Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and the World by Rachel Swaby (science, biography, feminism)
Reaching for the Moon by Katherine G. Johnson (biography, science; space)
Goddess of the Hunt by Shelby Eileen (poetry, mythology, lgbt; ownvoices aromantic-asexual)
The Perfect Assassin by K. A. Doore (high fantasy, lgbt; asexual mc, lesbian assassins)
Slayer by Kiersten White (urban fantasy, vampires, supernatural boarding school)
A Vampire’s Redemption (The Inquisition Trilogy #2) by Casey Wolfe (fantasy, vampires, lgbt; m/m romance)
Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey (fantasy, sci-fi, political, lgbt)
The Hidden Girl and Other Short Stories by Ken Liu (short stories): the author’s other book The Paper Menagerie is my all-time favourite collection of short stories!
Three things on my mind:
Wine nights brings me too much joy. At least when you have them with one of your roommate’s adorable family who is visiting, then after they leave (and leave four bottles of wine behind) just end up talking with the rest of the roommates far into the night; I might’ve woken up at 5 am for once, but I was certainly going to sleep at 6 am, like the night-creature I truly am. On exactly that topic I’m going to apply to be the leader (there’s always two; night and day-shift) of our math/physics students wine club, because there’s minimal work and a maximum of finding out strange traditions and making people feel welcome, no matter if they drink alcohol/wine or not. I love the vibe of that group. And I will not take slander that I should not be the nightly leader if I get it; the night is always my time.
The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix is such a fantastic show. I have so many thoughts, but no time to write them all out – maybe I’ll do a round-up of tv series/movies I loved at the end of the year. But a chess-but-truly-personal story of a genius orphan girl that grows up and struggles with navigating abandonment issues, drug-problems, friendship and any type of relatioship. It has its problems, but I would’ve watched it just for the great actors, the fashion and the lighting to be honest.
I’ve been writing more again, on the too-long project that never seem to end. I’ve got a lot of exams around the corner (if my physical health is up to it, that is), so I find myself not being able to turn off my brain for a break without going to these already-known methods; creating stories being one of them. It’s strange how that works. Hopefully, over christmas break even though I have a lot of other projects planned, I can get it edited into at least a coherent work in progress as there’s a lot of blank scenes needed for some type of plot to make sense. I think I would truly feel some type of achievement just having finished it, even though no one is going to read it for a long long time, if ever.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness & the rest of the All Souls Trilogy for the historian protagonist that explores a supernatural world riddled with old artifacts, powerful witches and immortal vampires, featuring time travel and a lot of romance. It’s also got a tv series which is fun, but as these things often do, gives no explanation or coherent plot like the books does. It’s been a while since I read this, and would love to reread it.
These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling (full review) for the YA with fun, dramatic moments, a city of witches & their families, covens arguing and lots of lesbian/bi girls.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (full review) for the fairytale vibes with wizard (more so than witches) who takes a girl from the village every ten years for mystical reasons, a fierce protagonist that never makes it boring as she creates hell for the wizard and great friendships. It’s more so on the fantasy side, but it has a lot of the village, dark forest and fairytale elements that I look for in the books I put on this list.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman should be a book everyone has heard of, but among the angel, demon, antichrist and a coming apocalypse, there’s also the full title “The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch” and Agne’s many-great granddaughter Anathema (Practical Occultist and Professional Descendant) who really brings out the essence of this book; there’s a lot of chaos, including being hit by a car, but it all plays into this cosmic order in some way.
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (full review) for the breath-taking illustrations and short stories that is fairytale-inspired. It’s more fantasy than a lot others on this list, but at the same time truly delivers on its promise of “midnight tales and dangerous magic”.
Other Witchy Books on my TBR
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik for its school of magically gifted where failure means certain death and you’re not allowed to leave. Also a grumpy loner of a protagonist who has a powerful dark magic that might be strong enough to beat the system, but not without its risks. The promise of dark avademia, magic and monsters, with a lot of bloodshed & slytherin vibes is truly alluring. BTW: since I wrote this post I’ve seen a lot of questions brought up around if this book has racist elements. Of course, I don’t feel qualified to discuss that further. The author has apologized for one of the things pointed out around using a racist stereotype of dreadlocks being dirty, but if it is as bad of a – well in best case it’s a mishap – as it seems, it truly is strange how it got through the editing process of such a famous author.
Enchantée by Gita Trelease for the Paris 1789 setting, smallpox, a witch going from petty theft to trying to rob Marie Antoinette to support her family.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden for its Russian wilderness winter and arctic fairytale-inspired fantasy where the protagonist has special abilities like her mother, but her new stepmother forbids her from practicing and evil starts to seep in. Some focus on the conflict between christianity and older religions. A lot of trigger warnings!
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas for its gay trans boy that tries to prove himself as a brujo to his family by summoning a ghost, but then is stuck with the school’s former handsome bad-boy as he has unfinished business. If he’s not in love with this ghost by the end of it, I’m screeching.
Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron for the fantasy inspired by West African mythology with a non-magical protagonist born into a family of witchdoctors trying to defeat her powerful sister. Also the love interest is of course of the enemy family. It’s dark and has enough trigger warnings that I’ll give a reminder to search for them before reading it.
Books I disliked, but you might like
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova for the ones who want a powerful latina bi protagonist who don’t want to be a witch (review). She is the most powerful bruja in a long time and also hates magic. Not to mention the responsibility put on her by her family. I didn’t finish the book because I thought the writing was lacking and nothing out of the ordinary, but she’s got an attitude that made me smile. It’s a story about a girl trying to save her family, but in a way that felt very ‘let’s go on an adventure’ and predictable.
When the Moon Was Ours by Anne-Marie McLemore for the trans mc, flowery young adult magical realism, also literary flowery with roses growing from skin (review). It’s another book I didn’t finish, but only because I’ve found out that I don’t match with the authors way of writing (after multiple attempts at other books), which I truly find sad as they use such interesting plots and cast of characters. I mean – the synopsis is so good! And it’s a romance between a Latina girl and Italian-Pakistani trans boy. It focuses on finding yourself, it’s vulnerable and the author is queer, latinx & nonbinary married to a trans man.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina vol. 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa for the graphic novels lovers (review). I didn’t really like this at all as I felt the charm and interesting aspects to Sabrina the teenage witch was completely removed. Would much rather recommend the tv series, as it’s roughly the same story, but with more fun elements as well as dark ones. It’s definitely a teenage soap tv series, but an interesting one. I want to still read Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan, which is a Sabrian novel published last year, but I only have hopes for it because I like that author already. It might be that both of these things were published to create more interest around the tv series, which I find disappointing if they all tell the same story.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is the book series I look back on having read a long time ago, being like “it was good, but basic”, but if you’re looking for a quick read I wouldn’t be above rereading it.
Kiki’s Delivery Service, the ghibli movie, is something I wanted to watch for a long time, but finally did this summer. It’s so perfectly adorable & worth it!!
Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writersby Taisia Kitaiskaia is a illustrated book on my TBR, more about the magic of literature than witches, but it’s supposed to draw connection between witches & visionary writers, which I’m just guessing means connection between treatment of visionary women (like writers) who tend towards feminism. If anything I want to own it for the gothic art. “Pick a shelf” has a really good review of this unusual book!
Tv series produced by BBC, based on book series by Philip Pullman
Remember the movie that everyone think is crap? Well, it’s bad plot-wise, and without the moral depth on the books, but at least I thought the effects like the polar bear was nice to look at. I’ve read the golden compass in depth for an essay recently, and it made me x5 times hyped for the tv series. There’s so much to take from! Questions of morality and humour! I just found out Lin-Manuel Miranda is playing LEE! Not too excited about casting choice for mrs. Coulter. I have high hopes for this one, it can’t fail a second time?
When? Filming wrapped in december, so it’s supposed to be out sometime now in 2019
Tv series produced by Amazon Prime and BBC Two, at least 6 episodes, based on the book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett
I almost forgot Good Omens and that would’ve been bad. I’m so excited for it! Gaiman is heavily involved in the production, which is very promising. American Gods, his other book, has already become such a good tv series, it’s extremly aesthetically pleasing in a way that adds to the story. So I’m having good hopes for this one, especially because of the trailer. David Tennant is cast as the demon Crowley (not that I’ve seen doctor who).
Also I just listened to Neil Gaiman’s recent podcast episode on “Tea with Alice” where Neil talks about criticism of why it hasn’t come out yet (answer: film doesn’t edit itself). Twenty minutes in there’s tears in my eyes as he says how Terry Prachett wanted him to make it so he could watch it before he died, but went too soon, and now Gaiman has taken it on himself as to finish his friends last wish.
Tv series produced by Starz, at least 8 episodes, based on book by Daniel O’Malley
I’m terrified of this adaption. Know why? Stephenie Meyer is a producer. One of the castmembers described it as “violent and more sexual”, seemingly putting down the original book a bit as he describes the tv show. The rook is a fantasy book, with characters with weird supernatural powers, which is always a challenge to make work on screen. (This is going to be so bad, I can feel it.) The biggest trouble I think is multiple characters controlled by the same brain – a hivemind. Here’s where I throw my hands in the air and hope the people behind it all know what they are getting into.
When? Imdb claims it should be out in 2019, but there seems to be little updates
Tv series produced by Hulu, at least 8 episodes, based on book by John Green
As a fan of John Green and vlogbrothers I know it’s been a long road to get “looking for Alaska” adapted, with movie deals falling through. Now we’re finally getting it! The actress cast as Alaska is Kristine Frøseth (norwegian!!), which is surprising because she’s relatively “unknown”, but hopefully goes really well. The biggest problem with adapting this series is if the message of the book being about the problematic sides of a “manic pixie dream girl”, and not being so subtle so it instead seems to promote that concept. This is a well-known problem though, and surely will work out. I think it’s going to be very interesting how they adapt this movie, and what kind of tone they set with it.
American gods will be back for a second season 10. March 2019!
The movie “PS I still love you” comes out probably late 2019. Tt’s the sequel to “To all the boys I’ve loved before” and it’s surely going to be as good as the first one.
A discovery of witches will continue for a second and third season. I enjoyed the first season, but cringed so much, so I hope it gets better.
I started writing this post and realize there’s SO MANY book adapted movies and tv series coming out this year, along with announced this year, that I’m making this post at least two parts.
Movie and tv series produced by Lionsgate, based on book series by Patrick Rothfuss
I was out of my mind excited when I heard my favourite fantasy books were going to get a tv series, and a movie also which is confusing.
Let’s first look at the movie: Sam Raimi was announced would no longer direct it two months ago, to a mostly relieved reddit crowd it seemed like. The movie will follow the actual kingkiller plot, which is what could be a big hit or miss, depending on how close to the original material they are and if they’re serious about it. Patrick Rothfuss, the author, is heavily involved and also got Lin-Manuel Miranda on the team as a producer, so that’s a relief. I’ve heard Rothfuss quote Lin as “being the chairman of the dont-fuck-it-up committee”, so we’re all nervous here. Also Lin is writing the music, which is a joy!
The tv series will be set a generation before the actual book series, which I have better faith in because there’s no expectation. In summary I’m absolutely terrified and excited about it all.
When? No one knows when production starts, I don’t think the actual script is done either.
Movie produced by Disney, based on the book by Eoin Colfer
This was one of my favourite series as a kid, with the protagonist Artemis Fowl being a rich, criminal mastermind of a kid. He’s always on the edge of being a villain and doing good, and has a butler named Butler who protects him. With fantasy elements like fairy-officers and goblin criminals the movie can turn out really bad. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping they get both the effects and the main character personality and motives right, because that will make or break this film. It’s supposed to be geared towards kids in that there’s humour, but I just hope it hasn’t lost its cleverness. I honestly didn’t get any info or vibe from the trailer, so I’m not certain what to believe.
When? 9. August 2019
Movie produced by Warner Bros & Amazon, based on the book by Donna Tartt
I love this book, but it was very much chaotic and surreal in how fast things develop – going from one place to an entirely different one multiple times – and it’s going to be really interesting to see how they solve that on screen. I’m not so excited about Ansel Elgort as the main character, honestly some of the cast choices makes it feel like they’re going to downplay the craziness of the book and make it boring and average. The synopsis is that “A boy in New York is taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side family after his mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” which is technically true, but even that sounds boring as hell and isn’t really an intro to the whole plot.
When? 11. October 2019
Tv series produced by Netflix, at least 8 episodes, based on the book series by Leigh Bardugo.
Netflix is exciting! I personally didn’t like the shadow and bone series, but the six of crows is included as well in some way. I had hope, then I saw the screenwriter of birdbox is on it and that the two book series would go parallell and interlap in the tv series. No, please, don’t. I’ve seen a lot of negative reactions similiar to mine. I know it was just announced, and they should get a chance, but I’m nervous on their behalf trying to weave two very different and complicated stories together just because it’s placed in the same universe.
When? It was just announced, so no idea
Movie produced by Disney, a remake, but technically based on story from The book of thousand and one nights so that counts
I like the cartoon Aladdin. Disney haven’t had much luck with getting me to watch the remakes lately. There were a Belle one? The Lion King is coming soon? Freaking Dumbo? The jungle book of 2018 was good, but average. I hadn’t heard about the little mermaid before it popped up on netflix. It has a shockingly low 20% on rotten tomatoes – I got to watch this one now, to see why. I’m honestly more excited for Mulan, after it got its asian cast.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl to bring bookish friends together. A new topic is posted each week.
Tales by Light (on netflix) shows incredibly footage and stories by photographers visiting places all over the world. Fav episodes is s1 e2 photographing the holi festival and a ritual, s1 e3 Adrenaline where freedivers take photos underwater, s1 e5 penguins!!, s1 e6 aboriginal/indigenous groups and culture.
Terrace House (on netflix) is a japanese reality tv show, but very calm and low-risk drama. They’re just living together and talking and cooking, mostly. Choose a season and have it on in the background.
The Good Place (on netflix) was so much recommended to me that I finally picked it up and saw the first season in two days, it was fantastic. Need to watch the second season soon.
How To Get Away With Murder (on netflix) have you surely heard of already, if not it is fantastic and I whole-heartedly recommend it. College and murder and lawyer students. Reminds me of a modern day The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
Elementary got bad for me after season four or five somewhere, but until then it was a fun version of Sherlock Holmes.
Queer Eye (on netflix … see a trend?) is great.
Jessica Jones is nearly everything I want and I just needmore. Please.
And three series I want to watch next:
The handmaid’s tale (after I read the book I guess)
Timeless is a tv series I just heard about, and like the description is: “mysterious criminal who steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine, intent on destroying America as we know it by changing the past.” Come on, I have to give this tv series a chance.
Patriot seems to be in the same theme as Timeless, in that it’s about intelligence and nations (this case Iran is involved) and politics I guess. I’ll give it a shot, heard it recommended from someone and immediately forgot who.