On Sexism, Misogyny, Feminism, Literature, Video Games, and Maybe More.

Trigger warning: I will be blunt in this post. I love all of my followers a lot, and I don’t want to offend any of you. I will be talking about rape culture and sexism and my own personal beliefs on them. I will be linking to other sites that talk about these things. If you might be triggered by any of this, please step away now. I will still love you even if you don’t read this post. More so, in fact, because you chose to protect yourself.

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RIP Iain M. Banks

Iain M. Banks, author of mainstream and science fiction died this morning after a battle with cancer.

While I have not yet read any of his works (a few have been on my TBR pile for a while) I am deeply saddened by the passing of a well-known author.

Have you read any of Iain M. Banks’ works? What is your favorite?

Top Ten Tuesday: April 30

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run over at The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten? The top ten words/topics that will make me pick up or buy a book. In no particular order:

– Historical Fiction
Ever since reading The Other Boelyn Girl, I have been loving the historical fiction genre. I do need a healthy dose of fiction with my historical fiction, though.
Favorites: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Other Boelyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan

– Zombies
OK, I am totally and 100% guilty of being in love with the current horror craze, and seeing something with zombies will make me at least pick it up to check out the book blurb.
Favorites: Feed by Mira Grant

– Steampunk
Another trend I am very much on board with. I have found that I like a majority of the steampunk I have encountered.
Favorites: Soulless by Gail Carriger, The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

– Books about books
If the book is about a book, be it a book of power, a bookstore, an author making their last foray into the literary world… I am pretty much all over that.
Favorites: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

– Dystopia/Post-apocalyptic
Nothing like the end of the world and how humans survive afterwards, right?
Favorites: Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Partials by Dan Wells

– Fantasy
Generally speaking, if it is a fantasy book, it gets at least a cursory glance from me. For the longest time, fantasy was all I read.
Favorites: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

– A sale sticker
OK, so not technically a word or a topic. But I have a weakness for used book sales or the sale section at the book store.
Favorite Finds: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Everything that Louise Cooper has ever written

– Unique magic systems
I like all magic, but when a book goes above and beyond to think of something unique for the magic, it really makes me more inclined to buy the book.
Favorites: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Spellwright by Blake Charlton

– Dogs
I generally bawl at the end of every single one, but I am a complete sucker for books about dogs.
Favorites: Marley and Me by John Grogan, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

– Paranormal
I don’t like the standard representation of vampires and werewolves, but I do like to dabble in urban fantasy and paranormal.
Favorites: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

OK, that was much harder than I thought it would be. What are your top 10?

When I Get the Urge…

So lately reading has been a very strange endeavor for me. I will flip flop between having absolutely no idea what I want to read and being entirely fixated on a book, wanting to read it so very much.

Of course, the books I fixate on are generally not on my e-reader, so I find I finish a book on my e-reader, and then I have to find something else on it to read. That isn’t hard, I have a ton of books to read. But they aren’t the books I am longing to read.

So, coming up are the following…

Angelfall by Susan Ee (Book Club)
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Book Club)
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Book Club)

And the books I have been feeling compelled to read…

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

What books have you just been drooling over lately?

Amazon Buys Goodreads

I know this post is a little behind the times, and many bloggers have already shared their thoughts on this. But I wanted to take some time and really formulate my thoughts before I made a post like this.

I can sum up how this news makes me feel in three words. It scares me.

Amazon is a company that I approach with much trepidation. I don’t agree with the business practices that I have encountered, and I don’t agree with the rumors that the infamous mill has churned out.

Speaking from my own direct experience, I don’t like the way Amazon handles DRM and their everlasting thirst for world domination in the realm of books (if not everything). As an avid reader, I was shocked to find out that to own a Kindle meant either only ever buying from Amazon, or breaking the law and breaking the digital locks on other books. (Which, while I don’t agree with DRM, I don’t advocate breaking the law, either.)

What Amazon does, to put it in the realm of paper books, is like selling a paper book, and then saying you must have a specific chair and light to read it. To try to read it in a different chair, with a different light means you are breaking the law. At least with EPUB books, I have a little more wiggle room with what chair and light I use.

This is my personal beef with them. This is why I choose not to do business with them. They do not support Canadian libraries, and very few people I know locally own a Kindle because of it. I am not saying that no one outside of the US owns a Kindle, but it is not the norm.

This is of course excluding the rumors, the tax rumors, the employment rumors, etc. I don’t know much about them, so I won’t talk about them.

By pairing with Amazon like this, Goodreads will be excluding the users of other devices, and effectively excluding everyone outside of the US from the bonus integration they keep talking about. Not to mention that I don’t want my Goodreads info used to sell me things. The biggest draw for Goodreads was that it wasn’t associated with any of the book sellers. It was completely independent.

Amazon and Goodreads have very different reviewing policies, and I am not confident that the person footing the bills won’t be the one calling the shots. And I just need to mention that it is a huge conflict of interest to have Amazon, who also functions as a publisher, to own this fantastic website.

For now, I still have information at Goodreads. I am also trying out LibraryThing, though I find it is lacking in some areas that Goodreads excelled in.

What are your thoughts on the acquisition?

What is the Plural of Hiatus?

I was going to title this something along the lines of “And the Hiatuses Continue”. But then I realized that I didn’t actually know what the plural of “hiatus” is. Is it hiatuses? Fun fact: Google says yes!

So now that I have gotten the fun stuff out of the way, I need to move on to the not-so-fun stuff. My laptop is slowly dying. It is giving off what I call “the sound of death”. Something inside has come loose, and is rattling around. It won’t be long for this world, I don’t think. Thankfully, I got the extended warranty, so they will either fix it or give me a new one. The bad news is that while I wait for one of those things to happen, I will be with limited access to a computer, so the blog will be quiet. Well, quieter than it has been.

The other bad news is that my grandma is sick. We are cautiously optimistic about her recovery, but right now she is still in the hospital with pneumonia (and a host of other things). Any positive energy you can spare my way for her recovery would be greatly appreciated.

I will try to get some reviews queued, but I can make no promises as to how long my laptop might last, or how other things might pan out. So please be patient with me. This also applies if you have petitioned me for a review. I am doing my best, and I will be back full force as soon as I can be. I promise.

Keep on keeping on. Read and write with passion.

A quick note

I have four more reviews to write and schedule. I have been reading so much that I haven’t had time to write much in the way of original blog content. I need to remedy that.

Lately I have been having almost an existential crisis with the blog. I want to do a serial, but I don’t want to do that while I rely on WordPress’s hosting. I can’t really afford to move to paid hosting, not to mention that I am not entirely sure what I would call the blog if I did. I want to get more readership, and Written Permission seems to be a bad choice for a URL (too common). So I had thought of switching to something else, but I don’t really know what.

A friend of mine who works for a publisher had mentioned that I need a review policy, and holy moley is she right. I do need a review policy. But I feel like I need to solve these other problems first, before I can commit to being in with the big fish. I want to get books for review, I really really do, and I even have a draft page of a review policy done, but I want to commit to a solid blog, get some more readers, do some more promotion, and see where it all winds up.

So, more reviews later this week sometime. And until then, I will be in a corner, trying to sort all of this out.