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?”

GUYS LIBRARIES ARE AMAZING, NEVER FORGET ABOUT THEM.

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.

So, guys, this is important: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY. LOVE IT. DON’T FORGET ABOUT IT.

(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

Advertisements

Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

So I haven’t done one of these in a LONG time, but since the theme worked so well into the direction I’m turning the blog in (i.e., promoting what I love, leaving the critical reviewing behind), I just had to do it. So, here we go (in no particular order)!

  1. Battle MagicTamora Pierce

This woman was the hero of my childhood. She was the hero of my tweens. She is the hero of my twenties. I got to learn from her for two summers in a row in high school–and THEN she came to my college freshman year–and the starry eyed wonder of her has never left me. Not to mention the fact that she has written more books than I actually know how to count and I have read them ALL.

2. Clive CusslerCrescent Dawn

There are about 20+ books in his Dirk Pitt series, PLUS however many are in the Kurt Austin adventures. He’s got a few other series now, but I’m a traditionalist and I’ve only ever read through these two favorites of mine.

3. All American GirlMeg Cabot

Didn’t every girl go through this phase? I’m not just talking Princess Diaries here, either. I read her stand-alones, her All-American Girl series … everything. If Meg Cabot write it, I had to have it.

4. Philippa GregoryChangeling

I will forever be cranky about the historical leaps that she took in The Other Boleyn Girl especially, but that doesn’t stop me from lapping up every single book she writes on Tudor England. I think the only books by her that I haven’t read was that one non-Royal series she did and–strangely–her YA series. The first book of which I have lying around here … somewhere.

bloodlines5. Richelle Mead

Richelle is another one of those authors that has written more books than I know how to count, but I haven’t actually read them ALL. I’m deeply obsessed with her 12 Vampire Academy and Bloodlines books but I have also read part of her Gameboard of the Gods series. I don’t know what I’ll do without more VA goodness, but she’s got me hooked enough on her to keep going with whatever she writes.

6. Cassandra Clareprincess

Did you guys miss the time that I drove 5 hours one way mostly to see Cassie? Because I did that. I have not only read everything she’s ever written, but also own it. (Except for that middle grade series she’s doing. I’m scared of middle grade.) She’s one of my favorite authors of all time right now, and I don’t see that changing in the foreseeable future.

A Countess Below Stairs7. Eva Ibbotson

Did anyone else read these books as a kid? I couldn’t stop. Sometime during my childhood, the publisher did a re-release of a bunch of her stuff and I bought all of it. It’s just so much … fun. Romantic, magical fun.

8. Simone ElkelesChain Reaction

I read Perfect Chemistry by Simone and I was just hooked. I went back and read all the stuff I’d missed beforehand, and then the two books that followed Perfect Chemistry. I even started her new series before my love of contemporary YA romance phased out. I still love these books to death, though.

Hex Hall9. Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall was absolute perfection. When her Rebel Belle series started, I wasn’t so sure I could do it. But no. I’m in love with Rachel forever and always.

10. Kiersten WhiteThe Chaos of Stars

Sometimes I forget just how MUCH STUFF Kiersten has done. Her Paranormalcy series was beautiful, of course, but then there was her Egyptian God based book Chaos of Stars–which I just reread–and her Mind Games series. All of which I own, of course!

Book Review: A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

Yes, yes, this is an older book, but *I* just jumped on this train, so here we go!

For all my complaining, I did end up liking this book in the end. The beginning was good, the middle was a little boring and confusing, and the end was “OHMYGOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING.” To be entirely fair, this series is hardly the kind I would ever pick up on my own, and for good reason. I’m easily bored, and I end up skimming a lot in these books. This is hardly new for me; I do that for Clive Cussler too, and I adore those books. However, in A Clash of Kings I found myself either repeatedly bit by this habit, or there were a few things that were just “…what.” For example, the entire character of Melisindre. Just…what. She seems to have no purpose or even any kind of a real root of believability in the story. Except for giving Stannis the ability to magically kill people, which makes my eye twitch. For all the things GRRM goes on and on with explaining and giving us back story for, there were plenty of examples in A Clash of Kings of things that just seemed thrown in there; things that were too easy and left me dubious of their plausibility. Also, with all that explaining that he does, his habit of skimming over some of the story’s most interesting and exciting points by having the POV character told them after you’re certain all is lost does NOT give the event a harder punch into my gut. It annoys me.

I had ugly feelings about the switching of POVs and storylines, but I have a confession to make. I honestly cannot tell you which storyline or POV character I’m more excited to read about anymore. Characters who I barely thought of after A Game of Thrones are suddenly worming their way into my heart. Jon, Daeny, Tryion and Arya were always favorites, and now I’ve added Bran to the mix along with Theon, just because I want to see Theon’s face smashed in and more of his sister. Also, give me more Robb gosh darn it, don’t give me all of my Robb through his mother. Catelyn Stark was a nice character in the beginning, but now she bores me.

Despite being bored by some of this book, it did still manage to surprise me. Like I said, for all my complaining … I’m hooked. Despite of the length of A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings, there are still so many unanswered questions, unresolved issues AND GRRM managed to make up new ones. As if this world wasn’t convoluted enough. I already picked up my copy of A Storm of Swords, and plan to start reading shortly. Let’s start this most lovely form of torture all over again, shall we? 😀