Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Recently Added to My TBR Pile

Top Ten Tuesday I’m back! It’s that time again: Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s theme? “Top Ten Books You Recently Added to Your To-Be-Read List!”

I add books to my TBR willy-nilly, and every now and then I go back and prune things a bit after I’ve had some time to think about wether it’s something I really want to read, or just a passing fancy, or something I want to want to read but don’t actually, you know, want to read.

  1. Golden Compass Graphic NovelThe Golden Compass: The Graphic Novel, written by Philip Pullman, adapted by Stéphane Melchior-Durand & Clément Oubrerie I am so curious to read this graphic novel. I admit: I’m one of those people, who can’t help but point out “flaws” in a movie adaptation, where “flaws” means “deviations from the book.” I expect a certain amount of faithfulness. I’m trying to get better. Whatever. His Dark Materials is one of the most important books (series) in the entire history of my reading life, so of course I’m going to read the graphic novel as soon as I can get my hands on it. (I don’t read graphic novels in ebook. I’ve tried, and it never works out for me.)
  2. The Children of the King, Sonya Hartnett I wrote my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel about a child evacuee from London living in the countryside. I heard about this one at the time, but I didn’t want to read it just then, so I wouldn’t copy from it too much. (I always try to read far away from the genre I’m writing, so I’m not overly influenced.) Now it’s time to let that novel sit, so it’ll be a good chance to read this one.
  3. Story Thieves, James Riley Uhm, this is a middle grade novel about the power of stories and a girl who can apparently enter and leave books at will? Those are, more or less, all of my favorite book things, so sign me right up for this one. I can’t wait. It reminds me of Inkheart, in a way, and I can’t wait to read it.
  4. Ms MarvelFig, Sarah Elizabeth Schantz This seems like the darker and grittier version of the same tropes I said I loved when I talked about Story Thieves: the thin line between fantasy and reality, lies and truth. I love stories that grapple with these issues, in a fun way like Story Thieves or a dark way like Fig. Summer readalikes?
  5. Not in Kansas Anymore: A Curious Tale of How Magic is Transforming America, Christine Wicker I’m so curious to read this book. Please talk to me about new religious movements of the 20th and 21st centuries! I’ve been reading about hyper-real religions, and I think this will add a lot to my research… and be totally fascinating.
  6. Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona I know this has been out for awhile, but 1) comic books are hard to get and really expensive here, and 2) like I said earlier, I don’t like to read graphic novel ebooks. So I still haven’t gotten the chance to read this, my very first ever superhero comic book. It’s true! I read lots of manga as a teenager and an occasional comic book, but never a superhero comic book and I am so ready to start with Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel.
  7. Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, Betsy Bird Last year, I read The Cambridge Companion to Children’s Literature and Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism and I really enjoyed both of them. I’d like to continue in that line of research, and I’ve been enjoying reading the author’s blog.
  8. TJ and AmalThe Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal, E.K. Weaver I read some (but not all) of this online (NSFW) but I struggle to read comics/graphic novels on a screen. I loved it, though, so I pounced on the Kickstarter. I’ve got a paperback edition coming my way soon(ish) and I can’t wait to find out what happens – especially since they threw in a PDF of of the epilogue comic for everyone.
  9. Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth Century America, Lillian Faderman You know what they don’t teach you in school? lesbian herstory. Since last year, I’ve really started reading a lot more nonfiction, and one of my favorite reads was Bachelor Girl, a history of single women in America, which was great. But I’m not just a single woman, and I want to know more about the history of lesbian culture.
  10. A School for Unusual Girls, Kathleen Baldwin You know, I heard about this one just today. After thoroughly enjoying Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School series, this seems like a good readalike for summer.

Sunday Morning Paper: Fifty Shades of Late Capitalism

ohanamiFifty Shades of Late Capitalism

While we are still recovering from the trauma that finance capital has inflicted on our public world, a late-capitalist fairy tale manages the pain in the more private and intimate reaches of the sexual daydream. In one version of the story, a wide-eyed mermaid cleverly disguises her essential self in order to win the heart of a prince (The Little Mermaid). In another, a hooker with a heart of gold navigates her way to a happy ending by offering some happy endings of her own (Pretty Woman). Or there’s the sassy secretary who shakes her moneymaker all the way to the corner office (Working Girl).

Fifty Shades of Grey follows this long history of class ascendancy via feminine wiles, but does so cleverly disguised as an edgy modern bodice-ripper.

 Unified Theory of Ophelia: Women, Writing, and Mental Illness

I no longer worry that having a distinctive personal voice as a female writer will make people dismiss me. The path I chose for my career means I don’t have to worry that much about being measured against the standards of people who dehumanize me. As a student, frustration and a sense of urgency drove me to write a fifteen page research paper, not for a grade, but because I thought it needed to be written. Nowadays, I no longer have to go to such extremes to make myself heard when I want to speak in defense of young girls. I don’t have to be Ophelia anymore; I left Elsinore, and I’ve never looked back.

Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?
As an expat/immigrant, this was very relevant to my interests and gave me a lot to think about.

In the lexicon of human migration there are still hierarchical words, created with the purpose of putting white people above everyone else. One of those remnants is the word “expat”.
What is an expat? And who is an expat? According to Wikipedia, “an expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing.
Defined that way, you should expect that any person going to work outside of his or her country for a period of time would be an expat, regardless of his skin colour or country. But that is not the case in reality; expat is a term reserved exclusively for western white people going to work abroad.

Hysteria and Teenage Girls

Though lots of critics at the time wanted to write off the hysteria around the Beatles as yet another example of crazy, hormonal girls, or some kind of “social dysfunction,” or as depressive loners—their collective hysteria was really about them stepping outside of their prescribed identities. “Teen and pre-teen girls were expected not only to be good and pure, but to be the enforcers of purity within their teen society—drawing the line for overeager boys and ostracizing girls who failed in this responsibility,” writes journalist Barbara Ehrenreich.

Has much changed? Girls are still expected to act a certain way—but screaming over a pop star gives them a say. It’s like sexual release that’s allowed.

6 Signs Your a Good Writer (You Just Don’t Know it Yet)
I always knew my LiveJournal was good for something:

You’ve always found it important to document your feelings. You find it cleansing to write about them. Your entries go on for pages and pages. They’re about nothing and everything at the same time. It doesn’t matter, you just need to write. You feel the pressure of the thoughts pushing at your skull and you need to get them out.