books!

Book Tumblr is a space where basically everyone who regularly has their hands (or, I suppose in the digital age, their eyes) on books can gather: writers, artists, editors, publishers, lit mags, booksellers and their bookstores, librarians and their libraries, and, most important of all, readers. The Tumblr book fandom is as committed to the written word as they are to the platform’s creative and transformative slant: when they finish a book, they’re ready to pull the most thought-provoking quotes or draw fanart or bake the cake they read about in chapter 12. There’s equal space for criticism and celebration, and it’s the kind of community that forces me to talk sappily about the power of the web, how people thousands of miles apart can find each other and build friendships based on a single book, or a love of books generally.
—  A Future for Books Online: Tumblr’s Reblog Book Club, or “I get the privilege of writing a long piece about things I love—books, Tumblr, fandom—and speaking so many smart women, including rachelfershleiser, katiecoyle, italicsmine, specialedition87, and youngadultescent.” Good alternate title, right?

There is a cultural narrative about how electronic devices are pulling children away from books. When I meet with other university professors they often tell me that the students don’t read anymore because their eyeballs are glued to their phones.

Technophobes think we are raising a generation that doesn’t understand the value of literature. The polarization of old and new continues. Maybe it is leftover sediment from an anti-screen mindset that was always on the fringes of the golden age of television. It is a trite myth-like story that attempts to cast books as the underdog in battle against thechno-imperialism.

Paper is the good guy and Gorilla Glass is the villain.

Kids Don’t Read Books Because Parents Don’t Read Books

I don’t know if everyone’s aware but there’s a novelization/prequel of Labyrinth coming out soon:

Years before Sarah entered the Labyrinth, a young boy named Jareth faced his own incredible journey in a desperate attempt to rescue his true love from the clutches of the wicked and beautiful Goblin Queen. Archaia and the Jim Henson Company and proud to present an original prequel to Jim Henson’s classic fantasy film.

(synopsis from amazon.co.uk)

The book is written by Jim Henson and A.C.H. Smith and illustrated by Brian Froud.

UK release date is 22nd April 2014.

DID YOU KNOW my new book is out??? It’s out! It’s also pretty, with a spot gloss cover and color illustrations in the interior! It’s the first of a two-part travelogue series from Fantagraphics, and I’m pleased as punch to present it to you guys!

My brain stopped being able to focus on work while my wedding was looming, so I don’t have many signings scheduled yet, but I do have one here in Chicago this friday: Challengers Comics is throwing an “Age of License” party! I’ll be there to chat and sign and eat food, and you should come and hang out. And check out this book! It’s a travelogue about the freedom and adventure that accompanies the confusion and loneliness of your twenties. Plus wine! 

And stay tuned for the next book, “Displacement,” exploring the flip side of that coin; Family and responsibility and aging aboard a gigantic boat.

Book Recs!

So, rememberfili asked me to do a book rec post and so I am and it’ll probably be in a weird order and I’ll try to rec books that I’m not always talking about (i.e. Grisha, The Raven Cycle, Deathless, etc.) 


God’s War (Bel Dame Apocrypha #1) by Kameron Hurley

I literally just finished Infidel, the second book in the trilogy, so this is me taking a moment to beg people to read this trilogy because I’ve scrolled to the bottom of its tag here & it’s empty. It’s about a woman who is—essentially—a mercenary and her band of misfits and the magic system is bio-magic/bug tech and it’s just. so. good. Stories about groups of terrible people forming found families and then betraying each other are my lifeblood. Also I need someone to sob over Nyx and Rhys with me because this is toRTURE. 


The Habitation of the Blessed (A Dirge for Prester John #1) by Catherynne M. Valente

I feel like most of tumblr read Deathless but never bothered to look into Cat Valente’s other works and that is a tragedy. While I will admit that The Habitation of the Blessed took me a bit to get into, the second book The Folded World actually destroyed me. It’s rich and evocative and the series is woven like a series of vignette-like stories based on some pretty obscure medieval mythology. While I’m rec'ing this one, honestly The Folded World was on par with Deathless for me in how utterly ruining it was. Also the series may never be finished so I will always be left in a void state of misery over this trilogy. 


Thief’s Covenant (Widdershins Adventures #1) by Ari Marmell

Everything about this book is utterly, delightfully charming. I think of this book incredibly fondly. I have all three of the books currently out (I’m fairly certain it’s a quartet) but I’ve only read the first. I love this book. Vaguely Renaissance world building with a protagonist who is good at what she does and aware of it (my faves). It has a fantastic pantheon and I love love love the way Ari Marmell wrote side characters. It can get a bit messy because there are a lot of time jumps, it’s not really told linearly & I remember being a little miffed at that, but oh well.  Also the metaphors are an absolute delight and I’m usually not a big fan of metaphors?  


Sekret (Sekret #1) by Lindsay Smith 

COLD WAR PSYCHIC KIDS BEING TRAINED BY THE KGB NEED I SAY MORE NO I NEED NOT. 


Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder

This is one of my favourite trilogies of all time and there is a FOURTH BOOK ABOUT YELENA COMING OUT SOON so now is the time to read about a girl condemned to die who becomes a food taster for the emperor who condemned her to death and also I shelf this one with the evil!boyfriends. Valek isn’t REALLY but BUT but. Also this kind of traditional world building/magic world building is my favourite favourite favourite kind. 


Eyes Like Stars (Théâtre Illuminata #1) by Lisa Mantchev

Honestly, this is one of my favourite YA trilogies of all time and I don’t talk about it nearly enough. Shakespeare and faeries and steampunk and a lot of hair dye. Also don’t talk to me about the love triangle I am DISTRAUGHT STILL. 

I think of the Rapture’s Eve party, my interaction with that extremely cute boy. He wanted to have a conversation with me, the real me, the one behind all the confusion and awkwardness and terrible advice from magazines. He’d asked, ‘What do you believe in?’ and I couldn’t answer, didn’t want to tell him the truth because I didn’t want to try and figure it out for myself. Even now, I think I could only list to him the various things I don’t believe in. But I still wish I could. Because I’m starting to narrow it down. I don’t believe in hate. I don’t believe in money. I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe it’s too late.
— 

Vivian Apple at the End of the World

(I love Vivian, and I love this book, and I love love love katiecoyle)

I just found this waiting for me on my front porch after I got home from running errands. And that’s just from UPS and FedEx – the mail from USPS hasn’t been delivered yet!