Saturday, May 27, 2017

I've Been Tagged| Books I Hate, Giving Away Books???, and Books I Want To Eat

Y'all, I have the best bloggy frens. They tag me, and they comments the nicest things, and I just really appreciate them (you're probably one of them!!!!)

Olivia at Meanwhile, In Rivendell tagged me for a nameless tag. I can't find the name for it anywhere (I think it's a government conspiracy, though I don't know what they would be trying to accomplish. If you have any ideas, contact me by an untraceable messenger. We can't be too careful), but that won't stop me. Mainly because the tag is very bookish, and it is a truth universally acknowledged that I cannot resist bookish tags.

What book has been on your shelf the longest?
Image result for the pickle song book

The Pickle Song will always hold a special place in my heart as one of the first books to capture my undying love. Clearly, this is a fantastic book. There are only a few things that I remember about it.
  • Arlo Guthrie songs.
  • A strong female friendship that crosses prejudice. 
  • Overcoming fear.
  • Snoring grandmothers.
  • And ART!! There is much art.
What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next?
Current Read: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. I AM FINALLY READING THIS. I think I started the second book a year ago and did not understand a word since I had unknowingly come in partway through (which I do not recommend. It's kind of like trying to ride a wheelless bicycle: pointless and frustrating for everyone involved)

I agree. Also I'm pretty sure that "rain" is actually all the tears I cried when trying to understand the sequel. 
Last Read: Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. This was a lowkey impulse read. I have so many other books that are overdue, but of course I can't just be responsible, and I have to abandon all hope of returning things on time. Such is my curse. 

Next Read: Wildwood by Colin Meloy. There's something you should know about me: I NEVER buy books that I haven't read. I have to know that I like it enough to reread it before I spend my precious coins, until a couple months ago when I came across Wildwood. I don't know what drew me to it, but I immediately fell in love with the cover and concept. SO I BOUGHT IT. Then it sat on my shelf. I promise I am going to read it next. I promise (oh be quiet, Jerry. I know I said that before, but I mean it this time)

What book did everyone like, but you hated?
Oh boy. I didn't even have to think about this one (though there are many to choose from)

I have read two books in this whole series (there are so many books!!!), and it was difficult. I kept telling myself it would get better. I do not like the "brooding-lonely-assassin-who-is-also-super-pretty-and-attracts-all-the-guys-despite-her-dangerous-past" character. Maybe I was just being a stubborn hipster who was grumpy because everyone liked it so much, but I also feel like there are some major problems with the series. 

What book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

Oh no, Honey, I haven't admitted to myself that I am not going to read every book in the universe. It is still my life plan to consume every bit of literature I can get my claws on. In fact, I'm sure my death will somehow be caused by my own love for books ("Hold up, Mr. Murderer, can you pause for a second? It's getting really good.")

What book are you saving for retirement?

Image result for remembrance of things past

The world said "Longest book ever written" and "1,267,069 words". I said: Challenge accepted.

Last page: read it first, or wait 'til the end?
Excuse me? Who are the monsters that read the last page first? THERE'S A REASON IT IS LAST (if you prefer to read the last page first, please do not be offended. I just like to shout at things). I used to read the very last sentence, but then after acquiring a few nasty spoilers, I stopped doing that (BECAUSE IT WAS RUINING MY LIFE AND CAUSING ME PAIN)

Which book character would you switch places with?
You know, there is a famous saying: "The grass is always greener on the other side." That being said, I would trade places with quite a few characters, such as: Wendy Darling (my love for Peter Pan knows no bounds), Lucy Pevensie (NARNIA WAS MADE FOR ME), and Blue Sargent (I would sell my kidney to chill with the Raven Boys). If someone offered me that chance...well.

That being said, I am very happy with my life right now (even if I can't hang out with the Raven Boys), and I adore my whole family. 

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?
Oh boy, the only time I have ever given away a book that I own was a MISTAKE (grandfather, if you are reading this, I apologize). I was a wee lass and had not yet realized the importance of acquiring a hoard of books. It was my grandfather's birthday, and I wanted to give him something so special. So I gave him the only book that I owned: An old copy of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Evangeline (yes! It's my name!!! It was because of that fact that I thought it was so special)

I immediately regretted it (once again, sorry Grandpa), and I was so sad that I had given away the only book I owned. But it's okay, I've overcompensated for it with my current book-acquiring issues.  

Used or brand new?
Is this a trick question? Do you know how poor I am?? (Jerry, if you wrote this question trying to poke fun, you are so fired.)

If I could choose, of course I would choose brand new! But I can't even afford water at a Starbucks. And that's free.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Pride and Prejudice. To be fair, I haven't read the book, but I am assuming that I will not have the patience for all of the sophisticated language and proper grammar (I have the attention span of a two year old)

Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks included?
Image result for winnie the pooh books

Winnie-the-Pooh is my fav. When I was rereading it, I felt myself chanting along with Winnie-the-Pooh, "I'm so rumbly, in my tumbly." I ate a spoonful of honey, and all was well.

Garfield is my spirit animal. I adore him. I also desperately want to try the "Cake-pie-cake". 

Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?
I take recommendations from others. I am not picky about recommendations. Odds are I will read the book as long as it doesn't have anything obviously wrong with it and contains words. Words are a must.

Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving? 
Image result for red rising

I KNOW! I'm shocked, too. I didn't realize until I finished it just how out of my comfort zone it was. I like sci-fi, but I had never dipped my toe into the grander side of YA. I wasn't accustomed to space operas and grand wars that played out across the skies. ALSO THERE WAS A LOT TO REMEMBER. I am a confused goldfish and therefore have a hard time remembering which characters are important or just random second cousins, like, is that the main character or the lead singer of a Peruvian folk band???

Thanks so much to Olivia for tagging me!
I would tag someone, but I'm pretty sure I've already tagged all the bloggers (and vloggers) I know in my past tags. So I'm going to do that thing where I pretend that I want to be really inclusive with this tag, but in reality, I just don't know a lot of people:
If someone wants to do this, feel free! And be sure to link to your post in the comments!

What is a book that you hate/dislike more than others? Do you have any great book recommendations? Do part with your precious children (I mean books. Just me who calls them "children"?? Cool. cool.) easily? What is your favorite food to consume while you consume words?


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Summer Reading List Pt. 2| I Am Psychic, Top 10 Tuesdays, and Fetching Stars

Would you look at that? I actually posted the second installment of my summer reading list within the same month! Who is this new me? Apparently this new me is psychic because I accidentally lined up with Top Ten Tuesdays category of "Summer Reads Freebie". Somebody buy me a crystal ball because I have found my calling.
You could gaze into the future...
Welcome to my impromptu Top 10 Tuesdays post. 

Image result for if birds fly back
"If Birds Fly Back"

Why It's Perfect For Summer
  • um
  • do you see that cover? 
  • This is obvious.
  • Also it's about a girl who is fascinated with disappearances (and what better time to disappear than the summer? Sure, it's the height of tourist season in most places, but you just have to have the right guide books)
  • A nerdy boy might make an appearance, and we all know that nerdy boys migrate during the summer, usually in flocks of 15 (or am I thinking about birds?? You know, I am definitely thinking of birds, and not even getting all my facts straight)
  • There are (hopefully) birds, which are summer-y because how else would we be exposed to nature in the summer (pshh, we can't just leave our book-forts. Let's not be silly)?
  • There's a constellation on the cover which suggests STARS. I don't even have a way to connect this to summer, I just really like stars. 

Image result for no turning back the history of feminism
Why It's Perfect For Summer
  • Because what better time to be filled with a feminist rage and start a revolution?
  • I don't know about you, but I don't want the revolution to get in the way of my schoolwork, so I can gather an army over the summer, and then do biology during the fall! 
  • Seriously though, I am very excited to read this, and excitement and summer go hand in hand. 
  • Also, the character on the front looks like a superhero (which was the intended effect, so congrats to whoever drew it), and superheros prefer to work in the summer so they aren't chilly. 
  • It talks about the history and future of feminism, so what I am hearing is that it will be like tIME TRAVEL??? I am 100% on board. 

Why It's Perfect For Summer
  • There is a love struck young man who will do anything for his "one true love". Frankly he sounds a little delirious from the heat and should probably focus on something more important, like: school, or reading more books (the books will fix his delirium. Guaranteed)
  • He sets out on a journey (and we all know that journeys are best started in the summer) to fetch a star, which sounds marvelous. 
  • I mean, how does one go about fetching a star?? Is there some sort of guide book? If so, I would like to read it please.
  • OH OH OH, so apparently there is a place called Faerie (you know, like Fairy, but it's with a cool spelling so you know it's legit), and nothing is as it seems. You know, that sounds like an awful lot like a summer I had back when I was a wee lass.
  • There are unexplored lands and mysterious walls, which are most enjoyable when viewed under the blazing hot glare of the summer sun. 
  • Did I mention Neil Gaiman wrote it? So clearly it's going to be a masterpiece. And, Neil Gaiman is related to summer because...his birthday is in fall which is right next to summer (it works, okay? just don't think about it too much)

Image result for the elements of eloquence
Why It's Perfect For Summer
  • The cover is green. The general color of summer is green. #twins
  • also there is a leaf on the cover. 
  • It discusses what makes certain phrases or songs memorable (some of which, I am sure, are summer hits??)
  • Supposedly it's funny, but we'll see about that. I am doubtful when books claim to be funny. If you're so funny, then why do you need to advertise it? 
  • It's like if I was going around saying "I AM A LLAMA". If I am, then I don't need to say anything (if I was a llama, I doubt I could say anything, really), but if I'm not, then I just look ridiculous (then again, I would probably look ridiculous as a llama, so I have nothing to lose here)
  • I love learning new things about writing, and what better time to learn new things than summer?? Maybe fall, or spring, or winter...
Image result for peter pan book
Why It's Perfect For Summer
  • Lost boys.
  • Wendy-birds.
  • Vengeful, jealous fairies.
  • Boys who don't want to grow up.
  • Archery.
  • Nostalgia. 
  • It is perfect. I am so excited to reread it.
  • and then rewatch all of the movie adaptations.
  • Guys, I have a problem. I am lowkey obsessed with Peter Pan. 
  • This book is another "Summer in book form" read, and I, for one, am going to be gobbling it up. 
  • Much like the crocodile. Speaking of which, I want to know more about the crocodile. Such as:
  • where did it come from?
  • where did it go (where'd it come from, Cotton Eye Joe)?
I look forward to reading all of these books and telling everyone about them because we all know I can't keep my opinions to myself (yes, I know it's true, Jerry, but you don't have to nod along). Happy summer, y'all! And I hope your summer is full of the best books (if it isn't, let me know. I have THOUSANDS a few I can recommend)

What's your favorite kind of book to read during summer? Have you read any of these? Have you read Peter Pan? What do you think of it? I personally have an unhealthy obsession, and am doing nothing to change that fact. What's your favorite thing about summer?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Beautiful People May 2017| Murder and Soup (which should be the name of a 90's buddy cop comedy)

One of my new year's resolutions this year was to continue to focus on one book until it is completely finished. That means: rewritten, edited, criticised, and tired of. Yes, I said "tired of" (and I know that's not proper grammar, but I already paid the ticket from the grammar police, so...whatcha gonna do).  
I am officially tired of Behind the Glass. If you've been with us here at An Odd Blog for awhile, you by now know that Behind the Glass has been my baby for 4 years. I have written 5 other novels, but my main focus has always been Behind the Glass
I've heard: "oh by the time you've finished your book, you're going to be sick of it, trust me." But I always thought those authors were exaggerating. How could someone ever grow tired of their own masterpiece? 
  • very easily.
  • After the first 5 drafts, it becomes very clear what those authors were saying.
  • And I still have quite a ways to go before I can put it away for good.
  • And then I have the sequel and prequel to rewrite/edit???
  • It has me trapped.
"If you're so tired of it, then why did you choose to blog about it, you cracked walnut." That is a very intelligent question. One that I didn't anticipate at all. I am counting on this month's Beautiful People to solve all of my problems and respark my love for this story (okay, I still love it. It was my first novel, so of course it has a special place in my heart. I would just be willing for it to disappear in a hole and never come back).

Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents? 
Weeeell, not too fab. It's sad because their parents really try, but you know, lies and secrets don't really make for the most stable family environment. It's kind of like making a cookie, but instead of chocolate chips, you put raisins in it; it's a confusing and frustrating time for everyone involved (also someone might get murdered)
How did their parents meet?

Sprig's mother (Anna) was fresh off a pirate ship and sat down for dinner at the royal family's table (that is one of my favorite sentences I have ever written. Also, can that happen to me in real life??). Lo and behold, the heir to the throne was dreamy, as they tend to be in most fiction. Fast-forward to 16 years later and Sprig ended up on that same pirate ship. It's a small world (*resists urge to break into song*)

How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”? 
Let's just say that neither party would be thrilled. Sprig's mother has done some...questionable things (including straight up murder, so...) in her past. Clearly she does not want Sprig to follow suit.

What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?
Sprig's mother was teaching a bunch of runaway raggamuffins how to be proper pirates. She taught them how to do many useful things, such as (and yes, this is just a ploy to make another list).
  • Teaching them many useful pirate phrases, like "Avast, ye landlubbers!" and "Walk the plank!"
  • She taught them all how to sword-fight and climb up the rigging like human spider monkeys.
  • She stole them a cannon.
  • and she made them a proper pirate flag with crossbones and everything.
  • Basically everything she taught them, she learned from the Swiss Family Robinson pirates. 
  • bless.
Sprig's father was sitting in on boring "someone please rescue me...or shoot me" political meetings. Yippee.

Is there something they adamantly disagree on?

I doubt Sprig is too thrilled about being lied to for most of her childhood. When she found out her mother's crimes, I would also guess that she wasn't onboard with the whole murder thing. 

Image result for perry the platypus gifs they don't do much

What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?
Keeping secrets, lying, making up an entire history for Sprig's father (they couldn't exactly have told Sprig the truth now, could they? "Have a great day at school, sweetie! Your father is actually an alien who lives on earth now because he came through a mirror. And he is the crown prince. Don't forget your lunchbox!"), and knowing that they were keeping Sprig from her extended family through glass and betrayal (woah, that sounded really dramatic)

What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?
All the nights spent gathered around the kitchen table, Sprig's father reading aloud his stories (he's a writer, which is for sure why he's the best parent).

What was your character like as a baby/toddler?

She was like most toddlers. Curious, whiny, vicious and unforgiving with a memory like an elephant (a tiny, vengeful elephant), and adorable.

Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name?

Haha, there is no "parents" about this part. Sprig's mom chose her name in honor of an aunt who (whom? idk. WHAT IS GRAMMAR?) she adored. Sprig's dad wanted to name her "Clarence" after the scholar who invented soup in Alairia (I would have gone with the dad's choice, personally. What a conversation starter).

And that's it for this month's Beautiful People.

I do feel a bit more inspired to work on Behind the Glass, so my plan worked. I love it when it does that.

How did your parent(s) choose your name? Do you have any lil facts about your characters that you love? Do you like soup? (idk, I'm running out of questions) Uhh, have you ever murdered someone? That's all I got. 


Sunday, May 14, 2017

My Summer Reading List: Pt. 1| Secret Science (the best kind) + I Just Got Dissed By A Title???

Most bookworms are delusional (though I fall under the category of bookdragon, therefore I am not delusional.). I don't want to say all bookworms (even though that's what I'm thinking) because then I'll get someone in the comments saying "Not all bookworms."

Image result for you know it's true gif

Why are bookworms delusional? Simple. Even though we make jokes and laugh about how tall and terrifying our TBR is, we hold onto hope, hope that one day we just might crawl out from the shadow of those books, shrinking the pile one by one. We hold on to hope that one day we will develop self-control as we click Purchase on our book order. In reality, the pile will only get bigger. In fact, it might grow by itself now, when it thinks you're not looking.

I gave up hope a long time ago. At this point, I've begun to welcome more books. I'm making use of them. I don't have a mattress anymore, it has been taken over by books. I sleep on pillows of paperbacks. On the plus side: I might soak up the stories at night instead of having to read anything. #multitasking

Unfortunately, the reading through osmosis has been unsuccessful, therefore I must actually read books myself. Since realizing that I am going to indeed be smushed into a crepe by my TBR, I have devised a battle plan, a list, to slowly chip away at books I have been dying to get to (Let's be honest: 40% are rereads. There are so many new stories and fab books, but why read those when I can reread favorites?).

Image result for the secret science of magic book 
Why It's Perfect For Summer
  • MAGIC. I mean, magic and summer go hand in hand. Why do you think magic camp is always held in the summer? Not because school is out, but because magic tricks only work in the summer. Duh. 
  • Science. You may be saying: "But isn't the glory of summer the fact that we don't have to do science and other boring schoolwork?" Let me tell you a thing. You see that sun up there, making it summer? How does it do that? Answer: SCIENCE. Your ice cream cone is melting. Why? Answer: SCIENCE. Science is everywhere, you just have to embrace it. 
  • Secrets. I don't know what secrets have to do with the book, but the title says "Secret" so there better be some secrecy, dangit! Give the people what they want. 
  • I kind of don't know anything else about the book. I'm assuming by the hearts on the cover and the two figures that there's probably a cute romance which also goes perfect with summer. Idk, tho. They could be brother and sister for all I know. 
  • UPDATE: I just read the synopsis again, and apparently Sophie (who is our female MC) is a super smart human but is also lowkey scared of becoming the typical super smart anti-social recluse.
  • and, good news, the male MC, Joshua, has a crush on Sophie (and they are not brother and sister. Just thought I'd clarify that).
Image result for tree castle island
Why It's Perfect For Summer
  • This book is the essence of summer. I think it even takes place in the summer. 
  • I have read it before (which is a casual way of saying "I know every word by heart"), so I know what I'm talking about here (for once)
  • There's a boy venturing into the unknown swamp to explore, and he has lots of complications and shenanigans along the way (as you know, shenanigans are synonymous with summer)
  • Pet turkeys, alligators, and poker matches. I don't know about y'all, but that sounds like summer to me (my childhood was perfectly normal, thank you).  
  • Treecastles. How could I not mention the treecastles? Think Swiss Family Robinson (which is my dream. Who wants to run away and live in a tree house with me?)
  • OH. GUYS. THERE'S AN ADORABLE DOG, TOO. Dogs are very much so a summer mammal. The most summery mammal I can think of. They're also the best (I am in no way biased by the fact that I have my own puppy, and that he is my favorite family member). Dogs are great. 
  • Image result for dogs are the best gif parks and rec

Image result for fierce wars and faithful loves
Why It's Perfect For Summer
  • WARS (that are apparently fierce. I will be the judge of that)
  • LOVES (which are apparently faithful, but once again, I will be the judge of that)
  • This is a collection of poetry, and poetry, as we all know, is made to be read whilst lying under a tree in the sun. 
  • I don't read a lot of poetry (I know, Jerry, I'm uncultured. You can stop laughing), and what better time to step out of my comfort zone than...*drumroll* SUMMER. 
  • I am a curious bean, therefore I must know everything, and when I haven't been able to pin down exactly what this book is, the curiosity has only grown (okay fine, that doesn't have anything to do with summer).  
  • OH! Apparently there is humorous commentary (not gonna lie, I definitely accidently wrote "cemetery" instead of "commentary" and now I want to read a book featuring a humorous cemetery). I relate to humorous commentary because I, too, like to judge things and make sarcastic comments. On a completely unrelated note: I think I just figured out what I'm going to do for my career. (oh, btw, this relates to summer because...commentary is made much greater when read in sweltering heat. True story, bro)
Image result for you're not fooling anyone when you take your laptop to a coffee shop scalzi on writing
Why It's Perfect For Summer
  • Because I'm pretty sure I just got burned by a title?? And like the title, I get burned by the sun (they're both totally related)
  • And what better time to criticize my writing and my life than summer-time?
  • This is the kind of book that is perfect to read in a coffee shop. Then laugh at the irony of it.
  • I'm sure I will be able to bear my own self-criticism more easily in the warmth of the summer sun. Everything is better in the warmth of the sun. Except for spiders. 
  • Nothing can ever make spiders better. 
Image result for summer of the gypsy moths
Why It's Perfect For Summer
  • It literally takes place on a beach. During summer. In a little tourist town. IT'S PERFECT.
  • I have also read this before, and it's a favorite. So clearly, summer is the best time to reread things. 
  • There are hijinks and crazy schemes and lollipops (which are all solely attributed to summer)
  • I actually learned a lot of helpful household hacks from this book because the main character is a total nerd. 
  • Walking along beaches and doing yard-work. 
  • Inventive recipes. 
  • Y'all, this is just the best book to read during summertime. 
  • tho tbh, this book made me not want to eat anything pumpkin ever again. If you have a love for pumpkins and do not want that ruined, avoid at all costs. 
Wish me luck at slowly chipping away the beast that is my summer reading list (WHY AM I SO AMBITIOUS? WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF???). Pt. 2 will be coming soon(ish. Don't hold your breath. I still need to finish Pt. 2 of the Dystopian Mini-Reviews). 

What is a "summer" book that you love? Have you read any of these? Are you an adventurous reader? I'm usually not, but this summer I will be (ok, I know poetry isn't that adventurous BUT IT IS FOR ME). What's your favorite thing about summer? And for all my Southern Hemisphere readers: I am so sorry. What's your favorite thing about winter?


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sherlock Holmes Adaptations That Don't Make Me Root For the Murderer (read at once if convenient. If inconvenient, read anyway.)

Throughout the history of the world, when someone says the word mystery or detective, usually a famous one comes to mind. That's right, the Hardy Boys. (kidding) Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately, the world seems to think that when writing a retelling of the famous tales, they should write the same story. Let me demonstrate:
Pick a gender for your MC:
- Sherlock is a girl. That's your only option.

- If Sherlock is a girl, Watson has to be a boy, and they need romantic tension.

- Moriarty/Irene Adler (but like the BBC Sherlock Irene). 

- Um, is this a trick question? Modern-day London. Always. It's even better if Watson is vacationing there, and he doesn't know who Sherlock is or the baggage she comes with. 

- Everything is solved, and Sherlock and Watson are probably smooching because Watson finally broke through Sherlock's emotional walls. 

There you go. A best-selling Sherlock retelling. You're welcome.*

*I am generalizing quite a bit, but I have yet to find a Sherlock adaptation that has met all of my sky high expectations. 

What I Would Like to See
  • Sherlock and Watson being swapped. I want to see Watson calling the shots because people respond to his kindness. I want Sherlock to be smart in the background, Watson winning crimes and taking down bad guys because people will tell anything to a kind smile and a cup of tea. 
  • Maybe a normal retelling, but about one of Sherlock's lesser known adversaries! You know, not every retelling has to focus on the favorite. (I know he stole our hearts. I know.)

  • Image result for moriarty gifs
    But maybe we could pick a new villain? Please? Thanks bro.
  • Both Sherlock and Watson being female and running around the city like crime-solving BFFs. 
But apparently we don't live in a perfect world, so we have to settle for what we do have (and ignore the Cardboard retellings. Pretend they don't exist. Denial is a wonderful thing*).

*I am not going to lie to you. I originally wrote De nile until I realised that when I wrote it that way, I wasn't condoning refusal of something's existence, I was appreciating the largest river in Africa. But yes, I do think that de Nile is a wonderful thing. 

Some Sherlock Adaptations I Didn't Despise

Image result for enola holmes 

OMG, MEMORIES. Enola Holmes was my BFF for a year or so way back when I was still running around the woods behind our house all by myself (which is a recipe for safety as you know). Her name backwards is literally Alone. What kind of mother would name their child Alone? That's like getting a pet and naming it Dinner (which I would never do, but my brother did try to do with various rabbits that we owned. THE HORROR). If my memory serves me correctly (which it probably doesn't because Dory and I are second-cousins. I think), the first book was actually my least favorite because all the others are way more fun. There is:
  • Secret flower languages.
  • Using the deathtraps that were corsets to one's own advantage. 
  • Fighting the patriarchy. 
  • An actually competent detective who isn't simultaneously a jerk. #goals
  • Defending herself but also accepting help from others. Thank goodness for this miraculous achievement in literature. 
I'm pretty sure all the books are the same formula, but it works. 

Image result for brown detective books

Hey hey, would you look at that. Another trip down ol' memory lane. 

Now I'm not quite sure if this is technically a Sherlock Holmes retelling, but it's about a detective, so we'll just go with it. Encyclopedia Brown is full of short stories about Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown's adventures of mystery. They're a light, fun, easy read, perfect for the budding detective in your household. They feel more attainable. I don't know about you, but as soon as I am done reading a mystery, I try to do the whole Sherlock thing where I actually observe my surroundings and try to come to a conclusion, but honestly, I will never achieve Sherlock's level of mental prowess for two reasons: 
  1. It's super complex. 
  2. He's fictional, and therefore can be as smart as he wants without having to work for it. 
But Encyclopedia Brown does a lesser version of Sherlock's awing observations, and it's a lot easier for the mind to wrap around and try to duplicate. Because that's what is important in any mystery: making me feel like a detective as well.

Image result for jackaby

I really did love this retelling. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it was new, which I loved. 

The Good. A much crazier version of Sherlock BUT WITH MAGIC. And ducks. Though most importantly magic. It took me a chapter or two to be able to be immersed in the story, but once I was, I lived and breathed the magical community. 
I described the plot to one of my friends, and their response was "But isn't that defeating the whole purpose of a historical fiction mystery?" Obviously I have shunned her (just kidding. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Even if it's wrong)

The Bad. Unfortunately, while I loved the magic, and characters, and overall feel of the novel, a very important part was missing: the mystery. Without a good mystery, it became "MAGIC. COMEDIC ONE LINERS. DUCKS. also someone was murdered, and we don't know who did it BUT MAGIC." I am -- at the very least -- grateful that it strayed from the formula Sherlock retelling. It's the little steps that accomplish the greatest journeys (I think I read that on a fortune cookie somewhere. Also it doesn't really make sense??)

Image result for basil of baker street

Most of the books on this list are Middle-Grade or lower WHICH SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHING, such as "Wow, we are lacking in good YA Sherlock adaptations". Basil of Baker Street was A BLAST to read (I also read it aloud to myself in an accent and did all the little voices differently. 10/10, would recommend). It was just adorable because they're such tiny mice in little detective clothes and costumes. I was surprised at how different it was from the Disney movie. I actually enjoyed the book much better because it felt more realistic (yes, mice being detectives felt realistic. Yes, I know that isn't normal. No, I'm not seeing anyone to get help. Why do you ask?).

I would love to find more Sherlock Holmes adaptations that are actually good. I can't even tell you how many books I've turned away. My least favorite honestly felt like a first draft. Thank goodness for Basil of Baker Street to make it all better. 

Have you read any of these? What is one of your favorite Sherlock adaptations? What is an adaptation of a classic story that you loved? Do you have any weird quirks concerning books? Such as reading in all the different voices, dog-earing books (you monster!!), acquiring a stack of books to sit upon and survey your kingdom like the fearsome beast you are...


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sunshine Blogger Award| Third Time's the Charm + THE BOOK GODS SMILED UPON ME

I have been loving the weather. Where I live, Spring is softly sweeping through with warm rain and sunny mornings. To quote the popular fast food phrase: I'm lovin' it. I rearranged my little writing area to have more candles and flowers because Spring is in the air, and dangit, I'm going to embrace it hardcore. 
Look at that new life. HECK YEAH, SPRING!!!

Spring isn't my favorite season, but I am very excited for a change of weather (it feels like it's been gray and rainy for the past 5 years). Recently I've been celebrating all things Spring. One of which, is sunshine, which brings me to to the point of today's post.

Savannah, being the wonderful human that she is, tagged me for the *drumroll* Sunshine Blogger tag!!
Don't miss the first one.
Or the second one.
Do you own any signed books?
Why yes, yes I do. I own exactly two. 

The First Book: Even though I've gone to quite a few author signings (a post on that coming soon), I am not rich (a word which here means "I think I have a penny? Maybe. It might be a button"), and therefore do not own any of the books that were being signed. I instead checked out the books from the library and got them signed (which is technically vandalism, but I don't think anyone minds. ...Or knows.).
I went to a Marissa Meyers event and got the library copy of Cinder autographed, but alas, I did not have her signature for myself. Fast-forward to a couple days ago. I was at Goodwill, perusing the book section (where else would I be?), and I spotted a hardback copy of Cinder that looked to be in fantastic condition. So I bought it for $4. Guess what I found inside. 

At first I was skeptical, because someone could have forged it just for fun, BUT THEN, I found a shiny silver Barnes&Noble sticker that pronounced it official. 

The Second BookFor most of my reading career, Rick Riordan has been my favorite author. One of my closest friends was the best human ever and took me to a Rick Riordan event where I got a signed copy of his latest book, some merch, and GOT TO BE IN THE SAME ROOM AS HIM AND HEAR HIM SPEAK OMG OMG OMG. 
Under that book cover lies an illegible author signature. *dies*  

What are three of the prettiest books you own?
You know what they say: true beauty is on the inside. I believe this applies to books as well, so how can we truly rank a book's prettiness based on the outside? Just kidding. Of course I would love to judge books based on their cover. It's one of my favorite pastimes. 

In fact, the entire Illuminae book is just a visual masterpiece. I will sometimes take it down from my shelf, flip through it's beautiful pages, and do my best to forget what life before it was like.

That one corner SLAYS me.
I only recently noticed the detail and absolute beauty of this book cover. Also, you know, RAVEN BOYS FOREVER (which is coincidentally what will be engraved on my tomb stone). I cannot believe that I missed my chance to meet the author. She was at a bookstore near me before I had read the series (as you can imagine, this still haunts my dreams)

I have not read Heartless. I do not know whether or not I like Heartless. But I love the cover.
  • It's in really good condition.
  • and being a poor bookdragon with a small mole-hill of funds instead of the mountain-sized wealth required to buy nice books, I must settle for used paperbacks. My definition of "treat yo self" is splurging for a Slightly Used instead of a Very Used. 
  • Also, raise your hand if you are a fan of simple book covers.
  • It's classy, sleek, but still interesting to look at (omg I sound like an ad)
What are five of your favorite blogs?
My problem with this question is that I don't want to leave anyone out!! But I suppose, I will have to pick favorites because that is the life I have chosen. *dramatic sigh*
  1. Paper Fury. OMG, QUEEN. SLAY. ON FLEEK. AWESOME-SAUCE (and here we see the extent of my knowledge of "hip" phrases). I am obsessed with her blog. It never fails to make me laugh, and she is so sweet! She is truly the Blogging Queen.
  2. Acoustic Erin. I get so excited when she posts. 90% of the time, her posts are exactly what I need to read at that moment. Her posts have a kind of laidback feeling that is really nice. It feels very personal. Also, us #Slytherins have to stick together (I just realized that Cait is Slytherin, too. HECK YEAH. Slytherins are awesome.)
  3. A Writer's Faith. What is it with me and blogs about writing? idk. It's not like I'm a writer or anything. Katie's blog is a conglomeration of her life, her writing, and hilarity. She is a Hufflepuff (this is good news because it means I am not discriminatory against all the other houses)
  4. Scattered Scribblings. Savannah is so sweet! Her blog is full of writerly things, her life, and book reviews. I love her vlogs (I think all book bloggers should do vlogs. Except for me. A+ decision), and she tags me for stuff, which is very kind (guess who tagged me for this??)
  5. Burning Youth. First of all THEIR INSTAGRAM IS FLAWLESS. Whenever I hop on over there, I get so inspired to climb a mountain or jump into the ocean (and I live in a cold state. That is not an urge I get often). That blog has really found it's purpose, and is working it hardcore. Whoever started it has been smiled upon by the blogging gods. 
If you could re-write the ending of one book, which book would it be?
Image result for all the bright places

THIS BOOK BROKE MY HEART. I AM STILL NOT OKAY. It has been months since I read this, and every time I think of it, I just get sad and mad. 

Though it is a kind of "I want to rewrite it, but at the same time I wouldn't" answer. I just really wanted them to be happy, but unfortunately, the author saw fit to do a little dance of sadness on my heart. 
Image result for hold me like a breath

I would rewrite everything about this book. I love the idea, but it was executed so poorly. This was one of the most annoying books I have ever read. The premise has so much potential, but it is butchered! I seriously might take a stab (haha, because it's about murder! whatever. I'm hilarious) at writing something like it. Uncommon fairytale + mafia + MURDER = the best book ever. 

What is the last movie you watched, and what did you think of it?

I've seen this movie more times than is probably healthy. It's one of my favorite movies ever (then again, most Marvel movies are. I LIVE AND BREATH FOR MARVEL). They're just a bunch of unsupervised idiots. That's the whole movie. 
Friendship goals right here. 
How did you come up with the title for your blog?
It's actually a really underwhelming story. A friend was helping me set up my blog (that I started on a whim, btw), and we were struggling for a name, so we just put something random as the name (a very reliable way to name things. My firstborn will be named in a similar fashion.). An Odd Blog came out of nowhere, but it stuck, and I personally feel like it fits. 

What's one of your favorite memories from 2017 (so far)?
I would like to preface this memory with the fact that I am not an arsonist. I am not a psychopath. 
But: Towards the end of January, the building next to my father's business caught fire. It was 10:30 when we rushed out the door to go make sure that his business wasn't burning down, too. When we got there, my dad disappeared to take care of his business, leaving my sister  (shameless promotion because LOOK AT WHAT SHE CAN DO) and I to stand on the sidewalk and watch the fire. 
Since Dad's business was next to the fire, we got to go closer than the other people who came out to watch. Let me paint you a picture: A four story building engulfed in smoke, flashing with flames. Slowly but surely, everything burned away to the bare skeleton of what it used to be. Columns of coal-black smoke coughed up from the flames, sparks shimmering into the air. I'm not going to lie. It's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Think of it as the most brilliant sunset you've ever seen multiplied by 10. - An excerpt from my journal.
The adrenaline and freezing January air kept me shivering the entire night. We went home around 1:00 am, and I was still dusting ash from my hair the next morning. 

How is a raven like a writing desk?
Philosophers all throughout time have pondered this question, almost more than "Why did the chicken cross the road?" But the actions of suspicious poultry do not interest me, and I would rather just have the writing desk than think about it (I need a new desk anyway. My last one was not very reliable).

Do you prefer writing by hand or typing?  
Typing. For sure. My hand cramps up if I hand-write something longer than half a page, though my hand also cramps up if I write more than a page and a half on my laptop. What I would really prefer is if I could hire someone to write all my stories exactly the way I want them while feeding me. Now that is what I would prefer. 

What's a story you'd like someone to do a re-telling of?
So many.
  • Chinese mythology.
  • African mythology.
  • Uncommon fairytales.
  • Classics (like Great Expectations or Oliver Twist) but in space. 
  • Space everything.
  • Willy Wonka in a modern day setting. I want to see him battling legal issues and having to acquire food permits. Also, what do Oompa Loompas get payed? Or eat? I WANT TO KNOW. 
  • Basically every mainstream fairytale, but focused on something other than the romance. I want to know more about the godmother from Cinderella, I want to see Snow White actually being the villain. 
  • I just really love fairytales, but I also really don't care about smooching. Give me better retellings. 
  • I would love to see dragons retold in a better light. Like, if they are as intelligent as some books claim they are, then why can't they have book clubs?? And get together to have tea and crumpets?? Can't they have lives, too? 
 Image result for dragon slippers book

I adore the representation of dragons in this book.

Okay, that's all I got for you today. Thank you again to Savannah! This was a really fun tag.

I tag: Olivia @ Meanwhile, In Rivendell 

Do you own any autographed books? What is your favorite book that you own (or favorite-ish. Picking a favorite would require a powerpoint presentation and at least two years to decide)? What is a retelling you would love to see? How do you think a raven is like a writing desk? (I need your help on this one).