Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 37

First, an unrelated news item: A map of Americans who do not have health coverage. The data is very interesting, but not at all surprising.

I don’t know about you, but I want to spend part of next weekend at the comic store picking up a few of these comic books starring superheroines. Add to that list the latest SagaLady Killer, Captain Marvel, Jem and the Holograms, Bitch Planet, and Princeless, and I’ve just spent two or three months’ allowance on comics and graphic novels.

It’s Lois McMaster Bujold’s birthday today.

In Science: “Luke” and “Leia” not at all alike – or, Pluto’s moon Charon leaks Ammonia.

BookRiot’s Deal of the Day is Sarah Maclean’s A Rogue By Any Other Name (Amazon Kindle, $1.99). We like Sarah Maclean.

The disappearance of the yeti – more modern living means fewer forays into the yeti’s traditional (legendary) territory.

In “Founding Father Fails,” author Sarah Vowell points out the human failings and inconsistencies of American history’s leading men.

That’s all for this week! As usual, tune in next week for Issue 38. Until then, happy reading.

Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 35

Just straight-up news from around the bookosphere today:

There’s a post on Book Riot by a woman who hasn’t read a book by a man since 2013. What do you think?

Author Adam Nevill explains why he chose to write about the pre-apocalypse in Lost GirlIt’s about #sciencefictionnotfiction being really horrible, depressing, and dystopian instead of intergalactic and space-operatic.

Get ready for Halloween by reading about five of the scariest vampires in literature. Or, just read the article in the previous link.

More in “Halloween”: Scary book art.

A 400-year-old Spanish Church re-emerges from a reservoir in Mexico.

CBC Books shares five powerful (and even more so given their brevity) poems by Rupi Kaur.

Book Adventures Weekly: Issue 28

Seven things the mainstream media gets wrong/doesn’t tell about Native Americans.

For a dose of reality in the imaginary, take a peek at these images that show what superheroes would look like with average bodies.

This interview with acclaimed author Elena Ferrante, on the themes in her novels and why she chooses to use a pen name, sort of makes me want to read her books, even though they’re not my type.

Seanan McGuire is one of my new favorite urban fantasy authors. Tor offers a free read of her “Midway Relics and Dying Breeds.”

You’ve probably heard about it by now, but here’s the Smithsonian’s report of the loss of Baalshamin in Palmyra. As old as the temple itself (or older), the willful destruction of the “threat” of oppositional ideologies still hurts. H

Here’s a lengthy and fascinating interview with Canadian author Alice Munro.

That’s all for this week, fellow adventurers! Check back in a week for the next installment of bookish and not-so-bookish news.

Book Adventures Weekly: Issue 25

I absolutely love afternoon tea, and the English do it so well. To inspire you (and celebrate the custom), the British Museum showcases beautiful teapots from around the world. I’ll need one for my desk at work…

Book Riot recently posted a calculator that will tell you how long it will take you to read your TBR pile. How long will it take you to read yours?

I learned recently that scientists consider Henry VIII may have had a blood group anomaly – causing him to turn from a generous, handsome young man into a tyrannical, overweight, and nearly childless king.

Go walk in nature. It will do your brain good.

A Mad Lib for banning books, or “ideas not your own.”

Serious about reading? Here’s a list of five common reading mistakes that may ruin the experience of reading.

The Book Smugglers have awesome books listed on their Radar this week (and I’m just judging them by their covers, so far).

That’s all for this week! Check back next week for more fiction-related (and not-so-related) news links.

From the States to England: Distraction to the nth Degree

This post brought to you from 30,000 feet above the Altantic Ocean.

In the first post of our Traveling with Books feature, I hope you’ll follow me to the UK for traveling and reading adventures. In this new series of posts, we write about the books we read on the travels we take, review some and share why we read others… the format may change, but the point: traveling with books, will stay the same.

If you’ve been across the Atlantic, or even if you’ve been on a flight more than three or four hours, you know flying can be cramped, dry, stuffy, and in other ways entirely uncomfortable. To take my mind off the discomforts of my 8-hour flight – that is, before I take the Benadryl* and pass out – I will start with some new magazines: Money and Bazaar**

Of course, since this is a book blog about science fiction, fantasy, romance, and all the other good genre fiction genres, I’m going to focus on the books I carried with me to read on the plane.

So this one, not very distracting – at least, it’s not as absorbing as the genre fiction I usually use to escape. But, I have an agenda in picking this (heavy) book to bring with me. It’s all about strong women, in often dangerous and adverse circumstances. When compared to any of these queens, my paltry cross-atlantic flight seems much less dreadful. Life is all about perspective. Also, I picked it up on a solo trip in Canada, which is a bracing memory to have.

I purchased a few e-books recently from Book View Cafe – I tend to like their selection, and they often have deals, but I especially like that it belongs to a consortium of authors who sell the books themselves (avoiding publishing middlemen).

This one, by one of my favorite authors, Sherwood Smith, looks like such a fun story about a young magical thief who meets up with three other youths to have adventures. It reminds me of Wren and her group having adventures, and takes place in the same world. Comfort reading for sure!

Then, there are the advance copies I need to hurry up and review…

I absolutely cannot wait to open this one. A city of living bone, full of secrets and strange creatures, and one young woman who breaks a law and tumbles into those secrets.

I am also incredibly excited to finishing this space opera about alien encounters that also has some sort of time twist. Plus, a soldier heroine with psychic abilities!

Stay tuned for more traveling and reading adventures from across the pond!

*Word to the wise: Don’t buy a special OTC sleep aid, especially if the active ingredient is just 25mg of Diphenhydramine HCl. It’s Benadryl. Benadryl is cheaper.

**Am I getting older, or what?

Book Adventures Weekly: Issue 24

But first, a little blog news: we will be debuting a new feature very soon that we’ll call Traveling with Books. We’re excited about this new feature that will bring our two themes even closer together, and we hope you will be, too! Stay tuned for the first post in the next couple of weeks.

Do you enjoy reading biographies and such about strong, powerful, incredible women? Here’s a list from Book Riot of motivational nonfiction about women.

More along those lines… read an article about Mary Shelley, the teenage girl who invented science fiction (/horror).

In an amusing memoir-post, Book Riot remembers growing up reading sexy scenes in all kinds of books. Even more amusingly, it’s titled “Tryin’ to catch me reading dirty”

If you’ve been on Goodreads, you know book trailers are now a thing. Here’s a book trailer for Max Gladstone’s new release: Two Serpents Rise (I still have to read Three Parts Dead…)

Book Adventures Weekly: Issue 23

This week’s list is slightly more random than most…

A hilarious sketch about the pitch for PBS’ Wishbone.

In archaeology news, a shipwreck was accidentally discovered off North Carolina.


This might make a good based-on-a-true story: Two brothers search for the remains of 57 Irish immigrants who disappeared in Pennsylvania while working on the railroad. One of them, Catherine Burns, will be reburied in her hometown in Ireland.

CBC lists 12 Canadian writers to watch (read?) in 2015.

Writer, founder, and editor of Urban Native Magazine, Lisa Charleyboy, shares her top three indigenous summer reads. None of them are any of the genres we review here, but if you’re looking for something different…

If you’re crafty, have a few old books you no longer want, and don’t care about “ruining” books, PopSugar has some clever ideas for transforming old books in to pretty things.

*After this post was published, I learned that the United States is actually more dangerous than South Africa, with more attacks and more fatalities. So, I’ll need to more closely examine the beaches I want to surf…

Book Adventures Weekly: Issue 22

This week, I got a little distracted by history news…

From BookRiot: An interview with Dolen Perkins Valdez on creating new historical narratives.

Holy ancient history, Batman! Hair and eye color of ancient skeletons can now be determined. Also, in one of the worst news videos I’ve ever seen, news that two Roman-era Egyptian papyri have been re-discovered at UBC.

If you’re feeling hard-hit by life, or you’re low on motivation, you need to see this truly inspiring video about Damon C. Scott, singer in subways and vocalist on the house hit (I never heard) Storm Queen. It’s a short introduction to being grateful for what you have and at the same time being determined to achieve a dream.

For our fans of psychological suspense, horror, and darker fantasy, Tor lists the recently announced Shirley Jackson award-winners.

Goodreads recommends books for every kind of summer reader.

In other history news, the Learned Pig has an excerpt about medieval charms and curses from Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England’s Churches by Michael Campion. This is almost as good as ancient graffiti from Pompeii.

An ancient Roman fresco was discovered in France. It’s one of very few frescoes that have been found outside of Italy.

Frustrated by the unreality of Instagram? Buzzfeed compares reading on Instagram to reading in real life.

Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 21

Happy Fourth of July, American readers! Happy Canada Day, Canadian readers!

We hope you had an excellent weekend, filled with sun, family, and barbecued food… and also books, of course.

Barack Obama will elect the first new Librarian of Congress since 1987. It’s actually more controversial than you might think. Who’s next? How about an actual librarian?

The Bodleian, as part of their #geniusoftheweek campaign, made John Smith’s map of Virginia browsable to celebrate the Fourth of July.

In literary (as opposed to patriotic) celebrations, today is Alice Day: the day when the English-speaking world celebrates the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. In recognition, CBC recently aired a few radio stories on the book’s appeal.

According to Book Riot, female characters are often way more interesting (and powerful) in their books than in their movie/screen adaptations. They list five female characters who are way more awesome in books. Oddly, Bella Swan from Twilight makes the cut.

The different kinds of curses in speculative fiction.

It’s long, but here’s an interesting piece from the Guardian on how Dune changed the world.

A comic strip about geek girls, dating, and love. One contributor? Margaret Atwood. I can’t wait to get my hands on this.


From the Department of Random, Fashion Team:

Fashion and feminism in 18th century England, from Ephemeral Elegance. The focus is on riding habits. The blog has a lot of images of beautiful historical clothing. The amount of fabric women used to wear…

Book Adventures Weekly: Issue 20

Dreamstrider, a story completely unrelated (as far as I can tell) to Cinderella, has a gorgeous cover that reminds me of two familiar children’s books, both beautifully illustrated cinderella stories: Cinderella, and Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, an African cinderella story. So of course, I had to immediately look up different cinderella versions from around the world. Eden Valley Enterprises, a random source (thanks Google), has a list of these international cinderella stories with some background information about each. Perhaps globalization isn’t that recent, after all?

There are lots of really interesting books on this Book Smuggler’s April edition of On the Radar.

Wondering where to read those German medieval manuscripts? They’re on e-codices.

Book Riot has a list of “read this, not that” for history lovers. Some of them All of them, especially Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe and The Classic Slave Narratives are going on my TBR list, immediately.

I recently wondered about The Indian in the Cupboard. Would it disappoint me with stereotypical, racist, patronizing portrayals of Native Americans? Looks like, yes.

From the Department of Random, Sports Division:

Have you been watching the Women’s World Cup? In last Friday’s US v. China game, the US played their best soccer yet… here’s hoping they continue to improve in the semi-finals against Germany on Tuesday.

And this is sad: Discovery Channel grabs rights to Olympics in Europe (starting 2018) and UK (starting 2022). I was just remembering the happy days of watching just about every competition online for free from the CBC …