Category: Must Love Books

6 Reasons You Should Read Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows Duology

After finishing Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology, it bumped The Lunar Chronicles right out of the top-spot as my favorite book series (sorry Marissa Meyer, but you’re always in my heart). This high-fantasy heist series is a striking read. I can’t get enough of the characters, the narrative, the world. Despite having read it a few years ago, to this day it’s left me with the biggest book-hangover of my life. Here are the top six reasons why you need to read this duology too.

 

 

6. You don’t have to read her first series to understand it

Grisha Trilogy

Image via Goodreads

 

While technically a sequel series to Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy, you definitely don’t have to be well-versed in the world to dive right into these books. I personally didn’t read any of the original series and was still able to fall head-first into everything Six of Crows had to offer. It’s completely different than the first series with all new characters. And while I’m told there are a few minor cameos by characters from the Grisha Trilogy, this duology works brilliantly as a standalone.

 

5. It doesn’t play into YA fiction tropes

YA love triangle

Image via WordPress

 

Spoiler alert: there are no lost princesses in this duology! No love triangles, no “I’m not like other girls” girls, and absolutely no Chosen Ones. Even though this is a fantasy novel (and a high fantasy one at that), it strays greatly from the YA conventions of the fantasy genre. With those elements gone, it makes way for a truly unpredictable narrative. With the absence of these stylistic tropes, this series makes way for different aspects of YA to be explored. Not to mention without the comforting predictability of the high fantasy story structure, you’re constantly on your toes while you’re reading.

 

 

4. It delves into real-world issues

 

World Vs. Money

Image via Investopedia

 

Ketterdam is where the duology is primarily set and it’s a nation that is so dedicated to capitalism that it’s a religion to them. Bardugo uses these books to explore the dangers of a country that values money above all else. As a consequence of this world, we see characters as members of gangs, having to be prostitutes, and being plagued by illness and addiction. Bardugo paints a grimy world—one that requires her teenage-aged protagonists to grow up faster than most and she writes the psyche of each character so incredibly well.

 

3. The writing is extraordinary

 

Image result for six of crows quotes

Image via WordPress

 

Bardugo’s one of those authors whose writing just hits you. She balances the serious with the loving and the heartbreaking. And despite how grim the subject matter might seem, the duology still manages to be uplifting, relatable and hilarious. Not to mention quotable as hell. Careful, though. You might end up with a Six of Crows quote as your Twitter bio.

 

 

2. The diversity is on point

 

Image result for six of crows characters

Image via We Heart It

 

Much needed discussions in the YA community about diversity are finally being had. And as a tough critic on the lack of book characters of color and how they’re treated when they are there, I can actually give these series a stamp of approval. Not only are the characters racially diverse, but Bardugo is also inclusive in other ways. There’s a character that is plus sized, characters with both physical and mental disabilities, and LGBT+ representation. And when I say LGBT+ representation, I don’t just mean That One Gay Character in the main friend group and his under-developed boyfriend. I’m talking MULTIPLE queer characters of varying identities that are fleshed out. Not only is this diversity baked into the narrative, but it’s also not tokenized or stereotyped. Bardugo strikes a nice balance between writing her diversity so obscurely that nobody knows they are until she retroactively tells us in interviews (looking at you J.K. Rowling) and making that diversity the sole trait of those characters. She’s able to write diverse characters as people and that’s what we want when we ask for representation.

 

1. It’s going to be a TV series

 

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Image via Vox

 

This is your chance to be the “I saw it first” friend. As of January of this year, Netflix has ordered an eight episode series of Shadow & Bone and Six of Crows. While there’s no details on how yet, the show will be combining both of Bardugo’s book series to make the show. Get a jump on the narrative by reading the Six of Crows duology. Not only will you be ahead of the curve for what is sure to be a highly talked about adaptation, but it’ll also be fun watching the world and character you know come to life onscreen.

 

Featured image via Affinity Magazine

6 Quick & Easy Bookish Crafts

Fall and cold weather are just around the corner, and soon book lovers will be hoarding up their books, blankets, and warm drinks. Before the autumn winds start blowing, why not stop at your local craft store and pick up paints, brushes, and artsy odds and ends to make some bookish crafts? Here’s a list of six easy DIY bookish crafts to decorate your home or your shelves.

 

1. Painted Brick BookENDS

 

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IMAGE BY http://www.myfriendshouse.co.uk/books-and-mortar/

 

All you need for these easy, vintage-looking books is some bricks, acrylic paint, and your favorite book cover designs. These bricks can be used as bookends on your shelves or as a literary touch to your garden. Check out this YouTube video for more specific instructions.

 

2. Teacup bookmarks

 

Image by genuine mudpie

 

You can use or reuse any type of colored paper for these cozy teacup bookmarks, and the tea bags are easily attached with string. If you’re a fan of Lewis Carroll, you could even design one that says “Drink me” and include some “Eat me” cookies. This blog provides some easily traceable teacup templates as well as detailed instructions.

 

3. Book page Pendants

 

Image by www.Happyhourprojects.com

 

These book page necklaces put your favorite book scenes on display with a tiny frame and some decorative beads. By replacing the necklace cords with a keychain or phone charm, you can easily wear your books in a multitude of ways. If you’re a Potterhead, you can even coordinate the colors of the beads with your House colors.

 

 

4. Miniature book worlds signpost

 

image by indigoamethyst.blogspot.com

 

If you always find yourself wandering off to fictional worlds in your head, why not give yourself a bit of direction with this miniature bookshelf signpost? You can use stencils to trace the names of your favorite fictional places onto paint sticks or small pieces of wood, and even arrange the signs according to the location of the books on your shelves.

 

5. BOok page candle

 

IMAGE BY Hubpages

 

This candle is a perfect piece of bookish decor to complement those teacup bookmarks. You can cut any silhouette shape into a favorite book page to outline the flame, whether it’s a heart, a book, or even a dragon.

 

6. BOOK-Lover NECKLACE

 

Image result for stack of books necklaceimage by Handmade Jewelry products

If you can’t choose just one book page to wear as a necklace, you can wear a bundle of books instead! Using three dollhouse size books, some glue, string, and a necklace chain, you can show off your love of books in miniature form.

 

 

Featured image by freepik.com

Six Iconic Shakespeare Memes

Shakespeare’s plays are whackier and whackier the more you read. Confusion, dirty jokes, and some pretty unbelievable things happening at sea. So many things are just begging to be memed. It’s a shame memes weren’t even invented until four hundred years after his death. At least we can give his works the meming they deserve retroactively.

Image via Pintrest

 

What an icon. Shakespeare invented countless words, including the word countless. But let’s get to plot nonsense.

I confess, my love of hamlet shows a little here, but who can blame me? There’s a reason it’s so widely read. Plus, Hamlet himself is such an incredibly quotable character, who wouldn’t make a meme? Like his most famous line.

Image via Dorkly

 

But it’s not just the things he says when he’s alone and feeling emo. Hamlet comes face to face with almost everyone in the play, in a way that changes it around him, even when he’s not staging mini murder plays.

Image via Citizen Sociolinguistics

 

I think we can all agree Ophelia deserved better. Who does he think he is, a prince? He-hem. Usually tossing a girl around a room (in some adaptations) is not the way to her heart. But you know what’s actually a worse seduction tactic?

Image via Dorkly

 

Yikes. That’s one way to get her alone. Not one I can condone, though. Alright, enough about Denmark. We could go on like this forever.

Let’s talk about history. No, it’s not the picture of an impaled bottle of Caesar salad dressing, as iconic as that is. It’s not the only Julius Caesar meme.

Image via SparkNotes

 

What happens when you kill the one fun friend? Then again, I guess all getting together to stab someone could be considered a party of sorts. It’s certainly one way to bond with your coworkers. Work outing? Tried it and I CANNOT recommend.

Image via Pintrest

I had to include a Much Ado About Nothing meme, because it’s my all time fave, and this is my favorite adaptation. Plus, just about every character is an absolute meme, start to finish.

 

 

Featured image via Shakespeare Teacher

Two Hugo Finalists Trying to Turn Silver to Gold

The Hugo Awards, the annual award for science fiction, will announce their winner later in the week, but for now, there are two finalists which are the first in their series—so you can start reading right now, and be ready for the winner this weekend.

 

Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning

Image Via Amazon

 

Maggie is a post-apocalyptic Navajo monster hunter, and that’s just the beginning. When a girl goes missing in a small town, she’s forced to team up with a medicine man to travel the reservation, uncovering secrets and coming closer and closer to a monster more terrible than either can imagine. An immersive flooded world, filled with gods and monsters, and characters with enough sarcasm and attitude to bear the weight of a dark plot and devastated world.

This has already swept a few awards, and is sure to be a good pick for anyone who likes any supernatural or speculative genres.

 

 

Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik

Image Via Amazon

 

You may have noticed by now I’m A LITTLE OBSESSED with Naomi Novik, but hey, the experts back me up. This is sort of a fairy tale, related to Rumpelstiltskin, but you always get much more than you can possibly foresee with Novik.

Since her father is running the family business into the ground, Miryim takes matters into her own hands. For better or worse, she’s very good at debt collecting, and ends up catching the attention of the supernatural—the icy Staryk—and it only gets more dire from there. You can expect gloriously lush world building and characters who feel like real people.

 

 

 

Featured image Via Pixels

Six Galaxy Brain Tweets from SparkNotes

If you’re anything like me, SparkNotes has always been there when you need it. Now, they’re not only helping you pass your classes, but also serving you the spiciest of literature memes. They’re all pure gold, but here are just a few.

 

 

Theseus or not, YOU. ARE. VALID.

 

 

Unfortunately there’s no third option, so if you want to set the Minotaur up on a blind date with your friend, you’re kind of out of luck. Otherwise, you’re good though. What color do your sails need to be if you didn’t slay the Minotaur but you’re seeing it this Friday?

 

 

 

Some people appreciate attitude

 

 

I mean, he’s already in love with her by that point, but you get the idea. He’s always talking about how mean she is, and then boom, marry me! Of course, the same could be said of her. What a stressful ship. Still though, you know, I’m on it.

 

 

 

Want to delay your problems forever?

 

 

Curiosity may not have killed the cat, but it sure killed Dorian Gray. Still, he lived a while looking fresh and evil in stead of old and evil, so if you’ve got the attic space, why not? In this economy though? The thing’s going under the bed.

 

 

 

Do You haunt an old building? Then you need…

 

 

 

Sure, you might not be the most conventionally attractive, but your secret underground hideaway is second to none, and isn’t it what’s on the inside that matters? What’s under the surface? (What’s directly  under the opera house?)

 

 

 

People can’t know we sit! And… murder!

 

 

Maybe not as relatable as the original video, but definitely a strong mood, and just as futile. The body stays right under the floorboards after all. If only there’d been seashells on the doorknobs, maybe things would have gone better.

 

 

 

Hindsight is… Ah man I botched it.

 

 

Don’t look back in anger (or at all). Going to the depths of hell is a nice gesture, and who doesn’t like musicians, but you’ve gotta stick the landing by actually fulfilling the deal. Just one opinion, but if both of you don’t come back alive, that’s a bad date.

 

 

 

All images via SparkNotes