I got the ARC and loved the title. I assumed this would be a book that poked fun at the teen trope, and laughed at itself a little. I was not prepared for this book to up-end pretty much every one of my expectations. I can’t tell you much without spoiling the book, but it threw 100% of the cliches out the window. This is speculative fiction for sure, and although I’m sure there will be accusations of “SJW utopia, ” I have to say I’m here for it. There is a conscious avoidance of two-dimensional characters, some really interesting concepts, and a lot of things (trans inclusion, lgbtq2+, religious tolerance, indigenous rights) that I was definitely not expecting. This is a very Canadian book, but I hope it finds a wider audience. The role of speculative fiction is to make us question, to be introspective, to think about what we truly want the world to look like. This Victorian world is by no means perfect, but I really like some of the ideas and relationships put forward, and I look forward to getting my kids to read this – and then talking about it with them. It’s releasing next month, and I highly recommend you snap it up. I want to hear what you thought!
Category Archives: Books
A woman in her 80s approached me today in the kids department and said she was looking at the Meccano. She had never seen it before, in Canada.
She told me she always wanted to play with Meccano as a child, but her father told her she wasn’t allowed because she was a girl. She looked at her hands, and held them out, and said, “My hands are probably too old now, that I am finally brave enough to not listen.” I mentioned that one of my daughters is in the robotics club at school, and the other one is waiting to be old enough to be allowed to join. She smiled and said “Good. You are smart. I am so glad. I was stupid, to let my father tell me that girls could not be engineers. Could not be mechanics. That I could not play with Meccano. Your girls will not be stupid.”
I found myself being very grateful for my own father, who bought me a toolbox at a young age, taught me to build a computer from scratch, and never made me think being female had any impact on my intelligence or ability. He also bought a Meccano set for my daughter last Christmas.
Someone needs to build a robot with this woman. If I see her again, it may be me. I just hope I can find her again.
Hello, fellow bibliophiles!
I have some happy news. I have accepted an awesome new position at the company I work for. It comes with some longer hours, however, especially in the beginning as I settle in, so I will be temporarily not posting on this blog. I will still be tweeting via @bibliophiliacs, so all is not lost! I will miss you.
See you on the flip side.
For the honour of Grayskull!
A well put article about my beloved Wonder Woman.
In the mythology of DC Comics, there exists the concept of the Trinity – Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. They represent the thematic underpinnings of the whole enterprise – The Stranger From Elsewhere, The Night’s Avenger and The Queen of Power. Three major arcana, unique in that they have been consistently published since the early 40s and yet, are still relevant today.
Superman was created by two kids from Cleveland named Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster. Batman was created by Bill Finger but a kid named Bob Kane stole all the credit. Wonder Woman was created by the guy who invented the Lie Detector.
Much has been written about William Moulton Marston and his unorthodox home life (he lived in a triparate “marriage” with two women and was big into BDSM, apparently) and Wonder Woman gets tied up a lot – like, A LOT – in the early comics but…
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I actually gasped while reading this – held my breath through a little.
Madeline is allergic to the world – she lives in a house with an airlock, and goes to school via internet. But then a new family moves in next door, and sees Olly – and falls hard.
It’s a book about survival versus living, the lies we tell ourselves, and how love can be both prison and freedom.
There is some good clever witty banter, self-mockery, emotion. Great teen book, nice fast read, perfect if you want something absorbing and emotional. If you are looking for something for the John Green lover, this will do. Out in September.
In a world where young adult romance has actually spawned a genre called “sick-lit” (thanks for that, The Fault in Our Stars), thank the literary deities for Say You Will.
This is a book that I have no reservations handing over to even a younger teen (my own daughter, for example), and it is fully readable by boys as well.
I first heard about the book last fall, from Eric Walters himself – he was really excited about the book, and the whole idea of “promposals” – which I had never heard of. A promposal is an elaborate, public invite to the prom – like it wasn’t laden with enough pressure to begin with. The protagonist, Sam, is a boy with a very high IQ who is only just starting to get the hang of social interaction, who wants to create the perfect promposal for the girl of his dreams. I can’t tell you much, because it will ruin the story, however Walters not only tells a sweet love story but also makes sure to puncture as many tropes and preconceptions along the way as possible. Highly recommend this.
I now digress from this review to make a point that has been bothering me. As was brought up very eloquently in a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, boys are often steered away from books that either have female protagonists, or that might be classified as romance. GIRLS ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES WHO LIKE ROMANCE. I have a couple of male customers at my store who are die-hard Harlequin lovers, and know many men, including my husband, who are fond of a good love story. (In fact, a great romantic night in can be a bottle of wine and taking turns reading The Notebook) Even books like The Hunger Games, or Divergent, I have seen parents steer away from because a female is the star, so of course their son won’t want to read it. Thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy; Clearly there must be something wrong with a boy reading a book starring a girl, or with a guy reading a love story – so he will never pick one up. This is dumb. Boys can empathize with a girl main character, and you’re selling them short by assuming they won’t. Boys dream of being the star of their own epic love story too, and Say You Will is a great one.
One of the things you learn working in a book store is that there are some seriously strange books out there. And just when you thought you’d seen the strangest one out there – nope, that’s just been annihilated. Some of the weirdest, to me, is the erotica stuff – and I am not a prude by any means, but some of the titles made me giggle uncontrollably. Here are some of my favorites:
Taken by the T-Rex. Who looks at a T-Rex and thinks “sexy”? Christie Sims, that’s who.
Wouldn’t you worry about bits falling off? Are they hoping for bits falling off? I don’t understand.
I may be forced to purchase this, just to figure out what the hell is going on here. How would this work? Where did this idea even come from? SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT IS HAPPENING! Can’t think about this book without laughing.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting is iconic. It is the title of a movie. It was the book Hugh Grant was reading in “Nine Months.” It is the book everyone rushes out to buy the minute the test is positive. And it is absolutely the last book I would recommend buying a first-time parent. Speaking as someone who read it during my first pregnancy, it terrified the crap out of me.
When you find out you are pregnant, it is a big, scary deal, even with a planned pregnancy. You are growing a person. Everyone you know (and many you don’t) will suddenly recall horror stories about pregnancy and labour, and are compelled to share them with you in gory detail. In case you aren’t nervous enough, What to Expect will bring week by week hypochondria to the experience, telling you not only how big the baby is and how your body has changed, but also what horrible crisis can occur to you and your fetus this week! Preeclampsia! Placenta previa! Oligohydramnios!
Some doctor’s offices (including my own OB-GYN at the time) not only don’t suggest it as recommended reading, but in fact discourage expectant mothers from reading it. The authors are not medical doctors, and there is a lot in there that is questionable, including many iffy holistic treatments. Also, as a Canadian, this book is aimed at the US market, and our health care system and options are different enough that it makes a big difference.
Here are my recommendations for pregnancy books here in Canada, based on my own reading and experiences – please feel free to comment with your own recommendations:
Canada’s Pregnancy Care Book. This book was fantastic. A solid, reassuring book put out by the amazing pregnancy clinic at Mount Sinal Hospital that covers a wide range of topics and has lots of practical information. They don’t assume that you have a ton of money, and there are great tips for healthy eating and fitness during pregnancy that you can use even with a tight budget. They cover complications, but you are more likely to feel reassured by the information than alarmed. Good for both reading through from cover to cover, and for keeping on hand as a resource. This is my number one recommendation for first-time parents.
Canadian Medical Association’s Complete Book of Mother & Baby Care. If you know absolutely nothing about pregnancy or babies, this is the book for you (and me). I was the first of my friends to have a child, and I had literally changed one diaper in my life before my daughter was born. This book has step-by-step instructions and photos for all the things that people just assume you know. How to express breast milk. How to properly clean and change a baby. How a diaper shirt works. How to give a baby a bath (imagine trying to wash oiled jello that is actively trying to escape). This book is why my children are still alive.
The Mother of All Baby Books. This is a great book as a reference – it has really handy charts and a great list of resources and services. If I could get just those things, it would be perfect. The other parts I found more annoying, because the author is very pushy about some topics. It made for good practice in taking the advice I found helpful and ignoring the rest.