Sue Klebold: A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy (Crown, 2016)

A Mother's ReckoningIt’s not really relevant to the tragedy, but much like I remember exactly where I was on 9/11, I remember where I was on April 20, 1999, when I heard about what had happened at Columbine High School. I was ten years old, in the fourth grade, and I was with my dad on one of his side jobs after he’d picked me up from school. I think he was fixing a refrigerator or something at a bar or pizza joint of some sort. I remember sitting in the dimly lit bar watching CNN on one of the TVs most likely reserved for viewing ESPN mounted in the corner of the room, seeing footage of kids running frantically down the hill away from the school. I was a naturally anxious kid, but I always thought I was safe at school. Columbine was a watershed moment in the way it forced people to look at security in schools, our nation’s growing obsession with guns, bullying, and adolescent mental health. “Columbine” alone is one of those words that is inextricably linked to human suffering. Everyone knows what you’re talking about when you say it; there is no need for further explanation. Continue reading

Diana Gabaldon: A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Bantam, 2005)

A Breath of Snow and AshesI read Drums of Autumn and The Fiery Cross too quickly to actually have anything useful to say about them, other than that they were too long and rather meandering in places. I have a list of random bullet points sitting in a post draft that I’m never going to finish, so I guess I’ll throw it here so I have some context for this discussion:

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Robert Galbraith: The Cormoran Strike Mysteries (Mulholland Books, 2013–)

This post isn’t a true review since I’m writing this after my second re-read of the entire series (although I’ve read The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm thrice), but I still wanted to take the time to write a post about it because I never got around to it after Career of Evil was released last October and I’m a slave to J.K. Rowling and I need to talk about it, OK?! Continue reading

Lev Grossman: The Magicians (Plume, 2009)

The Magicians

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to force myself through a book I actively disliked. Most of those books were for school.1 This one was not, but for some reason I’m a glutton for punishment and I had some vague hope that things would improve as I read further.

They didn’t.

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Jenny Lawson: Furiously Happy (Flatiron Books, 2015)

Furiously HappyI bought this book because the cover was ridiculous.1 But I’m really glad I did, because I think it’s a really important addition to the cultural discourse on mental illness, and it definitely made me feel better about my own struggles with mental illness. This is going to be a pretty personal post for that reason.

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Jojo Moyes: Me Before You (Penguin, 2012)

Me Before YouSo the trailer for the film version of this book came out recently, and after I watched it and screamed to myself because Daenerys Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons and Finnick Odair1 are the romantic leads and I love both of them, I decided to go home and start reading the book immediately, since I bought it a few months ago and then got sucked into Outlander2 and forgot about it.

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Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan: Spoiled (LB Teens/Poppy, 2011)

SpoiledI first heard about this book back when it was first published, because I used to be a religious follower of The Fug Girls, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan.1 I love YA fiction, obviously,2 so I figured I would get around to reading this eventually.

Four years later…

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This Week in Publishing: 11–15 January, 2016

This week was a bit overwhelming with my classes starting up again and lots of new manuscripts to be processed at work, so apologies for the lateness! Here’s this week’s news roundup:

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Voyager — Diana Gabaldon; Bantam Books, 1993

9780385335997I am so emotionally exhausted after finishing this book. This is not the kind of book you should read in four days. First, because it made me cry about fifteen times. Second, because there is too damn much going on, and now my brain is all blurry and even though I took notes about things I wanted to discuss, I’m probably gonna have to pull a SparkNotes on the last two hundred pages because I was too enthralled to write anything down!

As with the previous installment, let’s go over my questions from before I started the book:

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This Week in Publishing: 4–8 January, 2016

Here’s a new feature I hope to post on a weekly basis, each Friday. If you’re interested in publishing news, please check in every Friday! I’ll try to get it up earlier in the day than I was able to today.

Monday, 4 January

  • Belgravia, an interactive digital book by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes in the vein of Dickensian serials, will be launched later this year as an app. (New York Times)
  • George R.R. Martin is disappointed to announce that we will definitely not be seeing The Winds of Winter on shelves before the sixth season of Game of Thrones debuts on HBO in April. (GRRM @ LiveJournal)
  • Print sales continued to rise in 2015 after a good year in 2014, largely driven by an increase in adult nonfiction sales (although adult fiction also performed admirably). (Publisher’s Weekly)
  • PW has also released the Nielsen BookScan list of bestselling books in the categories of adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as children’s books. (Publisher’s Weekly)
  • PBS’s Masterpiece is starting a book club featuring works inspired by its hit TV series, such as Sherlock and Downton Abbey. (PBS)

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