So, just a month ago, my town opened a brand new library building! As a library lover, of course I was terribly excited, so I thought I should do a library tour post for you guys to show you the libraryness. Of course, this is a small town library, so it's teeny, but it's my library. Anyway, they're very good at getting books for their patrons's needs.
This is the old library:
Time for today's "Waiting On" Wednesday! This is a feature begun by Breaking the Spine, in which bloggers share an upcoming book about which they are very excited. So here's the next upcoming YA from the top of my TBR!
Earth Flight (Earth Girl #3)
Releases in 8 September 2015 from Pyr
Jarra never wanted to be a celebrity. All she ever wanted was to gain some respect for the people left on Earth: the unlucky few whose immune system prevents them from portaling to other planets.
Except now she's the most famous Earth girl in the universe--but not everyone in the universe is happy about it, nor the fact that she has found love with a norm. Jarra's actions have repercussions that spread further than she ever could have imagined, and political unrest threatens to tear apart the delicate balance of peace between humanity's worlds.
On top of everything, the first alien artifact ever discovered appears to be waiting for Jarra to reveal its secrets. But to do so, she must somehow find a way to leave Earth--or else the alien artifact will be lost forever. Is there a way for Jarra to travel to another planet? Or is her destiny only to look to the stars--but never to reach them?
Info and image via Goodreads.
I've written before about my favorite personality quiz, and it's a popular post, so I thought I'd share some thoughts on the related topic of introversion vs. extroversion. As an INFJ and someone suffering social anxiety as a result of my OCD, I lie very firmly in the introvert camp.
Basic definition: extroverts are people to whom human interaction gives energy, and they act accordingly. Introverts are people for whom human interaction drains energy, and they act accordingly. (You can also be an ambivert, with no particular energy response to people.) It's really as simple as that. People exhaust me. I love some of them so dearly that I could probably smother them with my love, but human interaction wears me out. As such, I'm drawn towards quiet and isolated activities and much prefer to spend time one-on-one or in very small groups, so as to minimize the energy drain. I mean, I have fibromyalgia. I already have too little energy as is,. There's only so many naps you can take a day before you turn into Sleeping Beauty.
Obviously, although I have a social anxiety problem I'm working to overcome, not all introverts have anxiety issues and many extroverts do. It's a separate issue, but in my case, since I'm a natural introvert who also has anxiety, it does contribute. It makes it much harder to deal with being in public places and around lots of people. My mom always tells me I need to stop "glaring" at people if I want to make friends, and she's probably right, but it's not something that comes easily to me. Most the time I don't realize I'm glaring. It's a defense mechanism. So if I'm glaring at you or just generally look unfriendly, I'm probably experiencing some decent anxiety. You can talk to me one on one in a quieter space and it might work out, if you're not a creep. It's a little harder of a sell for dudes, sorry to say. Also, offering me food is a good idea, because the fibro and OCD combined mean I have one serious "hanger" problem. I'm like a hanger monster.
Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today's topic is Top Ten Books On Your ______ 101 Syllabus, for which I've chosen YA Sci-Fi, since I read a lot of it. So here are the top ten books I would include in a syllabus if I taught a class called YA Sci-Fi 101.
1) Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games Trilogy. Um, how could you even have a YA sci-fi class without this gorgeous and beautiful dystopian series? And yeah, I know it's three books. Maybe we could only cover the first in class. But it's a must-read. Bonus: the students would get to watch their teacher fangirl over a fictional boy! I'm sure that's not creepy at all.
2) Lois Lowry's The Giver Quartet. Again, a series, four books, so perhaps you could only read the first book in class, but I would recommend the rest as a continuation. This series is sort of a MG crossover, but it's your classic starter for YA sci-fi, so yeah.
3) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I'm not including the rest of the series or the companion Ender's Shadow series here because I don't feel like they're as necessary and a lot of them move over into adult territory, but I'd also recommend them for interested readers. Ender's Shadow is a fave of mine, even more than Ender's Game, which is truly a fantastic classic sci-fi novel.
Hey guys! Today, I've got some writing tips drawn from the life of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader of Star Wars fame. After all, who's better to learn from about writing than one of the most famous archetypal dark lords? His heroic arc is awesome. So here we go!
1) Believe in yourself. If you don't, it's hard to start a writing project, let alone commit. Shoo those doubts away, and go be the Chosen One.
2) Hone your skills as much as you can, in all kinds of contexts, alone and with others. It's through practice that one becomes a writing Jedi. Even kid Anakin was already testing his intelligence with creating C-3PO and his own podracer before the Jedi met him.
Today, continuing my examination of writing diversely from Saturday, I'd like to discuss more of what I've learned through my edits of COCA and through Kaye's Ch1Con session on the same topic.
As I said Saturday, my biggest revision so far for COCA as been fixing the fact that I made my Latina main character "white" in all the ways that matter. As I've been working on these edits, what Kaye talked about at Ch1Con has been vital in helping me to reframe my understanding of diversity and even worldbuilding so much that I almost can't believe I didn't understand these things before. The whole process seems so much easier now that I understand Kaye's thoughts.
Basically, Kaye's main point in regards to how to appropriately write diversely was to use incidental diversity. Basically, incidental diversity is all about the details. These are the little cultural and lifestyle things that make up the diverse experience of a human being: food, beliefs, clothing, experience, all in detailed bite-size form. Having lived a sheltered life in a little town, I've not had much of a chance to appreciate the little things about my life that are different from the things in others' lives. (Not to mention, in general, I'm not a detail-oriented person. I've been described as a "global learner" by teachers since I was seven.) Going to Chicago, for a second time now, allowed me to see more clearly how so many of the things I take for granted aren't normal for others. Not just in a privileged kind of way either. No, there are tons of different good and bad details related to the incidental diversity of my life, and all of your lives, too, that you might not even notice
Before today's main post, it's time for "Waiting On" Wednesday! This is a feature begun by Breaking the Spine, in which bloggers share an upcoming book about which they are very excited. So here's the next upcoming YA from the top of my TBR!
Releases 1 September 2015 from Feiwel & Friends
You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified.
Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.
Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.
All info and image via Goodreads.
Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today's topic is Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors. I don't usualyly buy books unless I've read them before, unless they're the last Harry Potter book, obvs. Instead, I get them from the library and then decide if I like them enough to buy. So instead of Auto-Buy, I'm doing Auto-Read, authors whose books automatically go onto my to-read list, basically regardless of what the actual book is.
Do note that anthologies/collabs aren't included in auto-read. This was super duper incredibly hard to narrow down as is--turns out there's a lot of authors I trust to tell me a good story! You could probably name a bunch in the comments that you would include on this list (*wink wink*) and I'd agree with a lot of them. But this is Top Ten Tuesday, not Top Twenty-Five Tuesday, so here we go with my pruned-down list!
1) John Green. *shrugs* What can I say? John Green is super legit, and he gets bonus points for being a contemporary writer on this list, because I'm not usually a strong contemporary person. He's got an untitled unblurbed uncovered undated book on the way, and I am one of the many people who has added it despite having no idea what it is.
Because I've been and still am very busy editing COCA, I've now reached the point where I don't have any pre-written blog posts, just the ideas, which is kind of frightening to me. So I'm writing this one on the fly!
As you know, I'm a supporter of We Need Diverse Books, because I believe that every story is valuable and it's through books that we gain the empathy we need to understand and relate to people of all kinds. Today, I consider myself a social justice advocate speaking on issues of discrimination and marginalization, as inspired by Kaye and other Twitter friends. My focus, because it's what I can speak on personally, is promoting disabled/mentally ill and women's rights. (I have a list of recommendations for YA mentally ill representation here.) However, I want to be an ally as much as I can on all issues related to this, and race is an important one.
As a writer, this necessarily means writing diversely. My experience trying to write diversely when it comes to race, though, has been a clumsy one. The town where I live is a very not-diverse place. This is partly due to its isolated nature and partly due to the high cost of living, but in basis, the majority is white, with a fair representation of Asians. I can think of a handful of Hispanic kids, and a total of two black ones, of whom I knew when I was growing up.
Now for my recap post on Ch1Con 2015! As y'all should know, I went this past weekend to Chicago to attend this spectacular event for the second time, my adventures with the first being detailed here (I also spoke at the more private session in 2012, via the magic of the Internet). This time, I went by plane leaving Friday, which was really cool. I didn't get to see as much of the complex and unexpected geography outside, but there's something to be said for the bird's eye view. I looked out as much as I could without getting blinded by all the clouds. And of course, it was a much shorter trip.
I had a bit of a rough evening getting stuff sorted out, but then I got to spend some time with the rest of the Ch1Con team and our volunteers who were present, including my dearest Julia. I experienced a fair bit of anxiety at first, with me not doing well with strangers or in groups (also not having eaten much of a dinner), but after getting to talk to Julia a bit one-on-one, like last year, I calmed down. We even got the mysterious John Hansen to video chat with us! It was delightful, and I was up far too late because I just treasure the time I get to spend with these friends. How dare they live so far east.
Before today's regular post, I'm posting my very first "Waiting On" Wednesday! This is a book blogging feature like Top Ten Tuesday, which I started participating in yesterday. "Waiting On" Wednesday was created by Breaking the Spine and in it, bloggers share an upcoming book about which they are very excited.
I actually have a list each year of new YA releases I'm particularly invested in getting my hands on; those of which I didn't read within the year end up as the "Eager To Read" books in my Best YA Books of the Year roundup. I'm excited to get the chance to share them throughout the year instead, so that you can look out for them as well!
So here's the next upcoming YA from the top of my TBR.
Hello, peoples! For a while I've been keeping an eye on the tags my favorite blogs do, such as "Top Ten Tuesday," which is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today I decided that I want to join in. So from now on, I will be posting on Tuesdays! I won't do it every week, but whenever a topic interests me, or whenever I feel like pulling an old one from the archives, you'll be getting a Tuesday post.
Today's Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Authors I've Read the Most Books From. So, using my Goodreads, here we go! Keep in mind, this may not be totally accurate because I'm sure there are plenty of books I've read in the past that I haven't yet come across on Goodreads. For example, I've not bothered to add the Babysitter's Club books to my Goodreads, but if I did, Ann M. Martin would be way up high on this list. Still, this is somewhat representative.
1) Meg Cabot. Coming in at 31 books, Meg Cabot has earned her star place at the top of my read list. Though her work varies tremendously, most of them are light YA, usually with a strong romance aspect, and they're so fun and easy to read. (Do note she's also got a lot of MG and adult books, which I haven't yet read. She's ridiculously prolific and flexible, though her tone/style is pretty solid.) My favorite is probably/possibly Avalon High, but I'm working through the Abandon trilogy and it's pretty darn good. I also love the Airhead trilogy. Darn it, there's too many books of hers to choose a fave from!
2) Erin Hunter. The pseudonymic author team of the Warriors world (and many other MG-ish animal-related epics that I haven't read because I only care about cats) comes in at 26 books for me.
Since I'm very busy today with Ch1Con (eep!), I'm doing a fun filler post. You may remember from a couple of other posts that I'm a ModCloth fan with a Pinterest board dedicated to their pricey and beautiful wares. You may also remember that in another post, I nonetheless went ahead and made fun of some of their less beautiful offerings, which is a game me and my writing friends sometimes play when we're bored. So I figured I'd do it again! It's time for... the Ugly ModCloth Game, round two.
You can do your own if you'd like. Also, note that this is all subjective and based off of my taste for myself. If you can rock these clothes despite my dislike for them, then you do you, girlfriend. Or dudefriend. Whatever works for you.
One problem I think readers run into a lot (besides running out of bookshelf space) is how to organize their bookshelves. The possibilities are endless! And even though books are for reading (duh), it's still fun to show off the ones you own. It's for this reason, primarily, that I'm now somewhat addicted to Goodreads. It may only be virtual, but I still get to play with bookshelves and examine my reading choices!
When it comes to physical shelves, I myself have changed my bookshelf organization something like a billion times. Besides having to adjust to general changes in which books I own (I really need a new and bigger bookshelf, in related news), I'm just never sure what way to organize. I've done all the following: alphabetical by title, alphabetical by title and series so that series are all together whatever the titles of individual books, alphabetical by author's first name, alphabetical by author's last name, alphabetical by genre, genre by how much I like said genre, how much I like the book in general, and finally, in color. That one I saw on Pinterest and is the only Pinterest thing I have made/done in real life, because that craftsy stuff is not why I'm on Pinterest. It was really cool! So much hard work to put together, but really cool.
After a while, though, I just didn't like how hard it was to find the books I wanted when they were organized by color. So I took a picture of this beauty (shown below) for memory's sake, and now I'm back to alphabetical by author's last name. That's the most economic, I think, if not as interesting.
Welcome to our August humor post! This means we are exactly one week away from Ch1Con 2015! Are you excited? Because I am! Hope to see any of you young writers there! We're almost full up, but there's still time to register with our late fee, all the way until walk-up time at 8am next Saturday. So if you forgot to get around to that, you can still give it a go.
Now, enjoy today's humor! I'll see you next time for an organizing bookshelves post.
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