Showing posts from 2014

Happy Holidays!

I've been really terrible about posting on my blog and visiting other blogs, especially with final exams coming up next week. I promise I will reply to all my backlogged comments and visit all your lovely blogs very soon!

In the meantime, I won't be posting any more on my blog for this year, so see you all in January!

Happy Holidays :)

Book Talk: Diversity in fiction

I'm sure on some level, I have always been aware that the characters in books weren't like me. As a child of immigrant parents, I have grown up with that whole in-between thing of not quite being American but not quite fitting in with "the motherland" because I was born and raised halfway across the world. This in-between crossed over into my books as well. I'd read about typical American teenagers, and be surprised about how they interacted with their parents and friends because it was so different from the values and experiences I've had growing up. Then I'd turn around and be baffled by daily life in Indian fiction because I had grown up in America and absorbed that culture.
I've been lucky enough to live in California for most of my life, where there are large immigrant communities and I never felt alienated, but if we ever took road trips to other states, I definitely noticed the funny stares (there are brown people in this country? whaaaat?). I …

Review: The Art of Wishing

Title: The Art of Wishing
Author: Lindsay Ribar
Genre: YA, contemporary, fantasy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads summary:
Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school play to getting into a good college. So when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the chance to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Why should she put her life into someone else's hands?
But Oliver is more than just a genie -- he's also a sophomore at Margo's high school, and he's on the run from a murderer. As he and Margo grow closer, she discovers that it will take more than three wishes to save him.
A whole lot more.

I picked this book up because I needed a brainless fluff book after a bunch of dark ones, and two bookish friends with excellent taste recommended this to me. I was very excited for genies, because I loved Bartimaeus (of The Amulet of Samarkand fame) as a child and more recently fell in love with Helen We…

Review: The Blade Itself

Title: The Blade Itself
Author: Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads summary:Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.
Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.
Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.
Enter the wizard, Bay…

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Slip and Grip by David Estes

I'm participating in the book blitz for Slip (Slip #1) and Grip (Slip #2) by David Estes. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours, and runs all of this week. You can find the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.

Slip (Slip #1)
By David Estes

Genre: Dystopia
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 1 December, 2014

Blurb:Someone must die before another can be born...
As sea levels rise and livable landmasses shrink, the Reorganized United States of America has instituted population control measures to ensure there are sufficient resources and food to sustain the growing population. Birth authorization must be paid for and obtained prior to having a child. Someone must die before another can be born, keeping the country in a population neutral position at what experts consider to be the optimal population. The new laws are enforced by a ruthless government organization known as Pop Con, responsible for terminating any children resulting from unauthor…

Sci-fi month: Bingo challenge update

It's Sci fi month hosted by Oh, the Books! and Rinn Reads!
Sci-fi month is almost over, but it has been a really fun month! I've gotten to talk about all sorts of things with other book lovers and sci-fi enthusiasts, from favorite books to pet peeves to awesome TV shows and movies. I wanted to close with a look at how my sci-fi bingo challenge went, since I think it does a pretty good job of encompassing most of the things I did this month.

The yellow squares are the ones that I have completed. A lot of them are from TV shows and short stories, since I didn't have much time to read many books this month. Here's what I've been up to this month:
1.Steampunk – Rogues Anthology: “A Year and a Day in Old Theradane” by Scott Lynch
2.Absent-minded professor 3.Space opera 4.Immortality 5.Floating city 6.Superheroes – AGENTS OF SHIELD: Pilot 7.Apocalypse/world disaster – DOCTOR WHO: In the Forest of the Night 8.Mind control – Mockingjay (Part I) 9.Lost civilizations: Nightfall…

Sci Fi month: HP Lovecraft and the strange and scary

It's Sci fi month hosted by Oh, the Books! and Rinn Reads!
I read my first HP Lovecraft short stories (and novellas) this month, and it was an interesting experience. I hadn't heard much about Lovecraft and his work until last year when a friend recommended his stories to me, and I honestly had no idea what a Cthulu was until this month!
Reading Lovecraft was an interesting experience. I think I have decided that I really love Lovecraft's ideas and imagination, but I absolutely hate his writing style. For me, the way something is written is just as important as what's being said, so it was a bit of a struggle to get through some of his stories. I've discovered that I enjoy Lovecraft best in small doses - my favorite stories were the shortest ones.
What was it about his writing style that drove me nuts? It's remarkably wordy. Paragraphs will go by describing how terrible some unseen horror is, but after all those paragraphs, you never really get a clear picture…

Top Ten Tuesday 43 - Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR
This is a list of books I plan on reading starting December. The books on the right are rereads, because I've been meaning to do a bunch (some on audio and some paperback). I figured winter was the best time to cuddle up with a familiar good book :D
 TBR  rereads

I think it's high time I get back into the Mistborn universe, don't you?

Audio reread -  I liked parts of this book and other parts really rubbed me the wrong way. I want to do an audio reread to see if I like it better the second time around!

I've heard that Scalzi is funny and clever, and I figured this would be a good book to start with. Any thoughts?

I read this for the first time last December, and now that I own a copy I really should read it again! Maybe this will be my annual holiday reread book :)

I'm reading Lirael right now, and I'm liking it more than Sabriel so far. Maybe reading t…

Sci-Fi month: Review of Wool Omnibus

Title: Wool Omnibus Edition
Author: Hugh Howey
Genre: Science fiction, dystopia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.

When I first encountered this book, it was in one of the book club groups I was in. Someone was saying something about how this book was really good, so good that it became popular enough to go from self-published to big publishing. Then I just kept seeing it around, and everyone who had read it had nothing but good things to say about it. This book was on my radar for months before I actually read it, and I had really high expectations. I was definitely not disappointed!


DiverSFFy: Ash by Malinda Lo

DiverSFFy is a new feature hosted by yours truly! The goal is to get the word out about books in science fiction and fantasy that do a good job of portraying people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives - be it race, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic levels, etc. I'd love it if you joined in - just link me to your posts in the comments or on twitter (@spidersilksnow)!
This week's pick: Ash by Malinda Lo The Rundown Title: Ash Author: Malinda Lo Genre: Fantasy, retelling, LGBTQ fiction
Full synopsis and my review here!

So what's so diverse about this book? This is a gorgeously written retelling of Cinderella, with a twist. Ash, this story's Cinderella, doesn't want to marry the prince. Ash ends up falling in love with someone else - Huntress, a respected member of the King's court.

Yes, this is a lesbian romance. It may make some people uncomfortable, but I highly encourage those people to read this book anyway. When I first read this book, it was at …

Sci-fi month: "Because Science!" (a rant)

It's Sci fi month hosted by Oh, the Books! and Rinn Reads!
I was reading a book recently that decided that it would try and explain someone's superpowers with science. That's great, and being an engineer, seeing science in my books makes me very happy. Usually. In this case, the book's attempt at science made no sense, and was also completely unnecessary. It seems like a lot of books lately are deciding to explain the inexplicable with the blanket excuse, "Because science!" and I'm getting a little tired of it.

YA is most guilty. I don't know if it's because the authors feel like their audience isn't interested or smart enough to deal with actual science, or if it's because YA authors just don't like doing their research, but this excuse just seems like lazy writing to me.

I decided that I'd make a list of books that don't do the science in their science fiction justice, and pair them with books that do do a good job of explai…