so many fantastic books to read

My kinda late birthday book haul!
I’m currently flying through ACOWAR and holy shit, a lot of stuff is happening😮😮😮

As National Library Week comes to an end remember to check your local library and the services they offer. Volunteer your time or donate books, libraries are a fantastic resource for books, ebooks, audiobooks, movies some libraries even offer clases in various subjects for free or a small fee. So many people don’t know about the wonders of Public Libraries, tell a friend! 📚

Perhaps the worst thing about being a reader is realizing you are one. Knowing that no matter how many series you devour, you’ll never be part of them. That no matter how many times you re-read a book you won’t ever know more than those counted pages.
And the very worst thing of it all is finishing a novel- even worse, a series- and then…nothing. You are left with the hangover and a bittersweet taste on your heart and maybe a tear or two rolling down your cheeks. One because it was beautiful, the other because it was so sad, and….and the rest because your life won’t ever be that interesting. Your ending will be terrible and just that. And you’ve just read something epic and fantastic and you want it. You want that story, those friends, that love. You want to be the protagonist, or even a nameless character, all to be part of something bigger than your own existence. All to escape this cruel reality we are to live. With nothing. With hollow people getting wasted and getting high and it’s all so empty so empty so empty
So empty and books are not. Stories are full of…of that something you don’t really know how to call. Transcendence, love, adventure, magic. It has something, it is something and you look around your dark room knowing your life won’t ever compare to that. There won’t be a love like that for you, or that kind of adventure and mystery and-and magic when you blow the candles on your birthday cake.
No matter what.
And that’s perhaps the worst part.
—  Sophia Carey
2

Wow, what an incredible evening I’ve had, spent in the company of @sjmaas and @charliebowater I’m still buzzing from it! We were sat really close, and the atmosphere in the room was just magical. Ugh! And the signed copy of ToG - complete with velvety blue edges - was a lovely added bonus 😍

So much was talked about, including the awe-inspiring story of Sarah’s grandmother, who had to escape Nazi Germany as an 8 year-old. Such tragedy and sheer luck were to follow, and it felt really special being told about it all. What a fantastic role model.

Charlie and Sarah have such a great dynamic, I get the feeling they’ve developed a really fantastic friendship from working together. Their pop culture brains are twinned 😄

Charlie is so humble and awesome and I adore her even more because of it.

Okay, some book stuff:

We might find out one way or the other about Elucien and if she accepts the mating bond in ACOFAS. Might.

Sarah says she will probably keep writing books set in the ACOTAR and TOG worlds for many many years to come, because (and I quote), ‘I can’t say goodbye to them!’

Her process for writing more novels in the ACOTAR began with writing random smut scenes. I would very much like to read them.

Nox will return in TOG7 - though Sarah doesn’t get why this ‘mildly handsome’ character who appeared on about 10 pages is so popular, lol.

And finally…ACOFAS **will** feature The Wall Scene. This has been a public service announcement. The audience was extremely vocal about it 😉

Who are some of your favorite female characters?

I’ve had many over the years so it was so hard limiting myself to just 4, or this post would be a mile long 😅 

  • Irene from the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman
  • Lila from the Shades Of Magic series by V.E. Schwab
  • Vhalla from the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova
  • Nahri from The City Of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Also y'all should definitely check out all these books because they’re fantastic!

Stevie’s favorite things

I have received a request to post Stevie’s favorite things (”music, books, food, poets and all things beyond, far and in between”), so I gathered some things from several interviews and Q&As.

I feel that I have to add some sort of disclaimer though - This list could never be a thorough look into Stevie’s likes as she’s a very private person (as she should be!) and I’m far from being an expert. All the things listed here were mentioned publicly and I have no intention of intruding or disrespecting. I hope you enjoy it, and if you think of things I’ve left out, please drop me a line. 

▬ Music

It’s almost impossible to gather all the artists, bands, and songs Stevie has cited as favorites in just one place… Nothing I post will do justice to her love of music. “I have a love of music that goes far beyond what I do onstage.” (Dailytelegraph.au, 2017) 

 • ”Tom Petty is my favorite rock star.“ (BST Hyde Park Festival, 2017) 

•  "If you could do a duet with anyone in the world, with whom would it be?” “I would say James Taylor.” (Facebook Q&A, 2014) 

• “So I got got the flamboyancy and the attitude from Janis and then I got the humbleness and the grace from Jimi Hendrix. And then one other thing, I got a little bit of slinky from Grace Slick.(South by Southwest Music Festival, 2013) 

 •"I have striven to live up to the songwriting of Don Henley and Glenn Frey, Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell.“ (1981) 

• “If I can sit down and be going through a crisis and I can listen to Joni Mitchell or something and I can feel from her that she understands, even though she doesn’t know me, then, for me… I love that, and that’s what I try to do.” (1976)

Here’s just a little of what she has mentioned over the decades: Her Grandad, Leon Russell, The Everly Brothers,  Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Buffalo Springfield, Foo Fighters, Vanessa Carlton, Haim, and so many more. Click here for a playlist containing 73 songs Stevie has mentioned during interviews.

▬ Poets

“Do you have any poets you enjoy?”
Yes, Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe.” (Q&A, rockalittle.com) 

I think that poets and songwriters have a lot in common because a songwriter really has to be a poet first. That’s how we live our lives. It’s the same kind of thinking. Unlike people who write fiction or make movies, we put our stories into these small little containers filled with mostly short lines and verses. This is how we talk about the way we feel and talk about things and explain the world and ourselves.” (The Creative Independent, 2016)

Books

The Mabinogion Trilogy - Evangeline Walton 

These four fantasy-fiction books by American author Evangeline Walton (The Prince of Annwn, The Children of Llyr, The Song of Rhiannon and The Island of The Mighty) are based on traditional Welsh myths. Someone sent them to me back in 1978 because I’d written a song called Rhiannon 5 years earlier. Walton started her work around 1934 and finished in 1974, which was right around the time that I wrote Rhiannon, so I felt like when her work ended, mine began.

• Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys

Wide Sargasso Sea is inspired by Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre. The novel explores the life of Mrs Rochester, ‘the wild woman in the attic’, in 1830s Jamaica before she was brought to England by Mr Rochester. Jean Rhys wrote this book as a precursor to Jane Eyre because of her love for the Bronte novel. I saw the film adaptation of the book in the early 1990s and it inspired me to write the song of the same name on my album.

• Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

I first read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (written by Charlotte’s sister Emily Bronte) when I was in college in California in the late 1960s. They are two of my favourite books because they’re just so brilliantly written. The beauty of both these classics is that they were fantastic when I was a teenager and they still appeal to me now as a 63-year-old woman.”

• The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

“I’ve read all of Poe’s poetry as well as Lord Byron’s and Oscar Wilde’s. He is deep and brooding - you can make many songs from his poems. I like Byron for the same reason - his characters are dark and intense like Lindsey. Oscar Wilde’s work is more flamboyant, but he was a really good storyteller.”

Out of Africa - Karen Blixen 

 “This memoir recounts the time Karen Blixen (a Danish author) spent in Kenya from 1914. When I saw the 1985 movie version with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, it just killed me and inspired me to read the book. Both make me sob so much I can hardly breathe. Later, my assistant gave me a beautiful old copy, which makes me treasure the story more. I even stayed in the Karen Blixen suite at the Hotel D'Angleterre in her native Copenhagen. The relationship between Blixten and the Safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton broke my heart. It’s a book about finding and losing love.”

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery 

I first discovered The Little Prince when I was in high school and fell in love with the book straight away. My make-up artist has a tattoo of the Little Prince on the side of her leg, so I’m often reminded of what a beautiful story it is. It’s a sweet fable about the relationship between a little boy and his love for a rose. There is such a strong philosophy of love and loneliness running throughout the book that I can’t help but return to it again and again.” 

The Twilight Series - Stephenie Meyer

Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream), a song on my new album was written about New Moon. The song is about what happens when a relationship breaks down or, more specifically, when you are abandoned in some way. I could totally relate to that. I think that Meyer’s stories are magnificent and I’m amazed at how she built her complex world. Writing a song seems much simpler that writing a novel - a song is just five verses and a chorus! I think the love story between Edward and Bella is going to live on forever, like Beauty and the Beast.

• “Right now I am reading ‘Wheel of Fortune’ by Susan Howatch.” (Q&A, rockalittle.com, 2000s)

• “On the bookshelves are volumes about the Kabbalah, Madame Blavatsky and Arthurian legend; a copy of The Johns Hopkins Consumer Guide to Drugs sits beside Luxury Hotels of the World.” (Stevie Nicks: a survivor’s story, telegraph.uk, 2007)

• “She is gurgling scales along with a recording of her vocal coach while flipping through a new memoir by Janis Joplin’s road manager. ”Look,“ Nicks says, perking up, “I knew Janis wore sling-back heels.” (Rolling Stone, 2015)

Movies

• Mentioned: Jean Cocteau’s “La Belle et la Bête”, “Mary, Queen of Scots”, “Julia”. 

• Stevie’s favorite horror movie is “The Haunting of Hill House”, however… “Nicks has very little experience with horror: she’s seen only a handful of old horror movies, like “Bride of Dracula”. “They don’t scare me,” she says. “I just love the costumes.” - (AHS:Coven interview, 2014) 

• “I can see a movie—say, it’s a movie with Michael Fassbender called “The Light Between Oceans”—and I can’t get this movie out of my head. The tragedy of this movie is so intense and so beautiful you can hardly stand it and you go home and think about it for days afterwards.” (The Creative Independent, 2016)

▬ TV Shows

• “I worked on the edit of my documentary about the making of In Your Dreams. And then I got pneumonia. With my pneumonia and my mother’s death I watched the entire first season of Game Of Thrones—so that was great! That certainly took my mind off everything.” Not only did the series distract the Grammy winner, but it re-ignited her creativity, inspiring her to write some G.O.T.-centric fan poems. Explains Nicks, “I’ve written a bunch of poetry about it—one for each of the characters. On Jon Snow… On Arya…. On Cersei and Jaime.” She also says that she has a talent crush on the author of the Game of Thrones book series, George R. R. Martin, who is her age, and “would love to write some music” for the show. (VanityFair, 2013)

• Among the TV shows she loves, besides American Horror Story and Million Dollar Listing, are The Good Wife, Ugly Betty, Glee, Elementary (“That guy [Jonny Lee Miller] who used to be married to Angelia Jolie, oh my God, he’s amazing. I’d marry him. In a second”), and “all of the creepy shows,” like the Law and Order franchises, Criminal Minds, NCIS, and NCIS: L.A. (Vulture, 2014)

• “Judging Amy is my favorite!” (Q&A, rockalittle.com)

Food

I ate with Stevie… You have two girls with a sweet tooth, it’s like carnage.” (Chrissie Hynde, talking about Thanksgiving with Stevie, November, 2016) 

I am always on the Weight Watchers diet. I kind of eat food that is fixed for me all over the US. I don’t really get to eat my favorite foods, like vanilla bean ice cream, gelato, cherry pie, and lemon cake, and chocolate chip cookies. I’d love to have them every day, but I don’t. I have to zip back into that long, black, seriously tight dress! (Facebook Q&A, 2014) 

“I eat one yogurt every single night right before I go to bed. It’s my, like, special time.”

Mexican is my favorite, but I don’t eat it very often. I can make a GREAT omelet!“ (Q&A, rockalittle.com) 

It’s so interesting – when my mother was pregnant with me, the only thing she could keep down was enchiladas and refried beans. As for me, whenever I’m sick, the only thing I can tolerate is Mexican food! So the fact that they actually pulled that out of the air was so great. Because if I was ever going to have a restaurant that’s what it would be." 

"Stevie really doesn’t have alot of time to cook… but if we can get her to, she makes one heck of a sandwich!! (It’s all about the sauces she makes…) (Ask Lori [Nicks], rockalittle.com) 

"I just eat the airline food, but I always get a Starbucks soy latte before boarding.” 

"Stevie is an iced tea kind of gal.” (Q&A, Cory Buckingham, 2003)

Passions 

I like antiques, I love old things. I must be very old underneath because I love beautiful old things. I love dancing. I love most of all writing songs. I love animals!“ (1977)

I absolutely still draw. I have 4 drawings out here with me right now. Drawing for me is like a tranquilizer. It puts me into another state of mind and takes me out of the Rock N’ Roll mind and puts me into that drawing I’m working on. I can just sit and draw for hours and hours. It is food for my soul. Someday I will put our my art, just as I have begun putting out my polaroids.“ (Facebook Q&A, 2014) 

Painting in my room that looks over the ocean. That is my favorite thing.“ (Q&A, rockalittle.com)

"I like to decorate! I like to go decorating shopping at furniture stores. I’m constantly changing around the rooms in my house, so that’s something I really love to do. You’ll be at my house one day, and 2 weeks later, you’ll come in and it’ll be different.” (Facebook Q&A, 2014)

“Nicks moves among the collection of colourful Art Deco lamps that stand on every surface, carefully orchestrating the ambient light. ’That’s the famous blue lamp that’s been in lots of photos; that’s a Tiffany,’ she says. ’And so is that one. I don’t know about the others.’ (Stevie Nicks: a survivor’s story, telegraph.uk, 2007) 

Hawaii, Paris, New Zeland.”  
I would have to say it is New York City. There is so much energy in the city, and so much to do there. It is a very exciting city for me.”  (Favorite destinations, Q&A, rockalittle.com)

Stevie actually goes out a lot. In every city she goes shopping and out for dinner, at the least.” (Q&A, Cory Buckingham, 2003) 

Stevie also shops a lot, and in perfect female form, jewelry shopping tops her list. She loves it when a group of people, maybe 8 or more, get together for dinner. She can sit and chat and laugh for hours on end. Literally. Although I didn’t travel with the band, and we were very rarely in the same cities, I do know that Stevie goes out a lot on days off. She loves shopping, whether it be for something she actually needs or wants, or just strolling around window shopping. She and her posse go out to dinner a lot, and also spends time writing and taking pictures. She really a lot of fun.”  (Q&A, Cory Buckingham, 2003)

“You want your journals written by hand in a book, because someday, if you have daughters — I don’t have daughters, but I have fairy goddaughters, thousands of them — all of these books are gonna go to them, and they’re gonna sit around just like we are now, and they’re gonna read them out loud, and they’re going to be able to know what my life was.” (New York Times, 2014)

And finally one of the passions I believe many of us fans share with her:

Yorkies are my favorites because they have such amazing personalities.” (Q&A, rockalittle.com)

A-Z Book Recommendation

I heard @macrolit​ started a trend of A-Z Book Recommendations? I may be late to this party but it looked like fun, so here are mine!

(Much to my chagrin I had to cheat on Q and Z; and V is also a bit of a cheat since I haven’t actually finished reading the book yet. On the other hand I did manage to get through it without repeating an author. Enjoy.)

  • The Archer’s Tale by Bernard Cornwell (also published as Harlequin). An adventurous historical fiction novel diving into the life of an English longbow archer in 14th c Europe
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. One of my favorite books of all time; I sob like a baby every single time I read it. By turns heartwarming and heartwrenching, it tells the story of a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany, stealing books and finding escape and solace in reading. It is beautiful and unusual in its style, narrated by Death and painted in vivid imagery.
  • The Chimes by Anna Smaill. A moving and strange dystopia novel about a world where memories have been destroyed and people communicate using music.
  • Dune by Frank Herbert. A powerhouse science fiction novel, Dune is at once a space opera, a political thriller, and a study in religion and survivalism.
  • L’étudiant étranger by Philippe Labro. An autobiographical novel about the sometimes comedic, sometimes serious experience of Labro’s life as an exchange student at a US university.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m sure this one needs no introduction - the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy remains, in my opinion, one of the best books ever published, and debatably the best fantasy epic of all time.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. A very dark but smart and exciting crime novel.
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. It’s more accurate to say that I experienced this work than that I read it. Part autobiographical, part stretching the factual truth to tell an emotional one, part wild invention, this is the story of Dave and his little brother, Christopher, making their way in the world after the death of both their parents. It is stylized and designed to pull the rug out from under you, toss you out of your comfort zone, and it’s either insane pretentiousness or exactly what it claims: staggering genius.
  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. A futuristic fantasy novel about a living prison, the society that built itself inside, and those on the outside living a lie. A fascinating world to dive into.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. A massive brick of a book but well worth the time for the subtle and detailed world building. It takes place in a slightly different England, where magic was once a fact of life but has long been relegated to a purely theoretical field, until Mr. Norrell teaches himself how to be a practical magician.
  • Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. A thrilling adventure story, following the journey of a young boy who ends up caught in the power struggles of 18th c Scotland.
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I don’t care how old I get or how many books he publishes, Rick Riordan will always make me laugh, and I was raised on Greek and Egyptian mythology, so I always adore seeing Riordan play with sticking the gods in the modern day world.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir. Even if you’ve seen the film, the book is still well worth a read. Weir’s story about a man stuck on Mars is both dramatic and funny.
  • The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay. The choppy style of this book can get on my nerves, but it’s a fantastic and smart crime novel that somehow gets you rooting for a professional hitman.
  • One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. A tragic but moving and at times inspiring dive into the oppressive and cruel world of psychiatric care in the 1960s.
  • Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov. A series of vignettes about an exiled Russian professor told through the eyes of an unreliable narrator.
  • The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran. Although she takes great liberties in the realm of historical accuracy, Moran’s Ancient Egypt is nevertheless a compelling and exciting world.
  • Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett. I could’ve listed any Discworld book on here because I have yet to read one I dislike, but I did particularly enjoy Raising Steam’s dip into steampunk and the Industrial Revolution, and its relationship with the fantasy life of Discworld
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. A story about a Shakespeare troupe in a post-apocalyptic world, so I was basically destined to love this. It follows the story of several different characters before, during, and after a near-extinction level plague, tying together the different narratives.
  • The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips. Written as if it were an autobiography, this is the story of a man whose father, imprisoned as a con man, leaves him what seems to be a lost Shakespeare play when he dies.
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I read this as a young teenager and I still love it; it’s a good combination of an adventurous YA sci-fi novel and a reflection on the societal fixation on beauty
  • The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman. A collection of speeches, essays, introductions, and more.
  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. The sequel to The Name of the Wind, Wise Man’s Fear keeps me just as captivated and invested in its main character as the first one did.
  • Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. In all honesty it’s been years since I read any of the Ender’s Game books and this was just one of very, very few books I could come up with that had an X in the title, but I remember it being really good sci-fi and social commentary.
  • The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 by James Shapiro. An incredible book on the social and political context of Macbeth, Anthony and Cleopatra, and King Lear.
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. An amazing book set on Dejima at the turn of the 19th century, about the clash and exchange of culture between the West (primarily the Dutch) and the Japanese.
The Five Elements of a Good Novel Pitch

If you guys haven’t heard about the Book Doctors, then what have you been doing with your writing life allow me to educate you.
David Henry Sterry and Arielle Ekstut are a husband and wife couple who work closely with NaNoWriMo and are the authors of a fantastic book titled “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published.” (get it and read it, it’s fabulous) These two wonderful people just did a YouTube livestream (it’s two hours long, watch it here) and at the tail end of it, David Sterry mentions the five elements of a really solid pitch…

  1. Research: Make sure that any facts you use in your pitch (as a hook or that are relevant to your novel) are accurate. It sounds like common sense, but you might be surprised how so many details can get overlooked. Unfortunately, pitches are all about detail. Suffice it to say, if you’re writing a medical thriller, then you’ll want to have intimate knowledge of medical procedures.
  2. Connection / Networking: One of the things that surprised me about pitching a novel is the “resume” part of a pitch. I thought that pitching was all about selling your book, but you have to sell yourself, too. If a well-known author has praised your book, mention that! If you’re writing a book for middle schoolers titled “How to Be A Loser 101″ then throw in a mention of how you were a loser for years and years (humor and connection. Double whammy). If you’re like me and you don’t have any credentials relevant to your story, then this humorous route may be the way to go.
  3. Writing: A pitch should be under 250 words. Every word needs to count, needs to be chosen, needs to be the best word to sell your book and yourself. You need to take time, slow down, and really think. 250 is a lot less than it sounds, so try not to get discouraged and keep at it until you feel that you’ve really summarized the essence of your book.
    *Note: pitches for sci-fi and fantasy novels can be a little bit longer because they tend to need more buildup and explanation, but don’t go over 300. Just don’t.
  4. Perseverance: Writing the right pitch can take a long time. Heck, it took the Book Doctors months to come up with theirs, but now they can recite it in sync, with hand motions (skip to 2:01:38 to see it!). Condensing an entire novel down to 250 words is hard, even without considering that those 250 are supposed to convey why your book needs to be published. But take it one step at a time, and most importantly…
  5. Have fun with it! We all know that joy and passion should permeate our work, and that should be no different when it comes to your pitch. Let your pitch have style and humor and voice and cliffhangers, just like your book does.

Keeping all these elements in mind when you’re writing your novel pitch can be really helpful. And if you hit a wall? Step back, take a breath. Use your resources (like the Book Doctor’s video here or their book “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published”). 
And if you want to, send me your pitches! I’m not professional, but I’d love to hear about your guys’s books. Tag me in a post or send them to me in a message and I’ll help if I can! 

anonymous asked:

I hope it's okay to rant here a little bit but I'm so tired of reading books where the MC says thing's like 'I'm not like other girls' and how every female character besides the MC is described as sluty or and evil b*th honestly that's a really harmful narratives for young girls to read it just makes me so sad

My dude, I’m not sure what you’re reading, but there are so many great books being written with fantastic female friendships in them—Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Shadowshaper, Labyrinth Lost. Get thee to a savvy librarian who can steer you to better stuff.  

What Writers Should Be Reading

Good writers are good readers. I say this all the time, though often I feel it’s a piece of advice that gets overlooked or glossed over, whether it just is a little too vague or time-consuming (reading is so time-consuming!) that many new writers don’t understand - this as the most important piece of advice I could ever offer. 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

How can I get into art? Like, I am into art, but how can I learn about it?

In many ways!  The first I would suggest would be to go to your local museum (if you have one).  Most museums offer tours (sometimes free), so take one!  Alternatively, you can walk around and read the plaques, or get an audio guide, if they have them.

Next, use the internet to your advantage!

  • I know Wikipedia is “untrustworthy” but I think it’s a really great source, especially for just finding stuff out.  Look up your favorite artist or your favorite painting and just read about them, and then click all the links and read those articles too.  Some other online resources:
  • Khan Academy - we used this in my art history class last year.  It goes along with the AP course curriculum, but it has way more than just that.  They have fantastic videos and articles about all types of art, and they’re very interesting and informative.  They also have lots of other topics, but I’ve never really explored anything aside from art history
  • Google Culture - this is new, and I haven’t really looked at it, but @asteriaria recently told me about it and it seems awesome!  You can explore artists, eras, exhibits, etc.! Just to show you, I took a few screenshots of my favorite era/painter, and they have exhibits from different museums, articles, the works, a timeline of all the artists of different eras together, etc… It’s amazing.
  • The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History - I’ve read a few articles from this and it’s fantastic.  The Met has an amazing collection and all of it is catalogued online, so you can simply read the little plaques that they have at the museum, or you could read the articles they’ve posted about them!  They have countless essays (and I recently heard at my orientation that the Met has some two million works, most of which are catalogued online).  It’s almost as good as going, I think!

Also I would certainly suggest going to your local library or bookstore and looking for some books.  There are so many authors and topics to look at that I couldn’t really name a specific one that gives you a good overview and isn’t a textbook … but Janson’s History of Art is pretty good, though it only covers Western art.

If you have any more questions, please come and ask!!  Especially if you want to know where to find more about a specific era or topic :)

Whenever I see someone advise new Discworld readers not to bother with The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic or at least not to read them first, I sort of get where they’re coming from.  Pratchett hadn’t quite hit his stride with the writing style and use of Roundworld parallels that make the Discworld books so much fun to many readers.  Instead, those two books are full-on parodies of common fantasy tropes of the time period when they were written.  So, if you’re recommending books to new readers, it’s true it might be best to tell them not to start off with the somewhat drier-witted first two in the series, especially if these readers aren’t versed in 1960s to 1980s fantasy and scifi and so wouldn’t find a parody of them as funny.

BUT.

I’ve also seen it said several times amidst this sort of general critique of TCoM and TLF that Pratchett’s writing in those books was “sort of sexist” or “included sexism” or that Pratchett “hadn’t yet shaken off sexist tropes.”  And when I see that, I wonder if I’ve just been continually missing something important while reading.  It’s possible, I’m not denying that possibility.  But I just don’t see it.  I can see what people might interpret as “sexist tropes,” yes.  Liessa, who was usually naked for no explicable reason.  Bethan the Virgin Sacrifice.  Fair enough.  But…Pratchett was parodying those tropes.  Making fun of them.  The idea was to include characters like that and then subvert the tropes in some way, or make them over-the-top so readers might think “but why is she naked??” and then have a lightbulb go off when they realize this happened (and still happens) all the time in media and that it’s never made sense.  Meanwhile, Bethan turned out to be a fairly formidable and practical woman, Herrena was specifically described as wearing–against trope-y expectations–non-revealing clothing…  Women are only secondary and tertiary characters in TCoM and TLF, it’s true.  But any “sexism” in the writing was as far as I can see at the moment meant to be making fun of actual sexism in the works/genre Pratchett was parodying.

The very next Discworld book is Equal Rites.  With female protagonists and a focus on subverting the belief that women’s magic isn’t as interesting or powerful as men’s.  It’s basically an extended treatment of gender issues and relations and the problem of sexism in fantasy tropes.

So so, again I’m not saying “I’m right you’re wrong,” but if anybody could explain to me what is sexist in TCoM and TLF this is an honest question that I have about that particular critique.  

hikari-tenshi-yuri  asked:

I just saw your reply on that disk world post and i have the urge to borrow my mum's copies. Can you recommend a good place to start? They sound really good but here are so many.

The ones I always recommend to start with are either Small Gods, Guards, Guards!, or Wyrd Sisters. 

Mort is also a good starting introduction to the world—it was the book Terry often told people to start with. It’s the book he felt he had the best grip on where Discworld would be going. (the first two novels The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic were not his best, and he fully admitted to that.) 

You can either pick to go with the Watch Series and read them through as a series of eight books: [Link]

The Witches Series (which I guess technically starts with Equal Rites, but it’s not necessary to read it to read the rest of them) as a series of eleven books: [Link]

Death’s main books come to a total of five [Link]

And then there’s the Industrial Revolution arc which mingles nicely with the Watch Series if you want to read those in tandem, 6 books total. [Link] (NB. The Truth would be a particularly good read right now, for current events and doesn’t need any of the other books to make sense)

There is of course also the Rincewind series, which can be read independently of all the others. [Link] and the Ancient Civilizations series which consists of Small Gods and Pyramids [Link]

So think of it this way, it’s a series of books randing from 2-11 books long, that just so happen to take place on the same planet and you don’t need to read them in chronological order outwith the series if you don’t want to. So not really all that many after all :D

Trust me. When you get to the one that reads The End, 41 books is not enough.

Also here’s the overall link for series reading orders, for anyone who wants it:

http://discworldreadingorder.azurewebsites.net/

Reading Problem #1:

When all the books on your enormous to be read pile look fantastic and you can’t focus properly on the one you’re currently reading because you start to panic that you will never find time to read all the books and then you just end up going on tumblr instead, but then you find even more books you want to read. 

pepper-on-peach  asked:

Hello Horror If you know this can you help ? Are Japanese Yokai are made up by folk but they became a part of Shinto and Buddhism ? I read that they are by folk but they became a part of those two religions .. and maybe other religions ? As I read most of them are by the folk while some are from Chinese myths or Buddhism texts but as far as I asked a religious man he said Buddha originally a normal man but his people worshiped him. So is Yokai are made up tales by people ?

There’s a 320 page answer to this question, but I’ll try give a rough answer anyway! Basically, everything you’ve said is correct. As with all folklore, tracking down the origins of various yokai is a pretty difficult task. Many of them come from China; Kitsune, komainu/shisa, etc. Some explain away things such as condensation (Tenjoname) and other natural occurrences, and others are manifestations of mistreated women (Futakuchi Onna, etc).

Many of them are pulled straight from the imaginations of various artists. Consider Toriyama Sekien’s Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. By the time the 4th book came around Sekien was all out of mythological figures that he knew such as Kodama, Tanuki, etc and began making them up. In the Edo period and era of ukiyo-e monsters were incredibly popular. They were basically popular culture just like monsters are now. Most artists would draw yokai featured in stories that they had heard and put a face to them. Those images them became integral to the stories despite the fact they came later.

You then had images of yokai that had no accompanying tale, and so authors would write short stories or plays to fit with that yokai. So again, you have something of a hodge-podge. Read Rokurokubi in Kwaidan and you’ll be confused for a moment as the story is about a congregation of Nukekubi despite the title. But Nukekubi are Rokurokubi. The latter now just specifically means the female yokai with the extended neck, not the one with the detached head.

 Kasa-obake is probably the most iconic yokai that I can think of, and even the reasoning behind that is ecclectic. Initially its depiction was much more humanoid, but over time began to appear as the discarded umbrella that we usually think of now. Kasa Obake is a yokai that was completely made up and then had Buddhist principals applied to it due to its status as a tsukumogami, making it as valid as anything else. Kasa-Obake despite that is still an artists creation. Same goes for Nurikabe. When you think of Nurikabe you picture a grey wall slab with eyes and a mouth, but that imagary only came about in the 1960s due to Shigeru Mizuki.

What really confuses things is that yokai just means something akin to strange apparition. So to Japan; Dracula, Wolf Man, cyclops, medusa are all yokai. It’s akin to how kaiju to us specifically means large Japanese monster, whereas to Japan, not even daikaiju would refer to the same specific classification we have in mind. Basically, when we’re talking about yokai, we’re sometimes talking about entirely different things. So yokai are folklore, made up, Buddhist, Shinto, and often a little bit of each because the term and history itself is fluid.

Pandemonium and Parade by Michael Dylan Foster is probably the best book on this. It isn’t a bestiary on yokai, but it does answer many of your questions on the culture surrounding them. It’s a fantastic book so long as you know what to expect. The negative reviews on amazon being from those that expected a yokai by yokai breakdown and not cultural analysis. So long as you don’t expect that I think it’s worth reading! http://amzn.to/2CEEREI

2

Book: Turtles All The Way Down

Author: John Green

Rating: 5*

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

So I was super excited when this arrived in the post last week- and not just because bookmail is my favourite kind of post. About 10 years ago when I was thirteen I was already three years into my migration from the junior fiction side of the library to what was then called ‘teen fic’ because the hip term YA hadn’t been coined yet. For all of that time I had stuck mainly to fantasy and science fiction, branching tentatively into the then new to me world of dystopians occasionally. But then I became a teenager proper and one day I picked up a contemporary book, Looking for Alaska by John Green. I think it launched me into teendom proper- a year later I read Paper Towns, started watching the vlogbrothers on Youtube, and started developing interests I’d pursue until now.

In short, I have been reading, watching, and being influenced by content created by John Green for almost a decade. 

When I got my hands on Turtles All the Way Down a hurricane was blowing in across the Northwest of Ireland and the whole city had the day off. I curled up and read it cover to cover. It was brilliant. Just so thoughtful and genuine and humorous and all the great things I’ve come to expect from John Green’s writing. It was a great story with fantastic story with believable and likeable characters. It’s also fairly gritty in places, and most important of all, it’s a poignant and gentle and comic look at living with mental illness.

The experience of reading this book was enjoyable on several levels. I liked the story for itself, but I also liked how in many ways it was a trip down memory lane, revisiting many of the issues and thoughts expressed in videos over the past few years since the release of TFioS. I think this book is also pretty personal as it explores the experience and effects of living with OCD, something John has been fairly open about experiencing in his own personal life. I related to this a lot- after suffering a minor stroke in 2015 I struggled with health anxiety. Every little twinge or heart flutter was suddenly something I had to think about for hours and Google diagnose. It was horrible and although it’s something I have got under control now after a long stint with a therapist, it’s something I will have to deal with at least in part for the rest of my life. And I totally understood and empathised with the feeling of the protag that this made them excessively inward looking.

I also loved how literary this book was, it referenced and interacted with so many great books including but not limited to; James Joyce’s Ulysses, Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, it interacted with fanfiction and even with John’s own earlier writing. It worked with how narrative in real life is both like and unlike the narrative in books, which is ironic, cause this is a book. Honestly, I could write an essay on the literary goings-on in this book.

For the rest of the review I just want to share some of my favourite quotes that show off the writing and philosophy of the book. Don’t read any further if you wanna stay completely spoiler free.

“I don’t mind worriers. Worrying is the correct worldview. Life is worrisome.”

“You feeling scared?”
“Kinda.”
“Of what?”
“It’s not like that. The sentence doesn’t have, like, an object. I’m just scared.”

“Actually, the problem is that I can’t lose my mind,” I said. “It’s inescapable.”

"Everyone wanted me to feed them that story—darkness to light, weakness to strength, broken to whole. I wanted it, too.”

And finally:

“If only I were as good at life as I am at the internet.”

That’s all from me bookworms- chat to you soon!
Booklove,
Grace

What series of books changed your life?

I can name a few that have made an impact in my life.. Harry Potter is certainly one of them.. I have loved reading all of my life.. I’m not a super advanced reader per say.. but reading is one of my favorite things in life.. I love when someone gets excited about a book, a story they’ve read..

There are so many of us out there.. BookNerds I mean..

Do you consider yourself a book nerd? If so, what caused you to have this love for books? For me it was learning to read in my second language.. knowing I could have a different adventure with each book I read..

I would love going to thrift stores and finding treasures, or going to the library and checking out like 20 books at a time.. people thought I was crazy.. but that was me.. and books are what make me happy.. ❣️Ellie RG

frittzz-deactivated20171030  asked:

Apart of fanfic, what books or authors you prefer ?

Oooh, thanks for this question. This is for everyone:

I read a lot of genres, to be honest. But because of the style I use and type of fanfics I write, I find it especially helpful to read a lot of “juvenile” fiction. This kind of books is usually frowned upon since critics (and people that like to think of themselves as superior to everyone else) believe that they have nothing good to offer. And while I won’t deny that a big part of this genre’s too basic and in some cases, it’s even badly-written, I think there are tons of incredible novels out there.

So, my first big series was Harry Potter. I started reading it on my own when I was 6, and I read every book as it got out. So, even though in time I’ve come to realize that there are so many things Rowling did wrong (I think of her as a 6/10 author, honestly; I don’t think she’s particularly good at her job), this entire saga is one of my favorites. I read them all in order once a year during my winter break, and it never disappoints me.

I have The Complete Series edition in my bookcase, in English, and with all that fantastic art by Kazu Kibuishi. I just love it.

A couple of years ago I was going on a 20 hours road trip in a car, and I wanted to have something to read during those boring hours, so I went to a bookstore near my house and started looking for something interesting to read. I decided to buy “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan, and HOLY SHIT.

The first thing I did when I got to the new town (I kid you not), was going to the closest bookstore and buy the other 4 books of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians saga. I devoured them in a week or two. Since then I’ve bought the other 5 books of the Heroes of Olympus saga, the trilogy of The Kane Chronicles, the first book of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and the first book of The Trials of Apollo, all of them by Rick Riordan and all part of his amazing universe. So I have 15 books from good ol’ Rick.

Well, that’s because Rick Riordan is my favorite author of all time, and I try my hardest to imitate his style, even though I add some of my personal touches. Too bad they fucked up the movies (TOTALLY NOT HIS FAULT, HE HATES THEM TOO), if they did justice to them they could have a Cinematic Universe that would give Marvel a run for their money.

IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE PERCY JACKSON SAGA BUY IT AND DO IT NOW.

(also, @viria , one of my favorite artist out there, is doing the official art for Riordan’s page, which is awesome)

But my ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOK SAGA is…

*drums*

Memorias de Idhún, by Laura Gallego García.

I don’t know if there’s an English version of them. I suppose there is, and I hope there is since this 6 book saga is the best thing I’ve ever read in my life. So many plot lines without feeling confusing, so many interesting twists, so much romance (the love triangle here is like nothing you’ve ever seen, I bet you $500 you’ve never read anything like it), SO MUCH FRICKING AWESOME ACTION. It has magic, it has Gods, it has new races, it has dragons, it has a wonderful world, it has prophecies, it has… IT HAS EVERYTHING!

Look it up and read it, if you can. You won’t be disappointed.

(this is an image of the comic, but check out the novels)

Rereading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Chapter Thirteen - The Secret Riddle

- LOL ron and hermione are just straight up ignoring harry every time he talks about malfoy and like, same. 

- OH WHADDUP PHINEAS i missed your eavesdropping ass 

“I would rather not say just now,” said Dumbledore. “However, I shall tell you in due course.”
“You will?” said Harry, startled.

even harry is shook at the idea of dumbledore telling him ANYTHING lol

- guys i want a pensieve so bad. shit sounds dope. i have literally the worst memory i honestly think its NECESSARY 

- fucking hell. merope was super pregnant and had no money so she sold slytherins necklace to borgin and burkes and dude gave her TEN GALLEONS AND THATS IT bc she didnt know how much it was worth. thats so fucked. im so sad/mad. 

“But it is my belief - I am guessing again, but I am sure I am right - that when her husband abandoned her, Merope stopped using magic. I do not think that she wanted to be a witch any longer. Of course, it is also possible that her unrequited love and the attendant despair sapped her of her powers; that can happen.”

meropes life is literally so sad. GUYS this is really depressing

“This time,” said Dumbledore, “we are going to enter my memory. I think you will find it both rich in detail and satisfyingly accurate.”

jesus christ i love dumbledore. 

- was young dumbledore hot? can this be canon? i mean hes wearing a plum velvet suit for christ sake

It soon became clear that Mrs. Cole was no novice when it came to gin drinking. Pouring both of them a generous measure, she drained her own glass in one gulp. 

this lady is my hero. 

- ok mrs cole has had like literally 5 shots of gin in the span on maybe 10 minutes and while im a little worried shes telling us EVERYTHINGGG giving us the good goss

- ew wtf lil tom riddle hung a kids pet rabbit from the rafters. that anyone DIDNT assume he would turn out fuq’d up is a shock to me.

“I knew I was different,” he whispered to his own quivering fingers. “I knew I was special. Always, I knew there was something.”

why wasnt dumbledore more weirded out by this kid? like hes so quick to be like YUP OK IM A WIZARD. compared to harry whos like ‘lol no i just got caught in the wind! thats how i ended up on the roof, yeah!’

- tom is being described as having a commanding tone every time he talks and its giving me a real freaky deaky feel, ya know?

“And be warned: Thieving is not tolerated at Hogwarts.”
Riddle did not look remotely abashed; he was still staring coldly and appraisingly at Dumbledore. At last he said in a colorless voice, “Yes, sir.”

THIS IS SO UNNERVING. WHY

“My mother can’t have been magic, or she wouldn’t have died,”

even as a kid he still sees death as the weakest thing a person can do. this chapter got me fucked up.

- oh shit ya even harry says that tom was way quicker than him to believe he was a wizard. wild.

“Did you know - then?” asked Harry.
“Did I know that I had just met the most dangerous Dark wizard of all time?” said Dumbledore. “No, I had no idea that  he was to grow up to be what he is.”

LEGIT CHILLS.

“The ring’s gone,” said Harry, looking around. “But I thought you might have the mouth organ or something.”
Dumbledore beamed at him, peering over the top of his half-moon spectacles.
“Very astute, Harry, but the mouth organ was only ever a mouth organ.”

HORCRUX SEEEEDING god damn jk rowling is genius

well that was an informative chapter. i havent read half-blood prince and deathly hallows nearly as many times at the other books, or as recently so im like learning new things!!!!! v cool, v cool

WELP if you liked this, follow me for more chapters!