What Cats Do Book Tag

tagI saw this post over on Icebreaker694’s blog and thought I’d give it a try since I looooove cats and the questions on this were great!  Thanks to Kate at meltingpotsandothercalamities for creating this tag! If you do this tag, be sure to tag her in this as those are the rules!

PURR- What is the book that makes you happiest or relaxed?

Squire (third book in the Protector of the Small series) by Tamora Pierce and Harry Potter #1 and #3.

SLEEP- What is a book that put you to sleep or was just boring?

I read a handful of these recently, they include: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, A Wizard of Mars by Diane Duane, Saga by Conor Kostick and The Magicians by Lev Grossman.  There are more, but I’m going to stop there.

TWITCH WHILE DREAMING- A book you dreamt about? 

Dream about owning: all the new, unreleased books by Tamora Pierce

Dream about visiting: Hogwarts or Tortall

Actually dream about: none as far as I know, though a case could be made for Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, because all that takes is crossing a door….

SEEMS TO PLAY NICE…UNTIL THE CLAWS ARE OUT- Which book had the biggest plot twist? 

The one the threw me the most that I was not expecting happened in Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce.  Also Lupin being a warewolf.

CUDDLES- Which book character would you give a hug to?

Basically all the animal characters ever.  Also the Darkings.

CATNIP- What’s a book that made you have warm and fuzzy feels?

There are many.  Most of them written by Tamora Pierce.  Do I sound like a broken record yet?  Also Harry Potter #1 and #3.

CAT BREEDS- What are your favourite books?

You can take a look at my mostly complete favourites shelf here.

GETTING THE CAT- How did you find your favourite books?

A Librarian introduced my to Tamora Pierce when I was about 8 years old.  Then I was introduced to my next favourite author when I asked for a recommendation for books similar to hers on an online forum when I was 18.  Other childhood favourites were blurbed by TP and then Booktube has given me a few good recommendations recently.  Funny how that works out since I’m terrible for actually reading and liking hyped and recommended books to the point where I almost didn’t read the Tamora Pierce book from the librarian, the once the was basically my childhood. 

THE VET’S OFFICE- Your least favourite book

I had some winners last year for least favourite books.  Most of these were books I read for school like Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger and Fifth Business by Roberson Davies.  There were some others that were boring but I didn’t hate.  One that I HATED was Spy Glass by Maria V Snyder. 

BEING IN PLACES THEY SHOULDN’T- Least favourite clichÉ

There are a lot but bland female main characters with the depth of paper is one. 

THE GOOD OLD CARDBOARD BOX- Most underrated book series

In this age of discussion about male privilege and badass female leads, I never understood why Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small series isn’t more popular.

Advertisements

You are a reader!

thoughtsThe average person in the US (and likely Canada and many other countries of the world) reads less then 5 books a year.  If, like me, you think that is a very small number, congrats you are likely a reader!

Now, the word reader means a person who reads.  Despite what anyone might tell you, it does not specify what type of things you need to read to be a reader.  It can be books, poetry, short stories, novellas, zines and magazines, fanfiction, instruction manuals, ‘trashy’ internet erotica, role-playing posts…..the list is a long one.  The list I provided is also only things that a ‘reader’ might read, but reading is something essentially everyone does on a semi-daily basis.  Reading a menu or a price tag would make you a reader by the above definition.  

However, in colloquial terms ‘a reader’ tends to be someone who reads ‘a lot’ (and also the types of things I mentioned above and not the ‘everyday’ things), but as the average person reads fewer then 5 books in a year, anything more then that can be classified as ‘a lot’.  That means 10 books a year can make you a reader.  So that ‘only one book this month’ you read?  Congrats, you are still a reader!  ‘I only read a few magazines or fanfic’.  Still a reader!  

Don’t let the words of others define you or bring you down.  You may not read as much as you want or as much as the gatekeepers to reading might say you need to, but if you think you are a reader, CONGRATS!! You! Are! A! Reader!

Top Five Wednesday: Favourite Underrated Books

topAnother Top 5 Wednesday post!  Pretty self explanatory, which books you love that don’t get talked about as much.  Four of these books are almost never talked about.  The last is talked about sometimes but not much anymore.  Find T5W over on Goodreads.

1. Anything Tamora Pierce – friendship, great themes, great writing, diversity, badass ladies, sassy animals etc, etc

2. The Inda Series by Sherwood Smith – all of the above and more!

3. Green Rider by Kristen Britain – friendship, great writing, badass ladies, sassy animals and  more!

4. The Wake Triolgy by  Lisa McMann – such a unique concept!

5. Poison Study by Maria V Snyder – badass ladies, great friendship, diversity, like Throne of glass but better!

Honourable Mentions: The Long Way to a Small by Becky Chambers, So you Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane

My ‘read’ pile is deceiving

The list of books I compile on Goodreads and here is not actually accurate to what I read in a year. I mean, it is but also it isn’t.  It has to do with how we ‘read’ books.  Like how some people consider audiobooks as not really reading books.  But it’s a bit more confusing and complicated then that.

Let me explain.

I’m part of a community that centers around one person and his perpetually un-preparedness.  Mark Oshiro, the creator and mastermind of Mark Reads (and Mark Watches, find him here!) reads books he knows nothing about besides that they were recommended to him and posts him reading it online chapter by chapter.  Additionally, he reviews every chapter with his thoughts, feelings and personal anecdotes, etc for people to comment on, laugh and cry with him or at him.  He is always very unprepared, even when he is the most prepared, and it’s great fun to watch and join in.  Plus you get to read great books and discuss them with great people.  Part of the reason I have been making my way through Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series this year despite fairly average ratings for many of them was to go through them with Mark and his community.  I have been reading the books on my own and then re-reading the books with Mark.  

But I don’t keep track of this anywhere.  

Why?

Well, it’s hard to call it reading, even though it is basically reading.  It’s an audiobook, more or less after all, just in a video format where you get to see someone reacting to what is happening.  You get 2-3 chapters a week, making it take a month or several to finish a book.  Again, nothing wrong with that as many people take months to read a book.  It could be because it’s reading with a community, but you can argue it’s a massive online book club with a very prominent figurehead.  Because that’s what it is, abet in a different format and functionality then most are used to seeing with book clubs.

I think the real major reason I don’t count those books as being ones I read and track the year is because I mostly follow Mark as he reads books I have already read, know well and love.  But this ‘excuse’ doesn’t hold much water because I re-read Harry Potter this year and counted it.

Essentially, this stream of conscientiousness post is basically saying a few things:

1. Check you Mark because he is AWESOME, funny, insightful (he and he’s community have opened my eyes up to many issues, tropes, themes in writing; for example why you shouldn’t describe people of colour using food or animal analogies) and reads great books.

2. I really should start tracking these books because it is still reading, if in an unusual way.

3. I don’t feel so bad about my 2016 reading challenge and the possibility I ‘cheated’ by reading tiny books, because I read a handful of books this year with Mark on top of what I tracked. 

4. There are many different ways to ‘read’ books and all of them are valid!

Some more background on Mark: Currently he is reading great books, but he started out with Twilight many, many years ago.  Then someone convinced him to read Harry Potter, which he did grudgingly thinking it was going to be as bad as Twilight.  After that he started it up as a regular thing reading book that have been vetted as good, adding the video component to it later on.

For the record he is currently reading Young Wizards by Diane Duane and Discworld by Terry Pratchett.

2016 Book awards

It’s (about to be?) award season!  So I thought I would award some of the books I read this year and some of the characters that have read more about this year.  These are not books released in 2016, they are books I have read in 2016.  Also, priority has been given to books that are new to me this year.  

Here we go!

Best Actor aka Best Male Protagonist

Leif (Maria V Synder)

Best Actress aka Best Female Protagonist

Hermione Granger (JK Rowling)

Best Cinematography aka Best Plot Twist

One of the ones in Night Study by Maria V Synder, obviously I can’t tell because spoilers.  Sure I saw it coming about 2 chapters early, but I was sooooo excited for it to happen and for the consequences of it happening. 

Best Costume Design aka Best Book cover

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Best Supporting Actress and Actor aka Best M/F side character

Janco (Maria V Synder)

Professor McGonagall (JK Rowling)

Best Original screen play aka most unique world/setting

The World(s) of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.  This is a very expansive and complex world and I love it. 

Best Adapted screen ply aka best book-to-movie adaption

So, I haven’t actually seen a movie adaptation this year (that I know of??) but I suspect after reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling that the movie was much better (if imperfect) then the novella.

Best animated feature aka a book you want to see animated

HARRY POTTER.  Make it allllll the creepy/creative/quarky/Harry Potter-esque animation!

Best director aka best new writer discovered

Becky Chambers

Best short film aka best short story/novella

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Best visual effects aka best action

Epic by Conor Kostick.  Not necessarily most action-packed book, but good ‘visual effects’ in the gaming world described.  

Best documentary aka best historical fiction/non-fiction

N/A (unless you count scientific literature, which I guess you could, but I’m not going to name off that sort of thing here)

Best picture aka best book

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Top Five Wednesday: Polarizing Reads

topThese are supposed to be book you love that people either love or hate, but several books on this list are books that I hated, but I could see how others love.

Top 5 Wednesday is host over on Goodreads by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes.

1. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – this is a satirical book that just did not work for me but I can see why people would like it.

2. Spy Glass by Maria V Synder – the main character is in a relationship which started off abusive and squicks me out sooooo much and is hand waved away.  Also there are certain scene in this novel that I’m not a fan of and the over abundance of kidnapping in this book annoys me.  However, some people can over look all these flaws and love it?

3. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – not as polarizing as others, but most people that dislike this book have and issue with the epistolary nature of how it’s written, which is not for everyone.  I, personally, loved this book.

4. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – another one I liked but not everyone does and I can see why.  Part is the graphic nature of the plot and frank talk about sex and gender identity.  

5. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee – It’s compared to gossip girl and is a guilty-pleasure type read, so it’s definitely not for everyone, but I enjoyed it. 

Honourable mention: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – its not action paced which many people want in SciFi, also has frank talk of sex and sexuality that not everyone is is comfortable with.