Monday, October 26, 2015

Discussion Question Monday: Prices of Books


Hello! Welcome to Discussion Question Monday! Today's question is: Are books too expensive/do we spend too much on them?

The average hardcover in the US costs about $18-$20 (if you really feel the need to know what this converts to in <insert whatever money whatever thing here>, I suggest you go ask Google). Paperbacks are usually about half that price, though it varies quite a bit.

That's a good chunk of cash. Especially for hardcovers. I mean, 20 bucks doesn't come easily to 14 year-olds okay?

Yet, I often find myself spending hundreds of dollars (not an exaggeration by the way) on books it may or may not take me several years to read.

But there are a lot of people that can't find money, or can't get enough. Especially teenagers. How are you supposed to get kids and teenagers reading if your books are that expensive? (I realize, libraries. BUT. I hate libraries, and I don't want to put poor children through the horribleness that is doggie-eared pages and coffee stains. But sure, libraries.)

So my question is, are books just too expensive? Is twenty dollars actually worth just one book? One that it is entirely possible you won't actually like??

In my opinion, books being so incredibly expensive (on my non-existent salary, that is), probably, in a way, control my crazy book buying habit. At least a little. If I could get beautiful hardcovers for $5 my TBR would just explode, and maybe give up on life.

If you don't do a whole lot of online book shopping, you may not know that books on Amazon or whatever are usually slightly cheaper than the retail price (assuming you either have Amazon Prime or you "spend more than $35 at checkout"). By a few dollars sure, but if you buy books like I do that's actually a pretty huge difference.

There are bargain bookshops both online and in-store, but because I tend to buy books on their release date, that doesn't usually work very well for me. Though I will go in there occasionally 'cause prices.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Discussion Question Monday: Genre Bubbles


Hello! Welcome to Discussion Question Monday! Today's question is: Is it okay for readers to only read one or two genres?

I've noticed lately that a large portion of the books I read are either dystopian or fantasy. I don't tend to read a ton of books sent in the real world. Whether that's contemporary, historical fiction etc., it's just not something I read too much of.

I think a good amount of avid readers like myself tend to stick to a genre we're most comfortable with, and we also tend to have genres we pretty much avoid all together.

For me, this probably historical fiction and sci-fi (as in sci-fi with spaceships, and not dystopian). After I wrote this I realized that I basically just described Doctor Who, which I love, but that's not the point. For many readers this is probably paranormal, because apparently that's just not a thing anymore.

Is this a bad thing for readers to be doing? For us to stick inside of our little genre bubbles? I mean, it's one thing to have a favorite genre, but another thing entirely to avoid another genre. If there's a fantasy book that's getting tons and tons of hype and everyone's raving about how good it is, I'm much more likely to buy that than a historical fiction book with the same kind of response.

The only way I can think to describe this is "genre discrimination". A couple years ago, dystopian was basically everything people read (kind of glad we got out of that). Reading other genres wasn't really a thing. Like, when was the last time you heard everyone raving about a historical fiction book? Obviously, just because I book is historical fiction doesn't mean it's any less fantastic than a dystopian book, but no one really talks about some genres.

I think we, as avid readers, must try to expand out of our genre bubbles, and start looking into genres that aren't normally what we would pick up.

What do you think? Should readers expand out of their genre bubble? Are you going to try to read some books of a genre you wouldn't normally? Leave me a comment down below with your thoughts!

Also, I do plan to be expanding out a bit, and while I think I'll be okay on science fiction, if you have any book recommendations for historical fiction that would be fantastic. Please do leave them down below!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon TBR (October, 2015)

Hello! It's that time of year again! (I guess, I may have just remembered this thing.) I am going to be participating in the Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon this weekend, and I thought I'd post a TBR. 'Cause why not.

This is probably going to be the readathon of finishing all these books I've started. I've started a ton, actually. I haven't even gotten halfway through most of them.

Also, sorry about the lack of Discussion Question Monday this week. It WILL be back next week. It was just a bit of a crazy weekend for me, and it didn't happen.

1. The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan

I started this.... Maybe the day after it came out, and I'm absolutely loving it so far. I'm only like 100 pages in though. I am a failure.

 

2. Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins

I love Rachel Hawkins, and I have been loving this book so far, but I haven't finished it so. I'm disappointed in myself.


3. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Of course, I've already read this book, but I got the 10th anniversary edition and it was all pretty and I wanted to read it again. I haven't read it for a year and a half! It must be done!

Also, there's a bunch of extra stuff in this edition, and I want to reread the book before I read the extra things.


That's going to be it for now. Obviously, if I finish one of these books before the readathon starts I'll most likely pick out another one, but for now this is it. I really have to finish these.

Are any of you participating in Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon? If you aren't, I actually highly suggest you do. It's a great way to get out of a reading slump and pick your reading challenge back up!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

World Mental Health Day (i.e., An Extemely Long Depressing Post I Hope Someone Actually Reads)

Hello! #WorldMentalHealthDay has been trending on Twitter I would say....most of the day? As someone that has been diagnosed with many mental illnesses/disorders in my life, I just wanted to respond to some of the things people are saying.

Though this post is mostly ranting.....

First all of, I've been "emotional" and had "anger issues" all my life. It seems like people like to bring these things up quite often. Like how I lashed out in class every other day, or how I'd start crying for no reason.

People have been telling me that my mind is messed up, that I need help, that there's something wrong with me, for most of my childhood.

I don't have anger issues anymore! Guess what I have now? Depression. Self-hatred. Etc.

My point of this is, is that telling someone that they have something wrong with their head is just going to make matters worse. What kind of child/teenager/human wants to hear that they have something wrong with their HEAD?

Then I saw this tweet: "Your mental illness is a flaw in chemistry, not your character. End the stigmas."

Obviously, this sounds good to the majority of people. But me? I think you just said there's a flaw in my chemistry. Like that makes me feel better.

What I wish I'd been seeing more, is people saying HOW you should treat people with mental illness.

Well first of all, you should stop telling them there's something wrong with them. Or that they should get better. It's like saying they aren't good enough WITH their illness.

Second, try to find out what there triggers are. Many people have them, but people with mental illnesses (It's NOT just PTSD) tend to react a bit....worse. Panic attacks and whatever. Just be cautious about it, it might upset them, but it's most likely better than not being aware, and then bringing it up.

Third, don't pity them. At least in my experience, people feeling sorry for me just makes me angry. Telling someone that they can get through it isn't necessarily going to help. Even if you tell me, "Well I got through it, you can too!". To me that sounds like, "I got through the exact same thing you're going through! Why haven't you gotten over it yet?"

Fourth, stop reminding them about it. Stop telling them about that time they starting crying at the mall, or had a anxiety attack during their presentation. Reminding them is NOT helping. If anything, treat them like a normal person. Stop acting like they're special.

Fifth, medication. Whether you're telling someone they should, or that they shouldn't, you should probably stop. Some people feel better with medication. Personally, I feel horrible most of the time when I take it. I can't deal with the side-effects, honestly.

Sixth, don't treat them like they're special. Don't exempt them from assignments, or tell them that they can have extra time. I've had a lot of teachers pull strings for me solely because I have a piece of paper that has some words on it, telling them all the things that are wrong with me. For the last few years, I've taken advantage of it, but it's done more bad for me than good. Just because I have a few mental illnesses doesn't mean I can't do the work like everyone else.

And finally, stop treated these illnesses like there not real. Like you can just get over them. Actually, this is probably the BEST thing I've seen going through this hashtag. Don't say you have OCD because you think it's cool, don't say you have anxiety disorder because you're anxious about a test you have tomorrow, and don't say you have depression just because you're having a bad day.

Many people think that we need to have more books that talk about mental illness in YA, that we should make sure people don't think that they're crazy or whatever. Then they say that there needs to be books that have characters WITH mental illness, without having the book be ABOUT mental illness.

What would I do during a dystopian-type war? Probably cry constantly for a few days over all the death, and then go out and purposely get myself killed. I would NOT be able to be a hero. I would just hate the world more than I already do....I would stop seeing the point. It would be so easy to die. So I would try to.

I would be too scared to hold a gun. I wouldn't be able to lead an army for fear of making a mistake. For fear of looking stupid. And then I would cry some more, and get shot through the head!

Sure, it's not like these illnesses completely define my life, but at the same time, they do. It's something that I'm constantly thinking about. You can't just STOP thinking about something people are constantly bringing up....

It also seems to me that many people with a mental illness have toxic friends, or ARE that toxic friend. For the people out there struggling with a mental illness, let me just tell you that having these types of friends are only going to make you feel worse. It is NOT your job to fix them. You do not have to go through the pain of having that kind of friend. There is a thin line between helping someone and ruining your own life.

But also remember that your illness is not all of who you are. Even if it's hard, try to continue doing the things you like to do. Get a hobby, have some fun, and don't let this define your life. Because it doesn't.

SO. That was long and extremely depressing, but I'm hoping you learned something about mental illnesses, or at least a little about me. If you have anything to add (or unfortunately something you disagree with...), please leave me a comment down below. I am happy to discuss!

Thanks for reading!

PS: A lot of the things I said in this post apply to specific illnesses, and not mental illness as a whole. Also, a lot of these same things can be said about being LBGTQ+. Some of them were general, but I still felt like they are important to say!

PSS: I'm just going to post this without editing it because it's really long. And I want to get it posted TODAY! So sorry about any grammatical/spelling/word errors.

PSS: Keep in mind that this is just from MY experience, and that doesn't mean everybody's is the same way! Please don't assume that just because one person said it means it applies to everyone....

Thursday, October 8, 2015

First Impressions of the Beautifulness That Is Magnus Chase Before I Actually Read This Thing


Hello! So I realized after I looked through this book that I have a lot of, ahem, opinions about the general look and layout of the book.

In no way do you have to have read this book to enjoy this post. Though looking through it a bit might make it make more sense.

Um. ALSO. This is entirely based on the US edition of this book. Not sure how different other editions will be..... So sorry about that.

AND. As of right now, I'm 57 pages through. I probably won't finish it until the weekend because schooooollll (Oooooo spookkyyyyyy).

The Dust Jacket

I kind of like this cover. I'm still not really a fan of people on covers, but it being drawn is better than otherwise. But the tree and the wolf are BEAUTIFUL. I can't deal with how amazing they look. Definitely satisfied with this cover.

EXCEPT. It looks horrible next to The Blood of Olympus. But I want to keep it next to it because I have to have them all together. And if I separate them Magnus will be lonely (What am I saying?!??!?!).

BUT. It looks great with my background. Colors matching and stuff. Very proud of myself!

Under the Dust Jacket

I love the simplicity of the "MC" on the front. I also just realized that that also means main character. Just ignore that.

I like this dark blueish black color. Especially in contrast with the yellow on the inside.... (I'm examining this thing so much.)

Description

Just in case you haven't managed to read this yet:

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .
  

The "Also by Rick Riordan" Page

I find this page hilarious. There are just so. Many. Books. It takes up the entire page in tiny font, and it still looks squeezed in there. Rick's written to many books, and is probably going to have to expand on to the next page for next year.

The Dedication

To Cassandra Clare
Thanks for letting me share the excellent name Magnus.

Ahhhh.... This was funny too. Maybe not NEARLY as much as the one in The House of Hades, but it came pretty close!

The Table of Contents/Chapter Names

THE CHAPTERS HAVE NAMES. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!! First of all, I love books with a table of contents. BUT ALSO. THEY HAVE NAMES AGAIN OH MY GODDDDDD.

I missed the chapter names from the Percy Jackson series. I'm so glad they're back.

The Glossary

So there is a glossary. Which is helpful. But no pronunciation guide. Which is going to be a problem.

The "Nine Worlds" Page

I don't know what this means, but I think I'll learn pretty soon. I didn't know there were nine worlds.... (This just goes to show my AMAZING advanced knowledge of Norse Mythology.)

The "Runes" Page

Again, I don't know what this is either, but I think I'm going to be continuously spelling it "ruins" for the time being.

BOOK TWOOOO (I HAVEN'T EVEN READ THE FIRST ONEEEE)

If you are the kind of person that doesn't want to know the title of the next book, skip to the end.

***IM WARNING YOU DON'T BLAME ME FOR THIS***Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book Two: The Hammer of Thor (finally something that makes sense to me, what does this sword have to do with summer? He finds it in winter!) Also not going to count that as a spoiler. Hurrah.***IM WARNING YOU DON'T BLAME ME FOR THIS***

So yeah. I'm not really sure what they point of this post was, BUT HERE YOU GO! If you just haven't noticed these things yet, I'm very disappointed. Your welcome.

And if you HAVEN'T bought The Sword of Summer Yet, I very much suggest you do! If you haven't read the Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus series, I would even more suggest you do that first, as it seems to be playing into this series a bit. It's not mandatory though.

Thanks for reading!

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book One: The Sword of Summer:

Blah blah blah other things....go find it yourself.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Discussion Question Monday: Cussing in YA


Hello! Welcome to Discussion Question Monday! Today's question is: Should there be cussing in YA books?

I'm not really the kind of person that cusses every second of every day. Or ever, really. I mean, it's something that happens occasionally. This, however, doesn't mean that OTHER teenagers around don't say "bad words".

Yet many parents and authors seem to think that books with teenage main characters shouldn't include the kind of language that a good amount of teenagers use on a regular basis. I get that parents are trying to "protect" their kids from sex and curse words or whatever, but maybe I just don't think certain words need to be censored?

Cussing, honestly, is something that is unavoidable if you've ever been on the Internet/in a school bus/in a city/etc.

Why some people think it's not okay to have cussing in YA books baffles me. At least in my experience, it's a normal part of teenage life (this may vary between states/countries, of course, but still), so in books about teenagers, shouldn't there be words that teenagers use?

This is probably why I tend to gravitate towards John Green's books, because there are a good amount of cuss words in them... I've found that I actually like books that include "bad words". That might be weird. I don't know.

It's obviously different is its some sort of derogatory word (n-words, other f-words, etc.), but if they're not offensive, I don't really care.

Personally, cuss words don't bother me, and I've never entirely understood why they bother other people. I've read books that have implied curse words, but instead of the actual word, there is literally a picture of a miniature butterfly (that's just ridiculous).

What do you think? Should cursing be allowed in YA books? Should there be warnings on books that have cuss words? Do these kinds of words bother you in general?

Thanks for reading!

PS: I'm surprised I made it through this entire thing without cursing once.