renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
On one hand, I can't believe I let Ira suck me into the shitshow about three dudes who really hate themselves. On the other hand, I'm wondering why it took so long, because I'm weak, and also Misha Collins. Seriously, I love that guy. What an asshole.

I've spent May and June in a constant haze of Supernatural feelings: screeching, whimpering, and sobbing at my television. Suffice it to say my plans for getting all my Hugo reading done in these two month have been blammo'ed to Jupiter. But it never hurts to stop and reflect back on all your terrible life choices. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
In the days leading up to this event, I spent my time either a) packing, b) working or c) reading all the books in the Old Man's War series, so assume mostly C. The series was just as good as I remember. I've changed as a reader a lot so I could see some of the man behind the curtain, but I also think that can be chalked up to Scalzi learning more about how to build stories since the first book was written. I so rarely followed professional authors before the late aughts that it's weird doing it now and seeing the progression of the artist. The reread was fun, I'm totally stoked to read my copy of The Human Division once my Hugo reading is done, I'm excited about the next installment, and left the event (shaking like a squirrel-addled poplar tree alksjdlkjasd) remembering just what John Scalzi means to me as a creator. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's go back! Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
If you would like a fiery discussion about the Hugos, please see my tag on pinboard, containing all the passionate Hugo discourse you've ever wanted! Here, instead, I want to talk about my perspective as a new fan to this process. I'm almost tempted to not count my participation last year, because I missed all the verbal fireworks due to other professional obligations. This year has been a different matter. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Today I am over at Fantasy Cafe, taking part in Kristen's Women in SF&F Month. Seriously, look at this line up:


My post is here and includes LIST MAKING, featuring: LADIES. I know I love a good list and I'm not alone, so you can just skip the tl;dr and feels if you want, scroll to the bottom and click the link for recommending ten of your favorite SF/F books by ladies. :D (I also wouldn't scoff at a signal boost, let's say. If by "wouldn't scoff" we mean "jump for joy", that is.)

(Seriously, list making. Why so addicting?)

eta: if you are the tumbling sort, the post is also here
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
When I sat down to reflect over my reading in 2012, I suspected that I would be disappointed. I had so many reading goals and wishes that didn't come to fruition. I had a lot of complicated events happen to me in 2012; returning to work, family issues, a complicated relationship with the OTW that I didn't expect, and the myriad of things that happen when you reach "adulthood" that tangle around you and leave you with no space to fit other stories besides the ones you're trying to live through.

However, even with all the things that happened, I am proud of what I managed to achieve with my reading. Coming off my degree program (and very little reading at all for pleasure), I was lucky enough to have the time to read some excellent books and to get back into the swing of reading as pastime. So often in my degree program I had to read and move on to the next book/essay and topic with only mild reflection, usually for discussion or essay points. The fact I could reflect over something was novel, and I got carried away a bit, and perhaps reflected too long instead of giving in and picking up another book. That's something to think about for 2013.

The following is a list of my favorite books of 2012. This is not a favorites list compiled of recent releases. I've faced it; I'm never going to be that reader who consumes brand new novels as they roll onto shelves. I'll be pleased to get to the majority "best of" 2012 books by 2014. This is what I read this year and loved, regardless of publishing date.

Most of these will be reviewed in the new year, after I am done recovering from the plague and can focus again. :P (Stupid plague.)

collage of Renay's best of 2012 titles


Kraken by China Miéville: Including this novel is cheating, as I read the majority of it during 2011 during my holiday break and on the cusp of the new year. I'm still conflicted over it (so many feelings) but when I sat down to think of what books challenged me, my literary perspective, and my patience (in both bad and good ways), and books that stuck and I was unable to get out from under all the way, Kraken tops the list. A story about faith, secret cults, the desire to live, and a city brought to life in the most fantastical ways, I'm not sure how it could have been more fun (well, except for the spoiler I spend time lamenting in my review). My internal feud with China Miéville and our disagreement over the phrase "acceptable loss" begins with Kraken. I'm watching you, Miéville.

Chime by Franny Billingsley: I admit I was skeptical about this title going in, even though multiple people I trust said it was definitely worth it. Turns out they weren't wrong, as this story of Briony's struggle with self-blame, depression, family and love was a startling surprise. It would be easy to believe that some of the things Billingsley does in this novel were simple to construct and show, but everything is so carefully placed — and one might argue, also obvious, even though that's not the point of the narrative — that it belies the care and depth with with Briony's struggles are portrayed to us. Chime is a beautiful novel, teeming with magic, and well worth reading.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvatar: I had never read Stiefvatar before The Scorpio Races. I missed out on the fairy novels, and skipped the wolves because of associated hype and comparisons (not sure I'm ready to challenge those comparisons yet). I also would have skipped this due to the fact that I watched Stiefvatar say problematic things about professional objective credibility and review style around the time I read it. This was definitely the case of me deciding not to judge the art by the opinions of the artist because of a post Ana made about this topic. I am very happy I let Ana's post calm me down, because later when I stumbled across this title on the shelf at the library I gave it a chance and found within a gorgeous, layered tale of privilege, survival, and a narrative of growing up into a world that's not made for you and that you're in constant conflict with. Even with certain benefits, those don't make it any easier, just different. It's a romance, yes, but also a story about the love we share even when we can't communicate it in "normal" ways.

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes: Out of all the characters I met this year, Zinzi December still fascinates me the most. Looking back, Zoo City feels like a criticism on the propensity of our culture to sort people into harmful categories and in doing so, write them off as people, period. Being less politically-minded about the South African culture contained within this novel, I know there's many undertones I missed, but I look forward to that day when I can reread it and learn more — both about Zinzi as a character and about the world she inhabits for lack of other chances. Also, as a bonus, it reminds me of Ghost, starring Patrick Swayze, and the narrative does a similar thing that is both brilliant and blood-curdling, because I can remember as a child being terrified. It's been such a long time since I book took me back to that place. This book is an urban fantasy crime thriller with philosophy at its core and I wish everyone (EVERYONE!) would read it.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvatar: It may be weird that Stiefvatar appears on my best-of list twice. I couldn't help it; it was unavoidable. I loved every moment of The Raven Boys, from Blue and her unruly and nontraditional family to the family that Gansey chooses to surround himself with (my favorite trope!) and protect while he searches for a lost king. The main conceit that all the blurbs use undersell this novel. I don't think Blue's true love, or her potential first kiss, or even the fact that Blue suddenly sees spirits after years of the lack of the ability is as central to the narrative of this book as it likes to think it is (maybe later books in the series?). In fact, I find it's mostly used in the opposite way it comes across in the beginning. The Raven Boys is a story about boys that Blue loves, yes, but not in the way it teases you to believe. Blue's journey with Gansy is illuminating, thoughtful, and heartbreaking and the end will make you want to go back and start all over from the beginning. ♥

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin: For many, their introduction to N.K. Jeminsin was with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms which I have not yet read (even though I have owned it for over a year). This, however, was mine, and placed Jemisin on my "WTAF ARE YOU WAITING FOR" list. A gorgeous story of two sister cities at odds, priests who stalk the night and judge the corrupt in the name of a goddess of dreams, and the way dreams themselves can undo us if we choose to treat them as an acceptable reality, I was hooked from the beginning. Little kidding: I was so intrigued that instead of putting the book down (which I often do with fantasy when I get lost amid names and places I have no previous context for) I put down roots and grabbed a notebook to takes notes with and shoved my way through the first 150 pages and kept right on sailing when I stopped stumbling over the intricate and thorough worldbuilding. This doesn't reflect badly on the book, but instead on me as a fantasy reader — I'm woefully out of practice, but this book was worth the extra effort for me and I'm so pleased I didn't give up. I would have missed out.

Total: 40
Novels: 22 (55%)
Short Story Collections and Anthologies: 1 (2.5% — oops)
Manga: 16 (40%)
Nonfiction: 1 (2.5% — I really want to do better here next year)
Classics: 1 (2.5% — I've faced it. This will always be low unless someone co-reads something with me.)
Fantasy: 15 (37.5%)
Science fiction: 6 (15%)
Young adult: 8 (20%)
Middle grade: 1 (2.5%)
Short fiction / Novellas: 0 (sjdakshdasd this was a goal for 2012! Ultimate fail.)
By women: 17 (42.5% — and, much like Ana, and I not at all ashamed of the lack of gender parity in my reading for the same reasons she cited and also my own.)
By men: 6 (15%)
Re-reads: 11 (27.5%)
By new to me authors: 17 (42.5%)
Favorite authors discovered this year: Lauren Beukes, N.K. Jemisin
Least favorite book of the year: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman, or as I like to call it, ~ENERGY DRAGONS~: A Study in Cultural Appropriation by a White Lady
Best reading month: January. I read seven books this month. New year is good for something!
Worst reading month: March and December, with one book apiece. I can't explain March, but December makes 100% sense. I work retail, December is hell. It's impossible to concentrate on reading when you spend your days seeing humans treat each other like animals and service people even worse. You don't want to be around anyone, not even fictional people.

My full reading list is available here in super geeky glory.

My goals for next year are to read more widely and in places I might not necessarily have gone before. I want to read more older science fiction and fantasy (I've had my eye on the Hugo lists pre-1980s, for example). I want to pick up more nonfiction, even if I don't end up reviewing it. I want to catch up on One Piece (OMG One Piece, you are probably a zillion volumes by now). I am considering spending some time on Homestuck, now that I understand (sort of) how it's meant to work. I want to try more literary science fiction and fantasy — the pieces that get fancy covers with no hint of magic or rockets and featured on morning shows. Also, I have a hankering to read more about film and the way things are shot, too, so I can spend more time discussing movies and television with Jodie and understand more things Clare posts. And, as always, I want to read more women in every single genre. However, this year I am going to focus heavily on science fiction, because I love science fiction the most. I think making a point to pick up one science fiction novel by a woman each month is doable, since I can slide it into other goals.

In closing, Ana and Jodie both have posts up at 2012: The Year in Review and Top 20 for 2012 and they both read a lot of great, fascinating things, too. I dare you to read their posts and not add something to your to-read list.

Until next December! \o/
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Today I am over at The Book Smugglers, who have graciously provided me a soapbox to shake my virtual pom-poms over participation in the Hugo Awards on. Although, let's be honest, it's a little self-serving. Last year I did it by myself and it wasn't as fun/was pretty overwhelming and confusing. *g* Goal: ADD MY FRIENDS and be in it together. :D

Check it out and then check out all the other awesome posts Ana and Thea have organized via their Smugglivus tag. And if you get a hankering to buy a Supporting membership, let me know so we can be Hugo pals. :D
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Cover of Where Things Come Back


I live in a very small city an hour and a half away from Memphis in northeast Arkansas. When I first moved here to go to college, I was really surprised at the lack of author events that weren't a) crime writers, b) cookbook writers or c) people writing specifically about the delta, especially given the state university. Maybe I shouldn't have been, though: author events are expensive and it's a widely known fact people in Arkansas don't read for fun (okay, maybe I am slightly bitter). All in all, I've come to terms with the lack of literary culture. That's why I was surprised to learn from my local YA librarian (who is, by the way, completely awesome) that John Corey Whaley, whose book was the most recent recepient of the Printz Award, was coming to our library. I was excessively thrilled because it's no secret I have Feelings About the Printz Award and Feelings About Southern Literature and Feelings About How Arkansas is Presented in Culture By People Who Mean Well But Often Screw It Up Oh God My Eyes. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
Hello, Internets! This entry comes to you in three parts:

Part #1: UNIVERSITY
Did you know I am about to (maybe) graduate in December after I pass my last three classes (dubious)? YES. The Bachelor of Arts in English I have been working on since 2005 will be complete (possibly). We will not talk about when I started university because then we have to talk about how long it took me to earn one degree and the time I've spent on this one I could have earned a B.A., masters, and perhaps started on a doctorate. So: no talking about it. Agreed? Agreed. I am both terrified and excited at the prospect of never having to enter a classroom again.

screenshot from That 70s show with text reading talking isn't going to help me. what's going to help me is, like, drinking


Part #2: Author Event!
Earlier this month [twitter.com profile] echthroi and I trekked to Memphis to see Cherie Priest at an author event. It was harrowing and I continue to believe that I am not cut out for large cities. Why are there so many cars! Why is everyone going so fast! Why do they not warn for road construction!? Memphis is not even that scary, driving wise — New Orleans was much worse. I will never survive outside a city larger than 80,000 people. Cue terrified country girl in big city.

This was my very first author event, because publishers don't believe people in the South read and they never send authors I like to Memphis, sob. The only novel by Priest I have read is Boneshaker. I liked it, but my feelings were mixed? It's been so long I don't remember the mixed feelings in detail, only the "hey, this was pretty great!" because I enjoy books that take history, shake it, and then suddenly zombies (or dragons, or vampires, or dinosaurs)! How do you go wrong?

The event itself was pretty laid back, very chatty. There is some super awesome news that can't be shared on the internet and it's exciting! I hope she gets to release it soon, because seriously, I would be throwing some dollars at it, and I do not throw dollars easily. (eta: The news, it is released!) I asked the question put to me by some people who knew I was going, about Priest's interaction with book bloggers. Predictably, it went immediately to the ARC place. God, I have so many feelings about ARCs and they're pretty much all negative and after this even talking about them makes me want to set every concrete ARC I've ever received on fire. I want all ARCs to be digital so this can stop being a thing I have to combat when I say "I am a book blogger". Note: I did not ask about ARCs, I asked about her experience with book bloggers, and yet we still went to Planet Book Bloggers Want Free Stuff and Here's How You Get It. I wasn't specific enough at the time with my question, because ugh, crowds. Looking at me. Judging me. sdlk'fk'a;lsdlsd

Maybe I am in the minority here, but when I was a book blogger (back when I read books? In....2010?) I actually preferred to buy the books, or ask my library to buy them, rather than hound an author or their publisher for them. This goes back to me not enjoying asking for or accepting free things and my general terror of talking to strangers. I am horrible at it. I managed two requests directly to an author in three years when I was active. The reaction to my question threw me, because the answer ended up in ARC territory (which I don't care about) and then also went sailing down by the "this is how many hits this other teen book blogger gets" river, and I had no paddle and felt really awkward and embarrassed that my question about interacting with book bloggers went to a money/fame place immediately when I a) don't blog about books for ARCs or anything but my love/hate of a specific title, b) get like five hits a month and therefore rank about -1000000000 on the importance scale. Sigh. I promise, all the other people in the crowd, I wasn't asking how to get books for free. I am just really interested in how authors think about book bloggers, how they interact, if authors have had good/bad interactions with them, if they're looking for stronger relationships in the community, etc.. Looking back, I am not sure how my question was phrased and it was probably terrible and confusing. I had other questions that I wanted to ask, but after that I was too embarrassed to bother speaking up again. The lesson I learned was that book bloggers who don't accept ARCs are rare these days, which makes me sad. I remember discussing this with Dewey, I believe, in 2007, when the ARC movement was picking up as a social tool in the YA community and expressing regret over it. Insert GET OFF MY LAWN macro here.

I hesitate to label my first author event a success. The discussion was awesome and I love listening to writers talk about their work because they get so excited. I also got things signed! Priest was super kind and accomodating and signed both of the things I brought and I got a button. But the whole question thing just looped me and cast this really gross sheen over the event, like, great, I am That Person wanting Book Handouts. All in all, I am glad I went, and now know to prepare questions better next time, ask with more precise language, and perhaps make the person with me ask the potentially humilating ones. :)

title page of Boneshaker signed by Cherie Priest


Bibliography for Cherie Priest: Read more... )

Part #3: This Sucks, or, Vampires!
I am planning something. But to plan this something I actually need to do some research, which means I needed to create a list of books about vampires. I asked on Twitter, which got me started and led me to additional titles:

This is a list of vampire books. )

The problem with vampire novels is that they're everywhere! It's impossible to get beyond skimming the surface on your own without having to dive into the vampiric equivalent of a ball pit and hope there's nothing horrible underneath the brightly colored friendly plastic. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open!
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
So, fanfiction.

Back in 2007 when I started blogging about books and interacting with the wider community and book fandom, I became really, painfully aware of how divided my new fandom (talking about books) and my old fandom (writing fic and making art about books and other media) were from each other. I never really figured out how to deal with the space between them. I tried to separate my identities — I had several book blogs — but it would never stick because the fanfiction side of me couldn't be divided out from the part of me that loved books. I love stories and fanfiction is just another type of story. It's not less than, it's not even a competition — it's a shared experience of a source. If reviews are a type of feedback then fanfiction is simply another, but instead of answering the question "Should I read this?" it answers the question "What happens next?" I don't really use reviews that way anymore. I know what I like by now: I want to go deeper than that.

I am often much more interested in the latter question.

It's March, so it's time for The Organization for Transformative Works to have the first of their two drives, encouraging members to support the OTW for the work it does; I already wrote about this and how it's important to me personally. Every drive always makes me reflect back on my past as a fan and as a consumer of stories and to search out what other people who have walked the same roads of similar stories are doing, where our shared experience of a book took them, and did they write about it so I can go with them? More and more as the years go by, that answer is yes, and I dream of a world where fanfiction is not a confusing practice, an illegitimate hobby, a shameful act. Because really, lots of things are essentially fanfiction, and what fandom and fanfic is right now is simply another evolution of it, fueled by the internet and a culture that wants to see certain stories, can't find them elsewhere, and so they make them themselves. Every piece of fanfiction I have written was because I asked "What happens next?" and knew that if I didn't answer it, I would never know.

I do like to know things.

Most of all, throughout my childhood I was told by male guidance counselors and teachers and guardians: don't write those things. Don't waste your time. That's never going to net you a career. You can't be successful writing stories. When I found fandom, I found a culture of women that said: write! Everything you write is worth something, even if it's bad. It doesn't matter if you make a career out of it if you love to do it, and if you love to do it you probably can be successful at it. The message was so different that I stepped into fandom and never left. I didn't do much creative writing outside of classes, because I had fandom. And maybe one day I'll go on to try and write a short story or a novel and maybe I won't. Either way is okay, because I love the writing I do and I love that I have the chance to share stories with people, even if I'm not the creator of those stories.

This influences my book blogging. I am more likely to financially support an author if they allow fanfic and more likely to not financially support an author if they write screeds and threaten their fans and call us names and accuse of theft and suggest all fanfiction amounts to is training wheels. At an author event [personal profile] owlmoose once attended, the author she was there to see, Naomi Novik (and one of the founders of the OTW) said the following (paraphrased, of course):

Thompson (who has clearly never been involved in fandom) brought up the old "training wheels" analogy (paraphrased, the idea that writing fanfic is a way of getting started in writing, because you have the world and the characters as training wheels, but eventually you get tired of it and want to ride the bike on your own), but Novik disagreed with him. First she pointed out that there are plenty of people who are happy to only ever write fanfic and have no need to turn pro, or write origfic. Then she made another analogy: she said it's like playing music. You start out playing music written by other people, then you start making jazz riffs, and then maybe you move on to your own original compositions, but that doesn't mean it's not fun to play covers sometimes.


I can only hope we're moving toward a world where we're as legitimate as book reviewers are. I dream of that world where fanfiction writers are treated with the same respect by the authors and publishers, who so love all the free advertising that reviewers provide them and extend that respect to the world of mouth advertising and the financial support we offer by buying copies of books, sometimes multiple copies, for friends so they'll come be excited with us and write lots of stories (porn optional). I don't think that world is as far away as it was in 2007 and I will never stop hoping for it.

To close, a short introduction to some fanfiction, featuring some of my favorite books:

renay: text: HOW DID YOU KNOW? (tears of woe)
[personal profile] renay
The Way it Was
I used to be a book blogger.

I'm not anymore. In the Lady Business introduction post, I said I hadn't read a book since July 2010 and I wasn't kidding. Of course, in this case book = recreational reading of original material, school does not count, I REFUSE TO COUNT YOU, MACBETH. I have been reading, mostly fanfiction, generally of the porny variety, and so am hilariously unprepared for our foray into group book blogging. But this is why I asked Ana and Jodie along, after all. They accept me and my flaws. ♥

I'm the day of the week everyone is going to avoid. People will subscribe for Ana's thoughtful reviews and Jodie's interesting essays and they will quickly mark the Friday post as read because Jesus Christ does she have to talk about gay sex so much or is she still trying to read Peter Pan through a lens of feminism, STFU or RENAY SHUT UP NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR BURNING HATRED FOR LOVE TRIANGLES.

But, you see, I used to be a book blogger and that's the type of book blogger I was. A lot of people have asked me over the years why I stopped being a book blogger and I've given a lot of responses but the answer really was this review, which was negative and which garnered comments like this from the author:

I am the author of David Inside Out. Sadly, the homophobia which bubbles white hot just below the surface of this review must be flagged for the unwary reader.


Yes. Me, a queer lady who writes queer fanficion where dudes have sex wrote a review filled with white hot homophobia. It almost makes you think of a terribly-named mixed drink. The sad part is, I might have given the criticism some thought if he had just used the term heterosexist instead. OBJECT LESSON: be precise in your language, kids!

In Summer 2009, tired of the constant moderating I had to do with people calling me a bitch for disliking a book they loved, calling me a cunt for any scathing remark I made about rape culture in the YA Title of Which We Don't Speak, telling me I was stupid for finding an author's work problematic, to get this kind of response from an author and his rape apologist minions simply for being a critic was the nail in the coffin of being a book blogger. And maybe I was wrong, after all -- you'd have to read the review and the comments on the review and make up your own mind on whether I flounced for the right reasons. But I simply wasn't ready to engage with authors in that way, to fight with someone much more privileged than myself and it killed all the love I had for blogging about books, where a critical review meant to start a conversation became don't read this book (which I never said, which I actually invited people to do for additional perspectives).

This is what being a critic in this community gets you, I thought back then. I will never fit in here unless I censor myself, unless I play into the cult of nice, unless I play by their rules of engagement, unless I pretend to be the type of writer I'm not, unless I lie to myself, and the authors who ask me to review their books.

I wasn't interested then and I'm not interested now. So yes, I used to be a book blogger. The above is why I quit, the above is why I am a little ashamed of the lack of critical analysis in the YA community, the backlash to critical analysis in the YA community, the derision in the YA community over having an emotional reaction to a book that is not all sunshine and rainbows. Steady on, to those who claim the mantle of book blogger and still write negative reviews, your positive experiences, your negative experiences, your well-traveled road, bless your moderation woes, I can't imagine what they look like. You have my respect and my envy for making it, for weaving through the jungle of the "Be nice!" bullshit so many authors like to throw around (and god, it's so much bullshit, if I ever see an author say that I strike them from every reading list I've made, burn it and salt the ashes left behind). I simply wasn't interested in a community where authors could and did attempt to silence critics like me, to discredit and shame us, and they can, even now, do it and get away with it if you're not a BNR. That whole YA Mafia business didn't happen in a vacuum, let's say, it's just all coming to a head.

The Way It Will Be
I still wrote about books after I left YA Fabulous! I wrote a co-review of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with Ana, I read and reviewed Soulless, which went on to become my favorite book of the year (and one of the last books I would read). I read Havemercy and reviewed it fairly critically, although I liked it. I ripped apart the dead and the gone and this world we live in in aggravation as a great, ridiculous idea was driven into the ground. I got in touch with parts of myself I hadn't really thought about when I read Ash. I could still talk about books, but I could only do so on my terms, in space I felt safe, in my own way. I was never going to fit into the mold that was being set down by the establishment. It wasn't for me. I am still, even now, a very special snowflake.

So while I used to be a book blogger, I don't know if that's what I'm going to be here. Maybe I'll be able to reclaim the title and maybe I won't. Maybe I'll find my love for YA again, maybe I won't. Maybe I'll do nothing but flail about pretty covers and fanfiction, or maybe I won't. Maybe I'll write something that pisses someone off, and maybe I won't.

Oh, wait.

Never mind, I definitely will piss someone off.

I will probably make some people mad, I will probably make some people uncomfortable, I am definitely going to make the sexist jerks that permeate the book blogging community feel like complete fuckmuppets as often as possible (they know who they are). I am going to swear (a lot) and use macros (too many) and ramble (tl;dr) and capslock (no apologies) and go my own way because every time I have tried to follow the leader, whether it's review format or reading choices or how to properly rate my reviews or interacting with authors and publishers I have felt trapped and boxed in by expectations -- punished when I've gone outside of them.

I used to read books for free, sometimes I paid for the privilege, and I talked about them and definitely wrote about them and told my friends about them at the cost of my time, which is fucking precious the older I get. I'm ready to reclaim the books, the books and their stories and their millions of interesting people I've yet to meet, at least. That's a start. So no, I'm not a book blogger again yet, but I'm pretty awesome and I like to talk about books with glee and and capslock. I won't let another author make feel worthless ever again -- that's a promise to myself and that's enough for now.

Hello, world of literature. I'm back. ♥

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Queer lady geek Clare was raised by French wolves in the American South. more? » twitter icon webpage icon

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By day Jodie is currently living the dream as a bookseller for a major British chain of book shops. She has no desire to go back to working in the real world. more? » tumblr icon last.fm icon

KJ KJ is an underemployed librarian, lifelong reader, and more recently an avid gamer. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

Renay writes for Lady Business and B&N. She's the co-host of Fangirl Happy Hour, a pop culture media show that includes a lot yelling about the love lives of fictional characters. Enjoys puns. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon tumblr icon

Susan is a library assistant who uses her insider access to keep her shelves and to-read list permanently over-flowing. more? » twitter icon pinboard icon AO3 icon

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