Books, Musings

#betwixtthebooks Discuss! DNFing Books!

Gretchen and I have very different opinions when it comes to DNFing and what that means.  We are doing a live discussion with anyone who wants to drop by.  You will find the video for the hangout below and it will start at .  If you want to join in the discussion feel free to leave us questions to answer or respond to what we are saying in the comment section below.  We want to interact with you guys.  It is why we do these live shows!

I hope you enjoy our rambling thoughts on the things going on in the book world and weren’t too bored by it.  If you were bored, I’m sorry.  There will be shorter form content later in the week.  Tomorrow for instance I am going to have a post that answers the age old questions: Marvel or DC?

 

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Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books, YA (Young Adult)

#imbibliomancy The Queen of the Tearling Review (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

Its time for a new section of #imbibliomancy.  Once a month the Bibliomancy for Beginners book club get together and try and tell you what they thought about books while in various stages of tipsiness.

This first episode is Gretchen’s pick and unsurprisingly it is a fantasy but surprisingly it seems to bridge the YA and adult fantasy genres.  This is sure to be an interesting discussion all around!

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Title: The Queen of the Tearling
Author: Erika Johansen
Publisher: Harper
Page #: 448
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

The next episode will be in March and we will be reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.  If you want to stay updated on what the book club is reading and when the meetings will be you should check out the Bibliomancy for Beginners page for all of its social media!

That’s all for now folks I will come to you soon with a new book review!

Books, Musings

#Betwixtthebooks On Spoilers

Gretchen and I are back with another discussion video.  This time we are discussion our thoughts and feelings on spoilers.  If you have any thoughts on the questions and topics we bring up in our discussions, whether you agree or disagree with our logic, please comment down below and let us know!  This is meant to be more than a one sided conversation that we have.  We want to engage with you guys!

Tomorrow I have my first ARC review for you guys because I finished reading Uncommon Bodies Sunday night.  If you want to know my thoughts and feeling on that, stay tuned!

Adult, Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books

The Magician King by Lev Grossman Review (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

Two posts today!  This is going to be the last bibliomancy episode for a little while.  We plan to have a new #imbibliomancy episode in February but we aren’t sure exactly when that will happen.  In any case, this episode is sure to be a great one.

This episode is a follow up to an episode we did last year which you can watch here!

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Title: The Magician King
Author: Lev Grossman
Publisher: William Heinemann
Page #: 400
Genre: Adult Fantasy

I hope you enjoyed!  Look out tomorrow for the weekly wrap up and I will see you next week with all new content!

Books, Musings

Is White the Norm? (A Hermione Granger Discussion)

I’m a little late to this band wagon, because I didn’t notice the whole hubbub until really late last night.  Those who follow my twitter will already know my thoughts on this and a few of the things that I want to discuss today.

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I am going to say before I get further into this post that tomorrow afternoon Gretchen and I are going to make a video discussion of this topic but I am writing this post to bring my ideas together before we do that.  We are going to live stream it so if you want to join us I strongly encourage you to do so. (video will be here when it goes live)

Now, this post is going to center on the idea of whiteness as the norm in our society but the discussion tomorrow will hopefully go into other things including the blood politics in the book as metaphor for race and whether or not “open to interpretation” is a valid argument in general.  Please look forward to that.

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I think it is important before I start this discussion to say that I am white.  Not only that, I am ginger, which is probably the whitest white I can possibly be.  I grew up in a town that was predominantly white and by predominantly I mean 98% white.  So little diversity I have been looking into anthropology articles discussing how segregation is still happening.  It is mandated but all over the country certain cities and towns have clear denominations of race in certain areas.  What I’m getting at, is that there were not many examples of POC while I was growing up in real life. Those that I saw were on television, in movies, in magazines, etc. but not really in books, there are not an over abundance of those.

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It is going to seem disjointed at first, but I think one of the things that I remember from childhood that I think effected my view of Hermione the most was Tyra Banks role in Life Size.  The film came out in 2000.  I watched it on Disney Channel as I did for most of those Disney Channel Original Movies most millenials love so much.  I was six years old.  I remember thinking how beautiful she was, and in particular how beautiful her hair was.  Her character was meant to be a “gender bent” barbie doll.  I remember thinking she was so much prettier than an actual barbie, she looked like a real person.

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It was shortly after watching that film that my Dad started reading the first Harry Potter book to me before the first film would come out a year later.  I pictured Hermione similar to how I pictured Tyra Banks in that film.  I think because I loved the way her hair was curly and voluminous when she first appeared.  Now her hair wasn’t unruly or bushy by any means, and yet I still associated Hermione with her for some reason.  Some would argue this is a terrible association because Tyra’s character was such a ditz in that film and Hermione’s main character descriptor is that she is so smart.  I cannot tell you what my six year old self did to associate these two characters but I did, and while its a stretch, it was fifteen years ago and I was a child.

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What I’m trying to say is that I imagined Hermione as a WOC from the very beginning.  Before the film came out.  When the first film came out I was slightly confused by the fact that Hermione was this white girl.  I think that after that point so many people could never imagine those characters as anything other than the actors who portrayed them.  It is so easy to imagine someone you have seen before.  I mean I was imagining a tiny Tyra Banks after all.  However, I cannot say, and I do not think, that this idea of Hermione as white is solely because people were imagining Emma Watson.

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In reality more people simply imagine characters as white if race is not explicitly given to them, and even, at times, when it is explicitly given (I’m thinking of Rue in the Hunger Games here).  Hermione’s skin color was never described.  Which means her race was open to interpretation yet so many people so vehemently think that she is white. One of the best discussions I’ve heard on this idea of whiteness as norm was given by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s during her Ted Talk: The Danger of a Single Story.

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There is this propensity in our society to create a default that is the norm.  So often it is this white middle aged man.  When talking about women it is still white.  I asked in one of my classes how one reads a character when something isn’t specified.  I think in that case it was the gender.  Most people imagined the gender of the character as their own if they are not able to intuit it from the writing or are not told explicitly.  I do not think that happens when it comes to race.  I think because their is this idea that the norm is whiteness most people will imagine a character as white until told otherwise.

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Whether Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is right and this is a result of only reading or being exposed to stories that have white protagonists, or because the film came out and is swaying people’s image of the characters, or because of some other racist reason that protagonists of main stream stories can only be white unless explicitly telling of the nonexistent “black experience” the fact of the matter is that most people imagined Hermione as white and now that there is going to be a representation that is outside of their own, they are upset by this.

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This same outrage was expressed with the release of Go Set a Watchmen by Harper Lee.  The outrage that Atticus could be anything other than a warrior for social justice, forward thinking for his time, a person to look up to who is faultless was unimaginable.

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Yet my six year old self had to sit in those films and see something outside of what she had imagined, and I’m sure there are others who did as well.  I don’t think we would have been able to make an argument against that casting though.  It is perfectly alright to read whiteness into a character, but to read blackness is still somehow viewed as degrading.  Which is an entirely racist idea.  It isn’t explicitly racist, no, but it is racist nonetheless.

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I think that having a representation of Hermione as a women of color is going to be amazing even though I’m sure I won’t be able to see it myself.  Tomorrow Gretchen and I will go into more depth about a bunch of different things on this topic, I don’t want to say too much now but I wanted to sort of discuss where I am coming from and get a few of my ideas about this topic in order.  I’m not sure if I actually managed to do that or if I just rambled at you a bit.  I think this is a great thing.  I look forward to hearing other peoples discussions.  If you want to hear some other discussions on this topic I would recommend Rosianna’s and Rowan’s who both touch on this topic and more in regards to Hermione.  There are countless great articles and tweets.  Do some research guys, it is an important discussion.

 

Adult, Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books, Musings

#imbibliomancy: John Dies at the End Review (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

So this happened weeks ago and I have been killing myself trying to finish college and guys I’ve done it.  When this post is live I have finished.  I am done.  I will be driving home Saturday.  Good god.

For those of you who don’t know because this is a new feature here, and I have been utterly and completely hands off this semester for the most part, #imbibliomancy is the newest book club adventures.  Each month we plan to do one book discussion wherein we drink a reasonable (and responsible) amount and laugh and joke and try to be less the pretentious english majors that we are at heart.

Those of you who are aware of the feature will know that this was not the original intended book.  My choice was originally supposed to be The Familiar: One Rainy Day in May by Mark Z. Danielewski.  Well the reading of the book coincided with midterms and none of us were able to finish it.  Instead we decided to read a lighter novel that two of us had already read before and had been on the docket (but Gretchen had missed out on).

There is another review of this book here on this blog and Taylor also reviewed it here, but they are far less entertaining I promise you, though probably slightly more coherent.  I hope you enjoy and we will be coming with you after Christmas with a discussion of The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.

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Title: John Dies at the End
Author: David Wong
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Page #: 466
Genre: Humor, Horror

See you guys soon!

Adult, Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury Book Review (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

Classic science fiction corner with the Bibliomancers:

Title: The Martian Chonicles
Author: Ray Bradbury
Publisher: Bantam/Spectra
Page #: 182
Genre: Science Fiction

 

 

Next week we will be discussing John Dies at the End by David Wong.  You should read it and meet us next Tuesday at 8:30 to discuss it!

Friday I am going to post a review for Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store so look forward to much gushing!

Adult, Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books

Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures by Walter Moers Book Review (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

This week there were only two of us who read the book but we still met to discuss it for you guys.  Although this video is filled with tangents to try and buy time because we had fewer voices to add to the conversation.

Title: RUMO & His Miraculous Adventures
Author: Walter Moers
Translator: John Brownjohn (From German)
Publisher: Overlook Hardcover
Page #: 688
Genre: Fantasy Adventure

 

Next week we will be meeting to discuss Ready Player One by Ernest Cline so be sure to look forward to that!

Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books, YA (Young Adult)

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein Book Review (Bibliomancy for Beginners Book Club)

Fair warning …

I did not finish this novel because it is 100% pain.  I am serious, it is nothing but mental pain. I couldn’t continue with it.  I just couldn’t.

However my friends did read it and we met to discuss it.  So never fear you can indeed hear someone’s opinion on the book.

I would also like to add that this book was well written up to the point that I read, so if you can stand extreme emotional anguish more than I can, by all means I encourage you to pick it up.

Name: Code Name Verity
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Page #: 339
Genre: Historical Fiction (Specifically WWII)

 

Next time we will be discussing the first half of Rumo by Walter Moers and on Friday to make myself feel better I plan on reading and reviewing Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard.

Let’s go Michaeala … Fighting!

Adult, Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books

Good Omens by Neil Gaimon Review (Bibliomancy for Beginners Episode)

A little bit late … almost a week late … oooh sorry …

As usual you can read a little bit about the book, then watch our discussion, then of course come back next week when we discuss code name verity by Elizabeth Wein.

 

Title: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Author: Neil Gaimon & Terry Pratchett
Publisher: Harper Torch
Page #: 413
Genre: Fantasy

If you want to keep up to date on what we will be reading in the coming weeks or learn more about this segment of my blog please check out the page I have dedicated to our little book club.

I hope you enjoyed.

Later in the week I will be posting a review for my concurrent book American Gods by Neil Gaiman so look forward to that.