June was my first full month on Bookstagram, the book community within Instagram, using my The Westveil Archives account. I decided to follow BookBookOwl‘s daily prompt challenge, and it was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed planning all the photos and making all the posts, and it has kick-started my bookstagram account far faster than my art account grew in the beginning.
June’s list was #BookBookOwlMovies, featuring 30 books that have been adapted to film or TV, and each prompt was in the form of Title: Broader Prompt. We were welcome to post based on either half of the prompt.
I made a two-part compilation video of my choices for my YouTube channel, and that those didn’t get much attention at all, so they probably won’t be happening in July. I am definitely doing the challenge on Instagram, though! But since June’s videos exist, I’ll embed them before the 1st and 16th in this post, where they start.
1. Harry Potter: Magical Books
I went literal with this one and photographed a couple of Rowling’s books. I’d like to note now that all choices for this list were made in late May, before Rowling’s latest round of transphobic tweets, and I probably would have gone more abstract with the prompt a week later.
I chose to feature Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the original canon series, along with The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and an adorable little hand crank music box that plays Hedwig’s Theme.
I’m from the generation that grew up with Harry Potter as the books were being released. My sister and I got a set of the first four books for Christmas when the Goblet of Fire was new and I was in 7th grade (about to turn 13.) Most of my closest friendships in high school started because we shared the common interest of Harry Potter and/or The Lord of the Rings.
2. Alice in Wonderland: Books & Tea
A Monster’s Coming of Age Story is the first book in the Ouroboros Cycle series by G. D. Falksen. A French aristocrat’s daughter, Babette, meets the love of her life at a ball. His name is Korbinean, and he’s a Germanic prince! Alas, he dies shortly after their meeting. Babette Varanus finds herself pregnant with his child, and forever attached to his ghost. What’s an eligible young lady such as herself to do in a situation like this? Accept the offer to become a vampire, of course!
3. Emma: The Classics
I don’t own physical copies of anything that could be considered one of the Great American Novels, nor do I own physical copies of things like Jane Austin or any of the Bronté sisters. I do, however, own my mother’s old copies of these children’s and YA classics: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, and The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.
(I also snuck the complete works of Lovecraft in there to fill out the picture, but we’ll talk about that one later.)
4. Percy Jackson: Myths, Legends, and Gods
Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles is a series that encapsulates all of that. A 2,000+ year old Irish druid, who keeps himself looking like a man in his early 20s with the help of his very own MortaliTea, lives in modern day Arizona. All of the gods and beasts from every religious and mythological pantheon you can think of exist. Some of them already have a grudge with Atticus, and the rest will by the time the series is finished! Atticus is just his latest fake identity, by the way. His original name is Siodhachan O Suileabhain. Oh, and he has a psychic link with his artificially immortal Wolfhound Oberon!
Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer follows a paleontologist in Toronto, Canada who happens to by dying of cancer. When an alien arrives at the doors of his museum saying “Take me to your paleontologist” (vertebrate, please) his life changes forever. You see, two alien species whose cultures have intertwined science with religion are off on a mission to find the God of our universe, defined as the oldest being and probably the universe’s creator. They’re looking for others to join them along the way, and why shouldn’t it be someone who has studied life all these years and is about to loose his own?
5. Lord of the Rings: Journeys & Adventures
Green Rider by Kristen Britain is the first novel in her Green Rider series. Karrigan is an ordinary merchant’s daughter off to study at the university, but when she crosses paths with a green rider, her life is changed forever. This rider is dying, murdered by someone who meant to intercept his message, and he asks her to take his horse and finish his mission.
The green riders are the country’s royal messengers, and each has their own unique set of magical abilities. It turns out Karrigan has a few magical tricks up her sleeve that she wasn’t aware of, and Condor, the rider’s horse, bonds with her quickly. But who wanted the other rider dead, and why is the message she’s now delivering so dangerous?
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin is the first novel in the Earthsea Cycle series. It’s archmage Ged Sparrowhawk’s origin story! Farm boy Ged receives his true name (Sparrowhawk) from the village mage Ogion and becomes his apprentice, but Ged proves too powerful and impulsively reckless for Ogion’s abilities as a teacher, so he’s sent off to the wizarding school at Roke.
While on Roke, Ged makes friends with other stubborn magical youths who encourage Ged’s reckless behaviour. Eventually, he loses a shadow into the world. He’s expelled from the school and encouraged to run from the evil he has unleashed. It isn’t until he realizes that he has to face the shadow that he can grow and move on.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman is a beautiful stand alone that has been adapted perfectly to film. Tristan wants to impress the love of his life before his rival proposes to her, and when they see a falling star, he vows to go get that star for her as his proposal gift. So Tristan sets off on an adventure and crosses through a hole in the wall that surrounds his town of Ipswich. Once on the other side of the wall, he finds himself in a magical world. Witches are real, and so are fallen stars. That fallen star turns out to be a beautiful silver haired girl name Yvaine. Tristan captures her, determined to bring her back to Ipswich, but on the way he falls in love.
6. Narnia: Books with Talking Animals
Far-Seer is the first in the Quintaglio Ascension trilogy by Canadian award winning science fictional author Robert J. Sawyer. This world is inhabited by an intelligent species of bipedal reptiles. Main character Afsan is his society’s Galileo, and he discovers that their world is a moon in a degrading orbit around its planet.
Reserved for the Cat by Mercedes Lackey is one of her Elemental Masters novels. Ninette is a poor ballet dancer in Paris, France who seeks fame and fortune abroad. She travels to England to dance with bigger companies with the borrow reputation that comes with using the name Nina Tchereslavsky, a Russian dancer. She also discovers she has an affinity for elemental magic, and she’s taken in by a pair of local elemental magicians. Oh, and that orange tom cat who’s been following her since she left home in Paris? It’s her father, an elemental mage himself, cursed to remain in the form of a cat.
7. Divergent: Dystopian
Both of these YA dystopians are on my TBR, so I don’t know much about them yet.
Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano is book one of the Internment Chronicles series, and Goodreads gives it an average rating of 3.74 stars.
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau appears to be a typical YA dystopian, complete with epic dangerous tests for the youth of the world. Goodreads gives it an average of 4.05.
8. Beauty and the Beat: Books and Flowers
Both of these Mercedes Lackey novels are different spins on the original Beauty and the Beast story. The First Rose is the book that started the Elemental Masters series, and it follows the Beauty and the Beast storyline very closely. The main difference is the presence of elemental magic. This book’s Belle discovers her fire abilities and makes friends with salamanders in his fireplace while in captivity with this book’s Beast.
Beaty and the Werewolf is one of her A Tale of 500 Kingdoms novels, and it was the first I read from this series. I though it was an Elemental Masters book! I didn’t enjoy this one as much, mostly because it didn’t go the way I was expecting for an Elemental Masters story (because it isn’t one), but it introduced me to her 500 Kingdoms series, so I can’t be mad about it! The premise behind the 500 Kingdoms books is that The Tradition forces everyone into the fairy tale role they best suit. Are you the forgotten and abused step sister with a dead father? Cinderella for you! Are you the seventh born son? A wandering you must go! Are you a beautiful girl who finds herself living with a handsome man who just became a werewolf? Well my dear, he is now the Beast, and you are his Beauty.
9. Ready Player One: Set in the Future
At this point I’m wondering why I decided to feature multiple books for most of these prompts. Wow, this is getting long!
Eve: The Awakening is Jenna Moreci’s debut novel and a wonderful New Adult science fiction. Set in Earth’s future. some humans have begun to evolve, and the next stage humans are called Chimera. Eve happens to be one, and she finds herself facing all sorts of discrimination from Chimera-hating individuals while studying at university. But what if not everyone who hates Chimera are regular old humans?
Red Planet Blues is the full length novel expansion on Robert J. Sawyer’s award-winning novella Identity Theft. Humans have colonized Mars, and the society is in a bit of a gold rush. Err, fossil rush. Rich prospectors upgrade themselves with robotic bodies that can withstand the harsh climate outside their domed city, and robotic bodies and identities are being stolen.
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson is on my TBR, and to be honest, the 3.46 on Goodreads isn’t encouraging me to read it any time soon. It fit the prompt and colour scheme I was going for, though!
10. Jaws: Under the Sea
Surprise, surprise, I’m featuring another Mercedes Lackey Elemental Masters novel. Home from the Sea explores the story of a Welsh farmer’s daughter who believes the rest of her family died long ago. When she starts seeing creatures in the waves on the shore, she thinks she’s going crazy… but she isn’t. Mom and brother are alive and well under the sea, and this farmer’s daughter has a most unique tie to water magic. Mom’s a selkie!
11. Practical Magic: Witches
My studio assistant Pebbles wanted to help with this one.
Son of a Witch is the second novel by Gregory Maguire in the wold of Oz. The series starts with Wicked, the origin story of the Wicked Witch of the West. Son of a Witch follows her son, Lyr.
The Thirteenth Sacrifice by Debbie Viguié is the first novel in the Witch Hunt series, and I honestly don’t remember picking this one up. It’s on my TBR!
The Wizard of Karres is book 2 in the Witches f Karres series, which all have a different cast of authors but all involve Eric Flint. I’ve only read this one, because it;s a Mercedes Lackey collaboration. We’ve got an interstellar travelling circus in a lattice ship that captures and incorporates other ships. We’ve got magical humanoids runnig the show. We’ve got a black blob creature that exists free of linear time. What could go wrong?
12. Shadowhunters: Good vs. Evil
Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer is an intriguing story about a team of scientists who are trying to change the consciousness of all of humanity at once.
Human consciousness is the result of two quantum particles. If neither are in superposition. no balls in the air, the individual is what’s known as a Philospher’s Zombie. They live life on autopilot, and don’t have an inner monologue. They don’t have a conscientious, but they don’t need one.
Individuals with just one particle in superposition, one ball in the air, are sociopaths. They are fully aware with an internal monologue, but no conscience.
Individuals with both particles in superposition, both balls in the air, are fully conscious, but both an inner monologue and a conscience.
A machine has been developed that can shock individuals through the superposition stages: zombie to sociopath, sociopath to aware with conscience, aware to zombie. What they want to do is figure out how to shock the entire world at once, and how many times to cycle, to end up with the most fully aware individuals and the fewest sociopaths.
13. Eragon: Dragons
The Memoires by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan are a series of novelized fictional field research jounrals by dragon zoologist Lady Trent. In The Labyrinth of Drakes is the fourth book in the series, but it’s the only one I own as a physical copy, so it’s the one I chose to feature.
My prop paired with this book is a trilobite fossil in a piece of shale from right here in Newfoundland.
14. Gone Girl: Mystery Books
A Study in Sable is the twelfth book in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, and this one is written in the style of a classic Holmes mystery.
Illegal Alien is a science fiction novel by Robert J. Sawyer that deals with a literal illegal alien, an alien seeking sanctuary on Earth.
To round it all out, I placed these novels on top of a psychology textbook. Forensic psychology, to be precise.
15. Maze Runner: Fast Paced
I had no idea what to pick from my physical books to photograph for this prompt, so I decided to be cheeky and pick books based purely on the word “fast.”
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand is the story of world famous race horse Seabiscuit and his jockey Red Pollard. Race horses are fast.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss is a novella hat takes place at the university in the world of his King Killer Chronicles novels. It’s the story of Auri, the silent squatter living in and under the maze of old buildings on campus. I picked it for the word “slow.”
16. Vampire Academy: Vampires
Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles, which we’ve already discussed, also features werewolves and vampires. One particular vampire and one particular pack of werewolves happen to be Atticus’ lawyers, in fact! The vampire, Lief, is also the reason Atticus is in trouble with the entire Norse pantheon.
A Cautionary Tale for Young Vampires is the second book in G. D. Falksen’s Ouroboros Cycle series. Varanus is running a medical clinic for her town’s creatures of the night, and something is killing them.
17. Jurassic Park: Dinosaurs/Creatures with Big Teeth
I’m featuring two Robert J. Sawyer books for this one. End of an Era takes a step back in time to the era of dinosaurs, but why exactly were our prehistoric cohabitants so large? Well, Martians. They surrounded Earth with a ring of satellites that changed Earth’s gravity for experimental reasons.
Foreigner is the third and final book in the Quintaglio Ascension trilogy, which we’ve already discussed. In just two generations, this civilization has managed to go from Galileo to space fairing, and now it;s time to escape their moon home before it crashes into the planet it orbits.
The prop featured in this photo is a chunk of fossilized dinosaur bone purchased at the gift shop in the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta.
18. Neverending Story: Childhood Favourite
I have been a huge Star Wars fan since I was about 8 years old, and when Jude Watson started writing middle grade Star Wars novels about Obiwan Kenobi as an apprentice, I was instantly hooked.
The featured book is either the fourth or fifth book in the series, and one of two back to back books that deals with the warring factions on the world Melida-Daan and their underground youth who seek to end the war. The redhead on the cover is Cerasi, and I wanted to have a redhead daughter and name her Cerasi when I grew up. (Spoiler: my daughter’s name is Dorothy, and she’s a brunette like me.)
19. The Shining: Books that Scared You
I don’t own the book that scared me into no finishing the series. That was by S. M. Stirling, and after reading Dies the Fire, I got rid of it and the sequel I had waiting in the wings. It was expertly written and such a great novel, but it gave me such a bad case of existential dread every time I picked it up. Coudn’t do it!
In order to have something to post, I decided to feature H. P. Lovecraft, one of the fathers of modern horror, sitting on top of two of my old engineering textbooks. (Which are scary for other reasons.)
20. The Golden Compass: Cold Climate Setting
C. S. Lewis’ Narnia has some epically cold and snowy winters, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe spends quite a chunk of time in winter. It’s winter when the children arrive, after all!
This is a cheeky choice since His Dark Materials is an anti-religious response to C. S. Lewis’ Christian themed fantasy series.
21. The Witch: Can’t Wait for the Sequel
It’s been 9 years, Pat. 13 since the first book!
Patrick Rothfuss started his The King Killer Chronicles trilogy in 2007, and we’re still waiting on book three. Book one, The Name of the Wind, is still one of my favourite novels, but I’ve lost interest in checking out all this author’s little side projects. Just finish the trilogy!
22. The Fault in Our Stars: Emotional Books
I stacked up 5 or 6 emotional books, but when I cropped the image, only three were left visible. We’ve got the title book, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, we’ve got Esther Earl’s collection of writings This Star Won’t Go Out, and we’ve got a Rowling book I’m no longer willing to discuss.
23. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Books and Snacks
This seemed like a perfect opportunity to feature a bunch of short fiction anthologies, paired with a bag of Miss Vickie’s kettle cooked chips.
Do you like reading short fiction? I do! This stack features science fiction and fantasy tales from various authors.
24. The Outsiders, Stay Gold: Metallic Books
I already featured The Outsiders, so I decided to go with the metallic books part of the prompt and featured the metallic writing on hardbacks without their dust jackets. When I was a teenager, I preferred the way books looked on the shelf without their dust jackets, so I took them all off. I’ve mended my ways in more recent years and put them back, but some got lost along the way!
25. A Series of Unfortunate Events: Long Series
Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series is up to 16 full length novels (if you count The Fire Rose) and 2 short story anthologies. I own all but the most recently published novel, and I love them all! My favourite so far is Reserved for the Cat, which I featured in more detail earlier in this post.
26. Miss Perigrine’s: Book with Time Travel
The Dying Days by Shannon Patrick Sullivan is not a typical time travel book. This book operates on the premise that cities have memories, and if you know how to tap into those memories, you can access old pathways and buildings that don’t exist anymore. It’s set right here in Newfoundland, in the capitol city of St. John’s, and only someone who can walk the old pathways can defeat the giant fly-like monster that’s slowly destroying the city’s paranormal society.
The author was one of my calculus professors at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I used to bring this book to class and hope he’d notice, but he never did. I brought it up when I picked up my final paper one semester, and we had a long chat about it and his plans for a sequel. Still waiting on that sequel, Dr. Sullivan! I’d love to ARC read it for you.
27. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: Couples
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is my single most favourite and most recommended stand-alone novel. Two stage magicians with real magic have been in competition for decades. Every once ina while they start a new game, wherein they train apprentices and send them off in a grand battle to the death. The apprentices don’t know who their opponent is, when the competition starts, or that one or the other must die.
This time the venue is Le Cirque des rêves, The Circus of Dreams. It arrives at night, it’s only open at night, and it leaves at night. Everything within the circus is black and white, and everything seems to be absolutely magical. Celia is the circus’ resident illusionist, contributing elements and tents to the circus as time goes on. Marco is running the circus behind the scenes in London, and he adds new elements and tents to the circus from afar as he learns of his opponent’s additions. These additions are challenges and responses, questions and answers, love letters.
28. Twilight: Mythical/Magical Creatures
The Farthest Shore is the third book in the Earthsea Cycle novels by Ursula K. Le Guin. It’s not the first Earthsea book to feature dragons, and even the great Orm Embar has already made its appearance by this point, but it’s the book I associate with dragons. And it had a dragon on the cover.
Magic is dying out in Earthsea, and Ged is determined to find out why. He takes his incompetent apprentice and journeys to the edges of the known world, through the realm of death, searching for the answer.
The Hunger Games: Volunteer as Tribute
This is the second set of the Hunger Games books I’ve owned. I bought them as they came out, but I was so mad about how Mockingjay ended that I donated these books to my old high school’s library and thought I’d never think of them again. Then the movies started coming out. I caved and bought another set!
30. Inkheart: FANTASY bOOKS
I wanted to shine a little bit of a spotlight on a couple authors I didn’t get to talk about as much in the previous prots this month.
I love all of Robin Hobb’s books that I’ve read, but I particular love the two trilogies that feature the friendship and misadventures of Fitzchivalry Farseer and Beloved, a.k.a. The Fool, Lady Amber, etc.
Masques is the only physical copy of a book by Patricia Briggs in my collection, but I own most of her older books as ebooks. I found her by chance when I borrowed The Hobb’s Bargain from my university library, and I LOVE her stand-alones and duologies set in the world of Sianim. I really wish she would return to these stories and stop with the Dresden-wanna be romance series.
Soul Music by Terry Pratchett is my absolutely favourite book from the Discworld series. It’s the invention of rock and roll music (“music with rocks in it”) in Discworld, and it’s perfect.