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'fiction'

Jul 30

Titles and Covers by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on July 30, 2021 at 1:21 PM by Genesis Gaule

How important is the title and cover of a book? The title is first seen as part of the cover. How much does that cover influence the reader? Who makes the decision about how that will look. Is it the author or publisher?

Remember, the old adage of not judging a book by its cover? In the explanation of that English idiom, the word ‘alone’ is often added. So go ahead and take a good look at the cover and let that help decide if a deeper look will follow. It won’t be the only factor, but it does influence our choices.

That sounds so easy, but there is a huge amount of time, talent and thought that goes into a cover design. The author has lived inside the book for months, maybe years and knows the story inside and out and upside down. Publishers take a different approach by wanting a cover that will attract potential readers. An illustrator will add a creative talent that takes the words and puts flesh on them or creates an abstract concept of the story line. Publishers often win out though the more bestsellers an author creates, the more influence she’ll apply to the design.

Sometimes covers will change if books are reproduced. Publishers will want them to be more timely or if a movie has been produced then a still picture might be placed on the cover. Books considered classics may see many covers as different publishers take turns at reviving them, such as The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Cookbooks with colorful covers of food catch my attention every time such as The Elder Scrolls by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. There are also books that I can’t take home because I find the covers too scary. 

Yes, I’m easily influenced by covers but what about titles?

Titles are influential also. Authors with their publishers will decide on a title. I have an author friend who agreed to change the title of her book when the publisher thought her choice wasn’t mysterious enough.

Too many titles are the same or so similar that readers get confused. I prefer titles that are more distinct like The Poppy War by R.F. Kuan (great cover) and Ancestor Approved edited by Cynthia Leitch Smith.

The individual words in a title can catch a reader’s attention. For me some favorites are tree, sand, herbs or seeds which is why I picked up The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson. The cover is a picture of beading which is beautiful. The book is about seeds and plants. After picking it up and looking at it, I found that it takes place close to home--a good find for me based on a cover and title!


Jul 02

These Are a Few of My Favorite Tropes! by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on July 2, 2021 at 2:18 PM by Genesis Gaule

While some people might think of any use of tropes as something that hurts an author’s writing, they may be surprised to find that almost every story utilizes them. They can be incorporated into a story to set up a character type, be creatively used to complicate a journey, or just used for some feel good content. If you’ve ever been waiting for a love triangle to unfold, you will either want to pull your hair out in frustration or be at the edge of your seat in anticipation. Coffee shop settings with romantic tension are either your cup of joe or make you yawn. Essentially, everyone connects with and favors some tropes over others. Here are a few books that incorporate some of my favorite tropes.

Found Family:

One of my all time favorites is the “Found family/Chosen family” trope. In these stories, a group of misfits find a home in the company of others in the group. They learn to confide, trust, and protect each other on their journey to complete a mission. It's a great way to create character arcs in a work of literature, when a ton of exposition for a large ensemble may feel out of place or unnatural. Over time we can see more of a character’s personality and background come out when they encounter difficulties. It’s also a reminder to readers that your family is made up of people that care about you, not necessarily the family you were born into.

Some books that incorporate this trope well are:

The House in the Cerulean Sea

by TJ Klune

When a group of children in an orphanage have the power to destroy the world, it’s up to Linus to investigate how dangerous they really are. Along the way, he may have to choose between saving his newfound family, or the world.
Science Fiction KLUNE

Six of Crows

by Leigh Bardugo

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first.
Junior BARDUGO

Artemis Fowl Series

by Eoin Colfer

(Slow build over the entire 8 book series) Artemis is a young boy genius with a mantra to guide him through life: “Gold is Power”. When this leads to elaborate and risky schemes to maintain his family’s wealth, those he once considered enemies will turn out to be more than he ever expected.
Junior COLFER

The Hobbit

by J.R.R Tolkien

A homebody Hobbit is reluctantly swept up into an epic journey by a wizard and thirteen dwarves.
Science Fiction TOLKIENebook

Enemies to Lovers:

When it comes to romance, “enemies to lovers” books are particularly fun to read. In these stories, people who see the worst in the other person grow to find themselves lost without them. Snarky humor and heartfelt moments of character growth? What more can you ask for!

Red,White and Royal Blue

by Leigh Bardugo

Alex Claremont-Diaz--America's Goldenboy First Son--has a beef with Prince Henry across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of state devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined... and could possibly upend two nations.
Fiction MCQUISTON

The Unhoneymooners

by Christina Lauren

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy. Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. When her eternally lucky tiwn sister Ami gets married, Olive, is forced to spend it with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.
Fiction MCQUISTONebook

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

At the end of eighteenth-century England, spirited Elizabeth Bennet copes with the suit of the snobbish Mr. Darcy while trying to sort out the romantic entanglements of two of her sisters, sweet and beautiful Jane and scatterbrained Lydia.
AUSTENebook

If you are curious to find out more about the patterns found in media, try looking up a book on Tropedia. You may find yourself surprised by the list of tropes a single novel contains, and even more surprised to see if there is a trend connecting all your favorite books.

Jun 11

So you want to know more about Pride? by Andrea Lorenz

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on June 11, 2021 at 2:26 PM by Genesis Gaule

It’s June which means it’s PRIDE MONTH! Pride is when the world’s LGBTQIA communities come together to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising in New York City, 1969, to honor LGBTQIA activists and organizers, and to draw attention to issues still plaguing members of the community.

Pride really took off as a commemoration of the Stonewall uprising in New York, but even before 1969, members of the LGBTQIA community marched to draw awareness to the discrimination they faced. Starting in 1965, members of gay rights groups called the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis marched past Independence Hall as an “Annual Reminder” march. The Declaration of Independence stated that “all men are created equal” and the Mattachine Society and Daughters of Bilitis wanted to remind everyone of that.

The second police raid in one week of the gay bar the Stonewall Inn on June 28th, 1969, prompted the gay and lesbian residents of Greenwich Village to react. They were angry that the Stonewall, a place that they felt safe, had been raided and destroyed by the police. They reacted violently, throwing anything they could find at the police, resisting arrest, rocking police cars, slashing tires. The riots lasted for three days, but they became the catalyst for an emerging gay rights movement.

Pride has come a long way since 1969, along with LGBTQIA rights. June was officially recognized as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in 1999 by President Bill Clinton and Pride marches and parades take place in many major cities in June.

To learn more about the history of Pride and LGBTQIA rights, check out:

What Was Stonewall?
by Nico Medina
973 MEDINA
Stonewall: Breaking Out
in the Fight for Gay Rights

by Ann Bausum
306.76 BAUSUM
Human Rights in Focus:
The LGBT Community

by Damon Karson
306.76 KARSON


For stories from LGBTQIA people:

How We Fight For Our Lives
by Saeed Jones
811.6 JONES
Who Was Harvey Milk?
by Corinne Grinapol
921 MILK
Officer Clemmons
by Dr. Francois S. Clemmons
791.4502 CLEMMONS
Prairie Silence
by Melanie Hoffert
306.76 HOFFERT


For novels featuring LGBTQIA characters:

Release
by Patrick Ness
Junior NESS
Red, White and Royal Blue
by Casey McQuiston
MCQUISTON
Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
Junior ALBERTALLI
Also in ebook
Memorial
by Bryan Washington
WASHINGTON
The Immortalists
by Chloe Benjamin
BENJAMIN
I'll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson
Junior NELSON