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.

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.

Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From | Top Ten Tuesday

Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From | Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. After some thought, I decided to ignore authors I was done with before I was 15. Because yes, I have read the basically the entire backlist of Jacqueline Wilson up to about 2005, but that tells you nothing about my reading tastes in 2015. You will notice, however, that I haven’t actually entirely stopped reading childrens’ books. Some authors just continue to blow me away. Also, this list surprised me a lot. At least 75% of what I read currently is YA, but you’d never guess that from this weird mixture of people who write for adults and people who write for 12 year-olds.

mostread

  1. Terry Pratchett (20)
  2. Neil Gaiman (14)
  3. Hilary McKay (11)
  4. Malorie Blackman (10)
  5. J. K. Rowling (10)
  6. Philip Pullman (9)
  7. L. M. Montgomery (9)
  8. Philippa Gregory (6)
  9. Kate Atkinson (6)
  10. Bill Bryson (6)
Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favourite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favourite Authors

This is my first time participating in Top Ten Tuesday, which is a weekly (duh) meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I’m not going to give explanations for each author individually because my feelings about all of them are more or less the same – they write excellent words in an excellent order and I recommend you read anything they have ever written. I have, however, included pictures of my favourite book by each of them. They are also not in any particular order, because… I can’t. Incidentally, by total coincidence, I have five men and five women, which pleases me.


Terry Pratchett
Mort
J. R. R. Tolkien
fellowship
C. S. Lewis
Dawntreader
Hilary McKay
Indigo
Rainbow Rowell
fangirl
Neil Gaiman
stardust
John Green
katherines
L. M. Montgomery
houseofdreams
Laura Ingalls Wilder
happygoldenyears
Kate Atkinson
behindthescenes

Chocolate Book Tag

Chocolate Book Tag

I’ve seen quite a few booktubers post this tag and I thought it looked like fun, but it didn’t occur to me that I didn’t have to be on youtube to do it until I saw CKReads‘ post, and it occurred to me that I was allowed too. I can be kind of stupid sometimes. Anyway, nobody tagged me, but I want to play. This tag was created by A Daydreamer’s Rambles.

Dark ChocolateA book that covers a dark topic (abuse, domestic violence, rape, lonlieness, bullying, death, etc)

AGatheringLight

I went through everything I’ve read in the last year or so and I couldn’t find much that dealt with these topics. Well, that’s not true. I read plenty of fantasy books which include pretty much every topic in that list, but I felt like the intention here was to give a contemporary or historical book. In the end, I found A Gathering Light, by Jennifer Donnelly. I read this quite a few years ago now, and I really enjoyed it. There are two plots here, interwoven. One is the true story of Grace Brown who drowned in 1906 under mysterious circumstances. Then there’s Mattie Gokey, the fictional girl who reads Grace’s letters and figures out what happened to her. There’s a whole lot going on here, and it’s hard to know what to mention without giving spoilers, but broadly speaking this book deals with feminism, racism and classism, as Mattie struggles to find her place in the world.

White ChocolateYour favourite light-hearted/humourous read

letspretendthisneverhappend

Jenny Lawson of The Blogess is always hilarious, so I was expecting good things from Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, and it did not disappoint. Somehow, she manages to write about mental illness and her struggles with the way her brain is wired while also making me cry with laughter. It’s full of sentences like this: “I am the Wizard of Oz of housewives (in that I am both “Great and Terrible” and because I sometimes hide behind the curtains).” Love.

Milk ChocolateA book that has a lot of hype that you’re dying to read.
readyplayerone

I’m thinking that you already know what Ready Player One is about, because I feel like the last person in the world who hasn’t read it. Just in case, the basic premise as I understand it is that in the not-too-distant future the world sucks and no one wants to go outside, so everyone lives their lives in an MMO call the Oasis. The creator of this paradise dies, and leaves everything to the person who can solve a quest he’s set up. But it’s also somehow set in the 80s. Somehow. I don’t know. It sounds awesome.

Chocolate with a caramel centerName a book that made you feel all gooey in the middle while you were reading it

eleanorandpark

Eleanor & Park is made of adorableness. The romance is beautifully crafted, it grows at a perfect rate, and I just… ack, yes. This book is like a cosy blanket of cute. Also, the side characters are well fleshed out, and there’s a lot going on in both Eleanor and Park’s lives that they have to work through. Especially for Eleanor, things are not simple.

Wafer-free Kit-KatName a book that surprised you lately

thannameofthestar

I didn’t read The Name of the Star all that recently, but it did surprise me a lot. For some reason I had it in my head that Maureen Johnson’s books would be fluffy and light and heartwarming and stuff. I was disillusioned pretty quickly when people started getting murdered in horrible ways. This was a way better book that I thought I was getting, and I can’t wait for the last book in the series to come out.

SnickersA book that you are going nuts about

cinder

I keep lending my copy of Cinder to people and then getting sad because I can’t lend it to someone else while they have it. I need more copies. Cinderella retelling with cyborgs and androids and a plague and people who live on the moon and YES PLEASE. A random little detail that I loved was that the world is split up into six countries/empires/places ruled by a single government or monarch: the Eastern Commonwealth, which is Asia; the African Union; the American Republic; the European Federation; Australia and… the United Kingdom. I’m not saying I approve of the UK refusing to play with the rest of the continent, but it’s totally what we would do, and it made me giggle.

Hot Chocolate with Cream and MarshmallowsWhat book would you turn to for a comfort read?

Indigo's Star

Indigo’s Star is a book from my childhood which I love as much now as I did when I was 12 and accidentally read it straight through the day I first picked it up. It’s actually the second book in a series, but I was given it as a present and read it first. I love all of the books, but this one is still my favourite. The Casson family live in my heart and comment on my life. They make me feel better. I don’t even really know how to summarise this book. It’s about family and love and art and friendship and bullying and… life. I’ve been known to read this the day before exams when I’m freaking out because it makes me feel loved, and it also makes me feel small in the best way. Like there are far bigger things in the world than this exam, and everything’s going to be okay.

Box of ChocolatesWhat series have you read that you feel has a wide variety and a little something for everyone?

equalrites

It has recently come to my attention that not everybody in the world who reads a lot of books has read the Discworld series. This troubles me greatly. These books are hilarious, clever, realistic (in spite of everything that makes you think they wouldn’t be, like, say, being set on a flat world atop four elephants atop a turtle), and gripping. I’ve put Equal Rites here even though it’s the third book in the series because the first couple are in a slightly different style, and I think this is where Pratchett really hit his stride. You don’t need to read these books in the right order to know what’s going on, but there are recurring characters, which is why I recommend this one: everyone in this book is first introduced here, and they go on to do… well, maybe not great things. Things, though. Lots of things. Sometimes they are good things. Sometimes they are just rude songs about hedgehogs.

I don’t really know who has already done this tag, so… I tag you if you haven’t!