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Thursday, October 23, 2014


In which I break my not-ban on buying books, and go a little overboard with one in particular...

I know October's not over yet, but I'm not expecting more bookage, so thought I'd go ahead and share these lovelies. I did some fun things in October, and got some fun things from awesome people, so yay for these new additions! (And yes, I really did mean it when I said I wouldn't be really buying too many books for a bit... promise.)

Exquisite Captive | Heather Demetrios
(also had Something Real signed)
The Jewel | Amy Ewing
Anatomy of a Misfit | Andrea Portes
Asylum | Madeleine Roux
Blackbird | Anna Carey
(also showed Eve)
Prickle Moon | Juliet Marillier
The Madness of Mr Darcy | Alexa Adams
Shadow Scale (!!!) | Rachel Hartman


Monday, October 20, 2014

Excerpt & Giveaway: Redeemed by P.C. & Kristin Cast!

A few years ago, the House of Night series swept it's way right through my circle of friends. We read the first book, Marked, in our book club, and it seemed that many of the meetings that followed somehow ended with conversations about where everyone was in the storyline, or some thing that had happened that those who were still reading the series just needed to talk about!

With the series ending, I don't imagine those conversations will last too much longer (except for when noobs join the club, and have the series pressed into their hands...); I know there are a number of you out there who are big fans of the series, too, so I'm happy to share an excerpt of the final book with you today, as well as a chance to win a little something from the HON world!

Click through to read a little bit from Redeemed, and then enter to win!

LEVEL UP by Gene Luen Yang & Thien Pham | #GraphicNovelWeek

And we're down to our last vlog of Graphic Novel Week!
Thanks to all of you for sticking around and chiming in this week; I love hearing about your favorite graphic novels, and I LOVE getting recommendations from you!
If you missed anything or want more graphic novel love...

Thanks for watching!

LEVEL UP by Gene Luen Yang, art by Thien Pham
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Dennis Ouyang has always struggled in the shadow of his parents' expectations. His path is laid out for him: stay focused in high school, become a gastroenterologist. It may be hard work, but it isn't complicated … until suddenly it is.

Between his father's death, his academic burnout, and his deep (and distracting) love of video games, Dennis is nowhere near where his family wanted him to be. In fact, he's just been kicked out of college.

And that's when things get … weird.

Four adorable—and bossy--angels, straight out of a sappy greeting card, appear and take charge of Dennis's life. And so Dennis finds himself herded back onto the straight and narrow: the path to gastroenterology. But nothing is ever what it seems when life, magic and video games collide.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

FIVE IN FIVE: Super Quick Reviews of Recent Graphic Novels | #GraphicNovelWeek

5 in 5 time! It's pretty self-explanatory, but just in case it's not, here's the deal: I'm going to show you five graphic novels I've read recently and attempt to review them all in under five minutes. And accounting for a bit of extra time (say, 5 seconds intro, 5 seconds outra, and 43 bajillion seconds of rat-wrangling, I'd say I an in under budget! ;P )
Thanks for watching, and talk to ya in the comments! =D

IN REAL LIFE by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
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Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It's a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It's a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer - a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person's real livelihood is at stake.

THROUGH THE WOODS by Emily Carroll
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'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...

AMY UNBOUNDED by Rachel Hartman
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Belondweg Blossoming follows the lives of Amy and her neighbor Bran Ducanahan the summer they turn ten. Amy has begun reading the national epic, Belondweg, about a semi-mythical queen of the same name who united Goredd and saved her people from invaders. Amy only wishes her own life were half as exciting. But how is life supposed to live up to literature when your mother is a semi-domesticated barbarian, all the knights you know are banished, and the only dragon you have ever met is a geeky grad student?

Join Amy as she dances the Two-foot, wears a really ugly bridesmaid's dress, becomes friends (in spite of everything!) with Bran, imitates the patron saint of ducks, flees from rampaging sheep, learns that love doesn't always conquer all, chugs buttermilk, and begins to understand that even Belondweg didn't have to save the world all by herself.

Winner of the 2001 Xeric Grant.

THE WRENCHIES by Farel Dalrymple
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Meet the Wrenchies.

They're strong, powerful, and if you cross them, things will quickly go very badly for you. Only one thing scares them—growing up. Because in the world of the Wrenchies, it's only kids who are safe... anyone who survives to be an adult lives in constant fear of the Shadowsmen. All the teenagers who come into contact with them turn into twisted, nightmarish monsters whose minds are lost forever.

When Hollis, an unhappy and alienated boy, stumbles across a totem that gives him access to the parallel world of the Wrenchies, he finally finds a place where he belongs. But he soon discovers that the feverish, post-apocalyptic world of the Wrenchies isn't staying put... it's bleeding into Hollis's normal, real life. Things are getting very scary, very fast.

Farel Dalrymple brings all his significant literary and artistic powers to bear in his magnum opus—a sprawling, intense science fiction tale that has at its heart the uncertainty and loneliness of growing up.

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The Stratford Zoo looks like a normal zoo... until the gates shut at night. That's when the animals come out of their cages to stage elaborate performances of Shakespeare's greatest works. They might not be the most accomplished thespians, but they've got what counts: heart. Also fangs, feathers, scales, and tails, in The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth.

Ian Lendler's hilarious tale of after-hours animal stagecraft is perfectly paired with the adorable, accessible artwork of Zack Giallongo (Broxo, Ewoks). And with Romeo and Juliet coming in book two, this is a promising new series of graphic novels for young readers.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

FLASH GIVEAWAY! | #GraphicNovelWeek

Welp, I've had less time this weekend than I was anticipating, which means that today's intended Graphic Novel Week vlog just isn't going to happen (yet). But as I was scrolling through Amazon while putting together my graphic novel collection video, I noticed that one of the books on my shelves, by one of my favorite graphic novel authors, is on, like, super sale, so I thought, PERFECT! I'll make up for the lack of Saturday-vlog with a flash giveaway!

Someone's gonna get a copy of Prime Baby by Gene Luen Yang, who is amazeballs. US only (sorry, international peeps, I loves ya, but shipping), and I'm drawing the winner on Monday, so it's a SUPER QUICK GIVEAWAY DON'Y MISS OUT YO.
And since it's such a super quickie giveaway, I'm not even worrying about tweeting and all that jazz. Click and you're entered, done.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prime Baby by Gene Luen Yang
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From the pages of the New York Times and the pen of Printz Award winner Gene Luen Yang comes a tale of math, aliens, and new siblings.

Thaddeus doesn’t like his new sister (she’s not that smart— and she gets all the attention). He likes her even less when he discovers that she’s an inter-dimensional conduit for peace-loving aliens (who are totally lame—all they want to do is knit socks for the homeless and have sing-a-longs!). But what’s even worse is that no one will believe him about any of this! How is he ever going manage to grow up to become the President of Earth?

First serialized in the New York Times Magazine, Prime Baby is a laugh-out-loud look at sibling rivalry.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Need-to-Reads | #GraphicNovelWeek

It's been awhile since we had an honest-to-goodness Book Chat, but now seemed like the perfect opportunity! So today, as part of Graphic Novel Week, I thought we'd do a bit of a Chat /slash/ a "reverse" genre push, in which we talk about gaps in my own graphic novel collection (see the full thing here), as well as what graphic novel/manga/comic you'd push into people's hands to convince them to give graphic novels a try.
Can't wait to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Conversation with Cory Doctorow

I'll be sharing my thoughts on Cory Doctorow's & Jen Wang's In Real Life this weekend, as we wrap up #GraphicNovelWeek, but today, Cory has dropped by to have a Very Serious Conversation as part of the 30 Questions with Cory Doctorow blog tour! I'm a fan of Cory's, and one of the major reasons for that is the way his passion comes through in every aspect of his online presence. In Real Life takes a relatable approach to a number of problems that are easy to keep at a distance, and today, Cory and I are going to dig into that a bit.
Check it out below, and make sure to stop back by this weekend for my thoughts on In Real Life!

Your work (both as a traditional author and as a journalist on Boing Boing) centers around tackling very modern problems — or, rather, new permutations of old problems — file-sharing and DRM (copyright), gold farming and in-game economics (exploitation, consumerism, actual-world economics), etc. They're all interconnected, of course, but if you could sit someone down and make them understand your passion about any one thing, what would it be? What would you want them to take away from your conversation?

My other fall 2014 book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, tries to answer this question. Basically, my message is that the world is made out of computers. Our houses, cars, airplanes, etc are made of computers that we put our bodies into, and increasingly, our bodies are full of computers, from pacemakers to hearing aids. As estoeric as Internet policy and regulation are, they’re the secret forces that shape the whole world -- information doesn’t want to be free, but PEOPLE do, and in the information age, people can’t be free without free and fair information infrastructure.

The Internet isn’t a glorified video-on-demand service, it’s not a tool for organizing jihad, it’s not a better pornography delivery system, it’s not a platform for MMOs -- it’s the nervous system of the twenty first century, and when we treat its individual applications as the central fact of the net, we end up making decisions that undermine and redound through all of society and down through our future.

In the forward to In Real Life, you talk about how one of the huge changes we've seen as a result of internet access is the ease with which people can come together and join their voices. We've seen it in things like the campaign to stop SOPA, various grassroots social justice endeavors (like the Steubenville rape case, etc), and of course the plethora of petition sites we see nowadays. But as much as we band together and make our voices heard on things like DRM, exchange of ideas and internet freedom, it doesn't seem like any battles are ever really won; as soon as one piece of legislation is struck down, 3 more appear hydra-like in its place; wherever there is money to be made, it seems someone will be there to control, portion and profit... all of which is a really long-winded way of saying, are we fighting a losing battle? Will history remember us as lovable upstarts who ultimately lost, or pioneers in freeing up intellectual property?

The issue isn't copyright, or free speech, or social justice. These are all epiphenomena of a more fundamental issue: corruption.

Lawmakers represent an ever-shrinking cadre of rich and powerful investors who command more and more wealth, and who use that wealth to ensure that the law continues to tilt towards them, towards their continued enrichment and ongoing positions of power.

A free and open Internet through which we can organize to fight this rot is the prerequisite to solving all other problems. By definition, the rich and powerful are organized -- they have solved their coordination problems, the underlying problem of all human endeavor:
how to get stuff done by groups of people with a minimum of time stepping on each others' toes.

By definition, the opposition to the establishment is less organized than the establishment. The Internet radically lowers the cost of organizing (imagine making Wikipedia without the Internet!), and while that confers a benefit to the establishment, it confers a greater benefit to the opposition -- in that the establishment's just getting more of what it already has, while the opposition is getting something new.

I'm not an optimist and I'm not a pessimist. I'm *hopeful*.

If your ship sank in the open sea, treading water until you couldn't kick anymore wouldn't be an act of optimism. You know you probably won't be rescued. But you kick anyway. Because you haven't given up hope. Because not everyone who kicked was rescued, but because everyone who was rescued kicked.

And if you were supporting your loved ones -- your kids, your spouse -- you'd kick harder. Because you'd be hoping for them, too.

The alternative to fighting back is capitulating. To hell with that.

Will we get an follow-up stories, even brief web-comic style ones, from Anda and/or Raymond down the line? Or any side characters?

There's a new webcomic short up on Tor.com called Con/Game, that Jen and I did to promote the book. I'm generally not much of a sequels guy -- I'm more forward looking ("let the way of others be lit by the flames of the bridges I burned behind me!"). But never say never -- I didn't plan on writing a LITTLE BROTHER sequel, but when HOMELAND popped into my head, I wrote it in 8 weeks flat.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Cory!
Hope to see the rest of you this weekend, when I talk about In Real Life as part of my 5-in-5 vlog for #GraphicNovelWeek!

Check out the rest of the 30 Questions with Cory Doctorow tour stops at these awesome blogs!
Wednesday, October 8th – Bunbury in the Stacks http://bunburyinthestacks.com/
Thursday, October 9th – Stacked http://www.stackedbooks.org/
Friday, October 10th – Forever YA http://foreveryoungadult.com/
Saturday, October 11th – CBR Robot 6 http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/
Sunday, October 12th – The Midnight Garden http://www.themidnightgarden.net/
Monday, October 13th – Cuddlebuggery http://cuddlebuggery.com/
Tuesday, October 14th -- Guys Lit Wire http://guyslitwire.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, October 15th – Novel Thoughts http://www.novelthoughtsblog.com/
Thursday, October 16th – The Book Rat - Hey, you're here!
Friday, October 17th – Alice Marvels http://www.alicemarvels.com/

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
Get It | Add It
196 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by First Second
Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It's a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It's a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer - a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person's real livelihood is at stake.

From acclaimed teen author and digerati bigwig Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


So, I dug all of the graphic novels off of my shelves (or the ones I could find, anyway), and lemme tell you, they are going to be HELL to put away. The things I do for you...
*prepares for another month-long floor-pile* ;P
But while I've got this big ole stack taking up space, let's take a look at just what is in it!
Let me know in the comments which ones you love or have been wanting to read, and tell me titles you think I should look into and add to my collection!

Zita the Spacegirl
Legends of Zita the Spacegirl
Return of Zita the Spacegirl
Friends with Boys
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong
Bake Sale
Robot Dreams
Castle Waiting, vol 1
Castle Waiting, vol 2
Same Difference
Delilah Dirk & the Turkish Lieutenant
The Eternal Smile
A Bride's Story, vol 1
Sailor Twain
This One Summer
Rapunzel's Revenge
Giants Beware
The Undertaking of Lily Chen
The Cute Girl Network
Amy Unbounded
Through the Woods
The Wrenchies
The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth
In Real Life
Prime Baby
Level Up
Boxers & Saints boxed set
Life Sucks
Clockwork Angel
The Year of the Beasts

Forgot to show:
Anya's Ghost
The Rise of Aurora West

Any reviews and guest posts mentioned can be found somewhere here on the blog; sorry, don't have time to dig them up individually at the moment!


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