Storytime: The Time(s) I Tried to Turn into a Mermaid Growing Up

Storytime with Kal: I want to be a mermaid

It’s time for another Storytime with Kal, where I share true stories about my life that usually involves being chased by birds. This time we are straying away from tales of my bird fear to talk about the multiple times that I tried to turn into a mermaid as a child.

If there is one thing that you should know about me, it is that I have always been obsessed with mermaids, mermaid lore, and the sea. Perhaps it was growing up near the beach in San Diego or the fact that I saw The Little Mermaid in theatres when I was five and then proceeded to destroy not one but two VHS copies over the subsequent years of my childhood. Who knows where it began, but I know for a fact that my passion went to the next level after seeing the movie Splash.

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The Phantom Forest by Liz Kerin

The Phantom Forest review

Interview with Liz Kerin Novel19 Class

Friends, I loved reading this debut fantasy novel so much! The Phantom Forest has all the ingredients that I live for in a good story: rich worldbuilding with an emphasis on religion and lyrical writing that sucked me in on the first page. This is a dark, gruesome, and bloody story that won’t be for everyone so please do check the content warnings at the bottom of the review.

“In this place meant for the dead, she finally felt the weight of life, of connection, of eternity. Nothing was ever lost.”

I had so many questions while reading this book, but not in a bad way if that makes sense. The world the Kerin crafted for us is so intricately disturbing that it is like a car wreck that we cannot look away from. Who are these people? What are they being punished for? The worldbuilding is both slow and all at once as the reader is thrust into the deep end of the world but never given too much at any given time. I was hungry for more much like the Savage hungers.

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May in Review // A Month of Reading ALL the Things

Month in REview: May 2019

The temperatures are beginning to rise here in Northern California and I am already wishing for Fall to arrive. I honestly cannot believe that it is already June! WHERE IS THE TIME GOING?!! And more importantly, can I harness this shift in time-space so I can travel to the future and read the last book in the Empirium trilogy? I really just need some answers here.

May was another meh month for me in all regards but my reading life. I’m still on medical leave from work and doing my best to focus on my health despite a lot of IRL stressors, but honestly my reading slump went away! I read so many books in May and enjoyed all of them??? What is this sorcery? It feels really good to have one thing going for me right now and I hope it’s a sign of things improving overall in June.

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Reading Around the Globe: Annie in Rwanda

Reading Around the Globe: Annie in Rwanda

“There’s this one public library in Kigali, the biggest of them all, it has got a wide range of books from locally published ones to international bestsellers. Sometimes it’s challenging to find the books you want but that’s been easy now that you can order them online.”


Welcome to Reading Around the Globe, a series here on Reader Voracious Blog geared at fostering a culture of understanding in the bookish community about access to books in various countries around the world. Each post in the series highlights a full interview with one international reader. You can read more about this series and catch up on previous interviews on the master post.

  1. What is your name? Annie
  2. Blog URL? The Sunflower Bookshelf
  3. Twitter handle? @sunflowerreader
  4. Where do you live? Kigali, Rwanda
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Stranger Than Fiction: Sophia the Robot & AI Technology

Stranger than Fiction is a feature here on the blog that looks at recent news stories and technological advances that honestly sounds straight out of science fiction. From the ethics of gene editing in utero to the possible Cylon takeover, this monthly series will dive deep into the many reasons that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Friends, welcome to my first Stranger Than Fiction post! I’ve been compiling news articles and stories for several months now and finally have the energy to launch my new baby into the world. One of the reasons that I love science fiction is that it is a genre not only of possibility but also of cautionary tale; it is a genre that looks forward to humanity’s potential end and addresses the ways we can avoid that fate. (This is a topic of particular academic interest to me and was the focus of one of my honors theses.)

This month I’m talking about how the theme of AI Takeover goes back almost 100 years, the explosion of AI technology in the last 20 years, and how much Sophia the Robot creeps me out. This post originally was about a recent academic article on AI learning improvements, but let’s I wandered a bit while writing… so I’ll talk about that next month.

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