Reblogged: Judging A Book By Its Cover: Beauty and the Beast

So happy to have done another Judging a Book by Its Cover post over on Milliebot Reads. Check it out!
This post features pages and illustrations from Beauty and the Beast retold from the Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont original with illustrations by Agnese Baruzzi

Milliebot Reads

This is my weekly post where I highlight beautiful books from my collection. We all judge book covers to some extent (don’t lie, you totally do!) so I created this feature to showcase and admire the art and design elements of some of the books I own. If covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t make so many wonderful editions!

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Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 9 | Hints at Fantasy (continues)

You know what? Although I own a lot of books, I have a good idea of what I do own and what I don’t. Only once have I unintentionally bought the same book twice and that’s because the copy of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist I first owned was the e-book version and I always forget what e-books I own, so I ended up buying the physical copy, which I think I got on discount.

But if it’s a physical book, I have a pretty good idea whether or not I own it. If it’s an e-book, I have no idea. It’s harder to remember if I own those or not. I guess it’s because I don’t have a sensory memory attached to them. With my physical books, I remember either pulling the book from the shelf in the store or touching or smelling the pages, or caressing the cover because I like the feel of it. Those sensations strengthen my memory of the physical book.

With e-books, all I do is look and click and move on to something else. The time spent with them is shorter and kind of impersonal. No wonder I don’t remember them.

Well, let’s get back to this 3-books-deep bookcase.

We’re wrapping up the third shelf from bottom, which has a variety of books but mostly fantasy. We’re now on the third row, which surprised me because of the amount of nonfiction that’s on it. (I was wondering where these books were! They were supposed to be in the last row of the second shelf from the bottom. I was a little worried when we toured that shelf and I didn’t see them there. I was ready to tear my house apart and harass my family (j/k) to find them.)

Continue reading “Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 9 | Hints at Fantasy (continues)”

Weekend Reads #106: On the Assumption That White Means Universal

There is an assumption in publishing (and in Hollywood, actually) that books by Black authors aren’t universal, that they won’t appeal to a wide (White) audience. I recently read two articles that touch on this topic (one on LitHub and another on Tor.com) and they reminded me of a blog post by notable sci-fi author N.K. Jemisin that I read a couple years ago on why she doesn’t want her books to be placed in the African American section of bookstores and libraries. I reread Jemisin’s blog post this morning and although it was published a decade ago, back in March 2010, it still applies today.

These days, the African American section of bookstores I visit contain sociology books and history books that pertain to Black experiences in America. No longer (it seems) is that section an amalgamation of books by Black authors no matter the genre or whether or not they are fiction or nonfiction; no longer (it seems) is it a place where all books written by Black authors are dumped. But despite this improvement, publishing still has a problem with how it promotes books by Black authors.

To me, it’s recently, within the past year or so, that publishing increased its promotion of books by Black authors somewhat. I may be wrong on the timeframe, but up until then, whenever I saw a recently published novel by a Black author, they were often pushed toward Black audiences only, unlike books by White authors that were promoted to everyone, regardless of race, because of their “wide” appeal.

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Comics Roundup #41: The Boys, Vol. 1

The Boys, Vol. 1: The Name of the Game by Garth Ennis, illus. by Darick Robertson with colors by Tony Aviña

Genre:

Sci-fi

Series:

The Boys

Pubbed:

2007

Goodreads summary:

THIS IS GOING TO HURT! In a world where costumed heroes soar through the sky and masked vigilantes prowl the night, someone’s got to make sure the “supes” don’t get out of line. And someone will. Billy Butcher, Wee Hughie, Mother’s Milk, The Frenchman and The Female are The Boys: A CIA backed team of very dangerous people, each one dedicated to the struggle against the most dangerous force on Earth — superpower. Some superheroes have to be watched. Some have to be controlled. And some of them — sometimes — need to be taken out of the picture. That’s when you call in THE BOYS. (Goodreads)

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Comics Roundup #40: Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1

Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illus. by Emma Rios with colors by Jordie Bellaire

Genre:

Fantasy; Western

Series:

Pretty Deadly

Pubbed:

2014

Goodreads summary:

Kelly Sue DeConnick (Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel) and Emma Rios (Dr. Strange, Osborn) present the collected opening arc of their surprise-hit series that marries the magical realism of Sandman with the western brutality of Preacher. Death’s daughter rides the wind on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull marks of her father. Her origin story is a tale of retribution as beautifully lush as it is unflinchingly savage. (Goodreads)

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Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 8 | Hints at Fantasy (continues)

So how do you keep track of your books? I currently own over 1,000 physical and e-books (more physical than e-books, of course) says my book database. I hardly ever lend my books to anyone because those I’ve loaned my books to in the past proved to me that people don’t often care about books, and I’m very particular about mine, meaning no bent pages, no cracked spines, and no soiling or writing on the pages either. I like my books pristine, although messing them up is unavoidable sometimes.

But, since I own so many, I like to keep track of them so that I don’t unintentionally buy the same book twice (totally okay to do so intentionally). At first, I considered using Excel to keep track of them but because I wanted something that would also allow me to see the book covers and do all sorts of other things, I searched for a book database app and found Collectorz.com. I use their book database app to keep track of my books.

It works for me. I enjoy using it, but you do have to purchase it if you enter over 100 books. (And no, this isn’t some sort of advertisement. I’m just talking about what I use.) I like it because I can place my books in categories and can enter details like when and where I bought the book and its condition and can even include links to my review posts. What I love the most, of course, is that I get to view the books by their covers. Here’s what I mean:

Continue reading “Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 8 | Hints at Fantasy (continues)”

Comics Roundup #39: Sex Criminals, Vol. 1

Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction, illus. by Chip Zdarsky with colors by Becka Kinzie and Christopher Sebela

Genre:

Fantasy; Humor

Series:

Sex Criminals

Pubbed:

2014

Goodreads summary:

Suzie’s just a regular gal with an irregular gift: when she has sex, she stops time. One day she meets Jon and it turns out he has the same ability. And sooner or later they get around to using their gifts to do what we’d ALL do: rob a couple banks. A bawdy and brazen sex comedy for comics begins here! (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading this. The story was entertaining and unexpected because I didn’t know where they would go with such a premise: girl and guy can stop time by having sex, so they rob a couple banks. What?!

Continue reading “Comics Roundup #39: Sex Criminals, Vol. 1”

Comics Roundup #38: Lumberjanes, Vol. 1

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson, illus. by Brooke A. Allen

Genre:

MG Fantasy

Series:

Lumberjanes, volume 1

Pubbed:

2015

Goodreads summary:

At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Lumberjanes is another popular comic book series I was curious about, so I read it on Comixology during my comic-book bingeing days. However, unlike Nimona, this one didn’t work out for me, and I thought it was a little overrated.

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Book Recs: 20 Picture Books by Black Authors

The uproar in response to police brutality against Black people has strengthened the Black Lives Matter movement and has forced everyone to (again) recognize and admit how ingrained systematic racism is in our society and the many areas that lack diversity.

An area where this discussion is also happening is book publishing, which is known for its lack of diversity among authors, the types of books published, and even among the professionals who work in this sector — editors, designers, publicists, agents, etc. Recently, the hashtag #PublishingPaidMe popped up on Twitter to discuss the disparity between how much authors of color are paid in contrast to White authors, who more often receive large advances for their books. In this New York Times article, renown author Jesmyn Ward talks about fighting for a higher advance despite winning several awards for her books.

We all need to work harder to stop and prevent racism in our society. To help, many people have turned to books to learn more, which has caused books about racism and Black experiences to now flood the best-seller lists. To encourage more people to read and engage with content by Black creators, media outlets, social media, bloggers, and booktubers are all recommending books by and about Black people and Black experiences.

While I am grateful to see these recommendation lists, they often solely contain adult books. I want to contribute a list of recommendations, but instead of adult books, I’ve decided to feature children’s picture books. Racism affects all facets of society. To combat it, we must also encourage more diverse children’s literature, including picture books.

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