Teenage Superheroine: “Ms. Marvel”

20898019Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona
Marvel: October 30, 2014
Genre: Graphic Novel
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!

I picked up Ms. Marvel on the recommendation from a friend. I’d also heard a fair bit of buzz about the series due to it’s diverse main character and relatable storyline.

Kamala Khan is your average Muslim teenager living in New Jersey. She’s struggling to find her identity and dealing with family and friend stuff. But then, Kamala gets superpowers!

After a mysterious fog cloaks the city, Kamala finds that she can transform into Captain Marvel, but the shift into the blonde and booted superheroine is not exactly what Kamala imagined it would be. Kamala thought she would be just like everyone else, but of course, it doesn’t work that way. Most of volume one is about Kamala discovering that who she is okay and it’s also okay not to have all the answers right now. The whole identity issue is a huge part of volume one and it sends a powerful message to readers. Kamala is struggling with her family’s expectations and how they conflict with her own ideas and quite frankly this is a universal experience during those oh-so-fun teen years. (more…)


Lyrical & Timely: “The Language of Secrets”

25530959Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan
St. Martin’s Griffin: February 2, 2016
Genre: Mystery
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!

The Language of Secrets is the second of Khan’s Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak mystery series. After really enjoying the first book, The Unquiet Dead, I was eager to pick up the follow-up. Language of Secrets is just as compassionate and nuanced as the first book, partly because it hits so closely to home for Khattak. Not only is Khattak a Muslim investigating a group suspected of terrorism, his younger sister has just become engaged to the man purported to be the cell’s leader.

Assisting Esa is his partner, Rachel Getty. For Rachel, the case is not so emotional and she’s able to view the suspects with a more objective approach, providing some much needed balance to their investigative process. As part of the investigation, Rachel goes under cover at the mosque where the suspects of the cell appear to have met. It’s when Rachel starts interacting with the suspects that readers start to see the same vulnerabilities that Esa exhibits, and this makes both of them better investigators. (more…)

Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 43

Happy Monday, y’all. We’re back again with our weekly round-up of bookish news. Grab a coffee and get settled in, this week we’re focused on lists of books to read.

Canada’s CBC lists the biggest book news stories of 2015.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass is on my to-read list. Not sure? Read reviews of it by Fantasy Faction bloggers.

Book Riot on finding comfort in books.

Looking for books with Christmas cheer? Book Riot gives you five recommendations. Looking for books with Hanukkah cheer? Goodreads has plenty. How about a book about winter?

If you’re trying to escape winter, you might like to read about hot and dusty Australia. Tor.com has you covered.

For another perspective, try one of these books by what Book Riot calls “5 Essential Japanese Writers.”


Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 40

The big 4-0! Welcome to the new week, and here is your bookish news round-up:

As a lifelong learner, I dabble in online education (aka MOOCs). A year ago, I completed a course and printed out my unofficial Statement of Accomplishment, to prove (unofficially) that I had taken and passed the course. Coursera is no longer offering free, unofficial certification. (I haven’t found it on EdX, either).

More medieval manuscripts are online! University of Leiden has digitized 80,000 pages.

Did you pledge to Read Harder? There are book groups in a handful of cities meeting this month.

Still want great books but don’t want to support Amazon? Try these alternative resources from Book Riot.

So this is interesting. Bill Gates’ Must-Read list.

Particularly relevant to this blog, where one of its authors is American and the other Canadian: how reading habits in the USA and Canada compare. (It’s from a Canadian source, don’t forget to take that into account…)

Have great adventures this week!



Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 31

We seem to have transferred from A/C to heat this morning… and I never expected to be hot in the office, but here I am… sweltering.

This cheered me up: Magic Wheelchair is a company that creates Halloween costumes around children’s wheelchairs. Check out Toothless!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day (how did that even become a thing?) just happened. DPLA – the Digital Public Library of America – shares a pirate, buccaneer and freebooter map that definitely qualifies as eye candy. Click the thumbnail to see a bigger image on the source site.

In preparation for the Pope’s first visit to the U.S., the Washington Post has created an illustrated history of popemobiles that is guaranteed to waste your time. Or, well, mine.

New York Public Library is welcoming autumn with a selection of essays curated by their staff.

BookRiot has an essay on assuming book characters are white unless specifically told otherwise. Part of their observance of #BlackOutDay

The National Library of Scotland is going to put one-third of its collections online!

For more eye candy, check out NASA’s astronomy picture of the day.

Check back next week for the next round-up!

Book Adventures Weekly: Issue 13

Twitter users share stories about boys reading about girls using the hashtag #BoysReadGirls – from Let Toys be Toys – for Girls and Boys, a UK blog.

BookRiot examines tropes we love – and why we love to see them subverted.

Malinda Lo, author of Diversity in YA, has written a four part essay on Perceptions of Diversity in book reviews.

The Horn Book opens the discussion about who reviewers are, and who their audience is. Yes, this one’s about diversity, too.

That’s cool. Ferguson, MO just hired a crowdfunded children’s librarian. The story (and an interview with the new librarian) is over at Library Journal.

Haven’t read a romance yet but want to see what the fuss is all about? BookRiot lists the 10 romance novels you should start with.

Some of my favorite heroines EVER are on this list of Science Fiction/Fantasy heroines you ought to know, from BookRiot.

And, from the Department of Random, Celebrity Division

Leonard Nimoy on Spock’s Secret Jewish Origins (via Tor)

Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 6

Fellow adventurers, read on for this week’s noteworthy news.

You might be a book nerd if… you panic when you leave your house without something to read, or it drives you nuts when you can’t see what other people are reading. Head over to Book Riot for more examples. Do any of these look familiar? How about all of them?

Gendering young adult and children’s books is arbitrary and limiting – but even if you do, “books for boys” are not disappearing. By Stacked librarian Kelly Jensen, via Book Riot.

Just in time for the holidays, Book Riot shows 15 bookish ornaments that you can make.

Check out these fascinating reference questions from the 1940s to the 1980s, asked of NY Public Library librarians. Be sure to read the one from 1/2/67 (there’s an image).


And, from the Department of Random, Diversity in Children’s Entertainment Section

After reading this Vanity Fair article, I am desperate to see The Legend of Korra. Dear Public Library, Please purchase it…


More from the Department of Random, Wolf Conservation Division. 

Good news, friends of wolves! The Great Lakes wolves are protected again!


Thanks for these news items go to, as usual, Book Riot and Twitter. Also Gothamist.com, Vanity Fair, and a friend for pointing out the Humane Society article on the wolves.