100 novels the GuardianDecember 1, 2019 – 06:33 am

100 novels the Guardian

If lists are a guilty pleasure, then book lists are a sinful addiction. That s an observation for which the Observer can adduce empirical evidence. Ten years ago, on 12 October 2003, in a headline-grabbing stunt, writing as literary editor, I compiled (with a lot of help from colleagues) a list, provocatively entitled The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time . Say what you like about lists, but this one rapidly developed a life of its own, like a sci-fi… Blacklist - it happens to all of us

Are novels always fictionAugust 23, 2019 – 05:58 am

Are novels always fiction

Just before Christmas my better half told me that she had never managed to read a science fiction novel all the way though. She had tried but she d found the books that had been recommended to her were just not her cup of tea. I did some digging and found out that the books that had been suggested to her in her formative years were the ones I read as kid: Heinlein, Herbert, Asimov, Clarke, Le Guin, Lem, PKD etc. She had zero patience for fantasy of…

Visual novels Flash gamesJune 24, 2019 – 05:50 am

Visual novels Flash games

This trope is an Anime/Manga exclusive. In some scenes with couples, there will be a static background shot of a school facility (usually a hallway or yard) or any home/urban/park area, with a notorious vanishing point (generally centered), representing the protagonist s point of view. In the foreground there s a medium shot of almost always a female character with a shy or gentle expression. This is known as the standing image , in which the character…

Top novels for Elementary schoolMay 22, 2019 – 09:15 am

Top novels for Elementary school

Maybe I obsessed a bit much over bringing books into my daughter Raina s life. Before I even bought a onesie or diaper, shopped for cribs, figured out how to install a baby car seat, read What to Expect When You are Expecting , or did any other nesting activity, I scoured yard sales and the internet for great deals on books to start a library for Raina. When we designed her nursery, building a floor to ceiling bookshelf topped my list for must haves…

YA novels About SuicideMarch 3, 2019 – 09:08 am

YA novels About Suicide

The two final paragraphs from this blog post really resonated with me last week when I read them. Everyone knows mental illness exists, everyone knows that the effects of mental illness can be terrible, and yet, people don’t want to talk about it. It’s not a pleasant topic, but it’s one that needs to be addressed and needs to be approached with more honesty and compassion. Over the last year, depression and suicide have seen more time in the spotlight…

Visual novels on SteamFebruary 11, 2019 – 08:45 am

Visual novels on Steam

Don’t be fooled by the bright colors and seemingly innocent atmosphere of this one. HuniePop on Steam is but an all-ages version of a very adult game available on Mangagamer (site NSFW). Complete with an immersive dating sim, match-3 puzzle system, and a visual novel presentation HuniePop is definitely a unique game. It’s also a successfully funded KickStarter drive from November 2013. It promised originally to deliver by the end of 2014, but a month’s…

YA novels minority protagonistJanuary 7, 2019 – 07:26 pm

YA novels minority protagonist

In order to compile this list, I asked two YA writer friends of mine, Molly Backes and James Klise (; also a school librarian) to help me with some suggestions. The following list will get anybody—boy, girl, youngster, adult—itching to read. I know, I know, a lot of good ones were left off this list, but consider this a jumping off point, and offer your own reading suggestions in the comments! , by James Klise This book, by my friend James Klise…