Monday, November 23, 2020

Classics Club Spin Number One, Part Two!

 So I finally made the commitment to Classics Club, then pretty much forgot about it.  I have read, um, two of the books on my list. And actually, looking at the dates of those two books and the date of my post about my first Classics Club Spin, I surmise that I didn't actually complete it that time. But this time I really mean it! 

(My dad used to quote a probably apocryphal Elizabeth Taylor saying "This time I'm really in love!" on the occasion of her fourth marriage, whenever someone insisted on something that seemed unlikely.)

At any rate, I missed posting in time, so I'm already off to a shaky start, but here was my list:

  1. Birchbark House
  2. The Moonstone
  3. Picnic at Hanging Rock
  4. The Liar’s Club
  5. We Should All be Feminists
  6. The Satanic Verses
  7. Black Like Me
  8. Song of Solomon
  9. David Copperfield
  10. The Alchemist
  11. Invisible Man
  12. Remains of the Day
  13. West with the Night
  14. The Martian Chronicles
  15. Howard’s End
  16. Eight Cousins
  17. The Handmaid’s Tale
  18. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  19. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
  20. Dr. Zhivago
And the number chosen, it seems, is 14. So I am going to read Ray Bradbury's linked short stories, The Martian Chronicles, which I read and loved in middle school, with this very 80s cover:

Mmm, I can just smell those cheap yellowed paperback pages.  

Honestly? I'm kind of relieved the spin landed on this one. It will be easy to find, easy to get into, and easy to finish. I'll post a review when I'm done! 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Review: Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko


Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

368 pages, young adult fantasy.

Nothing is more important than loyalty.
But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

I had a bit of a reading slump (nothing like my blogging slump, of course), but have come across several really good books recently. Yay! 

Raybearer, with its gorgeous cover, is definitely one of those. The plot sounds vaguely like one of my favorites from my summer reading, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin. A child is being forced by a magical being to first gain the trust and love of a young royal, and then to murder them. Both books also draw from African mythology. But they are no more redundant than, say, Six of Crows and Daughter of Smoke and Bone, just to choose two of my favorites with European atmospheres.

My comment on Goodreads is that this book both made me want to go write some YA fantasy AND made me feel like I will never be able to do so. It is wildly inventive, with world-building that is both complex and clear. I could picture scenes in my head, which honestly, is not my strong point as a reader, so kudos to the author for being descriptive without boring me into skipping the descriptions. The characters are specific and fully realized, and I cared deeply about what would happen to them. The plot developments made perfect sense, yet I did not see them coming. I feel almost like I did when I read my first Narnian book, a sense of wonder that this world is totally invented by one person. I look forward to the next book in the series, and many more by the author.

5/5 stars

Monday, November 16, 2020

TTT: Long Titles That Go On and On for an Extraordinarily Lengthy Amount of Time and Syllables


 TTT (Top Ten Tuesday) is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

I have missed so many of these in my pandemic-driven lack of blogging that I'm just going to pick favorites I didn't get to weigh in on. Okay? Okay. 

One fairly recent top ten topic was "long titles." I came up with a few rules for myself in what qualified:
  • Books I've actually read and enjoyed
  • No subtitles--unless I felt deep in my soul that the subtitle was actually a vital part of the title
  • Six word minimum
  • But given that, the more syllables, the better, obviously. The Rest of Us Just Live Here has more words than The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, but clearly the latter is a longer title.
  • Tie breakers were given to the books I liked better
Working from that framework, and going back a few years on my Goodreads "read" list, I came up with this:

  1. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things
  2. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
  3. Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy
  4. Don’t You Dare Read this, Mrs. Dunphrey
  5. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future
  6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
  7. The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To
  8. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
  9. Neil Armstrong is my Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me
  10. I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President
I feel like the last two were quite intentional about trying to write ridiculously long titles. And I love them for it!

Working on this list, I remembered that whole YA fantasy title trope of ___ of ___ and ___, and I had to make another list of just those. It's so common that Epic Reads made a title generator out of it! I didn't just copy it here, because I'm respectful of copyright like that. What's your title? Mine is Dance of Memories and Monsters, which TOTALLY sounds like a book I'd read. 

  1. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
  2. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
  3. The Knife of Never Letting Go
  4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  5. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
  6. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
  7. Girl of Fire and Thorns
  8. The Smell of Other People’s Houses
  9. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
  10. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B