books i will read this winter

I have realized I have a pile of ARCs that need to get read and reviewed, plus I have books I’ve just had given to me, and it’s super disrespectful to be given the chance to read (and either review or write about) a ton of books FOR FREE and not do it. Also, there are some books I want to read for “research,” and there are other books I want to read in anticipation of not having time to read anything written for adults in 2013 (the reason for which I will hopefully be able to announce at some point).

So, though this is more for my use and keeping-myself-accountable-ness, if you’re interested, here is what I will be reading over the winter, in no particular order:

  • Paradise Hunger by Henry W. Leung
  • Splintered by A.G. Howard
  • City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
  • No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Michaux Nelson
  • Dreamland by David K. Randall
  • The Secret Wish of Nannerl Mozart by Barbara Kathleen Nickel
  • The Milk of Birds by Sylvia Whitman
  • Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  • Adaptation by Malinda Lo
  • Secret Saturdays by Torrey Maldonado

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i just realized that pinterest could actually be good for something

English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I was required to join Pinterest for a class project, and I hated it pretty instantly. I didn’t realize that when you chose what you were interested in, it made you follow those people instead of just recommending them or using them as an algorithm to provide recs later. And they make it really, really hard to unfollow people. So that sucks, because my apartment might be cluttered beyond belief, but I like my Internet nice and clean and streamlined. I also didn’t think I would find it useful because I generally save things that are words, not images. Pinterest seems to be the domain of mommy bloggers, brides to be, Pinnercisers (i.e. people who pin exercise tips and probably do not exercise), and foodies, and while I like some of those things, I am more of a reader, so if I bookmark something, it’s probably a long essay that analyzes a book or something.

But I recently started reading my favorite food blogs again, and then when I was working on my Pinterest assignment yesterday, I went to read some of them and they killed my computer. Food photos might be pretty, but if your blog design is endless scroll, you are ruining my life. So, food blogs, I am breaking up with you. And if you don’t have a Pinterest account, we’ll never run into each other again. Because it’s so much easier to just look at a title and small photo and decide right then if it’s worth clicking on. Continue reading

the boys of middle grade

So lately everyone on the Internet thinks they’re allowed to write about YA even though they a) know nothing about it, b) don’t know its history, and c) think it’s the same as middle grade. It makes me and tons of other people cray cray. And that’s not just because those of us who make YA and children’s literature (the first is NOT an acceptable umbrella term for all things written for people who can’t vote; the other is–get it straight) our lives, our objects of study, and our creative pursuits get sad. It’s also because calling Matilda a YA heroine (is dumb and marks you as a fool and) diminishes what a great and powerful thing exceptional middle grade is. Instead of conflating all things so that you can be trendy and misinformed, why not celebrate TWO cool categories of literature instead of one?

Middle grade is its own thing. And it’s awesome. Whereas YA tends to be a man vs. society thing, all about testing your independence and learning who you are, MG tends to be more about clueless parents, adverbs, and being resourceful and plucky. Like I said, it’s awesome. But seriously, there are so many people out there writing about the difference between YA and MG that I don’t need to repeat them. Go look them up, and until then, assume that if you write for HuffPo or the Atlantic Wire, you don’t actually know shit and you should shut up. I don’t write about NASA because I don’t care–and because I don’t know anything about astrophysics. See how that works? Continue reading