we have a pretty strong core of about 4 of us that have been keeping strong. Every month brings new insights about new books and genres, and way more laughing then is entirely healthy.

2. Give the EOG Book Club a stronger online presence: I’ve been absolutely awful this year when it comes to blogging consistently, both with Top Ten Tuesday and with the book club. I’d like to at the very least have this happening regularly again. Its once a month I have zero excuse. We also discussed in our December meeting how much fun we think it would be to record our discussion and pop them online. I have no idea how realistic that is, or if we will actually do it, but its something I’d love to explore. I think we are all intelligent and hilarious and I think would make for good listening.

3. Explore more Canadian authors and Canadian settings: I love this great big country of mine, its beautiful and diverse and has so many lovely delicious differences. This month for book club we have Canadiana for our genre, we agreed to choose either a Canadian author or a book set in Canada, which if we are going to be honest are probably going to be pretty mutually exclusive. There just are not a lot of non-Canadian authors flexing their brainpower in a Canadian setting. When i was a kid I was obsessed with Canadian authors, and if I could find them, Albertan authors. I was lucky enough to stumble onto Kit Pearson, and Monica Hughes, two authors who were not only from my home province, but who also lived in Edmonton, which was the closest major city to me. They continue to be my two favorite authors over a decade later.

4. Read more to my niece and nephew: Sadly i live about an hour away from my niece and nephew, and therefore i dont get to spend a tonne of time with them. One thing I have thankfully been able to do is read to them. My sister has been very good about making sure my darling babies have lots of books around and love reading. I go out of my way when I’m in town to be at her house before their bed time so we can sit together, one tiny person on each side and read 3 or 4 books. I love it and I want to do it more!

5. Blog at minimum once a week: I’m not perfect and I know it, I want to blog so much more, but I want to nail myself down to at least one a week.

6. Join a couple of reading challenges: There are a whole bunch of reading challenges over at A Novel Challenge, so far I am interested in the Kidlit Read and Review challenge as well at the YA challenge. Obviously if I do the Kidlit one its going to involve extra blogging, but I mean I dont think thats a huge issue on such little compact books. And even if I do some of the others I dont need to necessarily do a full review but just check in and let you know what i’ve been reading.

7. Get Growing Up Without Harry off the ground: I mentioned it a long, long, long time ago, but believe you me I definitely haven’t forgotten about it. I’ve kept on reading, and will honestly probably need to go back and get a refresher, but I want to write this so so so so so so bad! I cant even pin point why, but it just feels right so I hope to get it right.

8. Get Sequential Genesis off the ground: This is another project I mentioned super briefly. I have found comics due to the beautiful lady who lives over at FacelessMasses, and I have been absolutely enthralled by the medium. I am by no means an expert on the topic of comics and sequential art, but I am loving it none the less. I’d really like to give this some perspective as an outsider looking in. Comics were not something I was into, manga yeah, but comics are a whole different beast.

9. Show my e-reader some love: I have a pretty awful/awesome habit of buying books. Like copious amounts of books. I love to be surrounded by them. Mix this with my growing love of comics. My very very very tiny apartment is running out of space. So what I’d like to do, with the exception of books that continue a series I’ve already begun, or by authors I religiously follow, I am going to get the book in a e-reader format whenever possible. I figure this will save me a lot of space, as well as save me a bit of money.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Lets Get Reading

Oh well hello again Blogosphere!! 😀 How absolutely delightful to encounter you again! 😀 Its been far too long since I have indulged in the delight of a Top Ten Tuesday, or  any book blogging really.  Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted over at the fabulous The Broke and the Bookish, swing by and give them some love.

This week we were give a rewind, so we get to go ahead and pick a past topic that we missed or would like to rehash. I am going to tackle Top Ten Books On Your Fall TBR List. Seeing as I was mia at the time of the post I figure its a good jumping of post because boy do I have a stack of books waiting for me to tackle it!


1. A Hero for WondLa byTony DiTerlizzi:
When I read the first book I was floored by the amazing world Di’Terlizzi had built. It was not only beautiful, well described and incredibly unique, it was enormous. So when I finished the first book I promised myself to grab the second book as soon as it came out. Weeeeeell I didn’t, I only picked up this book a couple of weeks ago, and have been swamped in the interim. Its sitting provocatively on my coffee table asking me to read it and by golly if I dont get to it soon.

2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: I cant even remember how long ago I picked this one up, somewhere around the time it was released I think. What I do remember was being absolutely terrified when I read it!! Please note that I have a very weak threshold when it comes to scary things, and this books scared my pants right off!! But that make it perfect for EOG Book Club this month as we have decided to embrace the spirit of October and read horror/spooky stories (the spooky part came from myself and a friend who are total horror wimps). So its time to overcome my fears and tackle this one!

3. Kill Order by James Dashner: This is another title I have been eagerly awaiting! The whole Maze Runner series is one of the most brilliantly executed story lines I’ve ever read. Dashner does something absolutely amazing, and is a master of suspense, making this one wiggle its way to the top of my pile.

4. Harry Potter books 4 – 7 by J.K. Rowling: As some of you might know I never grew up reading the Harry Potter series and that has recently spawned a project of going through and reading them and typing up my thought and feeling on a series that has shaped the childhoods of a generation. I’d really love to have finished reading them before Christmas and have corresponding posts written up that I can slowly release a month at a time.

 5. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson: This was recommended to me by a close bibliophile friend as Maureen Johnson is one of her favourite authors. The premise as compared to Johnsons other works seemed the most appealing, and I am actually pretty excited to dive into a book I know someone else personally recommended.

6. The Infinite Day by Chris Walley: For this one I might actually end up having to re-read the whole series! I started reading this series years ago, and as its actually a pretty obscure title I had a heck of a time tracking down the individual parts (especially when the first two books were combined into a singular volume and ordering the third book actually got me the last book in the series rather then the third, which had become the second after the combining of the first two books… blah) But I’ve read the first two (or in my case 3 as I have the first two as separate novels), and started in on the 3rd and for whatever reason lost my steam. I’m not surprised. It actually took a number of years and reread just to get through the first one (thats what I get for trying to read such a spiritually and emotionally loaded book at 13). I’d love to finish off and see how the whole epic ends, but I’m thinking it might call for a total rehash of the whole series.

7. Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini: Another once you can attribute to a running series. This one was more deliberate in its hiatus. I remember the loooong, loooong wait between the first and second book, and what felt like an even longer wait between the second and third. So even after purchasing the third book, I promised I wouldn’t read it until the fourth one was out. Now obviously it camp out last November, so I’m thinking its more then time to jump on this train and get back to reading.

8. Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines: This one I haven’t actually picked up yet, it just came out in August and I am super excited to grab a copy! After reading and falling in love with his amazing take on our classic fairy tale characters in his Princess Series, I cant wait to jump into his newest series.

9. Crossed by Ally Condie: I’m actually very excited to read this one! My friend borrowed me a copy of Matched last month and I whipped through that puppy right fast. I honestly did not think I would like it even a little as it was marketed as a dystopian love story for teens. Yeah… no thanks… But the world that was created and the amazing structure given to the society were the real show stoppers. Yes there was a love story, but it felt secondary to the plot rather then running the plot like I had feared. Now I am excited to jump back into the same world and see where it takes me this time.

10. My Enormous Stack of Comics by Various: Earlier this year a friend introduced me to the wonderful world of comics.  I had dabbled here and there , mostly due to my moms well meaning habit of picking me comic adaptations of Jane Austen novels. I loved my manga, and that was good enough for me. I had no desire to read all about super heros all day. She helped me learn that not all comics are about super heros,  and not all super hero comic are bad. So now, some six months later, I’ve grown what feels to me to be a decent litte collection and a whole new appreciation for sequential art. This has spawned another project I hope to start up called Sequential Genesis, in which I will explore both comics and manga, giving reviews and insite into titles, and hopefully convincing you that this can be literature too.

What books are you hoping to get to this fall?

Growing Up Without Harry

. growing up I was raised in a Christian home (I hate the word religious it sounds like we chased people with bibles and carried around spritzers of holy water), as such there were certain things that my sister and I were not allowed to watch and read. I would by no means call myself sheltered. I watched all manner of Disney movies, with and without magic characters and dont consider my childhood lacking in any way. I was an avid reader and gobbled up C.S. Lewis, Tolkien (started with the Hobbit) and other books that may or may not have had a creature or theme linked to magic. One series though that was never allowed in the house was the Harry Potter series. To be fair by the time I had even heard of their existence the first four books had already been released and the movie was coming out sparking a fresh hysteria among parents both religious and not about the books and their impact on children.

I didn’t have a real interest in reading the series in general, as at this point my  reading had starting its beautiful and continuing bent for science fiction and Canadian authors, but I was aware of the general premise and that I wasn’t allowed to watch for a variety of reasons. However my mom wanted me to be informed, to be able to back up the reasons why she thought the series wasn’t appropriate for kids my age (elementary/junior high). So she took me to see the first movie when it came out, and we spent an evening watching it and then an equal amount of time afterward discussing it. My main memories of the occasion is that there were a number of instances I found deeply frightening, and very dark. I felt fairly well armed to go back to my comrades and tell them the reasons I wasn’t allowed to read them, and my total lack of desire to read them.

The books (and consequently movies)  continued to come out and as I grew older I was given more freedom with my movie choices, and while the Harry Potter movies were never a first choice, through one circumstance or another I ended up seeing a movie most of the films. Each one to me seemed darker and darker. Not exactly movies to my taste to say the least. So when the third book in the series showed up on my syllabus for Children’s Lit in college I felt a little scandalized. I read the book, and while not scarred, didn’t give the series any more notice then necessary to pass my test.

Off and on throughout the years people have implored me to just sit down and read the series and get a proper feel for it. Because as we all know Hollywood tends to either at best get  a general idea and at worst murder the original literature. I told them all to lend me a copy and I would, and it never really ended up happening. Then I got my Kobo, and a friend generously loaded the entirety of the series onto it for me, and I though well, lets do it then. Lets finally read the Harry Potter series.

I find it interesting that so many people I know grew up with Harry, they aged along side him and feel like his story was a huge part of their maturing. I seemed to make it through by other means, and have always had a hard time understanding the near fanatical at times following that the series has. So I propose to write out a blog a month detailing one book at a time and my feeling and thought on it. I will obviously be reading them much much faster then that (3 weeks and 3 books consisting of lunch breaks and the odd hour or two), but really want to have something  consistantly scheduled. So I will type these out at I read them, and pop them on an auto posting doodly-do. I really hope it will be a learning process for me, and for you and that in the end we enjoyed our time together.