Bibliomancy for Beginners Nostalgia Junkie: “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman

A week late, but not for lack of great content! Tonight, we’re live streaming our first of three episodes in our latest Nostalgia Junkie special. This is where we take books that we all read as kids and re-read them as adults to see if they are better or worse than we remember. This time around, we have all three original Bibliomancers PLUS the wonderful Casey from The Drunk Librarian, who was with Michaela and I when we did the inaugural 10 part Nostalgia Junkie series on DJ McHale’s Pendragon books

This series will come out once a month for the rest of the summer! Next, we read book 2!

Bibliomancy for Beginners Season 4 Episode 2: Invisible Fault Lines by Kirsten-Paige Madonia

While this may be days late, it is no dollars short. Michaela is hellishly sick, Taylor is so apathetic he doesn’t even want to listen to himself speak and me? I just like to poke the bear. This may be our most dysfunctional episode to date. HOWEVER that means it’s good fun to watch and you should totally do so.

MONDAY we are starting our Nostalgia Junkie series with The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.

If you missed episode one of this season, check out our hangout on The Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.

#nostalgiajunkie Season 2 Announcement

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that Bibliomancy for Beginners has been fighting over what book series we were going to do for the second season of Nostalgia Junkie: His Dark Materials or So You Want to be a Wizard. If you missed the first season, Nostalgia Junkie is a special series where we read books from our childhoods as adults, and last year we did the entire ten books of the Pendragon series by DJ MacHale.

We finally closed the poll for season 2, and here’s the announcement video!

Bibliomancy for Beginners Season 4 Episode 1: “Bone Gap” by Laura Ruby

Summer is officially HERE! The fourth season of Bibliomancy for Beginners is off to a great start! We filmed our first of six episodes last night on Bone Gap by Laura Ruby and … well. It was everything we could have hoped for and more! Taylor and I agreed! *gasp* Michaela went to the mat to defend the literary! Taylor blew my mind and then we talked about moose. Seriously. Watch it. This was a damn fine opener.

In TWO WEEKS we will be reading Invisible Fault Lines by Kristen-Paige Madonia. If you want to read along at some point this summer, please see our schedule announcement video for the list of books!

May 2016 Wrap Up

Instead of a From the Notebook video, you get a wrap up a few days early! Even early, May was a MUCH better reading month to me than April. I’ve gone from 10/40 in the PopSugar Reading Challenge to 15/40 AND I’m almost halfway there in my Goodreads goal of reading 100 books this year. Go me!

Posts mentioned in video:

Worth It Wednesdays: “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen

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

51g7wybv53l-_sx314_bo1204203200_Title: The Queen of the Tearling

Author: Erika Johansen

Goodreads Description: An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.

Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom’s haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

Long ago, Kelsea’s forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen’s Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.

Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen’s vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen’s Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as “the Fetch.”

Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea’s journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.

Why it’s worth it: First off, I love the murky area of genre that this novel fits into. Is it YA? Is it not? How do you decide what’s YA? Because if you go by age of character, it is. If you go by writing style … maybe it isn’t? I’m not the biggest fan of high fantasy. I usually get bored.However, this included all the things that I love about high fantasy while keeping the action moving and not bogging down the paragraphs with unnecessary genealogies or something. When I tried to convince Michaela to read this in a 30 Seconds to Disagree video, this was one of my key points.

Secondly, I don’t often identify personally with many characters. I like a lot of characters and want to be my friend, but I don’t often read a character and think “that could be me!” The last time was Hermione. However, with Kelsea, I got that sense again. She REALLY is unprepared to be queen, and she has a temper problem that leaves her flailing. She tries so hard to do the queen thing right, but she doesn’t always succeed. She has body issues. She likes books. Watching her grow just over the course of the first book was amazing, and I came to absolutely love her.

Actually, great cast of characters all around. There were so many people with in-depth quirks and characterization that I liked when they were on screen. Even the “Evil Queen” gets to a point where you wonder just how much more there is to her than her “evilness.”

The setting is weird as all get out, especially considering the high fantasy vibe, because I guess technically it’s also dystopian? It’s weird, and it only gets weirder in the second book–and I like that. It’s not your typical Tolkien-esque fantasy world, and it opens up new spaces to think about. In the Drunk Book Club episode we did on this book, this was a point of contention, but I still think it’s cool.

I think the whole thing is cool. And so does Emma Watson, by the way. She’s making this book into a movie!

Read it if you’re looking for: strong female characters, high fantasy that won’t put you to sleep, strong cast of characters, interesting world building, believable teenage queen, action, adventure, magic, books without romance

Bibliomancy for Beginners Season 4 Announcement!

Super late posting on my part, but Michaela and I have put together an announcement for the fourth season of Bibliomancy for Beginners. We’ve got six books and two themed months coming at you this summer, PLUS a poll that we REALLY need you to vote in to decide the subject of our next Nostalgia Junkie series. HELP US OUT!

Goodreads poll: https://www.goodreads.com/poll/list/153132-bibliomancy-for-beginners?type=group

#imbibliomancy: Drunk Book Club with “Death Vigil” by Stjepan Sejic

Well, here it is. (Okay, this happened Sunday night but here the post is anyways.) Our last Imbibliomancy episode of college ever. Trust me, we’re going out with a bang. It’s Taylor’s pick, and it’s a graphic novel and … it might be the first time I get actually pissed on air since the Emily Carroll episode. It’s also REALLY good, and there’s a lot of good conversation and argument while trying to figure out how the hell you review a serial comic versus a graphic novel and a whole bunch of other stuff. Here we go!

If you missed this semester’s other two episodes:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

30 Seconds to Disagree: “The Vanishing Throne” by Elizabeth May

Hey guys! This week, I’m getting really sneaky and trying to convince Michaela to read a book that hasn’t even come out yet. As you may know, Bibliomancy for Beginners did an episode on Elizabeth May’s first book in this series, The Falconer, a while ago and … Michaela and Taylor didn’t like it. I revisited the series when The Vanishing Throne came to me as an ARC and my opinion of the series changed so much that I re-reviewed The Falconer! Here’s a quick sneak peek as to why!

Don’t forget, we always do these in twos so don’t miss Michaela trying to convince me to read TWO books this week!

March Wrap Up + PopSugar Challenge Update

Wasn’t it kind of March to end on a Thesis Thursday day? Especially because I don’t have a thing for a Thesis Thursday as of yet? Yes, yes it was. Unlike my February wrap up, I’m doing this one as a post because this is about the amount of time I have right now. GO COLLEGE!

I read 9 books in March. This is two down from last month, which is super depressing because February is so much shorter than March. Whatever. Spring break got in my way, if you remember.

51kgfanbhal-_sx322_bo1204203200_The first three books I read in March were all for my thesis. By Goodreads’ match, the first one I finished was Judging a Book By Its Cover: Fans, Publishers, Designers and the Marketing of Fiction edited by Nicole Matthews and Nikkianne Moody. While I originally picked this up for it’s section on book cover design, it will also be very helpful in my last chapter that talks about marketing and publishing books for young adults.

Then, I finished By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design by41pqsnz4ttl-_sx258_bo1204203200_ Ned Drew and Paul Sternberger. This book was not at all what I expected, as it was a coffee table sized book with almost more pictures than words. It spanned decades of American cover design, but often only for the most “literati” books for the most popular of designers. I still managed to quote it though!

413benup3el-_sx324_bo1204203200_Wrapping up this month’s thesis work, I read Theodor Adorno’s The Culture Industry. If you are into theory about the mass production of culture, this is very interesting and I was so happy that one of my professors lent it to me. However, while the previous two books are nice reading for the lay-reader … this one is not. Don’t pick it up unless you want a headache.

In actually exciting news, Taylor and I both finally finished Mermaidsmermaids-600
and Other Mysteries of the Deep
, a short story anthology edited by Paula Guran
. We had been promising this video since we did our review of After: 19 Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, but it took us FOREVER to finally get done. While it is a longer video, we both found this anthology better than After. Very worth the watch and read!

27353499I re-read three books while I was on spring break, two of which were by Tellulah Darling. I read the 2nd and 3rd books in her Blooming Goddess trilogy, My Date From Hell and then My Life From Hell. When I came back, I did a series review of all three because I wanted to talk about them all so much. While these are hardly the best books I’ve ever read, they’re the kind of fluffy mind candy that you just NEED to read sometimes. I also enjoy a new take on the Hades and Persephone myth any day.

The last book that I re-read on break was Aimee Carter’s Goddess12637490 Interrupted. This is the 2nd book in her Goddess Test series (another Hades and Persephone retelling) and my favorite. I fully plan on doing a series review of this very soon because re-reading this reminded me just how much I love AND hate this series.

16221851I got through one single ARC read this month, which was Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan. This is a standalone novel that is far darker than anything you might expect by SRB. I don’t want to say too much, because the review is coming out tomorrow, but … oh dear guys. I really, really didn’t enjoy this one at all. I was so disappointed.

Last but not least, I read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This51-qq2tbipl-_sy344_bo1204203200_ was for our spectacular March Imbibliomancy episode, in which me, Taylor and Michaela get drunk and talk about themes–or try to. I am so angry, but I really like this one. Like, a lot. I almost gave it five stars. You should really, really check out that video for more on that and also serious hilarity!

For my PopSugar update, I only ticked off two more boxes. I decided to count Tell the Wind and Fire as my “book published in 2016” because I was so proud that I didn’t DNF it. Station Eleven also counted as my “book from the library.” That makes it 10/40!

Here’s to more reading in April! Or at least attacking the “currently reading” list on my Goodreads that is 7 books long right now. YIKES!