Gwendoogle Part CXII – A Castle, a Specific Castaway, and a Prince in a Hoodie

GwendoogleAnswers served with another round of book lovin’.

Kate Kearney searched: What do you want to see more of in fantasy fiction?
Teamwork. I’ve seen enough Chosen Ones, or even Chosen Ones and their Best Friends and Back-Up Dancers. I’m ready for the quest where responsibility for the outcome rests evenly on everyone’s shoulders.

I want the quest party that has to take a vote before combat instead of following the one with the destiny. I want Ocean’s Eleven storming a castle instead of robbing a casino. I want the three best friends who see the problem and figure this is as good an excuse as any to take that cross-continent trip they’ve always wanted. They didn’t have any plans that weekend anyway.

I want all the best friends, the cradle-buddies, the squads, the guild of blacksmiths that went looking for a new hobby because swinging a hammer at stationary objects got boring.

You know, teamwork.

Kate Kearney searched: In fiction in general?
Healthy romantic relationships.

PeanutButterandSkittles searched: How do you choose what book to read next?
Mostly, I let my friends tell me what to do. I have a pile of books in my room that I’ve never read (a two feet and eleven inches pile which includes both a Steven Pressfield novel and a Scott Lynch novel which I expect to enjoy immensely) but I’m more likely to pick up the last book I heard a friend rave about.

For instance, right now I’m picking through two books that I don’t care much about, waiting for The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black to arrive in the mail, because my friend, Kate recently told me that it was fantastic.

Why? I figure it’s a combination of reaching for shared experience/happiness, and the excitement of fresh acquisition. Also, there’s some plague that’s catching between avid readers that keeps us from ever finishing the unread piles we hoard in our libraries.

Jessica Y. searched: What book would you LOVE to throw into the ocean?
That’s oddly specific.

I can’t decide if I’m supposed to tell you about the book that I want to get as far away from me as possible, the book that I would be willing to sacrifice to see if books really float like they do in the movies, or the book that I would most want to send to that poor person trapped on a desert island over there.

So, all three then?

I want to get The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman as far away from me as possible. It’s the most recent book I’ve read which sent me way with the thought, “Well, that’s an image I’m never going to get out of my head. I count that as a sign of good execution, but it also makes me want to knock myself out with a frying pan and hope for lacunar amnesia.

I would be willing to sacrifice Divergent by Veronica Roth to see how well books actually float. I bought it and enjoyed it, but I don’t think I’m ever likely to read it again. Plus, it’s a fairly large soft cover, and I have a feeling it’s less likely to sink than a lot of the other books on my shelf.

I would send my entire local library to the poor person trapped on that desert island. I don’t know what kind of books that castaway likes. If they send me a message in a bottle with a list of their top five favorite books, I’ll come up with something more specific.

LexiGlass searched: Tell me about a book you love to hate?
I’ve enjoyed ranting about Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy over the years. It was assigned reading in high school. I really liked half of the characters, and… well, I’m not entirely sure how I felt about the rest of them. I didn’t enjoy spending time with them, but I didn’t hate them either. They frustrated me, and then they died (I don’t think that was my fault).

BartokNeedsAHug searched: Of the books you own, which cover do you hate the most?
Squire - Tamora Pierce

There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, except that I have a poor opinion of the color green and every time I look at it, I think that the girl must be very uncomfortable wearing plate armor without any sort of padding underneath. Metal directly on skin is anything but cozy.

Plus, this is the cover of the copy I first read, and at thirteen-years-old, I would have given both my elbows to be this girl:
Squire - Tamora Pierce Good Copy

BartokNeedsAHug searched: Of the books you own, without considering content, which are your favorites?
Advanced Reader Copies

Two of them I haven’t read. One of them I read but didn’t think much of. The last one is one of my favorite books. I’d still have to think hard before getting rid of any of them. They’re all ARCs (Advance Reader Copies, sometimes called Advance Reader Editions) and were printed to send out to critics and professionals before final publication.

I like the funny little glimpse they give of one step in the publication process, especially when they include lines like: “She swung her club like a club.” I like their imperfections.

Kate Kearney searched: Read anything good lately?
I recently read the first few chapters of Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I was able to get my hands on them as a free preview of the e-book, and enjoyed the introduction to a new Cinderella: instead of a mouse, her best friend is a robot with a personality glitch, and the prince shows up, not dancing around a ballroom, but stuffed inside a hoodie in the middle of a sticky summer day with a robot he needs fixed… discreetly.

I’m intrigued, and I’m hoping the book will be very good, but since I haven’t finished it yet, I can’t say for certain. I suppose I’ll just have to let you know.

Have a question for Gwendoogle? Leave it in comments below and I’ll be back next week to answer it.

The question bucket currently has: 3 questions


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