Posted by: Casey Lybrand | June 21, 2010

Lists of Topics and Readings, with Assorted Footnotes and Rampant Italics Abuse

A List of What I Am and Am Not Posting Today on This Blog:

What I Am Not Posting Today

  1. An Essay on Worldbuilding, Culture, and Society – I was working on post about worldbuilding and culture and society. I was going to post it today. After seeing this wonderful post at Astrographer on that topic, I realize that I need to keep working on it. My post is fine – just very brief and simple. If we are going to have a conversation at the level Astrographer is bringing it – and I cannot tell you how much I want to have that conversation – I need to work a bit more on my end to get my thoughts in order. So, not posting that today.
  2. A Poem on an Even Heavier Topic than Yesterday’s Poem – I am working on a poem on the theme raised in the second line of the third section of this poem I posted yesterday. It is a heavy topic, and I need to let it sit a bit more before putting it out there. So, not posting that today.
  3. A List of Phrases from Poetry that have Shaped My Experience of the World  and How They Have Done So [a] – This one is related to item #2, above. I was already thinking about this (and working on item #2) when I read this post at Cassandra Jade’s blog about quotes from novels [b]. The post from item #2 will be about one phrase of poetry in particular; now I want to gather together my thoughts on remembered phrases of poetry in general, and how remembering those phrases during key moments in my life has shaped my experiences of those moments. This more general post will require some thinking, and it is not even in draft form yet. So, not posting that today. [c]

What I Am Posting Today: [d]

  1. What I am Reading Yes! It is time to share what I am reading, and what I plan to read soon. So. Here we go.

List of Books I Have Read Recently, Am Reading Now, and Plan to Read Soon

The items in the lists are in no particular order. Links for the titles have been included arbitrarily, and mostly go to author blogs or sites; anything not linked can be found with a search at B&N and probably Amazon, too.


I have read these books in the past few weeks; thoughts to follow someday soon.

  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin – This is the kind of book that makes me want to keep writing. I have read it three times so far (ah, sort of): Once directly through without putting it down; the next day and the next, only the scenes with the gods; and then right through the whole thing again. Love.
  • The Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan – (Found it in YA, where it belongs, shelved under “B”, where it does not.) Loved the first book in the trilogy; loved this one as well. This will have a whole spoiler-alerty blog post soon.
  • A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffen – Enjoyed this one more than I expected to: I picked it up to broaden my understanding of urban fantasy a bit. Made me think. I love that.
  • Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney – Hadn’t read this before, but after seeing these two posts at Miss Snark, how could I resist?
  • Child of Fire by Harry Connolly – Another book I enjoyed more than I expected to. The female supporting characters = made of win. And not just Annalise. I will gush more extensively soon. I will buy the next one.
  • I feel like I’m forgetting something, and if I am, I’m sure it was wonderful, too. Sometimes I cannot brain.


  • Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans by Brian Fagan – Lua Fowles recently posted a guest post by Ollin Morales about motivation for writers at her always amazing blog. This book fits into my motivation strategy: my reward to myself for reaching 50,000 words in my first draft was starting this book.  It relates to the novel: worldbuilding, deep deep in the prehistory of the world I’m creating. (I have done considerable worldbuilding, but as I write, I realize I need to fine tune some things.) I will have thoughts when I am done reading it, and I may or may not post them on the internet. [e]


I have a wealth of material in my to-be-read pile! These are books which are in my house, on my hard drive, or pre-ordered, not books I plan to buy (I won’t subject you to that monster list just now).

  • The Next Continent by Issui Ogawa, Translated by Jim Hubbert – This one comes recommended by Nick Mamatas and James Nicoll (upon whose blogs I am a terrible lurker). I purchased it right away, and can’t wait to start it. This one is probably up next.
  • Rock Paper Tiger by Justine Brackmann – I picked this one up because it looks like a great read, and I am also extremely curious about the books represented by agents I very much respect. This is part fun reading and part research.
  • Death’s Daughter by Cassandra Jade – I am looking forward to reading this. It is also the first e-book I have ever purchased. Cassandra, you are broadening my horizons (not just on the e-book thing)!
  • Traces of a Stream: Literacy and Social Change Among African American Women by Jacqueline Jones Royster – I will start this one when I finish the Fagan book. (It’s one NF at a time at this point in my life.) I read a recommendation for this book somewhere in my exploration of the internet, but now I cannot remember where. I’m glad I added it to my to-purchase list, though.
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – I’m exploring POV, and this one looks very interesting.
  • LIAR by Justine Larblestier – I do not usually read mainstream YA, but I am looking forward to this one.
  • Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World by Vordak T. Incomprehensible – This looks like great fun for anyone who left her sense of humor in MG. Just look at the suggested age range: 8-12. Eight to twelve. This book will be perfect for my level of maturity. You can follow @Vordak on twitter, but beware his mind-control ray! [f]

Will Not Read

And here’s a little bonus list-of-one, of things I will not be reading:

  • The Little Script-ish Thing Which Is Bound Like a Paperback Which B&N Sent with My Last Order I mean . . . what? It looks like a little book. It contains a script excerpt and full-color photos of the actors from an (upcoming?) TV drama. I did not ask for it – it is clearly a promotional item – and I do not want it. I do not know anyone else who would want it. So I don’t know what to do with this thing. It looks like a book. It’s not a book. I can’t give it away. Do I throw it away? Why do you present me with this dilemma, B&N? [g]

So . . . that’s what I’m reading. Anyone else want to share? You could also write a monster reading list blog post of your own! If you link, I’ll read it.

Important Note: Should anyone be inspired to comment here on these books, please try not to be spoilery! Except for the non-fiction: spoil the hell out of me on that if you want to.

a: Cassandra has also posted about movies recently, and I am working on my List of 12 Movies I Would Want if I Were Stranded on a Desert Planet. It is harder than it seems at first glance (and not just because of The Indy Dilemma, er, make that Trilemma). This one
may get done today. We’ll see.
b: Oh yes. There will be another list. And soon! You have been warned.
c: Quotes from novels: still doin’ it wrong. Maybe some other time.
d: Well, clearly, I am posting an obnoxiously self-indulgent list on the internet. But you got that part already.
e: May or May Not: any guesses?
f: My household happens to contain aspiring supervillians. Here is a slice-of-life moment at home: The other day they wailed, “We need evil guidance!” I tried to dissuade them, but they saw the page I had open! #opositionreasearchiassureyou They laughed maniacally! I clicked my laptop shut – but it was too late! They know what they want and they know how to get it. I think I’m doomed.
g: Oh the
problems I have in my privileged life. Really. Plus, I meant recycle – that’s how we throw away paper. Can I throw away (something that looks like) a book? I haven’t done it yet.


  1. Great list of books! No worries I can’t be be spoilery, haven’t read any of those books so I’m looking forward to reading your opinions on them and the ‘heavy poem’ you’ll post :)

  2. Thank you, Lua. I’m not *too* worried about spoilers. It’s just one of those things where I feel it’s best to be clear about preferences.

    The “heavy poem” may be a while. It’s a lot to work through. I may post more generally on the topic and work up to it.

    Book reviews as soon as I can!

  3. For my part, I would really like to hear what you have to say on cultural worldbuilding. Even unpolished little parts of what you have to say.

    If my post had been polished, I probably could have said it all in a couple hundred words. It ended up being a lot longer than I expected, just ’cause I couldn’t quite find the little words that would, “Say It.”

    I’m just trying to get things out there and hoping as… kind of a community effort… to tie things together.

  4. Thank you, Colin. I’ll try to post something before the end of the week, even if it’s brief.

    And I hear you about the editing . . . it’s harder to say thing in fewer words, sometimes.

    Your post gave me a lot to think about, though. So I’m glad you posted it as-is.

  5. I hope you enjoy Death’s Daughter when you get to it.

  6. Thank you, Cassandra. I’m sure I will!

  7. […] Casey Lybrand liked it enough to buy GAME OF CAGES: “The female supporting characters = made of win. And not just Annalise.” This blogger includes a link back to the COF sample […]

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