Literary Ames

British. Female. Bibliophile. Feminist.

'Twas the night before Christmas...'

I love this bookish Christmas card!


(Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore - read it here)


HELP! How do you tell Amazon there are pages missing in a Kindle edition?

The Beauty #2 - Jeremy Haun, Jason Hurley, Jeremy Haun

Do I return it and put why in comments or is there some specific way to report it? I was really enjoying this but it was only £0.66 so I'm not bothered about a refund. Three pages missing though.


Thank in advance. 

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

The Princess and the Pony - Kate Beaton

A farting pony, a racially and culturally diverse cast, a mixed race main character as a young princess with a desire to be a champion warrior only for her birthday, instead of a warhorse, she receives an adorable little pony. Sounds good so far.


Despite the positive female 'girl power' role model whose parents represent mine exactly with a black mother and white father, the cute illustrations (including a veiled warrior woman), the story didn't sit right with me. Yes, the fierce warriors being able to show their soft, cuddly sides at the appearance of the micro pony was nice and all, it just wasn't heartwarming or logical. Pinecone realising her puny pony had value when the warriors paid more attention to the supposedly adorable four-legged creature than her was a little sad.


Generally speaking, picture books don't usually confuse me. The time and place <em>The Princess and the Pony</em> is set is vague. Pinecone is holding a Viking helmet aloft on the first pages, followed by warriors of different times and places including a strongwoman (as opposed to a strongman), a falconer-ess from the Mongolian Eurasian Steppe and a one-eyed Robin Hood. Pinecone's home looks to be some kind of castle with wood beams and animal heads mounted on the walls. Then, at the champion competition, the warriors are in ancient garb while the spectators watching this mass brawl are all in modern clothing clutching foam fingers and popcorn. So this was a Rennaissance fayre and Pinecone isn't really a princess and her parents are in permanent fancy dress? Confused.


As for the brawl the spectators are watching, it was obviously too dangerous and rambunctious for Pinecone to join in with her … spitballs. Yes, you read that right, spitballs. In a fight with adults.


I appreciated the diversity, the feminist edge and the illustrations.


NEVER Interrupt a Black Woman Reading at a Trump Rally

'The man spends about 20 seconds watching our hero reading her book (which Jones suspects is Claudia Rankine’s Citizen), seemingly contemplating what he should do about this grave situation. Finally, he makes the decision to tap her on the shoulder and speak his mind, all with the fervent support of his lady friend. The three go on to have a full on argument in the middle of Trump’s speech. The altercation ends with our hero triumphantly returning to her book.


Hero lady, who are you? Were you, in fact, reading Citizen? Where does your unabashed lack of fucks originate from? Why were you even there? How is this real? And most of all: Thank you.'


Author Richard Brittain Pleads Guilty for Attacking Reviewer with Wine Bottle

Wild Rose Richard BrittainRemember last October, during the Katherine Hale controversy, when we heard about the reviewer who was whacked over the head with a wine bottle while working in supermarket Asda in Scotland by author Richard Brittain who’d travelled 500 miles to do so as revenge for a negative review?


Well, yesterday he pleaded guilty to assault and another charge of stalking another woman. Bail was refused and sentencing will take place at a later date.


All the UK national news organisations have reported on it:


  • Daily Mail: ‘I could have died’: Asda shelf-stacker, 18, tells how she was bottled by Countdown champion who travelled 500 miles to Scotland to attack her after she gave his book a bad review online
  • Daily Mirror: Teenager bottled by ex-Countdown champion for giving his book bad review: “I could have died”
  • BBC News: Author Richard Brittain attacked reviewer with bottle
  • Metro: Ex-Countdown champion bottled a woman who gave his book a bad review
  • Telegraph: Teenager bottled by ex-Countdown champion for giving his book bad review
  • Independent: Countdown champion Richard Brittain pleads guilty to tracking down and attacking teenage girl
  • Daily Record: Former Countdown champion hunts down Scots teenager and bottles her.. for giving his BOOK a bad review


BTW, the book is awesome


Out of the Shadows #NationalPoetryDay



Out of the shadows and into the light
With secrets and lies,
Conspiracies and spies.


The government plays deadly games.
The people pay for their childish mistakes.
As the soldiers take their aims,
The players raise the stakes.


Who will win?
The cheaters of course.
The story will spin
And the guilty will feel no remorse.


This is how the game is played.
It’s a tough world out there
With the cards undisplayed.




*Written when I was 16/17 c. 2003 about the ‘war on terror’ in Iraq.


Image: GabrielSaldana/Flickr


O Life, Simple Life #NationalPoetryDay



O life, simple life!
When does it end, if ever?
The corruption
The dishonour
And the squalor.


The inequalities:
The rich and the poor
The dominant and the subdued
The minority over the majority
The unfairness
The injustice
When does it end, if ever?


Will it end in death, sweet death!
Or will death lead to another hell like this one?
Will there ever be peace and an end to all suffering?
Or will that be when we exist no more?
We are self-destructive after all


Is our passion to blame?
Our innate anger
It gives us life … emotion.
Without emotion, we are drones with no purpose
But what sort of life do we live, in a place so negative and without compassion?


How do we survive?
By succumbing?
Or do we fight?
Do we choose or are we chosen?


So will it end in Armageddon?
Will there be peace in the end?
Or can we redeem ourselves?
But will it be too late?



*Written when I was 16/17 c. 2003.

Image: Zoriah/Flickr


UK Publishing’s ‘Super Thursday’ – 503 Books Released in Time for Christmas



Today is Super Thursday, the day publishing houses release their (mostly hardcover) books into the wild for frenzied Christmas consumption in order to boost dead tree sales in bricks-and-mortar bookshops. Last year saw over 300 titles released in a single day, paling in comparison to today’s 503.


But despite Super Thursday being widely publicized along with bookshops’ participation in the Books Are My Bag campaign, there’s still a distinct lack of a list containing all these books. Instead, news sites are highlighting their bestseller predictions. How are potential customers supposed to find out if any of these books interest them? Bookshops havelimited shelf space for new titles while still stocking the Harry Potters and Pride and Prejudices.

Andrew Furlow, sales and marketing manager at Icon Books, said: “We’re quite deliberately pushing books back to avoid the Super Thursday crush . . . it’s difficult to get attention.”

Refusing to be the odd publisher out by adding even more titles to the ‘crush’ is tantamount to a literary stampede. In the battle for shelf space, priority is likely to be given to the biggest of names and former bestselling authors to maximise revenue. Well-known authors who aren’t superstars like James Patterson and Stephanie Meyer will inevitably lose out. Amazon, once again, is one of the few retailers who can provide access to all 503 books. Oh, the irony of Amazon benefiting from a publishing campaign to boost bookshops.


Assumptions that buyers of Christmas presents start their spending in October is a misnomer. Many shop for presents all year round in order to spread the cost, with some completing their purchases well before Halloween and Black Friday. Publishers would be better off staggering their Christmas releases between September and November to gain a better chance of exposure. Or, perhaps even earlier for non-famous debut authors and subjects.


Commentators arguing that Waterstones’ decision to stop selling Kindles due to declining sales means the dead tree book is on the rise again like a phoenix out of the ashes are wrong. If you’ve bought a Kindle, then you’ve no need to buy another for a few years.Physical UK book sales are decreasing while sales of ebooks are growing every yearand are still the cheaper option over the hardcovers released today even with the seasonal half price promotions.


Image: bagelmouse/Flickr


August & September Recap


After the disastrous ending to my birthday trip to New York, I haven’t been feeling like reading, reviewing or blogging so this post is a little light. On top of that I realised my cursed car is caught up in the VW diesel emissions scandal and I’ve been having a terrible time trying to cut through bureaucracy to schedule an operation that should’ve happened weeks ago. Sigh.








The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium
Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie


Those Left Behind
(Serenity #1)
Joss Whedon & Brett Matthews


Better Days
(Serenity #2.1)
Joss Whedon & Brett Matthews


Alex + Ada, Vol. 1
Jonathan Luna

Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama
Alison Bechdel


The Stars Never Rise
Rachel Vincent


Green Eggs and Ham
Dr. Seuss


Hug Me
Simona Ciraolo


Good Milk
(Pregnant and Paranormal #1)
Arla Coopa


But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist
Margaux Motin


Quitter Strips


Good Milk (Pregnant and Paranormal Book 1) by Arla Coopa

Good Milk (Pregnant and Paranormal Book 1) - Arla Coopa

Paranormal erotica with lactation fetish. Yeah, how could I say no, right? It was free after all. Curiosity got the better of me, for better or worse. Continue reading


Game: Judgey - judging books by their covers


I got:


78% accuracy


Pretty Damn Judgey

You may know what you like,
but you sure as hell know what you don't
like. Which is a lot, apparently.


What I've learned: Most Goodreads books are rated between 3.5 and 4 stars. Those rated less than that tend to have low-quality covers, although there are the outliers that are great books with crappy covers.


via Independent


Identifying The Dead: Forensic Science and Human Identification - Online Course

This course started today, you have still got time to join in even it might put your reading time down. I gotta say, it looks so interesting now after the first material.


Awhile back BrokenTune - Reviews & Rants informed us about the Free Online Course:


Identifying the Dead: Forensic Science and Human Identification



As said, the course is free and global, will last 6 weeks (starting 7th of September) and requires 4 hours per week. Joining in the course also provides you a free story from Val McDermid. You can find more info and sign up here.


I also set up a private group for people who will take a part in it, there is already bunch of us. If you will join in the fun (sign up that is), let us know by leaving a comment either Broken's original post or this post, and I will gladly send you an invite. 

31 Adorable Slang Terms for Sexual Intercourse from the Last 600 Years

My favourites:


  • Put the devil into hell (1616)


  • Ride a dragon upon St. George (1698)


  • Horizontal refreshment (1863)


More here.




Image: Cupid and Psyche (1817) by Jacques-Louis David


Planes, Trains and Automobiles: A New York City Birthday

After scraping some money together and an awful lot of planning, I managed to take a trip to NYC for my birthday. Actually stepping on that plane was something I never thought would happen. Two weeks earlier my mother’s arthritic pain had reached a new high and she was due a knee operation. To ensure she’d be safe on her own for a few days, I put certain things in place and people to call should she have problems. Continue reading


Currently reading

Mixed Feelings: The Complex Lives of Mixed-Race Britons by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Dead to You by Lisa McMann
Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre
Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror, #1) by Karina Halle
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, ALEXANDER DUMAS, Alexander Dumas Pere
Out of the Easy by
Studying the Novel by Jeremy Hawthorn