Some of My Favorite Quotes from In Other Lands

in other landsThere are so many great quotes from Sarah Rees Brennan’s In Other Lands that it needed a post of it’s own.  Serene-Heart-in the-Chaos-of-Battle has the best quotes. In Other Lands takes many tropes and turns them on their head.  One is gender roles.  In Serene’s Elven culture, women Elves take on more of what we in the human world would consider male roles.  This often brings up hilarious misunderstandings and some hard truths.  Here are just a couple

“Of course it is,” said Serene. “The woman goes through the physically taxing and bloody experience of childbirth. A woman’s experience of blood and pain is, naturally, what makes women-kind particularly suited for the battlefield.  Whereas, men are the softer sex, squeamish about blood in the main.  I know it’s the same for human men, Luke was extremely disinclined to discuss my first experience of a woman’s menses.”

Another gem by Serene.

“Come now. It’s natural for a young pure gentleman to be abashed by such discussions,” said Serene. “Forgive me for being so frank with you and puttin you to the blush, Luke.”

Another good one.  This from Serene’s cousin, Swift-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle to Elliot.

“No doubt you tempted her. Ah, a man’s morals are frail as they are, sweet silly creatures,” Swift said. “I do think it was up to Serene to control herself, though. She must have known I was considering you as a bride.  Your humanity would not have mattered so very much, up in the wild north where I am stationed, but now you have been sullied, of course it is out of the question.”

The hard truth.  Elliot to Swift.

“Um.” said Elliot. “Maybe both our societies are messed up, and they each only think one type of person is really a person. And the type they think is really a person is allowed to show imperfections and age…whereas the type of person they think is an object should show no signs of being a person. We’re socialized to see the imperfections in those objects.”

And there’s plenty more where that came from.  You should read the rest of the book.

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Mom and I went to BookCon and it was a lot of Fun!

Our Mom is visiting me in Brooklyn this weekend.  When she comes I always look for things that we haven’t done before so when I finally realized that BookCon was going to be at the Javits Center while she was going to be here we decided to go.  Both of our parents inspired our love for reading.  Mom has already 81 books in 2017.  Putting my 25 books to shame.  She’s never been to anything like this before and my only convention experience was at BookRiot Live.  Which was tiny compared to this.  The Javits Center is huge.  Not surprising since this is also the home to New York Comic Con.  We decided first to explore the vendors as we got our bearings.  Pretty much every major publisher was there with a mini store and most a signing area.  Now there were signing areas that you had to sign up for ahead of time and then smaller ones that you had to line up for.  It was kind of confusing what was what.  Also, we seemed to always miss all the free giveaways the publishers were handing out but that’s ok.  I’ll live.  After we had a quick bite to eat we headed to hear Rainbow Rowell talk.  I’ve read all of her books but Mom hasn’t.  Before the talk began, Mom asked if any of her books would make her cry and I was like yes but I’ll lend her Attachments because of all Rainbow’s books that seems to have the less tears.  I think.  She was just a delightful as I imagined her to be but the one comment that stuck me was talking about Eleanor and Park and sad it is that having a fat female protagonist was somehow revolutionary.  We all know someone who is overweight.  We have seen them in relationships, married and have kids so why wouldn’t they have their own love stories?  After Rainbow, we went back to the vendor floor.  We each bought a few books, tote bags and shirts before heading down to hear Jeffery Tambor.  The Arrested Development star has a new memoir coming out and after seeing him I want to read it.  He was funny, smart and completely honest.  We then went to our final panel of the day with Maggie Stiefvater, Kami Garcia, Laini Taylor and Marissa Meyer about Magic and World Building moderated by Daniel Jose Older.  I adore all these authors books (Mr. Older’s book are on my to read list) so it was interesting to hear how they all go about crafting their stories.  The most interesting part was talking about you are always building a world no matter if you are making a world from scratch or drawing from the real world.  I’ve never thought of that.  Maggie said that authors talk about how if they were to assign each of them to write about this room they would all write it differently because they are writing from their perspective their view and how that is reality but not completely real.  It was an interesting talk.  It was then that we decided to leave as it was a full day of books and fun.  I’m glad we did it because it was something new and different.  My one complaint was that it would have been better if they had clearer signage of where things were because it was kind of hard to figure out where things were.  We had to wander around to find things. Either then that it was a fun day.

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It runs in the family 

Kate and I named our blog Stacks Exceed Life Expectancy because our to-read list so many books that we know we will never be able to read them all.  Literacy has always been important in our family.  It was our mother who taught us to never leave the house without a book.  She once came to visit me for a weekend and brought 8 books with her, you know so she had options.  I believe she read through half of them while she was here. I thing about our parents is that when ever they aren’t doing something, they are reading.  When they get up in the morning and before they go to bed.  They even bring a book with them to the bar.  So it shouldn’t be all that surprising that our house is filled with books.  They are literally everywhere.  When I was home last month to visit, I did a snapchat tour of my Mom’s books.  Her books monopolize our family room, with some in the kitchen and on the stairs.  Now these are not all of her books.  Only a taste. Maybe next time I go home, I’ll do a tour of our dad’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting Small Presses

Last year, completely by accident, I discovered that small presses sometimes offer subscriptions. What better way to support books, publishing and literacy? You buy a subscription and they send books as soon as they come out! Amazing!

 

So, I did some googling around and here are three small presses who offer subscriptions.

 

Sibling Rivalry Press is a publisher of poetry. They are a publisher devoted to “[promoting] underground artistic talent – those who don’t quite fit into the mainstream.” I’ve not read anywhere near enough of this year’s subscription, but everything I’ve read I’ve really enjoyed.

 

Above/ground press seems to have their fingers in a lot of different publishing pies. (That’s exciting if you, like me, like to read around.) Their subscription includes a number of different types of things (chapbooks and broadsheets and who knows what else?) It seems pretty cool.

 

Burrow Press‘s subscription includes their physical books, ebooks and a membership pin. There are four titles listed at the link that are slated to come out in 2017 and who knows what else will be added?

 

The only one that I have subscribed to before was Sibling Rivalry and that was delightful. The other two look pretty good as well. Have you done a subscription to a small press before? Did you like it? Do you have any subscription suggestions for us? Take to the comments and let us know!

 

 

 

 

 

Book Riot Live Day 2

Day two of Book Riot Live started off with a bang. Rebecca Joines Schinsky and Liberty Hardy did a live recording of their podcast All the Books. Discussing all the best books released this week. Including Born a Crime  by Trevor Noah and Anna Kendricks new book whose title escapes me. The two are friends and their chemistry is undeniable.

I decided that after this week I needed some levity and light so I went to the Bookish Broadway Sing-along. All songs were loosely based on books one way of another. Classics like Phantom of the Opera to Annie to Les Mis and of course Hamilton. They did a request and we all sang the Circle of Life from The Lion King. I really wish I took better photos and a video.


Next was Live Pictionary with Sarah Anderson and Valentine De Landro. Sarah writes Sarah’s scribbles and Valentine draws for Marvel, DC and cocreator of Bitch Planet. I’m amazed both at the drawing and people able to guess.


After a little donut break. I checked out Slash Live with a Alyssa Cole, Michael Strother and Zoraida Córdova. Slash is sort of like apples to apples and cards against humanity in which everyone had a set of cards with a name and description of a pop culture character. Each person takes turns picking a character and making a situation and everyone else must pick a character from their own stack and create story based on the situation. Like Xander from Buffy falling for Big foot. It’s very fun to play.

The final panel of the night was Nerd Jeopardy with Mara Wilson, Mark Osborn and Sara Farizan. It was like real jeopardy but without Alex Trebeck and all clues were about shoes. Book nerds are the best. If the panelist didn’t know the answer someone in the audience did. It was very amusing and for those who are curious, Mara won.


So that’s it for this year. I’m looking forward to what Book Riot will do next year.

Review: Operation S.I.N. By Kathryn Immonen and Rich Ellis.

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First off, the cover of this book lied to me. This isn’t MCU Peggy Carter, it’s a different Peggy Carter. But, I was able to quickly put that aside because she still kicks ass. The story starts off with a home invasion and then it takes you through a rollicking ride into Mother Russia. Howard Stark has a question about some tech and he needs Peggy Carter’s help. They then team up with a couple of Russian teenagers and a Scottish dude to investigate some alien tech. Can they diffuse tense situations? Will they thwart Hydra? Will Peggy punch Howard in the face? Will Howard deserve a punch in the face? (I think we all know the answer to that last question, at least, even if we don’t read the book.)

This was a fun story and I liked the art. I also kind of love Howard Stark and his Science! first approach to life. It’s amazing he lived as long as he did in the comics since he doesn’t always seem to be aware of his surroundings.

Oh, and there’s a bonus Agent Carter and Captain America at the end of the volume. And, that was pretty fun.

Diverse Stacks, Diverse Lives Reading Challenge.

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Beth and I have done a lot of talking about the kinds of things that reading can do for a person. It really is a magical thing. It can transport you to different worlds. It can imagine new history. It can see potential futures. Studies have even shown that reading literary fiction can help you relate better to other people. So, with this in mind, we’ve put together our first reading challenge. Inspired by #weneedmorediversebooks, we’ve come up with a challenge to make us think about who we are reading and what we are reading about. Our challenge has three sub-challenges: one related to characters, one related to authors, and one related to books themselves. Each sub-challenge is only ten books long, so you can do any of the sub-challenges without changing how you read for the whole year. As a reader, you can tackle the whole challenge or one or more of the sub-challenges.

I will be maintaining a page here on this blog full of possible books to fulfill the challenge that I find in my reading travels. Of course, any suggestions will be helpfully added to the list. Part of what makes diversifying your reading difficult is that you don’t always know something is diverse going in. We are going to endeavor to make that easy by keeping a separate page of suggestions.

Since this challenge is only 30 books, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of diversity in literature and in life, but we hope that this list and the books that are read because of it will create interesting and thoughtful discussions. We hope that you will consider taking the challenge and reading along with us in 2016!