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Showing posts from September, 2018

Book Review: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

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First line: The day I came squealing and squalling into the world was the first time someone tried to kill me.

First, this cover. LOVE IT.

Second, this premise. LOVE IT.

In brief: the dead rose after the battle of Gettysburg, and the formerly enslaved are freed -- but only to kill the undead.

Our heroine, Jane McKeen, is rich, complicated character. Born on a failing plantation to a white mother, she ends up in Philadelphia at Miss Preston's School of Combat for Negro Girls, training to be a white woman's bodyguard. But she chafes at the rules, frustrated she can clear out cities she'll never truly be welcome in, and she struggles to balance work with the passions of personal life.

From the start, Ireland's novel makes the point that whatever the era, were there a zombie outbreak, white supremacy culture would have demanded that people of color be the ones combating it. I love speculative fiction for imagining what could be, and that's what is so chilling abou…

Reading Challenge: RIP 13

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Belatedly, here's my commitment post for Readers Imbibing Peril XIII, or RIP 13, the reading challenge of creepy, scary, and chilling reads.

I'm a total puss and yet I love me some creepy books. Reading ghost stories in October is just a tradition for me (honestly, Halloween might be my favorite holiday) so gathering up spooky books is catnip.

My queue, unsurprisingly, is massive. Good luck to me. My list includes two beloved rereads (Rebecca and Jane Steele) (if you haven't read either of these books read them immediately!) as well as some new items. I'm particularly excited for the issue of Nightmare magazine, as it's focused on authors of color and includes some thoughts on Lovecraft. Mmmm.

Agatha Christine, Ordeal by Innocence
Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
Lyndsay Faye, Jane Steele
H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
(Daniel) Mallory Ortberg, The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror
Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Nightmare Magazine 49: October …

Book Review: Whereas by Layli Long Soldier

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First line: Now
make room in the mouth
for grassesgrassesgrasses


Another find I have to credit wholly to my fellow book bloggers; in this case, Carolyn of Rosemary and Reading Glasses. Her review of this volume of poetry made me put this book on my TBR immediately, and it felt pretty urgent I read it.

I'm so conflicted about how to review this book. I struggled with almost the entirety of Part I but Part II, her long form exploration of Congress' throwaway apology to Native Americans, was captivating and brilliant. But every piece in this book, whether I "got" it or not, hit me hard, and I can't dismiss anything in this volume.

Many of the poems are about language and identity; Long Soldier wrestles with definitions and grammatical rules to make a point about the rules Native Americans face. She details the appalling microaggressions she experienced (like a white woman saying she'd never thought American Indians had feelings until seeing a woman sob on a news…

Weekend reads and returning to booktube?

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Almost one year after I made my first few tepid attempts, I'm once more returning to book vids. Unabridged Kid and I made a brief video (I just learned how to edit!) of our weekend reads: his, Duck, Duck, Moose by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen; and mine, The Parting Gift by Evan Fallenberg. Unabridged Kid even offers a brief reading.

What are you reading this weekend?