Best Book Titles Part 2

About a year ago, I made a post about book titles that I love. Today I’m going to share some more titles that I really love.


Turtles All the Way Down

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I generally like the titles of John Green’s books. Contemporary YA titles tend to have the name of the main characters in them a lot of the time, and I’m not a big fan of that for some reason. But John Green’s titles usually make little sense before reading the book. And those are the kinds of titles that I like best.

For Darkness Shows the Stars

I also like titles that begin with linking words such as “and” & “for”. It makes them sound like incomplete sentences and it gives the impression that you’ll find out the rest of the sentence by reading the book. Again, I’m a fan of titles that gain more meaning as you read the book.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

I love everything about this title. I love the abundance of adjectives, I love the imagery of a small angry planet, I love the imagery of a tired traveler who’s come a long way just to encounter said small angry planet, I love that it’s long. I love long titles. I don’t know what this book is about. But this title makes me want to read it.

Wink Poppy Midnight

I like this title because I don’t know what to expect from it. Are Wink, Poppy and Midnight 3 characters? Is someone telling Poppy to wink because it’s midnight? Is a wink poppy a type of flower? I don’t know. This title doesn’t offer enough information and it just makes me want to read the book to get that information.

Stalking Jack the Ripper

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I’m not even going to offer an explanation for this one. I just think it’s awesome.

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Diversity in media – Discussion

This post is brought to you by Children of Blood and Bone, which is my current read. I’ve talked a little bit about this in my review of The Broken Earth series by N. K. Jemisin (which btw, if you’re looking for diverse or just good fantasy and you’ve not read it, what are you waiting for?), but I want to take the time and discuss it properly.

As I said, I’m currently reading CoBaB and the more I read, the more I come to realise, and I know I’ll probably get stoned for this, that this is one of those books that suffers from diversity hype syndrome. Where a book is hyped to heavens for no other reason than being diverse. Listen, I love seeing diversity in media. But I also like good media. I like good stories, good characters. I don’t see why there needs to be a trade-off and I don’t think a book should be called good just because it is diverse. Diversity does not a good book make. And I am willing to bet a finger that if CoBaB were about a bunch of white people in a medieval European setting, same characters, same story, just not diverse, it would have got a big collective shrug from the book community because it is mediocre at best.

It really bugs me when this happens because it tells publishers and authors “Well, people are going to buy bland, mediocre, unoriginal books as long as they’re diverse.”. And as a reader, that is NOT the culture I want to promote in the book industry. Because we as consumers, are ultimately what shapes the industry. What shapes every industry. I want good diverse books. That’s the culture that I want to promote.

Another thing that really annoys me is when a book is hyper-aware of its diversity and is basically pointing a big red arrow at itself that says in neon colours “DIVERSE!”. Every other page, you’re just reminded about how diverse this book is. You’re reminded that Jimmy has the biggest crush on his army buddy Paul or that Rajesh’s skin is dark brown at least once a page lest you forget for a split second that THIS IS A DIVERSE BOOK. It’s good to write diverse books and you can be proud of having written a diverse book, but the story and the characters should still be the main focus of your book if you are writing a novel. You want to send a message, okay good. Do it through compelling storytelling. Not by stating it on every page.

For example, take Black Panther and CoBaB. Both are trying to convey pretty much the same message about racism and the oppression and horrors that black people have gone through and are still going through. One of them does it well, the other doesn’t. Black Panther has a compelling story, great characters, great action, great setting, great dialogue, compelling villains, it packs a mean emotional punch and it states its message loud and clear. There’s no trade-off. And Black Panther is a 2 hour film. CoBaB is 500 page novel. It has way, way more opportunity to do all those things than Black Panther did. Granted I’ve only read about 250 of them at the moment, but that’s half the book. If the first hour of Black Panther were dull, had zero character development to the point where the characters were interchangeable, had an evil, mustache twirling villain nobody would watch it.

My objective in this post was not to drag CoBaB. It was just an unfortunate victim of circumstance because that’s what I’m reading right now so it most easily lends itself to me for examples. The Hazel Wood. Another example of a book that screams at people about its diversity. Admittedly, it’s not as diverse as CoBaB so it has less opportunity to do so, but it still does it and it’s still annoying. I just really want good diverse books and I really want people to stop calling mediocre books great just because they’re diverse.

I understand that there are people who identify with those characters. Who have gone through things that I, as a while, straight, first-world inhabitant, I’ve not experienced. But my question is why should they have to identify with mediocre, cardboard characters instead of good, well developed ones? Like I said before, it’s us as readers that shape the book industry. So let’s promote a culture of diversity, but not one of mediocrity.

I am a woman

I was a girl, I did not know how strong I was;

I was a girl, I did not know what it is to love;

I was a girl, I did not know what it is to lose.

Now I’m a woman, I have learnt that my strength comes from God;

Now I’m a woman, I have learnt that love is a choice I make daily;

Now I’m a woman, I have learnt that I only lose if I give up.

 

I was a girl, I did not know how to forgive;

I was a girl, I did not know how to be kind;

I was a girl, I did not know how to accept.

Now I’m a woman, I have learnt that forgiveness is bearing someone else’s sins;

Now I’m a woman, I have learnt that kindness is an orchard in my heart;

Now I’m a woman, I have learnt to smile and say “Okay” without losing myself.

 

I was a girl, I did not know how to be brave;

I was a girl, I did not know how to respect myself;

I was a girl, I did not know how to be patient.

Now I’m a woman, I have learnt that bravery is allowing fear in, but not to control;

Now I’m a woman, I have learnt that self-respect must not mean disrespect for others;

Now I’m a woman, I have learnt that if I want you, I must wait for you to be a man.

 

I was a girl, I did not know how to be humble;

I was a girl, I thought I knew what wisdom was;

I was a girl, I thought I had already grown.

Now I’m a woman, I have learnt that humility is a life-long effort;

Now I’m a woman, I have learnt that you can’t be proud and wise;

Now I’m a woman and I never want to stop growing.

Books I’m Currently Reading #2

A while back, I made a post about all the books I’d started reading and not yet finished for various reasons. This is a follow up to that because unfortunately, that list has only grown. I think I’ve only completed three of the books that were on that list, have given up on another one and have added a few. For that reason, I will exclude the sciency books that are on this list because those were always going to take me a long time to finish and this list is long enough as it is.


Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

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This one I haven’t touched at all since my first post. I am really nervous that I will not enjoy it and I’ve been avoiding it. I am still on page 93 of it.

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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catheynne M. Valente

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This is still here as well, but I have made progress on it. I am more than halfway through it and I enjoyed it this far, so hopefully I’ll finish it soon. I am now on page 184.

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

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Another one that’s still here months later. I did make a little progress on it. Every time I pick it up, I love it so much. I find it so enriching and empowering, but I just don’t pick it up often enough. I am on page 139.

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

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This one’s still here as well. I have made some progress on it though. I just need to sit down and read the last couple hundred pages. But this is another one that I just haven’t picked up because I was distracted with other books. I am now on page 433.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

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This is another book that I have made almost no progress on. I think I read maybe one chapter since the last post. It kind of intimidates me cause it’s huge and I’m afraid I’ll get sucked into it and not sleep until I finish it. But I do have the week off, so maybe I should just get on with it. I’m on page 35.

The Bat by Jo Nesbo

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I haven’t even touched this book in ages. I keep forgetting about it. I’m still on page 157.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

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I picked this up after reading The Cruel Prince. I was really craving some more fae, so I bought this one, but it wasn’t what I was expecting, so I only read a few chapters. I do intend to finish it though. I’m on page 38 of it.

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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I’ve been re-reading this series. I finished the first book and started this one, but haven’t picked it up in a while. I’m currently on page 69 of it.

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

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This is the book that I’m most actively reading at the moment. I’ve been on an ASoIaF kick since watching the show. I am now on page 459.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

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I know I said I would exclude sciency books, but this is a popular science book and not so much an educational book, so it doesn’t need to be studied, just enjoyed. I am currently on page 43 of this.

Can You Solve My Problems by Alex Bellos

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I’ve been making my way through this, solving all the puzzles (so much fun!). I’m currently on page 29 of it.

Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Polos

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This is a short story collection that I’ve been reading. I haven’t been reading them sequentially, so I can’t say what page I am on, but I’ve read 12 of the 28 stories in it.

Book Recommendations Based on the Basic Human Emotions

It’s been a long time since I’ve done any book recommendations. A long time ago, I did a couple of posts recommending books based on the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues. Today, I’m going to try to recommend some books based on the basic human emotions. Now, from a psychology point of view, there are several categorisations of basic human emotions and there’s some debate about what makes an emotion basic, but for the purpose of this post, I’ll use the four pairs of opposing human emotions that were defined by some guy called Robert Plutchik at some point. In case any of you have an interest in psychology and were going to yell at me for not being super accurate about it.

Anyway, let’s get on with it.


1. Joy/Sadness

clockwork princess

For this I recommend Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. I know as far as book recommendations go, this isn’t a great one cause everyone knows about it and it’s also the final book in the series, but I couldn’t think of any book that fit the bill any better. This book is a study in joy and sadness and the contrast between them and it’s just perfect for this category.

2. Anger/Fear

The Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin. Anger and fear are two of the main driving forces in this story. This is an amazing series, I cannot recommend it enough. It’s hard to describe it and to explain what it’s about because it’s so complex, but it’s a post apocalyptic… fantasy science fiction. You can check out my spoiler free review of it for more details. 

3. Trust/Distrust

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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. This duology, but the first book in particular, has a very strong element of “Who can be trusted?” and frail alliances of necessity with that whole “they can betray me at any time” tension. Also, it’s just a fantastic series. So, do check it out!

4. Surprise/Anticipation

The Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. I’ve only read the first two books in the series so far, but they are a constant whirlwind of action, plot-twists and surprises at every turn. Reading these books just creates a nervous anticipation of what will go wrong next. It’s one of the best dystopian series that I have read probably since The Hunger Games.

FairyLoot February 2018 Unboxing

FairyLoot February 2018 Unboxing

If you’re expecting super aesthetic pictures… you’ll be disappointed, I suck at taking pictures. But, this box contained some really cool stuff and I did my best to take pictures. This month’s theme was Twisted Fairytales which is right up my alley.


The first item in the box was a lovely ‘Grimm Tales’ mug (I love mugs!) which is exclusive to FairyLoot and I love it so much. It was created by Aunjuli Art and it has scenes from Hanse and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and… something with a castle? Cinderella? Maybe Snow White? I’m not sure.

Next up was a cute little candle. The scent is ‘Hinterland’ which has something to do with the book and it smells heavenly. I can’t get enough of it and I am 100% going to burn it while reading because it’s delicious. The scent is oak moss and tea leaves. The candle is from Wick and Fable and it is also exclusive to FairyLoot. Pretty much everything is exclusive to FairyLoot.

 

 

Next item is ‘Poisonous Apple’ bath salts which makes me even more sad that I haven’t got a bathtub. I hope that the next place I move to will have a bathtub because these bath salts sound amazing. The creator is Little Heart and this is also exclusive.

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Next up is probably my favourite item in this box: ‘The Witch and the Gingerbread House’ socks. I hate boring socks. All my socks have to have something on them and it’s hard to commercially find cool socks. There isn’t much variety unless you buy them from Etsy or something, but then they’re expensive. So I am always delighted when I get cool socks. These were created by FairyLoot and are adorable.

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Last items (besides the book itself) was this lovely exclusive Little Red Riding Hood woodmark from Ink and Wonder which I just love. I love bookmarks (even though I will frequently use random items as bookmarks) and this is a lovely addition to my collection. Also, FairyLoot includes every month a print for that month’s theme and that same image in bookmark form. I’m assuming the artist for these is FairyLoot cause I can’t find any mention of an artist.

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And finally, the book for this month was The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. It’s a debut novel, I’m not entirely sure what it’s about, but I have heard buzz about it and it’s a dark fairytale, so I’m excited. This edition is exclusive to FairyLoot and comes with a signed letter from the author and is also signed by the author. The cover is really beautiful and just the feel of the book is great and it smells great. I don’t know if it’s because of the candle or if it’s the paper they used, but the book itself smells great.