YA Fantasy 101 Syllabus | Top Ten Tuesday

YA Fantasy 101 Syllabus | Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I’m not totally sure I would be qualified to teach this course, but I’d love to take it.

  1. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
    Ideally I’d prefer to study The Lord of The Rings, but we’d never finished ten books if we did that.
  2. Sabriel by Garth Nix
    This is a few years old now, and provides a nice bridge between Tolkien and more recent works.
  3. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
    Obviously this had a massive impact on YA Fantasy. I prefer some of the later books, but there’s a (very small) chance that some students haven’t read this series before.
  4. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
    I’d be tempted to study Stardust, which is my favourite Gaiman, but this is a great introduction to urban fantasy.
  5. Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
    At this point I think it’s time to look at someone playing with the tropes of fantasy, and no one does that better than Pratchett. Any Discworld novel would work for this, but if I have to cover something in depth I may as well pick one of my favourites.
  6. Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice
    This would be our first foray into some darker fantasy, and has the added bonus of demonstrating everything that’s wrong with Twilight.
  7. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
    Partly I’d want to talk about constructing fantasy worlds and integrating back story in a non-clunky way, but mostly I just love this book.
  8. The Owl Service by Alan Garner
    This is a nice eerie atmospheric one, bordering on magical realism.
  9. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
    More beautiful world building, but in a totally different style. This would also be a good point to compare the magic systems of the books we’d studied.
  10. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
    This isn’t itself a fantasy book, but it’s a great look at the impact YA fantasy has on people, particularly actual those who are actually young adults, and it also looks at how the internet is changing the relationship between authors and readers, which seems like a good thing to think about at the end of the course.

Please forgive me if this post is gobbledegook, I’ve worked 8.5 hours today.

OTP Tag!

OTP Tag!

I was tagged by the lovely Mari over at Story and Somnancy. So! The rules are as follows:

Choose 5 OTPs without looking at the questions first, answer the questions, then tag five people.

The Couples

  1. Valek and Yelena (The Study series by Maria V. Snyder)
  2. Arabella and Jonathan Strange (Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  3. Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler (A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle)
  4. Tristan and Yvaine (Stardust by Neil Gaiman)
  5. Cath and Levi (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell)

The Questions
Do you remember the episode/scene/chapter that you first started shipping #5?
That would be when Cath read to Levi for freaking HOURS. The first time she did that, I mean.

Have you ever read fanfiction about #2?
No, but I feel like I have because whoever scripted the BBC adaptation wrote them a load of extra scenes.

Has a picture of #4 ever been your screen saver/profile picture/tumblr ID?
No, but that seems like it would be a cool desktop background. I want it now.

If #3 were to suddenly break up today, what would your reaction be?
Does that mean at some point prior to today they were actually together? Awesome!

Why is #1 so important?
Because he carved her a freaking butterfly. I can’t even.

Is #4 a funny ship or a serious ship?
Adorably awkward, mostly.

Out of all your ships listed, which ship has the most chemistry?
Cath and Levi maybe?

Of all the ships, which ship has the strongest bond?
Valek and Yelena. I love how Snyder doesn’t construct petty arguments between them for the sake of plot twists. All kind of other shit might be going down, but they’re good.

How many times have you read/watched #2’s fandom?
Twice. I read the book, then I watched the BBC show. I’d like to read it again one day, but not too soon. It’s a long ass book.

Which ship lasted the longest?
Jonathan and Arabella, I guess, since the book spans so many years.

How many times, if ever, has #5 broken up?
Once, sort of. Ish.

If the world was suddenly thrust into a zombie apocalypse, which would make it out alive, #1 or #3?
Definitely Valek and Yelena. They would actually work together, and they’re both pretty deadly. With Sherlock and Irene Adler, the question is more which of them would leave the other to the zombies first and save themselves.

Did #4 ever have to hide their relationship for any reason?
Briefly, for amusement purposes.

Is #5 still together?
5evah.

Is #1 canon?
Very.

If all five ships were put into a couple’s Hunger Games, which couple would win?
Valek and Yelena. Did I mention how they’re deadly? Unless Yvaine did that thing I can’t tell you about because it’s a massive spoiler. Cath and Levi would be the deadest the fastest, though, I can tell you that.

Has anyone ever tried to sabotage #5’s ship?
Not intentionally, but Reagan got in the way a lot.

Which ship(s) would you defend to the death and beyond?
I feel like Cath and Levi are the only ones who can’t adequately defend themselves.

Have you ever spent hours a day going through #3’s tumblr page?
What I do in the privacy of my own Tumblr is none of your concern :p.

If an evil witch descended from the sky and told you that you had to pick one of the five ships to break up forever, which ship would you sink?
I might as well break up Sherlock and Irene before they do it for me.

The Tagees

  • Short Story Long
  • CK’s Reading Corner
  • Caught Read Handed
  • Books & Cleverness
  • A Cup of Coffee & A Book
  • Auto-Buy Authors | Top Ten Tuesday

    Auto-Buy Authors | Top Ten Tuesday

    toptentuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I’ve ignored the rules a bit this week because I do not have auto-buy authors. I would love it if I did, but I currently have no money, so I’m very nearly on book buying ban imposed by necessity. Instead, I’ve listed ten authors for whom I hope one day to have read every word they’ve published.

    1. Neil Gaiman
      I will probably never manage to read every book this fiction producing machine has published, but I’ll also never stop trying.
    2. Kate Atkinson
      I studied her first novel at school and never looked back.
    3. Maria V. Snyder
      A recent discovery. So far I’ve only read two books, but I will catch up.
    4. Margaret Atwood
      I have more than one of her books in my tbr pile currently, which is normally against my self-imposed rules. I should really get on that.
    5. John Green
      One of the few people on this list whose work I’m actually very nearly up to date with. I’ve read all his novels, anyway.
    6. Cassandra Clare
      I’m currently reading her books more slowly than she writes them, so this could take a while.
    7. Jostein Gaarder
      If any of his books don’t get translated to English I’m screwed.
    8. Marissa Meyer
      I preordered Winter today *bounces*.
    9. Catherynne M. Valente
      I’ve actually only read one of Valente’s books so far, but I’ll get there.
    10. Rainbow Rowell
      I’m up to date with her YA, but have yet to get to her adult work. I don’t know why that is, because Attachments sounds So. Good.

              Bonus: Terry Pratchett
                               Sadly he will never be an auto-buy author because there
                                will be no more books after The Shepherd’s Crown, but I
                                won’t stop until I’ve read every Discworld book there ever
                                was.

    Bookish Bingo: Ready For Spring | Wrap-Up

    Bookish Bingo: Ready For Spring | Wrap-Up

    bookish bingo aprjun complete

    My first ever bookish bingo card went pretty well, I thought! This was the card for April, May and June. It was originally posted on Great Imaginations, but hosting has now moved over to Pretty Deadly. I’ll list the qualifying books I read below. I’ve been pretty terrible at reviews lately, so if you’d like to know what I thought of any of these, or which I would recommend, just leave me a comment. I have many opinions and I like to share them!

    Forgotten Friday Pick – Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
    Aussie Author – Sabriel by Garth Nix
    Reread – A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
    Classic – Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti
    Yellow Cover – A Study in Sherlock edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger
    April, May, June Release – The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
    High Fantasy – Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
    Parental Relations – King Lear by William Shakespeare
    Bullying – Wonder by R. J. Palacio
    WWII – All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    Horror – Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
    Thieves, Assassins, Pirates – Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
    Parallel Universes – A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
    Green Cover – Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
    #weneeddiversebooks – Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden
    Illustrated Cover – The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
    Part of a Trilogy – Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
    Nonfiction or Memoir – The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth

    May Book Haul

    May Book Haul

    maybookhaul

    New acquisitions!

    Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
    fire study

    This is the third book in Snyder’s Study Series, so it’s difficult to say much about it without spoilers. Yelena, former poison taster for the emperor, will be refining the skills she learnt in Magic Study (I’m not going to tell you what they were, but the title is kind of a clue), as well as balancing her life between the land she was born in and the land she was brought up in. In the second book my favourite character was largely absent, so although I enjoyed watching what Yelena was getting up to, I’m hoping he’s back for this one, because I missed him and his excellent snark. This was originally a trilogy, but Snyder has recently continued the series, which is awesome, because it means that I can read this as soon as I like and there will still be more.

    Cress by Marissa Meyer
    cress

    This is another third book in a series, in this case, The Lunar Chronicles. Cress is a computer programmer working for the villain of the series, Queen Levana, and her story is a retelling of Rapunzel. Based on the previous books, I believe that Cress will be joining Cinder, Scarlet and the love interests they’ve collected along the way, and continuing the fight against the Queen and her supporters. As her story gets more involved, I’m interested to see how Meyer balances the fairytale retelling aspects against the sci-fi. Cinder held more closely to Cinderella than Scarlet did to Little Red Riding Hood, and I can understand why that would happen as Meyer’s story continues and gets more complex.

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

    This is the story of a girl called September is taken by the Green Wind to Fairyland, which we can assume she circumnavigates in a ship of her own making. That’s almost everything I know, because that, alongside the title and cover, was enough to convince me that this book needed to be in my life. I imagine it as whimsical and beautiful, like The Graveyard Book, possibly in part because of the Neil Gaiman blurb on the front. I sort of want to read it right now, this second. Since I’m writing this way in advance, I may well have read it by the time you’re reading this.

    I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
    messenger

    Ed lives a totally normal life which appears to be headed nowhere in particular, until the day he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. Shortly afterwards, someone starts sending him on missions to people in need of aid. While he’s pleased to be helpful, he’d also really like to know who he’s working for. I bought this book mostly because I really loved The Book Thief. This sounds like something completely different, but since I mostly fell for Zusak’s writing style, I’m happy to give it a go. The synopsis makes it sound a lot lighter than The Book Thief, so I’m not anticipating getting my heart ripped out this time.

    Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
    seaofmonsters

    I feel like it’s time to head back and see what Percy Jackson and the other inhabitants of Camp Half-Blood are up to. I haven’t really looked into the plot of this one at all, because I already know that these books are entertaining light reading with satisfying plots and good writing, and that’s all I really need to know to hand over my money.

    Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
    saga

    Everyone has been telling me to read this graphic novel lately. Two people from opposing sides of a war fall in love and have a baby, and chaos and drama ensues. I’ve heard that there’s a space opera kind of feel to this, which sounds like fun, and also that all the characters are well drawn (metaphorically and literally). It sounds sort of Whedonesque, which I can always get behind. I’ve also heard that there’s a lot of adult content, so if this story sounds good to you, use your discretion about whether that’s something you’re comfortable with. I think it’s graphic sexual content, rather than graphic violence, but don’t quote me on that, and look for a second opinion if you need to know. On other hand you might be like me, and count this as another point in it’s favour. Bring on the sexy times!

    All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    allthelight

    I don’t often read straight-up historical fiction, but Regan from PeruseProject loves this book, and it recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, so I thought I’d give it a try. It follows a blind French girl in WWII, and a young Nazi with a special assignment to complete. I think it’s probably going to do irreparable damage to my feels, but I can forgive that because the cover is gorgeous.

    Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
    strange

    This is an unusual fantasy book. On the one hand, it’s a meticulously researched historical novel, with footnotes and all, set in England in the early nineteenth century. On the other hand, it’s all about the exploits of a handful of magicians who are not making the slightest attempt to stay undercover, and those footnotes I mentioned refer me to books such as The History and Practice of English Magic, and A Child’s History of the Raven King. Clocking in at over a thousand pages, this is going to take me a while to get through, but it’s got another of those encouraging Neil Gaiman blurbs on the front, and the BBC are about to start airing an adaptation, so I think it will be worth my time.

    Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley
    18630542

    Katie’s life was going pretty well, until it… Wasn’t. The world seems to be conspiring against her: her relationships and career are going down the drain. Fortunately, a stranger shows up with some (literally) magic mushrooms that can give her a second chance. But now Katie doesn’t want to stop until everything is not just better, but perfect. This sounds like it’s going to be a cute little book with some important undertones about life and responsibility and mistakes and stuff. Also, it’s extremely pretty. It’s not clear above, but the dust jacket is shorter than the book, and the blue sparkly bit at the top is uncovered. I posted a few naked hardback pictures on twitter.

    The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth
    theelementsofeloquence

    A lot of the reason I got excited about this book is that it’s so pretty. The gold parts are all raised up from the page, and when you look closely at the green background it looks like leather. The insides are pretty special too, though. Forsyth takes the reader through the rhetorical devices used (consciously) by Shakespeare and (subconsciously) by modern pop stars. Every chapter describes a different device, and gives examples of it’s use.

    Ready Player One by Ernest Kline
    readyplayerone

    I’ve heard a lot about this book, and I don’t think any of it is bad. It’s a sort of mash up of a dystopian and a treasure hunt. In the future, the outside world is more or less destroyed, and everyone lives their lives in an MMO. When the owner and creator of said MMO dies, he leaves everything to whoever can follow the clues he’s left in-game. The book follows a guy whose whole life is about solving this puzzle before somebody else beats him to it.

    February Book Haul!

    February Book Haul!

    feb2015bookhaul

    I’ve never really understood the point of introductory posts, so I’m going to dive straight into this blogging thing with this gorgeous stack of books I acquired in February. They’re so preeeetty! I’ve already read a couple, but don’t worry – there are no spoilers ahead. I’m just going to try to give a brief idea of why I bought them, and also show off the covers, which are pretty much universally gorgeous.

    thebookthief

    Goodreads ~ Book Depository

    I recently powered through all of the videos on the Little Book Owl YouTube channel. Catriona has a pretty similar taste in books to me, and I trust her recommendations, so quite a few of the books in this haul are ones that she recommended or reviewed. This one is her favourite book ever, and (I know now since I’ve already read it) with good reason.

    Liesel Meminger is a German girl living with foster parents in the midst of WWII. And… I’m not going to tell you much else about her, actually. Knowing about her isn’t what convinced me to read this book. Here is what convinced me to read this book: it is narrated by Death. Death doesn’t want to care about humans, but the story of the little girl who steals books fascinates him, and if a story can fascinate Death, I was pretty sure I’d be captivated too.

    cinder

    Goodreads ~ Book Depository

    Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella, set a few hundred years in the future. Cinder is the best mechanic in New Beijing. She is also a cyborg. Meanwhile, the people of Earth are dying of an incurable plague, and the humans who colonised the moon years ago threaten war. And then one day, Prince Kai appears at Cinder’s market stall with a broken android. And… yeah. Obviously I bought it.

    theshadowcabinet

    Goodreads ~ Book Depository

    This is the third book in the Shades of London series and I know almost nothing about it. The series is about a girl from Louisiana who arrives at a boarding school in London ready for anything England has to offer, but not expecting the strange and terrifying things that start to happen after she has a near-death experience. I absolutely loved the first two books, and the second one ended on a heartbreaking cliffhanger, so I intend to go into this one with no foreknowledge of how that’s going to be resolved. So far, I’ve successfully avoided all spoilers.

    fangirl

    Goodreads ~ Book Depository

    I don’t really know anything much about this book either, except that it’s about a girl who writes fanfiction, which is enough to make me excited to read it already. I mostly bought it because I read another book by Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park, in January and fell head over heels in love with the story and the writing and the characters and… yes. You should read it You should probably read this too. I’ll let you know.

    wonder

    Goodreads ~ Book Depository

    I picked this up on a whim. I vaguely remember hearing good things about it, and the cover is cool. I believe it’s about a boy who freaks other children out because he looks different, but just wants to be seen as he is inside. I feel like it’s probably going to make me cry.

    hollowcity

    Goodreads ~ Book Depository

    Ack, so excited for this book! I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children at the beginning of February, and it was just so beautiful. So beautiful. Ack, again. I’ll avoid telling you what I know about this book, because that would be spoilers for the first. So I’ll talk about some of the stuff in this book other than the story. The cover and the insides are just So. Pretty. Riggs collects old photographs, and his story is woven around strange, unearthly pictures that he’s collected over the years. Mostly, pictures of children who can do peculiar things. I would love to know how these pictures came to be taken in the real world, but then again… Maybe not. Maybe I like the book’s version better. Either way, I’ve never read anything like the first book, and I can’t wait to dive into the second.

    magicstudy

    Goodreads ~ Book Depository

    Have you read Poison Study? Go read it, then we’ll talk. If you’ve already read it, then you know why this was the first book I ordered this month, and why I was angry when it took ages to arrive. Yelena studies magic? Yes, please. Another book with Valek in it? YES, PLEASE.

    adarkershadeofmagic

    Goodreads ~ Book Depository

    I first heard of Victoria Schwab maybe a month ago, and pretty much every book she’s ever written sounds incredible. So, naturally, I was paralysed by indecision. Do I pick up The Archived, or The Near Witch? Vicious or A Darker Shade of Magic? I decided to go for this one because it just came out this week, so I feel like I’m in a big club of people buying and reading this book. Except that I haven’t read it yet. But I will.

    So that’s everything! Any and all recommendations are welcome, as well as requests for reviews of any of these books.

    Meda xoxo