A Pop Culture Assignment for Kate. Part 2

Fine. Kate has already read Cinder and Shatter Me. So I’m changing two of her books.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Written by Laini Taylor, who wrote the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. Which we both love. Some characters more then others. *wiink* Strange the Dreamer is nothing like anything that I have read. It’s lush and complicated. It’s full of trauma and hope and really quite beautiful. I’m sure nothing about this will get me in trouble with Kate at all. First in a Duology.

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker. This one I know you haven’t read yet because I only read it this year but totally up your alley. A crew of female pirates out for revenge against those who murdered their family. It’s all about sisterhood and friendship and what makes a family but also our own destructive behavior. First book in what I believe is a trilogy.

A Pop Culture Assignment for Kate!

Last year I assigned Kate a summer of horror. It was a last minute change. I originally planned on assigning her four first books in a series. It turns out that at least one of those titles, she read with her carpool partner (Mom), Red Queen by the Victoria Aveyard so I’m pretty sure she this is a challenge she will like. I do have a good taste in books if I do say so something. So here we go. Kate’s pop culture homework assignment.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer A new twist on the classic fairy tale Cinderella. This time Cinderella is a cyborg living in New Beijing and there’s a threat of Luna. A kingdom on the moon. Strong female character that looks at Cinderella in a different way and did I mention Moon people. I think you’ll like it. The first book in a four book series.

Firebug by Lish McbrideThis was one of my favorite books I’ve read in a long time. It is beyond hysterical and full of life and magic. Ava is a firebug. She can light things on fire and unfortunately, her special powers has got her caught up with the Coterie, a magical mafia organization. She has to go on the run when she refuses a job. I can’t wait to hear what you think. First book in a duology.

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow. This is a definitely different from the others. It was truly gripping. The world has fallen apart and is now ruled by an AI named Talos. To keep the world from going to war, they have taken an Medieval approach and demanding that every country give a hostage. If they decide to go to war, the hostage is killed. Morality tale and coming of age story. It’s a little trippy. First book in a duology.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. This one you are going to have to read because an audio book is not going to fully illustrate Juliette’s mental state. When we meet Juliette, she is imprisoned for being a danger to herself and others. A little dystopian story mixed in with supernatural powers. First book in a series of six.

A Pop Culture Homework Assignment for Beth!

Welcome to Beth’s Pop Culture Homework Assignment: WITCHES!

Witches seem to be having a cultural moment right now (which is great), so this felt timely. It also felt timely because Beth and I are going to a good friend’s wedding this summer in England, and then while we’re in Ol’ Blighty we’re going to visit Pendle Hill, the site of a 1612 witch trial. (Well, really, THE 1612 Witch trial.) We gotta go pay our respects. This year there are five picks…because when I floated the idea of one short non-fiction piece and one set of selections of a historical text, Beth didn’t say no! (She also didn’t say yes, so I am expecting to receive some flack for this.) So, here we go!

1. Selections from the Malleus Maleficarum by discredited member of the clergy Heinrich Kramer

The Malleus Maleficarum is maybe the best known treatise on witches. It was written in the 15th century and provides legal and theological reasons to execute witches. It laid the ground work for a lot of terrible things that happened to a lot of people. I thought it would be nice to provide some context before diving into the next selection.

2. The Familiars by Stacey Halls

This is a brand new novel (out in February!) that’s also a debut novel AND is written by a Lancashire local! It is set during the Pendle Hill trials! It’s like the universe wanted us to have this homework assignment!

3. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

It’s about witches! It’s about sisters! It’s about women’s relationships! It’s a classic! I honestly can’t believe this book is as old as it is, but I also often can’t believe I’m as old as I am, so here we are, surprised by inexorable march of time.

4. These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

So, this also came out this year, this past Tuesday, in fact. It was on my to-read list and as I was looking for a third novel, I got an email saying that this was coming out. You have to love that timing. It is about Hannah, a real witch who lives in Salem, Mass and who has to keep her real-deal magic a secret, because if she gets caught using it, she could lose it. I believe it also has an LGBTQIA relationship in it. I think it looks great and I really hope Beth loves it.

5. Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English

This clocks in at just over 100 pages and is a brief history of women healers. It discusses midwifery, witching, nursing and how traditionally feminine practices have been delegitimized and outlawed as a tactic of the patriarchy to control women. At least, that’s what I remember it being about? I read it while a family member was in the emergency room and we were waiting for test results, so my memories of the book aren’t maybe the best? So, I really look forward to hearing Beth’s thoughts on it and discussing it with her.

So, that’s it. There we go. I hope Beth enjoys these books! If you are reading along with Beth, leave a comment below or hit us up on twitter or the faceyb!

Dracula Chapter 9

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So, this is totally embarrassing. I recorded this more than a week ago and I’m just now getting to posting it. Sigh. Apologies.

 

In today’s installment, a flurry of activity happens as documented in various diary entries, letters, and telegrams! It is so exciting!

 

Chapter 9 can be found here.

You can get caught up here.

 

The music for the recording is Oppressive Gloom by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). (Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). And, the text is by Bram Stoker.

 

Dracula, Chapter 8

In which we discover what has happened to Jonathan Harker

 

In today’s installment, we find out what happened to Jonathan Harker. We also hear more about Dr. Seward’s most interesting patient and Lucy starts keeping her own diary!

 

 

 

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The music for the recording is Oppressive Gloom by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). (Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). And, the text is by Bram Stoker.

 

Previous chapters can be found here.

 

 

Dracula Chapter 7

This just in! The news from Whitby!

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The music for the recording is Oppressive Gloom by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). (Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Previous chapters can be found here.

Vampire Month Bonus! Let’s talk Twilight!

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As a fun bonus for Vampire month, Beth and I got together and discussed the gateway drug of Vampire books for a generation of readers, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

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We had a really good time discussing the novel, and we only digressed a couple of times into other things (like the movie Soapdish and The Red Queen books by Victoria Aveyard). We hope that you enjoy our little chat, too.

It can be found here.

You can catch up on Dracula, the centerpiece of Vampire Month, here.

Dracula Chapter 6

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Cemetery in Whitby, England. Photo by Chris ( Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license)

In today’s installment, we hear more from Mina Murray and Dr. Seward! The chapter ends with some creepy foreshadowing! What will happen next?

The music for the recording is Oppressive Gloom by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). (Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Hear from Mina and Dr. Seward here.

Previous chapters can be found here.

Dracula Chapter 5

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In today’s installment, we move on from Jonathan Harker’s trials and catch up on the correspondence of Miss Mina Murray and Miss Lucy Westenra.

So much correspondence awaits! Chapter 5 is here!

The music for the recording is Oppressive Gloom by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). (Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

You can catch up on previous chapters here, here, here, and here.