Monday, April 29, 2013

5 quotes from this book that make me want to do Comic-Con ohsomuch more

“…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”
- John Green

Title: Comic-Con. Episode IV, A fan's hope
Author: Morgan Spurlock

I have never been to San Diego's Comic-Con. This probably doesn't shock anyone who knows what Comic-Con is about. I mean, it's that hard to get tickets. Just to give you an idea of how truly hard it is, I remember reading a while back that 2012's Comic-Con tickets sold out in the time it took for a Doctor Who episode to air. That's roughly 40 minutes. (I know, right? One geeky reference smooshed right up alongside another. It's a little bit meta). That blew my mind. And made it hit home just that little bit more how next-to-impossible it's going to be for me to get there. For 2013's event, it took 96 minutes for tickets to sell out. Now, you might think I would give up. I mean, as Nerdy Girl problems go, this is right up near the top of my "Ruh Roh List." You'd be wrong. I'm going to do other cons (conventions) in other places - NZ - I'm attending the Wellington one this year, Australia, other parts of the US, hopefully even the UK - while I bide my time waiting for that perfect moment where I score a Comic-Con ticket. Or something close to it. (Like maybe I'll have to write my own little piece of pop culture heaven that everybody wants a piece of and then I'll be appearing on a panel. Which could be disastrous because I don't act, draw OR write and, even if it did happen, I'd be too busy being on panels and not able to do much else. And then how could I meet Tyler Hoechlin? (Assuming he's there next year). First world problems. I haz them). Until then, I've got books like THIS to keep me company. (And Tumblr, awesome friends, The MarySue, and a whole host of other websites and people). And, as if the book isn't enough, there's also the documentary by Spurlock (YES! Morgan Spurlock). Oh! And I can always do another Supernatural con like I did in Toronto last year. (Psst: I met Jensen Ackles. And Jared Padalecki. And Misha Collins. Jealous, much?). So, sure, I won't be there this year. But I'm not giving up, either. And while I bide my time, I'm reading this. Sshh, do not disturb...

(An aside: I've never wanted to visit London because...I dunno, I just never wanted to. However, next year I'm going. AND I'm going to do Comic-Con because OMG how could I not? Plus, it gives me a reason to really go. That and visiting 221B Baker Street, because OBVIOUSLY, right?).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top 5 most challenged books of 2012 (US)

"One man's vulgarity is another's lyric."
- John Marshall Harlan, Supreme Court justice, 1971

I am endlessly fascinated by the American Library Association's frequently challenged book lists. In fact, I was casting my eye over the 2012 list just this morning (hence this post). It's one of those love/hate things with me. I love that people are thinking about wider issues when it comes to books. I adore that these are being discussed on such a big scale. I heart that a lot of the books that are listed are ones that I've read (and sometimes even enjoyed). I hate (and I really do try not to use that word at all) that people feel they can think for me, that they better know what I should find offensive or questionable or inappropriate. This doesn't sit well with me. I feel like I should be the only one who can make that judgement on my own behalf. (Or, you know, The Office of Film and Literature Classification).

Where I come a cropper is in acknowledging that I'm not a parent, and 4 out of the 5 books listed below are kids/teen books.

I happen to think my parents did a good job at raising me. Admittedly, that's bias talking because, naturally enough, I happen to think I'm awesomeness personified. Or pretty darn close to it. I'm not a parent. Mostly because the idea of having children fills me with fear. The thought of being responsible for another person that isn't myself, and putting their care and well being ahead of my own, is just plain scary. I don't want to do it. I'm not sure I could do it. (In fact, I'd prefer to be a tan Peter Pan forever, please and thank you). I'd like to think that I'd be the epitome of grace under fire as a parent, however I'm not about to test that theory any time soon.

So where am I going with this? As a child, my parents let me read as widely as they could. I had read Plato's Republic by the time I was 9 because dad said I'd enjoy it. (I didn't, but I appreciated the thought). Robert Ludlum's espionage stories were my go-to-comfort-reads around that time as well (OH! The feels I got from The Parsifal Mosaic). Louis L'Amour instilled in me a lifelong love of cowboys and First Peoples' history in the US. Tolstoy's Anna Karenina infuriated me beyond my imaginings (more so than War and Peace) because WHERE WAS MY HAPPY ENDING, DARN IT? Kafka's The Trial became a story I never forgot. (And one that one of my lecturers would refer to constantly throughout my three years as a tertiary student umpteen years ago). My parents never told me what I could or couldn't read. They never set those limits. If anything, they would take note of what I was reading, and find more just like it. I think that is, in large part, why I am who I am today. It never occurred to them to stop me - or my friends, or other school mates/fellow library users of my age - from reading whatever we wanted to. I asked my mum about that once when I was in high school. Her response was "You're my concern - not anybody else. As for other kids, let their parent be the parent." And that's kind of my attitude, too.

Perhaps this is why I've never fully understood why anybody would want to ban or challenge a books. I understand people wanting to object. I understand people wanting to raise awareness, or wanting to correct misinformation in a book. (Or a film, or anything else for that matter). I most definitely understand why some people would protest about certain books over others. I wouldn't go so far as to say that censorship offends me. Certainly, though, it scares me. The idea that someone believes that they can think for me, that they better know what I should object to, is somewhat unpalatable to me. I have to say, I'm not likely to ever want to challenge or ban a book. What other people choose to read or watch is none of my business. I've got enough to worry about juggling my own neverending pile of THINGS and STUFF in the way of books/music/films, thanks. Doesn't anybody else?

(Note: Wow. This post intro ran away from me and ended up being somewhat disgruntled/ranty sounding).

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top 5 most requested nonfiction titles for March 2013

“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rod Stewart (I will never, as long as I live, understand his popularity and, moreover, why women swoon at the mere mention of his name), Anabel Langbein, Miranda Hart (YEAH! I lurve Miranda and you need to check Laura's review of the television series), the Road Code and Jamie Oliver. Such an unusual mix this month. I judge you not, though, people. I'm eyeing the odd mix that is my own request list and thinking "People who live in glasshouses shouldn't walk around naked." My shortest post ever? Maybe. Why? Because its not about me, it's about the books *steps out of your way and let's you request them* Be well, people.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

5 geeky Star Trek-related Etsy links (because geeky links = geeky love)

Image from
“Five card stud, nothing wild. And the sky’s the limit."
- Captain Jean Luc Picard, uttering the last line of the series, Star Trek: The Next Generation “All Good Things…”

Star Trek Matryoshka dolls. Let me say that again: Star. Trek. Matryoshka. Dolls. I have this weird thing for matryoshka dolls. Every time I see them I feel this crazy compulsion to buy them, touch them, pull them apart, and ooh/aah over them. I blame it on Sesame Street. In particular, THIS CLIP RIGHT HERE. In New Orleans last year I succumbed and bought a set of the dolls from the French Markets on Decatur Street. Ostensibly for my niece, but really so I could give in to the compulsion mostly free of guilt. They were a hit with her. (And with me, too, heh). I'm waiting - rather impatiently, I might add - for the Star Trek film to come out. Every few days or so I pop into Etsy and look up Star Trek related THINGS and STUFF. Weirdly(?), not to buy anything. I like to look at the items. Some of them are totally LOL-worthy. Others are a major case of WTF-ery. And just as many are ones I want to make myself (only I never do), or buy (yet another thing I never do). That means, folks, that today's list has absolutely nothing to do with our collections or libraries, and everything to do with indulging my forever fangirlness/geekiness. I'm wholly unrepentant about that. If this isn't your thing, feel free to skip this post. If it is, YAY. And if you need more Star Trek-related Etsy goodness, check out this link for ALL OF THE THINGS. Live long and prosper, people! (Sorry, couldn't resist - I'll be honest, I really didn't try to).

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

5 books to get your craft on (it's a working title - what can I say?)

"I like to do designs on the side of my face, or cut out foil stickers from the crafts store and put them on my forehead."
- Khloe Kardashian

I need a hobby. Seriously.You've all heard me moan - either in real life or online - about how non-crafty I am. And yet I still keep trying to find a crafts-type hobby I can enjoy/do well. (Sometimes, I'm not so sure the two necessarily go hand in hand). The most fun activity I tried was Mod Podge-ing graphic novel images to everything. EVERYTHING. Shoes, bracelets, parasols, earrings, necklaces, brooches, 3D letters, toothbrush holder, a cup. Yes, a cup. It was at that point that I kind of thought "Maybe...this is enough?" How many more things can you Mod Podge X-Men to? (As I write this I'm looking around my desk thinking "My cubicle wall?" That might be a step too far. Possibly. So! Here I am on the hunt for a hobby again. Come June or July, if I end up being as bad at all of these below as I suspect I might be (remember the knitting incident of May 2012 that we agreed never to talk about? Yeah, that!), I think I'll be opting for music lessons at OMAC. By the way, I think I win at life for finding a Kardashian quote to go with this post. I don't do designs on the side of my face - most mornings I'm lucky if I can put eyeliner on without scribbling on the rest of my face by accident. Although I freely admit that I like the idea of cutting out foil stickers to put them on my forehead. Do with that what you will. Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Top 5 most requested items for March 2013

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.”
- Joyce Carol Oates

How much do I heart the quote for today? THIS MUCH. Very short post from me today BECAUSE REASONS. Namely: I don't have much to say to introduce these books, really, and I've never been much of a fan of saying things for the sake of it. So I'll get out of your way, and point you below to the top 5 most requested items for March 2013. Have a great weekend, people!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Top 5 books on my reading radar this week

"There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book."
– Josh Jameson

I'm just coming out of a literary drought. For well over a month no book had managed to catch my interest for more than a few minutes at a time. While it happens every now and then, it's still an incredibly frustrating experience because it makes me feel half complete. Which is absolutely sappy and mawkish sounding, I know, but I don't know what I am without the bookish love. I associate the act of reading with so much of who I am - fangirl, geek, blogger, reader, storyteller, etc. - that to feel like I've lost the ability to enjoy it is to feel like I've lost those other parts of myself. Even if only temporarily. While I'm not quite back to devouring everything that moves (and lots of things that don't), I'm in a better headspace about it. I give you: Top 5 books on my reading radar this week (mostly new, with a few not-so-new thrown in for good measure).

Here's a question: How do YOU get through a reading drought?