June 2024 Books

New Books Read

Pan Macmillan UK

A Power Unbound by Freya Marske***
The Last Binding book 3 of 3
**Book Hangover Alert
Delightful. Every book in this series has been utterly delightful. This one follows the romance between Lord Hawthorn and Alan Ross, journalist, thief, and seller of pornography who we met in the last book, as they continue to try to keep the Last Contract from stealing the magic of every magician in England. Adored it.
5/5 haughty lords

Hachette Books

My Mama, Cass by Owen Elliot-Kugell*
CW: fat shaming
Fascinating memoir from the daughter of Mama Cass Elliot, of the Mamas and the Papas. Elliot-Kugell tells the story of her mother’s rise to fame and her incredible potential cut short. She shares memories of her own and of those close to Cass during her life. Elliot-Kugell also brings up the important theme of fat shaming, which was ever present in Cass’s life and likely had a hand in her untimely death. It’s well known that the medical establishment dismisses overweight people, especially women. We’ll never know for sure, but Elliot-Kugell implies that Cass likely had some serious undiagnosed health problem that led to her heart attack at age 32.
3.5/5 songs

Virago

Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin de Siecle by Elaine Showalter
I read this book as research for my writing. Showalter compares the attitudes around sexual freedom at the end of the 19th century to those at the end of the 20th century. It was a fascinating book, though was more literary criticism than history (which I would have known going into it if I had bothered to look up Showalter, who is a literary critic). The book was written in the 1990s and I wonder what Showalter’s thoughts would be about sexual attitudes today.
3/5 male quest romances

Bloomsbury Publishing

Let us Descend by Jesmyn Ward***
CW: racism, slavery
Ward’s prose is just lovely. This book tells the story of Annis, born into slavery in the deep south. Her mother teaches her to fight and teaches her to stories of her warrior grandmother. Stories that will help Annis when she is sold down the river and must navigate the hell that is the journey south, the slave market, and a new master. Very heavy, obviously, but Ward is clearly a master.
3.5/5 fighting staffs

Little, Brown Book Group

The Olympian Affair by Jim Butcher*
Cinder Spires book 2 of ?
I’ll be honest, I read the first book in this series a long time ago, and I remember almost nothing about it except that I liked it and was mad I had to wait so long for the second one. I still enjoyed this book, even though I didn’t remember much about the plot of the first one or the relationships of the characters to one another, or if we’d even met some of the characters before. Still enjoyable. Still a big fan of Rowl the cat.
3.5/5 cats

Faber and Faber

Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky***
**Book Hangover
CW: war
I went to an author event at the Philly library with this author and Sara Novic of True Biz, which was so cool. I got both books at the event. This is a poetry book that tells the story of a small town resisting military occupation by all pretending to be deaf. It’s utterly gorgeous and heartbreaking. It was interesting because it wasn’t quite a novel-in-verse, but the poems were related and built on each other in a way you don’t usually see with poetry collections. I loved it. The first poem in the book hit me so hard I had to stop and sit there for a long moment.
5/5 puppets

Shark Heart: A Love Story by Emily Habeck*
This book was an easy and enjoyable read. Wren’s husband is turning into a great white shark, literally. She must figure out how to navigate love and her marriage through the transformation. I liked the premise of this story. I loved the magical realism aspect of there being an incurable disease where people just slowly turn into animals. I also liked the love story. I didn’t really love the lyric writing style. Occasionally the prose would devolve into poetry, but it felt like it was trying too hard. I didn’t feel like that choice improved the storytelling. I also reached part 2 and was like oh, that’s where I thought the story was going to end. Why are there 200 more pages? I did read the whole thing, and I did enjoy part 2 (which turned out to be Wren’s mom’s backstory), but I thought maybe the timelines of part 1 and part 2 could have been woven together so that they didn’t feel so separate. I literally would have been satisfied stopping at the end of part 1.
3.5/5 great white sharks


G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Penguin Books

Legend by Marie Lu*
Legend book 1 of 4
I loved Lu’s The Kingdom of Back, and one of my MFA professors recommended I read this book as research on writing styles. The novel follows two teens in Los Angeles of the totalitarian future. June is a prodigy groomed for service in the military. Day is a rebel from the slums sabotaging the Republic. When June’s brother, a commander for the Republic is killed and Day is blamed for the murder, the two must race to uncover the truth of what’s really going on in the Republic. It was fun and fast paced.
3/5 trials

DC Vertigo

The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman*
Sandman Universe
This story is in the Sandman universe as well and follows Timothy Hunter as he tries to decide whether to become a magician. We see John Constantin, a character from the other Sandman comics, and three other magicians each show Timothy something of the world of magic. I think what I liked most about this was the way each section had a different illustrator and a slightly different style. It was really cool.
3/5 owls

DC Vertigo

Sandman: World’s End by Neil Gaiman
Sandman Volume 8 of 11
I think I’m finally satisfied on my Sandman kick for a while. Can’t read the rest too fast or it’ll be over. This volume is fun. It’s a bunch of nested tales told by people stranded at the inn at the end of the world. Very fun.
3.5/5 necropoli

*This book only includes straight, white, cis people. My Mama, Cass is a memoir, so maybe this designation isn’t fair. The Olympian Affair might have some non-white character but race isn’t an important part of the narrative, so it doesn’t seem significant. One of the characters in Shark Heart has a lesbian relationship at one point but the book still feels very straight, you know what I mean? Legend has a few nonwhite characters as well, though race isn’t really examined in this future society.

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! Read A Power Unbound for LGBTQIA+ rep and class consciousness in fantasy. Read Let Us Descend for a magical realism tale of slavery that includes LGBTQIA+ rep. Read Deaf Republic for disability rep and community solidarity during wartime.

Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQIA+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.

May 2024 Books

Books Reread

Disney Hyperion

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
The Trials of Apollo book 1 of 5
CW: child abuse, gaslighting
After I finished rereading all the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books and all the Heroes of Olympus books, I thought…why not just keep going? So here I am rereading the Trials of Apollo books too. Enjoyable as ever. Apollo, god of the sun, has been punished by his father Zeus, king of the gods, to be a mortal teenager, until he can restore the great oracles, fix the magic of prophesy, and defeat the sinister Triumvirate. This series is full of old friends and new. Big fan of Meg McCaffrey.
3.5/5 dumpsters

Disney Hyperion

The Dark Prophesy by Rick Riordan
The Trials of Apollo book 2 of 5
CW: child abuse, gaslighting, animal abuse
Apollo continues on his quest with help from some familiar friends. I won’t spoil it.
3.5/5 gryphons

New Books Read

HarperCollins

Lies We Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood
**Book Hangover
CW: femicide
We all know I love a Greek mythology inspired story, especially queer and feminist ones. This one isn’t a retelling, more of a continuation. When Odysseus finally returns to Ithaca from the Trojan War, he kills all the suitors who had been occupying his home and harassing his wife. But he also kills 12 of Penelope’s handmaidens, supposedly corrupted by the suitors. This results in a curse from Poseidon that can only be satisfied by sacrificing 12 more girls every year. But this year, Leto, a girl marked for sacrifice, Matthias, the prince of Ithaca, and Melantho, a mysterious Poseidon-blessed girl, are determined to break the curse. I really enjoyed this one.
4/5 girls with scales around their throats

PanMacmillan UK

A Restless Truth by Freya Marske***
**Book Hangover
The Last Binding book 2 of 3
Big fan of these books. The sequel to A Marvellous Light follows Maud Blythe and Violet Debenham as they attempt to help Robin and Edwin to find the last pieces of the contract and stop the sinister plots of the Assembly of magicians. And of course, they fall in love. If you’re looking for a queer, spicy, historical romance, these books are the ones for you.
4/5 illusions

DC Vertigo

Sandman: A Game of You by Neil Gaiman
Sandman Vol 5
CW: transphobia, gore, murder
I went on a crazy Sandman kick this month. The new Netflix show Dead Boy Detectives (a Sandman spin off) came out and put me in the mood. In this volume Barbie, who first appears in A Doll’s House, must return to her dream land to fight the sinister Cuckoo who is destroying the kingdom Barbie created. This is a good one. Gaiman’s inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters is pretty revolutionary for the 1990s, though not everything aged well.
4/5 dream creatures

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin
I work at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and one of the temporary exhibitions we have right now is about the Tiktaalik fossil, so I wanted to read a little more about it. This book is by one of the paleontologists who found Tiktaalik and he discusses the patterns we can see in the human body and how they are part of the body plans of ancient animals and organisms. Very informative, though I would have liked a little more of the book spent discussing Tiktaalik.
3/5 fish

Audible

Sandman: Act III by Neil Gaiman
Sandman radio play
CW: gore, adult themes
Like I said, a kick. I listened to the Sandman Act III radio play on Audible. It covers volumes 6-8 of the comics. It was very enjoyable. Really good performances, and I always enjoy trying to identify the voice actors.
3.5/5 stories told in an inn during a storm at the end of the world

DC Vertigo

Sandman: Fables & Reflections by Neil Gaiman
Sandman Vol 6
CW: gore
This volume is a collection of one-off stories from the Sandman universe. There are some really good ones, including the Orpheus ones. The others are a little less memorable, but still good.
3/5 wishes

HarperVoyager

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty***
**Book Hangover
The Daevabad Trilogy book 2 of 3
CW: attempted genocide, fantasy racism
I was basically screaming through the last hundred pages of the first book in this series, so I was very excited to read the next one. And now I’m dying to read the third one. I won’t do a summary for this one because I don’t want to share any spoilers. Just trust me, you want to read these.
4.5/5 ifrit

Chicago Review Press

The Disney Revolt: The Great Labor War of Animation’s Golden Age by Jake S. Friedman*
This was a super fascinating history book about the labor strikes going on in Hollywood in the 1940s, including at the Walt Disney Company. Friedman does a great job of painting portraits of the two men on either side of the conflict: Walt Disney and Art Babbitt, animator and one of the main strike leaders. Friedman humanizes both men and shows how each came to have his own understanding of the world. Just all around a fascinating read if you’re at all interested in unions, Disney, or animation history.
4/5 striking animators

Audible

The Court of Mortals by A.J. Lancaster*
Stariel book 3 of 5
This is such a good cozy fantasy series. Thousand Spire is without a ruler and seems to want Win; the Queen of Priden wants to talk to Hetta; and Win’s murderous sister keeps sending monsters into the mortal realm. I really enjoy this series. I love all the characters, and the reader of the audiobooks does a great job.
3.5/5 grouchy Fae siblings

Van Rye Publishing

Dinosaurs: 101 What Everyone Should Know about Dinosaur Anatomy, Ecology, Evolution, and More by Matthew Vavrek, Philip J. Currie, and Victoria Arbour
Since I work at a natural history museum, I’m often asked questions about dinosaurs, which I know nothing about. So I was trying to get a good base of knowledge about dinosaurs. This is a good primer for anyone who just wants a brief, easy overview about dinosaurs.
3/5 triceratops

Macmillan

The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo*
**Book Hangover
I’ve heard some people were disappointed by this book. I don’t think I liked it as much as Ninth House but there were some really interesting things happening that I’ll talk more about in a moment. Using the language of her Jewish heritage–dangerous in the time of the Spanish Inquisition–Luzia, a scullery maid, can do small miracles. When her employer finds out, she finds herself embroiled in a competition to serve the King. She must convince the world that her miracles are holy and not blasphemous. At first I was confused about the POV choice. It’s kind of an omniscient narrator, and I couldn’t figure out why we were in Valentina’s head or really spending time with any character other than Luzia. The POV choice felt odd and a little unsettling. Then, I was reading a paper about using the painting Las Meninas to teach Don Quixote to students and how the study of the painting can enhance our understanding of the text and vice versa. And then I thought that Las Meninas actually pairs really well with The Familiar too. The weird thing about the painting is that it looks like its perspective makes sense, but the longer you look at it, the more you realize that the space within the painting isn’t quite possible. It’s so mysterious: what is Velazquez painting on his huge canvas? The King and Queen? Us? Perhaps he’s preparing to paint the Infanta. Maybe there’s a huge mirror where we’re standing and the painting he’s working on is this painting. We as viewers appear to be standing where the King and Queen would be standing were they getting their portrait painted, as we could infer from the mirror at the back of the room reflecting them. All this to say that when I think about The Familiar in relation to Las Meninas, the POV choices make more sense to me. The omniscient narrator views the events from many different angles and when those perspectives are all overlaid on the story, the whole picture doesn’t quite line up in a way that I think is intentional.
4/5 milagritos

DC Vertigo

Sandman: Brief Lives
Sandman Vol 7
This is a good one. Delirium and Dream go to look for their missing brother Destruction. I am a big fan of Delirium and it was fun to see her play off Dream. I also really like the art in this volume. There are several really good panels.
4/5 sigils

DC Black Label

Dead Boy Detectives by Pornsak Pichetshote***
The Sandman Universe
CW: gore
This is a more recent Dead Boy Detectives issue, taking place after the events of the show and the first series of comics, but I couldn’t get a copy of the first book of comics. Edwin and Charles are in LA helping some Thai ghosts after Crystal Palace has left the agency. This one was really fun and it was nice to learn more about Thai concepts of ghosts as Edwin and Charles helped out some newly dead Thai kids.
3/5 ghosts

*This book only includes straight, white, cis people. The Familiar does include one lesbian relationship, but for the most part it’s pretty white and pretty straight and pretty cis. The Court of Mortals also has one main gay character, but mostly the book is pretty straight. I know Marius does get his own book though so I’m excited about that. I included The Disney Revolt in this designation even though perhaps the genders, sexualities, and races of those working at Disney at the time weren’t relevant. But I think that may have been something interesting to explore more. Art Babbitt struck me as a bisexual.

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! Read A Restless Truth for LGBTQIA+ romance in historical fantasy. Read A Kingdom of Copper for Arab inspired fantasy with LGBTQIA+ rep. Read Dead Boy Detectives for Thai lore and mythology.

Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQIA+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.

April 2024 Books

Books Reread

Tom Doherty Associates

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
CW: abusive relationship, alcohol abuse, assault (physical and sexual), death, depression, drugs, prostitution, sexism, suicide (attempted), war
I reread this one this month as a reference for one of my MFA classes. A woman in 1714 makes a deal with the Dark to live forever. But there’s a catch, no one will ever remember her. Three hundred years later, she meets a boy who does. I’ve already reviewed this one for the blog, and you can read my original review here. I was paying more attention to the construction of the novel this time and the way information was revealed to the reader, which I thought was done quite well. Also, addressing my thoughts from the first time I read it, new editions have fixed the Rembrandt mistake. There’s still a mistake that Addie tries Champagne for the first time twice. And about the ending, I like it more now than I did the first time I read it. I love the art history aspects of the story and the way Addie learns to make her mark, but I will say, she could have been fixing climate change or stopping wars by planting ideas in the brains of powerful people, instead of just inspiring artists to make art about her. Just saying. Also, Julia Whelan reads the audiobook, and she has to be one of my favorite narrators.
3.5/5 forgotten faces

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
**Book Hangover Alert
The final installment of this wonderful series! The final smackdown with Gaia. Is it controversial of me to like this series even more than the PJO books? We love to see more Reyna and Nico and their developing friendship. We love Piper and Annabeth’s friendship. We love Nico in a Hawaiian shirt. We love Reyna being made pegasus friend (sobbing). We love Will Solace. We love Leo. We love Percy and Annabeth. This book is just excellent, and I don’t have anything else to say about it.
4.5/5 drops of demigod blood (looking at you, Percy)

New Books Read

Annie Bot by Sierra Greer*
CW: sexual assault, domestic abuse, misogyny
About once a month, I just have the urge to binge read a book. This was the book for this month. I read it in one night while my roommates were at a party. Annie is an android designed to be a girlfriend for her owner Doug. But of course, Annie grows and develops and begins to question her place in the world. I liked the concept and the exploration of power, humanity, and misogyny. This reminded me a little of the Sonmi section of Cloud Atlas and a little of Ex Machina. I think the question of what constitutes personhood is really interesting, and I think the critique of women as objects is cleverly done.
3.5/5 robots

Audible

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray*
This was not my favorite Victorian novel. It follows Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley during the Napoleonic Wars. I liked the character of Becky Sharp and the satirizing of British society. It was a bit long, and the audio performance a bit slow (I had to speed it up to 1.2x). It was still enjoyable though.
3/5 cashmere shawls

The Iliad by Homer, tr. Emily Wilson
**Book Hangover
I read Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey last year, so I was excited for The Iliad. The Iliad follows Achilles, Patroclus, and Hector during the Trojan War from the point where Agamemnon offends Achilles who then refuses to fight for the Greeks anymore, through to just after Hector’s death. I think I liked The Iliad more than The Odyssey, even though there really are a lot of names and cataloguing of the Greeks and the Trojans. I really like the poetic form Wilson uses, which lends itself so well to reading aloud, just like the original epic poem was intended. I also loved the more accessible language (Pope’s translation seems needlessly obfuscating). I recommend reading the Translator’s Note first (to get in a properly awed state), then read the poem, then go back and read the Introduction.
4/5 shields of Achilles

The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England from 1811-1901 by Kristine Hughes*
I read this book for research for my novel. An every day history book covering the Regency and Victorian periods. It was kind of useful, but I did feel like the majority of the book focused on the 1840s instead of the whole period it says it covers. I was most interested in the 1880s so I didn’t feel like this book was super useful for me. Good background knowledge on the era, though.
2.5/5 pudding recipes

The Story of Art without Men by Katy Hessel***
This book is gorgeous and timely. Named after one of the seminal art history textbooks (The Story of Art), Hessel remedies the dearth of women in that book and shifts the focus to the many woman who have been forgotten or under-appreciated. I didn’t love Hessel’s writing style (a lot of long, overly complicated sentences), and I felt that the book could have been a little more carefully edited. But that said, it’s a wonderful work with beautiful, full-color images that finally gives women artists a little bit of the recognition they deserve.
4/5 women artists

Pushkin Press

Mary and the Birth of Frankenstein by Ann Eekhout
**Book Hangover Alert
One of my current favorite genres is historical novels that imagine something about the life of a real person. This story follows Mary Shelley on the fateful trip to Switzerland where she wrote Frankenstein, and a trip she took to Scotland a few years before, weaving the two together to paint a portrait of the inspiration for one of the most famous horror stories ever written. Frankenstein is one of my favorite classics, and I loved this spooky, dream-like, magical look into the mind of Mary. Not sure how much of Eekhout’s characterization of Percy Bysshe Shelley was invented and how much was based on truth, but I found myself questioning why someone as smart and interesting as Mary wound up with him.
4/5 monsters

HarperCollins

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty***
**Book Hangover Alert
Daevabad Trilogy book 1 of 3
CW: fantasy racism, genocide, child trafficking
This book was excellent. Street thief scam artist Nahri accidentally calls up a djinn while doing a fake exorcism on the streets of Cairo. This results in the discovery that she is part djinn and the ifrit are after her. So the djinn she calls up takes her to Daevabad, a city of djinn, where she has to learn to survive the intrigue of the court. The whole ending was a wild ride and I could barely keep myself from throwing the book against the wall (which would have been bad because I was reading the e-version on my iPad). It was so good. I loved the world and the characters and the intrigue. Super excited to read the rest of the series.
5/5 djinn

Simon and Schuster

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist–the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England by Daniel Pool*
I read this one for research as well. It is also a Victorian history book, referencing a lot of things from Victorian novels that are confusing for modern readers. I thought it was a little more useful for my purposes than the Writer’s Guide above, but it could have had more info about death, mourning, and grieving. It does not matter how many Victorian history books I read, I will never understand what English pudding is. (One other interesting thing I learned from this book was that lady’s maids were known as abigails which is actually referenced in Annie Bot–the androids in cleaning and housekeeping mode are called Abigails.)
3/5 types of pudding

*This book only includes straight, white, cis people. The main character of Annie Bot is technically not white (the man who owns Annie the android chooses to model her on his Black ex-girlfriend, but made her skin a few shades lighter). But the book doesn’t really engage much with racism, so I’m still giving it this designation. What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew has one paragraph on gay men.

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! Read The Story of Art without Men to acknowledge the amazing contribution to art that women, trans, and nonbinary people have made. Read The City of Brass for an amazing Middle Eastern inspired fantasy with some LGBTQIA+ rep.

Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQIA+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.

POV: You grew up loving Percy Jackson and now you need something to fill the Greek mythology shaped hole in your heart

First of all, just read Percy Jackson and the Olympians again. I promise, even if you haven’t read then since you were in the target audience, they hold up for adults. Still excellent. Then read the Heroes of Olympus. Then read the Trials of Apollo. Then The Sun and the Star. Then of course, the new additions to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. But after that, if you’re still hankering for some Greek mythology, check out these picks (click the link to go to my review of the book on the blog–you may have to scroll down):

The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer, tr. Emily Wilson
Look, you can’t go wrong with the OGs. These two classics can seem dense and intimidating but let me just tell you: the Emily Wilson translations are a delight. Hers is the only translation that keeps the text in metered poetry and that oral/auditory quality really sets her translation apart from others (not that I’ve read another translation in full–I couldn’t get through any of them).

Circe by Madeline Miller
The story of the enchantress Circe on whose island Odysseus is shipwrecked and his men turned into pigs. Feminist take on one of the many women in Greek mythology who is painted as a villain. So, so lovely.

Song of Achillies by Madeline Miller
Gay and slaps. Trojan war retelling from the perspective of Patroclus. Sometimes I see TikToks of people who apparently don’t know how this story ends, (which always surprises me, but I guess some people don’t have a special interest in Greek mythology) so I won’t say more.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Modern urban fantasy. Purge style, once every seven years the Greek gods are made mortal and descendants of the ancient bloodlines try to kill them and seize their divine power and immortality. Super hard to put down and 10/10 banter.

Elektra by Jennifer Saint
The story of the women of the Trojan war: Clytemnestra, wife of Agamemnon, Elektra, daughter of Agamemnon, and Cassandra, seer and sister of Paris. I adored this.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
The tale of what happened to Ariadne after Theseus defeats the minotaur and takes Ariadne from her homeland. Sad but very good.

Atalanta by Jennifer Saint
Follows Atalanta, the only woman on Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece. Gorgeous.

This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
Contemporary fantasy about the descendants of Jason of the Golden Fleece. Gay and slaps.

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes
The story of Medusa told in a constellation of POVs of the women around her. Feminist and fascinating.

Ithaca by Claire North
The Songs of Penelope book 1 of 3
What happened to Penelope while Odysseus was gone for 20 years. The story is told by Hera and it’s just fabulous.

Books I haven’t read yet but I’m excited about

Medea by Rosie Hewlett
Medea is usually painted as quite the villain (of the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece, if you’re not a nerd), so I’m interested to see Hewlett’s take on her story.

Herc by Phoenicia Rogerson
How different is the Disney Hercules movie compared to the original myth? O let me count the ways. My sister said this book was really good, so I’m excited about it.

Hera by Jennifer Saint
Jennifer Saint has yet to write a book I don’t like, so I’m super excited for her next book which is coming out soon!

Lies We Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood
Based on the story of Penelope’s twelve handmaidens who were hanged, but taking place a generation later. I’ve heard it’s sapphic and I’m excited about it.

The rest of The Songs of Penelope series by Claire North
More Penelope? Yes, please.

The new Percy Jackson and the Olympians books
Need I say more?

Bonus: not Greek mythology, but same vibes

Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel
The Ramayana from the perspective of the so-called evil stepmother of Rama. I cannot convey how good this book is.

The Magnus Chase books by Rick Riordan
People be sleeping on these books. They’re really good.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Just some Norse myths, told excellently.

Really anything by Rick Riordan or from Rick Riordan Presents
Some stand outs include Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia and Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, but you really can’t go wrong.

A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross
Elements of Cadence book 1 of 2
Celtic mythology vibes.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
The Legendborn Cycle book 1 of 3
Contemporary take on Arthuian legend.

The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty
Sinbad the sailor vibes.

March 2024 Books

Books Reread

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
**Book Hangover Alert
Still really enjoying rereading these. Not going to blurb this one because spoilers. Still in awe of Uncle Rick. I really admire the way he had POV chapters from all 7 main characters and it worked. I like the way each section from a certain character had it’s own mini character arc within the whole. Also love my baby Nico, who must be protected at all costs.
4.5/5 dead legionnaires

New Books Read

Tor Publishing Group

Ebony Gate by Ken Bebelle and Julia Vee
The Phoenix Hoard book 1 of 2
This one was fun. I read it for my world building class. Emiko is just trying to leave her bloody history in the past, but when a magical debt is called in by a death god, she must take up her sword again to save her new home, San Francisco’s Chinatown. I enjoyed the world and the family politics Vee and Bebelle set up.
3/5 swords

Tor Publishing Group

The First Bright Thing by J.R. Dawson***
**Book Hangover Alert
CW: domestic violence, alcoholism
Full disclosure, J.R. Dawson is one of the professors for my program who taught the world building class I keep mentioning. In 1926 the Ringmaster, Rin, keeps her circus of Sparks (individuals with powers) one step ahead of the shadow chasing her from her past, while trying to prevent the next Great War that she and Mauve, a Spark who can see the future, can see coming. Rin must find a way to protect her circus and all those who love her and learn to believe herself worthy of that love. I loved the world of the circus and the nonlinear storytelling and the found family, queer vibes.
4/5 illusions

HarperCollins

This Appearing House by Ally Malinenko*
CW: cancer
Once again just have to say that middle grade authors get so much respect from me. They are so important, and everyone should read middle grade books. (I read this one for world building as well.) A house appears at the end of Jac’s street out of nowhere and that combined with Jac’s shaking hands and headaches makes her afraid that her cancer could be returning, 5 years after diagnosis and successful treatment. Jac and her best friend enter the house on a dare, but this isn’t your average haunted house. Jac is sure it’s trying to tell her something. But can she figure it out before it kills her? This book is so important for any kids (or even adults really) living with or recovered from cancer. I cried. I think the percentage of middle grade books that make me cry is higher than the percentage of adult books that make me cry.
4/5 mourners

Apsara Engine by Bishakh Som***
Delightfully strange and queer. This is a collection of graphic short stories. They are very weird but also very good. The art is also lovely.
3/5 odd little creatures

Knopf

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
The Vampire Chronicles book 1 of 13
CW: slavery, pedophilia vibes?
I can’t say whether or not I liked this book. It was kind of a slog to get through and I was wishing it was over for most of it. But now that it is over…I sort of want to read the next book? I sort of want to see the movie or the new show? I can’t stop thinking about it? The vampire Louis narrates his life story from his conversion to a vampire in the late 1700s until present day to a human journalist. It’s kinda gay (but could be gayer, tbh). It’s kinda unhinged.
3/5 fangs

Books I did not finish

Islam, Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the Jinn by Amira El-Zein
I feel bad saying I didn’t finish this because I didn’t stop because it wasn’t good. I was reading it for research on a potential project. For now the project is shelved, but I may continue it some time in the future, in which case I’ll probably return to this book. I did learn a lot about the Muslim concept of the jinn in comparison to humans and it was very interesting.

*This book only includes straight, white, cis people.

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! Read The First Bright Thing for historical fiction that doesn’t erase queer people. Read Apsara Engine for trans voices in graphic storytelling. Read Gone Wolf for a better understanding of racial trauma.

Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQIA+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.

February 2024 Books

February was kind of a reading slump for me.

Books Reread

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
**Book Hangover Alert
Heroes of Olympus book 3 of 5
This book is just so excellent. I really enjoy the first two books, but this one, when the team is all assembled? *Chef’s kiss* Now that the seven Greek and Roman heroes are all assembled, the quest to defeat Gaia can begin in earnest. This book focuses on the team’s first task, following the Mark of Athena to recover the Athena Parthenos. I’m really impressed by Riordan’s ability to navigate POV with so many important characters. I’ve been thinking a lot about craft lately and his books are just so well structured from a craft standpoint.
10/5 pairs of Chinese handcuffs

New Books Read

Hodder Children’s Books

The Arrival by Shaun Tan***
This is a lovely little graphic novel told in only pictures. It follows our protagonist as he moves to an unfamiliar, fantastical land and has to adapt to new cultures and customs, make new friends, and not lose himself along the way. It’s so lovely and heartwarming and the way the art tells the story is really impressive. I also love the world Tan creates and all the little creatures that populate it.
3.5/5 lil creatures

Tor Books

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
**Book Hangover Alert
It was so hard to fulfill my obligations while I was reading this book because I just wanted to keep reading it. I love McGuire’s Wayward Children books, but honestly, this book is on another level. It is so good. Alchemist James Reed is attempting to build the Doctrine of Ethos, believed by alchemists to be the fundamental force of the universe. But when he creates two children to embody the Doctrine, he fails to take into account their humanity. Roger and Dodger were created for a purpose, but must find their own way. I feel like that was a very inadequate blurb, so just ignore it and go read the book. This book also has ace rep, which we love. I see you Dodger. Also, not really important, but I learned so much about Hands of Glory? And they are way cooler and have way more lore than JK Rowling made it seem like in Harry Potter.
5/5 timelines

Tethered to Other Stars by Elisa Stone Leahy***
**Book Hangover Alert
CW: bullying, microaggressions, racism
Another absolute banger. I read this for my world building class this quarter and it was fantastic. Middle grade novels do not get enough praise. Wendy is a middle schooler trying to fit in to a new school, keeping her head down and avoiding the notice of ICE, when Luz, an undocumented immigrant, takes sanctuary at the church near Wendy’s house and refuses to be deported. Wendy faces bullying, injustice, and the struggles of making new friends. This book tackles a lot of really big issues in such an empathetic, human, and approachable way.
5/5 telescopes

National Geographic Books

Blind Man’s Bluff by James Tate Hill***
*
This is a fascinating memoir about a man who lost his sight as a teenager but continued to pretend that he could see much better than he could. The story follows his journey through internalized ableism to self-acceptance. I enjoyed this. I thought it was really interesting, though I do feel like Hill could have grappled a little more explicitly with internalized ableism and societal ableism. By the end of the book, it’s understood that he’s come to terms with his own blindness, but I guess I would have appreciated more of a critique of ableism. Hill made some interesting POV choices, telling a couple of the chapters in second person. While I think that was a cool choice and it let me as a reader feel I was experiencing what he did, it did get a little tiresome to read after a while. I think it may have been better to restrict that POV choice to the prologue and tell the rest in first person. But that’s probably just personal preference.
3.5/5 screen readers

Before the Borderless: Dialogues with the Art of Cy Twombly by Dean Rader
**Book Hangover Alert
This book is a collection of ekphrastic poetry on the art of Cy Twombly. When I was the Editor-in-Chief of the Rappahannock Review, we published a poem by Rader that appears in this book, though the version in this book is revised a little. I’ve been thinking a lot about ekphrasis lately as I’m getting ready to teach a course on the interplay between image and text. This whole book was so good. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of Twombly’s art, but Rader’s poems bring them a lot more meaning and dimension for me. And conversely, when I look at the art, the poems gain new meaning as well. I’m really impressed by Rader’s use of white space and enjambment, and I highly recommend this book to poetry and art lovers.
4/5 paintings

Broadway Books

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson*
My dad has been bugging me to read this book for forever, and now I finally have. It gives a good background for understanding Western science up to 2003. I prefer Bryson’s travel writing, just because I’m generally more interested in that, but this book did have some good general knowledge things that I’m glad I know now. It was published in 2003, though, so some things are now outdated. I would personally have been more interested in learning about women’s contributions to science and scientific inquiry form non-Western countries, but I guess that wasn’t the goal of this book.
3/5 male scientists

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett*
City watch book 1 of 8
Discworld book 8 of 41
It’s always a good day to read a Terry Pratchett book. The Night Watch, led by Captain Vimes, is a bit of a joke in Anhk-Morpork, capital of the Discworld, but when a mysterious Brotherhood begins summoning dragons as part of a plot to put a puppet king on the throne, Vimes has got to shape up and get to the bottom of it. This book has all of the trademarks of a wonderful Terry Pratchett novel, plus some cute swamp dragons.
3.5/5 dragons

*This book only includes straight, white, cis people.

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! Read The Arrival for a visual telling of an immigration story. Read Tethered to Other Stars to learn more about undocumented immigration and racism and microaggressions as they affect children and families. Though I feel like it could have done more, Read Blind Man’s Bluff to learn more about internalized ableism and to learn more about an experience of blindness.

Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQIA+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.

January 2024 Books

January’s books set a pretty high standard for the year. I hope all the books I read this year are as good.

New Books Read

Macmillan Publishers

The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine by Rashid Khalidi***
CW: war
If you’re trying to educate yourself on the Israel/Palestine conflict, this is a good one. Khalidi begins his history in 1917 after the break up of the Ottoman empire and traces the impacts of various outside forces on the region. Khaldi breaks his survey int 6 declarations of war, or resolutions or accords that resulted in the continued colonization and oppression of the Palestinian people. This book has so much information in it. I think my main problem in reading it was that I didn’t have much background knowledge of the region. This wouldn’t be the book I would start with, if you’re trying to learn about Palestine, but it does have tons of good information.
3/5 declarations of war

Make Me a World

Lucha of the Night Forest by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Lucha of the Night Forest book 1 of 2
CW: addiction, substance abuse
This was a nice little dark fantasy. After Lucha loses everything, she makes a pact with a sinister god to destroy the thing that has destroyed her city, her mother, and now her sister: a drug called olvida. But there’s more to the forest–and to Lucha–than meets the eye. With the help of a priestess of the forest goddess, Lucha discovers her own powers and the secrets of the gods. This was enjoyable. I liked the world. I’m not sure it needs to be a series. I did feel like we could have solved all the problems in one book if we’d tried harder.
3.5/5 hallucinogenic hares

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
Once upon a Broken Heart book 1 of 3
This one was so fun. Just before the wedding of her lover and her step-sister, broken-hearted Evangeline Fox makes a wish to crafty Fate, Jacks, the Prince of Broken Hearts. This foolish wish sets off a chain of events and intrigues that span continents as Evangeline tries to find her happily ever after. This book takes place in the same world as Caraval, and I love the world Garber created. It’s also nice to see Jacks again. (How can a character with zero morals be so lovable??) Garber is also excellent at describing clothing. I want every outfit described in the book. Excited to read the rest!
4/5 gorgeous outfits

Felix Ever After by Kacen Calendar***
**Book Hangover Alert
CW: anti-trans prejudice, dead-naming, misgendering, body dysphoria
I love that I read a book whose title included the words “once upon” and then immediately read a book with a title including the words “ever after.” I just think it’s neat. Felix is a trans high schooler trying to find love and focus on his summer art portfolio for his elite high school. But Felix is being harassed online and in school by an anonymous fellow student at his school. Determined to figure out who’s behind it and get revenge, Felix is blind to the love that surrounds him. This book was so wonderful. I read the first 50 pages and then the next day I read the rest of it in one go. I could not put it down. The end was so healing and wonderful.
5/5 self-portraits


G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray
Beasts of Prey 1 of 3
I wanted to like this book and I didn’t and I couldn’t really figure out why. After a terrible fire at the Night Zoo, indentured servant Koffi and disgraced initiate Ekon must work together to track down a terrifying beast in the impenetrable Greater Jungle. But they each have their own agenda and, worse, so does a suspiciously cult-like religious order of warriors Ekon was expelled from, who are also looking for the beast. This book has an interesting world, character development, a pretty map in the front cover. I don’t know why I didn’t like it. I just didn’t really want to keep reading it. I got to the end of every chapter, and I was like, I could be done now. Maybe I just wasn’t the target audience (which is okay!). I did finish it because I didn’t feel it was fair to give up when I didn’t even know why I didn’t like it. But I won’t be reading the rest of them.
3/5 jungle beasts

Pan Macmillan UK

In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune
**Book Hangover Alert
Obsessed with TJ Klune. I loved The House on the Cerulean Sea, and I love this book too. Think Pinocchio + Wall-e, with a dash of Frankenstein–if Frankenstein had loved his monster instead of fearing him. Obsessed. Victor grows up in the woods, the only human raised by three robots on the edge of civilization. After Victor’s father (also a robot) is destroyed and taken to the city, Victor and his robot friends must go on a journey to save him–and also the world. We love to see asexual representation, and this book has it. For me, there was exactly the right amount of romance in this book (which I do realize means less than most people seem to want). Also I want to say that the narrator of the audiobook is 10/10. This book is a warm hug. It’s hilarious. It’s poignant. It’s devastating. It’s beautiful. I adored it.
5/5 robots

Tor Books

Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki***
**Book Hangover Alert
CW: anti-trans prejudice, misgendering, body dysmorphia, dead naming
This book was a wild ride from start to finish. Shizuka Satomi, a famous violin teacher, is looking for her seventh and final student, whose soul will complete the bargain Shizuka made with Hell. Shizuka finds Katrina, a young trans violinist, who has been forced to run away from home. But both Shizuka and Katrina get a little more than they bargained for and discover the secret to escaping Hell. There are also aliens building a Stargate in a giant donut. This book is just so good. Also a warm hug. So healing and lovely. The research Aoki had to do for this book just astounds me. And don’t read this book on an empty stomach. The food descriptions are incredible.
5/5 donuts

GMP

Mother Clap’s Molly House by Rictor Norton***
CW: homophobia, rape, pedophilia
I’ve been trying to get my hands on a copy of this book for ages, and I finally got it through inter-library loans at Drexel. Norton’s book explores the formation of a gay subculture in England between 1700 and 1830. This includes the examination of molly houses, or the first gay clubs. It was so fascinating. There’s so little research out there on molly houses, so I’m glad I finally got to read this book.
3.5/5 molly houses

Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See***
**Book Hangover Alert
CW: foot binding, misogyny
This book was stunning. A sweeping historical fiction that follows the life of Lady Tan Yunxian, a woman doctor who really lived during the late 1400s and early 1500s in Imperial China. Though we have some documentation about Lady Tan, much about her life remains unknown. See creates an incredibly vivid nuanced portrait of Yunxian and the lives of women in this time period. It’s a wonderful story of women’s friendship and how woman can thrive in a society designed for and by men. I will say the descriptions of foot binding were very difficult to read. I’m in pain just thinking about it. Also so impressed by the amount of research See did.
4.5/5 remedies

DC Comics

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
CW: torture, genocide, experimentation on humans, rape
Randomly decided to read this because I was thinking about a quote from the movie. This series of comics follows V, a mysterious masked vigilante as he works for vengeance and anarchy in a near-future Great Britain. It’s actually surprisingly different from the movie. I guess serialized comics are a much different shape than a 2 hour movie. I know Alan Moore also hated the movie. The comics are less about the people organizing to overthrow the government and more about vengeance and anarchy. The government men in the comics in general had more nuance (although I couldn’t keep them all straight), and it was disappointing that two of the five female characters in the comics didn’t get to be in the movie. Moore and Lloyd’s comic was interesting in that it came out in the 80s and 90s and it had more than just one type of woman. It’s not perfect, but it’s surprisingly good in it’s female representation. Also the oppressive authoritarian government thing, unfortunately still relevant. One more thing, but it’s a spoiler. Read More: SPOILERS AHEAD

I’m not sure I can forgive V for torturing Evey, even if it was to teach her something, “to free her” from the oppression in her mind, even if she forgave him. However, I’m not sure the comics really ask me to forgive him. The movie does, and I think that’s why I’ve always felt weird about it. But in the comics, I don’t feel like I’m asked to excuse V’s behavior. He’s not a good guy. He’s bringing down an oppressive regime, yes, but he’s not noble. Or at least, that was my interpretation.


3.5/5 Guy Fawkes masks

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! Read The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine for an in-depth look at conflict in the region. Read Felix Ever After for a heartwarming LGBTQIA+ love story. Read Light from Uncommon Stars for a warm hug of a book that deals with LGBTQIA+ themes. Read Mother Clap’s Molly House to learn more about gay and lesbian history in England. Read Lady Tan’s Circle of Women for an empowering tale of women in Imperial China.

Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQIA+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.

December 2023 Books and End of Year Roundup

End of Year Roundup

StoryGraph book total: 120 (includes all books, new and reread, and the two Seanan McGuire short stories)

Number of pages read this year: 44,021 (hours listened to audiobooks converted to pages)

Number of new books read this year: 98 (I did not count the two Seanan McGuire short stories on my spreadsheet)

Number of books reread this year: 20

Number of books by women, trans, and nonbinary people read this year (only counting new books read): 68

Number of books by BIPOC this year (only including new books read): 28

Number of books by disabled authors this year (only including new books read)*: 1

*This can only include authors I know are disabled. More on the list could be and I might not know. Definite room for improvement in this category!

Breakdown by genre (only counting new books read)
-Fiction: 76 (fantasy: 41; science fiction: 7; YA: 7*; historical fiction: 5; classics: 4; literary fiction: 4; thriller: 2; dystopian: 1; graphic novel: 1; mystery: 1; romance: 1; children’s literature: 1)
-Nonfiction: 21 (essays: 4; memoir: 4; true crime: 3; art: 2; biography: 2; graphic format: 2; reference: 2; autobiography: 1; history: 1)
-Poetry: 1
-Play: 1

*Many of the fantasy, sci-fi, and historical fiction books I read were also in the YA age range.

First book of the year: Greywaren by Maggie Stiefvater

Last book of the year: Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Most read author of the year: David Mitchell (8 books) and Rick Riordan (8 books)

Best books of the year (in no particular order; not including rereads):
Greywaren by Maggie Stiefvater
The World We Make by N.K. Jemisin
A Fire Endless by Rebecca Ross
Babel by R.F. Kuang
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty
Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo
Atalanta by Jennifer Saint
Yellowface by R.F. Kuang
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
Starling House by Alix E. Harrow (below)
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (below)
Ithaca by Claire North (below)

Worst books of the year:
The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki Shikibu
Friday by Robert Heinlein (apologies to my father)

Books I didn’t finish:
Gideon the Ninth by Tasmyn Muir

December Books Reread

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Book 1 of 5 Heroes of Olympus
I remember the first time I read this book, I was a little disappointed because Percy isn’t in it and I missed him as a narrator. But rereading it, I was happy to return to getting to know Jason, Leo, and Piper, who I had grown to love throughout the series. This is the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series, which follows the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. This book follows Jason Grace, who wakes up on a bus with Piper and Leo with no memory of who he is. He, Piper, and Leo, all half-bloods, end up at Camp Half Blood where they must go on a quest to save Hera, queen of the gods, get Jason’s memory back, and maybe figure out where Percy Jackson disappeared to. It is excellent. I love that the Aphrodite kids finally get a redemption hero in Piper.
4/5 baseball-bat-wielding satyrs

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Book 2 of 5 Heroes of Olympus
And Percy’s back! This book follows Percy as he wakes up missing his own memory and must make his way to Camp Jupiter, a camp for Roman demigods. He meets Frank and Hazel and learns of the disappearance of Jason Grace from Camp Jupiter. Percy, Hazel, and Frank must go on their own quest and unite Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter for the impending fight with Gaia, foretold in the Great Prophesy. I love Frank and Hazel so much, so it was nice to reread this one.
4.5/5 gold-eating horses

New Books Read

The Helsinki Affair by Anna Pitoniak*
Do you ever binge-read things not because you like them but just because you want to? I didn’t think this book was amazing, but that did not stop me from reading it in like two days just because I wanted to spend the whole weekend reading. It’s a thriller. I’m realizing I don’t really like thrillers. CIA agent (whose name I can’t remember) gets a tip that an American politician is about to be assassinated, but her superiors don’t believe the tip. When the American politician dies, she is pulled into a Russian plot to destabilize the US, and the more she learns, the more she suspects her father, a former CIA agent, is somehow wrapped up in the intrigue, relating back to something that happened when he was stationed in Helsinki when she was just a child. The characters were pretty flat; the plot was reasonably entertaining. I kept waiting for a twist that didn’t really come, and the ending didn’t feel totally wrapped up. But it was okay.
3/5 Russian oligarchs

Starling House by Alix E. Harrow
**Book Hangover Alert
This book was the spooky vibes I was looking for when I read The Stranger Upstairs. Opal is a young woman just trying to take care of her younger brother after the death of their mother in a small town slowly being poisoned by the nearby power plant. Out of desperation and strange curiosity, Opal takes a job as a housekeeper for the town’s most mysterious young man at the local haunted house. But Opal will learn there’s much more to the house, the young man, the town, and her own past than she ever knew. It was delightful. I loved Opal and her found family and the house and the spooky vibes.
5/5 spooky creatures

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins***
**Book Hangover Alert
*This book includes only straight white cis people
Prequel to the Hunger Games Series
CW: war, death, oppression
This book somehow ended up with all three designations. Yes, it only includes straight, white cis people, but I think it is at least partly intentional, as it supports the repressive society Collins is creating. And I still believe this is a book that will help improve your social consciousness, despite that lack of diversity. Collins writes an incisive critique of war, fascism, and the sensationalization of news and reality TV. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a young Coriolanus Snow growing up in the Capital and shows how his involvement in the development of the Hunger Games leads to the games we see in the Hunger Games trilogy 64 years later. I know this book came out in 2020 and Collins probably wasn’t explicitly basing it on the Israel/Palestine conflict (and let’s face it, there are many authoritarian regimes to be inspired by–not least her explicit Roman Empire references), but it’s impossible not to draw parallels between the propaganda of Israel and the outsized reaction of the Israeli military following the October 7th Hamas attack. As the United States slides toward fascism, I feel like Collins was like, “You guys apparently didn’t get it when I wrote the first three Hunger Games books, so here’s another one. Do you get it now?!”
5/5 sponsors

Reading Pictures by Alberto Manguel
I read this in preparation for a class I’m going to teach in the spring. It is a series of essays about how to interpret art. It was fascinating and I enjoyed it very much. I plan to use several of the essays as readings for my class.
4/5 paintings

Zeroville by Steve Erickson
**Book Hangover Alert
CW: child abuse
I don’t even know how to write a review for this book. It was very weird. In a good way. Movie fanatic Vikar moves to LA in 1969 to work in the movies. He works as a set builder and movie editor and through dreams and the movies he sees, begins to make a momentous discovery. Vikar read as an autistic character to me, and I thought that was well done. I also liked the way Erikson played with form in this novel, from the chapter breaks and numeration, and the way his scenes sometimes read like individual frames in a movie. Wild.
4/5 movies

Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa***
**Book Hangover Alert
CW: sexual assault, oppression, war, abuse, torture
If you’re looking to learn more about Palestine, but not really feeling history/nonfiction books, this is a great choice. The story follows Nahr, a Palestinian growing up in Kuwait, where her parents fled to from Palestine, and her journey to return to Palestine and work for the freedom of her homeland. The prose was lovely; Nahr’s journey from thoughtless teen to mature woman was beautifully done. And I also feel like a learned a lot about the Palestinian conflict, without having to read history.
4.5/5 dances

The Kingdom of Sweets by Erika Johansen*
This retelling of The Nutcracker was fun for December. It was deliciously dark and I really enjoyed it. Clara and Natasha are twins, blessed or cursed at birth by their godfather Herr Drosselmeyer, Clara to be light and Natasha to be dark. The sisters grow up and apart with these designations coloring all their relationships. The Christmas they turn seventeen, Herr Drosselmeyer returns with enchanted gifts: a nutcracker and a clown that seem to be more than just toys. That night the girls cross into the Kingdom of Sweets, and Natasha takes the chance to seize her own destiny. I was just a little disappointed there was no Mouse King in this retelling. I love a good Mouse King.
3.5/5 sweets

Ithaca by Claire North
**Book Hangover Alert
Book 1 of 3 House of Odysseus
You know me, I’m a sucker for a Greek myth retelling, especially a feminist one. This book tells the story of Penelope, wife of Odysseus, as she waited twenty long years for his return. If this is a story you think you know, you’ve never heard it told by Hera, queen of the gods. I loved it. It was excellent. I’m excited to read the rest of the books.
5/5 warrior women

Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson*
Book 1 of 7 Kingdom Keepers
I’ve been meaning to read these for a long time. They’re fun for us crazy Disney nerds. Finn and four other kids are chosen to be holographic hosts at the Walt Disney World parks. But the kids quickly learn that it wasn’t just a quick acting job; every night when they go to sleep, they wake up as holographs in the Magic Kingdom. They must work together to save the park from the forces of evil. It’s fun. It’s not amazing or anything. But a quick, easy read.
3.5/5 Small World dolls

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
**Book Hangover Alert
Book 1 of 2 Six Crimson Cranes
And we go out with a bang! My last book of the year was excellent, thanks for asking. This book has everything; a beautiful map, a lush, Asian-inspired fantasy world, evil enchanters, magic, dragons, a plucky young heroine, and just a little sprinkling of romance. I adored it. Shiori is dreading her betrothal, but she’s got bigger problems. Magic has been banned in Kiata, and Shiori has a natural talent. After Shiori learns her stepmother is also an enchantress, her stepmother curses her and her six brothers and banishes them to the outskirts of the empire. Shiori must figure out how to break the curse and save her kingdom.
4.5/5 paper birds

*This book only includes straight, white, cis people.

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! First a caveat: I have decided that simply having queer people and/or people of color in a book is not enough to qualify it for the Books for a Social Conscience distinction. That sets the bar too low. So while in the past I would have included The Heroes of Olympus books, Starling House, Ithaca, and Six Crimson Cranes, I will not be including them in the new system. We love representation! Don’t get me wrong, but honestly at this point if you don’t have queer people and/or people of color in your book, like what are you doing? I will now be including a new designation: *This book only includes straight, white, cis people.

Anyway, read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes for a critique of fascism, war, and media. Read Against the Loveless World to learn more about the Israel/Palestine conflict, particularly how it affects women.

Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQIA+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.

November 2023 Books

Books Reread

Disney Hyperion

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 5 of 5
**Book Hangover Alert
The thrilling conclusion! These books were so good. I am so excited for the new TV show.
5/5 pegasi

BBC

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare*
Yes, I read it again even though I read it last month. I listened to the BBC radio play version this time. Still stellar.
4/5 love flowers

New Books Read

Ways of Seeing by John Berger
It’s Nonfiction November apparently. I read this book in preparation for a class I’m going to teach in the spring about the connection between image and text, or art and writing. It was fabulous. It’s quite old, but still relevant.
4/5 visual essays

Graphic UniverseTM

Artie and the Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens
This was the big library book club book, so they had unlimited e-copies for people to borrow. So obviously I got it and read it too. Artie is a teen struggling with all the regular teen things with her single mom when she discovers she’s a werewolf just like her mom. Suddenly, she has to deal with school and friendships and also learning to use her powers and staying safe from vampires. It’s a graphic novel so it’s a pretty light easy read. It was enjoyable. I don’t have a ton to say about it. I’m not in the target audience of young queer black girls, who I think will really love this book. For me I thought the author could have gone farther in developing the theme of community and its importance in African American society.
3/5 werewolves

Penguin Books Limited

That Summer Feeling by Bridget Morrissey
This was fun. At a weeklong summer camp for adults, Garland must heal from the hurt of her divorce in order to discover the truth about herself and open herself to new queer love. It’s pretty simple and predictable, but I guess that’s what people want with romance books. I don’t read a ton of romance books unless they’re queer.
3/5 camp t-shirts

Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel by Lisa Cron
I read this for a fiction class I’m taking for my MFA program. I usually hate books like this. I don’t really believe that anyone can teach you how to write. They can teach you how they write, but you have to figure out what strategies work for you. I thought Cron had some useful things to say about story and your main character’s driving misbelief and how the inner story (the change the main character goes through) drives the plot. When she gets to the parts about outlining all the scenes, I experience my regular frustration at these books, though. I hate writing really in depth outlines because it makes me not excited to actually write the book because I already know everything about the story. I like writing to discover the story, not figuring everything out before I start. Maybe this isn’t as efficient as Cron’s system and I don’t have a book deal to prove my way works, so I could be wrong. But I don’t think I’ll be adopting all of Cron’s strategies.
2.5/5 scene cards

Abrams Books

Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day by Peter Ackroyd***
I read this hoping to learn more about queer London in the nineteenth century. Ackroyd’s history spans London’s queer history from the Romans until the 2010s. It was actually almost overwhelming how much information was in this book. I had planned to just read the section on the nineteenth century, but it was so fun, I read the whole thing. The main takeaway I think from Ackroyd’s book is that there have always been queer people, in London and elsewhere, and even if they would not define themselves with the words and categories we use today, these feelings and preferences aren’t new. It does make me quite sad though how much queer history is suppressed.
3.5/5 dancing boys

Fantagraphics

Palestine by Joe Sacco***
If you’re one of the many people right now trying to educate yourself on the Israel/Palestine conflict, this is a great primer. Sacco, a Maltese American, is a graphic journalist who visited Palestine in late 1991 and early 1992, trying to himself understand the conflict. What I like about Sacco is his honesty. He has no illusions about what he’s there to do. He’s looking for a story, for anything good for the comic. He’s suspicious and questions everything. He tries to unravel the complicated history and current situation by sharing the stories of many Palestinians, and even a few Israelis.
3.5/5 olive trees

Little, Brown

How Far the Light Reaches by Sabrina Imbler***
**Book Hangover Alert
CW: eating disorders
This book was stunning and gorgeous. The ten lyrical personal essays each explore a different sea creature and through that creature, one facet of Imbler’s life. The metaphors aren’t gimmicky or trite, but are truly insightful and thought provoking. I read this because someone had recommended one of the essays as something I could use in my class that I’m designing, but it was so good that I had to read the whole book. I aspire to write essays like these.
4.5/5 salps

Disney Electronic Content

The Curse of the Specter Queen byJenny Elder Moke*
Book 1 of 2 Samantha Knox Series
This book was so fun. Definitely one of my lighter reads this month. Samantha Knox works in an antique bookstore repairing old books in the 1920s. When a mysterious package arrives followed by some sinister men that burn down her shop looking for the package, Sam is catapulted into an adventure trying to solve an archeological mystery and stop those who want to bring about the Curse of the Specter Queen. Full of Gaelic and Celtic folklore and a sparkling cast of characters, this book gave me the escape I needed. My only quibble is that Bennet was kind of a stuffed shirt.
4/5 antique books

Penguin Random House Canada

A History of my Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt***
Another book of essays, Belcourt examines the unique experience of being First Nations and queer in Canada. His essays are not only personal essays, but bring in theory and his deep reflections. Belcourt is also a poet and his style is interesting, both lyrical and academic as he tries to puzzle out how to live in this world.
3.5/5 queer bodies

Profile

Palestinian Walks: Forays Into a Vanishing Landscape by Raja Shehadeh***
Another good one for those trying to learn more about Palestine. Shehadeh, a lawyer and human rights activist, takes readers on six walks through the hills of Palestine from 1978 to 2006. He reflects on the changing landscape, noticing new Israeli settlements and roads and new laws that prevent him from walking where he once did. Though his walks have become increasingly dangerous, it is so clear that Shehadeh is deeply connected to the land, and I feel his love for it as a reader. Reading about the destroyed ecosystems and now inaccessible walking routes, I feel great sadness for Shehadeh’s land. The policies the Israeli government used to take Palestinian land are eerily similar to the way American settlers took Native American land, claiming that no one was using or cultivating the land, when that was not true, and then mismanaging the land and causing its degradation. Shehadeh is from Ramullah in the West Bank, whereas Sacco focused on Gaza, so it was nice to read both to understand the two different areas and the way people live in each. The West Bank is a patchwork of ever increasing Israeli settlements, interspersed with Palestinian villages. Gaza is a concentration camp.
4/5 walks

*This book only includes straight, white, cis people.

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! First a caveat: I have decided that simply having queer people and/or people of color in a book is not enough to qualify it for the Books for a Social Conscience distinction. That sets the bar too low. So while in the past I would have included Artie and the Wolf Moon and That Summer Feeling, I will not be including them in the new system. We love representation! Don’t get me wrong, but honestly at this point if you don’t have queer people and/or people of color in your book, like what are you doing? I will now be including a new designation: *This book only includes straight, white, cis people.

Anyway, read Queer City to learn about how queerness has always existed and been part of history. Read Palestine to learn more about the Israel/Palestine conflict. Read How Far the Light Reaches to discover more queer, non-white perspectives. Read A History of My Brief Body to understand how Canada’s colonialism still affects Native populations, especially queer Natives. Read Palestinian Walks to learn more about the Israel/Palestine conflict, specifically in how it relates to the land.

Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQIA+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.

October 2023 Books

Books Reread

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang***
**Book Hangover Alert
Lots of rereading this month. I reread Kuang’s Yellowface, even though I just read it in May, because Kuang came to speak to my MFA cohort. She was fabulous. So smart and so kind. This book was also just as good the second time. I really admire how Kuang created the character of June–someone who we don’t like, who is not a good person, but is still compelling and complicated, and I have to keep reading about. (About the photo, Kuang told us in one of her chats with my MFA cohort that one of the early design drafts of the book had a maneki neko on the back cover, which is not relevant at all to the story. They’re Japanese, not Chinese, but I guess maybe the designers were like ‘they’re stereotypically Asian? And the book is about Asian stereotypes as perceived by white people?’)
5/5 angry tweets

Audible

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 4 of 5
This is the Percy Jackson book that I remembered the least about. It was nice to reread it and get to see more of Rachel Elizabeth Dare and Tyson.
3.5/5 hundred handed ones

St. Martin’s Griffin

Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston***
**Book Hangover Alert
Still gay. Still slaps. You can read my original review in the January 2021 blog. I wanted to reread this after seeing the movie, which I think Amazon Prime did a great job with. Of course a lot of the details are missing–there’s only so much of a 400 page book you can put in a 2 hour movie. I was sad Alex’s sister June disappeared, but she was kind of combined with Nora. I was also a little sad the movie cut the Rafael Luna subplot and much of Henry’s family drama. But my biggest beef with the movie, I think, is that the president wasn’t divorced. I really appreciated the family dynamics in the book.
5/5 historical love letters

*A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
The project I’m writing for NaNoWriMo this year is a retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream set in a high school a la She’s the Man and 10 Things I Hate About You. So I reread the play. A Midsummer Night’s Dream involves many couples and a lot of confusion as Oberon, king of the faeries and his sidekick Puck do a little matchmaking that doesn’t go quite as planned. I don’t think this is Shakespeare’s best comedy, but it is still great and it’s the first Shakespeare story I remember reading. I also saw it performed at the Globe in London and it was most excellent. So I had fun reading it and underlining good lines and being inspired for my NaNo project.
4/5 faeries

New Books Read

Macmillan Publishers

Teach the Torches to Burn by Caleb Roehrig
Part of the Remixed Classics series
In the realm of Shakespeare retellings is this Romeo and Juliet retelling. It’s unfortunately not set in a high school, but is set in the original time and place. The story follows Romeo, who is gay in this version, and explores the question of controlling one’s own destiny. I enjoyed it. It wasn’t how I would have done an R&J retelling, but that is okay. I did really like that Juliet was ace. One thing I struggle with in Shakespeare adaptations is the language. In my opinion the best options are: 1) keep Shakespeare’s language no matter what else you change (this is why Baz Luhrman’s R&J works and the 2013 movie with Hailee Steinfeld does not) or 2) stick to contemporary language (see She’s the Man, 10 things I Hate About You, and Rosaline). Where the Hailee Steinfeld movie goes wrong is by not using Shakespeare’s words, but still trying to use some kind of old fashioned language. It’s just bad. This novel I felt did try a to sound a little old fashioned in its prose which really bothered me during the first half. I eventually got used to it, but I thought Roehrig should have just stuck with a more contemporary voice.
3.5/5 torches

Audible

*Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
CW: murder, gore, body horror
I love an Erik Larson history book. Thunderstruck follows the development of Guglielmo Marconi’s wireless communication technology, interwoven with the story of Hawley Crippen, a mild-mannered doctor who becomes an unlikely murderer. Larson seamlessly weaves these two seemingly disparate stories together. I wasn’t as interested in all the technical discussion of Marconi’s invention, but Larson does do a pretty good job of making it understandable for those of us who don’t know much about science or technology.
3.5/5 wireless messages

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
Legends and Lattes book 1
This book has been described as a warm hug of a book, and that is 100% correct. Leaving a life of adventuring, Viv opens a coffee shop in a city that’s never heard of coffee before. With her newfound friends, she has to learn to solve problems without her sword. I just adored it. I love a good found family trope. I love a low stakes reading experience. I love two strong independent women falling in love.
5/5 cups of coffee

*The Stranger Upstairs by Lisa M. Matlin
CW: alcoholism, murder, depression, anxiety
This was my Book of the Month for September and I must say I was disappointed. I’m in general not much of a thriller reader but I thought I’d try it. It sounded spooky and fun for autumn. It was not really that spooky and not really fun. I also wouldn’t say I found myself ‘thrilled.’ Sarah Slade and her husband move into a spooky murder house with the intention of fixing it up and selling it. But Sarah’s Instagram perfect life isn’t perfect IRL. Her marriage is failing and it seems like the house doesn’t want to be fixed. The main character is really unlikable, and while I don’t think that’s a problem in and of itself (see June from Yellowface above), I didn’t find the main character compelling in any way. I didn’t care if she lived or died. I didn’t care if anyone in the story lived or died (except for the cat! I was concerned when the cat almost died). One more complaint which is a spoiler: Read More: SPOILERS AHEAD

I also didn’t feel like Matlin actually decided what the deal with the house was. Was the house actually alive and driving people crazy? Or was it just carbon monoxide poisoning? Instead of the ending feeling ambiguous and open for the reader, it just felt like Matlin didn’t make a decision.


2.5/5 poisoned cats

Tor Publishing Group

In Mercy, Rain by Seanan McGuire
Wayward Children companion
This isn’t a novel, it’s a short story companion to the Wayward Children books, but I’m including it on the blog anyway. I usually grab one of the Wayward Children books from the library every time I don’t have anything to read on Libby because my holds won’t be in for a few weeks. But this time I discovered I’ve read all the Wayward Children books that are currently published. So I checked out this short story and the next one. This one is a story about Jack, one of our enduring favorite characters from the series, and it explores her training with Dr. Bleak and her meeting Alexis.
3/5 lightning strikes

Tor Publishing Group

Skeleton Song by Seanan McGuire
Wayward Children companion
I’m so glad McGuire wrote this because I’ve been wondering about Mariposa ever since we met Christopher in the first book. I always love exploring new worlds with McGuire’s characters, and this little tidbit was so fun.
3/5 bones

Dutton Books

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green***
**Book Hangover Alert
The Carls book 2 of 2
I had to stop in the middle of this one because it returned itself to the library, but I finally finished it! I really enjoyed this book, possibly even more than the first one, though to be fair, I didn’t remember the first one amazingly well (I read the wikipedia page on the first one before I read this one). I liked the examination of power and technology. I liked the found family trope and all the characters (except Andy was a little annoying sometimes).
4/5 alien presences

**Book Hangover Alert indicates the kind of book that will leave you full up on love. Satisfied, but wishing the book never had to end. You’ll be laying on the floor with no idea what to do with yourself (other friends have called this feeling Good Book Depression or say that certain books necessitate Floor Time). This is the kind of book that gets its teeth in you and won’t let go easily. After the last page you’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. You’ll bother all your friends trying to get them to read it so that you won’t be alone in your Hangover.

***This book is part of my Books for a Social Conscience series! First a caveat: I have decided that simply having queer people and/or people of color in a book is not enough to qualify it for the Books for a Social Conscience distinction. That sets the bar too low. So while in the past I would have marked Teach the Torches to Burn, Legends & Lattes, and the Wayward Children stories, I am not counting them under the new system. We love representation! Don’t get me wrong, but honestly at this point if you don’t have queer people and/or people of color in your book, like what are you doing? I will now be including a new designation: *This book only includes straight, white, cis people.

Anyway, read Yellowface for a nuanced look at anti-Asian racism and racism in general in the publishing industry. Read Red, White, & Royal Blue not only for LGBTQIA+ representation, but also for how those identities interact with life in the public sphere. Read A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor to explore technology, power, and privilege.

Reads marked as part of the Books for a Social Conscience series will regularly address topics like race and racism, colonialism and post-colonialism, LGBTQIA+ experience, feminism, BIPOC experience, social and political issues, history, identity, class, disability experience, immigration, gun violence, poverty, colorism, environmentalism, and more! The goal of these books is to diversify the stories we’re reading, grow our empathy for those who are different from us, and amplify voices who are often silenced.

*This book only includes straight, white, cis people.

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