Tag Archives: literature

Best Worlds and Settings in Modern Sci-fi/Fantasy

Recently, I’ve been reading Literary Wonderlands: A Journey through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created by Laura Miller. It outlines literary works with the best world-building across history, from early myths to modern sci-fi/fantasy franchises. Inspired by this, I’d like to share with you some of the books with the most immersive settings I’ve ever read, books that had me walking their worlds long after I closed the pages. (I skipped the obvious ones like Harry Potter, which were of course featured in Literary Wonderlands.) Continue reading Best Worlds and Settings in Modern Sci-fi/Fantasy

Three-Body Problem Review and Sci-Fi Reading Challenge Wrap Up

To round out my Sci-fi Summer reading list, I chose Hugo Award winner and Nebula nominee The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. With this choice, I branched out into the realms of hard science fiction and literature-in-translation (translated by Ken Liu). Three-Body Problem begins with the historical backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution and then fast-forwards to modern time where the leaders and militaries of the world are faced with a mysterious virtual reality game and an impending alien invasion.  How do those things go together? You’ll have to read it to find out! Continue reading Three-Body Problem Review and Sci-Fi Reading Challenge Wrap Up

Sick of Gratuitous Sexual Violence in Fiction–A Review of The Incarnations

When I picked up a book at BEA set in Beijing, I was very excited. As some of our readers may know, I have moved to China for a year to teach English, and I previously studied abroad in Beijing. The Incarnations by Susan Barker tells the story of a Beijing taxi driver who finds himself haunted by his past lives, receiving mysterious letters from his ‘soulmate’ detailing their past incarnations together. Having sat in the back of many a Beijing taxi and wondered about the lives of the drivers, I thought it would be interesting to read this tale of a driver’s back story. What I was not prepared for was the sheer amount of brutal violence, cruelty, and misery contained within these pages. Continue reading Sick of Gratuitous Sexual Violence in Fiction–A Review of The Incarnations

Geraldine Brooks at BEA: The Secret Chord Review and Panel Overview

On the second day of Book Expo America, I had the opportunity to attend a panel in which Geraldine Brooks, well-known author of People of the Book and March, discussed her newest upcoming novel, The Secret Chord. I then got to meet her both after the panel and again at the signing for the book. The Secret Chord is a historical fiction retelling of the life of King David. In the panel, Ms. Brooks discussed her research process, the role of faith in her writing, female characters, and more. Continue reading Geraldine Brooks at BEA: The Secret Chord Review and Panel Overview

How to Prepare for BEA and Book Con

image2015 will see me through my seventh Book Expo, and my second Book Con, and I couldn’t be more pumped. There are some seriously exciting guests attending both events, some really exciting breakfasts and panels, and there is bound to be some killer swag. Whether you’re going to BEA, Book Con, or both, if it’s your first year, it’s going to be overwhelming. The Javitz Center is HUGE. Here are my tips for successfully navigating this convention:

Continue reading How to Prepare for BEA and Book Con

Geekette Holiday Gift Guide

With the winter holidays coming up (not to mention all those like myself who have birthdays this time of year), there are plenty of opportunities for gift-giving in the coming weeks, so the staff of the Daily Geekette decided to share some of our picks for geeky gifts you can give. Some of these are items that Geekettes have given or received as gifts, and some of them are just things that we thought looked awesome. We’ve sorted our recommendations into different categories to help you find just the right for your fellow Geekette. Enjoy!

Continue reading Geekette Holiday Gift Guide

In Response to “The Percy Jackson Problem,” or Why Neil Gaiman is Right

Rebecca Mead wrote an article for The New Yorker called “The Percy Jackson Problem.” I have some problems with it. Basically, she took an argument that Neil Gaiman made, that if kids are reading anything voluntarily, we should be happy, and tried to use Rick Riordan’s books to prove Gaiman wrong. She argues that the Percy Jackson books, with their teenage slang, are having a negative impact on young readers. You can read her article here.

“What if the strenuous accessibility of “Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods” proves so alluring to young readers that it seduces them in the opposite direction from that which Gaiman’s words presuppose—away from an engagement with more immediately difficult incarnations of the classics, Greek and otherwise? What if instead of urging them on to more challenging adventures on other, potentially perilous literary shores, it makes young readers hungry only for more of the palatable same?”

Frankly, Ms. Mead, there is nothing wrong with that. I will tell you why.

Continue reading In Response to “The Percy Jackson Problem,” or Why Neil Gaiman is Right

The Vampire Literary Canon – 7 Books and Shows that Shaped the World of Vampire Fiction

Vampire fiction is a thriving genre, producing numerous titles a year and taking up a good portion of the YA shelves of your local bookstore. From Sookie Stackhouse (perhaps better known as the Trueblood series on HBO) to Vampire Diaries, vampire romances are now as commonplace as gravestones at a churchyard. But what great works shaped the genre into the way it is today? Who were the pioneers of vampire fiction? And who took it down roads it had never been before? The following is a list of must-reads/must-watches to understand the nature and history of vampire fiction as a whole.Buffy Continue reading The Vampire Literary Canon – 7 Books and Shows that Shaped the World of Vampire Fiction

What Librarians are Really Hiding: A Review of The Accidental Keyhand (The Ninja Librarians #1)

imageThe Ninja Librarians. Honestly, the title alone is enough to draw in any avid reader. That’s what hooked me. I didn’t even read the description. I just thought, “Ninja Librarians? Yeah, I’m reading this book.” And I am so glad I did.

Continue reading What Librarians are Really Hiding: A Review of The Accidental Keyhand (The Ninja Librarians #1)

An American Bibliophile in London

This will hopefully (time permitting) be the first of several posts about geekdom in the United Kingdom.

I am currently doing my student teaching in a suburb of Manchester.  Each student is required to bring in a book to read during their downtime.  I, being the bibliophile that I am, immediately wanted to know what each student was reading.  What’s really cool is that though they may be reading the same books as we do in the States, the covers are completely different for many famous books.

Then this weekend I visited London and went to FIVE BOOKSTORES IN ONE DAY.  Here are some of the covers I saw that I thought were way cooler than their American counterparts:

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.  The only disappointing thing about this edition, is that in the U.S. edition, the font is colored (Shiver has blue font, Linger has green, and Forever has red) and these just had normal font color.

SAM_2311

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading An American Bibliophile in London