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.


Book Adventures Weekly, Issue 4

Fellow Adventurers,

My apologies for getting this weekly issue out so late. Still, here are some interesting quick items for your Monday lunch break:


Do you qualify your genre-reading tastes as “guilty pleasures”? Stop that.

Friends (by which I mean that sitcom we all used to watch in the ’90s): top five bookish moments from Book Riot.

To help you plan your next fantasy adventure: Fantasy Faction has the round-up of World Fantasy Award Winners.

From Orbit, news that Patricia Briggs’ latest Alpha and Omega novel will be published in March, 2015! Having just given 5 suitcases to the second in the series, I find this news very exciting. Plus, it gives me time to read all the in-between novels…

Have you voted yet for the best books of 2014? Get in the game at Goodreads. It’s the semi-finals already.

Via Book Riot’s Critical Linking series: A personal reading manifesto by Austin Kleon.

Love Shakespeare? Can’t make it to the Globe Theatre in London? Now you can watch Globe performances online!

Why I write reviews with the phrase, “It wasn’t for me,” as described by Austin Kleon. Everybody has different tastes, and you might like what disappoints me. I’d rather answer the question: “Did I like it?” than the question: “Would you like it?” I know a lot more about the answer to the first. (I never thought about Future Me vs. Me Right Now, but that totally happens).


And, from the Department of Random, Wolf Conservation Division:

Four wolves were recently killed in Montana. One death, that of an alpha male, will have a huge impact on a species that learns hunting, social, and survival behavior from its adults and leaders.

Similarly, the only breeding female wolf of Washington state’s Teanaway family group, was shot and killed recently, endangering the recovery of those wolves. A criminal investigation has been launched, since the killing of this wolf was against both state and federal laws.

The wolves of Isle Royale in Michigan may be doomed, according to associate professor and renowned Michigan wolf expert, John Vucetich.


As usual, most links retrieved from Twitter. Also, just discovered I really like what Austin Kleon is saying.

Altaica: not my favorite

altaicaAltaica by Tracy M. Joyce
June 6th 2014 by Odyssey Books (Fantasy)*

My rating: Meh. Liked the place, but the food was bad (2/5)

I was very disappointed in this book. The plot and the story had such potential, and I always want to read more stories about young women bonded to wolves in fantasy worlds, but the writing and narration in this book just didn’t work for me.

A style choice made by the author drew me out of the story again and again: the multiple, mixed narrators and points of view. From one sentence to the next, it seems, the perspective switches unpredictably between characters. Between characters who are sitting next to each other, interacting with each other, and between characters who are in different parts of the world. I found it very difficult to tell where one character’s perspective left off and another’s began, which was confusing and distracting. Little of the story is actually told from the point of view of the “protagonist,” young Isaura, misfit healer and archer who introduces us to the story, and main character in the description of the book.

Which brings me to my next point, that the amount of time Isaura spends senseless really diminished my interest in the story. If she is the main character, I expect to read about her thinking, saying, and doing things – not sleeping. Further, there was little explanation for why she kept slipping into a deep sleep, without even dreams. Isaura is essentially the cause of all the action that happens in the latter two-thirds of the novel, and yet she spends most of the story off-stage. I really prefer a protagonist that does things, takes action, fights, learns magic, travels cross country, or lives in disguise. (more…)