Category Archives: links

Links from around the web: 2-20-15

There are so many rich, thoughtful posts that I’m going to link to in this edition. It’s felt to me like the last two weeks have had a sudden blossoming of great discussion in several different venues.

– Leila Roy wrote a fantastic post about book reviews and criticism (which I am not just saying because I’m quoted it in it) (!!). “As a reader, I love to read reviews in which it’s clear that the reviewer has thought deeply about the book. Not just in terms of the book on its own, but the book in terms of its place in its genre, the history of the genre, how it uses tropes and/or archetype characters, how it builds on what has come before.”

Kameron Hurley on Trigger Warnings and Neil Gaiman: “The problem with mainstreaming this kind of use of the term is that instead of saying, “Yes, trigger warnings are useful so let’s not continue to water it down” what you do when you title a rather typical short story collection “Trigger Warning” is that your work becomes part of the problem of breaking it down into meaninglessness and slapping it on any old thing as a marketing gimmick.” (via The Book Smugglers)

– Amy Koester’s post “Selection is Privilege” is fantastic and should be required reading for librarians everywhere. “The position that “because we don’t have X readers in my library, we don’t need X books” also denotes a fundamental lack of respect for the children we are supposed to be serving. It suggests that we think our young readers cannot handle, relate to, or be expected to understand an experience that does not mirror their own.” And then follow it up with Ellen Oh’s “A Message to the Gatekeepers“: “But this discussion is neither new nor surprising to any of us who have been in this fight for so long…We have long known that it is the adult biases and prejudices that trickle down into the children and become part of their learned behavior.”

– Kelly Jensen has a really powerful post at Book Riot about reading and depression: “Depression took me out of my reading life. Recognizing that — and getting help for it — has put me back in in ways I could never have imagined. Reading isn’t about powering through. It isn’t about disconnecting. Reading is about being a part of something.”

– Jonathan Franzen is being a jerk, and especially focusing on Jennifer Weiner. I have trouble taking Franzen seriously AT ALL, but Weiner’s response is pretty awesome: “Women writers – even the ones whose work Franzen disdains – have a platform, and a place at the table. Our voices are being heard, and the world — at least the tiny corner of it that cares about books, and book reviews — is changing.”

– We’re doing some weeding at work right now and this post is truth.

Raven Boys fanart. Oh, I love this Blue. And RONAN. (via RJ Anderson)

– Speaking of RJ Anderson, the cover for her upcoming mg book was revealed recently. It’s amazing and beautiful, and the snippet makes me EVEN MORE EXCITED for this book. (I was already pretty excited.) And then The Book Smugglers also featured the cover and excerpt for Frances Hardinge’s upcoming The Lie Tree, and I died of happiness.

Gorgeous Attolia fanart. Also, this is a wonderful post which really captures so much of how I feel about the Attolia fandom and the friends I’ve made from it.


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Links from around the web: 2-6-15

Gorgeous limited edition cover for Ancillary Justice!

There’s a WNDB short story contest!

ALA YMA things: Betsy Bird & Lori Prince share their reactions; these kids’ reactions made me cry!

Ana’s review of The Crossover is great, and in retrospect even more on point.

Kelly Jensen’s list of 2015 feminist YA books over at Book Riot is a helpful one.

Gorgeous cover for Jenny Han’s new book!

I really appreciated Renay’s thoughtful, critical review of Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs.

Queen’s Thief stuff: a guide to flirting; GENNY.; a favorite quote; MWT is trolling us

Tolkien stuff: evoking landscapes; “I am no man” doesn’t cut it, which is a complex, fantastic look at Tolkien’s female characters

Claire Foy! I can’t! *splutters*

I have SO MANY QUESTIONS about this new Harper Lee book after reading an interview with her editor. SO MANY.

Awww. *melts*

People can be terrible but sometimes other people restore my faith in humanity.

1930s shoes are amazing


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Links from around the web: 1-19-15

- “Depression doesn’t make you sad all the time“: this is a really excellent article and one I highly recommend for everyone, whether you are/have been depressed or not. “When I’m having a depressive episode, I’m not walking around in tattered black clothes, weeping and wailing. I go out with friends. I crack jokes (especially sardonic ones). I keep working, and have friendly chats with the people I work with. I often manage to feed and clothe myself, I read books. Above all, I experience moments of happiness…Yet I feel a strange conflicting pressure. On the one hand, I feel like I need to engage in a sort of relentless performative sadness to be taken seriously, for people to understand that I really am depressed and that each day – each moment of each day – is a struggle for me, that even when I am happy, I am still fighting the monster.” (via Kelly Jensen)

– Quite a bit of Laurie Penny’s essay “On Nerd Entitlement” resonated with me, but this part especially: “And you ask me, where were those girls when you were growing up? And I answer: we were terrified, just like you, and ashamed, just like you, and waiting for someone to take pity on our lonely abject pubescence, hungry to be touched. But you did not see us there. We were told repeatedly, we ugly, shy nerdy girls, that we were not even worthy of the category “woman”.” The whole thing is worth a read. (via Ebony Elizabeth Thomas)

– I’m chewing on this essay by Nisi Shawl, “Reviewing the Other.” Lots of interesting points to think about, as people are focusing on diversity in their reading and reviewing. (via The Other Side of the Rain)

– Informative tweets from Justina Ireland about the diversity problem in publishing.

– Interesting post from Kameron Hurley about the intersection of work and luck. This is specifically about writing, but I suspect it has a wider application too. (via Rachel Neumeier)

JJ Abrams mistakes Mo Williams for Mo Willems and hilarity ensues. I am so happy that this is a thing that actually happened. (via Leila)

Felt dragons! They’re so cute! (via Miriam Forster)

– Elizabeth Wein fangirl moment: Morven Christie (who voiced Verity on the Code Name Verity audiobook) is going to be on Doctor Who!

– Betsy Bird read Cuckoo Song and has a nice review up. I subsequently discovered that Frances Hardinge has a link to my review on her website and literally got slightly light-headed.

– I retweeted something about this (Ship your enemies glitter) and my timeline erupted into controversy. So many people pro-glitter! So many people anti-glitter! I am anti, but apparently there’s now glitter duct tape which sounds intriguing, since my main objection is the mess.

– Find out which All-of-a-Kind Family sibling you are!

Everything about this post is a mess.

New Ultron trailer aghhhhaghhhhhaghhhhh

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Links from around the web: 1-5-15

New year, new links!

The Cybils shortlists are out! I had a wonderful time as a MG/Elementary SFF judge this year (try saying that five times fast) and am so proud of the list we created. Thanks to all my fellow panelists, and if you’re interested in becoming a judge next year, I highly recommend it.

– Brandy had a couple of nice posts recently. One about the love stories she trained on and another about her favorite books of the past five years (many of them are also mine which is why we’re friends).

– If you’ve read Rose Under Fire, you’ll appreciate this one: a Christmas card one of the Ravensbruck Rabbits drew for another in 1942. If you haven’t read Rose Under Fire, why not? (via, appropriately enough, Elizabeth Wein)

– The still-present physical remnants of WWI in the Argonne region of France. This is haunting. (via someone on Twitter, I think Matt Pearce)

– Relatedly, this was the 100th anniversary of the 1914 Christmas Truce. My first association with the Truce is the fictionalized account in Kate Seredy’s The Singing Tree which you can read here. It still makes me cry every time. World War I makes me cry every time.

– An interesting critique of steampunk here, which I largely agree with.

– Long, hard read about the problems with the Interview movie.

– Bill Moyers listed We Need Diverse Books as #1 on his list of groups to consider supporting! It always makes me happy when people outside the kidlit world actually get it.


– North and South stuff: best caption; train scene gifs (prepare to melt); EEEEEEEE

– Related: there’s a new vlog-style adaptation of North & South that just started! I’ve watched the first two videos and liked them a lot. (Thanks to Valerie for mentioning it)

– Queen’s Thief stuff: fancast of my heart; an old post but this line still gives me chills; this photoset gives me feels; have a Sophos!


– Fanarts: cover for Pride & Prejudice


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2014: Favorite new to me blogs

Some of these blogs I’ve actually been following for more than a year, others I haven’t.

Ana @ Things Mean A Lot: I had read several reviews & blog posts from Ana and then I just broke down and started following her blog. Since it is delightful and she likes many of the authors I do, this was definitely a good idea.

Lady Business: Relatedly, after being aware of Lady Business peripherally I actually started reading it. I really enjoy the range of commentary and opinions there.

Abigail Nussbaum: I frequently disagree with Abigail Nussbaum. Possibly more often than I agree with her. But her criticism is so smart and sharp that even if I end up disagreeing, I’m grateful for having been made to examine my own opinion in a new light.

Kelly & Kimberly @ Stacked: I definitely value Kelly & Kimberly’s thoughtful reviews and criticism, and especially their advocacy for YA and teenage girls.

Liz Bourke: I appreciate Liz Bourke’s commentary, both on her blog and her column Sleeps With Monsters. I often agree, but more importantly, I also feel challenged to think about books more deeply and more critically.

Anne Ursu: Anne Ursu’s smart, trenchant essays on Tumblr are one of the things that have made 2014 even semi-bearable. I appreciate her willingness to take on big topics and speak truth.

I will also note that there are two people I follow primarily on Twitter, Jenny and Kaye. They both, like the rest of the women on this list, give me new insights and challenge my complacency, as well as providing the occasional shared fannish moment.


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Links from around the web: 12-22-14

- I truly enjoyed this article about Swallows & Amazons, which was of course my first fandom (I was a member of The Arthur Ransome Society and wrote a couple of articles for their newsletter). While the specifics are different, I definitely recognized the reasons for loving Ransome’s books. (via Charlotte)

– There are lots of things that can be said about Thanksgiving and its history, but this year I found that this article giving the Wampanoag history to be really thought-provoking.

– I have recently become fascinated by Frances Walsingham, who I discovered via a Wikipedia rabbit hole, and now want to find out everything about her.

Long but great article about the way different generations have re-imagined Shakespeare’s history plays. Palmer is particularly thoughtful in the way she looks at the effects of costuming and other background choices. (via Natalie Luhrs)

– I absolutely loved Liz Burns’s post on Princess Shaming. “Feminism and equality are not about “girls are as good as boys because boys are the gold standard.” It’s not about saying “being a CEO is better than being a stay at home parent with six kids, because men are CEOs and power and money.” It’s not just about choice. It’s about not saying that by default “boy” is better; “boy” is the norm; “boy” is the standard; “boy” is the default.”” HECK YES.

– I also loved Kelly Jensen’s post at Book Riot about the limitations of the Bechdel Test, and so much of the smart, thoughtful commentary on Twitter, especially this thread.

– This Old English version of Goodnight Moon is genuinely beautiful and haunting in the way Tolkien is at his best.

– 24 endangered European languages, which include Manx and Cornish (NOOOO!!) (via Liz Burns)

– put out a great list of standalone fantasy books, which includes some of my all time favorites. Goblin Emperor, Wheel of the Infinite, Swordspoint, Jonathan Strange.

– Speaking of Jonathan Strange, there have been some photos & trailers coming out from the upcoming miniseries. I am…cautiously optimistic.

– Queen’s Thief fannish stuff: this photoset; characters in terrible Christmas sweaters; fannish inevitability; fancast of Attolia that I REALLY like

– Dorothy Sayers fannish stuff: THIS QUOTE; photo of ivory chessmen like Harriet’s; Whiffling Around Britain

– Heidi Thomas, creator of Call the Midwives, is apparently writing a new show set in 1920s Kentucky. I AM THERE.


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Links from around the web: 11-17-2014

- An illustrated version of one of the myths from the Queen’s Thief series. (via helen eddis on Tumblr)

– A nice post from Theodora Goss about telling stories.

– Michelle is a former coworker and general awesome person who has a nice perspective on the stresses of AR-centric reading.

– I found this post about the maker movement really fascinating. (via Karen Jensen)

I WANT THIS DOOR. (via R.J. Anderson)

– If you’ve read Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear, you may already know some of this information, but I found this Twitter essay on the relationship between Heinlein and new religions to be very interesting. (via Natalie Luhrs)

– A long, wonderful essay about Lord Peter Wimsey and nostalgia from Doris Egan: “Busman’s Honeymoon, the last book by Sayers herself, is lapped in that mellow, golden-age light. Bunter driving the car with the port in the trunk; the meeting between the Dowager Duchess and Harriet, and the story of how Bunter first took over Peter’s postwar life; Peter singing French songs as he chops wood on his wedding night… Bunter’s letter to his mother. My god, such gifts to the long-time readers. (And I will pause and say in passing that the Wimsey series reminds me of the Vorkosigan series by Lois Bujold, in its way of seducing readers to become entangled with the characters and wishing to see what becomes of their family over time.)”

– There has been a great deal of discussion about the Requires Hate/Benjanun Sriduangkaew situation which I had been reading about until I realized that I was accidentally triggering myself. And also, I am wary of the way the people most directly affected by the situation seem to be forced out of the discussions. So I’ll just link to this post on The Radish and leave it at that.


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