Review: Conscious Creativity: Look. Connect. Create. By Philippa Stanton

Conscious Creativity

Publisher: Leaping Hare Press
Author: Philippa Stanton
Released: November 13th 2018
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 Kitties

I received a copy of Conscious Creativity through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Conscious Creativity was such an interesting read. I feel like that statement doesn’t say enough though, so let me clarify further. I feel like I’ve been in a creative rut lately. Between stuff going on in my life, and being so hyper focused on getting Christmas gifts made in time…I feel like I haven’t been giving myself enough time to other creative outlets. This book helped spark that little fire I had let go out, and that means the world to me.

I love that this book was more focused on making you think than trying to make you sit down and do something at that moment. I think the identity of the artist is very important, but sometimes we get so wrapped up in everything else that we forget that. Forcing us to stop, think, and decide what sort of art and style we want to create? It’s priceless.

That’s not to say that there aren’t suggest art projects in this book – there are. I just felt less pressure about it. It’s clear that the projects themselves were designed to help us formulate our style and way of thinking when being creative, as opposed to being focused on the end result.

There are twelve chapters in total here, going from trying to analyze the type of creative in the reader, and eventually making its way to giving advice on continuing projects. In between those it covers all sorts of art basics, from how to look at art to how to understand the elements behind it all. It was extremely comprehensive.

 

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Review: Moonstruck Vol. 1: Magic to Brew

Moonstruck Vol 1

Publisher: Image Comics
Released: March 27th 2018
Received: Own
Issues: Moonstruck 1-5
Rating: 4.5 Kitties

I’ve been hearing about Moonstruck for a while now, but only just got around to reading it. I can tell you that I’ve hearing nothing but good things about it though, so I’ve been really looking forward to making some time for it!

Moonstruck is an adorable new supernatural series. It has werewolves, witches, and so many more creatures than you can imagine fitting into one series. Oh, and did I mention that it’s also very LGBTQ+ friendly!

Spoiler Warning

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Review: X-23: The Complete Collection Vol. 1

X23 The Complete Collection Vol. 1

Publisher: Marvel
Released: July 27th 2016
Received: Own
Issues: X-23 (2005) 1-6, X-23: Target X 1-6, Captain Universe/X-23 1, X-23 1, X-23 (2010) 1-3
Warnings: Graphic injuries, animal death
Rating: 4.5 Kitties

The latest reboot of X-23 made me painfully aware of just how far behind I am in reading up on this fascinating character. So I decided to go crazy and read everything about her that I could. The first stop, naturally, had to be the Complete Collection Vol. 1.

I’m actually pretty sure that I could have read all of these on Marvel Unlimited if I had wanted to, but in this case it was easier to get the collection all arranged for me. Plus the price was reasonable, and it’s always nice to support a series, even and older one, by buying it.

This volume covers a huge chunk of X-23 (aka Laura’s past) from her origin story up through the 2010 reboot of her series. Some of the events are standalone issues, and thus have a page or two of context beforehand, to help give a better idea of what is going on. I found this to be incredibly helpful, and am glad that somebody thought to add it.

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Review: In An Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire

In An Absent Dream

Publisher: Tor
Author: Seanan McGuire
Release: January 8th 2018
Received: From Tor
Rating: 4.5 Kitties

Thanks Tor for the advanced review copy of In An Absent Dream!

In An Absent Dream is the fourth novel in the Wayward Children series, and like all of the others it has an absolutely striking cover. In some ways I love this one the most. I love the colors and the image itself. Actually, I think I’ve said that I’ve loved the colors for every one of them so far, but it’s too. The colors really do a wonderful job of portraying the world inside the door, and that fact becomes clearer and clearer and you read on. It’s wonderfully done.

If you’re read the description of this book, you probably already have a good idea of which character In An Absent Dream focuses on. If you’re like me, and you felt a certain sense of sadness or foreboding about reading this one, let me assure you it is absolutely worth it. Sure, you’ll feel that loss all over again, but it adds so much dimension to the character, it really made me appreciate her all the more.

If you haven’t read any of the other Wayward Children books, I strongly urge that you stop now and read them in order first. Technically you could read them out of order, if you were feeling really determined. But I think that these tales were written in a specific order, with the intent of us reading them this way. Plus the emotional impact is so much stronger when read this way, I promise.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that there’s another Wayward Children novel. Better yet, we have another one on the way as well (Come Tumbling Down) so we don’t have to say goodbye just yet. I don’t know if there will be any more planned after that one…but honestly I sincerely hope so!

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Review: Truthwith (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch

Publisher: Tor Teen
Author: Susan Dennard
Released: January 5th 2016
Received: BookishFirst
Rating: 4.5 Kitties

I received a copy of Truthwitch through BookishFirst in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Truthwitch is the first novel in the Witchlands series. So far there are three books in the series (if you count Bloodwitch, which isn’t out yet) as well as an illustrated novella, Sightwitch (it’s 2.5 in the series, for those that want to read everything in order). Based on the Goodreads listing I’d guess that there are at least two more books intended in the series. This couldn’t make me happier, as even though I’m only one book in I’m not ready to let go of this series just yet.

Truthwitch exists in a world that has magic. It’s not quite like the magic you might be used to seeing in other series, but it is magic regardless. More than that though, everyone (at least the witches) have threads. Those threads show their emotions, their magic, and their ties to other people. There are Threadwitches that can read these threads.

Likewise, because of the ties threads form, you can have family that isn’t biological. The main characters for this novel (Safiyah and Iseult) are threadsisters. There are also threadbrothers and heartthreads. I’m assuming that there’s even more than that, but that’s all I’ve seen so far. The whole idea is rather romantic, and I think that’s why I enjoy the concept so much.

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Quote of the Week

Scott Westerfeld Uglies

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52 Weeks of Literary Crafts: Red and Gold Baby Booties

Is this another Harry Potter knitting project? Yep! It is! Two of my best friends recently told me they were having a baby, and since they’re both proud Gryffindors I wanted to knit them a whole set of Gryffindor baby supplies. I also planned on knitting them some stuff too (like matching scarves and hats), but that’s another story. I’ll post a photo of the whole set once it’s done.

For now I wanted to make some cute Gryffindor inspired baby boots. I know these ones aren’t striped, but I thought solid colored booties may go better with different outfits, and thus get more use (it’s not like they’ll fit a growing baby for an extended period of time).

I’ve never knitted any booties though, so this was a learning process for me. I ended up following this tutorial, which did a wonderful job laying it all out. All things told it took me about an hour per pair of booties. Not bad all things considered.

Gold booties:Gryffindor Booties

Red booties:

Gryffindor Booties

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Review: File and Forget by Seanan McGuire

Author: Seanan McGuire
Released: September 1st 2018
Received: Patreon
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of File and Forget because I am a Patreon for Seanan McGuire.

File and Forget is a short science fiction story provided to Patreon supporters of Seanan McGuire (side note: did you know that authors can have Patreon accounts? You should check out and see if any of your favorites are on there – it’s always nice to support the people you adore). This is the first Patreon story I’ve gotten (having just signed up), so I was really excited about it.

My understanding is that this story may have come as a prompt from a fan (Vixy). They requested that Seanan McGuire write something with heroic admin work…and boy did Seanan McGuire deliver!

File and Forget focuses on administrative assistants and the shocking and understated powers they wield. While it is set in a farther future, where science fiction seems less like fiction, the cautionary tale is still interesting…and has some important things to say. Though of course it also has fun along the way. This is Seanan McGuire we’re talking about, after all.

 

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Review: The Knitter’s Dictionary: Knitting Know-How from A to Z by Kate Atherley

Knitter's Dictionary

Publisher: Interweave
Author: Kate Atherley
Release: October 30th 2018
Received: BookishFirst
Rating: Kitty Rating

I received a copy of The Knitter’s Dictionary from BookishFirst in exchange for a fair and honest review.

When I saw A Knitter’s Dictionary listed on BookishFirst for a chance to review, I just knew that I had to try and get my hands on it. I’ve been knitting a lot lately – mostly trying to get gifts done before the holiday season hits me full force in the face. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to google different knitting abbreviations (I can be very forgetful, so I’m sure I looked up the same one multiple times). So…having access to a book that was a condensed version of everything I was looking for? That sounded absolutely perfect.

Having received my copy and getting a chance to read it, I can honestly tell you that I am not disappointed. This book is everything I had hoped it would be, and perhaps a little bit more as well. I’ve already used it for three different knitting projects. I kept it by my side as I worked; knowing I could quickly look up any term as I came across them in any pattern I was working on. It made life so much easier for me.

The beginning of the book would be useful to knitting beginners out there. It covers almost literally all of the basics you’ll need to know. It has everything from the types of yarn and needles available (and what you’d need depending on the project) to how to read a knitting pattern.

The dictionary part is my favorite section of the book, though you could probably have guessed that from how I was gushing about it earlier. I can’t even begin to tell you how useful I found it. Having immediate access to a litany of abbreviations, as well as the basics on how to do the stitch described…it’s a game changer.

 

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Review: Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine

Bitch Planet Vol 1

Publisher: Image Comics
Released: October 7th 2015
Received: Own
Issues: Bitch Planet 1-5
Warnings: Controlling behaviors, comments on weight, affairs, abuse
Rating: 4 Kitties

This series has been on my TBR list for way too long, so I’m really happy that I finally made it around to reading it (well, the first volume at least. Baby steps!). The series is by Kelly Sue DeConnick (whom I will forever love for her work on Captain Marvel) and Taki Soma (the artist that gave this series its iconic look).

Bitch Planet is set in a not too distant future, where patriarchy has gone to the extreme end of things. Women who do not comply are sent to a prison planet (known as ‘bitch planet’) where they will never have a chance to come home. The list of things considered noncompliance for a woman is terrifying, and it makes you wish that this is a world we’ll never end up seeing.

Having read this series I have to say that I think fans of the Handmaid’s Tale would like this series – especially if they’re looking for something with more of a sci-fi twist on it. And yes, I really do think this series is intense enough to deserve that comparison. It’s beautifully written, but intense.

Spoiler Warning

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