Thursday, December 1, 2016

October & November 2016 | Monthly Wrap Up(s)

Well October and November were certainly... something, let me tell you. The end of October was possibly just the best part of my year, if not the last few years. So many friends together for LeakyCon, and LeakyCon itself just was fantastic this year, and I miss everyone so much - even with the texting and skype, of course (Well, google hangouts are easier).

And Brianna - who I saw for the first time in over two years at Leaky, see why it was so ahhhh? - and I accidentally started like a full Sanderson reread? There's a few each of us haven't read, but mostly we're focusing on the cosmere. I'm currently in the middle of Words of Radiance (currently kind of taking a break from it because everything is a little crazy, we'll get into that). Really mostly cosmere, but I do want to reread books 1 & 2 of Alcatraz and then read the rest since all the new pretty editions are out, too.


  • Asking for it (Asking for It #1) by Lilah Pace (4/5)
  • Slaugherhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (5/5)
  • Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo (5/5)
  • Flight by Sherman Alexie (I still don't know?? I would recommend checking it out, though)
  • Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo (5/5)
  • The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archives, #1) by Brandon Sanderson (5/5) (really 10/5)
  • Dispatcher by John Scalzi (3/5)
  • Her Halloween Treat (Men at Work #1) by Tiffany Reisz (4/5)
  • Her Naughty Holiday (Men at Work #2) by Tiffany Reisz (4/5)
  • Something Nice (Original Sinners #1.5) by Tiffany Reisz (5/5)
  • Screwdrivered (Cocktail #3) by Alice Clayton
  • The Siren (Original Sinners #1) by Tiffany Reisz (5/5)
  • Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J Maas (3/5)
  • Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J Maas (3/5)

Graphic Novels/Manga:

  • Giant Days, Volume 3 by John Allison, Max Sarin (4/5)
I wouldn't say I had a bad two reading months - especially because I hit my goal of 100 books for the year (book books) at the very end of November, like the 30th, so that's fantastic. However, in november of books it doesn't feel like a lot. To be fair to myself, though, I've been working on Stormlight, as I mentioned. And, for some reason, I read those books super slow - I love every second of them, but they're just dense for me for some reason. (Which is why I'm still only halfway through WoR, as well). 

To off set that I read romance and YA Fantasy because I read those two the fastest and they're my light fluff reads - which is something I just noticed as I was going through this list. Also a few audiobooks because at the beginning of November a friend brought the Sims back into the forefront of my brain, new expansion pack released. and that was the end of that - so much audiobook time, though. 

Anyway - read quite a few Tiffany Reisz, accidentally started a reread of her Original Sinners series, which I love. Also loving her Men at Work series, but it's definitely not on the same level as Original Sinners - it's good, though, and the banter is pretty great. 

Six of Crows I already want to reread - I started it last year and stopped, but this time. Whoo, there was no stopping me, I tore through both books and loved them both so much. I love the characters and how we see how the world is after the events of the Grisha trilogy. And they're diverse, I love Jesper to my soul. And also Kaz has like chronic pain?? I just love this duology??

I don't normally go over everything I read but - Throne of Glass. I started the first book the year I came out because I got an ARC and then stopped halfway through about and never continued. And so I ended up picking it up again - audiobook, there's a theme here - and I finished it but I don't think I liked it? It's interesting and some of the scenes and enjoyed, but overall? I've very confused about how I feel about the first two books in this series, and I guess I'll keep reading it? I want to know what happens, and I've been spoiled a little for later books, but do I care? I honestly don't know.

But it's been a weird as fuck week, and also currently in the middle of WoR so anything else just isn't Sanderson, and also it's just been a weird as fuck year, to be honest. But, yeah, this week - I think I was casually diagnosed with scoliosis? But the chiropractor thinks he can fix it? But... scoliosis? it's been a weird few days, I need to see an actual doctor, I think? (I'm so confused, about life and books and really just everything).

Anyway, we'll figure it out eventually. I hope you had a good months in general and reading wise, we live in a post election world now which doesn't feel good but there's things we can still do to fight back. (Yeah, I'm bringing politics in at the last minute). And my back doesn't hurt that much at the moment, so everything will be okay? I don't know anymore, 2016 is almost over, though. Hopefully the craziness doesn't carry to 2017. (Though...)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September 2016 | Monthly Wrap Up

September was a month. I thought all of the stress would be gone as of the end of August - hahaHahahA - but it wasn't exactly a bad month, either. There were some readathons happening, which I alway something I enjoy. Three this month, unless I'm forgetting one: Tackle Your TBR, diverseathon, slowathon.

Diverseathon was a last minute one because of stuff that was happening over in the YT book community (booktube, if you will), and I think it was a great idea. And it sounded like one they're going to try and do again, with some more preparation. I didn't really take part in any of the chats, I kept forgetting because they weren't all at the same time, but I answered some of the questions after and read through everyone elses answers. It's definitely a really important thing to talk about, I'd check out the hashtag on twitter (#diverseathon).

Now to wrap up the books and such - I actually did one weekly wrap up, to wrap up mostly diverseathon (didn't finish my slowathon book)

  • Be My Fantasy (Fantasy Series #1) by Alisha Rai (4.5/5)
  • Stay My Fantasy (Fantasy Seires #2) by Alisha Rai (4.5/5)
  • Wife by Wednesday (Weekday Brides #1) by Catherine Bybee (4/5)
  • Married by Monday (Weekday Brides #2) by Catherine Bybee (4/5)
  • Fiance by Friday (Weekday Brides #3) by Catherine Bybee (3.5/5)
  • Single by Saturday (Weekday Brides #4) by Catherine Bybee (4/5)
  • Taken by Tuesday (Weekday Brides #5) by Catherine Bybee (4/5)
  • Seduced by Sunday (Weekday Brides #6) by Catherine Bybee (4/5)
  • Treasured by Thursday (Weekday Brides #7) by Catherine Bybee (4/5)
  • Not Quite Dating (Not Quite #1) by Catherine Bybee (3/5)
  • Love Beyond Body, Mind, and Space: An Indigenous LGBT Anthology by various awesome people (5/5)
  • Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankin (5/5)
  • Ash by Malinda Lo (5/5)
  • The Dark Wife by S.E. Diemer (4/5)
  • The Bane Chronicles by Cassie Clare (3/5)
  • Duma Key by Stephen King (5/5)
  • Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Ridget (4/5)
Graphic Novels/Comics/All that:
Edit: No, I did read a graphic novel, past self, and it was amazing and adorable

  • Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill (5/5)

First off - I read eight books by Catherine Bybee this month, that happened, actually in ten days. The reason for this is because I wanted to finally finish the Weekday Brides series since the last two books were out. And so I ended up rereading the other five, because I remembered very little of what happened, and finishing out the series. They're fun, a little ridiculous, fluffy romances. Basically: they're cute (side note: the sex scenes aren't the best, but at least they weren't super cringe worthy. Some better then ohers).

I'll just link my weekly wrap up here if you want to see my thoughts about all the diverseathon reads, below to Bybee and ending with The Dark Wife - basically, though, all of them were incredible.

Besides that, I read Duma Key. Again. I've lost count at this point, I listened to it on audio because, for some reason, I just really love the audiobook for this one? I mean, I've read the physical book so many times, but the audio is also a lot of fun. If you've never read a King book - this is probably different then you expect but, in my opinion, the King I like the best. (Duma Key, IT, Bag of Bones, Dreamcatcher - those are among my favorite, though I know that list will expand when I finally get to some of the more popular ones. IT might be my favorite book ever, honestly).

Seven Ways We Lie was really well done but I was also confused for the first 20% - which is probably just my memories fault - and also it was slow to get to start to reveal things. I really enjoyed it, though, even loved it. And was super impressed about how well seven POV's worked, and it's not all tied up in a bow at the end but there aren't too many loose ends that it drives you crazy. And one of the POV characters is pansexual, which is freaking awesome (yes, more this) and it isn't said outright but it seems like Valentine, another POV character, is on the autism spectrum. And it was just really good, I will definitely be picking up whatever she writes next.

I feel really freaking good about this reading month, even though everything is still on fire in life, at least the book thing is going good. (Currently I have a cold, my glasses are broken, and I'm ignoring the whole thing that is the refi. Oh, also, I haven't bought my plane tickets to LeakyCon yet which is in like two weeks). But I am twelve books ahead in my reading challenge of reading 100 book, books so we are all good. Totally fine.

How did your reading go, let me know, or link me to your own monthly wrap up. Any insane and awesome Harry Potter people heading to LeakyCon in October?

On the Blog:
August 2016 | Monthly Wrap Up
#Slowathon | Tackle Your TBR (#TackleTBR)

Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19th | #diveseathon & #slowathon wrap up

Hello, friends, to readathon heaven. I mean, I'd prefer back to back but all at once is also fine. (And while diverseathon and slowathon are over - Tackle Your TBR still has a week left, readathons are my jam).

I have a lot of feelings that this last week promoted - about reading diversely and my privilege as a white person, which I have been aware of before and tried my hardest to... be aware of it and use it correctly, I think that's the best wording I can get. I feel like I've always been aware of the privilege I have, and don't have, but only the last few years have I realized that I can use it.

Anyway - all of my thoughts just aren't coming together. The other thing I wanted to talk about was reading diversely, what this whole week was about. Only the last few years have I purposely tried to read diversely, realized I should - even then, I know I'm not doing as well as I could be. And I'm sure there's a ton of reasons, but one of the reasons is when I'm not in a normal reading schedule - aka: a reading slump, to me - then I just want to read fluffy things. Easy to read things.

And I say this with a lot of love, but normally (mainstream) diverse books are dealing with issues - which I understand, obviously. And it is something I love and look for in diverse books, but I have to be in the right headspace for it - and normally my reading slumps coincide with my 'down times' as I've been calling them, and I just can't. I can't do it.

I'm going to try and be more firm about it because there are books that aren't "issue books," and since I've gotten my kindle paperwhite, I can actually stand to read ebooks for long periods of time. And I know a lot of diverse books are self published because of various reasons - particularly diverse romance because romance is a giant and well selling thing in the industry - and try to be more conscious about not just buying diverse books, but actually reading them.

There's also the fact where I gravitate towards some diverse books more then other - LGBTQIA+ being the most usual for me - and so there are definitely weaknesses in my diverse reading, that I really want to try and fix.

Now - onto what I read this week, and what I'm still actively working on at the moment.

Reading: (finished this week and actively currently-reading)
Mostly Void, Partially Stars (Night Vale Scripts #1) by Joseph Fink, Jeffery Cranor  (5/5)
I've been listening to this podcast for years now - sometime towards the end of their first year of episodes - and I'm still listening. (Did you listen to the new episode this week? Someone got a binural microphone and it was awesome). Anyway - I loved this. There's a few of the older ones I relisten to but most I don't, so it was a lot of fun to relisten by reading. And catching on smaller things I didn't before or forgot. I highly recommend this podcast and everything related to it (also Alice Isn't Dead. I've only listened to a little of Within in the Wires so I can't say I'd recommend it, but what I have heard was awesome)

Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An Indigenous LGBT SciFi Anthology (5/5)
I found this kind of by accident, just looking through the "people also bought" thing on Amazon, and I saw this and was like - that, that's something I want to read. And, going in having heard nothing, I definitely don't regret it. Some of the stories I liked less the others, but there weren't any I didn't like, nothing below 3 stars (which is kind of - it was okay for me, but doesn't mean I didn't like it at all). I'd definitely recommend this - and if anyone has recs of books, fiction and nonfiction, about indigenous characters being two-spritied, I'd love to read them, I seriously want to learn/read more about this. Have found one that seems to be legends retold without those parts cut out, but I'm not sure how good it is so - if you know any.

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankin (5/5)
This wasn't a comfortable reading experience, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't suppose to be. It's very real and very just out there with all of it. I follow sports 0%, so all the stuff with Selena William's surprised me a little, I didn't know any of that. I kind of think everyone should read this, especially if it's going to make you uncomfortable, because it might make you think. It definitely made me think. Besides that - I'm still not sure how to put my thoughts together about this? There's a lot there.

Ash by Malinda Lo (5/5)
All I knew going into this was: f/f retelling of Cinderella. And I was just like: hell yes, take my fucking money. And then I didn't get around to it at first, as I do with a lot of books for some unknown reason with my brain. I'm a little angry at it, though, about this one - this book as incredible. I'd heard Malinda talk - at a LeakyCon lit panel, multiple ones - and so I knew I liked her then, and she definitely sold me on her books, but I just got around to one. I own Adaption, and am now hoping to get to that one soon because - this book. It had all these fairy tale elements and was just amazing - read this book immediately, and then follow me in reading all of Malinda's books. All of them.

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill (5/5)
This was so cute - it was only about 50 pages, but I would of read like a whole series with them having adventures and such. They're both adorable and there's a unicorn, and teaching an ogre how to dance - so cute, I can't handle it.

The Dark Wife by S.E. Diemer (4/5)
Okay. This was way more adorable then I thought it'd be for a Persephone/Hades retelling, even one that's a f/f one. (Sidenote: if anyone knows of more queer myth retellings - please let me know). It was... not slow, but it also wasn't fast paced. That's just the way it was, though, I super enjoyed it. Loved the characters of Persephone and Hades, and also Pallas - all the ladies were awesome, pretty much, and Hermes. Definitely check this one out.

The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archives #1) by Brandon Sanderson
This is a reread and I just - it's so good? Like I remember I was completely in love with it, but... I guess I forgot what that meant, how much I was in love with it. I'm definitely not rushing this one. (Mostly because I don't want to but also because tiny print).

Duma Key by Stephen King
I accidentally started continuing my reread of this - it's September, I have to crochet and this was my current audiobook - and I didn't realize, at first, that it could count towards diverseathon considering Edgar's missing an arm and his hips fucked. And while King didn't get hurt that bad, this did stem from a bad as hell accident he was in. It's one of my favorites

(I said this on Litsy but there's a few King books I read when I was very young - 11 - and they're my favorites and I will reread them over and over until I do. For instance: Duma Key, Dreamcatcher, Bag of Bones. Most importantly: IT. I'll probably reread IT soon just because of the recent movie (remake) hype, cannot wait).

More thoughts on diverseathon here, I wanted to talk about the other stuff up top because it felt very important to my reading. I didn't end up really getting to any of the twitter chats, though I popped in a few times while cooking dinner because priorities (priorities being the food, sorry twitter). However, overall, I think it's just such a great and needed idea.

I think more people will participate if it's planned earlier, because while it felt like there was a good amount, I'm sure some people were put off by the last minute part (I also didn't do it because my heart was so set on slowathon, but I have been trying to focus part of my reading on The Way of Kings because I'd been planning that).

Mostly I think this was a good kick in the ass for me, to remind me I have all of these diverse books I want to read, I own them, they're right there, I've just got to read them. And I talked about this up above, of course, but I'm just saying it again, mostly to remind myself.

There's no shortage of diverse books - POC authors, characters, MC's with different backgrounds, religions, genders, sexualities - as long as you're looking for them, they are there. And after the last week, I have found so many that sound interesting and I'll definitely be looking into - if you've got any books you love by authors of color, and about POC, then please leave them in the comments or let me know somehow. I may have a ton of new recs, but you can never really have enough, can you?

Right now, the end of this week, I've been feeling that: I own so many books I want to read, and there are so many I don't own yet. I want to read like 100 books next week. Which, I guess, is a good feeling but also a stressful one because, obviously, I cannot read 100 books next week. I have enjoyed the slowathon, as well, and slowing down my reading this week - though, honestly, I was too tired to do anything else. Particularly with The Way of Kings, which I read a year ago and remembered the basic things but definitely forgot smaller things, and most of the medium sized things. Cannot wait to inch my way through it more.

Tackle Your TBR still has a week left, so that's what my week wrap up next week will be about - stats and page counts for both week, but I also want to put this ones info here because I don't feel like I've wrapped up a readathon unless I have

Books Read: 4
Graphic Novels/such Read: 1
Pages Read: 1,178 (+ 4 hours, 36 minutes listening to Duma Key)
Time Spent Reading(+ some listening): 15 hours, 16 minutes

(Side note, wow this post is a long one: I also wasn't sure, after writing up my rec posts, about posting them - but I did. Mostly unsure because I didn't feel like there as anything new there, they were pretty well known books. But it is hard to know everything, so maybe someone say something knew. Or didn't realize something was diverse in whatever way. And, hopefully, next time I'll have most and different books to recommend, depending on how soon)

On the blog:

Friday, September 16, 2016

#DiverseAThon | MC's with physical disabilities + MC's with mental health issues (#diversereads)

This is the area here my reading is the worst, honestly. I own a lot of books about characters with mental health problems, and biographies. However - as someone who struggles with depression and anxiety myself - I rarely want to read about it. Which might seem weird to say, especially in a post talking about diverse books, but anxiety is different for everyone (at least that's my experience talking with people/reading things) and so it rarely meets up with mine. And there's enough anxiety contained within me without reading about more. I do, on occasion, crave reading about either, both, or mental health issues I don't have... but it's, honestly, exhausting.

Physical disabilities are different - I've had a lot of health problems in my meer 21 years of existence, am also a medical oddity (heyo joints that bend the wrong way, sometimes dislocate). Saying that, however, so far nothing has gone so far as to disable me from doing everyday things - besides the previously mentioned depression and anxiety.

However, my mom has fibromyalgia, which can be passed down genetically (ah, the things I have to look forward to) and so it is important to me to read books about people with disabilities. But, once again, they're hard to read, emotionally exhaustion. And, honestly, most of the time I read for escapism, to avoid my problems, or just for some plain fun. I say this with no offense, but quite a few books dealing with heavy issues are themselves heavy, and I'm just not in the mood for that a lot.

Saying that - I'm working on it. If you have any recommendations, please leave comments (don't feel like you're writing too much. Any and all I will research and look into and probably add to my TBR).

 by Brian Selznick - if you've been around, and pay attention to middle grade, you've probably head of Selznick's books. With the art and the words - bottom line, they're gorgeous. This one might be my favorite but it's hard to pick. This one also, surprising, has a deaf MC - there are two MC's. And it's been a while, I really need to reread, but I remember how in love with this book I was - while I was reading it, and how after I was recommending it to everyone. He's an incredible artist and storyteller.

Monstress, Volume 1 by Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda - physically disabled MC, POC author and characters. I just have a lot of feelings and I've only read the first three issues of this as of writing this but I'm recommending it anyway. First off: art deco/steampunk, my weakness, with this incredible world that I cannot wait to learn more about. The MC is strange, can't wait to learn more about her, and is missing most of one of her arms, I think it's her left? You just need to fucking read this.

Not Otherwise Specified  by Hannah Moskowitz - mental health, LGBTQIA+, and the MC is a POC. Also a dancer. The mental health aspect is an eating disorder, and she's bisexual (as my memory serves) and it's amazing. I definitely want to reread it, because it as hard to read but just so good. 

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness - bottom line: this book is fucking good. It deals with the kids that aren't the chosen ones, which made me immediately want to read it and I did. It deals with mental health issues and has queer character(s) - can't remember if it's just one or multiple. Either way - incredible book. It's got a tad bit of... whimsy? With snippets about what the chosen ones are doing, what's happened in the past. If you read YA, or have in the past, with chosen one narratives - this one is probably for you.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh - This is one I'm sure people have heard of. I'm still mentioning it because the hype has died down, if you haven't gotten to it yet it's the perfect time. It's funny but resonated with me very deeply. It's just so damn good.

There's got to be some I've forgotten, missed while scrolling through my goodreads. I hope there is, this is pretty pitiful. Please recommend some, any, to me - your favorite books with main characters with disabilities or mental illnesses. (If it's a side character, just let me know, but I'm more interested in MC's at the moment).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

#DiverseAThon | LGBTQIA+ (#diversereads)

So diverse book recommendations is a little vague - diverse covers a lot - but there also huge gaps in my knowledge. A lot of countries I haven't read books from - a lot of LGBTQIA+ and not as many POC as there should be, which I will be getting on. I try to be aware of it but I've also been in such a weird reading mood the last... well, the last year and a half that I haven't done a great job. Better then I was but not great.

I was originally going to stuff them all together - so I'd get it out early in the readathon, incase anyone was still looking for recs. (Though, how could you be, really, with this google doc of heaven). There were just too many of them, I had to split them up. The one place I was lacking the most, though, was physical disabilities and mental health.

There is, however, very little order into how this is going on. Not all of these books - or the ones I'll be recommending in the posts about POC and then about mental illnesses and physical disabilities - are #ownvoices books, but I tried to get as many as I had read that were #ownvoices. However, hat doesn't mean I don't think #ownvoices are incredible important, it is so damn important.

If you're looking for something to read right now - that is short and sweet. Kind of gay, kind of badass and brutal. If you haven't read anything by Catherynne M. Valente you are in for a treat. Her short story The Lily and the Horn is available online for free and is incredible. 

The Trees, Volume 1 by Warren Ellis, Jason Howard (mostly queer but also has POC, one of the main settings in China, and it's just incredible. I'm still not over how amazing this comic was, and am impatiently waiting for volume 2 to finally come out. To me, it was better because of it's diversity. I love when these kinds of things show how different parts of the world react/deal with things. Highly, highly recommended)

David Levithan - the author. You've probably heard of him. I haven't read all his books yet, not by a long shot, but: Love is a Higher Law is one I loved. It's also timely considering it revolves around where the characters were during 9/11, as they're all in New York. It's hard to read but it's amazing. (I can't remember specifics about it but I know there's at least one queer character, I think a gay teenager, but it's fuzzy since I read it in 2012).

Whistling in the Dark by Tamara Allen - queer characters in 1919, one of them was a soldier in World War One (pretty sure both men are gay but I don't remember if they're ever specific about it). Either way - it's gorgeous and New York in this is vivid and beautiful. I loved it and want to reread it soon.

Virgil by Steve Orlando, J.D. Faith - There's a lot going on in this one shot graphic novel. It's set in Jamaica - which is the only thing I've read set there - and follows two gay men in a very homophobic place and time. It's a tad bit very heartbreaking but so worth it. The story is incredible, the art is gorgeous.

Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark - I have a full review of this one. Basically it's written in prose about a transgender and genderfluid (never labeled but heavily hinted) characters. And I cried through most of it because I just felt so much for these characters, wanted to try and show them not everyone was like that. Just, man, I wanted to hug the fictional characters, basically. (The author herself isn't transgender or genderfluid but from what I read she worked closely with many people, teenagers I think, who were).

Ask the Passangers by A.S. King - I loved this book, it's just so damn incredible. The magical realism elements were my favorite, and continue to be in every A.S. King book I read. She's just an incredible writer and this is an incredible book that I really want to reread. The MC is LGBTQIA+ and it has a f/f romance. Also she talks out her problems to the planes that fly over her house and that's part of the magical realism and I loved it so damn much.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - this book destroyed me. If you haven't heard about it - it's an Achilles/Patroclus retelling but with none of the: no, no cousinnsss, totally just friends. Just dudes being dudes. Basically it's perfect?

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson,  - an ongoing comic series that is the shit. It has LGBTQIA+ characters - two of the main girls - their identities aren't clear yet and they're young, but they're not straight. Also, just in general, you should read this comic. Girl power, magical realism, crazy shit going downnn. The art is awesome, I love these characters so damn much. Read it.

All for the Game series by Nora Sakavic - so this is a YA dark contemporary series with LGBTQIA+ characters (yes, multiple) and it has some problems. It's not perfect, but it's... so damn good? It's listed as a romance on goodreads, but that doesn't happen until the last book and isn't ever really romance-y, they've got too many problems. It's the first book I've ever read where the character can be - and I think is suppose to be - read as demisexual/demiromantic and it was kind of incredible? (If you've got any recs with other characters who are demi, please, please, leave pass them onto me in the comments, on twitter. Anything). Trigger warnings: torture, rape, child abuse, self harm, probably more things, just as if you're worried or want clarification. (Really, though, this is my current obsession, I just bought a sweatshirt related to and am actually wearing it as I type this. As one does).

The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz (split into two subseries - The Red Years, The White Years). - dark BDSM erotica series. There are various characters who are gay, straight, bi, and I'm sure many other things, quite a few of them are POV characters. Michael is the most precious of them all. I would recommend reading the White years and then the Red years. Technically the red years are the "earlier" years but they're told through Nora telling them to people in the future, so you'll get super spoiled if your ead them first. Basically: Start with The Siren, then The Angel,  then Then Prince (feelings!!), and so on. Trigger warnings for a lot of things - if you're worried, just ask in the comments and I'll let you know, don't worry about being annoying or judgement. (I'd list them but I know I'd miss some)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

#DiverseAThon | POC (#diversereads)

I'm not sure how I feel about the list I've collected here. Mostly because I feel like most of them are well known books - also a few that aren't by POC, only have POC characters. Which, of course, there's nothing wrong with, but I definitely have got to read more books with POC main characters. 

I'm currently reading Lightspeed: People of Colo(u)r Destory Science Fiction (Issue #73) and I'm only like 125 pages in but I already highly, highly recommend it. (Last year they did Queers Destory SciFi, which I have read one thing from but plan to read more of). There are, of course, some POC author/characters sprinkled in the other two recommendation posts going up this week so be sure to check out those - I list all the diverse themes in the books, with vague plot ideas, most really nothing (I like going in that way and would rather give people the choice of finding out for themselves).

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz - the MC is dominican, as the author himself is, and I am not sure why I loved it so much? Maybe because none of it was anything I think I'll ever experience? And it was beautifully written, just gorgeous, I am at a loss for words on what else to say I just loved it so much.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson - I mean, do I need to say anything? It's written in verse, I think it's won awards. It's beautiful and just - it's so good. (Apparently the audiobook is also amazing? She reads it herself, so when I reread, I'll probably go that route)

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco - the author is from the Philippines, and the whole book is set around a Japanese ghost story. (One I love) I should add that this is a horror book, YA, and has some creepy moment. I really enjoyed it.

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older - the more I think about this book the more I appreciate/love the crap out of it? It was so different then anything else I'd read in a while, at the time, and it's still so different and original. And I'm a little in love with New York and books set there. Let alone art that is more then what it seems. Author and MC POC, with multiple other POC as I remember (I don't remember any white characters but that might be wrong? Or it might of not said). (Also, shallow note,  the cover is fucking gorgeous).

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson - do I need to even say anything else? If you haven't at least read the first volume of this comic and you're a comic reader - what are you doing with your life?

The Wicked and the Divine  - an ongoing comic series. With various POC and queer characters, with an awesome story and gorgeous artwork. If you've been around, you've probably heard about this - if not, go forth and check it out.

Young Avengers - a comic series about this group of teenagers that become known as the Young Avengers. There are characters of color, queer characters. They're young and trying to keep some people safe - it's just so damn good

(Both The Wicked and the Divine and Young Avengers are by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie - who are obviously amazing are writing diverse casts of characters that people fall in love with)

March: Book One, Book Two, and Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell - if you haven't heard of this series of three graphic novels then I have a treat for you. John Lewis is a US Congressman, who also was a key figure in the civil rights movement. And these three books hold those stories. They made me angry, they made me proud (of their ability to be non-violent, that looks like the hardest thing in the world), and shed a lot of tears. A lot of tears. I haven't read book three yet, it just came out recently, but I have no doubt it'll make me feel all those things again, I'll have kleenex ready.

Showa: A History of Japan, 1926 - 1939 by Shigeru Mizuki - if you don't recognize the authors name, that's fine, but he apparently is known as the master of manga. These are illustrated and written by him - translated by Zack Davisson. There's four volumes and they cover a period of Japanese history I knew pretty much nothing about. They cover major events while still focusing on Mizuki's life, starting when he was a young child. I've only read this one so far, but it was incredible. Sadly, Mizuki passed away in 2015 but he's done something truly incredible. I can't wait to read more of this series and the rest of his work.

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol - so it's been a while. But the author is russian, as is the MC, and it has a heavy focus on immigration and then feeling/being different. And it was incredible. I don't want to say anything that isn't true, as it's been a while, but I did rate it 5/5, as with pretty much everything I recommend. 

Gene Luen Yang - I've read Boxers & Saints and American Born Chinese from him and both blew me away. I didn't know what to expect going into either, but they were incredible and gorgeous. There's more of his that I haven't read, which I want to, but I highly, highly recommend the ones I have.

Oh! I almost forget that manga is japanese. It's been a long, long week (month, year, life). Of course, I've talked about Fruits Basket multiple times. It's incredible, heartfelt, silly, adorable, and will make you cry - check it out. Also I've started Dimension W (the anime was so fucking good, the manga is looking to be just as good, I've only read volume 1 but 1-3 are out in the US). And also Deadman's Wonderland, which is not for the faint of heart - it's dark, gorey, strange, intense. But so damn good. And weird as fuck. If you read manga, let me know your favorites - especially if it's Fruits Basket. (You never forget your first)

I've got a good handful of books by POC authors I'd like to get to - also about, of course - so hopefully that'll happen sooner rather then later. If you've got any recommendations yourself that I shouldn't be missing out on - don't be shy to drop them in the comments. Or let me know your thoughts on these books. If you've read them already, if you're planning on picking one (or two, or three) up you haven't read yet. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

#DiverseAThon | September 12th - 19th

I'm not going to talk about the reason why this readathon came about, the point is that it did. And it's awesome. I've been wanting to post about diversity and how important it is, but I just wasn't sure how to do it.

I'm also not sure if I can put it into words or explain why diversity is important to me. It's important to me personally for a mess of reasons that I'm just not comfortable going into - personal and also health related.

However, saying that, all types of diversity and representation are important to me. And if you've got an diverse books - POC, LGBTQIA+, physical disabilities, mental health, or other - then feel free to drop them in the comics, I'm always looking.

I started by having some recommendations and then a list of books I wanted to read - not a TBR because there's too many, just a general list because why not, someone might be looking for a book that one of the ones on my endless TBR fits. However, I realized how long the post was getting. I was originally going to jam them all into one post but apparently theres's a lot of books I love so I guess I'm going to have to cut them into a few posts because whew, so man damn good books.

Those posts will be up through the week and I'll link them at the bottom of this post as they go up, hopefully I remember. I'll be updating my reading progress throughout the week on twitter, instagram, and goodreads - and doing a final wrap up here. This week is always the beginning of #slowathon (one week) and tackle your TBR (#tackletbr - two weeks). Basically: heaven (I am a readathon junkie).

I have a giant stack of diverse books in my apartment I'd like to get to this week - I'll probably only get to a few (I do have 3 that are pretty damn short, 2 of which I've heard amazing things about). So onto the books I will possibly be reading this week but don't hold me to any of them (and also please leave recommendations in the comment because, really, there's no such thing as too many books)
  • Citizen by Claudia Rankin (I have the audio of this, I am... not prepared. Am predicting being a sobbing mess on the ground?)
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (I am also not prepared but more excited, mostly because I don't predict it was leave me a sobbing mess. Hopefully not...? I can only take so much emotionally)
  • Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An Indigenous LGBT SciFi Anthology (oh yeah. you read that right. indigenous LGBT scifi anthology. I stumbled upon this on amazon, has great reviews, know nothing else.)
  • Welcome to Night Vale scripts - Volumes 1 & 2 (I wouldn't normally be counting these, even though main relationship is m/m, and Carlos - a gay character of color - is voiced by a gay person of color. I just don't know, but these guys are incredible in trying to do the thing right. Mostly, I got these and am almost done with volume 1 but not quite so, really, they have to go on the list because I'm not going to put them aside)
  • Lightspeed #73 - People of Colo(u)r Destory SciFi (I've been reading this forever. Well, I put it aside, but I want to get back into it. The stories I have read are amazing, but my attention span with short story collections isn't great. Still. Want to finish so badly, all of the ones so far are 4 or 5 stars).
  • Crush by Richard Silken (I've been putting this on readathon TBR after readathon TBR, I have to read it at some point. Silken is gay and I've seen his poems pretty much all over tumblr, I might as well actually sit down and read them. Maybe I will this week, maybe I won't).
  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (a reread, but I really want to reread this one. I remember loving it but remember like... maybe 25% of it? My memory isn't great about, well, anything so that isn't surprising but still).
  • Ash by Malinda Lo (gay Cinderalla. What more could you want to know? Nothing. Well, I don't, I've heard amazing things, and I've heard Malinda talk and she's fantastic. So excited)
  • Brooklyn Burning by Steve Brezenoff (no idea what to expect, it's queer in some way. And I love New York in books, and real life, which will be evident in my book rec posts later this week).
  • We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson (I only know the vague synopsis of this, it's faded from memory. I'm pretty sure this came in a book riot quarterly box, though, and that's really all I need to know). (LGBTQIA+)
Those are just some that I have near me, there's a ton that I pulled off my shelves to consider (and this picture will show you some more), but there are even more then that in this apartment. It's honestly impressive how many books I have in my studio apartment, probably almost 2,000. You can imagine hat it looks like (just picture books everywhere and you've got it, that's what it looks like).

Anyway - if you're participating in this readathon, let me know. If you're just hearing about it - eh, jump in, anyway. Even if you only read one diverse book this week, there will be discussions happening over on twitter, I believe every day, using the #DiverseAThon hashtag. Take part, see what others are reading, tweet/instagram/blog out your favorite diverse reads. Let me know in the comments.

And, most importantly, be kind to each other. If you don't want to read diversely this week because you've already got plans, or because you're in the mood for a certain kind of book/author and you don't own one in that feeling that's diverse - don't sweat it. Just know that it is important, diversity in literature, television, movies - pop culture in general. To kids, to teenagers, to adults, to people over sixty. It's important. 

Let me know what you're reading this week, though, if you are planning on getting some diverse reads in. Or your most recent diverse read, whatever it was or had to do ith, I'd love to hear about it.

Happy read(athon)ing!

(Note: obviously I am still taking part in #slowathon and #tackleTBR, as well, just for this week I'm going to try and be very deliberate in my books. And, in the future, remember to be as well. It shouldn't be too hard with how many diverse books I own. However, I am still going to start my reread of The Way of Kings because my heart was set on that for my #slowathon goal, though it's definitely going to take damn longer then just a week, that's for sure).