Armchair BEA 2013: Genre: What Did We Miss?

Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads
Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads

As you can see by my post from Genre Fiction post earlier this week, I love my genre fiction. But by far Fantasy is my crutch. I love reading that more than any other genre out there. I can’t even begin to explain my deep love for the magic and other worlds of this genre.

I can talk about the yearning to go to Narnia, Le Cirque des Rêves, Wonderland, Brakebills, or a dozen other lands.

I can talk about wanting  to learning to be a magician like Hermione Jean Granger, Tiffany Aching, Briony Larkin or Julia Wicker.

I could tell you how much I wanted to be a hero like Lyira, Wendy, Cimorene, Lady Katsa,or Alice.

But what I can’t explain, what I don’t have to explain if you are a part of Armchair BEA, is how much I love these books for their stories. About how many times I can read Stardust or Graceling or The Magicians and still be excited about the adventures. About how excited I am when I find something new and different like Daughter of Smoke and Bone and how everyone in the world must read it now!

And mostly how sad a feel for people who to get books, don’t speak book, who don’t realize that in addition to bread and eggs and milk your in case of emergency must include a stop at the library.

Armchair BEA 2013: “From Picture Books to Young Adult”

Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads
Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads

Today’s genre is a big one, Children’s Literature. From picture books to middle grade to young adult novels this is a category that encompasses books that young and old alike flock to on a daily ba

sis. In our home it’s not uncommon to read anywhere from three or four picture books a day to as many as twenty. And that’s not counting the middle grade and YA books picked up and devoured in a week.

One of the great things about children’s literature is the wide range of emotions, topics and themes it covers. These spectacular books can cover shockingly real and painful events such as death, trauma, rape, abuse and more. On the other hand they can take us to places far away through wardrobes, on pirate ships and into times of post-apocalyptic chaos. There is no limit to what can be accomplished within the pages of a well-written piece of children’s literature. (From: ABEA)

I love Children’s Literature and one of the sadest things for me has been as my children have grown up they have really stopped reading picture books. So I have not kept up with them the way I would have liked. I might start a monthly picture book post just to give me an excuse to read the ones I have missed over the past few years. Books Like these:
 Olivia and the Fairy Princesses The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? (Pigeon) This Is Not My Hat (Irma S and James H Black Honor for Excellence in Children's Literature (Awards)) Creepy Carrots!
 When I Grow Up I Want My Hat Back Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party Queen of the Falls
 Instructions City Dog, Country Frog We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) Children Make Terrible Pets (Starring Lucille Beatrice Bear)

All links to

Armchair BEA 2013: Freshen Up

Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads
Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads

Today, we’re interested in knowing how you address that question, especially if you’ve been doing this for a while. If you have been around for years, how do you keep your material fresh? How do you continue to keep blogging fun? How do you not only grow an audience, but how do you keep them coming back for more? Think about it, post about it, link to it, and read about how other bloggers are keeping it real, fresh, and fun. Maybe we can inspire each other today!

New projects, redesigns, collaboratives–what do you do to keep blogging fresh for you? Post about your ideas and experiences, link up, and find inspiration in what other bloggers are doing!


I am not sure what I am going to do to keep it fresh this year. I think instead of changing it up I need to return to its roots. More, longer reviews; more Thoughts on a Thursday; memes which include commentary not just lists; these were what I loved about blogging but my life has interrupted.

I would like to have time to include a book chat and incorporate more social and interactive things but because of other commitments I know that I will not be able to keep this up.

I think one of the things that I would like to do to make this “fresher” is make my love of reading and blogging “fresher.” So I think while you might not see the physical changes here I will be trying to reach out more and read more. I will be trying to do more with online events like this one.

I am not sure that that will make this seem better but I think it will make the experience better for me.

Armchair BEA 2013: Non-fiction is Non-existent


Yup, that is the case. I read very little non-fiction and the stuff I read I usually do not even count toward my reading totals since it is textbooks for the classes I teach or crafty books which really you don’t read so much as skim.

Since I started really keeping track of my reading I can list the number of books of non-fiction I have read (links to GoodReads):

  1. Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety
  2. In a Sunburned Country
  3. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
  4. The Only Girl in the Car
  5. Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood
  6. Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood
  7. The Glass Castle
  8. I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers
  9. The Power of Patience: How to Slow the Rush and Enjoy More Happiness, Success, and Peace of Mind Every Day
  10. The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator’s Guide To Good Housekeeping
  11. The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons for Creating the Life You Want
  12. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle : A Year of Food Life
  13. American Nerd: The Story of My People
  14. Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity
  15. Story of a Girl
  16. Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines
  17. Stitches
  18. A People’s History of American Empire
  19. This Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True
  20. The Mom Book Goes to School: Insider Tips to Ensure Your Child Thrives in Elementary and Middle School
  21. Everyday Ways to Raise Smart, Strong, Confident Girls: Successful Teens Tell Us What Works
  22. Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear, and Panic
  23. Bad Girl: Confessions Of A Teenage Delinquent
  24. Biddy Early: The Wise Woman of Clare
  25. Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
  26. Epileptic
  27. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir
  28. Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure
  29. What I Hate: From A to Z
  30. Saints Behaving Badly: The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and Devil-Worshippers Who Became Saints
  31. Celtic Saints

31 might sound like a lot until you realize that is over a 7 year period which is about 4 a year and even worse it is about 5% of all my reads. So perhaps I need to think abut upping my non-fiction reading.



Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots

Armchair BEA 2013: The Ethics Committee Meets Today



Ethics, now that’s a sticky subject. What are the rules? What is important? What works for you? I have a pretty basic set of rules I try to adhere to and it is one that I look for in other bloggers. I don’t care if you get ARCs or make money or walk over fiery coals and worship the elder gods to get readership. But …

You night notice a small badge on my sidebar. It is from BLOG WITH INTEGRITY. It means that I have agreed to the following which I have quoted from their site:

“By displaying the Blog with Integrity badge or signing the pledge, I assert that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is important to me.

I treat others respectfully, attacking ideas and not people. I also welcome respectful disagreement with my own ideas.

I believe in intellectual property rights, providing links, citing sources, and crediting inspiration where appropriate.

I disclose my material relationships, policies and business practices. My readers will know the difference between editorial, advertorial, and advertising, should I choose to have it. If I do sponsored or paid posts, they are clearly marked.

When collaborating with marketers and PR professionals, I handle myself professionally and abide by basic journalistic standards.

I always present my honest opinions to the best of my ability.

I own my words. Even if I occasionally have to eat them.”

Since signing this pledge I have changed a number of things, one is my use of images. I try to the best of ability to use images in the public domain or use images which are Creative Commons. One of the best sites I have found for this is Photo Pin.

I also have been upfront about the fact that links on my blog take you to Amazon as I am an Amazon Associate. If I link to other sites I try to make that clear as well, i.e., using GoodRead buttons on Waiting on Wednesdays.

I love the Blog with Integrity pledge, I think it hit all of the high points for me in my blogger ethical life. Is there anything you think is missing?


Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots

Armchair BEA 2013: Genre Fiction

Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads
Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads

Today’s genre focus is on genre fiction!
Genre fiction is kind of wide category. Science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime, romance.  Though often dismissed or ridiculed by the more “literary” minded, these novels often deal with complex themes and issues and some of the world’s most beloved authors write in these categories. Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, Douglas Adams, P D James, J R Ward and George R R Martin to name a few.  Genre fiction can take us to places we never imagine, experience scenarios we’ve always dreamed of and open up new worlds to explore.
If you’re a reader of genre fiction do you have a favourite author or series? And what keeps bringing you back for more fantasy/sci fi/horror etc? And if you don’t read one (or more) of these genres what is it that deters you from those sections of the bookstore? I’m also curious to hear why you think these genres often don’t get the recognition they deserve.
Hi, my name is Carrie and I read genre fiction, seriously mostly genre fiction. This year I am trying to break out by picking some challenges which focus on eclectic reading. But I am not really getting anywhere with them. So what do I read?
1. Fantasy – Seriously all kinds of fantasy high brow, low brow, Adult, YA. It is probably my favorite genre. And such a huge umbrella because under this you have:
Contemporary Fantasy, which includes Urban Fantasy = check and double check
Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, War for the Oaks, The Dresden Files
Holly Black and Neil Gaiman
Dark fantasy = check
Coraline, The Book of Lost Things, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Locke & Key
 Anne Rice, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker
Fairy Tales = OMG yes
The Grimm Brothers, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault, Oscar Wilde, Jane Yolen, Robin McKinley, Donna Jo Napoli
Epic/High fantasy =sometimes check
The Lord of The Rings, the Earthsea series, The Prydain Chronicles, Alice in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia
Heroic fantasy = rarely but check
Richard Adams, Mercedes Lackey, Lloyd Alexander, Christopher Paolini, Terry Goodkind
Legends = why yes please
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Robin Hood, Mythology of Ireland, Baba Yaga
Magical girl = J’adore check
Some link completely to Manga but I see it in a more broad girl power-y way and would include Alice and Dorothy and Tiffany Aching and Lyra Belacqua and Wendy Darling and Princess Eilonwy and Hermione Granger and Well need I go on?
2. Horror – I have always loved Horror. I remember getting in trouble in 8th grade for reading Amityville Horror in math class. Well, it was too scary to read at night!
Ghost storys = Love a good ghost story
Poe and Blackwood and Struab and SO MANY GOOD ONES
Monsters = Oh please give me more classics like Frankenstein

Dracula , FrankensteinZombies,  Dragons, Kelpies, Vampires, to name a few
Occult stories = Yuppers

3. Romance – Really only Historical romanceParanormal romanceFantasy romanceTime-travel romances. That seems like a lot when you list it but I maybe read one from each category a year.

4. Science fiction – I am not a huge SciFi fan and my tastes run soft science.

Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction = So glad the rest of the world finally caught on. 😉
Social science fiction = The Sparrow and The Handmaid’s Tale are Staples in my favorites lists.
Steampunk = Love it and need to read it more

Really I could go on and on but I will stop here and move on to reading about your genre love.