Tag: fantasy

4 Books to Read By This Underrated Fantasy Writer

If you’re a fan of fantasy, you’ve probably read J.K. Rowling, Leigh Bardugo, and all the other must-read authors that swoop you up into a world of dreams and magic. But you may or may not have read Italo Calvino, an Italian journalist known for his short stories and whimsical fiction. Born in 1923, Calvino seems almost ahead of his time in fantasy and immersive settings. These magical twists always come when least expected because, in a Calvino book, anything is possible. If you want to take a dive into Calvino’s world (and come out feeling like someone unplugged your connection to reality), here are four books to try.

 

1. Invisible cities

 

Image result for italo calvino invisible cities"

image via atisuto17 on newgrounds.com

 

If you love urban fantasy, or you feel whispers of magic in the night lights of the city, Invisible Cities will feel absolutely unreal in the most beautiful way. In this collection of short stories, each chapter features the description of a whimsical city narrated by Venetian traveler Marco Polo who relays his travels through cities of memory, desire, design, the dead, and the sky.

There’s a spider-web city suspended above nothing but air on a series of nets, and inhabitants must climb around to get from place to place. There’s a city of waste where residents only use everything one time before throwing it away- one bar of soap per hand wash, one set of sheets and pillow per night’s sleep. There is a city that is forever under construction to prevent its destruction and a city of wells and buckets built over a massive lake.

Invisible Cities combines fantasy, metaphor, and social commentary in an absolutely breathtaking read.

 

2. IF ON A WINTER’S NIGHT A TRAVELER

 

Image result for book with cut up pages"

image via archzine.com

 

The first time you open If On A Winter’s Night A Travelerit’ll feel something like trying to read this. This book is about you, the reader, trying to read If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino, but you keep receiving incomplete copies missing parts of the plot, or completely different books altogether. As a result, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler (and we never find out what that traveler does on a winter’s night) ends up combining about eight different plots for novels in total, each one more intriguing than the next. We never find out the endings. It’s just as frustrating as it is fascinating and addictive. In fact, this meta novel is more about the experience of the reader. Calvino uses the opportunity to make fun of books, readers, writers, publishers, translators, booksellers, and anti-readers in a way that’s strangely relatable.

If you love reading and meta stuff, this is definitely a book for you.

 

 

3. THE BARON IN THE TREES

 

Image result for baron in the trees"

image via dribble

 

When you were a kid, did you ever dream about running away from home and living in the forest, maybe building a treehouse where you can sulk in peace? The Baron in the Trees is the story of Cosimo di Rondó, a young Italian boy who had similar feelings after a fight with his family. He ran away into the trees and proceeded to live there for the rest of his life. Cosimo creates a whole world for himself in the trees, making friends, helping others, and solving worldly problems.

This book is for any fantasy lover who has elaborate dreams of escape into a world of their own making.

 

4. MARCOVALDO: The SEASONS IN THE CITY

 

Image result for seasons in the city calvino"

Image via ioannagalanomati.blogspot.com

 

I like to think of Marcovaldo as cartoons come to life. Marcovaldo is an unskilled worker living in an Italian industrial city. He’s just trying to live a normal life and care for his family, but more often than not his imagination gets the best of him. Imagine the scene in cartoons where a person gets covered in a pile of snow and becomes a snowman. This happens to Marcovaldo. Imagine the scene where a person falls asleep on a raft in the middle of a lake and drifts over a waterfall, still sleeping. This also happens to Marcovaldo. Anything and everything happens to Marcovaldo, and fantasy just keeps intruding on the boring monotony of his working life.

If you’re a daydreamer who would rather chase fantasy than stay grounded in reality, you’ll probably relate to Marcovaldo as much as I did.

 

Basically, if you’ve never read Calvino and you’re in the mood for some fantasy that is also self-aware and unique, you HAVE to try one of these.

 

 

 

Featured image via telegraph.co.uk

Five Fiery Hunger Games Memes

Oh the Hunger Games. Truly the best of the pack from the dystopian craze, at least in my opinion. It had everything. Fire, social commentary, death, crazy outfits. More movies than you can count. It’s been a while, but I know we’re still hype, and the second Mockingjay movie came out four years ago today, so let’s open some old wounds and have some laughs.

 

I’m Just Saying

Image via BeFunky

Look. If we were married, we would live in the same place, and therefore we’d have tons of time to work on the project. Just smart thinking, right? The only group project anyone ever wants to do. Yeah, this part of the story was insanely depressing, but don’t we all sometimes feel like we’re tap dancing just a few inches ahead of death? Just me? And if you’re asking someone to marry you in literally any other situation, you need to look happier about it. Just a tip.

 

No Games

Image via iStalker

The Hunger Games didn’t invent killing all your characters and breaking everyone’s hearts. If anything, The Hunger Games was more metal about it, because those books were directed at a younger audience. I mean, maybe younger people thank I think watch GOT, but the audience for this was potentially young. I was a teenager when the last book came out, probably, but imagine reading it and being Prue’s age, younger. Rooting for her. Too soon?

 

Advice vs. Execution

Image via MemeDroid

If it ain’t me. He’s just lucky he didn’t fall over. I know the act natural trope is crazy overused, but I just can’t be mad when it’s always so funny. As someone who’s never succeeded at seeming unbothered in my life, I can just relate on a really deep level. Sure, I’ve never gotten to the point of wearing a white suit about it, but I did once back into a table and fall over trying to act calm and professional. That might just be a me thing. Peeta does look awkward, though. Maybe because that collar’s clearly stabbing him.

 

Why?

Image via Instagyou

Look, I like to think I’d say to hell with the capital too, but at the same time, cushy job, probably some crazy hats, literally more food than you can eat… Sure, it worked out for him, but he really rolled the dice, didn’t he? For most of the rebellion it was like, hmm, do we fight or do we accept death? They could only profit. Maybe he saw an opportunity, maybe he was just a really good dude deep down, but his character really shows you the limits of first person narrative.

 

So Punny

 
Image via Pinterest

*air horn sound* Alright, it’s probably not that funny. I just love it when people laugh really hard and I don’t get it like that. Look at the reaction image! Is it that funny to someone? Is it ironic laughter? Either way I’m amused. I also have a bunch of questions about snow. He was basically omnipotent, and he couldn’t make that work for him. For all he seemed clever in the books, I really don’t know how he let himself get killed by an excited crowd. What a fall from grace.

Featured image via QuickMeme

#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @mitra_bookish_girl

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @mitra_bookish_girl

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. What is a Bookstagrammer you ask? A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! This week we are getting to know Mitra, or as you would know her on Instagram, @mitra_bookish_girl.

Here is her story: 

 

View this post on Instagram

Hello Dear Bookstagrammers 🤗💕 📚 – If you could visit any fictional world right now, where would you go ? 📚 ~ I'd definitely like to visit the magical city Daevabad to meet some Daevas and some Shafits 😍 to travel through the old and mysterious cursed lake (it would be thrilling), to shop in the Grand Bazaar, to see all their centuries old breathtaking buildings; the Citadel, the Grand Temple, and that Ziggurat Palace that has its own magic 🤩 I've read City of Brass and Kingdom of Copper this year in June, and I'm completely in awe of the Djinn 🧞‍♂️ world Chakraborty has created. It's such a fascinating world with Medieval Middle Eastern setting, lovely enchanting atmosphere, full of magical beings and creatures of water, air, and fire, with diverse characters (YES this djinn world is diverse in so many ways), where men wear turbans and women wear veils and chadors. It's a compelling story of a girl who is a con artist living in Cairo but when she met an Afshin djinn, it changed not just her life but the whole djinn world too. – I've always been fascinated with the Arabian and Persian folklore and mythology, I've grown up reading Arabian Nights, Daastan-e-Ameer-e-Hamza, and Talassum-e-hoshruba, and all these books have a special place in my heart, so when I read the City of Brass it captured my heart completely, it felt familiar, it felt like home. I loved it so much and can't wait to read the third and final book. 📚 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • #bookstagram #cityofbrass #kingdomofcopper #harpervoyager #hardbacks #hardcovers #djinn #daevabadtrilogy #yafantasy #fantasybooks #stillswithstories #flatlayoftheday #booksta #ireadya #ilovereading #bookwormlife #booksaremagic #readinggoals #idratherbereading #bookshark #fortheloveofbooks #yareads #booksparks #avidreader #booklife #bookworld #bookstagrammer #angleshot

A post shared by MITRA MUSTAFA 🇵🇰 (@mitra_bookish_girl) on

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

 

Mitra began her Bookstagram career with nothing but her wits, her love of books, and the Internet.

 

I found out about bookstagram through a bookish page on Facebook in January 2017, first I started following some Bookstagrammers, then I decided to create my own bookstagram account because I loved the idea of posting creative book photos and spreading the love of books.

I thought it is the best way to catch the attention of non-readers and make them read books, to make them fall in love with books. So I started posting my own book photos in February 2017.

 

Some of Mitra’s favorite books include The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff, the Ember series by Sabaa Tahir, and the Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo—it certainly shows in this awesome post:

 

 

A fun fact about Mitra is that she loves the smell of book pages and that creative ink!

I sniff books too much, even while reading I sometimes stop reading the book and just sniff it, I love the smell of books so much.

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

 

More often than not, we do judge books by their cover (especially since they’re becoming more and more pretty these days). But they can also inform us about our tastes and further develop our appreciation for books. Mitra’s favorite book cover is King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo.

 

 

So when should you keep an eye out for Mitra’s newest gorgeous photos?

I post daily and on evenings. Instagram allows us to check the statistics of our accounts and that shows us the time when most of our followers are online, so I post when most of my followers come online.

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Mitra already has so many great book recommendations. Every avid reader has a To Be Read list that they add to in the hopes of acquiring more favorites, and Mitra is no different. Her TBR list includes some of this year’s newest releases:

 

  • Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
  • Capturing the Devil by Jerri Maniscalo
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

We also asked Mitra if she could pick a publisher to supply her with a lifetime of books. Can you guess what she said?

I think I’d choose Simon and Schuster because they publish Cassandra Clare’s books so then I’ll get her books for free for a lifetime and I want to read every book she writes.

 

Chapter 4: What Does Bookstagram Mean To You?

 

There’s no doubt that Mitra’s love for books and Instagram style have an influence on the bookish community, and her photography skills are stunning. But what does Bookstagram mean to her personally?

 

It’s an important part of my life now, I feel at home here, to be able to freely discuss and share the love of books and characters without being judged by anyone for it surely feels like a haven to me. And it feels great when other people read the books I recommend. I try to create content that’s worth liking and reading. And that will influence my followers in a positive way. I just want more people to read books, and to learn positive things from the books they read. I just want to spread positivity and the love of books through my page.

 

Mitra has her own favorite Bookstagrammers too, including @xenatine, @bookish_mai, @_ckarys, @mkarys, @berrybookpages, and @bookwormgram.

 

 

Well, what did you think of @mitra_bookish_girl? You will love how interactive she is in her comments! Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them on here next week! 

 

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

Featured image by @mitra_bookish_girl

5 Frosty Narnia Memes

The Chronicles of Narnia is a foundational fantasy work, and it’s also got some very funny moments. Moments that should be memes. From putting a lamppost in the story for spite to not even bothering to hide the religious allegory, Lewis wasn’t afraid of anything, and it shows. He goes all in, and I respect the hell out of it.

 

At All Times

 

Image result for chronicles of narnia memes
Gif via Gfycat

 

If this was a list of things I’ve gotten together, there wouldn’t even be a heading. What’s working? Nothing. Obviously. I’m a disaster at the best of times, but add midterms and/or having to save the world? Please. Lucy’s face says everything. Really the ultimate mood. At least I haven’t spent any time in a freezing river recently. Small mercies.

 

 

Aslan Gets It

 

Image via Pikdo

 

Look, it’s hard to be on the cutting edge of memes. I mean, in my opinion, memes change like fine wine, but there’s nothing wrong with a fresh, spicy meme. And if you’re wondering if I’ve seen a new meme yet—I have. In the iconic words of my kid sister, it’s all memes in here (my brain). I’ve seen it all. If there was a meme museum, I’d be a docent.

 

 

There Isn’t

 

Image via PicDove

 

It’s one of those things that sounds reasonable and then you’re like… why would I need to do that. Like, maybe open a window? Of course if you’ve got the vapors, going outside might be better, but not if you have hay fever. I love Susan’s practicality. She’s like, you know what improves every situation? Fresh air. I’m surprised she didn’t put on a kettle.

 

 

Nerds? Book Nerds?

Image via PublicInsta

 

It’s the constant struggle. You see someone reading and enjoying a book you love, do you interrupt them? I get almost as excited as I do when I see any dogs. I want. To be friends. Like, let’s talk about books. Let’s talk about everything. It’s an objectively bad energy, and you can’t come in with that on the subway. You can’t have any energy on the subway. It’s rough.

 

 

I’ve Gotta Check Every Time

 

Image via Amino Apps

 

Look. I don’t think I’ve ever had an actual wardrobe in my life. But I do press on the back of drawers and closet walls. I know they’re made of incredibly normal wood, but I have to hope, you know? Like, I always check my mail for a Hogwarts letter, even though everything else in there is going to be bad. Life may be ordinary, but there’s no reason to lose hope.

 

 

Featured image via Hotsta 

7 Books For International Lesbian Day – Because Love Is Love

To celebrate the holiday of love and awareness, we’re sharing a versatile of books featuring Lesbian characters and the adventures they must have.

These books range from the fantastically adventurous, to romantically dramatic!

 

 

#1 Perfect Rhythm by Jae

 

Perfect Rhythm (Fair Oaks Book 1) by [Jae]

 

When pop star Leontyne Blake loses the love in her love songs, a sudden family emergency brings her back to her tiny hometown of Missouri. Tending to her father, sick in the hospital, Leontyne is finally able to escape the pressure of the music industry, as well as the pressure of finding someone who loves her for her, and not her fame.

Everything changes when she meets her father’s nurse, Holly Drummond, who is not only unimpressed with Leontyne’s success, but is more interested in Leontyne as a person. Holly is a woman different from any that Leontyne has ever met, uninterested in relationships in general, and also Asexual. As the relationship between these women develops, they need to find the perfect rhythm to find something more, a love that both had given up on a long time ago.

A great read for any hopeless romantic!

 

#2 The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

 

The Stars Are Legion by [Hurley, Kameron]

 

This sci-fi epic and Hugo Award winner will take you by storm, throwing you into an all-out war, blood-battles and all, but more than the intense drama of war, this story is about our heroine’s search for truth. Zan wakes with no memory of who she is, and where she has come from. Encaptured by strangers, all women, who claim they are her family and that she is their salvation, Zan must fight her way to the truth to save a dying world.

If action is what you’re looking for, look no further than this book! With twists and turns at every corner, this book perfectly blends the sci-fi genre with action and drama that will blow you out of this world, and there’s a little romance between the protagonist and another of the fierce women of the story.

 

#3 The Price of Salt (Carol) by Patricia Highsmith

 

The Price of Salt by [Highsmith, Patricia]

 

A beloved classic romance for the modern-day, this tale follows two women, lost in the daily monotony, living untrue to themselves and their potential. Therese, a struggling young sales clerk, and Carol, a stay at home mother in the midst of a bitter divorce, find each other, and therefore find joy and freedom that they never believed was possible before. Abandoning their oppressive daily routines for the freedom of the open road, they together build a love that they have always wanted. However, this is not a fairy tale romance where all it takes is two people falling in love to reach the happy ending, because of Carol’s obligations as a mother, she is forced to choose between her love for Therese and her beloved child.

True love never comes easy in the real world, and this emotional roller-coaster of a novel shows that tenfold.

 

 

#4 The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie  

 

The Abyss Surrounds Us by [Skrutskie, Emily]

 

If that last book was a little too real for you, here’s some fantasy to escape the soul-crushing that is reality.

Combining monsters and pirates together this book follows Cassandra Leung, a trainee in a family of Recokners, trainers of genetically engineered sea monsters to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. When the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water. With plans to make the Sea her own, the Pirate queen orders Cas to train a monster pup to push her plans into action. Torn by her desire to uphold her family’s noble cause and her survival as a captive, Cassandra must choose wisely to live the Pirate life.

 

#5 My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness by Kabi Nagata 

 

My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness by [Nagata, Kabi]

 

Intensely personal, this graphic novel is Kabi Nagata’s revealing story, her struggles with depression and sexuality as a young woman. With charming and provocative illustrations, Nagata leaves nothing censored. The true and difficult reality of struggling with mental health and coming to terms with your sexuality is perfectly illustrated, both literally and figuratively, in this book. For any reader of this book, how real and relatable the story is written is moving.

 

#6 Nevada by Imogen Binnie

 

 

Maria Griffiths, a young trans woman, takes a life-changing journey away from her life in New York City after she discovers that her girlfriend has been lying to her. With her life as she has known it forever changed, Maria sets off to escape the painful lies that have been revealed, but with the struggles that trans people face looming over her head, her ventures are much harder than she wishes. Joined by another trans woman on her life journey, they must find their way in the world.

 

 

#7 We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

 

We Are Okay by [LaCour, Nina]

 

Having run from her old life, Marin has kept many secrets about her final moments before she left her family and old friends behind. With tragedy and grief from her past still tormenting her for years since she left, the past finally comes back to haunt her when her best friend Mabel pays a visit to Marin’s lonely apartment. The truth must finally come out, and Marin must face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

 

Images via Amazon

 

 

 

Featured Images via Amazon