Sarah McCarry is just an astonishing writer and I especially liked this post.
Howl’s Moving Castle poster!! Look at the use of negative space–so neat.
Medieval royal bees–I feel a strong need to use these in a story somewhere.
This article is a wild ride! Although I do feel pretty bad for the authors and other people who were duped.
The Blacklist is a column that brings to light out-of-print books by Black authors.
The World Fantasy Award Finalists were announced, reminding me just how behind I am on SFF from last year.
“I’m starting to have serious doubts about Amazon Prime” this tech writer opines and I mean. Yes? (Linking here because I do appreciate the inside perspective/the nitty-gritty of the numbers.)
I know I just published a links post, but I’ve come across a couple of things I’d like to share.
First, an eyewitness description of the conditions in one of the shelters where young children are being housed after being forcibly taken away from their parents. This entire process is so cruel, so devoid of compassion or humanity, that it makes a complete mockery of any claim America has to moral authority.
It’s hard to shift gears from that, but I really appreciated this personal essay about being married and being yourself.
This upcoming book sounds like it could be pretty cool!
I did not know there was a Victorian-era London railway station specifically for coffins and mourners! How cool and bizarre.
Just a few things I’ve found interesting recently. They are mostly depressing. Please enjoy this photo of my cat looking winsome while sitting at the dinner table.
This essay about Auburn softball is thoughtfully written in clear and cutting prose, but I kept feeling haunted by the question of how a female reporter might have written it, given the same access and background. How many times can you not see something right in front of you before you become part of the problem? [cw: abuse]
How we teach aspiring illustrators is part of the problem when it comes to the gender gap in kidlit award winners.
I’ve still only seen like half a season of The Americans, but I really liked this essay about translating the Russian dialogue and the specific language choices made. [spoilers for the finale]
I hope that you all know how much I love I Capture the Castle (spoiler: A LOT), so I found this essay on Cassandra’s hesitant faith and its echoes in Marilynne Robinson to be really intriguing. While I wanted the essay to go a step further in terms of drawing out its arguments & conclusion, it did illuminate a facet of one of my favorite books that I hadn’t considered much before. (R. has been telling me to read Gilead for ages and I really should do that.)
Ever wondered what happens when Queen Elizabeth II eventually dies? The Guardian found out–and wrote a long, thorough read that looks at the protocol and what it suggests about the nation and its future.
Dr. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, is TOO MUCH, as are these two adorable children. On a day when the future looks horrifying & uncertain, it’s good to remember what we’re fighting for.
An excellent thread on happy/hopeful endings & the merits of comfort books.
FIYAH Magazine has released the results of a Black SFF Writer Survey. They “encourage readers to view the FIYAH Black SFF Writer Survey Report as a contextualization tool […] attempting to add what is probably the most neglected–and most important–perspective to the conversation: that of black writers themselves.” Diversify publishing on every level, friends.
Tiptree Awarrrrrrddddd AND one of my favorite books from last year (When the Moon Was Ours) won!
Look, it’s almost the election and I wish I could say that these links are full of happy things. There are some, but first:
The upcoming book The Continent, which has apparently been getting a lot of buzz, is also apparently full of really awful stereotyping and racism. I won’t be reading or recommending this one in any way.
In other terrible news, Johnny Depp has been cast in Fantastic Beasts 2. So. Yeah. That’s happening, and I’m furious and sad and tired about it.
Twitter friend Amy Diegelman wrote a fiery essay in response to harassment in the comics world. Required reading if you care about comics and/or women’s experiences online. Also see this thread from Noelle Stevenson, which made me actually cry.
My dear friend Ally shared some valuable tips for helping someone struggling with a mental health crisis. It’s aimed at teens and librarians, but is worth reading no matter what.
The World Fantasy Awards were announced and they look pretty great! I will say I’m somewhat baffled by the choice for Novel. And I’m not giving the WFC a pass on this year, considering the lead up to the Convention.
If you are also a fan of Sydney Padua’s Thrilling Adventures of Babbage and Lovelace, you’ll be happy to know that THERE’S A NEW COMIC!! If you’re not a fan, please go read it so that we can discuss the joys of mathematics and the iniquities of street organs.
Finally, I saw a link to this 2012 Zen Cho short story recently and it is incredibly comforting and lovely and perfect.
I have two posts up on Tumblr today that I wanted to mention here.
First, there is one I’ve been working on for the past few days, called “On Libraries.” It was born out of my frustration with some quotes about libraries that don’t reflect the reality I see. Here’s the opening:
Here’s the thing about public libraries: they are so much messier and weirder and funnier than you think.
They are kids throwing up on the brand-new carpet; kids missing the toilet entirely; mysterious substances smeared on the covers of books, on the pages, on the inside of DVD cases. They are a full bag of poop tied shut and shoved into the book drop. They are left behind trash and bedbugs crawling out of books and used condoms in the bathroom trash.
Second, go read Alexandra Duncan’s post on Stacked today, called “Staking Our Claim in the Science Fiction Universe.” It’s a great post, but I also had some thoughts about history and context. You can read those here.
So I tried and tried to think of a less cheesy title for this post and, reader, I could not do it. In fact, several of them were worse. But what do I actually mean by inspirational? I mean the blogs that I keep reading because I find them soul-nourishing in some way. They remind me of who I want to be and how I want to live. Sometimes it’s crafts, sometimes it’s cooking, sometimes it’s homeschooling, or some combination of these.
Smitten Kitchen is the queen of cooking blogs, in my opinion. A wide range of recipes, written about in a down-to-earth way that puts the focus squarely on the food. If you’re not following Deb, and you like cooking, change that.
Tara, at Seven Spoons, has a lot of great recipes which I’ve really enjoyed. While I sometimes find the prose a bit purple, I keep coming back for the combination of photography and ideas. I don’t think I’ve ever made a recipe from this site that I’ve been unhappy with.
I’ve been following Elizabeth’s blog for several years now. She’s also Orthodox and I love her pictures of her home and Cleo the cat.
While I don’t do a lot of sewing, I like looking at the projects at Elegant Musings. Casey hasn’t updated a lot recently (for completely understandable reasons!), but the older posts are still fun.
Posy Gets Cozy, Alicia Paulson’s blog, is the definition of this category. Lots of beautiful photographs, crafting inspiration, cooking ideas, and a lovely sense of the value of the everyday.
I also love Anna at Pleasant View Schoolhouse. Blogging about family life is so tricky, but she does it wonderfully well, and I am constantly refreshed by her site.
For homeschooling, Melissa Wiley is great. Also, funny stories and so much more. I really appreciate her series on tidal homeschooling, which helped me cement some of my ideas about my approach in the future.*
* Note: I am unmarried and have no kids, but I am a planner