xerinmichellex: (film: Sherlock Holmes - Irene Adler)
Because I know [livejournal.com profile] rhoda_rants is working on a post about the recent dust-up about YA novels and who should and shouldn't read them, here is a very articulate article defending and supporting YA novels. It's in part why I read mostly read novels and why I choose to write in the category myself.

My opinions on the matter are concise and basic: Who gives a shit about what another person reads? I'll read whatever I want, when I want, and where I want.

And here, for reference, is the original article that instigated the kerfuffle. (For the record, I'm choosing not to link to the original page, as I don't want the author/website to gain any more viewership for an article that grinds my teeth.)
xerinmichellex: (Buster Keaton (Sherlock Jr.))
*sigh*

It's not even February yet and I've gone and changed my layout. Again: *sigh*

Anyway! I mentioned one of my resolutions this year was to read outside my comfort zone (*coughYAcough*); so I've decided to read the entire Sherlock Holmes catalog. I can't believe I haven't read them sooner because the stories have everything I like: Victoriana, mystery, eccentric characters, scientific method. I've enjoyed both Robert Downey Jr./Jude Law Sherlock movies; I love the BBC's new series, Sherlock, and The Great Mouse Detective is my second favorite Disney movie. (Or my first favorite, if I'm trying to be a hipster.) Also, from a purely selfish reason, one of my characters is insisting on being a prodigy of sorts--or highly observant--and I figured why not study the greatest detective ever written. So I trekked on over to the library and checked out these bad boys. No, I'm not reading the annotations. These were just the only ones at the library that contain all the stories; although, some of the annotations are hilarious*.

And because I normally don't do things half-arsed, I'm reading them in publishing order. First up are A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four (the first two novels in Volume 3), then all of Volume 1, back to Volume 3 for the two remaining novels, The Hound of the Baskervilles (*squee* I'm really excited for this one!) and The Valley of Fear, and then finally all of Volume 2.

So far, I've only read the first two novels, and here are my not-so-deep thoughts:
Read more )

*For instance, the annotator--who writes as if Holmes and Watson were real people who really lived in real-life Victorian London--has this wack-a-doodle theory that Watson isn't Dr. John Watson, that the real Dr. Watson died in the (first) Afghan War and his footman took his identity because in more than one case Watson forgets/acts like he doesn't have a wounded leg. Maybe the piece of paper where he had notes on Watson's character went missing. Maybe Mrs. Doyle used the back of the paper to make her grocery list. Maybe in the heat of writing Doyle forgot, m'kay?
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: books)
A little update on my read-61-books-this-year resolution. As of now, I've read 20 books...so I'm about 1/3 of the way done. I've been in a reading frenzy since January, cut that'll probably slow down since I'm started a new manuscript today. (Almost at 2,000 words, which is the farthest I've gotten these past 6 months. I am not even kidding. Fingers crossed that I can actually stick this one out.)

Going over my Read-Books List, I realized that most of the books were YA--13 paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy and 5 contemp. Compare that to the one adult Sci-Fi, H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, and one classic, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Yeah. I know it's great and all to have a nitch-genre, but I kinda feel bad for not going outside my comfort zone. That's not to say that reading YA is a bad thing, 'cause there's plenty of smart, edgy YA choices to make, and if I want to write YA, I have to know what's out there. I just feel like, being 23, I should, you know, get some adult novels. I'm old enough to drink--I think I can handle a grown-up book.

So, I've decided to broaden my reading choices. This is the perfect time, as with the way things are going, I'll have 61 books read by September. Plus, this will help me get through my miles long list of books I want to read. I forced myself yesterday to grab a Stephen King novel (The Green Mile) at the library. (My first Stephen King novel too! Don't judge me!) (Okay, I also walked out with two other YA novels. Again: Don't judge me!) I just have to stop making a beeline for the YA section at the library, and choose books off the adult fiction aisles. Next time, I promise I'll get two adult books. And maybe the last Wicked Lovely book if it's there.
xerinmichellex: (Default)
For those out of the loop, Banned Book Week is at the end of September. It was never made a big deal during school--not that I can remember, at least. But I think I went to those dang "radical" schools where the parents complained about nothing. Because censorship interests me, I looked up the banned/challenged book lists for the year I graduated high school and the list for this year (technically May 2009-May 2010) and bolded all the books I've read:

The lists are as follows )

How about you guys? How many on the list have you read?
xerinmichellex: (Default)
So. The past couple weeks I had a major pile of unexpected shit bury me under, sucking out my mood to blog, write, read, pretty much everything thing. Battling the beginnings of a cold now, I have righted myself and returned back to my "normal" self...sort of. As the title suggests, this post is to discuss two things of little importance (but important to me):

GRRR! READ US!!! )
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: books)
Nothing new to report with my "ultraviolent teenagers" WIP. I was sidetracked this pass week with another finished manuscript--trying to get it ready for querying--and personal stuff. Blah, actual life. But! My research books came Friday, so I am hoping to dive back into the psyche of teenagers.

Those interested, here are the books which will pull everything together. I think...


(L-R: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami,
The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn,
and Children Who Kill by Carol Ann Davis)




(L-R: Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer by Phil Chalmers
and Columbine by Dave Cullen)


I swear they will all fit in...somehow. *crosses fingers* Also, I am really, really surprised the Book Police didn't show up on my doorstop and ask why I bought all these books on school shooters. ("No, officer, I'm not going to go to a school with guns. I'm writing a book where teenagers go postal. ... No, I don't have a literary agent...No, publishing doesn't quite work like that...Yes, officer, I understand. I will refrain from ordering any more teen rampage books. ... No, there are no sparkly vampires in my story. Those aren't even vampires...")

Battle Royale is the one giving me the sweats. (608 pages?! And the print is tiny!) It may be one I put on hold until after WIP is written, just because I cannot read and write at the same time. I either need MY thoughts floating around in my head, or someone else's. My brain is not that advance of a computer where I can process multiple things at once.

I think I'll start "smallest" (Phil Chalmers' Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer) and work to largest (Battle Royale, gulp!). I have one more book on my to-read list; but I'm going to wait until the paperback. Three books on school shooters should be enough, me thinks. Four might be pushing it where Officer Book Police shows up at my door.

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