Grumpy / Sunshine Duo Books for Fans of Wednesday and Enid

The grumpy / sunshine trope is nothing new, but watching Wednesday and Enid becoming the best and unlikeliest of friends in the new Netflix show reminded me of just how much I love that dynamic whether in friendships or romances. There’s just something about a hardened, stoic character being soft for that one overly optimistic person in their life, and that soft character showing their hard edges in return, that makes me go all warm and fuzzy inside. And fortunately there is no shortage of grumpy / sunshine duo books that feature exactly that. Most of us can only aspire...

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The New York Times Bestseller List vs. Their Best of List for 2022

I’ve been keeping close track of the New York Times bestseller lists for several weeks now, and one thing I’ve noticed is just how much it differs from the “buzziest” books. If I was going based off online buzz, I’d think Babel by R.F. Kuang had the longest time on the bestseller list, and if I was looking at the Best of 2022 lists put out by major publications, I’d think it was Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. In reality, though, the bestselling books are ones you’ve likely not heard about on the bookish internet: on any given week, they’re...

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11 Punny Mugs for Language Lovers

Are you a pun lover or are you a grinch? I am the first, and even if it is a groaner —like the worst imaginable pun possible — I am still going to appreciate it because of the way language can tell several stories at one time. It should come as little surprise then that one of my all-time favorite mugs to sip my daily tea from is one that comes with a pun. It features a black cat leaning on a stack of books and says “Cool Story, Poe” (referencing Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Black Cat”). Every...

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An Absolutely Serious Guide to Fantasy Transportation

Worldbuilding is one of the most important parts of fantasy, and one of the best parts of worldbuilding is working out how the characters get from A to B. Fantasy transportation doesn’t just add texture to a story; it can be a crucial part of the plot, and can also reveal a lot about character. For example, we learn a new side to the Percy Jackson series’ Thalia Grace when, during a flying chariot ride, we discover that this bold daughter of Jupiter is afraid of heights. Ideally, fantasy transport does all three, as in Neverwhere, where the characters are...

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Book Ratings Systems Are Not a Solution: Book Censorship News, November 25, 2022

Because of the holiday in the U.S. this week, the roundup of book censorship news and insights will be shorter than usual. Although there are several right-wing groups eager to implement movie-style book ratings to library titles, the reality is, book rating systems are an exercise in futility and bias. Julia Rittenberg does an outstanding job explaining why book rating systems would not work, and in addition, I recommend tuning into a recent episode of the You’re Wrong About podcast that delves into the history of the movie rating system and how easily bought, subverted, and problematic it has been....

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