Tag: Fahrenheit 451

*SFN*: A Book Showcase: Dystopian from a Skeptics POV!

Posted Thursday, 7 November, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , 3 Comments


| A Book Showcase: Dystopian from a Skeptics POV |

I must confess, I have been avoiding reading books that fall under this sub-heading across all genres for such a long time because I still have issues with certain books I read whilst in school! Writers like Steinbeck and Orwell did not paint my future well for appreciating dystopian stories! Nor did I feel very inclined to read them on my own inclination due to the heavy amount of violence and dark undertones that seemed to be all the rage inside the stories that were being produced for the genre overall. Which is why I decided to undertake this challenge during SFN! To approach the genre as a skeptic, but perhaps emerge after a month of readings as an appreciator?


Sounds pretty straight-forward doesn’t it!? OR, is it really!? To walk through a genre where you have already set your mind partially against with only a sliver of a door ajar to entertain the smallest of margins that there could be a book out there that could interest you of Dystopian origins? I knew prior to Sci-Fi November taking wing and shape that I would have to avoid all the typical books under this umbrella that I knew would not tempt me nor dissuade me of my pre-set and pre-determined opinion! Novels such as The Hunger Games for instance! I understand its a world-renowned phenom but I am simply not the girl for that kind of story, sorry! Its a champion amongst my friends’ which I fully respect, but as for me!? Sorry. No! I’d rather see Harry Potter IIX!

After making my choice to embark down a road of the unknown, I found myself a bit intrigued by what I was finding as apparently this branch of the genre is a bit more wide encompassing than I previously gave it credit for bearing! So much so, I was quite happy by find the following selection of books:

  • Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi*
  • The Postman by David Brin
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth

*replaced: All Our Yesterdays as Rinn kindly pointed out I had mistaken this for Dystopian rather than Time Travel!

Previously, when I had seen the film previews for “Cloud Atlas” I all but shrugged my shoulders and rolled my eyes over the insanity of that premise! It wasn’t until I was curating a short list of books to seek out and attempt to read this month for SFN, that I started to approach Cloud Atlas from a reader’s point of view rather than a girl simply turned off by a motion picture trailer! I’ll freely admit that there are occasions where I surprise myself, there are times where I don’t feel keen on a subject or a story at the first look-see, and there are other times where my first impression of a story or character were jolly justified. It all depends. I always strive to keep an open mind, but there are certain elements that tend to turn me off more than allow me to enter into a setting that at first might appear to be the complete opposite of something I’d been keen to get to know on a deeper level. I still might pick up Cloud Atlas and wonder why I even bothered, or perhaps just as plausible I will pick up the book and wonder why I hadn’t read it sooner!?

I hadn’t even felt that The Postman, the beloved film of mine from yesterday’s past would even be considered part of a genre I always have been outspoken against! Talk about a proper wake-up call! I would suppose this would be akin to saying that despite the fact I am not a particular fan of horror, there are elements of my interests that run parallel to the horror genre, yet I do not watch, read, or listen to horror itself! Wells, except for the odd classic motion picture that is considered ‘classic horror’ but for me is more psychologically suspenseful! I am starting to wonder if there was a sub-path inside Dystopian that I have simply overlooked all these years, if I could find seven potential novels to read, whose to say I could not uncover others!?

I’ll admit I have read so many lists by other readers who are recommending their favourite Dsytopian novel that I nearly felt it was going to be a hopeless pursuit! You see, I suppose I wanted to seek out stories that had a bit of hope left inside them, where the dark undertones were not completely overtaking the plot, and where the level of violence would not supercede my tolerance for its inclusion! I was looking for stories that would stand out to me rather than disinterest me merely by plot premise! A daunting task but I like to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone more times than naught, and this felt like a good challenge to me!

What I am keenly interested in is having this post serve as a conversation opener as I would love to hear from other SFN participants who are more well-versed in this genre than I am, put in their thoughts about the type of story that I am seeking and if they have found any that they think I might appreciate reading myself!? This is merely the start of a quest to seek out books and authors who write Dystopian stories that are gentle enough and engaging enough to draw my interest!

I suppose the Skeptic POV is simply this:

I do not think I’ll become over the moon excited about a Dystopian novel simply because I have had bad experiences with similar authors and books in the past.

I do not think we need to consume books with such darkly lit story-lines in order to learn something of the story.

I do not find it necessary to always walk down such a dark road of disillusionment to step back into the light.

I’m on the fence about whether or not I am going to enjoy the stories or if I’m going to find what I always felt I might if I read Dystopian stories: seriously serious plots in a world that feels like its holding me down with negativity.

Are there any happy endings in a Dystopian novel?

And, there you have it! A literary experiment to unearth if I can find a semblance of enjoyment from a genre I have positively avoided in the past! To see if there are a few authors and stories out there that fall close enough to what I generally find myself fond of reading, to where I can carve out a bit of a niche instead Dsytopian literature! More than even that, to use this post to serve as a stepping stone of conversation to help me further educate myself on the genre I know so little about! Let the reading begin!

This feature is brought to you by:

Sci-Fi November | Hosted by Rinn Reads{SOURCE: Sci-Fi November Badge provided by Rinn Reads for participants to advert the month long event and to encourage people to follow along with those of us who are contributing}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.


Posted Thursday, 7 November, 2013 by jorielov in Dystopian, Sci-Fi November

*SFN* | Bingo Reading Challenge with a Sci-Fi Bent!

Posted Sunday, 3 November, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 7 Comments

By now, anyone who spends a bit of time rooting around my blog (JLAS) will discover that I have a quirky ability to find new reading challenges at the drop of a hat! And, I always attempt to make good on my promise to complete them during their event’s time-frame but alas! My reading life has endeared a few unexpected obstacles these past months, and so, most of the challenges I have undertaken are “in-progress”. Therefore, what bliss to find one that is free-form and can be completed without a specific end-date! I am in the process of completing all my reading challenges that I thus far entered, but what made me become engaged with this one in particular is because I have a *stacked full* reading list to devour in November for SFN!! All the scheduled and proposed books will be listed! Let’s see where they take me on the Bingo card!?

SFN Bingo Reading Challenge - hosted by Literary Excursion

This lovely card was created by Leanne @ Oh! the Books!

Let the Reading Challenge Commence!

B1: A book with alternate realities {The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead}
B2: A sci-fi book mixed with horror
B3: A debut sci-fi novel
B4: A book with awesome technology
B5: A book set on another planet

I1: A book that’s a space western
I2: A book with robots/AI {The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron}*automation
I3: A book with mind-based super powers
I4: A book with clones
I5: A book with aliens

N1: A book involving a war
N2: A book involving dreams {Becoming Beauty by Sarah E. Boucher}
N4: A book with mutations
N5: A book with time travel

G1: A book set underneath the earth
G2: A book set in the future
G3: A book with a dystopian setting
G4: A book with cyborgs
G5: A book set in an alternate past

O1: A book with a non-human MC
O2: A book with spaceships
O3: A book with laser weapons
O4: A book set in post-apocalypse
O5: A book with genetic engineering

SFN Reading List: [combination of scheduled & alternates]

  1. The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead {5/6 Nov ’13}
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  3. Breaking the Time Barrier Jenny Randles
  4. WorldSoul by Liz Williams
  5. Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe by Richard J. Gott
  6. Time: A Traveler’s Guide by Clifford A. Pickover
  7. The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer
  8. The Little Book by Selden Edwards
  9. The Lost Prince by Selden Edwards
  10. The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
  11. The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Fleming
  12. Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski
  13. City at the End of Time by Greg Bear
  14. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
  15. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
  16. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  17. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  18. The Postman by David Brin
  19. Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien
  20. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  21. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  22. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  23. The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
  24. Steamed: A Steampunk Romance by Kate MacAlister
  25. Not Less Than Gods by Kage Baker
  26. Steampunk: An Anthology by Ann Vandermeer
  27. The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron {started ’13 | finished ’14}
  28. The Clockwork Universe by Edward Dolnick
  29. Mainspring by Jay Lake
  30. Airborn by Kenneth Opel
  31. Becoming Beauty by Sarah E. Boucher {9 Nov ’14}

It will be a wondrous mystery to me to see which elements of these books will enter into the formation of the Bingo card’s taken spaces! I am certain that if I can read the # of books I scheduled to read this month, it will be quite the feat in of itself! Therefore, if reading the alternates takes time into December and the Bingo card is not yet completed for a win – I shall continue!

Stay tuned!

I am tweaking my Book Showcase on Steampunk Literature

& will reveal my first Steampunk choice!

Rock on, dear hearts!

This post is brought to you by:

Sci-Fi November | Hosted by Rinn Reads

And, continuing during:

SFN 2014 Participant badge created by Jorie in Canva

{SOURCES: Leanne at Literary Excursion Oh! the Books made the SFN Bingo Card for SFN participants to take part in the joy of an undisciplined reading challenge! The Bingo card is used with permission. Sci-Fi November Badge provided by Rinn Reads for participants to advert the month long event and to encourage people to follow along with those of us who are contributing.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

Tweets via SFN Bingo Card 2013:


Posted Sunday, 3 November, 2013 by jorielov in Dystopian, Reading Challenge Addict, Reading Challenges, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, SFN Bingo, Steampunk, Time Travel

World Book Night : from a Giver’s Point of View

Posted Monday, 21 October, 2013 by greylen , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments


Hello all!

I am Greylen, a long-time friend of Jorie’s and a fellow voracious reader. Luckily, my path in life led me to become a librarian, so I get to be around books all the time. I don’t always get too much time to read, being also a homemaker, wife, and cat Mom, but I am forever trying to bring my life back into balance to allow more reading time!

Although I spend a lot of time giving out books and other materials that are free to borrow if you return them on time. Once a year, I enjoy giving away free books that do not have to be returned. For the past two  years I have been a volunteer Book Giver for World Book Night. WBN began in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2011 and came to the US in 2012. It is always on April 23. April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday. It was also chosen in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, who died on April 23, 1616 (the same day as Shakespeare).

World Book Night’s mission is to reach out to infrequent, reluctant or non-readers of all ages and socio-economic classes. The books are carefully chosen each year to include a mixture of genres as well as a gender, ethnic, and geographical balance. Also, for practical reasons as all WBN special editions are trade paperbacks, the titles must be available in paperback form. When signing up to be a Giver, you must choose three titles in order of preference.

You may say, well, you are a librarian, why not just direct people to the library? WBN is about meeting people where they are and bringing books to them. Libraries are awesome, but not everyone gets there easily. You may live in an area without much public transportation, for example, as I do. If a person has no car, they can’t get to the library. Also, for someone like the clerk at the local Subway who is working there as their second job in addition to going to school, they don’t have time to seek out what to read for pleasure on their own, but if you put it in their hand, there’s a good chance they may read it in the spaces in between the busy parts of their life.

In 2012, I received my first choice book, Just Kids by Patti Smith. Among 2012’s 30 titles to choose from were The Stand by Stephen King, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I have admired Patti Smith’s music and poetry for many years and read the book when it first came out. It is a memoir of her life as a young artist in New York and her close relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. It is about art and freedom and all sorts of amazing things. I distributed my books with my husband on the campus of his Alma Mater, The University of Maryland, College Park. We distributed books to members of the University’s board gaming group and all sorts of other random people walking around campus or eating dinner and hanging out in the student union. I was sad to keep hearing “who?” when I mentioned Patti Smith but hopefully the people I gave the book to will check out some of her music and be able to answer their own question!

For 2013, I got my third choice book, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I am a big fan of Bradbury so I kind of picked this just because it was him. It had been a long time since I read it. While it is science fiction, it is an incredible story about knowledge and censorship and freedom of information and it is a really ironic yet awesome choice for a program focused on giving out books and spreading knowledge instead of restricting it. There were also 30 titles to choose from for 2013, but two were available in Spanish as well as English this time– Paolo Coelho’s The Alchemist, and Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street. Other titles included Bossypants by Tina Fey, Playing for Pizza by John Grisham, and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

More of my friends participated this year– one friend who is a massage therapist in Los Angeles gave out Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and another friend who works at a homeless shelter gave out Walter Mosley’s Devil In A Blue Dress to her clients and co-workers.  Yet another friend who is an elementary school teacher gave out Norton Juster’s classic The Phantom Tollbooth to the more reluctant readers among her students– you know, not the ones begging their parents to go to the library like I was, but after they get hooked on reading, they probably started. One book can change a life.

My husband’s involvement with the board gaming group at his University has pretty much ceased so we stuck to more local places in our neighborhood to give out books in 2013. A local coffee shop was our launching pad, followed by the waiting room of an urgent care walk-in clinic (what a terrible place to be stuck without something to read!) and just popping in to random stores in a local shopping center. Also a couple of pre-teen girls playing in the woods near our house received copies. It could be a bit beyond their reading level, but being someone who was reading the Complete Works of HG Wells at age 8, I try not to assume anything.

I fully intend to be a Giver for 2014 as well. It is a very simple exercise. You sign up entirely online and your books (20 copies of whichever title WBN has chosen for you) are sent to a local bookstore or other collection point (I picked up from Barnes and Noble) the week or so before WBN. There is no cost to you other than whatever gas you use driving around and giving out books. It is very rewarding and engages you with people of whom you might not talk to otherwise. When people realize you’re not trying to sell anything or convert them to your religion (I make it a point to say I am not giving out religious books), they are pleasantly surprised for the most part that someone is giving out something so cool for absolutely nothing in return.

On October 23, six months before WBN 2014, World Book Night will be hosting a live unveiling of the 2014 titles at 6:30 PM EDT. Giver applications open up on October 24 and I will be signing up on the first day, however they are open until January 5, 2014.

Have you ever given or received for WBN?

Do you plan to sign up for 2014?

{CONTRIBUTOR POST: by Greylen for Jorie Loves A Story}

{SOURCE: Badge post lovely provided by Shabby Blogs, with edits by Jorie in Fotoflexer.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.


Posted Monday, 21 October, 2013 by greylen in Art, Contributor Feature or Post, Freedom of Expression, Freedom to Read, Literacy Advocacy, Literary Event, Photography, Poetry, World Book Night