Friday, May 8, 2015

7 Books to Read If You Like "Doctor Who"

I've been thinking about how many fangirls/boys love Netflix almost as much as they love libraries. Reading is awesome. TV shows are awesome. There are so many ways to figure out which book to read next if you like a certain one. You can talk to your librarians, consult Goodreads, find other books that author has written, etc. But there aren't a whole lot of resources to figure out which book to read if you like a certain TV show. I want to fix that, so I'm starting with my favorite TV show, "Doctor Who." The cool thing is it works both ways; If you like "Doctor Who," now you have a whole bunch of new books to read that are similar to it. If you don't watch "Doctor Who," but like the books listed, now you have a new show to watch. ;) Enjoy!

1. Doctor Who: Who-ology by Mark Wright and Cavan Scott, Doctor Who: Official Guide on How to Be a Time Lord by the BBC, Doctor Who: The Krillitane Storm by Christopher Cooper

Reason: "Doctor Who"

I grouped these three together because they're all pretty obvious choices. Who-ology is basically the Whovian bible. It includes information on everything, from Classic Who to the regenerated series up to Matt Smith's era. Timelines, trivia, quotes, and more, it's an addictive read.

How to Be a Time Lord is fluff, fluff, fluff. It's full of pictures and quizzes and has a page for each companion, Doctor, and monster. It's a one night kind of book, great for bridging the gap between depressing novels, or if you just want to feel productive.

I only chose The Krillitane Storm because it's something I've read, but there are tons of DW fan-fiction books I wasn't even aware of. From Tennant to Baker to Smith and everyone in between, you can find all kinds of stories.

2. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Reason: Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey

TIME TRAVEL. I won this book in a giveaway and went into it completely blind. It was an excellent surprise! It's fast-paced, unique, and so good. I couldn't put it down until I'd turned the last page. It's told through dual perspectives and has some fantastic (see what I did there?) plot twists that I hadn't seen coming. Highly recommended!

3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Reason: Cyborg, sci-fi, the future, oh my!

The storybuilding in this series is a-maz-ing. You get sucked in immediately, and it refuses to let you go until you've read it all. And the characters? Fantastic. Hovercrafts and spaceships and new technology and other planets and droids and other sci-fi awesomeness. Cinderella is a cyborg. Rapunzel was trapped on a satellite. All these different twists on fairytales make the story familiar, but new and exciting. Just like Doctor Who. Everyone knows about Shakespeare, but what happens when you add a few real witches into the mix?

4. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Reason: Romantic, outer space adventures

This was the first hardcore sci-fi book I read and loved, and this was before "Doctor Who" opened up my interests more. The whole story is set on a remote planet after Lilac and Tarver are the only survivors of a spaceship crash. (I do wonder why anyone thought naming a spaceship "Icarus" was a good idea, though.) Lilac reminds me of a young Donna Noble, and I love the witty banter between her and Tarver. It's a great, simple story with well-written characters.

5. Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Reason: Bizarre road trip w/ interesting creatures

Holy crap is this book weird. And I'm not talking weird like normal amounts of weirdness. I'm talking about garden gnomes that walk and talk and think they're Norse gods. And punk rock angels. And magic trumpets. This is a Doctor Who kind of bizarre that fans of the Russel T. Davies era will enjoy in particular.

6. Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King

Reason: The future . . .

Glory O'Brien drinks a bat and suddenly she can see the future. Strange? Absolutely. But the strange parts of stories--and "Doctor Who" especially--tend to be the best parts. The future in "Doctor Who" tends to be very grim, and so is the future Glory sees. Getting to see what's ahead is often more of a burden than anything. It's a great story.

7.  Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Reason: Best friends have wacky adventures

Who doesn't love the imagination in these stories? Everything from the transmogrifier to Calvin's time machine to the adventures of Spaceman Spiff keeps you laughing and turning page after page. The friendship that Calvin and Hobbes have is reminiscent of the Doctor and his loyal companion, always poking around and getting into trouble. They make friends and enemies, but at the end of the day it's the two of them against the world.

Do you watch "Doctor Who?" What books would you suggest for a Whovian looking for something to read? Leave a comment!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

April Wrap-Up

So I was a little late this month with the wrap-up post . . . whoops.

Books I Read

En Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


It had great characters, a fast-paced plot, and it sounds like it'll even be a movie. This was a great debut book, probably one of my favorite reads from this year so far. If you like fantasy, dual perspectives, and undercover spy work, this book is for you! Read my review here!

Ms. Marvel, Vol 1: No Normal


I hadn't ever really read superhero graphic novels before, so this was a great first comic! It read really fast and had a great protagonist. Kamala is a Muslim girl with a normal life and big dreams. Then she gains superpowers and totally kicks butt with them.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Holy. Freaking. Insanity. The characters are psycho, the story is psycho, everyone and everything is insane. This is one of the few books where I couldn't stand a single person in it, but liked the story. Those books are very rare, but Gone Girl pulled it off. I finished the last 150 pages in a single day because I couldn't put it down. Definitely worth the read.

Movies I Watched

"Sixteen Candles"


Fun eighties movie, simple story. It's not one of my favorites, but it's worth the watch. And now I get all the references people make!

"Sherlock Jr."


I really like silent movies! Buster Keaton's are my favorites, and this one was super fun and quirky. It's really short, too.

"Guardians of the Galaxy"


Another great superhero movie! I watched this one with my friends and we all really liked it. It's bizarre and funny and has great characters. It's like the Avengers meets Star Wars. I'll definitely watch the next one.

Quotes I Wrote

I won my local library's poetry contest! My winning poem is called Life Today.

The wonders of life are often
Missed by those who are too busy
To see.
Stuck in our silly lives,
Working hard to be able to eat
And go back to work,
We forget to live.
iPods and iPhones,
Beeping and tweeting and ringing.
A cacophony of reminders to check your device
And see who has updated their Facebook page most recently.
Constant interruptions turn twenty-minute TV shows into
Or sixty.
Movies take three nights to watch
Instead of one.
Kids bounce up and down in the car on road trips,
Asking how much longer it will be until they can get close to some wifi,
For their dragons on Dragonvale should be done breeding any second now.
The power goes out and we finally realize
How sad we are without
And noise.
Quiet. All is quiet.
Then a cell phone rings.

Harper frowned at the murky liquid. "It tastes like a barrel of lies."
--Plot Bunnies

    “You have to do something about him,” Harper said, sliding her tray away from me so I couldn’t take anything else from her. “Or one of these days you’re going to crack, and then where would I be?”
    “I can’t, Harper, you know I’ve already tried to—”
    “Not in-story,” she interrupted me. “Nobody’s been able to do that. I mean in real life.” She glanced around the dining hall—jam-packed and noisy with characters currently free from their stories—to make sure no one was listening. Then she leaned in closer and whispered, “I heard he’s getting you flowers.”
    I cursed under my breath, causing Harper to snort, eyes crinkling as she smiled.
    “I’ve already told him I’m not interested,” I grumbled. “He thinks that somehow this stupid, forced, and totally unrealistic in-story romance translates into the real world. What else can I do to send him the message?”
    “Just check yourself into the psychiatric ward,” Harper suggested, unhelpfully. “He won’t be allowed to see you there.”
    “Yeah, but then you can’t see me either.”
    “More fries for me,” she joked, smothering one in ketchup.
--Plot Bunnies

I caught a whiff of the familiar combination of ideas: coffee, old books, pencil shavings, and a hint of a fading campfire. Tendrils of smoke and fog still remained, drifting vaguely toward the ceiling.
--Plot Bunnies

“She’s not much of a talker, is she?” She said, quiet enough so Liz wouldn’t hear, but loud enough to make it clear that she didn’t care if she did.
    “She’s nervous,” I said, feeling this natural instinct to protect her. She couldn’t have been older than nine, maybe ten. Younger than Harper by quite a few years, at least. “We’re all nervous when we first materialize.”
    “Not me.” Harper wheeled herself in front of the bookshelf and ran her hands along the spines of my books. She pulled one at random and flipped through it, admiring the illustrations. “You know what I did?”
    “Rolled right down the hall and figured it out,” I said in a bored tone. I’d heard this story a thousand times.
    “Didn’t know anyone,” Harper continued, addressing the pages of my book rather than me. I busied myself with cleaning up the books and CDs lying around the room, making more space on the bed by scooping up my open notebook and pile of pencils. My MP3 player was almost crushed by Harper’s wheelchair before I rushed to move it from harm’s way, almost yanking the earbuds out of the headphone jack. “But I dealt with it. I listened, I observed, I explored, and I pieced together all the clues on my own.”
    “Yeah, yeah, I know, you were a genius,” I said distractedly.
    “Still am!” Harper said defensively. “Thanks to all that espionage crap, I know how to hack into anybody’s computer from my own laptop. I can also dig up deleted files and history, tap into your phone calls, and make it look like you’re getting text messages from someone you’re not.”
    “That’s just scary.”
    “That’s just the beginning.”
--Plot Bunnies

“How do I know if I’m the main character, though? I don’t even know who I am. I don’t know how old I am, what my last name is, if I have a family, nothing.”
    “It doesn’t take long for it to become clear,” Harper piped up. “Just pay attention to who the story seems to revolve around. If you end up getting dragged along on some epic quest of your best friend’s, chances are you’re the secondary character. If you’re the one the prophecy spoke of or you’re leading a rebellion or whatever, you’re the protagonist.”
--Plot Bunnies

I read the names on the doors. The first one had ‘Character 2’ engraved on the gold plaque hanging at eye level. The Writer must not have figured out a name for him (or her) yet. The one next to it said ‘Harry Potter,’ which made me wonder what fan-fiction piece she was working on now. We’d already had a few Dean Winchesters wandering the halls, but she hadn’t spent much time on those.
    Then I spotted Liz’s. The plaque read ‘Liz ???’ So she was an important character. The three question marks was The Writer’s signature placeholder for a last name, and she only gave last names to the characters who mattered. If only your first name was known, chances of you being caught in the crossfire were much higher.
--Plot Bunnies

“Hey, Indigo!” I looked up at Tony, sitting diagonally across from me. He was always the guy in big groups who looked most likely to answer, “RED BULL!” when asked what he had for breakfast. He beamed and gestured to man in his twenties next to him. “I think we've got a contender.”
    I raised my eyebrows at Tony and the man. “Really? Worse than Albert?”
    “We'll leave that up to the judges to decide,” Tony said.
    “All right, everyone, I think we're all here,” Mallory spoke in a shout to make herself heard. “If you could all quiet down, we can get started.”
    “Mallory?” Tony raised his hand, grinning innocently at her. His black hair stuck up at odd angles, greased with gel. “Can I say something first?”
    I saw Mallory give a small sigh, her shoulders rising and falling with movement that would hardly be noticed by anyone but those who didn't know her well. She knew what was coming, they all knew. “What is it, Tony?”
    Tony cleared his throat and stood, beaming at the crowd around him. He clasped his hands in front of him, standing directly underneath the lights in the ceiling, making it look as if he were in a spotlight. His skin was the warm color of redwood tree bark. “I have an announcement to make. We have a new contestant, everyone.”
    Mallory gave a groan and dropped her face into her hands. The rest of the group fell into whispers and murmurs, people leaning in to talk to their neighbors. “Did you hear that?” They muttered. “A new contestant. Wow.”
    “Tony, this isn't good for the group, you know that,” Mallory said, her words stale. I had a sudden sense of de ja vu as I predicted what she would say next. She'd said it a thousand times. “Comparing your problems to someone else's isn't healthy. Group therapy isn't a competition; it's a source of healing. You can't—”
    “Ladies and gentlemen,” Tony interrupted her, turning so he was facing most of the group instead of her. “May I present to you . . . Michael!”
    The young man—maybe a year or two older than me—who was sitting next to Tony, waved a little, smiling hesitantly at the gaping group. They stared at him like he was some kind of zoo animal, watching to see what trick he'd do next.
    “You think you're better than Albert, then, huh?” A suspicious middle-aged woman said a few chairs down from me. Her name was Trish, and she was one of the regular judges for our unofficial little game. While the whole group decided collectively who had it worse, she was our representative, our main voice.
    “I don't know,” Michael admitted. “I don't know what his story is yet. But I think I've got a chance.”
    “What have you got that's so awful?” Harper piped up.
    “Terminal cancer,” Michael said, nonchalantly. There was a collective, “Ahhh” of realization from the group. They nodded their heads and looked at each other with, “poor thing” looks on their faces, lowers lips stuck out in a pout. “And my family doesn't have health insurance. Oh, and my girlfriend who's pregnant with my baby just went missing.”
    Trish sat back in her chair and rubbed her chin thoughtfully, staring at him through narrowed eyes. “Not bad, not bad,” she murmured. “But it doesn't even come close to Albert.”
    There was a rumble of agreements from the group, mutterings of, “No, definitely not”s and “Not even close”s and “Nope, Albert's got it worse”s.
    “All right, what's Albert's story?” Michael asked, crossing his arms over his chest. He looked over at the old man sitting directly across from Mallory. He was also in a wheelchair, chest rising and falling with soft snores. He wore dark sunglasses, had tons of wrinkles, saggy skin, and a silver beard with random tufts of hair decorating his otherwise bald head. It was always hard to tell with him whether or not he'd been dragged into his story or if he was truly asleep. He was constantly drifting off.
    “Where to begin?” Trish sighed, looking at Albert sadly. “He watched his family be brutally murdered in front of him by the Nazis, wend blind, half-deaf, and lost both of his legs during an air raid, and has been confined to a wheelchair since he was twelve. He married a beautiful woman years later, but she miscarried three times, birthed a stillborn, and was later the victim of a serial killer in their quiet Texas town. He lost his job and is now homeless. Oh, and he doesn't have any of his teeth anymore.”
    Albert jerked awake, whether from reemerging from his story or waking from a dream, we didn't know. He moved his head around as if he were looking at everyone, even though he couldn't see us. “What's that?” He yelled.
    “You're still number one,” Trisha shouted. “Michael didn't beat you.”
    He mumbled something under his breath and shifted around in his chair, pulling his shoulders up until they were almost touching his ears. He was asleep again within seconds.
--Plot Bunnies

Obsessions I Acquired

Louden Swain. I found them because Rob Benedict (who plays Chuck in "Supernatural") is the lead singer, and I wanted to check them out. They're so cool! They have a unique sound with very catchy songs. I especially love "Eskimo," "Gamma Ray," and "Worlds Collide."

"Once Upon a Dream" -- Lana Del Rey This came on my Pandora station the other day and I haven't stopped listening to it since! It's simple and haunting and makes for great writing music.

Picture of the Month

I've seen this picture so many times, but every time I see it it cracks me up.

Kate Gold asked me to pass on this information: she's starting a blog chain and is hosting a video chat to discuss it with anyone who's interested. The details are HERE.

How was your April?