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Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Intimidating Books!

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Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fantastic Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic:

JANUARY 29TH – Top 5 intimidating books

I chose to go with books still on my TBR that I’m a bit afraid to start because of the commitment they require.  (I may have included six books instead of five because I couldn’t decide, but shhhh!)

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malazanGardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen) by Steven Erickson: Adult fantasy is always a little intimidating, but none more so than this book in particular. It’s not especially long – for adult fantasy 666 clocks in at just shy of average – but it’s ridiculously dense. I think I read the first chapter a few years ago and had to put it down because it was just too much.  It’s also the first of TEN books, all of equal or longer lengths. It’s a time commitment and one hell of an investment.  Not to mention that I’ve heard a lot of people say that it takes a long time to really understand what’s going on; the author just sort of tosses you in and you’re left to fend for yourself. But I’ve heard so many great things about this series that I really want to give it a shot, at least.


93134The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe: This is THE Gothic novel, but classics are always such a hit or miss for me that I’m afraid to take on such a huge tome when I might end up struggling with it. In general I think I like Gothic novels (lmao I think I’ve read all of two), but not only is this one long and dense, it’s super old (published in 1794), so I’m also up against outdated language that may make the reading process much slower than it otherwise would be.


271276Middlemarch by George Eliot: I’ve heard such great things about this book from people I respect, but again, it’s a hit or miss classic, and it clocks in at a whopping 900 pages! It’s written a bit more recently than Udolpho, in 1871, and I’m actually a tiny bit obsessed with the 19th century, but this is still a super intimidating read for me.  It’s one of those books people read in high school or English Lit classes and hate, you know? So I don’t know. I want to try it someday though!


29983711Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: So many of my friends on here have read this book and loved it, and it’s definitely subject matter that is interesting to me (Korea and Japan in early 20th century), but it’s also the type of book I normally go out of my way to avoid. Omniscient narration of a family saga? Ordinarily I wouldn’t touch it, but my friends think so highly of it I think I have to at least give it a shot.


870998In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif: So, Ahdaf Soueif is a really prolific and prestigious Egyptian author who is known for incisive commentary on gender and politics.  This book is supposed to be one of her truly great ones, a chronicle of the life of a young Egyptian woman.  I’m always looking to read more literature that directly relates to my heritage, but again, I’m usually not into this type of novel.  I may enjoy all the references to my own years in Egypt and my own culture, but it’s very likely I will struggle through what sounds like a character driven novel.


10692The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: This book is so weird. I don’t think I even understand what it’s about, only that it has something to do with Dracula. I still remember when this book was first published, how frenzied publishing houses were and how much praise was heaped on it.  It also involves old libraries and international travel and rare archives and things that make me shiver in delight! And of course, Dracula! The summary just make it sound so creepy and fascinating, but I’m worried that I’m completely misunderstanding what this book is about and I will end up super disappointed.


Have y’all read any of these books? What were your experiences? Let me know!

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Fancast: Hadestown on Broadway

HADESTOWN ON BROADWAY

Hadestown began as a concept album, way back in 2010.  I fell in love with it immediately, and spent years envisioning how it might be adapted for the stage. In 2016, my dreams came true, and the New York Theater Workshop turned Hadestown into a production which I loved.  Following the successful run at the NYTW, Hadestown went up to the Citadel Theater in Canada in what many are saying is a pre-Broadway run.  I have no doubt that the show will indeed find its way to Broadway soon!

Now, I’m also pretty sure that many of the current cast members will go to Broadway with it, given that some of them are relatively big in theater (Patrick Page, Amber Gray). I do like the current cast, but, as these things always go, I still have a dreamcast in mind, which I will discuss below.  I’ve made sure to embed pertinent videos showcasing the actors’ voices as well, so be sure to check those out! Continue reading “Fancast: Hadestown on Broadway”

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The Writer’s Tag

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Nobody tagged me for this, but I saw it on Reading Every Night and thought it looked like fun! I’ve been writing a lot more recently.  Not only has the quality of my writing improved, but so have my habits. I’ve become more at ease with the kind of writer I am and what works for me.

What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

I write mostly fantasy! I tend to flit between YA and Adult, or fall in that nebulous category right in between, but usually it’s fantasy. Although I do have one women’s fiction/romance work that’s hidden deep within the recesses of my laptop and shall not be seen by any human eyes for a long, long time, if ever.

A lot of the topics I write are things that I want to see in books, so, female friendships, lots and lots of female characters, f/f relationships, men and women being friends and just friends, diverse characters, non-western fantasy settings, women who are not defined by romance, trope subversion, and lots of magic.


How long have you been writing?

For a while! I wrote my first completed short story when I was…twelve, I think? It was a murder mystery called “Jealousy Can Be Murder.” It had a cover page with Microsoft Word images. It was really, really terrible. Right around the same time I started writing Inuyasha and Harry Potter fanfiction.


Why do you write?

I love creating different world and different characters. But I also need to write, because if I don’t, my head gets so cluttered with different thoughts and plots and people that I can hardly think straight. I daydream a lot, and a lot of those daydreams turn into my stories. If I don’t get them on paper, they drive me insane.


When is the best time to write?

There’s never one specific time; it really depends on my mood. Sometimes I’ll be all fancy and go to a nice coffee shop (rarely), but most of the time I’m just sneaking in time to write whenever I can. Usually it’s during my free time at work. Sometimes it’s weekend evenings when the house is quiet.  Sometimes it’s at night after I’ve come home from work. I’ve found that it’s good to write whenever and wherever and not tie it down to a certain aesthetic or anything.


What parts of writing do you love and hate?

The parts of writing I love are…

  • Creating new characters and giving them names and descriptions and personas
  • Creating maps of new worlds and world-building in general
  • The initial burst of energy and inspiration when I can’t stop writing
  • Making pretty sentences

The parts of writing I hate are…

  • Plotting.  I loathe plotting and I always worry that I’m terrible at it. There’s just so much thought that needs to go into plotting, you know? It’s like, is there enough conflict? Do the characters have realized arcs that mesh with the plot? Is there an inciting incident, climax, etc? Is it interesting enough? Is it fast-paced? Is there a twist? Where’s the twist? Is the twist shocking enough? Does everything make sense? It’s obviously the crux of the novel but I’m so insecure about it.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

Whenever I’m “blocked” it’s usually just because I’m stuck with something to do with the plot. This usually comes in the outline stage, since I’ve discovered I don’t like to start writing unless I have a completed outline. Anyway, whenever this happens, I either go read another book to get some inspiration or try to find inspiration from something else. Pinterest is great for that.


Are you working on something at the moment?

I’m working on many things! I have a fantasy WIP that I’m pretty serious about; it’s fully outlined and I’m halfway done writing it. Once I’ve edited it I want to start querying for agents with it, so fingers crossed. I have a bunch of other WIP novels in the works, and also a bunch of short stories.


What are your writing goals this year?

  1. Finish my current WIP, edit it, and start querying.
  2. Finish the two short stories I’ve been working on since forever.
  3. Outline another WIP.

I don’t quite know who to tag (I suck at tagging anyway), but if obviously if you feel like doing this, go forth, and pingback to me so I can read your answers!

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Top 5 Tuesday: Series I Want to Start This Year

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Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fantastic Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic:

JANUARY 9TH – Top 5 series I want to start this year

I’m generally not especially good with series unless they really, really wow me. I find that most series don’t really need to be series, or at least don’t need to be as long as they end up being. Furthermore, I have a really, really crappy memory, so I often need to wait until the entire series is out so that I can read it all at once, which is kind of annoying. I don’t always dislike series, however – there are some series that I wish would stretch longer, because I love them so much! Fingers crossed that the ones I talk about below turn out to be like that! Continue reading “Top 5 Tuesday: Series I Want to Start This Year”

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Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books on my 2018 Bucketlist

top-5-tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fantastic Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic:

JANUARY 9TH – Top 5 books on my 2018 bucket list


28449207Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: I’ve been meaning to pick this up since the day it came out. It’s even on my Kindle! I’ve also been meaning to read her first series (I actually read the first book in it years ago, liked it a lot, but didn’t continue with the series for some reason). I’ve heard some amazing things about Strange the Dreamer, so here’s hoping I finally get to it this year.


26114463Nevernight by Jay Kristoff: This is a controversial book, begetting strong feelings of either love or hate in its readership. Apparently it’s written in a really weird way, but the plot sounds so damn cool! It makes me nervous that it’s shelved as DNF for so many people, but I just have to check it out.

 


25895524Red Sister by Mark Lawrence: Killers nuns. The books begins like so: “It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy Convent, Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men.” I mean. Need I say more? Plus I’ve been meaning to read more adult fantasy, so this can be my foray into that.

 


19547856Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: I’ve only read one book by this author but I loved it, so I want to pick up this more famous novel of hers! Everyone talks about this book. Plus it’s apparently turning into a movie this year so I’d like to read it before that.

 


35527721The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: This book is sitting and waiting for me on my Kindle and is also being turned into a film. I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten to it yet, except that I generally don’t prefer YA Contemporary. But this book has gotten so much praise that I’m certain it will be unlike any other YA Contemporary I’ve ever read.