Ten Things on My Reading Wishlist

Today is another Tuesday, which means it is time for the Broke and The Bookish’s top ten feature. This week’s topic is the Top Ten Things on my reading wishlist.

10. Steampunk YA Westerns

Revenge and the Wild was a steampunk western that I enjoyed it tremendously.  That’s the only steampunk western I have heard of.

9. Steampunk Alternate History

I have not read that much steampunk (something I am trying to remedy). But, I have read Scott Westerfeld’s take on one of the world wars retold with a steampunk twist. The concept is something that stuck with me. To make things even more exciting for me, I want different countries as settings and their histories being twisted with magic and technology. That sounds so lovely.

 

8. Girl Gang

I just want a group of girls being friends and kicking butt. They can be pirates, ninjas, witches, vampires, I don’t care. It’s definitely on my reading wishlist to see a group of female characters bonding and not having a guy in common. Sort of like how The Raven Boys were friends before Blue ever met them. Girls who are friends regardless of love interests is my jam.

7. Gender-swap Historical Fiction

Sort of like And I Darken (I have not read it yet, but the concept is something I live for, honestly). I want a female Alexander the Great, Hamilton (or any Founding Father), Newton, Einstein.

 

6. Queer disabled people as main characters

As much as I love Magnus/Alec, I am excited for Cassie Clare’s books that center on queer characters more. That’s definitely something on my reading wishlist: more queer characters, especially disabled characters. YA is lacking in terms of including diverse characters. I want to see people from minorities be the chosen ones who go on adventures and do great things.

5. Darkness and Light attraction

Another theme I have on my reading wishlist. Lightness needs darkness to exist. I am tired of seeing the “dark side” reduced to being “evil.” No, it’s a different perspective and surely there’s a middle ground to reach. It’s not “we defeated evil” type of narrative. I want a genuine grappling, and an active back and forth as those sides reach a resolution, if any. Deathless by Cathrynne M. Valente is often shared as an option for those who were upset by the pairing in The Grisha trilogy. It’s definitely on my radar. We need more of that kind of storytelling though.

4. Classics Retold

There are characters I wish got their own stories. Like Mary Bennett, Tiger Lily, Pearl from The Scarlet Letter, Lady Macbeth. A transgender Shakespearean retelling of Twelfth Night would be swell. I used to really be fascinated with the priest in The Scarlet Letter. Just that guilt and his relationship with the villain. Can someone get on that, please?

3. Matriarchy

Keeping up with the theme of girl gangs, I want entire matriarchal societies presented in stories. With warriors and villains and everything.

2. Villains and Anti-Heroes

Wouldn’t be nice to see more stories told from the “villain’s” point of view? I just want a little complexity in characters and how we discuss them. Please don’t do the whole, “Oh, she fell in love” thing. No. There are other reasons that could tip someone over. And, sometimes, “evil” is just a different perspective. I really want a Lady Macbeth story so bad.

 

 1. Retelling of Old Myths/Stories

While I understand the charm of retelling the stories of Greek gods/goddesses, I dream of slews of stories revolving around some old stuff I read in college. Like Cuchlain’s story (The Tain, I believe is what it’s called?). I enjoyed his story way too much because it was so weird and fun.

 

Your Turn

What are your top ten ideas on your reading wishlist? Please share them in the comments!

Image courtesy of Couleur on Pixabay. Not a genre I normally reach for, middle-grade books
For this week's Top 10 Tuesday, I am twisting the prompt a bit. Rather than
**Image by Jill 111 on Pixabay  As someone who struggles with a mood disorder, I

May Week 2 TBR and Goals

It’s time for May Week 2 TBR and a bunch of goals, while balancing mental illness problems. I am trying to be gentle with myself because kindness is the best policy, I feel. I normally rely on love and appreciation with others, and I am realizing that perhaps it would be good to apply this to myself.

So, May, week 2, is going to be awesome.

To be Read Pile

I am sure there are readathons going on (I checked), but I am determined to start wrapping up some series. I also have started a few books and never picked them back up. They need to get some love.

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkowski

The Raven King by Maggie Steifvater

 

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Shakespeare still sounds like a good idea, and so I want to to put the goal on here. Hopefully, I can start reading a play this week. I don’t know which play I can start with, but I know I like the tragedies more than the comedies. However, I want to read both.  

I don’t have a collection of poems, but I want to read more poetry online. It will take me a bit to figure out logistics. The intent is set!

Goals

I want to keep myself busier. Language learning is humbling and frustrating, but I want to give it a go again. My brother showed me how the library has online resources for languages. SO. I would like to learn some more. I may even venture into learning more than just French and Spanish (like, Dutch! How cool would that be! Maybe some German? It all feels possible now that the resources are available). I also want to do yoga some more. Finally, I want to pick up drawing. I am not the best at any of these things, which is scary. But, I think these activities can help me grow as a person.

At the same time, I want to be okay with not doing these activities every day. My mental illnesses make it hard to start following a schedule and I need to accept that this part of my daily living. It’s not going to come easy to me. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a worthwhile activity. It’ll be more about showing up and doing the work when I can handle it.

 

 

Image courtesy of Stocksnap on Pixabay. I had to do this. Breaking the rules was
Image courtesy of Predra6 on Pixabay. For week 2 of July 2018, I am combining
Tom Topple has started a few days ago. A readathon created by the glorious Sam

May Week 1 Wrap Up

Welcome to my May Week 1 wrap up post. I have been having some ups and downs this past week, but I have definitely accomplished a lot. Let’s start breaking down the week.

Read Books Pile

It is not exactly a pile if there is only two or three books in it, right? I did read faster than before, because I have managed to dedicate more time to reading.

A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab

I love this trilogy so much, and it didn’t take me long to finish this one. It’s a giant book, but a lot of intense things happen, and I loved it. The stakes are definitely high in this book. But, if you love Kell, Lila, Rhy, and Alucard, you’re in for a fun ride. And an emotional time, too.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Listen. I don’t like the main ship in these books, which affected my enjoyment of it. I like Nikolai a lot, and I had an emotional time reading this book because of what happens to him. To me, I believe that Alina deserves better than an ordinary life. I wanted to see her rise to power and to become the Sun Summoner. To have her just give up all of this feels like cheating.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

I read most of this book when I was feeling too sad to do much. It is still fun to be reading

Music Pile 

“So Good At Being in Trouble” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Goals

This first week of May, an event was held online. It was called the Do-a-Thon, where participants lived mindfully and tried to use time to accomplish goals. I did pretty well! I read every day, and cleaned up my closet and reorganized clothes. I did some yoga twice a week.

Overall, it was a wonderful event and I learned a lot about myself. I hope the event happens again! In the meantime, I will be trying to live more mindfully daily.

Your Turn

How was your week? Did you accomplish brilliant things? Share in the comments so I can celebrate with you!

Image courtesy of username 1103489 on Pixabay. In my first week of July, I have
Goodbye June, you were a rough month. Growing up is hard work, but I am
Week 3 of June included a loss of my blog's purpose. In a sense, I

T5W: Top 5 Science Fiction and Fantasy Covers

Top 5 Wednesday (T5W) is a Goodreads Group where we discuss topics about books. The link to this awesome place will be included right here. This week, we are discussing our Top 5 Science Fiction and Fantasy Covers. As a genuine attempt to get more excited about the books I have, I want to make this list focused on some of my unread books.

Let’s go!

5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

For some reason, when I first saw this book, I was kind of terrified. I am easily scared, and I don’t like horror. But, I have seen the movie and it was nice. I like the characters, and the fantastical world Riggs creates in these books.

 

4. The Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Well. I’ll be honest: I heard this is fantasy/magical realism and that it is charming. So, I got it. But, other than that, I don’t know much about it.

 

3. A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

This cover is just love for me. I am fascinated by magic, particularly when set against very high stakes. The Chosen One narrative is one to be messed with, I believe, because, well…why not? It’s about time we start offering stories that test themes we have had for so long in fiction. This book just sounds like fun.

 

2. Anything Cinda Williams Chima, especially Flamecaster 

Have I discussed how, a while ago, Cinda Williams Chima talked to me on Twitter? She was the nicest and most patient person ever, and so I got the courage to gather her books ever since. Much excitement to experience her writing.

   1.  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This book will kill me. I just know it. It’s kind of daunting, I admit. From what I have heard, there’s different points of view and time lines in the story. And, that scares me, because, yo I am just here to have a good time. But, I am also here to learn new things and experience incredible writing. And, this book is apparently written well. Also: the cover is gorgeous.

 

Your Turn

What are some of the best covers of fantasy and science fiction books on your TBR? Share them in comments!

In honor of Father's Day, the wonderful Top 5 Wednesday group assigned a topic for
    Today's Top 5 Wednesday is all about science fiction and fantasy authors. More
  For this week's Top 5 Wednesday, the prompt was to share the funniest characters

TTT: Top 10 TBR Books With Girls on the Cover

For TTT this week, we have a topic regarding covers. TTT, or Top Ten Tuesday, is a feature in The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, we get a fabulous topic to discuss on our blogs. This week is about covers. Rather than focusing on all of my favorite covers, I am going to focus on those on my TBR with girls on them.

10. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

I just ordered this book, but it was somewhat tricky to find the cover I wanted (this one here. The original one is so ugly).

Ahem.

Seriously, though, the older cover is really ugly.

At any rate, I am very excited to get a copy of this series, because: 1) Jane Austen style of writing, 2) MAGIC! 3) Cool writer, too. Like, I have been looking through her YouTube channel, and she is learning French (like me!), she’s a puppeteer. Her advice video on self editing gave me life.

I cannot wait to meet her characters.

9Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

This author has been blessed by the cover lords. I just adore all her covers. She writes steampunk, mainly. Some of it is YA and some is Adult. I got most of her work already, and I am going to binge read all of it. She is such a charming lady, too. She dresses up for interviews and conventions.

I’m hoping that one day, I can be a writer who creates fun stories. Gail Carriger is definitely someone I look up to in that regard. Also, purple is a dear color to me, so this cover just gives me life.


8. These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman 

Look at the sweet couple and the lovely stars! Oh, I am so thrilled to have this trilogy. While I haven’t read Illuminae yet, I am equally as excited to read this book.

The girl’s dress is so dreamy. Of course, there is also fear in me as I see this cover, because I doubt the writer’s will make things easy for these two lovely people.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t this trilogy a companion series or is that Illuminae? 

I hope the characters are as charming as they look.

7. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

believe that’s a girl on the cover, and I like her stance a lot. All I know about this book is that it has to do with great female friendships, which is the reason why I got this book and its sequel.

Friendship is something I value a lot in my life (literary and personal). I like reading about it and living it.

 

6. Splintered by AG Howard 

Alice in Wonderland inspired literature is not something I normally gravitate towards. The first time I read Alice in Wonderland was in grad school. It didn’t really leave much of an impression until I got diagnosed with my mental illnesses. Then, I appreciated it a lot. This book touches on the idea of Alice having a mental illness. Plus, this is a generational thing, and I am excited to see a dark and fascinating Wonderland.

LOOK AT THAT COVER, THOUGH!!

 

5. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

I heard some mixed things about this book, but whatever, I like Richelle Mead enough to give it a try. I’m fascinated with the idea of three different perspectives of the same story. It is a challenging way to tell a story. Some would say it is easy or a money grab, but I remain rather hopeful. Richelle Mead hasn’t failed me before.I tend to like her writing.

 

4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 

Laini Taylor is a remarkable writer. I know this much when I read some of her first book. So, I have been gathering her work. She is also blessed by the cover lords. Her books covers are fascinating and striking. I am a fan. Hopefully, I can pick this trilogy soon.

3. Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

Everyone who reads this series hates Lucia. Naturally, I am reading the series for various reasons: 1) Lucia Protection Patrol, 2) Magnus, 3) Conflicting companions, 4) Fantasy, 5) Cover love.

Perhaps I’ll dislike Lucia, too, but I doubt it, really. Look how cool she is. I like her already. *Protects Lucia*

 

2. The Selection by Kiera Cass 

To be quite honest, I have crap self esteem and put this book away out of fear of judgement. But, I got over it, and got the rest of the trilogy. From what I hear, no one likes the daughter of the couple from this series. So, I am avoiding those books. But, The Selection sounds like a cute engaging story. I am looking forward to it. Plus, Kiera Cass is just the sweetest person. Her interviews on YouTube are adorable and charming.

 

1. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Ever since I have The Infernal Devices, I have been very interested in steampunk. I picked up this series by Kady Cross recently. From what I gather, the stories involve a variety of characters with steampunk-y things in their lives. I am curious to see how the girls communicate and how they collaborate (I hope they collaborate!).

 

Your Turn:

What are some of your favorite covers on your TBR? Any of them feature girls? Share in the comment. I look forward to chat with you in comments.

Image courtesy of Couleur on Pixabay. Not a genre I normally reach for, middle-grade books
For this week's Top 10 Tuesday, I am twisting the prompt a bit. Rather than
**Image by Jill 111 on Pixabay  As someone who struggles with a mood disorder, I

May Week 1 TBR, Goals, and Doathon

After disappearing for a while there, I am hoping to pick up the pace around here. For May, week 1 (!!), I have a TBR, and a list of goals to share with you today.

Before I begin, I want to share the Do-A-Thon with you all. You can read the specific announcement here on Mollie’s Blog. But, basically, it’s about accomplishing things that were always on bucket lists. Intentional living! Living with purpose, and doing things that better your life and the lives of others. My attempt at joining the Do-A-Thon event is here.

It’s a bunch of humble goals, I admit.

To Be Read:

A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

and perhaps the following two:

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkowski

Raven King by Maggie Steifvater

Basically, I am hoping to finish up some series to start some more.

Moreover, Shakespeare calls my name, so I am hoping to read a play from the collection I have of his work.

Goals

I am attempting to follow the goals I always set for myself. If you’re new here, I suffer from an array of mental illnesses and I struggle to get things done often. For the Do-A-Thon, I am essentially trying to do the things I always wanted to start doing regularly. A brief list of the things I want to fully incorporate into my life: yoga, meditation, reading, and writing.

So, hopefully, I can be more active around the blogging sphere of things. And, of course, just trying to keep my head above water the whole time.

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Your Turn

What will you be reading this week? Do you have a huge list of books to read, or are you keeping it small this week? Let me know what you think of the books I picked, too! And, if you want, I would love to have you join us in the Do-A-Thon.

 

 

            Image Courtesy of VABo2040 on Pixabay  Four weeks ago,
    I figured a change of pace would be a good idea for the
I spend a lot of time online. Perhaps I'm not alone in this, but it

T5W: Authors I Want to Read More From

T5W, or Top 5 Wednesday, is a meme that is run by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. The Goodreads Group is right here, for you to check out topics and participate with us. This week, my T5W is about authors I want to read more from. Some of these authors, I have not read anything from at all. Others are ones I have read a work or two by them, and I want to read more. But, over all, they are authors I would like to read more from regardless of how much I have read from them already.

Let the list of my top 5 authors I would like to read more from begin!

5. Rae Carson

I have read the first book of her Girl of Fire and Thorns. While her pacing is a little off in that book, I remain interested in her work because I am hoping to finish up that trilogy and read her new trilogy. She writes complex worlds and nuanced character development.

4. Cinda Williams Chima

Slowly, I have been gathering up her books. Now that I have read the first book of Mistborn, I want to explore high fantasy some more. While I am interested in reading more Sanderson, I want to also read fantasy from women’s own perspective.

3. Brandon Sanderson

Having said that, I really enjoyed most of the Final Empire and so I want to read more Sanderson. Over the past year, I have been collecting some of his work (a lot of his work, actually). Part of this interest stems from selfish reasons. Sanderson talks about how he is a slow and steady writer, and I am pretty slow when it comes to writing as well. And, I think he writes poignant relationships, vast worlds; how can I not be interested?

2. Neil Gaiman

Stardust is one of my most treasured movies, and I want to write fantastical and dreamlike narratives just like Gaiman. He seems to have a humble, yet strong sense of style and poise in his fiction. All I can think of is how great it would be to pick up some stylistic lessons from reading his work.

  1. Roshani Chokshi

Lush beautiful writing, based on what little I have read from her, and culturally rich stories. As a wanna-be author of color, I am inspired by other women of color who write stories where they are meshing their cultural influences with traditional mainstream stories. So, Hades/Persephone story infused with Indian mythology is what I have heard about her first book, which sounds brilliant to me.

 

            Image Courtesy of VABo2040 on Pixabay  Four weeks ago,
    I figured a change of pace would be a good idea for the
I spend a lot of time online. Perhaps I'm not alone in this, but it

TTT: Book Turn Offs

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (TTT), I will be discussing my book turn offs. In other words, they are elements/themes/techniques that annoy me and pull me out of the story. Actually, it is sometimes so bad that I put down the book and give up on it completely. Before I rant onward, let me explain what TTT is. Top Ten Tuesday is a feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. In it, book bloggers list their top tens based on topics suggested by the site.

Let’s begin with the turn offs.

 

10. Info-Dumps

Oh man, when books start to have massive paragraphs (or series of paragraphs) with unnecessary information in them, I get frustrated. World building and character descriptions tend to be the reasons behind this technique. It tends to happen a lot in fantasy novels.

 9. Unnecessary Flashbacks

This happens when authors are trying to explain the relationships between characters, or the reasons for their behaviors. But, I find it distracting to be suddenly reading about younger versions of the characters for no reason. This is not David Copperfield. 

8. Too Much Love Can Kill You

Characters who have lots of love interests are also frustrating. This is particularly annoying when the character is unsure of her choice (it’s always a girl).

Why is polyamory not an option, by the way?

7. Lack of Diversity

I am noticing this a lot in contemporary fiction. Why are there no queer characters in the cute contemporary stories? Where are the people of color in fantasy? How come nobody is disabled in any of the stories? It is never openly admitted, mostly suggested or implied.

Or, characters who fit into minority groups are given small roles in the stories.

6. Romanticized Mental Illness

All the books that simplify mental illness, and reduce it to one symptom, make me upset. The same narrow-minded approach to mental illness manifests in romanticized portrayal of it. The glorification of eating disorders, or self harm, or suicide, all of it just cause rage in me.

5.  Hyper-Sexual Presentation of Characters

I’m all for positive portrayals of sexuality in stories, but the problem is the overemphasized value of sex. Like, surely a character dealing with the apocalypse has more important things to do in her life than think about how hot the zombie is. Or, how about characters who make out every other page? I am not a fan.

4. Disabled Life < Able-Bodied Life

The assumption that a life with a disability is somehow less worthy is infuriating. Some authors like to show supernatural events as a way to “cure” someone’s disability. And that is so damaging. We don’t need to be fixed, thanks.

This leads me to the following narrative.

3. White Savior Narratives

No, it’s not some white person’s narrative to realize their full potential through the suffering of people of color. How about you give your people of color characters some agency and have them be their own heroes?

2. Morality Tales

Rather common in classics are the moralistic approaches to sharing narratives. In it, anyone who deviates from the norm is presented as evil or doomed. And, I am not all about that life. Stop shaming people for not conforming or settling for some old-school notion. But, I also think it could be tempting to present this type of tales in young adult literature as well.

 

  1. Time Travel

This is such a turn off for me. I like messy situations and having to cope with uncomfortable things to develop as a character. It’s not fun, and I know it’s much easier to turn back time to “fix” it. But, no. It’s not for me.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Couleur on Pixabay. Not a genre I normally reach for, middle-grade books
For this week's Top 10 Tuesday, I am twisting the prompt a bit. Rather than
**Image by Jill 111 on Pixabay  As someone who struggles with a mood disorder, I

Do-A-Thon TBR

The lovely Mollie from MollieReads created the #Do-A-Thon. It will be taking place during the first week of May. The event involves finding ways to live more mindfully, and to tackle the challenging things we never quite get to do often. So, here’s my Do-A-Thon “TBR.”

Do one thing that scares you or do something that challenges the story you tell yourself.

I have a very bad relationship with my body. Over the years, I have developed some disordered thinking and eating. So, I want to: be more mindful of what I eat, how much I eat. Facing my own body image issues by being more understanding of my eating habits will scare me, I know it. But, I think it’ll help me a lot by challenging my self narrative.

Rather than being a product of medications’ side effects, I get to be in control of my food intake and wellness.

  • Complete a project (creative or otherwise) that you’ve been putting off.

I need to sort through my closet and organize it better. In addition, I would like to revisit my poetry and wrap up some of the poems I did not finish. I have a lot of them jotted on my iPods.

  • Do something that involves someone else or do something for someone else.

This one makes me panic. I can try to comment on blogs more often during the week? And, I want to talk more on Goodreads and Twitter as well.

  • Learn something new.

I am going to try to do yoga every day of that week as well, to help foster a gentler approach to my relationship with my body. I would like to introduce physical flexibility again, because it used to bring me so much joy. While I used to practice yoga before getting too sick, I have gained so much weight, that it will be a whole new experience now.

Probably, I will aim for practicing through Yoga with Adrienne.

  • Do something to foster a calm or welcoming environment.

Read for an hour or two every day! I feel much better when I read. And, I want to live tweet or GR update my way through my reading experience.

 

            Image Courtesy of VABo2040 on Pixabay  Four weeks ago,
    I figured a change of pace would be a good idea for the
I spend a lot of time online. Perhaps I'm not alone in this, but it

T5W: Top 5 Queer Reads

 

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday (T5W) is about our top 5 queer reads. As always, T5W was created by Lainey from Ginger Reads Lainey, and now it is run by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes.  Here’s a link to the group. I have a couple of books with my favorite queer relationships in them, or queer characters in general.

Let’s start.

5. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

I don’t remember the brother’s name in this book. But, you know, him. The loveliest surprise is when the magical prince falls for the queer boy. Beautiful story, and it is not about the sexual orientation. Like, no one gives these characters a hard time for being queer.

And that makes me so happy. I look forward to live in a world like that.

 

4. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Enemies to lovers time! I adore the tension between Simon and Baz. It gives me life. I am here for it. Baz, with his cynicism and Simon with his honest fury, are perfect together. Absolutely superb. This is the kind of stuff I wish happened in books often.

In its exploration of “evil,” this book continues to be on my mind. While, yes, great, opposites may attract, I also think of how Simon perceived Baz. It is very reminiscent of some Austen novel. Just the lack of communication, and the grandness of their relationship as it acts as a form of commentary on good, evil, and the chosen ones in stories..

3. Simon Against the Homo Sapiens’ Agenda by Becky Albertalli 

I will always hate Martin.

No, seriously, though, I think the whole blackmailing in this novel was heartbreaking. Still, the book has great representation and relationships. Also, Blue is the sweetest and Simon is hilarious. I’d befriend them.

 

2. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Mark Blackthorn is just so honest about himself. I think his relationships are complicated. I cannot wait to see what will happen with him in the future. He is definitely a fascinating character, as he adjusts to life in the Shadowhunter community after being with faeries.

 

  1. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Steifvater

I live for Ronan Lynch and Adam Parrish. Both of them led rough lives. While I have yet to start the final book, I am hoping that they can lead happy lives.

In honor of Father's Day, the wonderful Top 5 Wednesday group assigned a topic for
    Today's Top 5 Wednesday is all about science fiction and fantasy authors. More
  For this week's Top 5 Wednesday, the prompt was to share the funniest characters