Friday, October 31, 2014

Sci-Fi November: An Intro


I know that I am a little late on the announcement front, but I am very happy to announce that I will be participating in Sci-Fi November! Woo-hoo!
Sci-Fi November is a month-long blog event hosted by Asti, Kelley, and Leanne over on Oh, The Books! together with Rinn from Rinn Reads. Sci-Fi November was created to celebrate the awesomeness that is everything science fiction.
I don't exactly have schedule planned for what my posts will be about but you can expect them to be bookish in nature and (hopefully) entertaining and/or enlightening. At the very least you can also expect that I'll be geeking out as much as is humanly possible. If you want to get involved in the discussions you can use the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth on pretty much any and all social media sites. The official twitter account for Sci-Fi Month is @SciFiMonth so feel free to follow and tweet along. Let's share the nerd-love.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Horror October Announcement


I love events. I love challenges. I love buddy reads. I love read-a-thons. I really love a good theme. I am always looking for the next bookish event or challenge to join. And this is something that excites me. 
I know I already mentioned this (briefly) in my last post but I wanted an "official" post about the event. Leanne and Asti from Oh, The Books! will be hosting this two week event. It will be taking place from October 18 (yesterday - yes, this post is late) to October 31 and we'll be using the tag #OtBHorrorOctober to keep in touch via twitter. 

Not sure what to expect?

Last year we had quite the variety, and I was really impressed with the things people came up with. We saw everything from book and movie reviews, to bookish Bingo and other games, giveaways, pastries, monster profiles, book and film recommendations, TBR plans, interviews, challenges, soundtracks, cover loves, home decor, costumes… really if you can think of it, someone probably posted on it! (via)
I don't have a lot of experience with horror, as I am a certified scaredy-cat, but I am excited to try something new. I might even watch a horror movie or two - as long as they're adapted from books. If you have any recommendations, let me know!

Do you like the horror genre? Will you be participating in Horror October? 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Review: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Alias Grace

Alias Grace


This is my first review for the Classics Club!

Alias Grace is the a historical fiction novel based on the true story of Grace Marks, a woman convicted of murdering her employer and his mistress in Richmond Hill, Ontario in the 1800s. No one knows if Grace is really guilty - not even Grace and it's an intriguing tale.

I love Margaret Atwood, and I really liked this book. Not while I was reading it however, but after - it just sort of struck me that was really good. It's dense, and deals with a lot of thought provoking issues, but it's not an easy or fun read. It was hard for me not only to get into but also to get through and it took me longer than I thought it would to finish it. I did have a sense of the importance of the book while I was reading it and I could understand why it's considered a modern classic. The writing is fantastic and the format was very interesting, the chapters are separated by quilt blocks with quotes, letters, news articles, etc. following each.

It's definitely a dark tale, but there are elements of subtle humour laced throughout and I often caught myself smiling at the odd passages or re-reading bits I particularly enjoyed before moving on to the next bit.

Overall, I did enjoy this read. Some parts of it lagged a bit for me while other parts seemed to just fly by. I gave this book 3 stars on good reads but it's really more of a 3.5 for me. I would've given it 4 stars if it weren't for the difficulty I had with the book, some parts of it made me feel as if it were over my head, I'm sure a re-read would clarify some of the things I struggled with, but I'm not sure if that will happen or not. People who are interested in Margaret Atwood's writing, Canadian history, and historical fiction in general would like this book.

If you've read Alias Grace, I'd love to hear your thoughts. My next Margaret Atwood read is probably going to be The Handmaid's Tale unless someone has another suggestion to offer me (I've read The Penelopiad and I adored it). 

Hello October - a Gothic Announcement

Hello October

I know it's already the second week of the month (and if you also happen to be in Canada - Happy Thanksgiving!), but I have had a very busy October so far (I don't go into too much detail about my personal life on here but I started a new job last week and it has been quite the transition), oh well, such is life. I LOVE this month. October is when it really starts to feel like Fall. The weather is cooling down as the last few weeks of September were unusually mild - summer's last hurrah; the air is feeling crisp, the leaves are changing, Halloween is just around the corner.

In celebration of this spooky month I've decided that the theme for the month will be Gothic October. There's lots of stuff happening this month to go along with that spooky theme. Hamlette over at The Edge of the Precipice is Hosting a read-along of The Hound of The Baskervilles that I'll be participating in (the pace is two chapters a week - so that's manageable) and I think it fits in perfectly with the gothic theme.

Also happening this month over at Oh, the Books is Horror October, which will be taking place over the last two weeks of the month. I think it will be the perfect way to round out Gothic October and will hopefully get everyone into the Spooky Halloween Spirit just in time for the big night!

What are your October reading plans? Are you having a theme month of your own? Involved in a read-along? Will you be participating in Horror October? I'd love to know!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thursday Thoughts (3): 2-4-1 Novellas / Bookish Fandoms

Thursday Thoughts is an original, interactive weekly meme created and hosted by Ashley at OK, Let’s Read. Each week there is a new book-related topic. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to join in the discussion!
I missed Thursday Thoughts last week and I really wanted to talk about the topic so I thought I'd do two quick mini responses in one post.

September 25: Novellas* - What are your general opinions on novellas or short stories in a series or otherwise? Have you read any novellas? Do you always make sure to read the novellas in a series? Do you read them where they belong (i.e. between the correct two books) or are you not too bothered about that sort of thing?

I used to think I didn't like short stories. For whatever reason my teachers never covered the standard classic novels in high school (Lord of the Flies and Shakespeare were the only exceptions), but instead we read a lot of short stories. Like, A LOT, and like most teenagers I had the habit of disliking whatever it was I was being told to read. So while we were reading Lamb to the Slaughter in class and I was hating analyzing every paragraph, I would be reading classics like Of Mice and Men in my free time and feeling quite pleased with myself. Of Mice and Men was my favourite book throughout high school and is probably the book I reread the most. And while I didn't know it at the time Of Mice and Men is a novella. It's very short and I can usually read it in one sitting, which is why I like stand-alone novellas so much. They are usually quick, easy reads, that don't take much time but still feel substantial. I don't usually read novellas that are part of a larger series though (I will admit that I read that Twilight one many years ago - it was my first and last series-related novella), I generally don't see them as necessary to fully enjoying and understanding the series as a whole so I don't waste my time with them.

Now, my opinion on short stories has changed quite a bit since I finished high school and college and I can say I appreciate them much more now. I have to credit Junot Diaz's This is How You Lose Her for changing my opinion of the short story genre. I absolutely loved that book; I don't reread often, but this is one of those books that don't make rereading feel like a waste of time. Other short stories I enjoy come from Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things. The Lady Astronaut of Mars was also a wonderful read and was nominated for The Hugo Award for Best Novelette (which I didn't realise was a story that falls between the length of a short story and a novella).

Of Mice and Men This Is How You Lose Her Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders The Lady Astronaut of Mars

October 2: Bookish Fandoms* - Do you have any experience with fandoms in the bookish world? What fandoms do you consider yourself to be a part of? Have you ever created something pertaining to your favorite books as a part of the fandom (i.e. artwork, music, fanfic, cosplay)? Can you share your creation with us?

The way I view fandoms is like this: If you are a fan of something, you are in the fandom.
I think a lot of emphasis is placed on the super crazy-obsessed fans that write fanfiction, make edits, reblog anything and everything related to their favourite fandom all the live-long day. But in all honesty, those people are in the minority, and those people are usually teens.
I know I'm generalizing here, but I'm not in school anymore, I have a full time job, I have a family, I have pets that need caring for, and my kids have extracurricular activities that require chauffeuring and chaperoning and cheering on. I have a pretty full life. I don't have hours a day to spend on tumblr, or writing fanfic, or making edits. And even if I had the time, I most certainly lack the talent to create anything worth sharing. Some of the fan-created stuff is pretty amazing, but it still takes bravery to share things that you make and love with the world.
With that being said I consider myself to be in many fandoms; I have a deathly hallows tattoo, I've been obsessed with a lot of things and could list every fandom label from Trekkie to whovian that I can identify with and bookish fandoms are no exception. But since the topic today is just "Bookish Fandoms" and not "General Fandoms", I'll just list those:
  • Potterhead (obvs)
  • Sherlockian
  • Austenite (or is it Janeite?)
  • Tolkienite
  • Randlander
  • Tribute
I'm sure there are probably lots more but these are the ones I could find names for. What do you think of Bookish Fandoms? Do you write fanfic? Make art? Do you even identify as being "in the fandom" or do you think that those labels only refer to the super-obsessed among the fanbase? Share your thoughts!

  Fandoms Unite

Booking Through Thursday (3) - Sick

btt button
What do you read when you’re sick and just want something easy and comforting? Or do you watch TV instead?(Assuming you’re not napping, of course.)
I don't have  a go-to book to read whenever I'm feeling sick. I usually just pick up whatever it is I'm currently reading (which is still Outlander at the moment - it isn't as fast paced as I was led to believe but I'm getting through it).
If I'm really sick and don't want to do any thinking at all, I turn to TV; Netflix specifically - period dramas especially. Some of my favourites have been North & South, Daniel Deronda, and the BBC Pride and Prejudice (of course). I like to watch these alone in silence (and in a house full of boys I'm usually out-voted for TV choices - we watch Space Jam like 3x a week, not kidding), and I do find them really comforting.
What do you watch or read when you're not feeling well?