Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Ok, so this is going to be the inaugural fandom roundup. Hopefully this will happen once a year, or so. I thought I'd start off Meli does with a collection of every single thing I'm a fangirl over.

Every.Single.Thing. I'll try to keep this short - with links to each of them so you can join me in my fangirling.

I'm always on the hunt for good books, and despite my love for nonfiction, I'm really, really in to fiction, which is what you'll find here. This is my most recent collection of books, comics and manga that I adore. I haven't read too, too much manga**, but I hope to change that this year!  

**(for those of you out of the loop, manga is a Japanese comic book. You can read more about it here, if you're interested, and read a ton of it online here or here, if you're game).


Oh Tamora Pierce! If there's one author I would die for, it would be this bamf. She's written a gazillion books to her name, her most famous being the Circle of Magic series, as well as her classic Alanna the Lioness series. My favourites have always been the Tortall Lioness series' - Song of the Lioness as well as the Daughter of the Lioness (telling the story of Alanna, and then the story of Alanna's daughter Ali).

She's a champion of feminism in fantasy books, and writes the most believable, deep characters I've ever experienced. Her books are so well developed and immersive and insightful I can't even begin to describe one properly without sighing and flapping my arms. I grew up on her books as much as I did Harry Potter, and with a cast of powerful, strong, magical women all around, as well as an ongoing continuity (her tortall books have spanned at least three generations of women) you HAVE to read her works, if you haven't already. 

Her website is a treasure trove of writerly advice, book recommendations, tidbits and extras from books and just...the perfect place to learn about her books and her. She's a downright literary Goddess. 

2. THE NIGHT CIRCUS (Erin Morgenstern)

*gurgling noises* This. THIS BOOK.Beautiful.
It tells a love story that involves a magical circus. It's great. Really.

It's unique in the way it tells the story, and the writing style is so vivid and artful you really, really feel like you're in the circus. If you need a good read to escape, this is it. And again, it ends happy. Read it read it read it and we can talk about what exhibits we would create and...ughhhh. (tsukiko fanfic, anyone?)

You need to read these books. You really do - I don't care if you don't like sci fi, or you don't 'get' the writing (it takes a bit of getting used to). You MUST read these books. And I guess while we're at it, just take this whole list as a 'read this before you die' list...because they're all great...but I digress.

This series is just...wonderful. It tells the story of a boy who lives on a different planet where all the men can hear each other's thoughts, and where there are no women. Until one day...he discovers a woman, and she changes everything.

Enjoy it for it's fast-paced action and tension, and beautiful characters. React to it for being so damn original and disturbing and unsettling. Look at it critically to see the relationships between genders, how violence affects characters and the world around them, a new perspective on dystopian novels, and a really unique interpretation of science fiction that I've never, ever seen before.

The writing style can take a bit to get used to, but give it a couple dozen pages, and you'll devour this book in an instant, and move on to the next two, which are just as great. Be thankful they've all been released. I read these as they were coming out, and trust me, the cliffhangers are painfulto deal with.

4. HABIBI (Craig Thompson)

Habibi is more of an explosion of absolute madness and beauty than simply a comic. Like really...this visual story (it's a comic, technically, but not...) is...well, it's over 750 pages and HUGE. I read it in a night and sobbed from it's beauty for like...two days. Really. Just open it up and marvel at the storytelling, the art, the characters and their journies from young to old. Look at it critically and examine how development changes the landscape around them, the relationships between men and women, the tension between rich and poor. And, just in case you're scared, it ends happy. Happier than you could ever imagine.

I linked to the Goodreads above, for a better synopsis of the book. Here is a link to some really, really badass process posts, and give you a really cool look at the calibre of art happening here. 

Seriously. If there's one thing you need to read before you die – this is it. This. Is. It.

5. GRACELING  (Kirsten Cashore)

This book is so darn badass, it's not even funny. A character who can kill people with her bare hands. A really genuine love story. Beautifully flawed chaaracters in a really magical world? Graceling is your book. And mine. The series itself is good, with Fire being a prequel of sorts, and Bitterblue being a sequel, but graceling (and Katsa, the main character) take the cake. This story is one of the few that I've been prompted to write some fanfiction for. No, you can't see it. Maybe I'll make some new, less-embarassing stuff to show you. Now move along.

6. OTOYOMEGATARI (translated: Bride Story)

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all about a good story (which this manga has) but the art in this series is jaw dropping. Absolutely beautiful. So if you want a good manga that's also a visual feast – this is your best bet. It tells the story about a young girl living in the East-Asian steppes (between Russia and Mongolia, roughly), who marries in to a different village. Her husband is younger than her, and the two go on adventures and learn to love each other as they grow up.

Plus. She rides horses and shoots bows and is a badass as she goes through all this. Which is great. You game? Read Otoyomegatari right here! 

7. HARRY POTTER (J.K. Rowling)

8. 1/2 PRINCE (Yu Wo, Choi Hong Chong)

I'm not done this manga yet, but I'm LOVING it so far. It tells the story of an immersive video game that people play in their spare time. Your characters are based on you, including your own gender. But somehow, the main character, a girl, ends up playing as a beautiful male blood elf, and becomes quite the champion in the game.

Yes, it's as funny and insightful as it sounds. Give it a read here.

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