redheadedfemme: (books. cats. life is sweet.)
 A few weeks ago, I did something I've never done before.

I walked into my local bookstore and bought not one, not two, but four new hardbacks.

(Believe me when I say I'm notoriously stingy with my dollars, and before this I would wait for the paperbacks or peruse the used section. But I also paid off my mortgage at the beginning of the year, and eight months later, that sunk in to the point where I could actually let myself buy BOOKS.)

Two of these were sequels to books I already own. Two were from authors I'd never heard of, but I'd seen reviews in various places and thought they would be something I'd like. 

All four of them were from the same genre--Young Adult.

Now, this is a new development. I've started making the YA section of my library a regular stop, even though I'm a *cough*few decades*cough* past the target audience. It's actually a rather pitiful little section that could use a major expansion, but it does hold such gems as Andrew Fukuda's fantastic Hunt series. I'm sure I've gotten a few sideways looks from the teenagers sitting up there browsing their Facebook pages, or playing whatever video games are popular nowadays, when I go to dig through the New Arrivals shelves.

Because as far as I can see--and this has been true for a good while--some of the best new fiction being published today is Young Adult.

Maybe The Hunger Games started it all. But the coming-of-age/angst-ridden/high school/sexual-awakening stories (Paul Zindel, Judy Blume et al) I remember aren't there now, not as they used to be. What I see now are dystopias. Tons of them. Along with science fiction and fantasy worlds of all stripes. Vampires, werewolves, and zombies abound (Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy, for example, hands down the most depressing books I have ever read) along with lesser-known beasties like water horses (Maggie Stiefvater's fantastic The Scorpio Races).

All these books have teenage protagonists (usually female) dealing with life-and-death issues no teenager should ever have to deal with. First kisses, crushes on your best friend's sibling, and the infamous What I Did On My Summer Vacation essay are right out as problems in these kids' lives. 

Instead, you have things like: a souped-up global warming scenario crossed with the Greek pantheon, and discovering you're really Persephone, snatched away from the Underworld, and your mother is the cause of the former; and humanity, decimated by a virus that rebirths a few select teenage "survivors" as intelligent, emotionless, non-decaying killer zombies. 

(These are the plots of two of the books I bought. I'll review them in detail soon.)

I love this kind of stuff. It's right up my alley. I keep adding books to my Amazon Wish List, not necessarily to pick them up second-hand as soon as they come out (I've contributed my fair share of hardback royalties this year, I think), but mostly to keep track of them; it seems like there's another terrific-sounding book being released every day. 

I don't know if I'll ever write Young Adult myself--everybody and their second cousin is doing it nowadays, it seems, which of course means it's in danger of overexposing itself. But even if it is in the middle of a boom-and-bust cycle, and the pendulum is going to swing back soon (as it always does), we're getting some wonderful stories in the meantime. 

Let's enjoy them. 







redheadedfemme: (books. cats. life is sweet.)
 Here is the complete list of books I read last year. 

 

Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Max Blumenthal [library book, non-fiction, politics]

 

Undone Deeds, Mark Del Franco [purchase, fiction, urban fantasy]

 

Shaded Vision, Yasmine Galenorn [purchase, fiction, urban fantasy]

 

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum [library book, non-fiction, music]

 

The Mortal Bone, Marjorie M. Liu [purchase, fiction, urban fantasy]

 

Selected Poems of William Butler Yeats [purchase, poetry]

 

Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords [library book, non-fiction, memoir]

 

Fateful, Claudia Gray [purchase, fiction, young adult, werewolves]

 

River Marked, Patricia Briggs [purchase, fiction, urban fantasy]

 

Raven Cursed, Faith Hunter [purchase, fiction, urban fantasy]

 

Soft Apocalypse, Will McIntosh [library book, fiction, science fiction]

 

Life Itself, Roger Ebert [purchase, non-fiction, memoir]

 

The Dead-Tossed Waves, Carrie Ryan [purchase, fiction, young adult, zombie apocalypse]

 

Devil's Punch, Ann Aguirre [purchase, fiction, urban fantasy]

 

 The Worst of Times, Patricia G. Miller [purchase, non-fiction, reproductive rights]

 

Back Rooms: An Oral History of the Illegal Abortion Era, Ellen Messer and Kathryn E. May [purchase, non-fiction, reproductive rights]

 

Partials, Dan Wells [purchase, fiction, young adult, post-apocalyptic]

 

Divergent, Veronica Roth [purchase, fiction, young adult, dystopian]

 

The Immortal Rules, Julie Kagawa [purchase, fiction, young adult, post-apocalyptic]

 

Hounded, Hexed and Hammered, Kevin Hearne [purchases, fiction, urban fantasy]

 

Robopocalypse, Daniel H. Wilson [library book, fiction, science fiction, post-apocalypse]

 

Tricked, Kevin Hearne [purchase, fiction, urban fantasy]

 

Blackout, Mira Grant [purchase, fiction, science fiction, zombie apocalypse]

 

The Dark and Hollow Places [library book, fiction, young adult, zombie apocalypse]

 

Enclave, Ann Aguirre [library book, fiction, young adult, post-apocalyptic]

 

Chime, Franny Billingsley [library book, fiction, young adult]

 

The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network Into a Propaganda Machine, David Brock et al [library book, non-fiction, politics, media]

 

Deadly Spin, Wendell Potter [purchase, non-fiction, politics, health care]

 

Welcome to Bordertown, Holly Black and Ellen Kushner [library book, fiction, urban fantasy, anthology]

 

Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism's Work is Done, Susan J. Douglas [library book, non-fiction, feminism]

 

Ghost Story, Jim Butcher [purchase, fiction, urban fantasy]

 

An Edge In My Voice, Harlan Ellison [library book, non-fiction, essays]

 

Legend, Marie Lu [library book, fiction, young adult, dystopia]

 

The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater [library book, fiction, young adult, fantasy]

 

Endgame, Ann Aguirre [purchase, fiction, science fiction, space opera]

 

Unraveling, Elizabeth Norris [library book, fiction, young adult, science fiction]

 

Crucible of Gold, Naomi Novik [library book, fiction, fantasy]

 

Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity, David Kirby [library book, non-fiction, marine mammals]

 

Cold Fury, T.M. Goeglein [library book, fiction, young adult, thriller]

 

Dust Girl, Sarah Zettel [library book, fiction, young adult, fantasy]

 

Pegasus, Robin McKinley [library book, fiction, young adult, fantasy]

 

Shadow Rising, Yasmine Galenorn [purchase, fiction, urban fantasy]

 

Hunting the Corrigan's Blood, Holly Lisle [purchase, fiction, science fiction, space opera]

 

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan [library book, fiction, young adult, zombie apocalypse]

 

Vessel, Sarah Beth Durst [library book, fiction, young adult, Arabian Nights-style fantasy]

 

Brave New Love: 15 Dystopian Tales of Desire, Paula Guran [library book, fiction, young adult, anthology, dystopian]

 

Trapped, Kevin Hearne [purchase, fiction, urban fantasy]

 

Glitch, Heather Anastasiu [library book, fiction, young adult, post-apocalyptic]

 

Total books read this year: 51

 

As you can see, I've read a far more young adult fiction this year than I ever have. But I daresay some of the best books to be found anywhere right now are in the young adult section. Certainly some of the most inventive. The fact that the heroes--or heroines (most of the ones I see are the latter) are only sixteen or seventeen don't interfere with my enjoyment of said books one whit. 

 

Best fiction book of 2012: The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater. (And there's your prime example. I'll say it again: I love love love this book. The pacing, characters, and world are pitch-perfect.)

 

Best non-fiction book of 2012: Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism's Work is Done, Susan J. Douglas. (Just as good a read the second time around. The writer examines popular culture through feminism's lens and comes to the inescapable conclusion that we've taken one step forward and two steps back.)

 

Worst book of 2012: Chime, Franny Billingsley. (This actually only counts as half a book. I couldn't even finish it, and that almost never happens.)

 

Weirdest book of 2012: Cold Fury, T.M Goeglein. (Two genres that don't mesh well. At all.) 

 

For 2013, I'm making some adjustments to my book list. I've joined Goodreads, so I will be posting reviews there and linking to them here. (I've challenged myself to read 50 books this year.) Purchase links will still go to Powell's. I also have a board on Pinterest I will be pinning to, for those who want to see covers. 

 

I know this is a bit late, but the first couple of weeks of the year have been taken up with personal matters, as well as going on vacation. Now, I hope, I can get back into the swing of things.

 

Happy reading! 

 

redheadedfemme: (open the door)
"Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house."  ~Henry Ward Beecher

I do love me some garage sales.

Today, while driving to the library, I had to take a detour as my usual street was closed off due to the Whiskey Row Off-road Mountain Bike Race. Since I used to drive all over town, delivering medication, I know a lot of shortcuts and side streets that will get me where I want to go. This particular shortcut took me around the back of the Arizona Pioneers' Home, where I realized they were having a rummage sale. I almost drove on past, but saw out of the corner of my eye several tables lined with books, which immediately pulled me up short. The siren call of the cheap printed page is impossible to deny.

When I went up there, I was handed a medium-sized paper bag and told I could fill it up for only a dollar, which I gleefully proceeded to do.

Today's haul:

The Living Bible--Reference Edition. Before this, I had one of those huge, bulky PTL Parallel Editions (Living Bible and King James) which will go immediately into my library donation box.

The Man Who Listens To Horses, Monty Roberts. I seem to remember reading something years ago about some things in this book not being true. A quick Google-fu turned this up. It's a good reminder that nothing ever dies on the Internet.

Twilight, Stephenie Meyer. Yes, I know. But I figure at a cost of approximately ten cents for the trade paperback, I can afford to throw the thing against the wall and stomp it into the floor if I feel like it. Or maybe chapter-blog it if it's especially hilarious. 

CDs: I've Got a Right To Cry, Mandy Barnett. Old-fashioned, twangy, stringy, Patsy Cline-style country. 

Natural Dreams: Amazon Odyssey. It's supposed to be Latin New Age music, but it didn't sound particularly Latino to me. Either way, they still got ripped straight into the computer. I suppose I'm hopelessly old-fashioned in that I insist on keeping the (horrors!) actual physical compact discs, instead of relying on the magical pixels. (I still have a few cassettes, too. Anybody remember those?)

Plus several Westerns, including two Louis L'Amour paperbacks, for my mother. 

Next, I went down to the Big Box Retailer Who Dare Not Speak Its Name, where I found some YA books I've been looking at online for a while. I'm a sucker for dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories, and there seem to be a lot of these in the young-adult genre recently. I picked up Veronica Roth's Divergent, Julie Kagawa's The Immortal Rules and Dan Wells' Partials, which proceeded to blow my book budget for the month to tiny Times New Roman bits.

No matter. Books are my indulgence, my pleasure, my passion, unapologetically so. This is why I keep up my listing on Library Thing--if the house ever burns down, I can and will replace them.  
redheadedfemme: (open the door)
"Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house."  ~Henry Ward Beecher

I do love me some garage sales.

Today, while driving to the library, I had to take a detour as my usual street was closed off due to the Whiskey Row Off-road Mountain Bike Race. Since I used to drive all over town, delivering medication, I know a lot of shortcuts and side streets that will get me where I want to go. This particular shortcut took me around the back of the Arizona Pioneers' Home, where I realized they were having a rummage sale. I almost drove on past, but saw out of the corner of my eye several tables lined with books, which immediately pulled me up short. The siren call of the cheap printed page is impossible to deny.

When I went up there, I was handed a medium-sized paper bag and told I could fill it up for only a dollar, which I gleefully proceeded to do.

Today's haul:

The Living Bible--Reference Edition. Before this, I had one of those huge, bulky PTL Parallel Editions (Living Bible and King James) which will go immediately into my library donation box.

The Man Who Listens To Horses, Monty Roberts. I seem to remember reading something years ago about some things in this book not being true. A quick Google-fu turned this up. It's a good reminder that nothing ever dies on the Internet.

Twilight, Stephenie Meyer. Yes, I know. But I figure at a cost of approximately ten cents for the trade paperback, I can afford to throw the thing against the wall and stomp it into the floor if I feel like it. Or maybe chapter-blog it if it's especially hilarious. 

CDs: I've Got a Right To Cry, Mandy Barnett. Old-fashioned, twangy, stringy, Patsy Cline-style country. 

Natural Dreams: Amazon Odyssey. It's supposed to be Latin New Age music, but it didn't sound particularly Latino to me. Either way, they still got ripped straight into the computer. I suppose I'm hopelessly old-fashioned in that I insist on keeping the (horrors!) actual physical compact discs, instead of relying on the magical pixels. (I still have a few cassettes, too. Anybody remember those?)

Plus several Westerns, including two Louis L'Amour paperbacks, for my mother. 

Next, I went down to the Big Box Retailer Who Dare Not Speak Its Name, where I found some YA books I've been looking at online for a while. I'm a sucker for dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories, and there seem to be a lot of these in the young-adult genre recently. I picked up Veronica Roth's Divergent, Julie Kagawa's The Immortal Rules and Dan Wells' Partials, which proceeded to blow my book budget for the month to tiny Times New Roman bits.

No matter. Books are my indulgence, my pleasure, my passion, unapologetically so. This is why I keep up my listing on Library Thing--if the house ever burns down, I can and will replace them.  
redheadedfemme: (Default)
 This book made me cry.

Spoilers )

Buy this book. Read it. I used to think "World War Z" was the definitive zombie story, but "Feed" blows Max Brooks out of the water. 


redheadedfemme: (Default)
 This book made me cry.

Spoilers )

Buy this book. Read it. I used to think "World War Z" was the definitive zombie story, but "Feed" blows Max Brooks out of the water. 


redheadedfemme: (Default)
 While shopping this morning, I picked up a copy of Christopher Pike's "Thirst," about a teenage vampire, and started leafing through it.

This didn't last very long. The first three pages consisted entirely of exposition--the most godawful, mind-numbing, speechifying exposition I have ever had the misfortune to read. I remember the protagonist complaining about her hair being like blonde silk, and the depressing experience of everyone taking her for an eighteen-year-old until she opened her mouth, when presumably all of her actual five thousand years of existence came tumbling out. 

This is a published novel, mind you. 

Good books, in my experience, start with a scene and dialogue. I'll never know if this one was good or not, because I promptly put it back (while muttering under my breath about "what terrible writing!"). It's also made me wary about ever glancing through anything by Christopher Pike again.

Until now, I don't think I've ever experienced an "I can do better than that!" moment. But I certainly did today.

Hell, I can do better than that in my frakking sleep
Tags:
redheadedfemme: (Default)
 While shopping this morning, I picked up a copy of Christopher Pike's "Thirst," about a teenage vampire, and started leafing through it.

This didn't last very long. The first three pages consisted entirely of exposition--the most godawful, mind-numbing, speechifying exposition I have ever had the misfortune to read. I remember the protagonist complaining about her hair being like blonde silk, and the depressing experience of everyone taking her for an eighteen-year-old until she opened her mouth, when presumably all of her actual five thousand years of existence came tumbling out. 

This is a published novel, mind you. 

Good books, in my experience, start with a scene and dialogue. I'll never know if this one was good or not, because I promptly put it back (while muttering under my breath about "what terrible writing!"). It's also made me wary about ever glancing through anything by Christopher Pike again.

Until now, I don't think I've ever experienced an "I can do better than that!" moment. But I certainly did today.

Hell, I can do better than that in my frakking sleep
Tags:
redheadedfemme: (reading--I love my books)
I went book-buying yesterday, and came home with one of those stupid elongated mass-market paperbacks.

I hate those books. They look deformed, and they don't fit in the bookcase. I wouldn't have bought this one at all if it hadn't been the latest book in the Dresden Files, Turn Coat, by Jim Butcher.  

But Jim Butcher is one of my favorite authors, and the Dresden Files is a great series. Mr. Butcher provided one of the best reading experiences I have had in years, during my reading of the seventh Harry Dresden book, Dead Beat

Fans of the series should know exactly where I'm going with this. I took the book into the bathroom (where I get  a lot of my reading done) in the middle of chapter 38...right before Harry reanimates Sue, the 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex, and rides her into battle. 

I must have sat there on the commode for a good thirty minutes, chortling out loud at this wonderful plot twist. By the time it occurred to me that I had better get up (two chapters later) I had to pry myself loose from the seat. 

Just blame Jim Butcher for my hemorrhoids, I guess. 
Tags:
redheadedfemme: (reading--I love my books)
I went book-buying yesterday, and came home with one of those stupid elongated mass-market paperbacks.

I hate those books. They look deformed, and they don't fit in the bookcase. I wouldn't have bought this one at all if it hadn't been the latest book in the Dresden Files, Turn Coat, by Jim Butcher.  

But Jim Butcher is one of my favorite authors, and the Dresden Files is a great series. Mr. Butcher provided one of the best reading experiences I have had in years, during my reading of the seventh Harry Dresden book, Dead Beat

Fans of the series should know exactly where I'm going with this. I took the book into the bathroom (where I get  a lot of my reading done) in the middle of chapter 38...right before Harry reanimates Sue, the 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex, and rides her into battle. 

I must have sat there on the commode for a good thirty minutes, chortling out loud at this wonderful plot twist. By the time it occurred to me that I had better get up (two chapters later) I had to pry myself loose from the seat. 

Just blame Jim Butcher for my hemorrhoids, I guess. 
Tags:
redheadedfemme: (geeks will inherit earth)




Oh my God, I would move in there and frakking live.
Tags:
redheadedfemme: (geeks will inherit earth)




Oh my God, I would move in there and frakking live.
Tags:

July 2017

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Words To Live By

There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away. ~Emily Dickinson

Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins. ~Neil Gaiman

Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in. ~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The road to hell is paved with adverbs. ~Stephen King

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read. ~Mark Twain

I feel free and strong. If I were not a reader of books I could not feel this way. ~Walter Tevis

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. ~George R.R. Martin

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