Relation’ships’ I didn’t connect with

listGenerally speaking, I like the who the main character of a book ends up with in whatever form of relationship they choose by the end of the book.  This means I almost never ‘ship’ characters with other characters that they didn’t end up with.  However, there have been a few relationships that I haven’t connected with (but never shipped the characters with alternate people).

Disclaimer: while writing the first example I realised that I could do this with spoilers for series or without.   I have opted for a mix of no spoilers for less common books and spoilers for common ones.  ‘Common’ is defined as, is there a movie out? since that seems to be a good(ish) measure of popularity of a novel. 

1. Beka Cooper and her ultimate choice (Beka Cooper trilogy by Tamora Pierce)

I didn’t connect to the character that she picked on the first, second or fifth re-read for reasons that I can’t really place a finger on other then a general unremarkableness and some mild expectant spoilery type feelings.  Still absolutely LOVED this series and the finale despite my dislike for the end pairing. 

2. Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter series by JK Rowling)

I liked Ron and Hermione, possibly even more as an adult then as a child, but even as a child I never really ‘got’ Harry and Ginny.  This is nothing against Ginny as a character, as I love her.  However I seem to have a hard time really getting behind them being together.   

3. Katniss and Peeta (The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins)

I admit, typically the first character introduced is the one I root for in the end.  In this case upon reading the first and second books I was rooting (while secretly trying not to root for) Gale.  However, I never hated Peeta, I just never connected to him as a character as much, possibly because I ‘saw’ him through Katniss’ eyes, which let’s face it, didn’t show him in the best of lights for most of the first two books. By the end of the third book, though, I just really wanted her to be by herself. 

4. Simon Snow and Bae (Carry On by Rainbow Rowell) 

This relationship seemed forced.  Maybe if the book wasn’t so much a recap of a bunch of years worth of history for the characters the eventual ‘and then they hooked up’ would not have seemed so out of place.  Don’t get me wrong, I knew from the beginning what was going to happen and was looking out for the signs but even then….

5. Quentin Coldwater and his hookup (The Magicians by Lev Grossman)

Even typing his name brings me back to Eliot’s reaction to his name in the TV show.  So. Perfect.  Anyway, I could say who he is with seeing how there is a TV show, but I won’t.  I don’t like it because Quentin is a whiney manchild and she can do better.  Also she didn’t have much of a personality for me to really get behind her dating anyone in the book…  


Best Suggested Books I Loved (Previous Top 5 Wednesday topic)

Me and book suggestions have a strange relationship and one day I will write an entire blog post (or more??) on the topic.  When I’m not doing massive overtime at work and having only one day off a week where I sleep most of the day and manage to squeeze out a few blog posts to queue up to post throughout the week.  

Today, however, I want to spotlight a few books that were suggested to me that I absolutely love, have read too many times to count, and recommend to anyone who will listen.    

First Test, book 1 in the Protector of the Small quartet by Tamora Pierce

First_TestI still remember this one.  This also happens to be the book that really got me into reading.  I was already a reader before this book ended up in my hands but this is the book got me hooked.  While at the library, already with a stack of books to sign out, a librarian handed me this book and told me it was very popular and that she thought I would love it.  I remember signing it out mostly to appease her and my mom then to actually read it.  I read all the other books in my pile and was going to go back to the library without reading it but on a whim I actually started the book.  And never put it down.  And them made my mom the the librarian look up basically every book in the series and Tamora Pierce’s previous series to read.  

Crown Duel (previously Crown Duel and Court Duel) by Sherwood Smith

Crown_Duel_This time I asked for recommendations and this was one of them.  I looked it up and was interested by didn’t expect to be blown away.  But I went ahead and grabbed the book from the library (inter-library loan, actually, since my system didn’t have it) and was BLOWN AWAY with both this book and much of the rest of the books Sherwood Smith has written (though I admit I have only read about 1/4 of them, but I stand by my recommendation of her Inda Series).  This book is the first to break my long-held rule of not buying books.  Occasionally I would buy one or two but t was not really a planned thing.  This one I HAD TO HAVE.  About a year later I got my first credit card basically because I wanted to buy the prequel to this book and was hard to find it in stores in Canada so I bought it from the States online.

Looking at the two books in this list with the covers of the copies I read first, I see they both have girls with a black eye on the cover.  Funny how that works!  Though I will say about a decade separated them from each other when I first read them. 

Is there a book you are very grateful someone recommended to you?


Ruler of Books Tag

tagThis tag was created by Ariel Bissett!

If you were the Ruler of Books…

1. What book would you make everyone read?

As much as I would love to make everyone read a few of my favourite books I have found from school that forcing people to read books causes resentment, prevents book enjoyment and leads to people skimming out on the book.  Plus with more people that might not typically read my favourite book reading my favourite book there would be too many people dissing it and/or the author and that is not something I can handle.

However, while writing that paragraph I just realised there is one book that I might actually want everyone to read: The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker, or something similar to that in the hope that it would make people more aware of their instincts and hopefully save a few lives.

2. What would you abolish in book construction?

Maps on the inside covers.  When it’s your own book it’s a handy place to put it, but in library books it always gets covered by the fancy laminating process the dust jacket goes through so you can never see the dang map!  Instead I would make all books that have maps to have a fold out page so you can look at it while reading if you so choose, while also making the mag page easy to find, if you don’t want to do it that way.

3. What author would you commission to write you any book?

See, the authors I want to write more books are currently doing it, and those that are not currently writing books I wouldn’t want to force it.  Though I would like to see what else Kristin Cashore would write.  

4. What book would you demote to the library basement to make room for new books?

Only demote to the basement?  I’m the ruler of books and thus will go even further and destroy the book: 50 shades & Co by E.L. James.

5. What cover artist would you commission to make a mural?

Uhhh…maybe Keith Parkinson?  Though he has passed on, so perhaps the man who took over from him in illustrating the Green Rider series, Donato Giancola. 

6. What characters face would you put on a coin?

I feel like putting the Trickster’s face on the coinage of the Ruler of Books land would be an interesting experiment (from the Trickster’s series by Tamora Pierce) 

7. What book would you award the “Ruler of Books” 2016 Prize to?

I can’t pick just one so I won’t.  But if it’s the best book read in 2016 so far that would be Epic by Conor Kostick. 



Book commercials

thoughtsSadly, this blog post is not about commercials about books like you would see about movies.  If only that was a thing.  Instead ‘book commercials’ is a term I have used to describe when you are reading a book when there is a sudden mention of a modern-day, relevant product.  In other words, similar to product placement, but not really for financial gain on the part of the author but more to set the scene or to make the book more relatable.  

An example.  In the New Millennium Edition of So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane there is a scene that goes like this:

“A lot of kids got video of it on their phones, and there’d been much discussion about whether it was worth putting up on Youtube.” 

Personally, I generally dislike when things like Youtube Coca Cola, The Big Bang Theory and the like are mentioned in books, though there are a few exceptions mostly for contemporary books.  When I stumble into a mention of a modern-day product it more often then not throws me out of the story rather then adding to the scene the author is trying to create.  I think in part it has to do with branding and it sounds like a commercial in the middle of my novel, hence ‘book commercials’.  It’s not a technology thing as mentions of cells phones and texting in books don’t bother me but mentions of Facebook and Youtube do.  A phone is a pretty generic and expected word to find in a story set in a time and place they should be a part of and not mentioning them would seem more out of place at this point in human history then mentioning them.  It’s more when a brand or business is name-dropped in the middle of the text that it becomes an issue for me.  

In the case above, it would have been better, in my opinion, if it was mentioned they wanted to put the video on the internet; it keeps the book up to date without throwing in ‘book commercials’ in the middle.  If Duane would have written “put it on the internet” of course I still would have though of Youtube but it opens the text up to other places/cultural niches on the internet based on the reader’s personal experiences.  It also seems less like product placement which I find throws me out of the story.

For example, someone from China reading “put on the internet” they might not have thought YouTube because (I believe) they have different major video and certainly have different chat sites then we do and it would make the book more personal to them.  Sure the main character if the story the above quote is from is explicitly stated as living in New York and thus would be most likely to use a site like YouTube over the a preferred site in China, but at the same time having the ability to embellishing the details of the story, the grey areas, is part of the reading process and not leaving as many grey areas that are open to interpretation give the reader less of an opportunity to make the story something they can relate to.

I guess what I’m failing at saying is there is a fine line of setting the place and time of the story and giving enough details to get a clear picture of what is going on so the reader can imagine it and leaving enough out that the reader can embellish the story to suit their life and experiences. Also I dislike product placement in that books I read because most of the time it’s not done well and throws me out of the story.  

So, am I making a mountain out of a molehill or are their others that feel similar to me?  Additionally, would you like to see advertisements on TV or elsewhere featuring books, real-life book commercials?  

Top 5 Wednesday: Most Recent Additions to Your Wishlist

topI am a library reader 90% of the time, so 90% of this list is of books I really want to get my hands on from the library.  They might not be super new and shiney but things I want to read very soon.  One is a book I need to buy, but just not right now.  

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is hosted by Sam at thoughtsontombs. Sam is actually the one that first got me thinking about the topic of female friendships several months ago and thus spawned two different blog posts of mine which were fairly popular.  If you want to know more about Top 5 Wednesday, you can check out the Goodreads page.

1. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – This one was introduced to me by Booktube and sounded really good.  Then it made it onto my intimidating TBR tag list.  Then a friend read it and ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT and it made me NEED IT RIGHT NOW.  Sadly it’s not in my library system. 

2. Games Wizards Play and the Feline Wizard books by Diane Duane – currently reading (slowly because overtime at work is a pain) the 9th book in the series and the 10th just came out and I will need it very soon.  Sadly not in my library system. 

3. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – must-have addition for my personal library.  

4. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – It needs to be October soon so that I can read this! 

5. Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout – continuing with the SciFi and virtual reality theme I have been in recently, this is another one that BookTube introduced me to and is not part of my library system that I really want to read right now. 

Epic Reads book Tag

tagI saw this so I decided to do it.  As I do with almost all tags. 

1. If you could invite one author and one of their fictional characters for tea who would you invite and what would you serve?

So I’m one that would never actually want to have dinner/tea with my favourite author because I wouldn’t really know what to say to them.  I also want to just be mean and have say E.L. James in the same room as Christian Grey and watch what happens.  For this epic even I would serve potato salad because its the best.

2. What would you love a prequel for and what would be the main storyline?

I would love to hear more about how Kel’s parents (from the Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce) became ambassadors to the Yamani Islands.  Make it a series to, please!

3. Which two characters not from the same book would make a great book couple?

It is literally impossible for me to ship non-text supported couples or relationships as I am on the asexual scale of things. 

4. If you ran into your favourite author on the subway and could only say one sentence to them, what would you say?

Thank you. 

5. What book made you a reader and why?

First Test, book 1 of the Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce.  This is the first book I remember reading outside of the classroom even though I know I was a reader before this series.  This book made me more so.  It was perfect for me: it had a lead character that was so much like me facing bullying, medieval times stuff (still don’t know if this book sparked my love of knights and swords and castles or if I was interested in it beforehand), fantasy, unique creatures, a sort of boarding school vibe and much more good stuff. 

6. If your bookshelf was caught on fire which book would you save?

Sadly, my Master’s thesis should likely be my first thing because that monster was expeeeeeensive to have bound, but there are a number of hard to get and nostalgia books on there that I would want to grab as well. 

7. Which dystopian world would you want to live in?

Hmmm toughy.  I think even though I didn’t like the book, the future world of Ready Player One by Ernst Cline because the virtual reality part is really interesting.  Though the 80’s references would kill me.  Thought lets be real, I can think of like 4 dystopian settings off the top of my head atm so the list to pick from is small. 

8. What is your most epic read of all time?

I can’t pick just one book and no one is going to make me!