Happy February! This last half of January has been busy with the start of a new semester. There was also that beautiful full moon and the State of the Union Address the other night.
- Binge by Tyler Oakley: 3/5 Stars
- Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle: 4/5 Stars
- The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo: 4/5 Stars
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Vol. 1, by Kore Yamazaki: 5/5 Stars
Two of these reviews are of books I read a couple years ago and never got around to reviewing. In any case, I remember them all as being pretty good.
I’m currently reading Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki with Rande Brown, This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp and Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. The first book is the real Memoirs of a Geisha by the geiko who Arthur Golden interviewed. The next book is a YA novel about a school shooting. The last is that famous classic that inspired beautiful adaptations, and I’ll be reading it all through the year.
It’s pretty weird to me to not have a meme that I try to keep up with weekly anymore. I’m looking for a new one to try.
Fanfiction Reading Challenge: 71/300 chapters
I made it to the Sphynx level this month. All but one of the fanfics I read this month are from the Harry Potter fandom. That other one is from Coraline. All of these came from Archive of Our Own (AO3). Here are the stories and number of chapters I read:
- Nature of the Beast by Lomonaaeren: 41/41
- The Songbird Ascendant by Lomonaaeren: 2/2
- In His Nature by create_serenity (Sivany): 1/1
- A Different Kind of Death by MystyVander: 14/14
- The Lion’s Den by Beloved_bird: 12/17
- Madness and Puzzle Piece by filia_noctis: 1/1
I didn’t know that Lomonaaeren was on AO3. I’ve followed him on FanFiction.Net for years, and I didn’t realize he was there until the story read as very familiar. At least I found the sequel to Nature of the Beast this way.
If you are interested in starting to read fanfiction or want to learn the ways of FanFiction.Net, I wrote a post on how to find good fanfics on FanFiction.Net.
Goodreads Reading Challenge: 3/60
These books are Pyongyang by Guy Delisle and the first two volumes of The Ancient Magus’ Bride by Kore Yamazaki. All graphic novels this month. I’m not sure what to do with that.
I’m debating about lowering this reading goal. I don’t want to stress myself out about reading a certain quota of books. I’ll see how I feel about it by the end of February.
Graphic Novel & Manga Reading Challenge: 2/12
This one also goes to Pyongyang and The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Vol. 1. My review of the next volume of The Ancient Magus’ Bride should post some time next month.
Library Love Challenge: 3/24
This is the same as what my Goodreads Reading Challenge says. I read a lot of library books.
Platypire Diversity Challenge: 0/11
While I have read at least one graphic novel outside of my usual realm of reading, I don’t think it qualifies for this.
YA Reading Challenge: 0/10
Does shounen manga count? I’m not sure it does, so I’m not going to count it for now.
Les Misérables Chapter-a-Day Read-Along: 32/365
It’s been a little difficult reading a chapter a day, but I’ve stayed on top it. Minus a few days at the start of the month and in the middle. I shared my thoughts about certain quotes that I loved from the first two weeks, which finished the first book of Fantine.
Language Learning Reading Challenge: 0/4
I decided to focus on only German and Japanese for this challenge. I’ve been working on Japanese so far and have been working on grammar, but most of my studying has been schoolwork so far.
Twitter has been full of amazing threads this month. Lindsay Beth (@ellle_em) started a thread about things fantasy worlds should have to make them richer. A few that made the list are sports, high culture vs. pop culture, and different political factions. Good fantasy worlds are bigger than just what the MC interacts with. They should be written in a way that you know they aren’t just there for a character to have a stage.
We want to see more diversity in books. Dana L. Davis made a video in October that teaches you how to add diversity to your novel.
Avery @ Book Deviant asked trans readers which trans tropes have to go. Their responses are comprehensive. This post is a very good read.
Lindsay Ellis argues that Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast is not about Stockholm Syndrome. I’ve certainly thought it did, but her analysis convinced me that this version is not at all a story of Stockholm Syndrome.
Shannon A. Thompson wrote about characters doing something you dislike. This reminds me of one book that I read recently. One person wrote a review about it for doing things that are illegal. Characters can’t be perfect, and if the characters are well-written, they are likely going to do something that you wouldn’t do.
Maybe you have heard about sponsorship issues on YouTube or Instagram. Just typing #sponsored in a post is not enough. Briana @ Pages Unbound advises bloggers on how to follow the FTC’s disclosure guidelines.
While WordPress is a great site and offers a lot in the way of design, it could stand a few improvements. May @ Forever and Everly lists nine improvements WordPress should make to its platform. The themes and color palettes are improvements that I want to see too.
First: Can we all take a moment of silence to remember and mourn the authors who died this month? One in particular is Ursula K. Le Guin who wrote compelling speculative fiction, like Paradises Lost.
Second: Thank you for your support as always. Reading, liking, commenting on, and sharing my posts is encouraging. Thank you.