Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The MOTHER Principle - In Stores Wednesday, August 19th


Read Furiously Makes Print Debut with The MOTHER Principle

Read Furiously is proud to announce its first print trade run with The MOTHER Principle, an original graphic novel series created by comic book writer Adam Wilson, novelist Samantha Atzeni, and artist Alicia Padron.  The MOTHER Principle, Volume 1: MOTHER Knows Best, is the beginning of a long list of talented authors and creators Read Furiously will be publishing in association with their movement “to read well and to read often.”

The MOTHER Principle is a dystopian tale of genetically-engineered young women who are struggling to break away from the government agency that created them while coming to terms with their roles within this broken world. In the first volume, Sylvia, Curie, Orleans, Lovelace, Little Sister, and Zel must learn to work together once MOTHER decides she wants her “daughters” to come home. Told in full color images of breathtaking artwork from Padron, Atzeni and Wilson create a story where loss and fear are in a constant battle with courage and loyalty. The hardest lesson the Sisters, and readers, will learn is that MOTHER always knows best.

Once a web series at www.motherprinciple.com, Read Furiously is looking forward to introducing the series to a larger community of readers. The MOTHER Principle is the start to Read Furiously’s dedication to encourage literacy around the world and within the community, while promoting powerful stories with protagonists worthy of our current culture.

Learn more about The MOTHER Principle.

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Making Life Easier for Yourself and you Favorite Bookseller - A Note from Read Furiously

A Note from Read Furiously
It's official, and we can finally announce it: The MOTHER Principle vol. 1: MOTHER Knows Best will be hitting shelves on August 19th. It's the first volume in our new graphic novel series, and thanks to our partnerships with distributors like Baker & Taylor and Ingrams, it'll be available in book stores all over the world. From your local independent bookseller, to the Barnes & Noble at the mall, even on Amazon for those of you who choose to go that route.

But, as far as our distribution channels reach, it's important to keep in mind that even though it's available to bookstores all over the world, it might not actually be on some shelves August 19th. There are countless books coming out each week, and it can be overwhelming for a bookstore to keep up with every new title coming out - let alone order it for their shop. Often times stores have to be very discriminating to make sure the titles they're carrying are ones their customers are going to be interested in.

Now we're doing everything we can here at Read Furiously to make sure as many stores as possible know how great The MOTHER Principle is, and that they should carry it in their stores, but with the sheer number of bookstores out there, we can't get to every one. In fact, there will probably be a lot we miss. So it's very likely there will be places that don't know they should be ordering The MOTHER Principle. Especially since it's a graphic novel, and for some bookstores, those aren't even on their radar.

With this in mind, it may be difficult for you, the reader, to get the book. But, we at Read Furiously want to do something to help everyone involved. That's why we've created special Pre-Order cards for The MOTHER Principle.

All you need to do is print out this card and take it to your local bookstore. Not only does it include all the necessary information they'll need to find and order the book, but it lets them know to set it aside just for you.

It's the best way to make sure your local bookstore will have a copy of The MOTHER Principle, and it'll be helping the booksellers out a lot.  So let them know there's a book you want to buy before it even hits shelves.

And we didn't forget about those of you who prefer going to your local library to read your favorite new titles. You can use this card to recommend The MOTHER Principle to your librarians. We should point out that it's possible your library already has a process to follow for recommending new books, so check with them and see if that's the case. But if not, you can give them this card and they'll know all the details they need.

We hope this will make it easier for you to get your hands on a copy of The MOTHER Principle on August 19th no matter where you get it from, and that you're looking forward to the release as much as we are.

Till next time, our Furious Readers.

Read well. Read often. Read Furiously!
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Embracing the "Tsundoku"

Today I want to share with you Open Culture's piece on reading culture:

I came across this last year and I saved this post as a draft because, to be honest, I wasn't sure what to think. As a Furious Reader, I understand the allure of books and the joy of seeing an overcrowded reading pile. I have three reading piles around my house, a full library on my Nook, and two completed mini notebooks of potential reading titles. I understand the reader's need for new material, but the tsundoku has me thinking.  Mr. Jonathan Crow's article does not argue for a tsundoku to exist, but to use this phrase for a situation that most readers can relate to. While this is a beautiful word, and I agree with Mr. Crow's proposal, I wonder if embracing the tsundoku is a necessary part of the furious reader's life. 

Every reader has heard the counterargument from non-readers: When are you going to read all of this books? Don't you have enough books to read? Why would you write down books you might never get to read in your lifetime? To my nonreading friends, I understand the validity of your questions, but this is my true response:

Our His and Hers reading piles
To me, the pile of books is comforting. It's a symbol of the journeys to come and it gives me a chance to watch myself change as an individual. I often "edit" my reading pile a few times a year - to give other books a chance, to remove the ones I may get to another day, but not today, or to match whatever scholarship I've immersed myself in this semester. My reading pile is a summation of my year, a reflection of my different life cycles. It doesn't matter if I ever read all of the books on my tsundoku - what matters is the moment when I placed this book on my pile. I must have felt something profound, had some exciting experience, or felt a need to explore a different world when I placed that book atop a teetering pile of voices. Whenever I place yet another book on my reading pile, I remind myself that anything is possible. Many gardeners believe to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. I think you can say the same for to-be-read piles or lists. My reading pile and my notebook of potential reading topics reminds me that, deep down underneath my postmodernist worldview, I am still an optimist. 

My dear Furious Readers, I encourage you to embrace the tsundoku. Do not spend a year questioning your intuition as I did - I had the existential crisis for you (you're welcome). Look to your reading pile and say aloud to the titles that you may or may not read:  "I will see you tomorrow."
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Monday, June 8, 2015

Being "Completely Beside" Myself

"Language does this to our memories - simplifies, solidifies, codifies, mummifies. An oft-told story is like a photograph in a family album; eventually, it replaces the  moment it was meant to capture."
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Happy summer, Furious Readers! It has been some time since we last met, but I figured the best way to reappear is to share a book that I can't really discuss with you. Doesn't that sound exciting? Please don't take it personally; I really, REALLY think you will enjoy this one.

Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a heartbreaking, dark, fragmented look into the bonds of sisterhood and family trauma. We know something is wrong with protagonist Rosemary, but we can't quite put our finger on it. Rosemary begins her narrative with the declaration that, as a child, she loved to talk - so much so that she was a bother to her family. But now, as an adult, she doesn't say much. This is common among those who have experienced trauma and it is with this confession of silence that Rosemary takes us along into the labyrinth of her family's history. Her narrative begins in the middle, which means the reader gets to make a few wrong turns before Rosemary breaks through the hedges and rescues you. That is, if you trust her. Since we are hearing all this from Rosemary, it takes time to get used to her fragmented storytelling (not to mention her amazing vocabulary).  In this story, no one is what they seem - and (thankfully) for the reader, that is a very, VERY good thing.  I got to be an innocent (and then not-so-innocent once Rosemary's story comes together) bystander as I sat back and listened to her tale. I was a sympathetic ear...until I was not.  For that, I want to thank Fowler. She is a powerful example of how language and stories create a world we would not otherwise inhabit in our daily lives. Fowler assures that these worlds do exist, as long as we trust the storytelling medium. We won't get everything we want with these characters, but Fowler's Rosemary has everything we need from them...

...are you curious yet?  Allow me to make things "curiouser and curiouser" for you: Rosemary is a brilliant character and her memories - including the missing pieces - create a shifting truth, an almost fluid fairy tale, where deconstruction is the only way to make sense of the entire situation (thanks, Derrida). Rosemary repeats a few parts of her tale, and we are asked to assess certain parts of the narrative, for a second time, while using the knowledge we have up to this point. This alone makes it a fantastic read, since I found myself struggling to decide if I believed, or still liked, our reliable/unreliable narrator. If you've ever had a sibling, especially a sister, this book will speak to you on yet another level. The bond Rosemary shares with her siblings, especially her sister, is beautiful, but unsettling at the same time. In telling her story, Rosemary attempts to cleanse her family's soul and make sense of the rules, behaviors, and scripts that control our interpersonal dynamics.

Again, I don't want to give away ANYTHING, so please, Internet users, refrain from googling this story.  This is the time of year, as the days are getting longer, that anything is possible and stories were meant to be told. This summer, my furious readers, take a chance on Rosemary's truth. Use the long, lazy days ahead of us to listen to another coming-of-age story set in an overgrown labyrinth of Rosemary's signals and words.
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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Have Yourself...a New Year of Reading

Happy New Year, furious readers!  It feels like ages since I last checked in and it is due mainly to the whirlwind I call end of semester responsibilities, the holidays, and trying to add a few more entries to my reading journal before year's end.

One of my favorite "reads" on the first of the year is my Facebook newsfeed.  Normally, I try to stay as far away as possible from newsfeed nonsense, but I grant myself this one exception on January 1st.  Everyone is filled with hope for the new year and is looking forward to the possibilities of adventure, change, and resolution.  When I read them, it is very easy to become inspired about my own resolutions and my own hopes for 2015.

Of course, most of my resolutions lean toward making me a better reader and I encourage you to think of your own "furious reader" mission statement.  What new reading opportunities do you wish to take on? What new authors, genres, or characters do you wish to meet in this new year? What do you want to get out of your reading experience for 2015?

We all know that there is nothing better in these cold months than to curl up with a book, a hot cup of *something,* and a blanket (complete with your sleeping pet or pets to keep you warm).  However, like the fitness goals we hope to keep from January to December, we need to make sure that our reading nutrition and reading exercises are beneficial to us as well (eyes are muscles too!).  There are so many books, stories, authors, and characters at our disposal, how do we know if we are choosing the right ones?  My love for reading has stemmed from childhood, but, as an adult, I struggle to find material that inspires me the way it did within the quiet noise of my personal Bildungsroman.

So how do I, a fellow furious reader, keep my reading up-to-date, inspirational, and helpful to my personal development?  I'm not sure I have a perfect plan, but here are my resolutions for the 2015:

1.  Expand into other genres.  Luckily, my job and education have taught me to look beyond my love of one particular genre, but I have yet to explore the mystery genre.  This year, I would like to add a few well-written mysteries to my reading list.
2. Use more resources more carefully. I am fortunate that I have an independent bookseller, two retail booksellers, a wonderful county library network, and three different university libraries at my disposal.  However, I find myself on book binges where I take too many books out of library (and not being able to read all of them in time), buy too many books at one particular bookseller (where I should be supporting my independent bookseller the most), or not using one of these resources at all. This year, I strive for balance in covering my bookish bases.
3. Update my reading list.  I have hundreds of titles written down in notebooks that I know I may never get to in my lifetime.  However, just having them in these notebooks and knowing that they exist, provides me with a reader's confidence to venture outside my comfort zone and to explore the authors and genres I already enjoy.  My struggle is relying too much on one source for these potential titles.  This year, I hope to use other newsletters, websites, friends, family, colleagues, etc to better build my hypothetical reading pile.
4. Get to my reading pile!!  I have so many books to read and yet I allow myself to get distracted by newer titles.  It is fine to take a reading detour, but you may miss out on a potential new favorite that has been sitting on your shelf for a year (or longer). This year, I will get through my actual reading pile.
5. Reread some old favorites.  I love rereading books that I read ten or fifteen years ago to see if I still hold the same feelings.  Last November I turned 30, so this may be a wonderful exercise as I begin my next decade. This year, I will travel back through old reading lists to visit some old friends.

There you have it, furious readers. I wish you health, happiness, and good reading in this coming year. Don't be afraid to take reading risks, but don't forget to spend time with your favorite authors and/or characters.  Whether your reading resolution is to read more, to start a reading group, to get a library card, or to reach 100 books by December 31st, please remember that every book in your reading journey matters. We are fortunate to have so many different stories available to us, in many forms, and I encourage you not to waste these fantastic reading avenues and opportunities.

As always, I am your humble reading blogger and I ask you all to:
Read Well, Read Often, and Read Furiously.

Happy New Year!!

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