books of many genres

cartoart  asked:

Hello! First, I'd just like to say it's awesome how you're answering everyone's questions, and I really enjoy reading your answers. Secondly, I have a question about the fantasy genre. There seems to be a problem with this genre: it is very cliched. The dwarves, the elves, the dragons, the evil kings, the magic, the heroic characters, and even the plots are all the elements which many fantasy books share. How does one write in this genre without being cliche, but still being classic?

For the sake of over-explaining things (as I regularly do), common elements don’t always mean a cliche. You can’t classify something as being romance if it doesn’t contain any romance. I think the broad definition of “fantasy genre” just means “clearly made up” but the “high fantasy” section is what contains the elements you refer to (typically. I’ve seen some books only use one of the races alongside humans, or other variations).

I see what you’re saying that a lot of the tropes show up, so I’ll first explore the difference between “classic” and “cliche”:

Classics are “real” whereas cliches are a “fantasy”.

(I don’t mean “fantasy” in the genre sense, but the “idealistic situation” sense.)

Classics have a sense of grounding to them, that the stories can speak to someone beyond the superficial. Cliches are ephemeral and often kick out reality for the sake of the trope. 

It’s pretty much about depth. You can have a cliche that turns into a classic by exploring it realistically and developing it well. In fact, certain cliches can be beneficial since they give the reader something to be familiar with.

Classics revel in the consequences where cliches are excuses to make events happen.

Because readers are familiar with them, cliches are often used as “easy stepping stones” to get to the scenes that matter. For example, the love interest of an action hero getting kidnapped. The kidnapping isn’t important, it’s the scene where the hero has to make a choice and go through the emotional turmoil. 

They are “cheap” or “implausible” if kept at face value, but exploring them into a sense of reality can move then into classic territory. What if we got a scene that explored the personality and backstory of the kidnap victim instead of making them an object for the hero to run after?

Cliches oversimplify.

Related to the prior points, any story element can seem cliche in basic form. The motivated hero, the evil king, a direct label is always going to make you realize how common things are. In the actual story, an element is typically only cliche when it’s not developed properly. “The evil king” may show up in a lot of stories, but it’s only “cliche” when that king has little character and exists solely to be a villain for the hero to take down. What if that king is locked in a political battle and the negative effects that the people complain about could have been 10x worse had the king taken another option? Things aren’t always black and white.

Sometimes classic and cliche elements do overlap.

It happens. There’s no such thing as a 100% original idea for anything in storytelling– but that’s perfectly fine! It’s okay for a story to have some cliche elements because not everything can be well-developed or you’d have an encyclopedia instead of a story. 

Walking the line between classic and cliche with the elements that fantasy novels tend to share:

- You can use the common ideas (like certain magical races) but put your own spin on it to avoid the true cliche. Give unique lore, or just explore part of the race that a lot of fantasy tends not to.

- Never have a race exist just to fit a certain story ideal or niche. Give them an active role in the world or at least some interesting history. Not ever story element can get explored, but you can made it a little less predictable.

- Don’t stereotype your characters. If you really need the races to fall into traditional roles, then so be it, but you can still avoid the biggest part of the cliche by having unique characters. I can understand if a hero team needs a bunch of different weapons specialists, but maybe the archer is an orc instead of an elf.

- A lot of the classic fantasy feel comes from a triumph of good over evil, feelings of collective hope, a physical journey and exploration, etc. Like I’ve mentioned you start getting into cliche territory when the elements aren’t properly explored (AKA are just used for plot events rather than for affecting the characters or the theme).

- Give your magic unique rules, or get creative in ways to use and integrate it. Some magic is more like science, other types only exists in artifacts, occasionally it’s limited to a certain race, etc. 

There are definitely many more ideas that can be given for avoiding cliches, but the base line is: thoroughly explore what you want to write about and give things your own unique touch. It’s okay to have common elements, but don’t rely on them alone to bring out feeling in the reader. It’s more about how a story is told, rather than with what it’s told with.

Good luck with your fantasy story!

anonymous asked:

What does it take to get published by a big company like you guys?

To be honest: A LOT of hard work and determination. There are many steps between an author finishing a first draft of a book and seeing it published on bookshelves. Here are a few of the general publishing guidelines/steps!

Step 1. Find an agent. 

Literary agents are the first step once you’ve edited and revised your manuscript a few times. You should have a pretty polished book before you even send out queries. For more info on what a query should look like and tips for writing one, check out this link. Hopefully, this will then lead you to signing on with an agent!

Step 2. Your agents will shop your book around. 

Your agent will then send out your manuscript to various editors, who will either express interest or pass it over. If many editors from various Publishing Houses or Imprints like your book, then they will offer bids, or even take your book to auction. In the end, someone will agree to publish you, and your agent will help you to decide who is the best fit for you and your book. 

Step 3. You work with an Editor.

Once you find out where your book will be published, you work with an editor to help put those last touches on your book. This can often take a while, so even if your book is acquired in January, it might not be ready to be published for another two years or so! (Publishing is a SLOW business, y’all.)

Step 4. You get a release date!

This is when the marketing team will come in and start dreaming of all the fun exciting ways to let the world know about your book! Will there be a live chat? A goodreads giveaway? A tumblr post? Something more? Publicity builds buzz around either you or your book, or both, and hopefully readers are pumped up for your novel! All this happens in the build up to your release day. 

Step 5. Your book is born. 

Happy birthday! After a long process, your story is now out in the world! To help promote your book you might go on tour, or maybe you write guest blog posts or do a giveaway. Hopefully your book is beloved by fans and then you can sit back and relax… oh wait, I mean you can keep writing the sequel your publisher begged you to write!

Be warned, this is all best case scenarios, and every author has a unique journey through the world of publishing, often dependent on genre or publisher, or agent, or book. Many people have to face rejection after rejection after rejection before any of this happens. But hopefully this little guide is a helpful start as you start exploring this beautiful bookish world! 

Yo I’m looking for book recs. Anything that would be clumped together with the following books:

- Percy Jackson
- Skulduggery Pleasant
- Bartimaeus Trilogy
- Lockwood & Co
- Artemis Fowl

There’s a certain type of similarity these books have in their audience and appeal, though I can’t quite identify what that is. But if anyone has suggestions for other books in this kind of cluster of books, I’d appreciate the recommendation.

i’m just… so tired of reading posts complaining about problems that only exist because people won’t read romance novels… it is a huge genre there are books about werewolf dukes, there are books about black revolutionary war soldiers, there are books about south asian doms who care about enthusiastic consent, there are books about shape-shifting cowboys who turn into bears, there are books about lady scientists learning how to trust that their boundaries will be respected, there are books about alien barbarian warriors, there are books about genies, there are books about women of color in victorian london, there are books about polyamorous earls, there are fake marriages and marriages of convenience and basically every fanfic trope that people lose it for exists as a book with original characters but some of the same people who complain about how books no longer satisfy them turn a blind eye to a whole genre because it never occurs to them to read a ~bodice-ripper~ when they could read romantic fanfic of a more respectable genre instead

LGBT book list

Hey! I’m the anonymous who sent you an ask earlier about having an LGBT book list. I don’t have tumblr, hence the message :) So I’ve broken it into two major categories, and tried to include books from as many different genres as possible, so that there’s a wide variety for people to choose from.

Books whose major characters are LGBT and/or have LGBT themes:

Basically anything by David Levithan (YA)

If I Was Your Girl: Meredith Russo (YA)

Symptoms of Being Human: Jeff Garvin (YA)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Stephen Chbosky (YA)

Carry On: Rainbow Rowell (YA)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: Benjamin Alire Saenz (YA)

Every Heart a Doorway: Seanan McGuire (YA)

I’ll Give You the Sun: Jandy Nelson (YA)

Basically anything by Poppy Z. Brite (horror and general fiction)

The Raven Cycle: Maggie Stiefvater (YA)

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: Becky Albertalli (YA)

Ask the Passengers: A.S. King (YA)

The Pants Project: Cat Clarke (MG)

The Song of Achilles: Madeline Miller (fiction)

Basically anything by Sarah Waters (fiction)

Nightrunner series: Lynn Flewelling (fantasy)

Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage series: Mercedes Lackey (fantasy)

None of the Above: I.W. Gregorio (YA)

Middlesex: Jeffrey Eugenides (fiction)

One Man Guy: Michael Barakiva (YA)

More Happy Than Not: Adam Silvera (YA)

The Art of Being Normal: Lisa Williamson (YA)

Gena/Finn, Not Otherwise Specified: Hannah Moskowitz (YA)

This is Where it Ends: Marieke Nijkamp (YA)

Tonight the Streets Are Ours: Leila Sales (YA)

The books in this part of the list have characters that are LGBT, but play only minor roles, or you don’t know about it until late in the book etc.

Books featuring minor LGBT characters:

Lola and the Boy Next Door: Stephanie Perkins (YA)

American Psycho: Bret Easton Ellis (fiction)

Garden Spells, Lost Lake, First Frost: Sarah Addison Allen (fiction)

Ready Player One: Ernest Cline (science fiction)

Emmy and Oliver: Robin Benway (YA)

The Millennium trilogy: Stieg Larsson (mystery/thriller)

Noggin: John Corey Whaley (YA)

Extraordinary Means: Robyn Schneider (YA)

Elusion, Etherworld: Claudia Gabel (YA)

Sarah’s Key: Tatiana de Rosnay (historical fiction)

Passenger, Wayfarer: Alexandra Bracken

And these books are ones I haven’t read but I believe have LGBT characters:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post: Emily M. Danforth

Rubyfruit Jungle: Rita Mae Brown

Keeping You a Secret: Julie Anne Peters

Fun Home: Alison Bechdel

Girl Walking Backwards: Bett Williams

Ash: Malinda Lo

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children: Kirstin Cronns-Mills

The Bermudez Triangle: Maureen Johnson

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart: J.C. Lillis

Annie on My Mind, Holly’s Secret: Nancy Garden

And the Band Played On: Randy Shiltz

Am I Blue?: Marion Dane Bauer

Maurice: E.M. Forster

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel: Sara Farizan

Lies We Tell Ourselves: Robin Talley

The Price of Salt, or Carol: Patricia Highsmith

Everything Leads to You: Nina Lacour

Luna: Julie Ann Peters

Written on the Body, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit: Jeanette Winterson

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun: Jacqueline Woodson

The Color Purple: Alice Walker

More Than This: Patrick Ness

I am J: Cris Beam

For Today I am a Boy: Kim Fu

Hero: Perry Moore

Brokeback Mountain: Annie Proulx

Blue is the Warmest Color: Julie Maroh

Okay, I think that’s all I have for now, though I know I am missing a lot of books. This is a good start though for people looking for something to read. I’ve read all of these except for the last list, so any questions or recommendations, I am happy to provide. Also, I’m always up for chatting with a fellow johnlocker. The only friend I have who watches Sherlock is firmly in the ‘Sherlock is asexual, but if he loved anyone it would be Molly’ camp >_< Anyway, I love your blog. Keep up the great work. Cheers!


(referencing this post)

Wowee! Thanks for the fabulous list, Kami! I hope this will help out all of my followers looking for some literature!! :)


In a new interview from June 2017, serial killer Alexander Pichushkin tells of the past decade of his confinement. He doesn’t get along with his fellow inmates, and frequently finds himself in solitary because he insults the guards. Pichushkin also considers himself “the personification of good,” in contrast to the rest of the lifers in Snowy Owl.

He never talks about his personal life, but enjoys reminiscing about the murders he committed to anyone who will listen. Although the prison library has thousands of books, he complains that there are too many of the fantasy genre. He sleeps 8 hours and gets 3 meals per day.

Pichushkin also shared his thoughts on politics. He stated he hates Russia, but has heard good things about Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader to Putin.

You Accidentally Hit Them in Their Private Area // Seventeen Reaction

Requested: Yes

I haven’t seen any reactions on your blog, so can you make a seventeen reaction when their gf accidentally hits their “private part”? 😂 (if all 13 members is too much just the performance unit is fine) thank you~~

Author’s Note: Thank you for requesting! I was able to do a reaction for all 13 members. I like to do little scenarios with my reactions, so a couple of them got a little lengthy. I hope that’s okay. Also, sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I had mid-terms and two analysis papers to write for my Advanced Composition class, but hopefully I’ll have time to write more often. Thank you!


Originally posted by sevixxteen

Seungcheol and I have been in a relationship for a couple years now, so it isn’t uncommon for me to sleep over at the dorm. After a long day of work for the both of us, we figured that it would be best for us to get some sleep. After I got ready for bed I climbed under the covers with him as he wrapped his arms around me. I buried my face into his chest, “Goodnight, oppa.” He kissed my forehead, “Goodnight, babe. Get some rest.” Soon we both dozed off into a deep slumber, but Seungcheol was soon awaken by a sharp pain in his lower region. Clutching his private parts, he looked to his right in confusion only to see me still asleep, but moving around. He quickly realized that the pain in his lower region was caused by me kneeing him in the crotch. “Aish, what am I going to do with you?” he questioned even though I was asleep and couldn’t hear him.  


Originally posted by junghan

Jeonghan and the boys got home from practice early that evening, so the two of us decided to watch some movies together. After a while we both got bored and started goofing off. I loved hearing his laugh because it was contagious and the only way I knew to make him laugh was to tickle him since he is quite ticklish. Running my hands up his sides, he began to squirm and laugh, “Stop,” He grabbed both of my wrist and held them above my head as he began to tickle me. I happened to be more ticklish than he was. Laughing, I tried to break free from his strong grasp, but failed to do so. My legs flailed uncontrollably, which ended up coming into contact with his lower region. Instantly, he let go of me so he could cover his private area. Groaning, he gave me a death stare, “What the hell was that for?” I shrugged my shoulders, “You know how ticklish I am,” I giggled, “Maybe you shouldn’t have done that and you wouldn’t have gotten nailed in the crotch.”


Originally posted by visual-17

For some reason Joshua thought that it was a good idea to try to teach me some cords on the guitar. “Joshua, this is not going to go over so well. The last time I tried to teach myself to play the guitar I ended up breaking it.” Grabbing my hand he pulled me over to his bed, “That’s because you didn’t have me as a teacher.” I laughed as I sat down, “I doubt that you’ll be able to teach me. I’m hopeless.” “Nonsense.” he said and shook his head as he grabbed his guitar. Walking over to where I sat on his bed, he gave me his guitar and climbed on the mattress behind me. Blushing, I pushed a loose strand of hair behind ear as he wrapped his arms around me. He placed his hand on the neck of the guitar and strummed the strings a few times causing a beautiful sound to emit from the guitar and echo throughout the room . He placed my hands on the neck of the guitar as he showed me what to do. I attempted to follow his instructions, but I eventually got fed up after a couple hours because I was not making any progress. Not aware of the fact that Joshua moved slightly to the left, I threw my hands up in the air and let out a exasperated sigh, “I give up!” I brought my hands down and my left hand collided with Joshua. Looking over my shoulder, I seen Joshua cup his crotch and slightly scrunch up his face. “Oh my gosh! Joshua, I didn’t mean to do that. How bad does it hurt?” I questioned as I rubbed his arm. His face didn’t show anymore signs of pain and he removed his hands from his crotch, “It’s okay, it didn’t hurt that much,” He noticed my guilty expression and tried to comfort me, “I was more surprised and caught off guard, so don’t worry about it.” I laughed at myself and shook my head, “Told you I was hopeless.”


Originally posted by theoneandonlylioness

The boys had a day off of practice and decided to spend the day at the dorm resting. Jun invited me over since his busy schedule has prevented me from spending a lot of time with him. We were the only two in his room, so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity. It started off with a simple peck on the lips, but it soon escalated into a heated make out session. We were sitting on the edge of his bed when he wrapped his arms around my waist and leaned back onto the bed. I trailed kisses down his neck and to his collarbone, which was were his sweet spot was. He moaned quietly and I started to climb onto his lap. I ended up losing my balance and  kneeing him in the crotch. He swore and pushed me off of his lap as he covered his private parts. “Oh my gosh, Jun! I lost my balance, I didn’t mean for that to happen,” I rubbed his back, “I’ll do anything to make it up to you.” As soon as those words left my mouth Jun smirked, “Anything? I can think of a few ways you can make it up for me.” I shoved his shoulder and giggled, “Maybe you deserved that you cocky bastard.”


Originally posted by fyhoshi

When Hoshi was younger he used to do taekwondo, but his love for music and dance took over. He loved doing it, but he doesn’t have time to anymore since he’s been busy with Seventeen and their music. Even though he doesn’t have time to go out and practice anymore, he still likes to mess around and show off some of his moves. We were in his room at the dorm when he somehow talked me into having a little competition with him. I didn’t know anything about taekwondo, so he showed me a couple of the basic moves. We went on for a half an hour messing around when Seungcheol called out for him. “Yeah?” he yelled back. He was too distracted by his hyung and put his defences down, but I wasn’t paying attention, so I swung my leg up towards him and my foot collided with his private area. I gasped and covered my mouth with my hands. He collapsed to the ground and cupped his crotch as he groaned in pain. “Soonyoung! Oh my gosh!” Panicking, I rushed out of his room and towards the kitchen. While gathering a bag of ice, Seungcheol questioned me as I left the kitchen, “What’s going on? Are you okay?” As I rushed past him and the boys towards Hoshi’s room, I only managed to say squeak out the three words, ‘taekwondo’, ‘hurt’, and ‘Hoshi.’ Entering his room, I see that he sat up and was no longer groaning in pain. I handed him the ice pack as I ran my fingers through his hair, “I’m sorry, babe. Does it hurt that bad?” Putting the ice pack onto his crotch, he let out an airy laugh, “A little bit, but I’ll be alright.” I held my hand out to help him to his feet, “I’m never going to do taekwondo with you again.”


Originally posted by visual-17

There’s no doubt that Wonwoo loves to read. If he isn’t busy practicing and preparing for comebacks or attending fanmeets, then he’s most likely reading. I love to read too, it’s one of the things we have in common. Our love or books landed us at one of the many bookstores in Seoul. Wonwoo and I wander from isle to isle looking at many different books that varied from genre. I held his hand and pulled him towards the back of the bookstore where they kept the fiction books. “Wonwoo, I read this book earlier and I loved it. You have to read it, I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.” Reaching the fiction section, my eyes began scanning through hundreds of books looking for the book that I wanted Wonwoo to read. I squatted down, so I could look at  the lower shelves while he stood behind me. My eyes stopped as they fell upon The Kite Runner. Smiling to myself, “There it is!” I pulled the book off of the shelve and held it up for Wonwoo to take, but unfortunately, I ended up ramming the book into his lower region because of how close he was to me. I gasped as he groaned and covered his crotch, “Wonwoo,” I stood up and placed my hand on his shoulder rubbing it softly while trying to comfort him, “Babe, are you okay?” With being in public he didn’t want to make what just happened obvious, so he straightened up and waved me off, “It’s okay, jagiya. Don’t worry about it, let’s just get the book and head home.” Grabbing my hand, he led me to the front of the store, so we could check out. I didn’t stop apologizing until we got back to the dorm and he reassured me once more that it was okay.


Originally posted by hoshinoyas

With Seventeen planning on releasing a new album soon, Woozi basically lives at the studio these days. When he’s working on a new song, he gets so consumed with his work and he pretty much forgets to take care of himself. I figured he hasn’t eaten since this morning, so I brought him so food. Entering the studio, Woozi was at one of the computers working on one of their songs. I noticed he had his headphones in and probably didn’t hear me come in. After sitting the bag of food down, I walked up behind him and wrapped my arms around his neck. He jumped slightly and pulled his headphones out. “Hey, babe. I brought you some food.” I said as I released him and shuffled towards the bags of food. I was bent over pulling out a couple containers when I brought my elbow back and it collided with Woozi, who happened to get up and follow me. Turning around, Woozi groaned as he clutched his private area. “Woozi! I am so sorry! I didn’t know you were behind me.” He straightened up slightly, “It’s alright, I shouldn’t have been standing so close.” Feeling guilty, I handed him the container of food and smiled at him sheepishly, “I got your favorite, so maybe that’ll makeup for it.”


Originally posted by pledis17

The boys had a day off and DK invited me to the park with them. They wanted to relax and play some soccer together, which was something that they all enjoyed doing in their freetime. Let me just say that I suck at soccer and someone always gets hurt when I’m playing. The last time we played together, Seungkwan took a soccer ball to the back of his head. Once we arrived at the park, we began to pick teams. Jeonghan and Seungcheol were the captains. The two bickered back and forth on who they were going to have on their team and it got down to the last few players, which happened to be Joshua, Seungkwan, and I. “Can someone just pick me already? I’m really not that bad,” I whined. Most of the boys laughed at me and began to recall all the times someone got hurt when I was playing. DK turned to Jeonghan, his captain and begged his hyung to pick me. “Finally!” I shouted and threw my hands up in the air as he called out my name to be on his team. The game started and it didn’t take long for it to become intense. Surprisingly, so far no one got hurt. The ball was being passed from player to player as we ran across the field. “Y/N!” shouted Hoshi as he passed me the ball. I began to run with it towards the goal and I saw DK in the corner of my eye, “Seokmin!” I kicked the ball with all the force I could. The ball flew towards DK, but it ended up nailing him in the crotch causing him to let out a scream. “Seokmin!” I yelled as I ran towards him. He instantly fell to the ground and cupped his private area hoping it would help make the pain would go away. I crouched down on the ground and tried to comfort him the best I could. The rest of the boys surrounded the two of us trying to help DK. “Babe, are you okay?” I questioned. He rolled around in pain, “Yeah, I’ll be fine just give me a minute.” Looking up at the boys hovering over the two of us, Seungkwan raised an eyebrow at me, “You were saying?”


Originally posted by wonhomed

I was over at the dorm hanging out with the boys. After a long day of practice, I figured that they would be hungry and tired, so I thought that the least I could do was to cook a nice meal for them. Leaving the warm arms of Mingyu, I got up and headed towards the kitchen. “Y/N, where are you going?” questioned Mingyu. “I’m going to cook the boys something to eat.” After the word ‘cook’ left my mouth, he was already on his feet following me to the kitchen, “I’ll help you.” I reached the refrigerator and looked for something to eat, “How about Japchae?” Mingyu helped me gather the ingredients, “Sounds delicious.” I prepared the beef so it could marinate for a little bit. We washed and cut up the vegetables and then started to boil the water, so we could cook the noodles. I got a wooden spoon and began to stir the noodles. “This is going to be so good.” said Mingyu from behind me. I turned around and noticed that he was eating the vegetables that we cut for the Japchae, “Hey, stop eating that!” I hollered as I swung the wooden spoon at him. He started to move just as I was about to hit him, which caused me to hit him in the crotch. “Aigo, what was that for?” Mingyu whined with slight pain in his voice as he tried to move away from me, so I couldn’t cause him anymore harm. “I guess that’s what you get for trying to eat all of the food.” I said as I shrugged my shoulders.  


Originally posted by minghaeo

It’s no secret that Minghao is one hell of a b-boying dancer. I happened to also be a dancer, but I loved to dance contemporary. Minghao never fails to amaze me with his dancing skills. I have always wanted to try b-boying and since Minghao was so good at it, who would be better at teaching me than him? He has been teaching me the basics of b-boying for a while now and he has been starting to teach me more advanced moves. The latest move we have been working on was called The Flare. Minghao was demonstrating it for me, “You have the upper body strength for this, you just need to spread your legs farther so you can get up enough momentum to keep your hips elevated off the ground,” I listened carefully as he continued to give me pointers. “It’ll make the move a lot easier for you to do if your legs are spread further apart. Go ahead and try again,” he encouraged me. I got into position and began to execute the dance move. “That’s it, just spread your legs farther!” I did as he told me and the move became a lot easier and I found that I did not have to use my core so much. I could hear Minghao cheering, “That’s it! Good job, jagiya.” I continued until my foot came in contact with something. Losing my balance, I fell to the floor and looked up to see Minghao on the floor too. I quickly got up and made my way towards him. Once I reached him, I noticed his face was scrunched up and he was holding his private parts. Realizing that my foot hit his crotch, I panicked, “Minghao! Are you okay?” I rubbed his back hoping it would comfort him some, “I did not mean to do that!” He looked a little flustered as he sat up, “It’s okay, jagiya. I should have known better than to stand so close to you.” Giggling, I pulled him into a hug, “ Maybe you should do the b-boying and I’ll stick to contemporary.”


Originally posted by 001liuqi

Seungkwan texted me a couple minutes ago that they were heading back to the dorm. I didn’t want the boys to have to come home and worry about fixing something to eat, especially after such a long day at work. I decided to head to the kitchen and begin to fix dinner for them. I sang along to the music that blasted from my phone that was placed on the counter. The music and my singing drowned out the noise of the boys entering the dorm. Seungkwan saw me cooking and walked up behind me and wrapped his arms around my torso, which startled me. I screamed and turned around. When I spun around my hand hit him lightly in his lower region. He let out a scream too and doubled over in pain, “Aigo, jagiya! That really hurt,” He looked at me with disbelief, “I can’t believe you just did that.” Rolling my eyes at him, “Are you serious right now? I really didn’t hit you that hard.” “You probably just ruined any chance of us having kids in the future.” I smacked his chest, “Stop being so dramatic, Seungkwan.” “It’s what I’m best at.” he said as he grinned at me.


Originally posted by hanwooz

Vernon and I were in the living room of the dorm having a movie night with the rest of the boys. While waiting for everyone to settle down, Vernon and I argued over which movie to watch. We were scanning the shelves when I grabbed a horror movie and Vernon grabbed an action movie. He looked at me, “We are not watching a horror movie.” I raised an eyebrow, “Why? Are you scared?” He rolled his eyes at me, “No, action movies are better. Besides, the same thing happens in every horror movie.” I shook my head and waved the movie in front of his face, “We’re watching this movie.” He gave me a smug look, “Not if I get to the DVD player first.” As soon as those words left his mouth, we both rushed past the boys and towards the DVD player, “We’re watching the action movie!” “No, we’re watching the horror movie.” Upon reaching the DVD player, we fought to get the movie out of the case and into the DVD player. He stopped fighting with me and I was able to get the movie into the player. I turned around and seen some of the members crowding around Vernon. Rushing towards him, I realized that the only reason he stopped was because I hit him in his private area. “Vernon! What Happened?” He squeaked, “What do you think happened?” He shuffled his way back to the couch and sat down. Full of guilt, I sighed and turned around and put on the action movie instead. Climbing onto the couch next to him, I kissed his cheek and brush his hair out of his face, “I’m sorry, babe.”


Originally posted by 13visuals

I was at the Pledis building with the boys when they had a short break. They have recently became interested in ping ping, so they decided that they should play for a little bit while they were on their break. Chan and I trailed behind the older boys as they ran excitingly towards the room that the ping pong table was in. We both sat down and watched a few of the boys play against each other. We cheered as the match between Joshua and Woozi became quite intense. Shortly, Woozi beat Joshua and Dino jumped to his feet, “I want to battle Y/N!” Chan yelled as he turned towards me and grabbed my hand. He pulled me to my feet and began to drag me towards the table. I kept refusing to play and tried to pull my hand out of his grasp, but he was to strong. “Come on, jagiya. It’ll be fun and I’ll go easy on you.” he smiled and winked at me. Taking the paddle from Woozi, the boys began to cheer us on and started to pick sides as to who would win. After a couple minutes, we were tied and the person who got the next point would win. The ball went back and forth between us and I decided to hit the ball with a little more force and Dino failed to stop it as it flew towards his crotch. His eyes widened as his face scrunched up and he closed his eyes. He dropped the paddle onto the table and we all swarmed around him to see in he was okay. After he confirmed that he was fine, I looked at him and laughed, “You didn’t need to go that easy on me.”


So yet another reason Wonder Woman really struck a chord with me is in the scene where Hyppolita discovers Antiope training Diana.

Because instead of doubling down on her original stance, she listens to Antiope. She doesn’t want to believe that Diana needs to know how to fight, but she knows Antiope is right; you can see the worry and the doubt in her face even as she says Ares may never return. And then, after wiping away a tear she finally agrees to let Diana continue training.

I keep coming back to that, and being quietly amazed that the writers did that, because so many times in genre movies and books women are shoved in these one dimensional boxes. Hyppolita, as the Matriarch, should have been shrill and controlling, and would certainly not have let herself be persuaded to see reason. We would have had a frustrated Diana continuing to sneak off with Antiope, while we the audience would low key hate Hyppolita for her willful ignorance. Instead, they gave us a complicated, thoughtful, fleshed out human being, who is not only allowed to be a badass warrior queen, but a loving mother who actually gets to show vulnerability and admit when she is wrong.


Your big favs were ROOKIES/UNPOPULAR once.

keep that in mind next time you dismiss rookie or lesser known groups. give them an HONEST chance. Then if you don’t like their music style or anything like that–at least you were open minded! You don’t have to love and Stan every group that debuts lol you like what you like! BUT if you don’t give new people a chance, you’re missing out on something you might like!

Beauty to the beast

Originally posted by effindivergenteric

3rd person POV

The Pit was emptier than what was usual, only  a few initiates that went here and there, if it wasn’t for a tattoo, it was to buy some clothes.

But there was a particular girl, (Y/N), who wasn’t interested in any of this, in fact, she could be seen in a corner, snuggled in her big black jacket and her hair in a neat ponytail, holding a book.

2nd person POV

“You should do other things apart from reading” huffing while crouching down your best friend back in Abnegation, Andrea, tried to take you out from your trance"But it’s the best part!“ You answered back, the same answer as always.

“That forsaken book…How many times will you have to read it before you grow tired of it?”


“You’re such an unusual person (Y/N), that’s why I love you” She snatched the book from your hands, a gasp escaping from your lips “Ah,ah,ah…Not before you come with me to get a tattoo”

Sighing, you made your way with her to the tattoo parlor, Tori waving us as the neon lights danced creating curious patterns “So…What’re you getting?” Looking at her arleady tattoed wrists, you crossed your arms “I’m getting a…"She tapped her chin, spinning around to finally stop in what seemed like a tribal design.

After she disappeared behind the curtain, you retrieved your book, slumping down in a sofa.

"If it isn’t the Dauntless bookworm…The same as always I suppose” Your eyes widened at that voice. Eric, the one and only Dauntless leader.

“Yes and, as per usual, I was in the best part” You didn’t lift your eyes from the book, feeling Eric’s mocking gaze and matching smirk burning holes in your skull.

Eric was the only one who always started a conversation about you and your book. It made your day, even if he mocked your attitude sometimes.

“You know (Y/N), i’ve always been interested, which book is it?” “I’m sure you don’t know it” In fact, I don’t know if you have any knowledge in literature, you thought, but bit your tongue in fear those words would come out “I’ll be deciding that, initiate” You closed your book, puting it in your bag “It’s Romeo and Juliet. There, happy?”

Then, the unexpected happened. Eric laughed. A ghost of a smile appeared in your features, but was replaced by a frown as he spoke up.

 "Of course it had to be that one” “What? Any problem?” “The stereotypical one for a girl” “Oh! And Mr. I-know-about-literature-so-don’t-contradict-me wouldn’t happen to know which books are not the stereotypical ones?”

Crap, you had sassied beyond your limits the man that could kick you out of Dauntless even if you were ranking the first ones in the Initiation, which wasn’t even the case.

Well, at least I lived…

“Come” You opened your eyes, looking directly at his blue orbs “God, do I even have to carry there?” “Carry me where?” “Shut up and follow me”

You did as you were told, waving goodbye to Tori who had gone out a moment to drink some water.

As you made your way to an unknown place, you started to make possible scenarios ‘He could make me clean the dishes in the dining hall…Nevermind we passed it’ ‘He might make me run a hundred million laps in the gym…Nope’

A hundred hypothesis later, you realised where you were “The leaders dorms?” “A quick one, aren’t you?”

He took a key from his pocket, and opened the door of his bedroom, you assumed and entered to a dark room.

“Watch out where you step” You stopped dead in tracks and waited for him to open the light. Wise decision really, you would have stumbled with…Wait, books?

You picked the first one you saw, which had a nice red cover. Turning it over, you read the title “So…King Arthur’s tales huh? It has love Eric, aren’t you a softie?” He just rolled his eyes and took the book.

You were surprised by how many books he had, and of all genres, from horror to comedy, going to philosophical and romance “I thought Dauntless people didn’t read?” “I’m not originally from here, I was an Erudite” “That’s why you’re such a smartass sometimes” You whispered to yourself “ I heard you initiate” You cursed under your breath, making Eric smirk “Don’t tell anyone you’ve been here, or you’ll be Factionless in a matter of seconds. Got it?”

Nodding nerviously, you went to exit the room when Eric’s voice called you “We should repeat this kind of stuff…I’m a little bit oxidated with the reading culture because of the Leader thing”

You smiled to yourself and bid him goodbye, before going to the Pit to finish your good old book.

Every afternoon after dinner, you met at his room and spent time reading and commenting chapters. Sometimes, you read eachother’s parts of a book which you really liked, enjoying the times. It became like a tradition for both.

Eric didn’t know how to feel about it, he tried to erase from his memory your smiley face, the voices you put when you read a part from one of your books or how you blowed the hair out of your face which prevented you from reading.

It was too much for him, for he didn’t know how to cope with this emotions.

As he sat in a reunion, Max sat beside him, smirking at how distressed the Leader was “You look somewhat distressed” “…” “You seem troubled for something” “…” “Is the beast in love with the beauty?” “Oh, just shut up Max” How did he know about it? “I saw you the other day how you talked at the doorway of your room about a book”

Eric got red instantly, for his friend had hit the bullseye “Normally, I’d ban this kind of things, but she makes you less grumpier than usual, so I’ll help you” “I don’t need anyone’s help” He muttered, clenching his fists.

After the meeting, he got to his room, thinking how he could confess to you in a creative way, for you weren’t a normal kind of girl.

He spent the evening thinking about it, until he stumbled your book, Romeo and Juliet “I’m gonna look like a brat…But, if she likes me back, then so be it”.

You skipped contently to Eric’s room, ready for a new reading session. As you knocked on the door, you found it was already open , and Eric was sitting at the end of his bed, tapping his fingers over a book cover.

“Oh, of course I forgot it here!” You laughed and went to get it back, only to be stopped by Eric “This is the most dumbass thing I’ll ever do…” You arched your brow at that statement “But if I don’t say it now, I might never have the guts again”

“What are you say…”

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss”

There was an awkward silence, your faces heating and turning bright red “God, now you think I’m such a weirdo”. You rose up from your seat and started the next dialogue

“Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss”

You smiled, looking down at your boots .

“Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?” Eric stood in front of you, as if he wanted to hold your hands.

“Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer” Intertwining your fingers, you stared at his blue orbs.

“O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do; They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair” As he finished the part, he leaned down and connected your lips with his in a tender kiss. Closing your eyes, you rested your palms on his chest and enjoyed the kiss.

As you parted, you smiled “Shakespeare?” “C'mon, you have to say it was genious” Eric smirked, crossing his arms in a cocky manner "And you said it was girl’s book huh?“ You mimicked his pose and smirk.

“For you, I can make an exception”

FAKE TV SHOW MEME - southern gothic


“In this family you don’t get nothin’ without paying in blood.”

Ophelia Adams has magic. For a hundred and fifty years her family has lived in the small Southern town of Bone Hollow, practising their craft and hiding their gifts from the close knit townspeople. But all magic has a price, and for the Adams it’s the curse that has haunted them for generations: every time a new child is born, someone else in the family must die.

Ophelia discovers the terrible truth of the curse when she falls pregnant at seventeen and the curse claims her grandmother, a powerful practitioner. In a desperate attempt to save her, Ophelia tries to use magic to avert the curse, and for her troubles is blessed with twins - inadvertently causing the death of her mother also.

Ten years later, Ophelia attempts to balance raising her children alone, managing the family store, and fulfilling her duties as the only remaining elder of the Bone Creek coven, who congregate weekly as the Southern Literature Appreciation Book Club. Books are occasionally discussed. She is managing well until the arrival of a faith healer, who sets up his tent on the outskirts of town. The people of Bone Creek quickly begin to fall under the charismatic preacher’s spell, and soon after members of the coven start disappearing from their homes without a trace.

Convinced that he is sacrificing witches for their power, Ophelia confronts the healer, and is surprised to find that she is not unaffected by his near-violent preaching - and that he in return can sense her true nature. The two are quickly enmeshed in a psychological battle, the stakes of which are bound to have dire consequences for the town, their powers, and their lives.

But that is not all that goes bump in the night in Bone Creek. Darker forces pass unseen through the sleepy Southern streets, drawn to the growing powers of Ophelia’s young children….


actually a collection of books that originated from oral tradition with many authors in multiple different genres with a plethora of cultural and contextual connotations that spawned a metric fuckton of interpretations.

so when you say, “but the Bible also says X” from an entirely different book, different author, different genre, and different cultural context deeply embedded in history, forgive me if my eyes roll back into my sockets as I descend into Gehenna. 

  • Me: *runs a semi-successful booklr, owns my own book review website and has been blogging for six and a half years, talks about books on Twitter/Instagram, has been reading since I was a baby, has read tons of books from many different genres, owns way too many books*
  • Someone: So, can you recommend some books to me?
  • Me: *sweats nervously*
YA Book Master List

Hi guys! This is the list you need if you’re looking for your next YA book, with some middle grade and adult fiction included. Many books could fit into multiple genres, so I placed them as I saw fit. For the sake of space, more genres (dystopian, contemporary, etc) are below the cut.

Science Fiction/Hybrids:

  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer
  • Beta (4) by Rachel Cohn
  • The Fifth Wave (3) by Rick Yancey
  • Gone (6) by Michael Grant
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Across the Universe (3) by Beth Revis
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (5) by Douglas Adams
  • Skinned (3) by Robin Wasserman
  • Mila 2.0 (3) by Debra Driza 
  • Maximum Ride (8) by James Patterson
  • Unwind (4) by Neal Shusterman
  • Feed by M.T. Anderson
  • Uglies (4) by Scott Westerfeld
  • Partials (3) by Dan Wells
  • These Broken Stars (4) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
  • Starglass (3) by Phoebe North
  • Virals (5) by Kathy Reichs
  • What’s Left of Me (3) by Kat Zhang
  • Glitch (3) by Heather Anastasiu
  • The Prophecy of Arcadia (2) by M.H Soars
  • The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Do you know any good books on alchemy?

There are obviously many classics of the genre available free online, mostly on, so I would suggest searching on there. Beyond that, I can recommend some more contemporary sources available on Amazon and at other booksellers. 

Please not that alchemy is an interest of mine, but true alchemy (as in the historical practice known as such, as opposed to general herbal magick) is not something I’m an expert or even very knowledgeable about. In short, I’m still learning, and maybe others can chime in with more books that we can both look at.

Here we go; these appear on my large list of book recommendations, but I’ll just list the alchemy ones here for brevity’s sake. The first two of these are more general herbal magick (with alchemy applications), whereas the second two are more strictly alchemy-related.

Real Alchemy, by Robert Allen Bartlett. Excellent book, lots of history and detail. There’s a strong focus on tradition within the text, yet the author is quite accommodating of his audience and describes alternate methods that work better in a modern context.

Spagyrics, by Manfred M. Junius. With a highly-developed academic tone and attention to detail, this book is a meaty look at traditional alchemy. I recommend this more for intermediate practitioners due to the sheer density of information.

The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook, by Karen Harrison. I cannot praise this book enough for its concise and well-formulated approach to astrology, herbs, and magick as a whole.

The Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick, by Judith Hawkins-Tillirson. This is excellent for anyone who’s interested in any kind of magick. Yes, the focus is generally herbs, but there’s a lot to be learned here about Kabbalah and other correspondence systems, as well.

anonymous asked:

Hey. I was wondering if you had any books you've read that you'd recommend to others? Thanks in advance.

Oh yes, I always have many book recommendations! It depends on what your preferred genre or tastes are, so I’ll just list a bunch of my favorites for you. Also apologies for taking so long to respond to this - college is wrecking my time availability. ( & taking away from my reading time )

Classics : 

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 
  • Paradise Lost by John Milton 
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • 1984 by George Orwell 

Contemporary : 

  • Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Heist society by Ally Carter
  • It ends with Us by Colleen Hoover 
  • November 9 by Colleen Hoover
  • The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic
  • This is where it ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Historical Fiction :

  • And I Darken by Kiersten White
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein 
  • Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente 
  • Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman 
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 

Horror : 

  • Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin
  • The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín
  • The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Fantasy/Young Adult : 

  • A book of spirits and thieves by Morgan Rhodes
  • A court of thorns and roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • A daughter of smoke and bone by Laini Taylor
  • A series of unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir 
  • Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes
  • Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick 
  • Incarcenon duology by Catherine Fisher 
  • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan
  • Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
  • Obsidian Blade by Morgan Rhodes
  • Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard
  • Six Of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo 
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • The False Prince series by Jennifer A. Nielsen 
  • The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare 
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 
  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
  • The wrath and the dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Mystery/Crime : 

  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Plays : 

  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  • Medea by Euripides 
  • Anything by Euripides for that matter!
  • Sir gawain and the green knight

Romance : 

  • Bloodlines by Richelle Mead 
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons 

Science Fiction/Dystopia : 

  • Insider duology by Maria V. Snyder 
  • Legend by Marie Lu 
  • Passenger by Alexandra Bracken 
  • Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown 
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  • The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken 
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

One thing I enjoy about Vimes is that he’s naturally a very noir, as in the genre, person…but Discworld, by contrast, isn’t noir at all. And neither is virtually anyone else around him. So you get stuff like this Detritus quote, aka my favorite description of Vimes:

Mr Vimes is okay but he a bit weird about some stuff, he keepin’ on sayin’ stuff like dis city is a meltin’ pot an’ all der scum floats to der top, and stuff like dat.

I love that. You get this mental image of him skulking around in a trenchcoat saying cynical noir-ish things and everyone around him going ‘well you know he’s kinda weird but he’s got your back so it’s all right I guess’ and generally being fond but bemused.

It’s so great.

okay so Count of Monte Cristo. I need to talk about the fact that this book is a) so much better than the movie oh my god, and b) fucking ridiculous. I’mma break it down.

  • it gets off to an IMMEDIATE hell of a start, like “meet Edmond Dantes. everyone likes him and he’s great. his life is about to be ruined!”
  • blah blah political maneuvering Dantes is a cinnamon roll who has never done anything wrong in his life, people are assholes, have fun in prison forever
  • this book can only work if you are absolutely 100% onboard with Edmond. building up the unfairness and injustice of it all is so crucial and Dumas does it well
  • at least at first
  • he kinda lost me a little while after he got out of jail. with “Sinbad the sailor” (?????????) and the creepy racism of having a mute African servant whose life he saved and is now utterly devoted to him forever even though the only reason he gives for not preventing him from getting his tongue cut out is “I wanted a mute servant.” why????? gross??????
  • I know Dumas was a POC. if anything that makes it even more uncomfortable. because  b r o.
  • also I’m not sure why we’re focusing on this random swanky rich dude and his friend and their ~~~struggles~~~~~~ getting a coach in Rome during carnival. poor little rich boy???
  • on the other hand
  • rich boy sees him at the opera and is like “I must find this strange pale man!!!!”
  • I am not kidding she genuinely thinks he is a vampire
  • Dumas please turn this book into a vampire book for a few chapters
  • please
  • I am begging you
  • we have already had so many genres in this book
  • for a while it was a devious conspiracy drama!!!
  • then it was political drama!!!
  • then it was prison escape!!
  • then it was shenanigans at sea with a band of smugglers!!
  • then DIGGING UP BURIED TREASURE!!! which was 100000% my favorite one to the surprise of no one
  • then it took a weird turn into an ~Arabian Nights legend~~~ fairy tale territory?? literally rich boy called himself Aladdin as an alias??? he woke up the next day and the secret cave had vanished????? I don’t know either???
  • oh but first he gets super fucking stoned and has a trippy wet dream about statues. I’m not kidding.
  • now we’re in Rome for Victorian rich people drama! rich boy’s rich friend CAN’T GET LAID and it’s the worst you guys
  • there was a random story about bandits! it was super disturbing and then weirdly heartwarming?????
  • what I’m saying is, we can totally do vampires for a bit. I don’t like vampires or vampire stories but it would be so incredible, Dumas I am begging you
  • I don’t really understand why we’re switching points of view, Edmond was the one he got me to like and now we’re like oh let’s focus on all these random other characters I just made up!!
  • but still. I’ll allow it. mostly.
  • follow your dreams. be like Melville. have one chapter randomly be a musical. this is so ridiculous and great. except for the gross weird parts, which are gross and weird.

July Book Reviews by Maia Kobabe

Playing catch-up here…

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Fantasy used to be my bread and butter genre. In high school I’d barely pick up a book unless it had a dragon, elf, wizard, witch or sword on the cover. At a certain point I got somewhat burned out on the genre after too many books that felt like blatant Tolkien imitations. This book was a gift from a friend and I opened it a little uncertainly. Rather than a novel, I found this book is actually a collection of linked short stories each telling of one adventure of Geralt, a traveling monster-slayer. The author has a clear love of classic fairy tales- in one of the stories Geralt stumbles into a situation reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast, while in another he encounters a Snow White. Almost invariably the original hero of the fairy tale is in this re-telling the monster. Not all of the deadly beasts are familiar however- interwoven are creatures from Polish and Russian folk tradition which add an intriguing eerie strangeness. This book is the first in a long series and I hope to read more.

Sister Outside by Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde had the kind of mind and talent that only appears once or twice in a generation. I started this collection of essays directly after finishing Zami: A New Spelling of My Name and every page blew me away. I started with a library book but half way through had to go out and buy a copy because I wanted to be able to underline, circle passages, write notes and dozens of exclamation points. I can tell this is a text I will be returning to many times, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

A fast-paced coming of age comic in the vein of Raina Telgemeier. Astrid’s mom takes her and her best friend Nicole to watch a roller derby game in a rink in Portland and Astrid immediately falls in love. Her best friend, not so much. Astrid signs up for a roller derby summer camp and discovers how much work it is to master a tough, dangerous sport. Meanwhile she begins to feel abandoned by Nicole who chose to attend a Dance camp instead. What starts as a story of rivalry becomes instead a tale of how people sometimes grow apart as their interests change and mature.

Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home by Nicole J Georges

An emotional story of a decade long friendship between the author and a prickly, defensive, badly-behaved and demanding dog. Nicole adopted Beija at 17, and they were companions through many huge life changes. Nicole moved with her first love half way across the country to Portland, OR, began a career as an indie cartoonist, broke up, came out as a lesbian and discovered a shattering family secret. All the while Beija was was by her side, teaching her both how to show love and how to set up personal boundaries. Moved me to unexpected tears.

Shade the Changing Girl vol 1 by Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone

Loma Shade is a bird-like native of Meta, a distant planet with a lingering interest in the scraps of nostalgic Earth culture they’ve collected. Shade uses her boyfriend’s position as a security guard at a museum of Earth objects to steal the Madness Vest. She uses this to (somehow) transmit her soul to Earth, where she inhabits the body of a 16 year old girl, Megan. Megan has been lying in a coma after nearly drowning at a wild party with her swim team. Only her boyfriend Wes is happy about her surprise recovery- the rest of the team, and even Megan’s parents, fear and resent her. Shade struggles to understand life as an Earth high school student even as she struggles to resist the raw Madness that swirls from her transport, the Vest. This book is part of the larger Young Animals series from DC, but I read and enjoyed it as a stand-alone.

Tales of Ancient Persia by Barbara Leonie Picard

A solid introduction to Persian myths, from the pre-Islamic era. It follows the rein of many kings through generations of struggles with the neighboring empires of Turan and Rome. Highlighted are tales of Rustem, the renown hero who fought demons, dragons and many ferocious battles.

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi

A heartbreakingly honest story of isolation, identity, depression and mental-health. The author overcame years of destructive behavior before she was able to come out to herself and begin to find freedom and a sexual life as an adult.

Night’s Dominion vol 1 by Ted Naifeh

This story begins with a classic D&D set up… a thief, an assassin, a mage and a cleric meet in a tavern to hear about a job offer from a mysterious stranger. But what this story actually offers is a D&D flavored superhero team battling for the soul of a city. An army of undead, a corrupt government and a Batman-verses-Catwoman like rivalry unfolds over tiled rooftops, cobbled streets and in caverns deep under the ground.

Baking With Kafka by Tom Gould

I am endlessly impressed with the contents of Tom Gould’s brain. Each strip in this collection is funnier than the last. The stand-alone comics range over subjects from book hording, time-travel, zombie apocalypses, what Charles Dickens would do in the modern era, alternate titles for Moby Dick and of course Kafka’s cooking show. Hilarious and delightful.

Your Black Friend by Ben Passmore

An Eisner nominated short comic about race which should have won the award. Unflinching and timely.

Literary activism, or political activism done through the lens of books and reading, can take as many forms as there are genres, but they are fundamentally unhelpful if practiced upon a nation where 32 million adults are illiterate, and only 21% can read above a 5th grade reading level. A nation where our leaders tell us that literacy is not a right. We can give away as many copies of 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale as we want as an act of resistance, but what use is it for people whose reading comprehension is below the writing level? 

So, what to do?