#imbibliomancy: Drunk Book Club with “John Dies at the End” by David Wong

You guys know that Taylor and I fight a lot about books, right? Well STRAP IN AND HOLD ON TIGHT because this Drunk Book Club was probably the most heated we’ve been in a really long time. But hang on. Let me explain the concept first.

The Bibliomancer team promised you more book club this semester, and we meant it. This time, with a very special bonus: all of the core team (since we’re all over 21!) came to this book club pretty tipsy–and we’re in the same room! With our English major love of pretentious discussion of literature, we figured that it really couldn’t get anymore hilarious than if we added alcohol to the mix.

As I said, this episode (2 of 3) is about John Dies at the End by David Wong. It’s Michaela’s pick, since she had to reschedule the gigantic postmodern opus that she had originally wanted to do. School has been hard on us all. But it was a good switch, because OH MY GOD THIS EPISODE. I start it off being pretty imbibed, having come from the biggest football game of Ithaca’s season (yes, laugh about a big football game for a D3 school) and it just goes from there. Taylor and Michaela really like it and I hate it (shocking, I know) and Taylor and I end up going at it pretty seriously. For the ENTIRE EPISODE. It’s entertaining, I promise.

If you missed our first episode on Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, CATCH UP. All three of us actually liked that one, but the entire thing turns into us giggling like maniacal school children and dropping the mic into pizza and that sort of thing.

Our last episode, coming in December, will be Taylor’s pick: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Anyways, here’s the video!

Thesis Thursdays: Why I Signed Up for NaNoWriMo Even Though I Plan to Lose

Thesis Thursdays is a weekly(ish) feature where I rant, love and talk about young adult books I’m reading because I’m conning my college into thinking this is all for academia! Find out more here!

I know what you’re thinking: why is this a Thesis Thursday post? Well, if you click that link above and re-read that again, you might remember that I’m writing TWO thesis: one is an academic paper and one is a novel.

Er. Well. “Novel.”

Basically, I need a minimum of 50 pages. Technically, once I hit 50, I can stop. But–and this is going to sound so conceited but hang in here with me–50 pages is peanuts to me. This is because I write with a bunch of short paragraphs and a bunch of snappy dialogue in my first drafts. That, plus double spacing, means that I am ALREADY under ten pages away from the 50 page minimum but I just topped over 11,000 words.

So, if I’m that close, why NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), you ask?

I could tell you that it’s because I’m committed to this book idea (I am) and that I savor the challenge (I do). I could tell you that it’s because I miss NaNo (I do) and I want to be a part of that again, even if I’m not really competing (I do). But there is one very distinct reason, above all others, pushing me to compete:

I’m out of plot.

You might have been thinking, “Ew, why would you take a already started novel into NaNo you cheater!” or just “CHEATER CHEATER PUMPKIN EATER!” That’s fine. But, trust me, it’s not like that. I just wrote my eighth chapter last night, which exhausted all of the planned plot that I had for this idea. (It was a very spur of the moment idea.) So I am going into NaNo with a set of characters I love, a few things that have happened and NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT.

That’s what’s beautiful about NaNoWriMo. It doesn’t allow you to say, “Well, I’m stuck, better put this down.” You have to soldier through and make things up on the fly–no second guessing.

That’s what I need right now. I’m so committed to this idea that I have, but I’m so confused by it. I don’t know where to go. Even if I can’t make 50,000 words (which I probably can’t), I need the drive that NaNoWriMo will give me. I mean, I once won NaNo in eight days. I get COMPETITIVE, even if it’s just with myself. (That was the year I wanted to beat my record of eleven days.) I need that to keep going.

If you’re on the NaNoWriMo journey yourself, feel free to friend me–adkwriter15 is the handle. If you are on the fence about it, DO IT. Join me in enjoying the journey but not intending to finish the race. Who knows what’ll happen?


Worth It Wednesdays: “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!

Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Goodreads Description: This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…

Why it’s worth it: I cuss out tropes a lot. I hate them. I’m tired of seeing them on repeat. I didn’t pick up this book originally because I thought it sounded fairly same-same and also I’ve become extremely wary of hyped books. I added it to my “maybe get someday” list and let it sit there. Then, when I taught high school writers over the summer, one of them–who loved Throne of Glass!–suggested that I read this one because it was a lot like that. I went out a few days later and bought it.


The world hooked me straight away, and for that I was very glad. It kept me reading when the book started to tumble into some of those books I so hate. (*coughlovetrianglecough*) But I kept reading, because Aveyard writes a really good story and from the inception the plot tackled some political realities that I hadn’t really seen.


This book is just a trope subverter. That’s why I like it. I mean, sure, it covers all the basic bases like a well written story, thought out world building and characters I really like spending time with. All that is there, and all that on it’s own would make it a good book. What makes it a great book is that Aveyard knowingly sets up a plot that looks very similar to something I’ve seen a million times before and then in the final act BLOWS EVERYTHING UP WITH DYNAMITE. I haven’t been this blown away by a final act trope subversion since A Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

Avoid the hype and read it. It’s worth it.

Read it if you’re looking for: Strong female characters, trope subversion, swoon-worthy male characters who are also more than nice to look at, hype that’s worth it, action, adventure, fantasy, magical powers, kick assery, political realism, dystopia

Thesis Thursdays: The Joy of Public Libraries + New Book Possibilities

Thesis Thursdays is a weekly(ish) feature where I rant, love and talk about young adult books I’m reading because I’m conning my college into thinking this is all for academia! Find out more here!

As you may know, I’ve been struggling to find good books to use for my thesis. I need YA books with female assassins but assassins are different from warriors (i.e., knights, etc) and finding females trained to kill human people is actually harder than it looks. I have a lot of feminist ranting thoughts about this (which will probably at some point be a post), but for now I’m going to stick to something more positive:

How much I love libraries.

When I was younger, I used my local library a lot more. I didn’t have all that much money for myself, and I devoured books too fast to buy too many anyways. How else would I have gotten through EVERY SINGLE NANCY DREW EVER PUBLISHED (at the time)? My library. How else could I afford to read every single Clive Cussler title? My library. Remember when Bibliomancy for Beginners did all thirteen Series of Unfortunate Events books? Thanks library! I volunteered there. I knew everyone by name. I lived there.

But I began to become frustrated with my library for several reasons. One, I lived a while outside of town and getting there was hard. Two, I wanted to own my own copies of things so I could read them again and again. Then, when I started blogging, I had such a cache of free eARCs that getting even more books from the library seemed overkill. So I stopped going.

I think my on campus library made me forget what real libraries look like. It’s all academic textbooks and sheet music and old newspapers. So when it came time to look for books for my thesis, I immediately discounted “library” as a term that could help me find what I needed. I turned to the internet and got lost in Google. Then my friend Taylor (might recognize him from Bibliomancy for Beginners) said, “Want to go to the public library for thesis research with me?”


I spent hours sitting on the floor of the YA section, going title by title through their selection, looking for thesis books. This might sound tedious, but actually that’s what I want my heaven to look like: shelves and shelves of books I want to read for me to go through. I only made it through a small section, but I managed to find four books with possibilities and that’s way more than I had before. (I’m going to list these below, in case anyone has read them yet, to see if anyone knows if they have what I’m looking for.)

How else would I be able to read these books, when I don’t know if I actually can use them? I don’t have enough money to just spend them on books willy-nilly. Don’t even mention illegal downloads, because I DO NOT do that. How else would I be able to browse book by book in a methodical manner? My local library has a FANTASTIC YA selection, by the way. It’s perfect. Just perfect.


(And thanks, Taylor, for dragging me along.)

New books for consideration:

Hit by Delilah S. Dawson

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Worth It Wednesdays: “Clockwork Angel” by Cassandra Clare

Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!

clockwork angelTitle: Clockwork Angel

Author: Cassandra Clare

Goodreads Description: In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

Why it’s worth it: First off, Cassandra Clare is a wonderfully amazing author. I am incapable of letting people ask “What should I read next?” without screaming HAVE YOU READ CASSANDRA CLARE? That said, most people are familiar with her The Mortal Instruments series, which I also love a lot. However, I honestly think that this series is more strongly written than the TMI books–and also is a tighter, more thoroughly planned trilogy.

The Infernal Devices series has all the elements that I love in the first series, while being set in a more Steampunk setting. The characters are a bit more complex and the plot line deals with more issues than just magic/action/thrills. That said, they read REALLY fast and are good for plenty of heart-pounding and emotions and laughter.

ALSO THE ROMANCE. I have never been more on the fence with who I wanted the main character to pick in a love triangle. Yes, love triangle. BUT A GOOD ONE. Cassandra Clare basically only wrote this love triangle because Holly Black told her that no one could ever write a good love triangle. Clare succeeded big time.

…just talking about them now makes me wish they were here at school with me so I could read them again and again and again.

Anyways, if you were looking for a gateway into Cassandra Clare’s world, LOOK NO FURTHER. There is definitely some debate on how best to read the series (since they interlock in weird ways, given the order in which they were published), but starting here will show you all the best that Clare has to offer, which will get you through some of the not as strong showings in TMI.

Read it if you’re looking for: steampunk, magic, fantasy, kickass heroines, romance, good love triangles, action, adventure, humor

Betwixt the Books: Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Michaela and I are back with more booktube videos for you! It’s a few more book tags as we get into the swing of things – this one about Unpopular Opinions! Thanks to Kat from Cuddlebuggery for showing me this awesome tag.

This is probably the most emotional and ranty Michaela and I have ever gotten together. It’s a good time!

As the pair to this video, Michaela is posting our Inside Out Tag video on her blog, so don’t miss that!

The questions for this tag are:

1. A Popular Book or series that you didn’t like.
2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.
3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn ppl for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like.
4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.
5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.
6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.
7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)
8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.
9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

Quick message from Michaela: Last week we had issues with audio, this week we have issues with the editor. I finished editing these videos and my editor wouldn’t let me export the edits, so we have this footage for you raw and unfiltered. I hope the awkward pauses weren’t too awkward for you, and we didn’t ramble too much. Some day I will get this filming and editing down to a T I swear.

Bibliomancy for Beginners Nostalgia Junkie: “The Soldiers of Halla” by DJ MacHale + Wrap Up


Ahem. Let me be responsible for a second.

Welcome back all to this special Bibliomancy for Beginners series, Nostalgia Junkie! This ten part special goes book by book through one the favorite childhood series of Head Bibliomancer Michaela from The Pied Piper Calls. Us, with special guest Casey from The Drunk Librarian, have gone week by week through all ten books.

This week we’re talking about the tenth and final book, The Soldiers of Halla. I finally, finally, get to explode with all the rage that I’ve pent up since I finished this series as a kid, Casey talks one last time about Bobby-Jesus and Michaela tries valiantly to defend this series as the best of childhood things.

It’s been a while ride, and we thank you for being a part of it. While we don’t have any plans for a new series yet, be assured that we are talking about it! For now, though, one last time – HOBEY HO!

Previous Episodes:

Ep #1: The Merchant of Death

Ep #2: The Lost City of Faar

Ep #3: The Never War

Ep #4: The Reality Bug

Ep #5: Black Water

Ep #6: Rivers of Zadaa

Ep #7: The Quillian Games

Ep #8: The Pilgrims of Rayne

Ep #9: Raven Rise