Book Lust // Books by female authors to read this fall

female authors

When I was younger, maybe an early teenager, I realized that most of my favorite books, which consisted mostly of YA fantasy and bad historical fiction novels, were all books by female authors. I adored books like Ella Enchanted,  A Great and Terrible Beauty, and especially Harry Potter. My favorite authors were Jean Plaidy, JK Rowling, Libba Bray, Gail Carson Levine, and Margaret George.

Being a female writer comes packaged with tons of difficulties you’d think of being a woman in a male-dominated field. There are even some people who ignore books by female authors entirely, and won’t pick up anything written by a woman. JK Rowling styled herself that way because her publisher warned her that since she’s a woman, her books may not sell as well if she went by “Joanne Rowling.” How infuriating, and sad.

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Book Lust | 2016 book releases to watch for!

Summer, for me, is all about how many books I can read on a beach, on a plane, or even through audiobook on my commute. Even though I’m trying to save money, these are four new 2016 book releases I cannot WAIT to get my hands on. I’ve been in desperate need of new books to read, thanks to a year-long book-buying drought. Breaking the fast now!

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Book Lust | 'On the Road' and a Truman Capote novella

I have never read On the RoadNever. I can hear everyone thinking, “But what did you read in high school when all your classmates went through their rebellious/vaguely beatnik phase?” Answer? I read Jane Eyre. That was all the rebelliousness I had, summed up. Now I’m reading it, as well as Truman Capote’s novella Other Voices, Other Rooms.

So if any of you have read On the Road and would like to comment on your love/hatred/indifference to it or why it’s such a travesty that I waited until the ripe old age of 23 to finally crack open the cover of this iconic classic, leave your vitriol/support in the comments! Happy Sunday!

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Book Lust | New York, Paris & London Historical Fiction

The danger of a bookstore is that everything you could ever want to read is yours for the taking. I love online shopping when it comes to shoes and clothes, but I hate online shopping for books. I love the feeling of entering this inner sanctum of stories and having the freedom to sift through them, pick them up, and take some home with you. It’s a little bit like magic. Tonight I went to Barnes & Noble and wove through the stacks with a wobbling pile of books on my arm and a gift card in my wallet. I chose books well over the limit enforced by my $100 gift card so I had to make cuts. Unfortunately, the cuts I made were three books from Edward Rutherfurd oeuvre: Paris, New York and London. Has anyone read these books and would like to share what they think? Cause I’m dying to read these.

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I’m a lover of cities as if they’re friends or lovers. When I visited London, I left a huge piece of my heart there and think of it as a home. Paris was similar; even though I spent so little time there, there was something about the city which embraces you. Paris changes you. And of course, I live on the outskirts of the greatest city in the world, and constantly find myself entranced by New York as long as I’ve lived in its shadow. Rutherfurd has taken three living, breathing cities with gargantuan histories and turned them into characters. His stories promise odes to the three major cities of the world, containing not only thousands of years of history, but fictional and fictionalized characters to populate these disparate worlds. I imagine it’s so easy to lose yourself in these books and be carried away to different times, each set against the backdrop of New York, London or Paris.

But since I couldn’t leave the bookstore without all three, and since I ran out of B&N gift card credit, I’ll have to wait to score these. Breathe, Lisa. Breathe.

Book Lust: A Gory Grimm Translation

In case you didn’t know, I loooove fairy tales, always have, always will. I’m also a pretty big fan of sad, weird, twisted stories. Hey—did you know there’s a new translation of Grimms’ fairy tales out?

51lhLh5NW1LThe new collection is the first English translation of the first edition of the fairy tales, the edition the Brothers originally wrote before editing it another six times to suit a younger audience. This is the seriously gory one that’s more popular and well known in Europe, and which contributed to the reputation the Grimm Brothers enjoy of being sick, twisted storytellers. Like, did you know that the stepsisters in the original Cinderella actually cut off little pieces of their feet to make the slipper fit? Or that Rapunzel was basically raped by the Prince? Or that there is an entire story in the original edition called “The Children Play at Slaughtering”?

I have the seventh, fiercely edited collection of the stories that are popular here, but I’m so excited for this edition. It’s the first English translation, as I said, and it therefore preserves more of the oral tradition than any of the subsequent editions. It’s also gory, gross, and horrific, and therefore much more awesome.

The new translation is published by Princeton University Press and is illustrated by Andrea Dezsö. It’s so beautiful, and has me lusting hard for it. Christmas, anyone? 

The Rory Gilmore Reading List // Take the challenge!

Have you heard of the Rory Gilmore Reading List? It’s an exhaustive list of every single book ever mentioned on Gilmore Girls, and it’s something like 300+ books long. You can find the complete Rory Gilmore Reading List here, and check off the ones you have or haven’t read! I’ve personally only read 74 of the 339 books (22%) so I had better get reading!

Seriously, Gilmore Girls ended seven years ago and it’s still my favorite show. I’d like to pretend I don’t plan my mornings around ABC Family reruns of it, but I’m not a liar. I’d also like to pretend I didn’t wear out my first set of DVDs and have to buy another but you get the point. The show never gets old. The writing is pithy and intelligent, the characters are well-written and complex, and I think I learned half of what I know about obscure pop culture references from watching it. But the best part of the show, in my opinion (besides Jess Mariano), is the emphasis on good literature.

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Book Lust: Lisa's Must Reads

I have been reading like a fiend so far this year but I still feel like I’m slacking, and also that there are too many books I want to read and only so many eyes I have in my face (only two). I’ve been dying to read these books. If you’ve read them and can offer insight, critical or otherwise, or if you have a fifty dollar bill you’d like to donate so I can buy these, let me know in the comments (I really should renew my library membership).

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1. Ender’s Game: my sister is teaching this book to her eighth graders and raving about it nonstop, and I’ll admit I’m curious about all the hype and controversy surrounding the film version. I’m never one to not read a novel/see a movie because of the personal beliefs of the artist. I believe art exists separate from its creator. Also, Ender’s Game is an undisputed classic and I’d like to experience it for myself.

2. His Dark Materials: this novel(s) is another example of being able to separate the artist’s own beliefs from the narrative and story. This trilogy is a classic fantasy piece of literature, and also happens to be a popular film. I’m noticing a pattern in my literary choices.

3. PAULO COELHO: i.e., everything he’s written. I’ve previously read By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept and I loved it. I’m a third of the way through The Alchemist right now and highlighting every other line. Coelho has the ability to infuse a sense of magic into an otherwise mundane story. Santiago the shepherd and his journey to achieve his life’s purpose have me bewitched. I’m planning to read The Valkyries next.

4. 1Q84: I feel like I’ll need at least three weeks to read this tome, and I’d like to spend the necessary time with it. Hopefully I don’t put it off for too long. Maybe it’s a good plane read for my trip to and from Alaska next week. Being stuck on a plane is a great way to get some books read.

5. American Gods: I’m slowly moving my way through Gaiman’s oeuvre and loving every minute of it. Read what I thought of Stardust and Neverwhere while you’re here!

6. A Winter’s Tale: those sappy, beautifully-shot commercials for the film have made me want to read the novel. This desire may also be a symptom of the lovey-dovey Valentine’s Day feeling in the air, but I’ll take it nonetheless! I’ve heard great things about the novel, so hopefully I get my hands on a copy of this soon. (Also a movie!)

7. The Lowland: I love to read immigrant literature, especially if it’s by one of my favorite authors, Jhumpa Lahiri. I received the hardcover for Christmas and can’t wait to sink my teeth into it!

There’s nothing I love to do more during the winter season than bury myself in blankets and read, most often with some sort of spiked hot beverage 😉