Tagged Gail Carriger Recommends

How to Thrift for Victorian & Steampunk Outfits (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Dear Gentle Reader,

This is not for the faint of heart.

This is an older blog post I did on Retro Rack, that I’ve consolidated and moved here. It contains basic guidelines on how to cobble together a pseudo victorian or steampunk outfit via thrift stores.

I originally wrote this post many years ago for a different blog, before I was a paid authorbeast, when I used my online journal as a kind of information distribution center for friends. Back then it was all about thrifting for the Dickens Fair, an icon of the Christmas season up here in NorCal/. I worked there for a decade or so.

I adapted it to be a general Thrifting Victoriana post and it can also be used as a basis for steampunk.

 One of my beta readers at Dickens wearing a top (we thrifted) that she made, from a 1980s plaid vest + skirt set (she tailored in the vest and used the skirt for bell sleeves). 

 

I thought I would reboot it one last time for you, my most fashionable of readers. My hope is it will evolve and become a place I can point people too whenever they ask me the inevitable questions, how do I thift for a {fill in the blank} costume.

Outfit made of thrifted velvet bathrobe, white king sized sheet set, tailored 1970’s blouse, straw hat re-purposed to be a bonnet lined with a pleated handkerchief, lots of ribbon.

Anyway, Fashionable Reader, as you may well have guessed I am the shopping denizen for my particular group.

One of my few super powers (including the inexplicable ability to turn off street lights) is thrift store juju. I’ve used it to construct various outfits over the years. You see I have an eye trained to spot the possibilities. So this post was written to help others develop the “eye to what can be”.

 Kai modeling a dress I made out of thrifted items: bridesmaid’s cream satin dress, a crochet tablecloth, brown velvet bathrobe, recovered hat, and pheasant feathers from a mask.

Please note:

This is meant to be a basic tips instruction manual to help those just getting into costuming, not for those with more advanced techniques.  All rules are made to be broken so please keep in mind that this post is 101, not seminar level. Also I’m not using modifiers for the sake of brevity, all of the instructions bellow are meant as suggestions not commands.

Here we go!

Thrifting for Victorian Inspired Fashion

Some General Thoughts

  • Middle to upper-class costumes should FIT properly. You don’t need to sew but you will need to tailor.
  • For ladies this means bodice (shoulder to waist) hugs the upper body, blouse sleeves end at the wrists, and skirts show no ankle.
  • For men this means the jacket fits the upper torso (shoulder to waist), sleeves are long and do not ride-up, waistcoats are tight to the body, and trousers start at the WAIST and end at top of the shoe, below the ankle.

1860s couple. Image from my personal collection, please re-post with attribution . ©GAILCARRIEGRLLC

  • Patterned fabric is your friend. Avoid those that look too modern or too machined, go for small checked, striped, tweed, and flowered.

TIP: Look for something you might see on old-fashioned wallpaper.

1860s check dress, Image from my personal collection, please re-post with attribution. ©GAILCARRIEGRLLC

  • Color is your friend. The Victorians loved color. Take advantage of: white, black, pastel, jewel tones, primary, secondary, and contrasting. Colors project images. For example: pastels and whites tended to be worn by unmarried young ladies, blacks and reds by matrons.
    • For men, early in in the era, yellow and red suggest dandy, and blue is associated with the Corinthian set.
    • Women tend to be more matched. A combination of three colors was considered flattering early on in the Victorian era, for example, sage green, peach, and black, by the 1870’s graduating shades of the same color came into vogue. The exception is blouses, worn underneath rest of the outfit, these are almost always white or cream.
  • Fabric is NOT your friend. This is England post regency, light fabrics were considered a tad old fashioned, although they did appear. Best to avoid cheep silk, muslin, other light cottons, and, of coarse, anything man-made. Brocade was rare on women, although some men did do it for a waistcoat.

TIP: Opt for twilled raw silks, wool, dupioni, heavy cotton, satin, velvet, taffeta, and other rich, lux, weighty fabrics. Think curtains in libraries. 

GOOD MOVIES TO COSTUME WATCH

Nicholas Nickleby – for early lower class.

Washington Square – w/ Jennifer Jason Lee, CHECK OUT HER HAIR!

Jane Eyre (A&E) – good lower-class dresses.

Mrs. Brown – for an excellent range in space and class.

Impromptu – great men’s attire

North and South – not only good costumes but a great romance, and a killer look at the dark side of life and rise of industrialism during this era.

All About Steampunk Fashion

Part ONE: Victorian Dress Thrifting for Women

Swiss Waist, Image from my personal collection, please re-post with attribution. ©GAILCARRIEGRLLC

You have more choices, but more modifications and sewing.

Self in a mainly thrifted outfit: hat Goodwill (dampened and bent, decorated – using hot glue gun – with ribbons and flowers from a church rummage sale); velvet cape is the top portion of a coat (bottom of which was stained); shirt 1970 boxy cut thrifted on Height Street, tailored to figure, and blue ribbon threaded through; skirt gored made from stain resistant king size bed sheets, bed ruffle at bottom, blue ribbon sewing on all over. Parasol not thrifted but added blue ribbon to match.

OUTER GARMENTS

1. Hats

Victorian women always wear their hair up. Only whores and very young girls wear their hair loose. In the streets and when visiting or shopping, hair is also always covered, with any of the following:

A. Mob Cap (or Mop Cap): Made of lace or cotton trimmed with lace, usually white, this hat looks like a shower cap with a ruffle around the edge. Favored by older, married women, and widows.

 B. A Floof (or Lace Cap): A lace head covering that drapes over crown of head with ruffles in the back and flaps over the ears. Works both inside and outside the house. Can’t be found in thrift stores, but relatively easy to make.

Floof! Image from my personal collection, please re-post with attribution. ©GAILCARRIEGRLLC

C. Flat Straw (or Shepherdess Cap): A very shallow crown, very wide brim, close weave straw hat that must be held on with hatpin or bow and curved in interesting ways. Favored by younger women and the country set.

 The cream and brown hat I made, mainly with a hot glue gun for my 1878 walking gown.

D. Lady’s Bowler: Shaped like a bowler with a slightly smaller brim, made of straw, and worn tilted to one side affixed with a hatpin. Difficult to find.

E. Riding Hat: A lady’s top-hat, this is usually shorter than a man’s, decorated with a vale, and worn with a riding habit. Considered very daring.

 F. Perch: An undersized, highly decorated hat with a narrow brim curled up on each side and peaked in the front (like a cowboy hat), worn perched far forward on the head, or far to the back later on in history, and affixed with a hatpin.

 Mine is made from a fez with a turned up back brim. Feathers from an African mask, and dried flowers.

G. Bonnet: Sits way back on the head, highly decorated to match the dress.

 H. A whole range and variety came in the 1870’s that emulated turbans and flowerpots like the toque.

I. And in the mid to late 1970s the teeny tiny hats came in as well. You can make on of these using a doll’s hat blank from any craft store.

 The crazy purple Ivy hat I made using a bucram blank, a Styrofoam flowerpot insert, a glue gun, and lots of scraps.

THRIFTERS: Bonnets and flat straw hats can be made by cutting down regular straw hats. Look for close weave, bendable straw of any color with a shallow crown. All of the above tended to be highly decorated with silk flower, fake fruit, feather birds and more. Millinery is lots of fun, especially with a glue gun!

2. Shawls

Large square or triangle shape of heavy silk usually embroidered. NO CUT-VELVET! Cape is another good option.

Tip: Christmas tree skirts work really well as cape-like jackets.

Here is one I picked up from an after Christmas sale at TJ Max used as a shawl, and also as a can can skirt for a steampunk outfit.

3. Vest

You can, as a shop-keep, get way with a woman’s vest instead of jacket (vests are also worn under bolero style jackets). Vests should have no pockets, be VERY fitted, button or clasp up the front, have a full back (none of the fake liner fabric), flare at the waist, and have wide sloping shoulders. You will need a shawl to go into the streets. Swiss waists are also an option.

THRIFTERS: Look for full (no synthetic back), fitted vests with darts.

4. Blouses

Usually white/cream and designed to show only at the wrists and neck, blouses tend to be pretty masculine in cut and look, although they should be fitted to the torso. They usually have little lace collars, and full sleeves to a tight band of lace at the wrists. Shoulders are sloped. Necklines are high and round or v-shaped (with or without a turn-down collar), or mock turtle style, all with lace at the edge. Blouses can have some shirtfront detailing or lace, but NOT a tuxedo ruffle.

THRIFTERS: Avoid sleeves that puff out from the shoulder, are ruffled at the shoulder, and anything that turns the silhouette square (unless, of coarse this will be covered over by the rest of the outfit). Look in the white blouse section of thrift stores, you should find something. Remember you can go very masculine and wear a little necktie or lady’s cravat.

5. Jacket

You have many different style choices but only three are likely to turn up when thrifting. All the following jacket’s sleeves are full bell-shaped, although some have the fullest part at the elbow and taper in at the wrist.

  A. Bolero: If your blouse is fitted, or you have a vest, you can wear a bolero style jacket. These usually end just below the breast, have one clasp or are held closed with a broach, and taper back with a curved line.

 Jacket made from a shirt I reversed, slit up the front, pealed back and sewed ruffle on edge.

B. Regular: A tight single-breasted jacket, with or without a collar, fitted to the waist in a peak then flaring out as basques, slight tails, or a deep pointed front.

C. Blazer: Usually only worn by very poor women, they resemble modern men’s suit jackets, are usually velvet and darted to fit tight at the waist.

THRIFTERS: Look for close fitting, single-breasted jackets with NO SHOULDER PADS and wide sleeves, velvet blazers, bathrobes of good material, and the top half of dresses that can be cut off.

6. Skirt

The easiest part to find and to make from scratch, skirts are very full, gored, and run from pleats to ruffles to roushes to swags to ribbons. They changed in general silhouette over the years, from full crinoline to bustle to natural form, but always had a lot of fabric.

1860, 1870, and 1879

THRIFTERS: Look for a full skirt that has a waistband (rather than elastic) and can fit over several underskirts or a crinoline. It doesn’t have to be floor length, you can always add ruffles to the bottom. Wedding dresses can often be cut apart and ribbon added. Check the LINEN SECTION as skirts can be made from curtains or sheets. Dust-ruffles for beds make great readymade ruffles.

7. Shoes

A. Ankle Boots: Should hit just below, just above, or several inches above the ankle and lace up the front or (better!) up the side, with a flat sole or low hourglass heal. Boots can be made of leather or canvas in any color with a natural toe shape. The difficulty is in finding them without zippers. Consider substituting ribbon for laces.

B. Dancing Slippers: Ballet flats with a round toe made of satin or leather in any color that can ribbon tie up the ankle (but don’t have to).

UNDERPINNINGS

8. Chemise (optional)

A fitted undershirt worn beneath the corset, with a low square or scooped neckline and capped sleeves, made of a very light material. You do not need one unless you have a corset.

9. Corset

They are nice because they make your posture Victorian and your clothing hang correctly. Either invest in a cheap stretchy one (under $50) or buy the real thing ($150 – 500), don’t go halfway, nothing in the world is worse than an ill-fitting corset.

7 Tips on How to Buy a Corset That Fits from Gail Carriger 

10. Petticoat

Originally a petticoat was a kind of chemise with a skirt attached to the bottom that falls to just below the knee. You do not need one unless you have a corset or a scratchy underskirt.

11. Underskirts

Often wrongly called petticoats, real Victorian underskirts are worn over the crinoline (to disguise the hoops) or (by the lower-classes) instead of a crinoline, often they were stiffened to ensure the overskirt flowed properly. The “substitute crinoline” was usually made of compressed, starched horsehair, very stiff and VERY scratchy, with a pretty fabric ruffle at the bottom. You can cheat by using modern “petticoats,” the kind made to go under wedding dresses (but you’ll probably want to add a cotton or lace ruffle to the nylon in case it is seen). The Victorians were fond of outrageous underpinnings. Demurely clad young ladies often wore bright red underskirts, teal bloomers, and so forth.

THRIFTERS: Look for petticoats made for wedding dresses and/or stiff taffeta skirts. You can always wear more than one.

11. Crinoline (optional)

Known by us laymen as “the hoopskirt,” you probably won’t find a crinoline thrifting, though they do turn up with wedding dresses occasionally. You can buy the cheep nylon kind for $30 from a dance supply store, or sometimes secondhand for less from a costume shop. Think carefully about whether you want to spend the money, crinolines can be very annoying to store and clean.

12. Under Drawers

Under drawers are not optional. You have two choices, both VERY easy to make. Both styles can be made from plain wide-legged, baggy women’s slacks in cotton, silk, or satin fabrics. In Victorian times both styles were split at the crotch, so you didn’t have to unlace your corset to use the loo. You don’t have to go that far unless you wear a corset. I just wear mine elastic at the hip, below my corset.

A. Bloomers: Baggy breaches, which end just below the knee in a wide, fat, lacy ruffle. (Originally called ‘pantaloons’ the actual bloomer was designed as outerwear – too shocking!)

Pair I made from some black thin pants, added lack to bottom, thin elastic waist

B. Pantalettes: Traditionally worn by young girls in the nursery, pantalettes briefly made an appearance as an adult garment in 1853 and were considered quite scandalous as they could be (gasp!) SEEN when a lady lifted her skirts. They are longer than bloomers and taper slightly, to end at the ankle, again with lots of lace at the bottom.

THRIFTERS: Look in women’s pants section for wide, white, drawstring slacks.

13. Stockings

White, knee-high or over-the-knee socks in a natural looking fabric. Target has them.

ACCESSORIES (the fun part)

14. Gloves

Short, white (usually kid) gloves were a vital part of any lady’s wardrobe, but you can use a color that matches your outfit. Your options also include: lace and net, fingered, finger-less, and gauntlet styles.

15. Parasol

My favorite, the parasol has a glorious history, it was one of the most significant gifts a man could give his intended. The shades were smaller than those you can find today, almost doll like, coming in a variety of sizes with very long handles turning them, by 1880 into a kind of walking stick. By about that same time a lady of quality had a parasol to match every daytime outfit.

Swiss Waist

16. Belt

More like waist cinchers, lady’s belts are wide and stiffened with boning usually made of a dark, contrasting color or matched to the fabric of the dress. They are either peaked at bottom front (and sometimes also top – called a Swiss Waist) and fastened behind, or sash-like and tied in a wide trailing bow down the back of the skirt.

17. Reticule

The Victorian purse, this item matches the dress and comes in a wide variety of shapes and styles. A simple reticule is very easy to make from extra material and trim.

18. Basket

A good alternative to the reticule, Victorian baskets are carried by lower and middle-class women. They are usually made in a closer weave and smaller size than Ren Faire baskets. They can be lined in fabric and decorated with lace and ribbon.

19. Jewelry

Victorians love jewelry and a lady of any class always wears some, even if it is all she has. Such jewelry includes: hatpins, hairpins and clasps, earrings (yes, pierced), broaches, scarf clasps, necklaces, bracelets, and rings.

THRIFTERS: Look for subtle, delicate costume jewelry including or combining: pearls, crosses, cameos, lockets, old-fashion paste gems, filigree (metal fashioned to look like lace), set in or made from silver, gold, or both. 

20. Decoration

Think in terms of excess where decoration is concerned. Load your outfit down with ruffles, ribbons, lace, tassels, fringe, beads, embroidery, fake flowers, and feathers. Once you have a color scheme I advise buying at least 10 yards of one nice ribbon to use to decorate and tie the entire outfit together.

TIP: Expect to spend good money on trim (unless you have a stock or hit a really good church bizarre). It is worth it because it makes all the difference.

Don’t be afraid of WHITE.

How to Remove Odors From Hand-Me-Down Clothes

SHORTLIST

Women, when you walk into a thrift store you should zero-in on these sections:

  • Hats
  • Shawls
  • Women’s White Blouses
  • Women’s Vests
  • Women’s Jackets = bolero, blazer
  • Women’s Skirts = long, full
  • Dresses = use top part as a jacket, or the bottom part as a skirt
  • Bathrobes = jacket
  • Wedding Dresses = underskirts or skirts
  • Women’s Shoes
  • Women’s Pants = wide leg slacks for bloomers
  • Linen’s Section = bed ruffles and curtains

Part Two: Victorian Dress Thrifting for Men

Most Likely American, c. 1860s. Image from my personal collection, please re-post with attribution. ©GAILCARRIEGRLLC

1. Hat

This is the most expensive item. Top-hats were the most common, which can be short (daytime, races, driving, visiting clubs) or tall (evening, formal events, weddings, funerals), and any color (black and gray are most common). Alternatives include bowlers and trilbies (newsboy cap). Men wore hats, always, period, end of story. Hats rarely turn up in thrift stores, except trilbies. Top-hats are cheapest online, expect to spend around $75.

Most Likely American, c. 1860s. Image from my personal collection, please re-post with attribution. ©GAILCARRIEGRLLC

2. Cravat

A cravat is a length of colorful lightweight fabric tied around the neck (often silk or satin). Usually no pattern. Modern ties do NOT work. The longer a cravat, the more elaborate the knot. No velvet and no wool. (Upper-class evening dress required at least 3 yards of white Egyptian cotton, called “lawn.”) A black ribbon might be tied over a cravat for formal occasions.

TIP: A cravat should be AT LEAST as long as your arm and as wide as your splayed hand.

THRIFTERS: Look for colorful women’s scarves, sashes, and fabric from which a long strip can be cut.

3. Shirt

The Victorian mens shirt is basically a plain, white men’s dress shirt (no stripes, no ruffles) with full sleeves and no turned collar (though this isn’t vital). (Upper-class collars were squared and stuck straight up, a stiff independent piece was inserted under the cravat.)

THRIFTERS: If you can’t find this part of your costume, you’re hopeless. Just tinker with the collar a bit.

Most Likely American, c. 1860s. Image from my personal collection, please re-post with attribution.

4. Waistcoat

The modern men’s vest with the peaked bottom front, deep v-neck, and synthetic tied back is not Victorian. A waistcoat should end about two inches below the natural waist-line and be squared off at the bottom (easy to hem from pointed or too long). The v-neck ended at the sternum, though it can go higher and/or fold over in a curve (the shawl collar). Waistcoats should be made completely (front and back) from the same fabric and be colored and/or patterned: think red, yellow, green. They can be double or single-breasted, single is more flattering to most men.

(Purely syntax: around the middle of the Victorian era vest came to mean single breasted, while waistcoat meant double breasted.)

THRIFTERS: Look in WOMEN’S VESTS for waistcoats with the same fabric all the way around, and no pockets (or one small one near the waist). Although for steampunk you can always embellish the pocket. You can also think in terms of sleeve removal. If you can find a thin jacket or robe from which the sleeves can be taken? Those brocade cropped monstrosities from the 80s can have a whole new life.

Most Likely American, c. 1860s. Image from my personal collection, please re-post with attribution. ©GAILCARRIEGRLLC

5. Jacket

The jacket is one of the hardest things to find: should have tails and be fitted through the torso. It can be single or double-breasted. Tails that fit properly end at the back of the knee. 3 options:

Still from the BBC Mini Series, Cranford

A. Tuxedo-tails (evening dress):

Modern styles work fine, but make sure to AVOID the satin stripe along the seam (AKA the tuxedo stripe) and anything too pointed.

Still from BBC miniseries Cranford

B. Swallow-tails (or morning coat):

Not cut-away square like tuxedo-tails, but forms tails by graduating down from front to back. (Man in the photo of the couple at the beginning is wearing a swallow tail.)

Still from Cranford

C. Frock-coat (or skirted jacket):

Basically tails without any cut away or graduation at all, they fit to the waist and then flair out. This style looks the most period and is the hardest to find. Unless you convert a woman’s coat.

THRIFTERS: Look for long coats or jackets that can be cut down. Women’s coats work great but often don’t fit through arms and shoulders. Expect to spend $75 on a quality pair of tails.

Image from my personal collection, please re-post with attribution.

6. Trousers

Plaid, striped, checked, formal, and tweed all work. Trousers must fit all the way from natural waist to top of foot with a slightly tapered leg. No Belts.

THRIFTERS: You should have good luck if you look in WOMEN’S SLACKS (watch out for too-light weight fabrics).

7. Socks

Modern dress socks that match the shoes are fine.

8. Shoes

Nice men’s dress shoes in black or brown will work OK, spectator and wingtips came in during the later half of the Victorian era but were considered very, very daring.

THRIFTERS: Look for men’s dancing or formal shoes, very plain.

9. Accessories

A. Scarf: Long, straight wool or silk scarves (the same length as cravats) with a small fringe were worn draped around the neck. (Silk ones are called opera scarves.)

B. Cravat Pin: A small, jeweled pin fastens your cravat (just below or inside the knot) to your shirt. Usually the same kind of design as a woman’s hatpin, such as a single pearl, or an emerald set in gold – only shorter in the stick part.

C. Pocket Watch

D. Pipe

E. Suspenders: Since most did not wear a belt, almost all Victorian men wear suspenders to keep their trousers up. But as suspenders reside under the vest no one knows if they are there but you.

F. Spats or Gaiters (knee-high spats):

Spats and gaiters can be found on line or at your local military surplus stores. Gaiters (the long version of spats) are difficult to find in tend to indicate country “Squire.”

G. Gloves: Should be white or gray, kid leather (practically impossible to find) or cotton.

H. Buttons: All plastic buttons should be replaced with metal or cloth-covered ones.

Most Likely American, c. 1860s. Image from my personal collection, please re-post with attribution. ©GAILCARRIEGRLLC

10. Overcoat (optional)

Three options, all made from either wool or canvas.

A. Trench Coat: A double-breasted coat that falls at least to mid-calf.

B. Duster: A floor-length, single-breasted coat fitted through the waist (think matrix).

C. Great Coat: Cut like either of the above but with one, two, or three capes attached over the shoulders.

SHORTLIST

Men (or Madame Lefoux), when you walk into a thrift store you should zero-in on these sections

  • Women’s Scarves = cravat or scarf
  • Men’s Shirts = white dress shirt
  • Women’s Vests = waistcoat
  • Women’s Coats = jacket to make into tails
  • Men’s Jackets = tails
  • Women’s Slacks = trousers
  • Men’s Shoes = dress shoes
Meme via FB

Congratz for wading through such a massive post!

Feel free to comment with your own tips and tricks! Also this post is a bit old so some of this may be out of date.

Yours (currently getting RID of costuming),

Miss Gail

  • Want to know why I’m getting rid of stuff, I tell the Chirrup my secrets, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!
  • Coop de Book for October 2019 is Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern (comic). I bit spendy but it will make a GREAT Christmas gift. 

OUT NOW!

Reticence: The forth and final Custard Protocol Book!

Reticence

USA & Canada: Amazon print & digital & audiobook | Kobo | B & N | Apple | Audible | Other

UK digitalprint | Kobo | Apple UK coming soon I hope

Amazon Overseas DE | FR | AU

Kobo Overseas DE | FR | AU

Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1862 Ladies' Companion August Parasol blue Teal Cloak Victorian

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Rococo Red Gail Carriger Office

In my red & cream rococo outfit, also thrifted combo of two robes, 2 prom dresses, 2lace skirts, and a lot of trim.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Inside a Victorian Bathing Machine

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Do Writers Know Too Much To Enjoy Reading?

Book News:

It’s not an interview but you can listen to a fellow fan wax poetical on your truly on the Underrated Podcast: It’s pronounced Grrrrr

Quote of the Day:

“The only way to atone for being occasionally a little over-dressed is by being always absolutely over-educated.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Your Moment of Gail

 

“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Peek at Miss Gail’s Childhood Favorites & Research Bookshelf – Behind the Magic (Video)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Darling Gentle Reader,

In this video I talk you through some of my favorite children’s books and how they influenced my writing. Then I show off some of my non-fiction research book collection (secondary resources). What I use, what I keeps on hand and why.

Also I’m putting together a collection of my steampunk research books as a one off special box to sell in the Gumroad shop soon, so keep an eye open to there, if non-fiction victoriana interests you!

Gail Carriger’s Research & Children’s Books

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

RESEARCH BOOKS

Yours (figuring out what to do with all her books),

Miss Gail

  • Want more behind the scenes info and giveaways? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!
  • Coop de Book for October 2019 is Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern (comic). I bit spendy but it will make a GREAT Christmas gift. 

OUT NOW!

Reticence: The forth and final Custard Protocol Book!

Reticence

USA & Canada: Amazon print & digital & audiobook | Kobo | B & N | Apple | Audible | Other

UK digitalprint | Kobo | Apple UK coming soon I hope

Amazon Overseas DE | FR | AU

Kobo Overseas DE | FR | AU

Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1862 Ladies' Companion May Parasol Teal Pink Trim Victorian

Image that influenced lesbian characters Lady Flo and Jane in Poison or Protect fromLadies’ Companion Thursday, May 1, 1862

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Strawberry Pie Tart Little House

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Random Advice That Might Save Your Life, According to Reddit

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Allusionist podcast 106: Typo Demon

Ever misspelled a word or committed a typo? It wasn’t your fault; you were demonically possessed. Ian Chillag from Everything is Alive podcast introduces us to Titivillus, the typo demon.

Book News:

Man jailed for stealing 7,000 books from Scottish universities

Quote of the Day:

“Oh, yes, she’s unusual!” he said bitterly. “She blurts out whatever may come into her head; she tumbles from one outrageous escapade into another; she’s happier grooming horses and hobnobbing with stable-hands than going to parties; she’s impertinent; you daren’t catch her eye for fear she should start to giggle; she hasn’t any accomplishments; I never saw anyone with less dignity; she’s abominable, and damnably hot at hand, frank to a fault, and—a darling!”

~ Sylvester by Georgette Heyer

Your Moment of Gail

 

“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


A Completely Biased List of Funny Books that Make Me LAUGH! (Gail Carriger Recommends Humor & Comedy)

Posted by Gail Carriger

I am often on panels at events having to do with writing comedy and humor (I even teach a class on the subject). Because it comes up a lot and I always want to laugh, I have decided to provide a list here of some of my favorites. In the cases where the author in question writes lots of funny stuff I have chosen my particular favorite or the first in a series, whichever seems best. 

This list is part of the FAQ series of things I get asked about a lot so it will remain as a resource and be updated regularly.

“The man behind the bar told us the things were called Green Swizzles; and, if ever I marry and have a son, Green Swizzle Wooster is the name that will go down on the register…”

~ Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Gail’s Entirely Biased Funny Books List

YA & Middle Grade 

Non SF/F: 

SF/F

Feel free to comment with other offerings but…

  1. Please don’t repeat an author already mentioned.
  2. Please don’t recommend a fiction book that isn’t primarily funny. (There are plenty of books that have humor IN THEM, but also get dark, violent, and rape-y. I don’t like that.) Remember my taste leans towards gentle, romantic and fun.
  3. No humorists essay/memoir types.
  4. Please respect the general tenor of my own books and think in terms of what those kinds of readers would enjoy.

As always, your care, courtesy, and polite thoughtfulness is appreciated.

“‘There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, “Do trousers matter?”’

‘The mood will pass, sir.’”

~  P. G. Wodehouse, Very Good, Jeeves

I also have a humor bookshelf on Goodreads that I add to regularly.

Quick reminder if you join the Chirrup by end of day tomorrow (Sept 7, 2019) and confirm your email, you’ll get my newsletter on Sunday. In addition to secret behind the scenes information you can enter to win this awesome goodie box:

Also, it’s chock full of gossip! I confess to disliking something immensely in Scotland/Ireland and I talk about a book of mine being soundly rejected. These are things I’d never talk about publicly and are exclusive to my Chirrup members.

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

Coop de Book pick for September 2019! Still Waters by Alex Gabriel, about a nix and a hunter, enemies who must band together to stop a monster and protect something they never thought they would have… a home. They may even learn to like each other along the way. There’s one sex scene but this is more fairy tale fantasy than romance, eerie without being dark, and a little bit wonderful. 

However, it’s not funny. Sorry…

  • Want special book suggestions? These go to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT NOW!

Reticence: The forth and final Custard Protocol Book!

Reticence

USA & Canada: Amazon print & digital & audiobook | Kobo | B & N | Apple | Audible | Other

UK digitalprint | Kobo UK | Apple UK coming soon I hope

Amazon Overseas DE | FR | AU 

Kobo Overseas DE | FR | AU

“I can’t really say too much more without spoilers, but I love being in Percy’s head, I want to be Arsenic, and Spoo is great! Lots of old favourites and future characters popping up to say hi. A satisfying adventure and rescue. Politeness, fisticuffs and tea. Everything we love and expect from Gail Carriger.”

Roberta Reads

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Brooch or Bracelet, early 20th century, horsehair dyed and worked in Youghal, Dublin Museum

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Chatelaines, Dublin Museum

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

How the Facebook-FTC Agreement Will Affect You and Your Data

Book News:

Sophril Reads says of Imprudence:

“I enjoyed this book so much more than the first one! The journey that Rue is on I feel that so many people can relate to, and seeing how it all works out was just beautiful!”

Quote of the Day:

“He was white and shaken, like a dry martini.”

~ P.G. Wodehouse

This blog post regularly updated. So why not bookmark it and check back? 


9 Favorite Queer Fantasy Books (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

For you today, Gentle Reader, I have some super fun queer fantasy book recommendations. A favorite genre of mine!

You can LISTEN to this blog post if you’d prefer…

 

I like my books cheerful, charming, and happy with a strong romance thread. So that’s what I’ve chosen for you today (mostly). However, there is a whole glorious mess of fabulous queer fantasy out there that deals in darker themes and has more violent tenancies.

If that’s your jam then happy hunting, meanwhile can I interest you in the sunny side?

Fantasy Books with Queer Romance in ‘em

1. The Lightning Struck Heart by TJ Klune

This book has so many things I adore in a fantasy. Extremely snarky gay boy main character. Lots of awesome magic. Horny hornless unicorns with a thing for scarves and dragon BDSM. Okay maybe I didn’t know I wanted that last one, but I do now!

Honestly, this book is hilarious. No really, I was reading it and actually crying with laughter, it’s that funny. This is basically my nerdy-heart’s ideal beach read.

Are you looking for Pratchett only gay and a touch crude? Well, here you go.

2. Sword Masters by Selina Rosen

This is the story of a woman with a very particular set of skills and some seriously dangerous secrets. Tarius infiltrates not only a school for swordsmen but a foreign culture, in an effort to build alliances and defeat a common enemy. Disguised as a man she is forced, eventually, to marry a woman, and must face the consequences of her own lies on a personal, as well as a professional, level.

So yeah, killer lesbians with lots of sword fighting and bonus cross-dressing!

3. Bitterwood by Rowan Speedwell

Bitterwood by Rowan Speedwell is one of my comfort reads. This is a classic old school fantasy romance, with soldiers and wizards, kings and crowns, and magical beasts… only gay. The setting, cold and harsh, becomes a character itself that folds around and supports the honor and standing of those who chose to live bleaker lives.

It gets a bit sexy at times, but if that’s okay with you, this is a deft handling of atmospheric fantasy meets older men falling in love.

4. Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey (OP no digital edition)

This was one of the very first books I ever read that had a poly-amorous triad at its heart. Lackey wrote urban fantasy before it was cool, and did it with her usual charm and aplomb (not to mention a few subtle jabs at various dominant cultural paradigms).

Want your elves in LA and bumming about the Renaissance Faire? Then this book if for you. The romance is very light, but still present, and this book may have the most romantic ending ever scribbled.

5. A Demon for Midwinter by K.L. Noone

This is a sweet and charming gay paranormal romance set in a well conceived urban fantasy world. For those of us who like a solid romance with our UF this one features some stand up tropes (May/December, hidden identity, rockstar, AND boss/employee). So yeah, get your trope on!

What can I say except that this is one of those stories where I spent the second half of the book grinning like a lunatic. Gotta recommend it.

6. Hell & High Water by Charlie Cochet

Cochet’s Thirds series features genetically altered shifter humans (mostly cats) and their various romances in an elite military task force in an alternate world urban fantasy. The hero of the first book is Dex, a normal human cop obsessed with gummy candy. I can’t imagine anyone not loving Dex, as he bring ridiculous banter to a whole new level.

The concepts (and consequences) behind the emergence of shifters are thoroughly explored and very well drawn, plus there are mysteries to be solved, identities to explore, and battles to be fought. This series can get pretty rough and violent, and also very erotic, so trigger warnings all round.

7. Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford

Kai is my favorite type of main character – the tough, scrappy, outcast, snark-monger extraordinaire. He is swimming in snark, splashing about happily and not caring if he drowns everyone (including himself) with his vicious wit. He’s also bisexual, or pansexual, or species sexual.

The world building in this series is based on a clear and simple concept: That the fae realm and ours collided, destroying much of each and leaving behind a weird post apocalyptic California filled with vicious dragons and other magical pests, and lost elf cities merged on top of (or inside) our own. This leaves behind humans who are only just surviving, elves who are slowly fading away, with each becoming a fetish for the other. Of course, this world is a metaphor for Kai himself ~ a merged creation, annihilated and mutilated in the act of birth, but possibly greater than the sum of his parts.

8. Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee

Want your fantasy with a dose of superhero? Or should I say, a not quite maybe superhero? Jess has no superpowers (despite her heritage) and so she takes on an internship to get her college applications in order. Unfortunately, said internship is with the local supervillain. Fortunately, it’s also with her crush, Abby.

Everyone has super secrets and unexpected depth in this charming YA.

9. Lodestar of Ys by Amy Rae Durreson (no print book but the ebook is FREE)

This is gay romance meets high fantasy. Literally “high” as half the setting is a series of floating islands way up in the air over the ocean. Which made it feel almost but not quite steampunk.The setting is spine tingling and glorious, and the romance is delightful.

This enemies-to-lovers romance is deceptively simple, because it’s actually full of delicately handled themes like PTSD, the politics of invasion, arranged marriages, and the handling of refugees.

Want more?

Similar to The 5th Gender, Gail Suggests More Queer SciFi (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Further Fiction Reading: Gender Fluidity & Varied Sexual Identities (The 5th Gender – Special Extras)

8 Feel-Good Queer Comics and Graphic Novels

Listen to these podcasts!

  • Bi Sci Fi
  • Big Gay Fiction
  • FMKLit
  • On The Dresser
  • Top to BOTM

Want Weekly Book Recs?

If you want weekly book recommendations from me (or to suggest books to me) I participate in #bookrecfriday on Twitter & Facebook (& Instagram & Tumblr when I remember).

If you want to know whenever I post a review, follow me on BookBub or Goodreads.

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

  • Did you miss my latest release announcement? Want more sneak peeks, free goodies, gossip, behind the scenes info? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT NOW!

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Audio is coming. 

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. Aug 6, 2019
  • Fan Service Omnibus (SOLD OUT), Oct 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

The Queen Date July, 1874

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

The Octopus Who Lived In A Plastic Cup On The Floor Of The Ocean Finds A New Home (VIDEO)

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

What every writer should know before writing a first novel

Book News:

17 Reasons to Read a Romance Novel

Quote of the Day:

Where is the GMAIL suggested reply for “I’m distracted by this trope I’ve just decided is my new favorite thing, so now I have 40 books to read and I’ll get back to you maybe by the end of the year”?

~ Self on Twitter

Your Moment of Gail

 

“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Similar to The 5th Gender, Gail Suggests More Queer SciFi (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Miss Gail, you cry, The 5th Gender was like my FAVORITE new thing.

Please write more?

Why thank you, Gentle Reader.

Maybe.

OK, how about recommending something to tide me over?

Now that, I can do!

Queer sci-fi is a tiny niche in romance but it is one I happen to love. So I definitely have some books for you. Please remember one of my fav tropes is also culture conflict, and sci-fi is the perfect space for exploring that.

See what I did there? Space. Heh heh.

Gail’s List of Fab FUN Queer Sci Fi!

I’ve chosen human/alien pairings, like my book. As opposed to humans together in space. Not that I don’t read that, it’s just I enjoy it when the alien-ness is an integral part of the plot and relationship. We are back to that culture conflict thing that I love so much.

Some of these are sexier than others.

As always I lean towards lighter stuff, which is why finding f/f was a challenge. Books like Ascension, while critically acclaimed, are too dark for me.

I also left off books where the aliens aren’t really alien ~ as in they are just bigger than us and green, or what have you. One of my reasons for reading sci-fi is enjoying a really well developed alien culture, so I only chose ones that satisfy that particular criteria.

One last point, ARGH THESE COVERS. Some of them are truly truly heinous. I promise the words inside are so much better than many of these covers make them seem. Please forgive the book and give it a chance.

Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala

(M/M & gentle BDSM)

A favorite comfort read of mine. It has several follow up books that are also excellent, but first one stands alone. The aliens are VERY alien despite cover image. It’s charming and absorbing and heartwarming and full of nuances of language and concepts of acceptance.

Missy Welsh’s Destination Lost books (specifically Healing Touch & Warrior Mine)

(M/M higher heat level, alien biology)

The alien love interests have animal genetic alterations, dolphin and cat respectively, plus lots of sex. So if any of that wigs you out, avoid. But otherwise the premise is super fun, three space-born humans are sucked through a worm hole, then separated, then meet aliens while trying to find each other.

Breeding Stations by Chris T. Kat

(M/M military space opera, sexy)

Aliens are big alpha warrior type humanoids, kind of Klingon-ish, lots of fighting and death of side characters but if you’re one for more military sci-fi this might work for you. If you liked Tanya Huff’s Valor series but wanted more gay sex and shorter books, try this two book series (first one stands alone fine).

Changing Worlds by Cari Z.

(M/M, planetary adaptation)

One of the better covers, if a tad old school, the aliens are humanoid with some fascinating porcupine-like adaptations, some great world building and a lovely complex culture. Most of the romance takes place in the first 1/3 of the book the rest is more alien world sci-fi politics. Bonus yummy Korean food.

Sunder by Lexi Ander

(M/M mixed high fantasy elements)

Aliens are mostly humanoid, edging towards elves and mythos, but with some inventive biological repercussions. The titular character is the love interest and way more interesting, to me, then the human POV character. It waffles a bit as the author finds her voice, but still interesting. Closest I can think of is something like Grace Draven.

Safety Protocols for Human Holidays by Angel Martinez

(f/f short sweet funny Christmas in space)

The aliens in this story range from humanoid to not at all human. The love interest, and POV character, is an alien who is confused by a human crew mate suffering from seasonal depression. She tries to cheer her up with charming results.

Alien ‘N’ Outlaw by C Burn

(M/M, lots of sexitimes)

Possibly the most similar to The 5th Gender, although character personalities are different. This one contained a lavender alien love interest from a herbivore based tri-romance culture who is unexpectedly fascinated by a street-rat human. The alien is a noble looking for adventure, the human is a smuggler on the wrong side of the law. Hi-jinks ensue.

Earth Fathers are Weird by Lyn Gala

Might as well start and end with Lyn Gala, since she is my queen of this genre. Did you want your sic fi with a big helping of found family AND some serious tentacle action? Then this one is for you. (You don’t have to take my word for it, here’s Jay’s review.) It has only one relatively low heat sex scene near the end, but it’s achingly sweet. I adore it and I can tell I’ll be rereading it over and over.

There is also an early little known character I want to bring up… gender bending possible split personality Beka/Tarnekep from the Mageworlds series.

“… gave one of Tarnekep Portree’s better smiles, the kind that tended to make law-abiding citizens suddenly remember urgent business elsewhere.”

~ By Honor Betray’d by Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald

Tarnekep is a male pirate and Beka is a female politician, and they are also the same person. It’s a three book series I loved as a kid, not quite sure how well it has stood the test of time but worth trying, I think.

Other blog posts recommending queer fiction:

9 Favorite Queer Fantasy Books (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Further Fiction Reading: Gender Fluidity & Varied Sexual Identities (The 5th Gender – Special Extras)

Pride Month: Lesbians in Genre Fiction (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Other People’s Lists

Want weekly Book Recs?

If you want weekly book recommendations from me (or to suggest books to me) I participate in #bookrecfriday & #fridayreads on Twitter & Facebook.

If you want to know when I post a review, follow me on BookBub or Goodreads.

Yours, with a side of purple aliens,

Miss Gail

  • Want more book recs? I include monthly things that made e happy in the Chirrup: Sign up here.

OUT NOW!

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Audio is coming. 

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Fan Service Omnibus, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Peterson’s Magazine Date June, 1876

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Our Bookstore Reading Meet-Cute

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

From the inestimable Awful Library books blog . I just couldn’t believe it when it popped up in my feed because Tristol’s hair is such a big deal in The 5th Gender.

As Drey puts it:

“Your hair alone is a goddam gift to mankind, and I’m just selfish enough to keep it all to myself.”

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”

~ Mark Twain

Book News:

Check this out! Talking about The 5th Gender on Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast

Quote of the Day:

“There are some things one can only achieve by a deliberate leap in the opposite direction.”

~ Franz Kafka

Your Moment of Gail

 

“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Gail Carriger Recommends 10 Great Books Right NOW

Posted by Gail Carriger

Hello there Gentle Reader!

Here are some authors I love, who also write the kind of books I like to read: generally lighter stuff full of warmth, found family, and happy endings.

You can delve into my reading wheelhouse in this blog post if you want to know what I’m into.

10 Recommended Reads Right NOW

  1. Nikki Woolfolk writes both queer and steampunk and I love her stuff, it’s also complex and thought provoking. Bonus: anytime she writes about food I get hungry.
  2. Intisar Khanani writes lovely atmospheric fairy tale fantasy, I particularly enjoyed Thorn.
  3. Cindy Pon’s Silver Phoenix is a stunning beautiful YA fantasy with some amazing lyrical prose.
  4. My dear friend Piper J. Drake writes romantic suspense with adorable dogs, she knows what she’s doing too, her partner is in the military and she’s got the cutest corgi.
  5. Want jaw-dropping comic art and urban fantasy? Try Marjorie Liu
  6. Marie Lu’s Legend is still making waves in YA fantasy.
  7. Kilby Blades writes smart sexy women’s fic, erotica, and charming new adult. So really, take your pick!
  8. Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee is a lighthearted but glorious super hero romp. And there’s more in the series too!
  9. Helen Hoang’s Kiss Quotient is on my list of to-reads and getting lots of attention and buzz. She’s a legitimately funny person on podcasts and online and this awkward romance is reputed to be equally entertaining.
  10. Aliette de Bodard’s The Tea Master and the Detective might be the only Sherlock Holmes retelling I ever liked. Which is staying a LOT.

Bonus: CL Polk’s Witchmark has one of the greatest covers of last year. It’s also reputed to be the most “Gail like.”

(As always: I appreciate recommendations for lighter-hearted, comforting, queer friendly books with happy endings. Representation for the win!)

Here’s some more great options, especially if you want to sample a new author with a shorter read:

28 Romance Novellas You Should Check Out Immediately 

Weekly Book Recs?

If you want weekly book recommendations from me (or to suggest books to me) I participate in #bookrecfriday (also #fridayreads) on Twitter & Facebook (& Instagram & Tumblr when I remember).

If you want to know whenever I post a review, follow me on BookBub or Goodreads.

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail

P.S. This blog post started as a conversation in the Parasol Protectorate Facebook Group. Other suggestions can always been asked for and found there.

P.P.S. Here’s a really fun interview I did recently with YouTuber Amara in Seattle

  • Did you want more book recs as well as, free goodies, gossip, and behind the scenes info? This stuff goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT MAY 18, 2019!

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Preorder on Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Print is now available.
You can get it signed (and personalized) from Gail via Borderlands Books in San Francisco.
Just use the SIGNED button bellow the cover on Gail’s website

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Fan Service Omnibus, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Four Weddings & a Funeral sequel for Comic Relief 2019 

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Where Did These 10 Weird Idioms Come From?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Through the Looking Glass: Lack of DEI & the RITAs

Fifty shades of white: the long fight against racism in romance novels

Book News:

2019 Hugo Award Finalists Announced, and the List is Gorgeous

Quote of the Day:

My new mandate: Provide refuge fluff.

~ Self on Twitter

Your Moment of Gail

 

“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Gail Carriger’s Reading Wheelhouse: What I Hate, What Turns Me Off, What I Won’t Read in BOOKS!

Posted by Gail Carriger

Well hello, Gentle Reader! I covered what I like in this post now I am going to talk all about what I really don’t like in terms of reading wheelhouses.

THINGS GAIL CARRIGER

ISN’T INTERESTED IN READING

I know I know, I don’t like putting negativity out into the world but I always want something I can direct people to who will persist in asking me to blurb/read books.

Ready? Here we go!

4 Systemic Issues That Really Turn Me Off

  1. Teams with only one woman
  2. Female protagonists with no female friends
  3. Skinned characters (biologically women, but they think and act like men)
  4. The Hero’s Journey

7 Plot Devices I’m OVER

  1. Amnesia
  2. Rape
  3. Issues that could be solved with one conversation
  4. Depressed main character
  5. Abusive/stalker Alpha males (AKA Alpha-holes)
  6. Killing your gays and/or minorities
  7. Sherlock Holmes retellings (more on that in this blog post)

 

4 Writer Ticks I No Longer Forgive

  1. Women characters only described by their appearance
  2. Early onslaught info-dumping
  3. Detailed descriptions of gore or glorification of violence
  4. Glaring and consistent misuse of vocabulary (thesaurus syndrome)

I Will Not Read It If It’s

  • Dark/gritty or dystopian
  • Zombie/plague focused
  • First person present tense
  • All white and/or all cis het
  • Part of a long running unfinished series
  • A cliff hanger
  • Over 120k

Weekly Book Recs?

If you want weekly book recommendations from me (or to suggest books to me) I participate in #bookrecfriday on Twitter & Facebook (& sometimes Instagram & Tumblr).

If you want to know whenever I post a review, follow me on BookBub or Goodreads.

Want more?

Gail Carriger’s Reading Wheelhouse: What I Love, What Turns Me On, What I Yearn For in BOOKS!

10 Tropes Gail Carriger Hates to Read (Coop de Book)

Yours in “stop trying to dump books on me that I’ve seen a million times before,”

Miss Gail

  • Want more rants of the state of publishing? This kind of thing goes to my Chirrup members, because I trust them. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT MAY 18, 2019!

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Preorder on Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Print is now available.
You can get it signed (and personalized) from Gail via Borderlands Books in San Francisco.
You can use the SIGNED button bellow the cover on Gail’s website

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, puhlease!) from a race with 5 genders.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Fan Service Omnibus, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

See an Octopus Change Color as It Sleeps, Perchance Dreams

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

To Join or Not to Join a Professional Writers Organization: That is the Question

Book News:

Fairytale Facts and Faux Pas

Quote of the Day:

Ok so…. Sorting Pratchett

  • The Luggage = Slytherin
  • The Librarian (oook) = Ravenclaw
  • Sam Vimes = Gryffindor
  • Nanny Ogg = Hufflepuff

~ Self on Twitter

Your Moment of Gail

 

“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Gail Carriger’s Reading Wheelhouse: What I Love, What Turns Me On, What I Yearn For in BOOKS!

Posted by Gail Carriger

A bit of a listical for you today, Gentle Reader!

I enjoy the podcast Reading Glasses and I love their idea of readers having reading wheelhouses.

These are sort of amorphous tropes, archetypes, and plots that me the reader really desires.

I have a pretty strict wheelhouse in terms of what I like to read (as opposed to what I like to write).

So no, it’s not the same thing, Gentle Reader.

So, especially if you are a member of Coop de Book (as I only pick stuff that’s in my wheelhouse) I thought this might interest you.

Plus I’d love to know, what’s in your reading wheelhouse?

5 Plots I’m Always Looking For

  1. Unique Triumphs:
    Female fighter excels against adversity (e.g. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley)
  2. Culture Conflict:
    Displaced heroine outside of her own culture must survive confusion (e.g. Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan)
  3. Political Machinations:
    Against all odds, heroine must manipulate politics in order to save her world (e.g. Local Custom by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller)
  4. Burden of Exile:
    Exile must keep her integrity in adversity (e.g. Lord of Two Lands by Judith Tarr)
  5. Crossdressing for Subversion:
    Girl disguises herself as a boy in order to infiltrate a patriarchal environment (e.g. Alanna by Tamora Pierce)

5 Books That Will Shock Your Pants On: Miss Carriger Recommends Reading About Women Who Dress As Men, or Girls Disguised as Boys

I Strongly Prefer That It Have

  • Representation
  • Queer Characters
  • Comedy/wit/humor
  • A certain lightness of touch and style

9 Things I Actively Hunt For

  1. Unique non-western world building with a strong HEA romance thread (e.g. Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts)
  2. Warm, lighthearted, own voice authors (e.g. Nikki Woolfolk )
  3. Funny female and/or queer-centric genre fiction (e.g. TJ Klune’s Lightening Struck Heart)
  4. Bisexual main characters (e.g. Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee)
  5. Happy poly relationships with good communication (e.g. Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey)
  6. Found family and/or queer comfort books (e.g. R Cooper)
  7. Queer or gender fluid sci-fi with alien love interests and heavy emphasis on cultural world building (e.g. Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala)
  8. Honest treatment and good examples of healthy BDSM relationships that are NOT male-Dom/female-sub (e.g. For Real by Alexis Hall)
  9. The Heroine’s Journey (learn about what that means to me from my non-fiction book/seminar or upcoming book on the subject… but basically I’ll take Captain Marvel over Wonder Woman for 100 please, Alex)

8 Writer’s Tricks I Dig

  1. Lots of snappy dialogue (e.g. Tanya Huff’s Valor series)
  2. Stand alones in a shared world (e.g. By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey)
  3. Novella length (e.g. Courting Magic by Stephanie Burgis)
  4. Jane Austen or Shakespere retellings with unique twists (e.g. Clueless)
  5. Gender flipped and queer’ed up fairy stories (e.g. Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane)
  6. Funny commercial genre fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, romance, YA COMEDY~ e.g. Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adamas, Jasper Fforde)
  7. Lesser known but established work horse authors who never get enough attention (e.g. Sherwood Smith)
  8. Snappy, tight, fast-paced space opera with HEA (e.g. the Paradox series by Rachel Bach)

Weekly Book Recs?

If you want weekly book recommendations from me (or to suggest books to me) I participate in #bookrecfriday on Twitter & Facebook (& Instagram & Tumblr when I remember).

If you want to know whenever I post a review, follow me on BookBub or Goodreads.

Want more?

Gail Carriger’s Reading Wheelhouse: What I Hate, What Turns Me Off, What I Won’t Read in BOOKS!

5 Tropes Gail Loves & The Books That Use Them (Miss Carriger Recommends) Authors Read (Coop de Book)

8 Book That Will Comfort Your Soul (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Check my 5 star Goodreads ratings or Bookbub reviews for things I love.

And yes, I’ll be posting about the stuff I hate soon!

Yours, forever reading,

Miss Gail

  • Want more book suggestions and things that made me happy? I include a list of books, movies, TV, and food that delighted me each month in the Chirrup. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

OUT MAY 18, 2019!

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Preorder on Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Print is now available.
You can get it signed (and personalized) from Gail via Borderlands Books in San Francisco.
You can use the SIGNED button bellow the cover on Gail’s website

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Fan Service Omnibus, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Writers Should Read Nonfiction

Book News:

The Lesbian Review says of Romancing the Inventor:

“This is a fantastic and quick read. Fans of Carriger’s will be well-served in picking up this novel, and those who aren’t familiar with her work will find it a great way of introducing themselves to her steampunk universe. I was sold at the name Genevieve Lefoux, and I suspect many others will be also. It’s a wonderful story with two characters who are more than a match for each other. The combination is electric and sure to please.”

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


I Don’t Like Sherlock Holmes & Other Reading Reveals (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Witness the follow convo in my apartment recently, Gentle Reader…

Gail: Saturday is a Readathon

AB: Oh Yeah, wassat mean?

Gail: I’m gonna be reading all day.

AB: Oh Yeah, Pinky, and how is that different from any other Saturday?

Gail: Well Brain, I won’t be doing ANYTHING else.

AB: How is this your life?

So Saturday April 6, 2019 was Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.

I’ve participated on and off for a few years now.

They do one in April and another in October. Usually the April one is more towards the end of the month, which is great because it’s around my birthday and I can better justify taking the whole day off. This year it was early, and so I really couldn’t do as much as I have in the past.

Even had I had the full 24 hours, I can’t really do that anymore. I just don’t stay awake that long. If (by some miracle) I do, it wreaks me for days. Oh, to be 20 again. So I tend to do it as a sort of half-Readathon of about 12 hours.

Let The Readathon Commence!

I was up at about 8 and commenced the readathon at 8:30am. I actually started with the book from the night before which was the third in a not very good PNR series that I just wanted to finish so I could move on to something else with impunity. It’s not really good enough to report on. Also it turned out not the be the last one, and the next isn’t out yet. Grrrrr.

Book One

Right so, this first review is intentionally vague to protect author, although I am about to abuse Sherlock Holmes. Which might make you mad at me, so read at your own risk.

REDACTED TITLE

AKA Sherlock Holmes Anger

I love many (but decidedly NOT all) of this particular author’s books, so I was really game to give their new endeavor a try.

It took me several chapters of info dumps and an unsympathetic POV character to realize what was going on with this offering. This was a Sherlock Holmes retelling! Which explained a disconnect I was feeling between narrative style (Victorian) and setting (non-Western fantasy world). The POV character was lackluster, partly because they were not the MAIN character, partly because Watson is a wimp (yeah yeah, read on).

So here’s the thing, and the reason I’m not naming names. I don’t give bad reviews. Period. This author had an excellent turn of phrase, a ready wit, and a good grasp of Doyle’s style. But I’ve never been a fan of Sherlock Holmes the character. Holmes comes off as an emotionally abusive arse to his friends, and I don’t understand why they remain his friends. Never did. Watson putting up with Homes makes me cringe.

Anyway, if Sherlock Holmes in a fantasy world with gender flipping, queer characters, and magic sounds like something you really WANT to read, or you just HAVE to know more about why I didn’t like this book, you can reply to the last Chirrup, or the next one, asking me for the full review and title and I will email it to you privately.

Book Two

After a quick break for lunch while the sainted AB went off to do the grocery shopping without me. I moved on to the next book.

I blush to admit this book has been on my TBR for probably six months. I just haven’t been in the mood for fantasy.

THE GLASS MAGICIAN (?)

Caroline Stevermer

Stevermer opens the story with a dramatic theater magician scene and a confident cultural system one might expect from one of the great mistresses of fantasy. The writing is confident, easy to jump into, and a joy to read.

World-building:

This book is set in alt-history turn of the century so so I’m tempted to call it “post-gaslamp” fantasy. There is an appealing atmospheric nature to this story (it oozes Toulouse-Lautrec) which made it feel pleasantly nostalgic. Stevermer’s twist on shape shifting (trader versus solitaire) is unique to my reading life ~ if subtly reminiscent of Wrede’s early Lyra works.

The Story:

This young adult adventure isn’t funny but it’s not a weepy angsty read either. It’s a classic, in the best way ~ a nested tale of self-discovery, replete with YA archetypes and tropes, of the kind that still resonate with me. It’s basically a shifter coming of age story and while the protag is stated as 21, she could (and should) be more like 16 or 17. Everything else about this book (from story arc, to interactions, to heat level, to behavior, to conversational patterns) reads as YA.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the book hasn’t hit market yet because they are changing their marketing and targeting. I certainly hope so.

Reservations

There were some repeated conversations and flawed timing (main character knowing something when the information hadn’t been imparted yet), and some overly obvious writer’s ticks in terms of character description but I’m thinking I got my review copy prior to a revision pass.

I also have a few concerns over the main characters agency, particularly in the middle third of the book.

Finally, there is a cool aloofness to this book, it’s not a warm story. It has a kind of aristocratic reserved affection but nothing more.

In the end, what it reminded me of most was high fantasy meets Moulin Rouge. And I did enjoy it very much.

I have no idea when this book releases. Perhaps they are holding it because of marketing issues, or staffing changes. It’s from Tor and they can move slowly, but I really worry that it wasn’t billed to me as YA. Given that this title is shared with a few other very popular books, I would hope they consider changing the title too. But for now you can at least…  Add this book on Goodreads.

Book Three

Crikie I moved slowly this readathon. Maybe I’m just not into it this year? Usually I manage more than three books in a day!

Anyhoo, the last thing I read was Klune’s forthcoming fantasy book.

I adore TJ Klune’s hilarious Lightning Struck Heart but I’m not into his super angsty Wolfsong stuff. Also I find he tends to write books that are much longer than I prefer. So I was taking a chance on this, his first foray into traditional publishing, and it made me nervous. I’d no idea what I was in for… could go either way.

I shouldn’t have doubted.

THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA

TJ Klune

This book was touching, tender, and truly delightful. An utterly absorbing story of tolerance, found family, and defeating bureaucracy. Hooray!

The kind of charming tale we all need right now, if you ask me.

The atmosphere and setting had the feel of 1984 meets Umbrella Academy with a pinch of Douglas Adams thrown in. The protagonist, sweet bumbling Linus, is a middle-aged bureaucrat with a devotion to order and duty that successfully hides his earnest loving heart. I liked him so very much. His age, his chubbiness, his fussiness. So unexpected in a main character. I enjoyed his droll sense of humor and descriptions of his surroundings, colored by a decided eau de Arthur Dent. (No bad thing there, if you ask me.)

Allegorically speaking, some of the story is a scotch on the nose, but it did make me tear up more than once.  What can I say, I’m a bit of a sap.

There is a slight romance for our dear Linus and his lovely Arthur, and it has an HEA, but I would definitely NOT call this a romance novel. This is a story more of tenderness and connection and finding home than it is anything else.

It’s a delightfully comforting read and I honestly can’t recommend it highly enough.

I’m so lucky to have gotten to read it first. Honestly this is what I wanted Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to be. I defy you not to fall in love with this book and these kids. I’m tearing up with joy just thinking about it. (And to be frank, I’m not a kid person.)

It’s not up for preorder yet although it seems to be on Goodreads. I’m hoping they consider changing the title, which is very awkward, hard to remember, and hard to spell.

Still, an excellent end to the Readathon, if you ask me. So on that note…

Yours in reading wonder,

Miss Gail

  • Want to know about that book Gail didn’t like, stuff like that goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
  • Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!

P.S. Dropped a fun podcast recently: The Functional Nerds Podcast: 400-With Gail Carriger and Tom Merritt. All about podcast and publishing changes over the past decade. Here are my additional show notes and things talked about…

OUT MAY 18, 2019!

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Preorder on Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Print and audio are coming, but will not be available for preorder. 

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Fan Service Omnibus, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Fashion & Flight: Pioneering Aviatrixes (from Dressed: The History of Fashion podcast)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Do You Use The Correct Order Of Adjectives In Your Writing?

Book News:

Red Hot Books says:

Soulless should definitely be on the shelves of anyone that loves Steampunk, but is also a great pick for readers who love the Paranormal and Historical subgenres of Romance. (Especially if you enjoy the opposites attract trope.) Gail Carriger builds a dark and whimsical world where all manner of supernaturals coexist with their mundane counterparts all while not missing a single element of British culture in the Victorian era.”

Quote of the Day:

Your Moment of Gail

 

“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Read Harder Gail Carriger Fans (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Book Riot recently announced their 2019 Read Harder Challenge, Gentle Reader.

I thought I would throw some suggestions at you in case you were doing this but wanted to do it with a Miss Gail sort of twist. (AKA lighter hearted and fun.)

2019 Read Harder Challenge

1. An epistolary novel or collection of letters 

Sorcery & Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (read Gail’s review) if you are a fan of my books and haven’t read this wonderful gaslight double shot regency romance, honestly I have no idea what you’re doing with your life.

2. An alternate history novel

Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (read Gail’s review) a YA retelling of the transition of power from Queen Hatshepsut to King Tutmosis III. Spies! Magic? So good.

3. A book by a woman and/or AOC (Author of Color) that won a literary award in 2018

I tend not to read lit award winners. I just find they lean too dark for me. So I’m going to blind pick
The Broken Earth Trilogy: The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin all of which won the Hugo Awards (including 2018).

Now these are pretty epic so I have been waiting for a big vacay to tackle them but they are supposed to be awesomesauce. But they are dark. So yeah.

Another option is Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, YA and reputed to be not quite so grim and winner of many accolades.

But honestly the kind of fluffy fun books I love never win awards so if you have AOC books to rec that are funny, please pop them below.

4. A humor book

Ridiculous by D L Carter (read Gail’s review) is a frivolous, hilarious, cross-dressing regency romance.

5. A book by a journalist or about journalism

I could not be less interested. Sorry.

Feel free to leave a comment if you know a fun, light hearted sci-fi or fantasy featuring a journalist… I mean, huh? This may be an untapped niche.

6. A book by an AOC set in or about space

OK, another one where I fall short (I don’t read much sci fi and when I do it’s either light hearted capers and romps or space opera) but I found this great list for you.

7. An #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America

The closest I came to this is Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier (not sure if this is own voices since she is a very private person) but you can read my review if you’re interested.

Another situation where I would love some recommendations that also fill my criteria of light hearted, romantic, and funny.

8. An #ownvoices book set in Oceania (Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia)

The Sea Is Ours: Tales from Steampunk Southeast Asia edited by Jaymee Goh & Joyce Chung since this one comes out of Singapore I think it *kinda* counts.

9. A book published prior to January 1, 2019, with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads

Down From Ten by J. Daniel Sawyer had only 6 reviews on Goodreads as of this blog post. I have immense affection for this book and the full cast audio is good too. I’m biased, I’m the voice of the computer, Dan is one of my BFFs, and one of the characters is based on me. Nope, I won’t tell you which one. But you can read it and guess.

10. A translated book written by and/or translated by a woman

Tell me! Tell me. But make it fun, romantic, and silly. Remember, nothing depressing.

11. A book of manga

If you don’t want to read mine, try Black Butler!

12. A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character.

Oh this is a fun one, and I am going seriously old school. I pick To the Haunted Mountain by Ru Emerson (and the two follow up novels) high fantasy chronicled by a magic cat.

13. A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse

I love this one! I have so many to choose from but I’m going to go with…

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, I will likely pick this one up and read it in 2019 but I hear it’s good and fun and funny.

14. A cozy mystery

Nearly constantly mentioned in conjunction with Soulless is Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody Book 1) by Elizabeth Peters. If you like Alexia and Conall, rumor is you will love this book. We use the same source material for our heroine, Amelia B. Edwards, so that explains a great deal of the similarities.

15. A book of mythology or folklore

This is your opportunity to pick up D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths for yourself and any kid in your life. I grew up reading and rereading this book. I love it so much. Maybe next year, if I do this again, I’ll be able to list my non-fiction book into this category.

16. An historical romance by an AOC

I dithered for a lot over this one and I couldn’t find anything I also really loved in the M/M world. Finally I settled on The Duchess War by Courtney Milan.

17. A business book

I’m going to the author creative side for this one. Pretty much the only craft book I find myself consistently recommending is 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron. Not only is it great advice, it’s short, reasonably priced, and from an author who’s books I genuinely admire and therefor I respect her advice.

18. A novel by a trans or nonbinary author

Pretty much ANYTHING by Jordan L. Hawk. But my particular favorite happens to be their Hex series. You can start with Hexbreaker and just go from there. Thank me later (in about 2 months when you emerge from the haze).

19. A book of nonviolent true crime

Nope. Not even slightly intrigued. Don’t even bother leaving a rec. I couldn’t possibly be less interested in true crime of any kind.

20. A book written in prison

I got nothing.

21. A comic by an LGBTQIA creator

Ooo, options option. How about Crossplay: An Erotic Graphic Novel by IronSpike? It is so VERY sexy, and so bizarrely indicative of my former life as a fan girl and cosplyaer. Oh yes, yours truly had a wild youth. Just saying. OK this book is HELLA SEXY. So yeah, be warned, but have fun…

22. A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009

I’ve not got chillins so I poked about a bit and came up with this one: Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass by Dean Robbins, Sean Qualls & Selina Alko (winner of the Amelia Bloomer Award).

23. A self-published book

Goodness, this is mostly what I read these days. So I guess I’ll just pick some of my favorites that I read in 2017.

For something interesting and sci fi, Dangerous Times by Isobelle Winter (read Gail’s review). For something fantasy and romantic, Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane (one of my favorite queer retellings of beauty and the beast, read Gail’s review).

24. A collection of poetry published since 2014

Yeah, nope. Not my thing.

There is a reason for my general poking fun at poetry all the time from Dimity to Ivy and beyond.

The mum recently sent me this picture, I ‘m showing it as proof that I get my twee tendencies and tea obsession from my maternal line…

Yours, nose in a book,

Miss Gail

OUT NOW!

The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks
Direct from Gail

The Lit Bitch says:

She creates this whole cult world that is seeped in werewolves and typical werewolf behavior, but yet the characters are so human and real that you almost forget that they are werewolves. I love this setting, and don’t even get me started on how much I love her humor—and of course I love the supernatural characters. I also love how fun it is seeing other favorites from previous books or series make cameos.”

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • The 5th Gender (a Tinkered Stars sci-fi as G. L. Carriger). No links as yet…
  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Secret Project Ommm, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Gail Carriger & The Airship Ambassador Teslaco2018 by Joseph Hernandez

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Victorian Dining Etiquette: Common Sense Advice for Eating in Company

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“When the idea comes, I often can’t remember where it came from. I remember very little about writing the first series of Hitchhiker’s. It’s almost as if someone else wrote it.”

~ Douglas Adams

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Here Is How To Make Sure The Chirrup Doesn’t Go To Spam ~ Whitelist An Email

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Thank you so much for signing up for my newsletter, The Chirrup. Did your email handler send it to spam? Bad emailer! No tea for you!

Here’s how to whitelist me.

Find your email handler from the list, then follow the instructions.

The Chirrup comes from [email protected]

Set up AOL mail. AOL Mail
1. Click Contacts in the right toolbar.
2. Click Add Contact.
3. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + any additional info.
4. Click Add Contact button in the popup.
How to set up Comcast mail. Comcast
1. Click Preferences from the menu.
2. Click Restrict Incoming Email.
3. Click Yes to Enable Email Controls.
4. Click Allow email from addresses listed below.
5. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] .
6. Click Add.
7. Click Update.
How to set up Earthlink mail. Earthlink
1. Click Address Book.
2. Click Add Contact.
4. Save Chirrup as a contact.
5. Click save.
How to set up Gmail. Gmail
1. Open an email from the sender that you want to whitelist.
2. Click on the little down-pointing-triangle-arrow next to “reply.”
3. Click Add Chirrup [[email protected]] to contacts list.
Set up Mobile Me. Apple Mail
1. Click [[email protected]] in header of Chirrup message.
2. Click Add.
Set up Netzero. NetZero
1. Click the Address Book tab on the top menu bar.
2. Click Contacts.
3. Click Add Contact.
4. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info.
5. Click Save.
Set up Yahoo. Yahoo! Mail
1. Open the email message from the sender you want to add to your address book.
2. Click Add to contacts next to Chirrup [[email protected]].
3. On the Add Contact popup + additional information.
4. Click Save.
Set up Windows Live. Windows Live Hotmail
1. Open an email from the sender that you want to whitelist.
2. Click Add to contacts next to Chirrup [[email protected]].
Set up Microsoft Office. Microsoft Outlook 2003
1. Open the email message from the Chirrup.
2. Right-click Click here to download images in gray bar at top of message.
3. Click Add Sender to Senders Safe List.
Set up Microsoft Outlook. Outlook 2007
1. Right-click on the Chirrup email (in your list of emails).
2. Click Junk E-mail.
3. Click Add Sender to Safe Senders List.
Set up Microsoft Outlook. Outlook 2010
1. Click the Home tab.
2. Click Junk.
3. Click Junk E-mail Options.
4. Click Safe Senders.
5. Click Add.
6. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info.
7. Click OK.
Set up Mac Mail. Mac Mail
1. Click Address Book .
2. Click File.
3. Click New Card.
4. Enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info. .
5. Click Edit
Set up Mozilla Thunderbird for Mac. Mozilla Thunderbird for PC
1. Click Address Book.
2. Make sure Personal Address Book is highlighted.
3. Click New Card. This will launch a New Card window that has 3 tabs: Contact, Address & Other.
4. Under Contact, enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info.
5. Click OK.Mozilla Thunderbird for Mac
1. Click Address Book.
2. Make sure Personal Address Book is highlighted.
3. Click New Card. This will launch a New Card window that has 3 tabs: Contact, Address & Other.
4. Under Contact, enter Chirrup [[email protected]] + additional info.
5. Click OK

Sending you much gratitude for becoming a Chirrup member. I do hope you enjoy the silliness. Until next time…

More useful info?

How to Send Email Newsletters to Instapaper


But I’d Like to WATCH Austen: What Are Gail’s Favorite Austen Films? (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

It’s winter so I’ve been rereading and rewatching Austen lately, Gentle Reader.

It’s just a thing I like to do.

I hope you are in no doubt that I am a fan?

And no, I really don’t have a favorite. It genuinely depends on my mood. But since you were wondering…

The Best & Worst Jane Austen Movies!

First a brief foray into how Jane Austen started some of the most popular romance tropes. (And yes, Jane Austen wrote romance novels. FIGHT ME.)

Austen Does Romance Tropes:

  1. Emma ~ boy has loved girl forever, girl is ignorant AKA friends to lovers trope (bonus some sibling-ish taboo, plus May/December relationship)
  2. Mansfield Park ~ girl has loved boy forever, boy is ignorant AKA friends-to-lovers trope (bonus some sibling-ish taboo)
  3. Pride & Prejudice ~ boy and girl meet and instantly dislike each other, sparks ensue AKA enemies-to-lovers trope
  4. Sense & Sensibility ~ boy and girl meet, are perfect for one another, circumstances tear them apart AKA willful misunderstanding trope
  5. Northanger Abby ~ girl willfully misunderstands boy and boy’s intentions
  6. Persuasion ~ girl and boy have a past, mistakes were made that must be rectified, AKA reunion trope

Gail’s Favorites!

Now, I KNOW there are other adaptations but my restriction is that it has to be readily and easily available (streaming or DVD purchase) in the USA.

So here we go…

  1. Sense & Sensibility ~ I just really like the 1995 Emma Thompson version, OK? I know it has lots of issues but I love it. I have warm feels about this particular movie. And the casting, the casting! Plus Thompson’s award show speech is KILLER.
  2. Mansfield Park ~ of all the movies in this list, it’s this Frances O’Connor movie adaptation I rewatch the most. I know many really dislike it, but I adore it, so there.
  3. Pride & Prejudice ~ I really dithered on this one. I have a whole award show blog post where I dole out my favorites in each role. But the fact remains when I reach for this movie, I usually reach for the mini series with Jennifer Ehle & Colin Firth.
  4. Emma ~ I go back and forth between the Romola Garai and the Kate Beckensile as Emma. I like them both. But I’m going with Kate’s version from 1996 because it has a better supporting cast.
  5. Persuasion ~ Anne Elliot is my least favorite Austen main character (yeah yeah) but I will watch Ciaran Hinds read the phone book and Amanda Root’s beautifully subdued performance make the 1995 version a clear winner.
  6. Northanger Abby ~ if Anne is my least favorite heroine, Northanger is my least favorite Austen. Sorry, I’m just not into it. I’m not wild about any of the adaptations but I like Felicity jones, so I guess that one?

Probably the Most Accurate Adaptations

Since no one does (or should do) a page by page adaptation I’m using accurate in its mathematic way. In this case as close to the spirit, or heart, of the book, according to my personal opinion. What, you want science when movies are involved?

  1. Sense & Sensibility ~ BBC’s 1981 version it’s weirdly awkward but so is the novel
  2. Pride & Prejudice ~ David Rintoul is Jane Austen’s Darcy, he might not be YOUR Darcy, but if you read the book, yeah, this is him.
  3. Emma ~ I really hate to say it but whiney impossible Emma was probably as unlikeable as Gwenny made her. Sigh.
  4. Persuasion ~ Since I don’t love this book, I’m open to negotiations but I think the Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root version is the most accurate as well as the best.
  5. Northanger Abby ~ Yeah, I’ve no idea. I only read the book twice.
  6. Mansfield Park ~ There hasn’t been one yet.

The Sin Bin

  1. Sense & Sensibility ~ the 1971 one is just appalling.
  2. Pride & Prejudice ~ This sublimely uncomfortable mormon version. It’s god awful. (Pun intended.)
  3. Emma ~ We shant talk about the Gwenny version. NO WE SHANT. (Allen Cumming forever, though. But still. In fact, this one has a KILLER supporting cast, but the lead… the lead…)
  4. Persuasion ~ the 1971 version, shudder.
  5. Northanger Abby ~ this one is the worst, sigh, but honestly none of them are very good.
  6. Mansfield Park ~ the 2008 Masterpiece version. OH MY GOD HER HAIR. WHY? Billy Piper’s hair is a sin against all period dramas ever, so I refuse to acknowledge this adaptation.

Also Really Fun

  1. Bride & Prejudice, I like Bollywood and I cannot lie. Def the best Wickham ever, and I love the songs. There is no chemistry between the two main characters but I don’t really care.
  2. Love & Friendship ~ I really enjoy the kind of Dangerous Liaisons vibe and absurdest humor.

Other People’s Opinions

Hey, you with the suggestions, read this bit!

Yes, I know about the other Bollywood adaptations, Kandukondain Kandukondain, etc.

Yes, I know about the Lizzy Bennet Diaries, Austenland, Bridget Jones, Becoming Jane, Miss Austen Regrets, Jane Austen Book Club, Scents & Sensibility

I even know about short lived TV series featuring a modern mash-up of all the different characters.

Whatcha take me for, AN AMATEUR?

So which Austen character are you, Gail?

Well, I like to think I’m Elizabeth and I’m a writer like Fanny, but honestly? Most likely Emma. I’m bossy, spoiled, and I like to meddle.

So there it is,

Miss Gail

In other news

In the latest episode of 20 Minute Delay Piper and I talk about travel vouchers and how NOT to lose your luggage.

OUT NOW!

The Omega Objection San Andreas Shifters

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks
Direct from Gail

Can a gentle giant with a trampled heart
show a man who’s been running all his life that
sometimes there are monsters worth running towards?

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • The 5th Gender (a Tinkered Stars sci-fi under the G. L. Carriger pen name). No links as yet, wait for it…
  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 2019
  • Secret Project Ommm, coming October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know more about what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Fashion plate, 1909. vis she wo worships carlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Flowers at Teslacon

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The vamp stamp, basically does your cat eye makeup for you. It’s my new favorite thing.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Writing is Like Drinking Tea

Book News:

Loot from Teslacon

Quote of the Day:

“I remember reading in one of those historical novels once about a chap – a buck he would have been, no doubt, or a macaroni or some such bird as that – who, when people said the wrong thing, merely laughed down from lazy eyelids and flicked a speck of dust from the irreproachable Mechlin lace at his wrists. This was practically what I did now. At least, I straightened my tie and smiled one of those inscrutable smiles of mine. I then withdrew and went out for a saunter in the garden.”

~ Right Ho, Jeeves, P. G. Wodehouse

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


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