Old School Wednesdays

Old School Wednesdays: November Poll

As you know by now, Old School Wednesdays is a weekly Book Smuggler feature. We came up with the idea towards the end of 2012, when we were feeling exhausted from the never-ending inundation of New and Shiny (and often over-hyped) books. What better way to snap out of a reading fugue than to take a mini-vacation into the past, right?

Old School Wednesdays Final

Logo designed by the wonderful KMont

We asked YOU for your favorite old school suggestions – and the response was so overwhelmingly awesome, we decided to compile a goodreads shelf, an ongoing database, AND a monthly readalong/book club. (Note that we’ve removed books that we have already read, or that we selfishly want to review as solos on Wednesday!)

November Readalong:

It’s time for our November poll! The official October OSW readalong happens next week, on Wednesday October 29 (get thee a copy of Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson now!), but the clock stops for no one… so we are looking at November!

You can vote on which title you’d like to read next month by using the poll embedded below. The readalong will take place on November 26, 2014.

Lord of the Two Lands by Judith Tarr

Lord of the Two Lands

Based on the premise that Alexander the Great was destined by the gods to be pharaoh of Egypt, and that the Egyptians knew it, Judith Tarr weaves a bright thread of magic into history–wherein the Priests of Amon send the Pharaoh’s daughter Meriamon to convince Alexander to come and take his rightful place.

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery

Emily of New Moon

Emily Starr never knew what it was to be lonelyβ€”β€”until her beloved father died. Now Emily’s an orphan, and her mother’s snobbish relatives are taking her to live with them at New Moon Farm. She’s sure she won’t be happy. Emily deals with stiff, stern Aunt Elizabeth and her malicious classmates by holding her head high and using her quick wit. Things begin to change when she makes friends, with Teddy, who does marvelous drawings; with Perry, who’s sailed all over the world with his father yet has never been to school; and above all, with Ilse, a tomboy with a blazing temper. Amazingly, Emily finds New Moon beautiful and fascinating. With new friends and adventures, Emily might someday think of herself as Emily of New Moon.

The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson

The Fox Woman

Yoshifuji is a man fascinated by foxes, a man discontented and troubled by the meaning of life. A misstep at court forces him to retire to his long-deserted country estate, to rethink his plans and contemplate the next move that might return him to favor and guarantee his family’s prosperity.

Kitsune is a young fox who is fascinated by the large creatures that have suddenly invaded her world. She is drawn to them and to Yoshifuji. She comes to love him and will do anything to become a human woman to be with him.

Shikujo is Yoshifuji’s wife, ashamed of her husband, yet in love with him and uncertain of her role in his world. She is confused by his fascination with the creatures of the wood, and especially the foxes that she knows in her heart are harbingers of danger. She sees him slipping away and is determined to win him back from the wild … for all that she has her own fox-related secret.

Magic binds them all. And in the making (and breaking) of oaths and honors, the patterns of their lives will be changed forever.

A Red Heart of Memories by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

A Red Heart of Memories

From Bram Stoker Award winner and Nebula and World Fantasy Awards finalist Nina Kiriki Hoffman comes a novel of two young people who live outside ordinary reality-and who are about to discover life’s extraordinary possibilities…

Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

Cordelia's Honor

In her first trial by fire, Cordelia Naismith captained a throwaway ship of the Betan Expeditionary Force on a mission to destroy an enemy armada. Discovering deception within deception, treachery within treachery, she was forced into a separate peace with her chief opponent, Lord Aral Vorkosigan – he who was called “The Butcher of Komarr” – and would consequently become an outcast on her own planet and the Lady Vorkosigan on his.

Sick of combat and betrayal, she was ready to settle down to a quiet life, interrupted only by the occasional ceremonial appearances required of the Lady Vorkosigan. But when the Emperor died, Aral became guardian of the infant heir to the imperial throne of Barrayar – and the target of high-tech assassins in a dynastic civil war that was reminscent of Earth’s Middle Ages, but fought with up-to-the-minute biowar technology. Neither Aral nor Cordelia guessed the part that their cell-damaged unborn would play in Barrayari’s bloody legacy.

[poll id=”20″]

Get voting, and we hope to see you on November 29!

Ongoing Suggestions:

Got a suggestion? Have an amazing book, published at least five years ago, that you would love to nominate for the OSW monthly readalong? Speak up and submit your favorites! (If you have problems with the form below, you can also access it HERE.)

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  • Ana
    October 22, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Haha, I picked the titles and backed myself into a corner because I want to read all the books.

  • Aliette de Bodard
    October 22, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Cordelia’s Honour. Just because I need more Bujold in my life right now (and because it’s one of my faves of the series, along with “A Civil Campaign”). Turns out I like my SF with strong female protags and a dash of romance πŸ™‚

  • AnimeJune
    October 22, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Ugh, Emily of New Moon. I’m the biggest Anne of Green Gables fangirl so I was excited to read Emily’s book this year and it just did NOT work for me. Fever-induced psychic visions, psychopathic pet-murdering single moms, and a suuuuuuuper creepy proto-romance between a 35-year-old man and an ELEVEN YEAR OLD GIRL.

    Gross gross gross nope nope nope.

  • hapax
    October 22, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I hadn’t read any of the books and found them all mildly intriguing in different ways until I hit CORDELIA’S HONOR; omg my absolute favorite title (well, really two titles) in the series, with the most badass character to ever set foot on Barrayar. Best of all, Cordelia is always herself, with her own agency, her own story, not merely the backdrop to a More Important Male Character.

    I mean, I love Miles, who doesn’t? But his mom (and, okay, Aral and Sergeant Bothari and Ilyan and… ) are all the amazing characters that created and fostered and supported the Awesome that he is.

    What would Miles have been without them? (Yeah, I know, he would have been Mark. And don’t *nobody* be wanting that…)

  • Heloise
    October 22, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Wanted to pick Cordelia’s Honor cause well it sounds like so much awesome but picked The Fox Woman cause I think my cultural boundaries need to be pushed. πŸ™‚

  • Kim Aippersbach
    October 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    That’s a diverse bunch of books to choose from! I’m going with The Fox Woman because it sounds so completely different from anything I’ve ever read.

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