welcome to January, again; 1.8.20

We’re still in January, I guess!! My absolutely least favorite month! I actually really like New Year’s, and symbolically January as a beginning makes me feel very relieved [despite the absolute garbage happening in the world right now] but as you know, I live in Minnesota, so I spend most of January feeling like my eyeballs are going to freeze right out of my face. So if someone wants to transplant my entire life to Arizona, maybe I’ll like January more! However, the first two books I read in 2020 are great and I’m excited to talk about them!

Welcome to Lagos – Chibundu Onuzo

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I absolutely loved the characters in this book, particularly the five-person band of down-on-their luck strangers who latch onto each other for both survival and family. Chike, Yẹmi, Isoken, Fineboy, and Oma find each other early in the book and become the optimistic heart of the novel, surrounded as they are by cynicism and schemes. Together they’re just trying to survive in Lagos, but when their paths cross an embezzling politician on the run they all have a chance to discover a new sense of purpose. Every person in this book feels instantly and recognizably layered, real, and impossible not to root for.

I do think it either needed to be 50 pages shorter or about 150 pages longer, and I know that’s a wide span, but something about the pacing just didn’t quite work for me. There’s an extended section about two-thirds of the way through in which a character leaves Lagos and while I liked what it meant for that character, its function in the plot felt a bit roundabout, which I think might have gone differently for me if Onuzo had expanded the world of the book.

That being said, I really liked it and would recommend it. In some ways it reminded me of the movie Parasite, which came out this year and is excellently fun and devastating; they’re both stories about surviving in cities divided by capitalism into the extremely wealthy and extremely poor and they both feature characters who stick in your heart.

tw: sexual assault, discussions of past domestic abuse

Blitzed – Alexa Martin


As has become my pattern with Alexa Martin books, I picked this one up to read “just a little bit” before carrying on with the rest of the day’s plans, but then ended up cancelling the rest of the day’s plans (which, to be fair, was just going to a movie with myself, so really everyone won here) to blast through the whole thing in one day.

I expected this to be more of an “enemies to lovers” read [my catnip], but it turned out to be more of a “friends to lovers” story, which, while not being as much of an immediate “LET’S GO” for me, was very compelling. Brynn Larson and Maxwell Lewis do not start out this book on the best of terms; despite crushing on each other for years, a poorly timed incident at the end of Fumbled sets their relationship off on the wrong foot. If you’ve read Intercepted and/or Fumbled (both of which I highly recommend!) you know Brynn as the close friend of those heroines and owner of the bar they frequent, and Maxwell as the professional football teammate of the heroes.

The love story that develops between the two of the them is very sweet and earned, and I have absolutely mind-cast Brynn’s dad as Enrico Colantoni, Best TV Dad. As with the other books in this series, there’s a bit of ~intrigue~ throughout that I did feel was resolved a bit too quickly at the end, but the part I really cared about is the relationships between not just the love interests but the community around them, which is so rich and warm that they trick me into feeling that if I moved to Denver I would somehow be able to meet these fictional characters and become friends with them.

tw: discussions of past sexual assault

Stay warm out there, and go see Parasite!

shut up about the decade!!; 1.1.20

Maybe now that we’re finally in the 20s, we can stop talking about them!!

But keep talking about books!

This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor – Susan Wicklund

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This book starts powerfully, with Wicklund nervously preparing to tell her grandmother about her work as an abortion provider. Her “confession” sparks one from her grandmother, a harrowing story of life when reproductive care wasn’t merely inaccessible, but not even spoken of. With that framing, Wicklund goes back to the beginning of her story, detailing how she became an abortion doctor and the challenges and joys of her career. She describes the exhaustion, the difficult decisions, and the nightmarish harassment from anti-abortion activists (including stalking and death threats). It’s a pretty straightforward, no-frills memoir, with some historical context filling out Wicklund’s personal story. There were a couple of instances in which Wicklund expressed a bit of judginess towards patients whose choices she disagreed with, which made me uncomfortable, but on the whole I’m glad I read it.

TW: references to rape and incest

An Offer from a Gentleman – Julia Quinn


Con: there is very little Colin in this book
Pro: we do get to know Lady Bridgerton and the other Bridgerton girls a bit more, and they seem much more sensible and interesting than Daphne
Con: Benedict

As you may remember, my experience with the Bridgerton books has resembled a rollercoaster, with a thumbs-down for the first and a thumbs-up for the second. And this one……is also a thumbs-down for me. Lots of romance novels start on terms that are perhaps not conducive to a healthy relationships–blackmail, entrapment, mutual loathing, etc. And I can get into that! The fun is seeing how a skilled writer can take those circumstances and make them something engaging that we feel good about rooting for. And while Quinn is certainly a skilled, engaging writer…I did not feel good about rooting for this pairing, and was in fact rooting for Sophie to get away from Benedict.

The story of the second-eldest Bridgerton and Sophie Beckett, the illegitimate daughter of a count (? I don’t remember), starts as a fairly straight-forward Cinderella retelling, with a heavy emphasis on love at first sight, which doesn’t really do it for me. The story then flashes-forward, to Benedict rescuing Sophie from an attempted rape and then not realizing she’s the mysterious woman he danced with two years ago The two discover a mutual attraction, but Sophie is a servant and determined not to be Benedict’s mistress, which he doesn’t take particularly well. Halfway through the book, AFTER he’s decided he simply can’t live without her, Benedict decides to blackmail Sophie. How sexy and fun! As I mentioned up top, stories about blackmail aren’t out of the question for me, but they need to be before the characters are in love, part of the seemingly impossible circumstances the couple is trying to overcome.

So…yeah. If I wasn’t already halfway in love with Colin, who mercifully gets the next book, I would consider quitting the series, but…..COLIN.

TW: attempted rape, also Quinn still seems to have some weird weight/appearance stuff happening? ugh.

Bunny – Mona Awad


Samantha Mackey, our narrator and protagonist, is lonely and frustrated in her MFA fiction writing program. She has writer’s block, her advisor is avoiding her, and oh right, the other members of her cohort are four sickly-sweet, sycophantic women who all call each other ‘Bunny.’ She has one friend outside of the program, but she spends most of her time in claustrophobic workshops, talking at length about “The Body,” among other MFA buzzwords. But then she’s invited to join the clique, and everything changes, by which I mean SHIT GOES ABSOLUTELY WILD.

The amount of times I screeched or gutturally whispered, “fucking WHAT” while reading this probably can’t be quantified in human numbers. Just a heads up, this book gets gory, but in a very prettified way? It has a very unique tone, and unique relationship to ~reality~, which took awhile for me to adjust to. If you’re a “fairytales made dark” person, this is DEFINITELY the book for you, and if you aren’t this book might turn you into one. Awad’s language and imagery are incredibly rich and I hope she keeps writing more fucked-up stories for me to read. (She’s also written another novel called 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, which I haven’t read yet but have heard great things about.)

If, like me, you get to the end of this and IMMEDIATELY need to hear people talk about it, this episode of The Librarian Is In discusses it in spoilery detail, and also Maris Kreizman interviewed Mona Awad on The Maris Review, which isn’t spoilery but which I definitely understood more after having read the book.

Okay! I hope no one tries to engage you in Decade Discourse!!

best of 2019

Whew. Y’all this year has wiped me out, and this fall in particular. I really really hope to get back into my weekly groove in 2020, but until then really all I have left for this year is my ‘best of’ list, and unlike last year I think I’m just going to straight up list them and not add anything but links to where I initially talked about them. I also made a fun picture because that seemed cool:

These are only in the order in which I read them, and most of them didn’t actually come out in 2019:

  1. Rainbirds – Clarissa Goenawan
  2. Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi
  3. Men We Reaped – Jesmyn Ward
  4. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life – Samantha Irby
  5. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race – Robin DiAngelo
  6. The Door – Magda Szabó
  7. A Scandalous Deal – Joanna Shupe
  8. America Is Not the Heart – Elaine Castillo
  9. Parable of the Sower – Octavia E. Butler
  10. Home Fire – Kamila Shamsie
  11. So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
  12. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
  13. Intercepted – Alexa Martin
  14. Dread Nation – Justina Ireland
  15. Jane and Prudence – Barbara Pym
  16. Doomsday Book – Connie Willis
  17. Parable of the Talents – Octavia E. Butler
  18. Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century – Sam Kashner & Nancy Schoenberg
  19. Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower – Brittney Cooper
  20. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name – Audre Lorde
  21. How to Write an Autobiographical Novel – Alexander Chee
  22. Evvie Drake Starts Over – Linda Holmes
  23. The Wedding Party – Jasmine Guillory
  24. The Reckonings – Lacy M. Johnson
  25. Friday Black – Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
  26. The Last Thing He Wanted – Joan Didion
  27. The Governess Game – Tessa Dare
  28. Mostly Dead Things – Kristen Arnett
  29. Fleishman is in Trouble – Taffy Brodessor-Akner
  30. Red at the Bone – Jacqueline Woodson
  31. Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger – Rebecca Traister
  32. The Viscount Who Loved Me – Julia Quinn
  33. The Water Dancer – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  34. Goodbye, Vitamin – Rachel Khong
  35. Give Me Your Hand – Megan Abbott

Okay folks, that’s all for me for this year. Stay safe, stay warm, stay reading.

not a clean slate; 12.17.19

I don’t know how many times I can say “this fall has really eaten my lunch” but DAMNIT THIS FALL HAS EATEN MY LUNCH. I’m honestly very tired and every time I skip a week of this blog it means I have double the books to talk about for next week and if my books from the last two weeks weren’t so compelling I might honestly consider yelping “CLEAN SLATE” and pretending they didn’t exist. But! Fortunately/Unfortunately for me….most of them were fantastic and one of them wasn’t fantastic in such fascinating ways that I simply must speak on it.

So, deep breaths….and diving….

In at the Deep End – Kate Davies

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….see what I did there?

Julia, our protagonist, starts the book determined to end her 3 year ~dry spell~, which leads to a discovery that she much prefers women to men. She thusly embarks on a journey of not just sexual awakening, but awakening into community and purpose. The book is very funny and insightful; I had several cackles and several “oh SHIT” moments. Structurally it does wander a bit and didn’t quite seem able to effectively tie together all the plot threads it was trying to, but it’s very entertaining and touching and quite sexual* all at the same time, which is a difficult chord to strike and I’d love to read more of Davies’ work in the future.

*A quick couple notes before I move on to one of the heavier aspects of the book: this book does include some *ahem* visceral sexual descriptions, including several forms of kink. Separately, I wouldn’t say this book quite takes an uncharitable view of polyamory, but it’s not particularly charitable either, so if that’s something that might bother you, be aware!

Trigger warning: emotional abuse, self-harm

The book teeters on whether the relationship between Julia and Sam, her first girlfriend, is abusive or “merely” “toxic.” To be clear, what I mean by this is that I strongly come down on the side of it being abusive — Sam frequently gaslights and attempts to control Julia, intentionally isolates her from friends and family, and clearly manipulates her. To me, that’s textbook abuse. And I think the narrative mostly agrees with me, but there are a couple moments near the end that subtly undermine that agreement. [Also, I’ve gained a lot from the Dear Prudence podcast, hosted by Daniel Lavery, where he frequently talks about our societal tendency to use the word ‘toxic’ without any grounded definition. I love the podcast and I’ve learned a lot from it and I highly recommend!]

Royal Holiday – Jasmine Guillory

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2019 may have been trash in many ways, but we did get TWO Jasmine Guillory books in one year, so there’s some redemption! This book features Vivian Forest, the charming mother of Maddie from The Wedding Party, as she accompanies Maddie on a last minute work trip to England to style an unnamed-but-certainly-definitely-Meghan-Markle royal for her Christmas events. While she’s there, Vivian — who has been prioritizing her family and work over romance for a long time — meets and falls for the Queen’s private secretary, Malcolm Hudson.

As with all Guillory books, this one was absolutely delicious. The plot did feel a bit less built out than her other books, and this is probably just a personal preference but the ‘holiday fling that turns into something more serious’ trope kind of stresses me out, but I will never pass up an opportunity to spend more time in Guillory’s world of kind, funny people trying their best and thoughtfully examining the roles love and work play in our lives.

The Testaments – Margaret Atwood


Holy unnecessary sequel, Batman!! I can’t think of a gentle way to start talking about this book, so what I’ll say is this book is what might happen if someone took a hard long look at what really worked well about The Handmaid’s Tale and said “okay but what if we did the opposite of that?” A thing you should understand about this book is that it’s much less a sequel to the 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale than it is a companion novel to the Hulu adaptation show The Handmaid’s Tale, and as such has a whole bunch of corniness, confusing world-building, and hard hitting questions that no one was asking, such as “what if Aunt Lydia was good, actually?” This book is what would happen if the author of a revolutionary text about the natural result about white supremacy and rape culture started standing with a colleague accused of sexual harassment

What I will say for the book is that Atwood remains a skilled and engaging writer, capable of making even a deeply flawed narrative feel alive. This is going to sound dark, but I think both this book and the show are too invested in hope. I’ve stopped watching the show because I lost patience with it, but they’re both insistent on chronicling the beginning of the end of Gilead, which puts its longevity at oh, about 20 years, which makes it seem like an extreme blip rather than part of history’s long arc of white supremacy and misogyny. 

tw: sexual assault, suicide

Goodbye, Vitamin – Rachel Khong

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Somehow this book was exactly the right thing I needed to read in the middle of a hectic schedule darkened by some winter blues. Not only is it a short book, it’s written in journal-style vignettes, chronicling the protagonist’s year of moving into her parents’ house at age 30 to assist in the care of her father. Ruth is still dealing with the breakup of a relationship she had wrapped her life around when her mother asks her to move home for a year. Her father has Alzheimer’s, and the book tenderly follows Ruth through the year as she both deepens and re-examines her relationship with her parents and brother.

It has a generous and observational sense of humor and takes an exquisite shift about a third of the way through. I do think it could have used about 50 more pages, because there was imbalance to me between the first half of Ruth’s year and the second half. However, through incredible skill on Khong’s part, a truly sparse number of pages feels like you’ve read much more than that, but in a good way. It doesn’t feel tiresome, it feels like you’ve known these characters for as long as they’ve known each other and care about them almost as much as they care about each other. 

Give Me Your Hand – Megan Abbott


I love, love, love a Megan Abbott book. Her writing is twisty and intense and thoughtful and page-turning. What makes reading her even better is that I discovered my love for her on the recommendation of my local librarian when I was in high school. While her depictions of teenage girls were not reflective of my own experiences, they sparked a love of suspense and twisty characters.

This book is her latest (from 2018) and examines the connection between two women when they’re teenagers and when they’re in their late 20s. It’s about ambition and secrets and friendship and envy and I almost don’t want to say more about it. Abbott knows how to turn a story on its head halfway through, and though a couple of the turns felt almost predictable, their consequences ripple in ways that stick with me more than a typical “gotcha!” might.

Also, Abbott created a spotify playlist for this book and it’s PERFECT and I’ll probably listen to it way more. ALSO also, there’s an adaptation of Abbott’s book Dare Me coming out on USA later this month and it looks EXCELLENT. This adaptation has been in various stages of development for years and I’m so excited that it’s finally happening. 

tw: suicide

That’s all for me! Next week I’m just putting out a list of my favorite books from this year and that’s all she wrote! Feel free to get in contact, via email or twitter or wherever if you’re seeking book recommendations for the coming holidays because that’s one of my greatest joys in life! Toodle loo!

wintertimes are here; 12.4.19

Hello there! I hope the weather is being nice to you, and that even if it’s not you’re getting to spend a lot of time cozy and reading.

The Viscount Who Loved Me – Julia Quinn


The second Bridgerton book! As I hoped, it delighted me more than the first did, despite a fly in the ointment that I’ll get into later. As with the first book, this features an extremely reluctant male protagonist, to the extent that it started to feel ridiculous less than halfway through. Anthony Bridgerton, the eldest of the Bridgertons and one of the four brothers that Daphne Bridgerton CANNOT STOP MENTIONING EVEN IN HER TINY CAMEO IN THIS BOOK, knows he needs to marry and produce heirs for the sake of his family but he rejects the idea of falling in love because of ~reasons~. Therefore, he sets his cap at the belle of this year’s balls, only to find her older sister, Kate, irresistible. 

I really enjoyed the chemistry between these two; I am weak for enemies-to-lovers and I am also weak for “comforting one another through terrifying experiences.” (trigger warning: you do find out later in the book that Kate definitely has a PTSD-like reaction to thunderstorms due to a buried memory of her mother’s death and the way that’s resolved is….bizarre.) I’m very excited to see this one in the Netflix series, and also to see the story of the third son, Colin, who seems absolutely adorable. I’m fairly certain I know who his love interest is, which leads me to the fly, which I really hope they don’t do in the show: there is a character who was in the first book and is described as having lost a great deal of weight between then and now, which is why she’s “””happier””” and I think my eyes rolled entirely out of my head when I read that.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer – Michelle McNamara


This book took the true crime world by storm last year, partly due to McNamara’s compelling and compassionate research and highly successful crime blog and partly due to the fact that the subject of the book was at last caught two months after the book’s release, but sadly after the author’s death. McNamara unexpectedly passed away in 2016 and the book, which she’d been researching and writing for years, was finished by her assistants and published posthumously. 

Trigger warning: the Golden State Killer was a serial rapist and murderer and the book details many of his crimes.

The Golden State Killer, a subject McNamara and many other amateur sleuths and law enforcement officers have obsessed over for years, proved impossible to catch for decades, having moved multiple times across California and using a number of strategies to ensure his safety. McNamara tracks both the history of the case and her own experiences with it; she’s thoughtful and inventive without too much extrapolation, and while she probably could have been a bit more victim-centered she’s open and reflective about why it is that this particular killer has proved mentally and emotionally inescapable for her. I liked this book, but I didn’t quite love it the way many did. One of the things that consistently bugged me throughout was how much McNamara (and her co-writers) seemed to valorize law enforcement. McNamara worked with a number of detectives and officers regularly, which is potentially why she shied away from getting into the many ways that police make life more dangerous for people of color, often re-traumatize survivors, and are frequently perpetrators of violent crimes themselves (the Golden State Killer himself turned out to be a former police officer). I’d encourage reading this piece about the true crime genre (and one podcast in particular).

The Water Dancer – Ta-Nehisi Coates


Okay so I expected this to be good, because Coates is an incredible writer. This is his first published novel, and after showing himself to be a fantastic essayist, memoirist, journalist, and graphic novelist, this book proves he’s also a superb novelist. 

I tend not to be much of a historical fiction person outside of romance novels, so though I planned on reading it and expected it to be good, I didn’t expect to be so thoroughly absorbed in it. It was one of those books that whenever I wasn’t actively reading it I was thinking about reading it, and though it’s a thick book the pages flew by. 

We meet our protagonist, Hiram Walker, as he’s drowning. When he mysteriously survives, he starts to notice the beginnings of an ability that could change not just his life but the lives of countless enslaved people. Hiram was born enslaved to the man who was also his biological father, and grew up serving his father and half-brother in pre-Civil War Virginia. There’s some brief flashback to his growing up, when we also meet many of the characters that his ability will affect. I don’t even want to say much more about it because GO READ IT. I really hope Coates writes more fiction in the future because he can write a sentence like nobody’s business, and the same is true for descriptions and characters. I’m usually not bothered by music with lyrics when I’m reading but for this I had to only listen to instrumentals because I didn’t want to be distracted even a little bit.

Trigger warning: sexual assault

Stay warm and stay reading things that make you happy!

flames, flames on the side of my face; 11.14.19

So a couple weeks ago I saw the movie Clue for the first time and, hot take: it’s a great movie! Just like, breathtakingly good, and I was so happy to finally have the context for this iconic moment, which also happens to coincide with this week’s books!

Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice


This book……content-wise starts at an 11 and then just skyrockets to 11 hundred all while remaining narrated by someone who’s constantly at a 2.5? I read it for reasons that honestly do not make any sense to me after having read it…something something ~pop culture~ something something Brad Pitt? Also because one of my favorite podcasts, Overdue, read it in 2017, and I’m trying to work through as much as their backcatalog as I can. So maybe if you’re interested in the book…..just listen to them talk about it??

Rice is a very prolific writer (often known for her erotica) but this may be the book of hers with the most cultural touchpoints, thanks in part to the 1994 movie adaptation. (Which I will….probably watch.) It literally is in the frame of an interview with a vampire, who tells this guy his life/unlife story, which prompted so many moments for me of “wow Stephanie Meyer really just…took a lot from this huh?” I can’t say that the narrator himself was very compelling — when a guy starts out as a plantation owner and then spends most of his life as a vampire feeling conflicted about causing and allowing death but never lifting a single finger to stop it….it’s nearly an impossible sell for me. The book also has a bonkers relationship to sex — it’s never explicit, but as the Overdue guys have a lot of fun saying, has a lot of ~sensuality~ some of which is very very uncomfortable!!

In conclusion…..what even is this book.

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger – Rebecca Traister

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I don’t know if a book has ever made me feel so angry and so validated at the same time!!! 

I read one of Traister’s other books, All the Single Ladies, right before starting this blog and loved it a lot. I’m constantly impressed by Traister’s writing, both in books and articles. She’s officially a journalist, but her books are deeply grounded in both history and critical theory while remaining accessibly readable (and she has a great sense of humor!) I was a bit concerned going into the first book that it was going to be mostly focused on white women, with a few sections narratively “off to the side” about women of color, but that is very much not Traister’s deal. In both books, she presents as full and inclusive an analysis as she can, matter-of-factly pointing out ways in which oppression intensifies for women of color and the ways that white women frequently leverage their proximity to white male privilege to intensify that oppression even more, while including the many ways that women of color have lead and pioneered movements.

This book focuses on women’s anger, both in the current moment and historically, the ways that patriarchy and white supremacy both stifle and purposefully mischaracterize that anger, and the many ways in which anger fuels activism. There were so many times reading it that I felt both angry and invigorated and I highly recommend it. 

Bye for now! Go watch Clue!

a romance novel and an essay collection walk into a blog; 10.30.19

Whew. Okay. Tomorrow is Halloween, and my plans as of this moment are pretty much to go to a showing of the 1978 Halloween and ignore everyone. But before that, let’s get into some books!

Fumbled – Alexa Martin

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You may remember how much I loved the first Alexa Martin book I read [Intercepted], so it should come as no surprise that reading the second in her ‘Playbook’ series was an excellent tonic for the onset of the fall blues. This one features Poppy Patterson, a single mom who’s spent the last decade avoiding the man who fathered her child and broke her heart…and is now one of the star players of the Denver football team, TK Moore. But when she runs into him at work the sparks are still there and she’s faced with incorporating TK into their son’s life while figuring out if the two of them can make it work as a couple.

I wasn’t quite as into this one as I was with Intercepted [which, to be fair to Fumbled, was QUITE A LOT]; the love interest was a harder sell for me and for very understandable narrative reasons, the relationship between them took a bit long to get going. That being said, I still liked it a lot! Poppy was a delightful and compelling protagonist, and Martin’s sense of humor is absolutely wonderful. She’s also excellent at filling out her protagonist’s lives with tender and supportive friendships. I also really appreciated that this book dug a little deeper into some of the issues in the football industry — particularly the high-impact injuries players experience which often have long-ranging consequences far past a player’s career trajectory. Martin herself is a former football wife and her characters’ complicated feelings about the sport their loved ones play feel sincere and grounded while not overshadowing the relationships between the characters themselves. The next book in the series, Blitzed, comes out the first week in December and I am COUNTING THE DAYS! [34]

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love With Me – Keah Brown


I love a book of essays, especially from someone I’ve been following on Twitter and then have the chance to take in their thoughts in long-form. Keah Brown is a disabled Black writer and activist whose essays are both personal reflection and cultural analysis. She writes about her personal love of fashion while critiquing its lack of inclusion, the ways in which jealousy has influenced her relationship with her sister, how society’s rampant ableism makes it difficult for disabled people to love themselves and their bodies, and a wide range of other topics. 

Every single essay in this book is infused with thoughtfulness, warmth, and necessary call-outs on the imperative need for all of us to combat ableism, racism, homophobia, and sexism on both individual and societal levels. Brown’s essays are deeply lifelike, positioning all parts of her life as interconnected and informative of one another; she explains how disability inclusion is often the last item on the agenda and how the inclusion that does happen almost always centers whiteness, right alongside why Paramore is her favorite band. I can’t wait to find out (and read) what she does next!

[tw: suicidal ideation]

That’s all for this week! Stay safe, stay respectful, and eat lots of candy!