2016 Reading Goal

Last year I read 58 books – eight over my 2015 goal. Library school, along with book reviewing, really helped me accomplish my reading total for the year. This year I’m trying for 65 books. To make it more interesting, I’m also using Book Riot’s Reading Spreadsheet to track what types of books I read. After reading their article on how one of their staff writers used the spreadsheet to analyze their reading habits, I’m interested to see what kind of books I read. Do I stick to my interests (SF and Fantasy) or read everything? Are most of the books I read by men or women? As a librarian-in-training I want to strive to read a diverse selection of books, but I also realize that reading everything out there is unrealistic. The spreadsheet could help identify my “weaker” areas.

I also plan on posting what I’ve read during the month on here. I don’t usually blog about my personal reading, using Goodreads as my sounding board instead. I think blogging about the books I’ve read will help me have better insight into what I’m reading as well as be a fun way to connect with the literature on a different level. I don’t suspect these to be typical book reviews with plot summaries and critique, so we’ll see how these evolve.

So here’s to 2016 – time to start reading!

Release party for How to Magic

12115761_787737286822_7649883492894871670_nEarlier this year, I wrote a short comic for the all-female comic book anthology series Ladies Night: How to Magic. I’m really excited that the book is being released this month! It couldn’t have happened without the great editors of Ladies Night as well as all the supporters we had on Indiegogo. The launch party for the book will be on October 16th. If you’re in the Chicago area, you should definitely check it out!

If you want more information about the Ladies Night Anthology series and How to Magic, you can check out their website here.

Read-alikes: The Warrior’s Apprentice

Readalike poster

The Warrior’s Apprentice is a sci-fi novel by Lois McMaster Bujold, set within the greater Vorkosigan Saga. This novel is the first that follows the intrepid Miles Vorkosigan, a teenager who because of his birth defects is unable to join the military as family tradition dictates. Instead Miles creates his own military force away from his home planet, purely by circumstance. Bujold’s book is fast-paced with great characters and appeals to science fiction fans who enjoy space operas and military sci-fi. Though the Vorkosigan Saga is 29 books total and includes many short stories and novellas, readers can explore The Warrior Apprentice‘s appeal factors in other science fiction works. Here are 5 recommendations for fans of Miles:

Mutineer (Book 1 in the in the Kris Longknife series) by Mike Shepherd: Just like Miles, Kris Longknife is born into privilege and wealth. She’s well-bred, beautiful, and would make a great wife to any man. Too bad she doesn’t want to get married. Against her parents’ wishes, Kris enlists in the marines. Hardcore military sci-fi fans may not enjoy this book’s lighter angle, but Shepherd’s book would appeal to space opera aficionados.

Trading in Danger (Book 1 in the Vatta’s War series) by Elizabeth Moon: Miles’ journey sometimes reads like a space pirate story, and Kylara Vatta’s tale in Trading in Danger reads very similarly. Kylara starts as a shining star in the military. But one mistake sends her out of the service and back home to the family business – interstellar transport. A seemingly simple job of sending an old ship to the junkyard becomes a thrilling adventure that places her in the middle of a colonial war, putting her military training to the test.

With the Lightnings (Book 1 in the Lt. Leary/RCN series) by David Drake: Many fans who enjoyed all of the Vorkosigan saga discovered Drake’s Lt. Leary series soon after. With the Lightnings follows the unlikely pair of Lieutenant Daniel Leary and librarian/hacker Adele Mundy as they traverse the complicated waters of intergalactic war. This book has a larger military bent so those who are looking for a solid space opera may not enjoy Drake’s series.

On Basilisk Station (Book 1 in the Honor Harrington series) by David Weber: Honor Harrington’s career is off to a rocky start – her commanding officers have sent her to the remote Basilisk Station, in hopes that her existence will be forgotten. But Honor is not ready to be thrown out so quickly, and her expert military training and new ship Fearless are ready to prove them wrong. This series can also appeal to young adults looking for a sci-fi story with good world building.

Tarnished Knight (Book 1 in the Lost Stars series) by Jack Campbell: Set within Campbell’s greater sci-fi mythos, Tarnished Knight continues in a world where the Alliance has persevered over the Syndicate. As the Syndicate’s world crumbles and is threatened by alien forces, Artur Drakon and Gwen Iceni work within it’s interest to try and save the Midway Star System. Campbell has a military background in the navy, and Tarnished Knight brings a fast-paced and plot driven novel that integrates elements of military life into its story.

Readalike poster – PDF

Warrior’s Apprentice bookmarks – PDF

Resources used: NoveList, Goodreads (Military Science Fiction list and Excellent Space Opera list), A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions, and SFF World forum.

New article on CCGC Libraries – Game of Thrones readers advisory

I had a lot of fun doing research for this article! My Goodreads to-read shelf definitely grew considerably. There is so much good fantasy out there, it’s hard to focus on finding a book or a series that really captures the appeal factors of George R.R. Martin’s books. For all you Game of Thrones/ASOIAF fans out there, are there any other good books or series you would recommend as well?

CCGC in Libraries – Game of Thrones Readers Advisory

C2E2 2015 is coming up!

I’m very excited to take a break from my school work to attend C2E2 in Chicago this year. I’m going to be cosplaying all three days, and can’t wait to see what other people have cooked up for the convention. Cosplaying is my “blow off steam” activity during the school year, and I really enjoyed constructing two new cosplays for the convention – Bombshell Batwoman and Fetch Walker from Infamous: Second Son.

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New article on CCGC Libraries – Cosplay on a Budget

My first article is live on CCGC Libraries! I’m very excited to join their staff, and plan on contributing an article a month to the website.

This month’s article is about cosplaying on a budget. I want to create a look for the characters I cosplay – at whatever cost. But realistically, I do not want to spend $200+ creating the perfect incarnation of that character. I based my first article on a recent Zatanna cosplay I did that really taught me to hunt the internet (and my own closet) for the best items to complete the costume.

Cosplay on a Budget – Zatanna

Miniature painting in February

Some minis I painted this month. I think my favorite is the impaled soldier. The Citadel Paint Blood for the Blood God really made the figure into something awesome.

In case you want to find these minis to paint for yourself, here are their names: