Two years ago last Thursday, I started The Literary Omnivore, consolidating book reviews I’d previously posted in a fannish outlet after being encouraged to start an e-portfolio at school. I can’t believe it’s been two years, in the same way that I can’t believe I’m a junior in college. This blog has become such an important part of my life—not only as a reading journal (which will always be its main purpose), but as a way of expressing myself, connecting with other readers, and making me more visible in an industry I’m trying to break into. So, like last year, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share how this blog has changed and grown over the last year, as well as getting your feedback on what you’d like to see in the future from The Literary Omnivore.
The biggest change since last year is the introduction of The Literary Omnivore Presents, my own tiny digital imprint. Around my birthday, I released Cautionary Tales, a collection of the original fairy tales Disney has adapted over the years. Over the summer, I released Hic Sunt Dracones, a small essay collection celebrating Dragon*Con’s twenty-fifth anniversary, which was my first time working with a call for submissions and working with authors (as everything in Cautionary Tales was either in the public domain or otherwise covered under certain Creative Commons licenses). I plan to do more with this, keeping up with a schedule of two or three releases a year—usually public domain material, of course. I’m also considering adding audio as a format for future releases (especially for this year’s holiday release!), but we’re going to see how that goes. I’ll have to find a proper microphone; I think there’s one in my parents’ house that isn’t being used for anything at the moment.
Speaking of audio, I’ve also started listening to audiobooks. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a visual learner—there’s simply no way I’m going to get as much out of listening to a text as I’m going to get reading a text. So I’ve combined exploring the world of audiobooks with rereading, which has been going splendid. I’m still wildly confused as to why music is involved in audiobooks, since it’s rarely used in any meaningful or even entertaining way, but I’ve been enjoying them. So far, I’ve only been listening to audiobooks of books I read before I started the blog—Harry Potter, for instance. I’m currently on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, actually, although this month’s audiobook review will be the first in the series. Eventually, I suppose, I’ll get to rereading books I’ve already reviewed via audiobook, so I’m happy it’s a different feature than reviews. I’ve been hearing good things about the audiobook of A Game of Thrones, for instance…
I’ve also discovered two of my favorite writers over the past year—Jacqueline Carey and Laura Miller. I stumbled across The Sundering, Jacqueline Carey’s criminally underrated deconstruction of The Lord of the Rings, from a recommendation by Brandon Sanderson, and have really never looked back; The Sundering (a duet composed of Banewreaker and Godslayer) was simply brilliant, and I’ve started on her Kushiel’s Legacy series. I wish I could hand out copies of her books, I love them so much. Laura Miller’s The Magician’s Book, which came to me via Ana’s review of it, similarly blew me away. It’s accessible, warm, and beautifully written literary criticism, exploring The Chronicles of Narnia as much as it explores the very nature of stories and how we interact with them. I’d be sad that it’s her only book, except that Miller reviews books for Salon.com. Magnificent!
And, of course, book blogging wouldn’t be half as fun and enriching if it weren’t for you—my lovely commentators and equally lovely readers from all over. Let’s keep it going for many more years.
It’s, um, it’s been quite a week. That’s really all I can say and all I want to say—other than that my school show is done and went over very well indeed. I finished A Fire Upon the Deep this week, as well as The Influencing Machine. I’m currently reading The Children of the Sky, which I’m enjoying, although not as much as A Fire Upon the Deep. So far, at least. I’m approaching the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; I suppose it’s time to put Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on hold. I’m looking forward to having more time to read now that my show is over, as well as more time to devote to my homework and work. I did take pictures this week for this post, like I did last year, but the lighting in my room made the pictures look like they were coated in Vaseline. Yurgh.
Erin at Erin Reads is giving away a copy of Death Wishing until Tuesday. Tor.com is giving away a copy of Dear Creature until Tuesday. Fantasy Book Critic is giving away a copy of Spellbound and a signed copy of Spellwright until Friday. Memory at Stella Matutina is giving away a signed copy of Ivan and Misha until October 13. Tor/Forge is giving away a Repairman Jack bundle until October 17; you must register for their newsletter to enter. The Baen Free Library is full of free downloads, including The Shadow of the Lion and On Basilisk Station. Night Shade Books is offering Butcher Bird and Grey as free downloads at the moment. Vertigo Comics is offering free downloads of the first issue of several series, including Fables, The Unwritten, and Y: The Last Man. (And you will go download The Unwritten.) If I’ve missed your giveaway or freebie, drop me a line!
is there anything you’d like to see on The Literary Omnivore? The Review Directory organized differently? The layout bugging you? Tiny tweaks to my review format? Let me know!