Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Top Ten Authors it Would be Cool to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Okay, so I know myself well enough to know that I'd probably never go to any sort of book/author event. However, if I ever got hit by a bout out-of-character behavior, these are the authors that I'd want to meet. (Oddly enough - or maybe not - this could also pretty much double as my favorite authors list. Or the authors whose brains I want to pick.)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #2

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the participants are supposed to choose one book for each of the three categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and a diverse book that has not yet been released.

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

Moon has spent his life hiding what he is — a shape-shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight. An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success. Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself... someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community. What this stranger doesn't tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power... that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony's survival... and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell! Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save and himself... and his newfound kin.

Notes: This is truly diverse fantasy at its best. The main race in the book are not humans but a vague type of avian shifter - and have a culture in place that reflects this. These are definitely not rubber-faced aliens. Besides the people of color, there is also polyamory, mostly, I believe, in the form of open relationships.

Everfair by Nisi Shawl

Everfair is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner," King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.

Shawl's speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. Everfair is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history.

Notes: I have been enamored with this book ever since I first saw the cover. Finding out what it's about just makes me that much more interested - but the less than glowing Goodreads reviews make me a little worried. (Well, that and the truly expensive price! 13 dollars for the ebook, and that's cheaper than the physical copy.)

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

Notes: I will not deny it, the title kept me from looking at this book for the longest time. At least, until I convinced myself that no book would have such an on-the-nose title. And then I came across this. Though, the first synopsis made it much more obvious that the two boys' feeling were for each other. Oh, well, I am so ready for the May release of this totally meta sounding book.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Want to leave me any diverse book recommendations?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Top Ten Books You Could (and totally should) Read in One Sitting (I kinda did)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I've just realized, it's been a while since I actually sat down and read a book in one sitting. An actual novel, that is, not a comic or manga. This...is something that I should totally rectify. Anyhow, here's a list of ten books that are either short enough to or that totally benefit from reading in one sitting. (And that I read, if not in one sitting, in a very short period of time.)

Monday, March 20, 2017

My Thoughts On: Write What You Know

As some of you may already know, I write. I don't really consider myself an author - mostly because I've only ever finished one story and it was rubbish (as they're supposed to be, of course) - but I do consider myself a writer. Because I write.

I usually write a handful of pages a week - definitely not a high number, but it's a hobby to go along with my fulltime job and my other hobbies. And I like writing.

Lately, I've been giving some thought to the advice that you always hear given to first-time writers.

Write what you know.

Honestly, I've thought that advice was junk for years. I mean, if people only ever wrote what they knew, you'd never have fantasy stories, or sci-fi or steampunk and, really, you'd have a lot fewer romance novels, too.

But, you know, if you look at it a bit differently, it is good advice.

To me, write what you know should be changed to write what you're passionate about.

All my stories that I've worked on have a distinct amount of the unusual about them but I live in what can only be - sadly - called reality. I don't live in a world of ghosts or elves or superheroes, but I've written about each of them.

Write what you know is terribly limiting. But, if we'd change that to 'write what you're passionate about'…

I think passion comes through in writing. (I know it sure does in my own writing.) I think if an author truly loves the subject matter, it shows up. So, maybe you won't be the next J.K. Rowling, but if you write what you're passionate about, other people with the same passion will find your books and love them.

So, maybe write what you know isn't such bad advice. I mean, everyone knows what they're passionate about, after all.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Series: Timekeeper #1
Genre: Steampunk/LGBT
Add on Goodreads

Two o’clock was missing. 

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

T5W - Books I Feel Betrayed By

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on goodreads that you can find here. Every week - or less for some of us ;) - the members get together and post five books that pertain to a specific topic.

And the second of two topics this month that I just can't pass up. Why would I even not take the chance to talk about books that betrayed me? Why? I wouldn't. Ever. Warning: Here Be Spoilers!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

After a bit of a hiatus, TTT is now back. And, interestingly enough, the topic this week is Spring TBR. And here I am, haven't pulled together a TBR for the past two months. And, you know what? I like it. But, I can't deny that it'll be kinda nice having a bit more structure for the next couple months. (Let's just ignore the fact that I failed epically when it came to my Winter TBR, m'kay?)