My Best Friends in Books (and a Request for Recommendations)

Brienne of Tarth, from Game of Thrones: tough, loyal, and completely un-girly. Jessica Jones, from Marvel comics: badass, superhuman strength, helps people while dealing with her own trauma. Hermione Granger: brilliant, intellectual, compassionate, and brave. Violet, Hannah, Dee, and Betty from Rat Queens: sex-positive, booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens for hire, and also a family. Jo…

Heroes Aren’t Special—Their Support Systems Are

The hero without their support network never actually becomes a hero, so we don’t hear about them. It’s the support network—the guardians who personally mentor them, the friends who pick up their slack, the teachers who provide training and knowledge—that allows someone to become a hero. If a bunch of people started telling you you…

Fictional Items I Wish I Could Have

Renly Baratheon’s crown, just because it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Lucy’s cordial, from The Chronicles of Narnia, because health care is motherfucking expensive. The Pensieve from Dumbledore’s office, because the ability to store my own memories and experience them again would be absolutely priceless. Elven lembas bread. Because…

No two people are not on fire

No one should have to handle YA all at once. In general, I disagree with the claim that the genre is “getting too dark”—the real world is pretty fucking dark and teenagers have to deal with that just as much as adults do, with fewer resources. But as a cataloger for a public library, I…

I Do Not Like This

Look, I liked Jennifer Lawrence as much as everyone else, until she was in everydamnthing. She seems very much like someone I would’ve been fantastic friends with in college, and I think I would love her as a person. But she’s the female equivalent of White Guys Named Chris, and she is a ludicrous choice…

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Romance Novel Here

[The author] has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, she read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. Is that a normal jumping off point, or does anyone else feel that Schoolhouse Rock doesn’t lead quite…

Book Settings I’d Like to Visit

Most of Middle Earth, Lothlorien, Rohan, and Rivendell in particular. I’ll skip Mordor, please. Yes, Hogwarts, I cannot resist.   Vianne Rocher’s chocolaterie from Chocolat, by Joanne Harris. Though I have to admit I’m thinking of the film version, because I’d like Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Lena Olin, Alfred Molina, and Johnny-Depp-in-character (not Johnny Depp in real…

Some stupid religious pseudo-philosophy I read today

While cataloging a cart of religious fiction: “If you use an axe with a dull edge, the energy you expend and the power you apply will be spread out and dissipated over a dull edge. The axe becomes inefficient and ineffective. You need to put in more time, energy, or force to accomplish the same…

Spring Reading

I’m checking several important things off my TBR this spring, thanks to the interlibrary loan program where I work. My copy of Women, Race and Class came from one of the Texas A&M libraries, and while its first few pages had been annoyingly vandalized, it also had the infinitely redeeming quality of having been signed by…

How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live

The world is such an upsetting place. I’ve been reading a book about the billionaires who control American politics, and I just read about the case in 1996 when a Koch Industries pipeline exploded and burned two teenagers to death. I was thinking about the parents, and the unbelievable amount that was awarded to them—$296…

Because Today We Remember Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am taking home this book, which I’ve had on my to-read shelf for years, probably. I’m trying to do a thing this year in which I just actually read things, instead of adding to an exponentially-growing list of things I could never possibly get all the way through. (I’m also going through that list, trying to…

Looking Up Through the Leaves

I just had the most beautiful flash of a memory from childhood—that time around sixth or seventh grade, before you’ve totally grown out of your actual child-ness and into a teenager. I was in the backyard of the house we lived in when we first moved to Texas. Our backyard was an acre, the front…

The One with the Blue Cover

It happened, everything is awful, and I can’t think, much less review books. I actually had these in my drafts anyway because I love color, and I love to look at book covers. So that’s what we’re going to do for a few days now, until I recover and/or wake up from the nightmare that…

A Garden of Books and a Library of Roses

I don’t even have a post to write; I just read this phrase in Kate Clanchy’s review in The Guardian of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, by Helen Oyeyemi, and it’s one of the most beautiful phrases I can imagine, so I needed to put it somewhere. Google image searches did not return anything satisfying, which tells…

Goodreads Choice Awards Round One

I’ve made it through a lot more than I thought I would, although a few categories I had to decide to skip for this round. If I can avoid it, I don’t like to vote for a book if it’s the only one in the category that I’ve read, because that’s not really measuring what…

Goodreads Choice Nominees

To help myself remember which I’m going to try and read in time to vote on them. Obviously, I will not get to all of these. But I’m actually in a lull between books anyway, and I have been feeling like I didn’t get to do as much of the readathon as I wanted to,…

My First Readathon!

I loved it. I was disappointed that it was so short, but that’s probably because of how loosely I held myself to the time constraints; not having planned it in advance, there was only so much I could put completely aside. I basically spread out my twenty-four hours over the daytime hours of Saturday and…

24-Hour Readathon

There’s one tomorrow, and for once I found out in time, so I think I’m going to try it! I’m trying  to put together a TBR now, to get ready. First I’ll want to finish these two books that I’m almost halfway through (and really enjoying, so this push to finish will give me a…

Characters I’d Name a Pet or Child After

I always used to tell Mike that when we got a pet, it could be a cat under the exclusive condition that I be allowed to name him Mr. Tumnus, from The Chronicles of Narnia. (This was before I learned that, contrary to my upbringing, I am actually a cat person rather than a dog…

Matilda, Mara Wilson, and Me

I started out writing this as a review for my book blog, but it turned into (1) a pretty personal post that is also (2) not at all a review. I know I have severe anxiety, but I hadn’t realized how many specific things I would have in common with Wilson. Not being in a great…

A to Z Survey

Author you’ve read the most books from: Excluding children’s picture books (sorry Mo Willems), it’s Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, because of the 28 books in the Alice series. But if we could go back in time and count all the Baby-sitters Club books I read before Goodreads, I think Ann M. Martin would top the list….

It’s Time For More Women of Color in Comic Book Movies — PANELS

It’s official: we’re all mad for Black Panther. You could argue, if you wanted, that people’s enormous reaction to Black Panther’s inclusion in Captain America: Civil War indicates just how thirsty fans are for representation in comics and related media. And even as we celebrate an awesome showing of an awesome character in a huge…

Gorgeous Book Covers

For no reason, just because I wanted to look at them. These are some of my favorite covers for books I’ve read. They’re not all books I necessarily want to own, but I do own about half of them, and would like to buy one or two more.