Podcast Episode #29 (Season 3, Episode 3): Talking Cultural Appropriate, Diversity & Publishing with Nafiza (Part 2)

We couldn't be more excited to have the brilliant blogger Nafiza of Bibliographic Monologues and The Book Wars fame join us for the second in a two-part podcast series on diversity and cultural appropriation.

Nafiza is one of the smartest ladies in the bookish blogosphere, complete with a Masters in Children's Literature, and we're so happy to have her join us for this discussion. If you'd like to hear more from Nafiza (and you really should), visit her online at Bibliographic Monologues and The Book Wars and check out all her smarty pants tweets at @Nafizaa

Podcast Episode #29 (Season 3, Episode 3): Talking Cultural Appropriate, Diversity & Publishing with Nafiza (Part 2)

Recommendation Tuesday: Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen

Cordelia Jensen's debut novel first got on my radar thanks to Stasia Ward Kehoe's guest post for our Verse Week celebration this year.  While I don't read all the blogs, it seems like it's not received much attention and I'm here to remedy that, because folks, Skyscraping is a special book. 

I coined the term "nostalgia lit" on a podcast episode a couple years ago, and I'm generally a fairly reluctant about books set in near history, but Skyscraping is a wonderful example of this particular almost-contemporary setting.

Recommendation Tuesday: Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen

BEA, NYC & Falafel

I really enjoyed my trip to Book Expo America and have so much to say, but, honestly, I just need to talk about falafel for a minute. Because, hot damn, I had a lot of awesome falafel in New York. Guys, I just really love falafel a whole lot. 

My source was Taim, which was conveniently located in the nifty West Village neighborhood I stayed in. (Seriously, guys, if you go to NYC, skip the hell that is Midtown and stay in the Village, it's so pleasant.) Here are some of my falafels. 

 

BEA, NYC & Falafel

Listorama: 11 Romance Novels for Clever Ladies

Recently, The Mary Sue--a website I have deeply conflicted feelings about--posted a super-ignorant, click-bait-y piece about romance novels and romance readers.

Rather than rebut the silliness (because what's the point), I thought I'd offer some recommendations for clever ladies looking to try out the genre, want to try a new subgenre of Romance or who want to revisit it after an absence. I'm not an expert, but I've read reasonable widely in the genre and appreciate that it is, in many ways, a deeply feminist field of offerings, particularly in recent years. 

The following are 11 smart big-R romances (read: happy ending of a central love story, as defined by the Romance Writers Association) I recommend for Clever Ladies who are interested in the genre. Keep in mind that there's just about something for everyone in this genre, so if there's not something that's up your alley on this list, there's probably something out there--leave a note in the comments and I'll see what I can do. 

Listorama: 11 Romance Novels for Clever Ladies

Podcast Episode #28 (Season 3, Episode 2): Talking Diversity & Cultural Appropriation with Nafiza

We couldn't be more excited to have the brilliant blogger Nafiza of Bibliographic Monologues and The Book Wars fame join us for a two-part podcast series on diversity and cultural appropriation.

Nafiza is one of the smartest ladies in the bookish blogosphere, complete with a Masters in Children's Literature, and we're so happy to have her join us for this discussion. If you'd like to hear more from Nafiza (and you really should), visit her online at Bibliographic Monologues and The Book Wars and check out all her smarty pants tweets at @Nafizaa

Remember, if you want to get your new episodes early, subscribe in iTunes, the show drops there about a day earlier than it does here. 

Enjoy!

Podcast Episode #28 (Season 3, Episode 2): Talking Diversity & Cultural Appropriation with Nafiza

How Not to Engage Readers

I've been chewing on whether or not to share the most recent creepy Goodreads friend request I received from a self-identified aspiring author. But this one was uncomfortable enough, that I felt like I needed to share in hopes of helping educate other aspiring authors about what not to do when attempting to engage readers. 

Listen, I know authors are told to engage, engage, engage, but there's a way to do it that doesn't completely freak out readers. Unfortunately this recent request landed smack in the creepy zone. (Note: I've redacting information about this person.)

How Not to Engage Readers

Recently Read: Comics Edition

You may recall that I've slid far, far down the comics rabbit hole. I even have new releases on my calendar so I remember to get say, the new Saga, on the Wednesday it releases. 

Here's what I've recently read.

Hawkeye, Volumes 1-3.

These combined volumes feature the archer Avenger and his mentee Kate, who's also known as Hawkeye and is super rad. I knew nothing about The Avengers going into this and found it incredibly accessible and liked the healthy does of angst. Fraction writes Sex Criminals, which I love, so I shouldn't be surprised by this one, but I was. My favorite was the third volume, LA Woman, which is just a Kate story.

Recently Read: Comics Edition

Kicking Off Podcast Season 3: Episode #27, "Hug It Out"

Hi folks! Welcome to season three of the Official, One and Only Clear Eyes, Full Shelves Podcast!

Apologies for the long hiatus, but we had reasons. We've both done a lot of reading and watching television/movies during our time off, and we kept circling back to the idea of the way family relationships are portrayed. More often than not, it's hard for both of us to see familiar patterns and resolutions that feel "real." Obviously, as we mention in this episode, we only have our own experiences to draw on, but we also know we can't be alone. 

Remember, if you want to get your new episodes early, subscribe in iTunes, the show drops there about a day earlier than it does here. 

Enjoy!

Kicking Off Podcast Season 3: Episode #27, "Hug It Out"

Sandra's Favorite Verse Novels & Some Reflections

Novels in verse come from a tradition of putting stories into language that flows with the magic of poetry. The Iliad and the Odyssey is something that any freshman high school student can tell you about. Verse novels stem from this oral tradition dating from 1600-1100 BC; the power of verse flows like music with the beauty of epic and poetic language.

Not to neglect Old English and Geoffrey Chaucer’s raucous and rowdy tales of those on a pilgrimage, I must mention those monks of olden days who told tales that to this day make us smirk and smile. In verse, Chaucer painted tales of the good folk who laughed about and flaunted their rowdy and raucous adventures.

Sandra's Favorite Verse Novels & Some Reflections

Give Verse a Chance by Marie Jaskulka

So many people claim they don't "get" poetry, then they quote some lyrics from their favorite songs. 

I understand this prejudice, this preconception that poetry is difficult. I understand it, but I disagree. I think poetry takes a big, emotional idea and distills it into a few potent stanzas. It packs a lot of force in its compressed punch, and therefore, it hits the readers' feels hard.

While fiction is a meandering walk, poetry is a sprint. When it's good, at the end, you should feel breathless and sweaty. Your heart should beat wildly.

Give Verse a Chance by Marie Jaskulka

Guest Review: Tricks by Ellen Hopkins (Allie of In Bed with Books)

Full confession: before Tricks, I had never read an Ellen Hopkins' novel. Novels in verse are right up my alley, but I just couldn't get over my perception of Hopkins as the drug writer. 

Reading about people getting hooked on drugs and terrible things happening seemed about as interesting as listening to a friend tell you about that totally awesome trip they had once.  But I saw her speak at the Montgomery County Book Festival, and she spoke very passionately and personally about the books she writes.  I chose to read her 2009 release, Tricks, because the sequel, Traffick, is coming out this November.

Guest Review: Tricks by Ellen Hopkins (Allie of In Bed with Books)

Audiobooks: How I Came to Love Verse Novels by Molly Wetta

I’ve always loved poetry; I used to hate reading novels in verse. 

Part of my aversion to verse novels can be attributed to my first experience, which was Crank by Ellen Hopkins. The angsty, dramatic, dark story of addiction that is perennially popular with teenagers didn’t appeal to me at all. 

The sentences
just seemed so 
choppy.
The line breaks
nonsensical,
        random.
Audiobooks: How I Came to Love Verse Novels by Molly Wetta

Shari Green's Favorite Verse Novels

When I offered to write a post for verse novel week, I thought I’d review three of my favorite verse novels. Easy, right? And then … I flipped through my reading journals to choose which books I wanted to highlight, and I realized how hard it was going to be to narrow it down to three!

(Granted, this is a very good problem—so many great verse novels out there!) 

So, no top three. Maybe I could focus on a single stand-out? Or maybe go for something old and something new (something borrowed? --thanks, Vancouver Island Regional Library--something blue?).

Shari Green's Favorite Verse Novels

The Raw Emotion that Comes with Fewer Words… {Or,} Why I Felt Naked after Writing A Verse Novel by Stefanie Lyons

First, the caveat: 

I’m not saying prose novels can’t deepen emotion, of course they can—and do. I’m just saying this was my experience in the verse novel writing process.

Okay, I feel better getting that off my chest. Now, let’s talk about exposure. Say, for instance, you wrote a verse novel. One that started out more prose-like. Perhaps it had a particular voice that you explored while getting your masters in creative writing, if you will. And let’s imagine that as you combed through the scenes and fine-tuned the story, you pared back the language—just playing around during your time in Higher Education. It could happen. And, maybe as you dabbled in voice and tone, words fell away. A sparseness happened. What’s that all about? You thought, while typing away in your writer cave. What just happened to my story?

The Nakedness. That’s what.

 

The Raw Emotion that Comes with Fewer Words…  {Or,}  Why I Felt Naked after Writing A Verse Novel by Stefanie Lyons

Verse Novels: The Last Five Years by Stasia Ward Kehoe

When Sarah asked if I’d like to write a post for her fourth VERSE NOVEL celebration, I started reflecting on how the genre has fared between the publication of THE SOUND OF LETTING GO this past February and 2011, when I launched my YA debut, AUDITION. Here are a few of my personal thoughts and observations:

Verse Novels: The Last Five Years by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Recommendation Roundup: Winter/Spring 2014-15

Well, I got a bit behind on, like, life, so I thought I'd bundle a few months of our recommended reads for you, rather than trying to catch up month-by-month. 

I did a bit of re-reading over the last few months, which has been pretty fun. I think I will continue to revisit my favorites as a matter of course, because there's something enjoyable in revisiting a beloved story. We all read The Carnival at Bray for book club right before it was a Printz honoree and we all loved it so much, so if you haven't snagged that brilliant little book, do so!

As always, click on the cover for more information. If we have a review available, it will be noted.

Recommendation Roundup: Winter/Spring 2014-15

Recommendation Tuesday: All The Rage by Courtney Summers

You know all the ways you can kill a girl? 
God, there are so many. 

Courtney Summers' new novel, All The Rage, is out today and it's a difficult, important book that you need to pay attention to. 

Al The Rageis an indictment of a culture that shames and silences girls when they need support the most, that tells them that they are not valued; this is the culture that creates the Steubenvilles. (Let's be honest, Steubenville is not one place, it is everywhere.)

Recommendation Tuesday: All The Rage by Courtney Summers