All posts for the month March, 2012

Um, Books and Stuff

Published March 27, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

I’ve been seriously slacking in the reading (and blog) department. But! I have read! Has anyone else been in a reading slump? Or better yet, does anyone have any good recommendations? I need some good sci-fi recommendations.

Anyways, so here is what I’ve been reading.





After waffling for a few weeks, I’ve finally decided on a theme for the A to Z challenge, which will be Culture. Each day will focus on a different culture/ empire/ whatever I could find to fit the letter of the day for your world-building inspirational pleasures.

There is an overwhelming trend to write fantasy in some sort of European Middle Ages Default setting, and while I dearly love some of these books, Middles Ages I do not. I mean, it’s so boring stacked against the WHOLE OF HISTORY. Lately, I’ve been veering towards more Asian inspired settings because they are different, refreshing, and well, interestinger. I would also really love to read a fantasy book based on an ancient or Native American culture. So, if you know any, you would make me an extremely happy person.

I will also post book recs and whatever else I deem relevant. Which, knowing me, will be completely random.


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Historical Fiction Books

Published March 13, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

This meme is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.


10. The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

This is about Mary, Queen of Scots and her years in captivity. I’m not usually a fan of Philippa Gregory, but I really liked this book, mainly because of the subject.

9. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

This book was so fun! It’s an alternate history where a British noble saves the French aristocrats during the French Revolution.

8. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Gutterson

The book is basically about the hardships Japanese-Americans had to face during WWII.

7. Shinju by Laura Joh Rowland

Shinju is a murder mystery that takes place in feudal Japan. The protagonist is a detective, trying to unravel the mystery of a suspicious suicide. Shinju is the term for a double suicide between lovers. For comparison, Romeo and Juliet committed Shinju.

6. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I personally preferred old Jacob to young Jacob, but it is a fascinating look into circus life during the Great Depression. Plus, Rosie is so charming! *Wants a pet elephant*.

5. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

This a about two girls growing up in 19th century China who become Laotung, or “old sames”, which is a permanent bond of friendship. And, ah, the foot binding!

4. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I loved how vivid and lush this book was.

3. Angelique and the King By Anne Golon

This is the second book in a series that takes place in 17th century France, during Louis XIV reign, but it is my favorite of all of them. I wish they would translate the last 3 into English…

2. The Book thief by Markus Zusak

I’ve pretty much already said before why I love this book.


1. The Silmarrion by J.R.R. Tolkien

Wait, that’s not historical fiction? Fine.

1. Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa

So, Miyamoto Musashi is my favorite historical figure. Ever. He was such a bad-ass. He is also widely considered to be one of the greatest swordsman who ever lived. Also, this book was the basis for one of my favorite mangas, Vagabond.


I sense a theme here…

Lucky 7 Meme

Published March 12, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

I got tagged by Seabrooke for this meme, and it looked really fun.  Plus, it falls right in the middle of an awkward situation for my characters. *Smiles*

The rules:
1. Go to page 77 of your current MS
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next seven lines as they’re written–no cheating!
4. Tag 7 other writers
5. Let them know

Let’s see, I tag Claudie, Sommer, Jen, Margo, Tricia. And you what, I’m tagging you Hektor.

Alright, so this starts and ends in kind of an awkward place because the first and last lines are in the middle of a sentence, but whatever.

“…pale strips of light across the marble floors. An early morning mist hung over the gardens below like a dewy spider web. The sun had no yet risen and the sky was indigo, the horizon tinged with lavender. The king walked fast, and in their sleep deprived haze, they had to struggle to keep up.

“Where are we going?” Akari asked. Her long waves were mussed and Kazunari felt a flush of heat as he remembered how…”

Yea, you thought you were being all sneaky, Kazunari.

Deduct from that what you will.


Published March 5, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

Exciting news in the land of fairies and tales! A collection of 500! NEW! fairytales collected by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth have been recently uncovered in Germany. Franz was a contemporary of the Grimm brothers, and combed the countryside for decades, painstakingly collecting these tales for our enjoyment. Sadly, due to disinterest, they were archived instead. But no longer!

Check out the full article from the Guardian here

I LOVE fairytales.

What are some of your favorite tales?

Some of mine include the Little Mermaid, the Stork Wife, the Snow Queen, Rapunzel, and Cinderella.

In other news, how is everyone doing with their reading challenges? the second half of February was kind of slow for me in that I only managed a couple of books.

I’m participating in the A to Z challenge this year. Which I’m kinda excited about. I have a theme planned, but I don’t want to say what it is in case I change my mind. I can be fickle like that.