Reviews: March—May 3

I’ve been reading, I swear, but things have gotten busy and reviews have fallen by the wayside. But! I have books to review so here we go.


Sissy by Jacob Tobia

This…I really thought I’d written a review for this, but I guess I didn’t. This was a great gender book, especially for those of us who are non-binary. There are a lot of trans narratives out there, but few for non-binary people. I really want to find one from a FTM point of view. But this is a great book to explain basic gender stuff and not-so-basic gender stuff.

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

This was a great mystery that I hope starts a series. It’s a solid one-and-done, a good mystery with a twist that feels satisfying. It also stars a queer WOC as the main detective and she’s great. I definitely recommend.

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G. S. Denning

This is a great combination of mystery, fantasy, and humor. Warlock Holmes is no detective. Instead, he gets his information from the demons he controls. John Watson has to do much of the detecting on these cases. I read the first book and had to buy the next three, including pre-ordering the next book.

They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall

This is an American version of And Then There Were None and it’s perfect. Everyone is flawed and every murder leads to another so smoothly. I finished this book in one sitting and you probably will too.


Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Vol. 1-3

This actually exceeded my expectations because they did Helena a solid. That’s it, that’s my review.

Forever Evil

I love Lex’s internal monologue and I want more of it. Also, Lex and Bizarro 5ever.

I’ve also read some other comics but they’re both collections of various comics, so….

Anyway! Hopefully I’ll be back sooner with new books!

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Reviews: 2/6-2/28

The Plotters by Un-Su Kim

This was a great slow-burn Korean crime fiction. It’s a character study with some interesting action. I really loved this one and pan to buy it one day. I’m definitely interested in more by this author.

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

This is the sequel and second book in the Truly Devious trilogy. I think I enjoyed this as much as the first book. I was bored by the romantic subplot, but I’m pretty much always bored with them, so. Still, I’m gonna read the last book when it comes out.

Elevate by Joseph Deitch

An interesting self-help type book that’s mostly about how one can elevate their life and relationships and businesses. Although it was definitely very obviously written by a rich white man, there were some good points about opening yourself to yourself.

Hong Kong Noir by Various Authors

This was an outstanding collection of short stories set in Hong Kong. Not only were they all very entertaining (and sometimes spooky), but they were also very informative. I definitely recommend this one to anyone who likes short stories, learning about different cultures, or ghosts.

The Hole by Hye-Young Pyun

This is a kind of wild ride. There’s not much that happens, yet so much happens! I definitely recommend this if you like psychological thrillers that are slow-burns and character driven.

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Review: The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient started out amazingly. We have a very violent murder, a woman who won’t (or can’t) speak, and a therapist who is dying to find out what happened, to make Alicia talk. Where the book fails for me is in its twist.

We’re told things aren’t as they appear from the start, and the promotional copy makes sure we know there is a “most shocking, mind-blowing twist”. Unfortunately, for the genre-savvy reader, this twist is easy to predict. In fact, it was such an obvious twist, it made reading the rest of the book almost dull.

The writing is sound, and the author does manage to make his main character feel like the type of person you can’t always trust. I’m just not sure the writing is strong enough to hold out for as long as the book is. Still, it’s a fairly original idea and maybe if it’s the first mystery you’ve picked up in a while, you’re probably good to go.

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Reviews: 2/1/19

The Culture of Fear by Barry Glassner

This was an interesting book, written about 20 years ago, updated after 9/11, which is the edition I read. It covers the fears that society had through the ’90s, including teen pregnancies, cybercrime, gangs, plane wrecks, and other things. His theory is that the media plays up smaller threats to distract from larger, more uncomfortable threats like poverty, racism, sexism.

It was the last book I read in January. I definitely recommend it.

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Reviews: 1/1-1/22

Calm the Fuck Down by Sarah Knight

This book is a sort of self-help guide for anxiety that occurs around everyday life.  It’s a testament to her previous books and my own mental state that I didn’t need these lessons right off the bat.  It was definitely a worthy read and I recommend it to anyone who goes through anxiety about anything.

Secret Hero Society:  Fort Solitude by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs

This book was super cute.  I loved the first one, and I’m always a sucker for a good “heroes are kids” story.  The art was perfect, of course, with Dustin drawing it, and the story was fun.  I loved seeing Clark come into his own.

Secret Hero Society:  Detention of Doom by same above

The third (and maybe last?? *sobs*) installment, had our heroes visit the Phantom Detention Zone.  This was just as fun as the others, with our heroes able to see each other’s powers and abilities.

Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon

This should be required reading for everyone.  In this fatphobic culture we live in, there’s nothing more insidious than the constant messages about losing weight.  But this doesn’t do that.  This book is about learning how to tune out society’s messages that you’re worthless if you weigh “too much” and learning to be healthy and love the body you have, without the goal of losing weight.  It’s important and necessary for everyone.

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus

This was a very solid mystery, with a good few twists that never felt out of place.  The pace was just right (I read it in one sitting), the writing was good, and this second novel by McManus didn’t disappoint.

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

This was another one I devoured in one sitting.  The chapters are short and the writing is great.  I definitely look forward to more from Braithwaite.  There’s a level of dark humor running through this that’s genuinely fun.

Body Respect by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor

This should also be required reading.  This goes more into depth about the falseness of the obesity myth that fat is harmful and shameful.  Through loving your body for what it does for you now, you can shake off the negative messages from society that you’re not good enough because you’re not thin (and there is never a “thin enough’).

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I listened to the audiobook of this and it was very inspiring.  I’ve been tidying my room since listening to this and it’s been a very rewarding experience.  She gives you plenty of advice and relates her own experiences to what she tells you.  I definitely like her methods.

1342 Quite Interesting Facts by John Lloyd

This was a collection of, as it says on the tin, facts about all kinds of things.  If you love trivia, definitely check this out.  It’s Britain-focused, but it’s still interesting.

The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos

This should be required reading for everyone.  I mean it.  These three books I’ve mentioned are ideal starting points on the road to fat acceptance.  This gives you so much information about the so-called “obesity epidemic” and how, not only is it false and fear-mongering, it is also entirely made up of bad science and outright lies.

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Reviews: 12/11-12/31

The Body in the Library
Agatha Christie

This isn’t the first Agatha Christie I’ve read, or the first Miss Marple story, but it was crucial to me writing a fic this past year, so I thank it very much for that. The Body in the Library is a great example of a classic mystery that I definitely recommend to Christie fans who haven’t read Marple yet.

The Pun Also Rises
John Pollack

This was a very interesting book about puns, where they come from, what their history is, and why we make them. Though they’ve still not been studied with the depth of so many other things, they seem to be part of our language makeup no matter what language you speak. I’d definitely give this one a read if you love puns, and if you don’t, maybe you should read this too, and gain an appreciation for them.

One Who Saw
A. M. Burrage

This was a very short ghost story that I read on Christmas Eve (as was the old custom). It’s short, but it packs a wonderful little punch. I recommend it to anyone who likes old school spooky stories.

Planet Funny
Ken Jennings

I have some mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it’s written by a Gen-Xer who doesn’t understand Millennial humor. On the other, it’s a good history of modern comedy and how the comedy culture has changed itself and mainstream culture.

The Borrowed
Chan Ho-Kei

Oh my god, this book is everything. As one reviewer on Goodreads said, it’s not set in Hong Kong, it IS Hong Kong. Ostensibly, the stories here are about a particular policeman, but overall, they’re stories about Hong Kong during some of its most formative and important years. The mysteries are clever, the writing is brilliant, and the way the story is told (backwards in time) reveals some very interesting things in our characters’ lives.

I highly recommend this to anyone who loves mysteries. I’m buying this for my collection as soon as I’m able.

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Reviews: 12/1-12/10

Blood Water Paint
Joy McCullough

This was an interesting novel in verse that told the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian painter. It gets very heavy, dealing with her rape and the trial that follows it, but in the end it’s a story of resilience. Throughout her story, the stories of Susanna and Judith from the Bible, the subjects of two of Artemisia’s most famous paintings, and spiritual guides who help her carry on through the trial and its aftermath. It’s a very strong read, but a good one, and I definitely recommend it, especially if you’re trying verse for the first time.

Finding Baba Yaga
Jane Yolen

This was another story told in verse, albeit much shorter than the one above. It’s about a modern girl who runs away from home only to find Baba Yaga in the forest. She makes her home with Baba Yaga, promising to become a Yaga after her. During this time, she meets another girl who eventually leaves off with a prince. It’s a very fast read, which was nice for me at the end of the year, but it was solid.

Go to My Grave
Catriona McPherson

This was a wild ride. Though I figured out the mystery well before the end (not sure if it was meant to be that way, or I’m just really that attuned to mysteries; I do read a lot of them, so twists don’t usually surprise me), the writing was strong enough to keep me interested in the Why of the crime, even if I already knew the Who. The dialogue was very strong, very naturalistic, with people talking over and sideways around each other. It can be a little difficult to get used to, with the large cast (once again, I find I have trouble distinguishing white men apart, even in book form), but overall it’s a good effect. I really enjoyed this one and sped through it in two days, so I definitely recommend it.

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Reviews: 11/2-11/30

Rough Justice
Alex Ross

This was a good art book, especially if you’re interested in sketch art and process work. There are some beautiful sketches in there that aren’t just Kingdom Come. It’s definitely worth a look if you like Alex Ross’ art.

Cover Run
Adam Hughes

This was a showcase of Adam Hughes’ covers. A big interest for me was his Catwoman covers, because his face reference for her is Audrey Hepburn. I have to admit, I’m not really a big Hughes fan. I find his art a little too cheesecakey for my tastes. There’s one Catwoman cover he did that I swear I’ve seen in porn fanart done better. Still, it was an interesting look through.

In the House in the Dark of the Woods
Laird Hunt

This book is like having someone tell you a dream that they had. Like, it’s interesting in a sort of WTF way, but at the same time, trying to follow along with it is like being on a winding path in the fog. You never learn the name of the main character you follow. But you follow her through getting lost in the woods, meeting the inhabitants of the woods, and watching a cycle go on that apparently goes on forever.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
John Carreyrou

I desperately need every one of you to read this, because this is the most fascinating book I’ve read in a long time. A Wall Street Journalist’s investigation of the sham company Theranos (which you might remember being big news in the last years of the Obama presidency), this book delves deep into the corruption, mismanagement, and outright lies the company spread in its quest to raise money for a non-functional blood testing machine.

Run by a college dropout whose life goal was to be a billionaire, Theranos claimed it was going to take the medical field by storm with its new single-drop finger-pricking blood tests. None of its machines worked, none of them even reached past raw prototype stage (certainly none of them were functional enough to work without crashing, breaking, or malfunctioning), and even though they had no product, they managed to get the non-functional machines into a few Walgreens and almost into Safeway.

This book reads like a novel. It’s fast-paced, invigorating, and desperately makes you want to learn what’s going to happen next. Watching Theranos rise and fall is especially interesting if you even vaguely followed it in the news in 2015-2017. The leaders of Theranos are now facing criminal charges, as well as a host of lawsuits.

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Reviews: 10/15-11/1

The House With Chicken Legs
Sophie Anderson

This was a really cute book about the granddaughter of a Baba Yaga. She doesn’t want to be a Yaga, even though it’s her destiny. So when her Baba goes through the veil, it’s up to her to save her, however she can. It’s really great about the boundaries between life and death, and the relationship between the granddaughter and the house. I definitely recommend it if you like Baba Yaga myths.

Guess Who
Chris McGeorge

This was a good crime thriller, even though you couldn’t figure out who the ultimate villain was because he wasn’t introduced until late in the book. Still, the mystery was intriguing and the main characters was like a train wreck you couldn’t look away from. I’d still recommend it, if only so people will talk about it with me.

Pedro Paramo
Juan Rulfo

This was a very interesting book, full of ghosts and kind of stream of consciousness writing. We follow a young man searching for his father as he travels to a literal ghost town. His father, it turns out, is dead, but so is everyone else he meets. It’s a very short book, but definitely one I’d recommend.

Mythology: The DC Comics Art by Alex Ross
Alex Ross

This was an artbook showcasing Alex Ross’ work on DC superheroes, with a major focus on how his work began and Kingdom Come. I won’t lie, I didn’t much read it so much as look at the art, because that’s what I was really there for.

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Reviews: 8/21-10/14

I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to over these last few month, whether because of other projects, vacations, or general depression.  Finally, I’ve pulled these reviews together to give you an idea of what I have been reading.  Hopefully the next series will come much quicker.

A Princess in Theory
Alyssa Cole

This is my very first romance read, and I have to say, it was probably the perfect one to pick up as a first-timer. Ledi is a very relatable protagonist and a joy to read and follow. The romance was measured and steady, with enough bumps to make you root for it to last. Overall, I’m enjoying this series (I’m in the middle of A Duke By Default) and I’m looking forward to the next book.

Jell-o Girls
Allie Rowbottom

This was quite the book to get through. Part memoir, part history of Jell-o, blended together excellently, it was a fascinating look into the lives of the owners of Jell-o and how the world took hold of this family. It’s definitely worth a read, and it’s a fairly easy flow, even when the subject material can be a bit heavy. It deals quite a lot with death, so be aware if that’s not something you’re into.

The Boy at the Keyhole
Stephan Giles

This was a pretty good mystery, even though I saw the biggest twist coming. It was well-paced and an easy read, each chapter leading you to read the next one and so forth. I actually like the ending twist, although it may not be to everyone’s liking. I do love writers who explore the dark side of children.

Sweet Little Lies
Caz Frear

This was a pretty solid mystery with a really big twist of an ending. I liked the style and the story was easy to follow. The text, however, is small in the hardcover, so be forewarned if you, like me, have some trouble with that. The main characters were all fairly likable and I enjoyed following them along in the story.

My Brother’s Husband Vol. 2
Gengoroh Tagame

Volume two made me cry, not just because it was a volume of partings, but because the heart of it is so earnest and sweet. The brother slowly comes to change his mind about mike and how he feels about knowing gay people in his life and there’s a real honesty to it how sometimes he worries about screwing up, but ultimately knows it’s something he can talk about.

The Personality Brokers
Merve Emre

This was a lot to get through, not because it’s necessarily a hard read, but there’s just so much information packed into it. It’s a biography both of Katharine and Isabel Briggs and a story of how their combined efforts made the Meyers-Briggs Personality test that we know today, even though it’s only loosely based on an interpretation of Jungian theory and not really based in anything solid or even repeatable.

And the Ocean Was Our Sky
Patrick Ness

A whale’s version of Moby Dick, don’t go in thinking this is going to be the whale’s side of the story. This is Moby Dick as written by whales searching for their own “white whale” as it were (a man named Toby Wick, get it?) The illustrations are beautiful and the prose is spare and neat. It’s a beautiful book that will most likely move you to tears by the end of it. It’s also a meditation on war and why we wage it.

The Chrysalis
Brendan Deneen

This is a great horror book for Halloween if you’re looking for a good old fashioned monster story. Something is growing down in the basement of this old house our couple buy, and it needs to feed. It takes hold of the husband and soon he is consumed in his effort to feed and take care of the thing. It has great personality shifts and subtle horror until the last chapter when all hell breaks loose. Really, it would make an excellent movie. I definitely recommend it.

The Retreat
Mark Edwards

This is a nice kind of spooky read where there might be a ghost or there might not, but either way, there’s something very mysterious going on. A girl goes missing in the woods, snatched from beside a river where everyone believes she drowned. Her mother turns her home into a writer’s retreat, and strange things begin happening to the people staying there, leading up to murder. There’s a mystery from 35 years before that needs solving as well, and the key to all of it just might lie in a dead man’s past. It’s very engrossing and easy to read. I definitely recommend it.

The Forbidden Place
Susanne Jansson

The bog in a small town in Sweden holds many mysteries and just as many bodies. When a man is found unconscious in the mire, the police are called out to see where he was attacked. Soon, they find other bodies, people who have gone missing who have been sacrificed to the bog. The question is who is doing it and why. There’s elements of a ghost story in here as well, including a very spooky epilogue. It’s a solid mystery only occasionally dragged down by philosophical musings from the main characters. Overall, it’s a very Swedish mystery.

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Reviews: 8/6-8/20

by Daniel Cole

This was the sequel to Ragdoll, last year’s debut. It was just as intense and page-turning as the first one. I actually read it about the end of July, but I forgot to log it then. It’s well-paced and takes you on a wild adventure of bodies and terrorist attacks.

Diary of a Haunting
by M. Verano

This was interestingly done. It was written in an online diary format. I wasn’t really a fan of the “twist” ending. Still, it was eerie enough, especially with duplicating entries and slight changes in text.

by Shawn Sarles

This started a bit slow, then went balls to the wall hectic in a matter of chapters. After two days of relatively peaceful camping, bodies start dropping. I liked how this one ended a lot.

The Mere Wife
by Maria Dahvana Headley

This was an interesting one.  It actually took me a long time to finish reading it, because the switching between Gren’s mom and Dylan’s mom gets dizzying.  Like Beowulf, it doesn’t have a happy ending (if, like me, you were especially rooting for Grendel and his Mom), but it’s sort of satisfying?  I just wish Gren and Dylan had had their happy ending, because it’s just another novel where queer people get dead.  Spoiler. Alert.

An Unwanted Guest
by Shari Lapena

I finished this in one afternoon. It definitely harks back to the old school mysteries where everyone’s trapped in one place with a murderer. I really enjoyed it. The ending reveal was a bit typical for Lapena (you might remember me not being a fan of her first book The Couple Next Door and it’s bullshit ending). But on the whole, the mystery was solid and the journey through the book was good enough I recommend it as a quick read.

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Reviews: 8/1-8/5

The Outsider
by Stephen King

I was really impressed at how good this book was. It’s probably the closest thing to a standard police procedural King has ever written, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. It’s a very typical mystery with some very untypical supernatural elements in it. This is also the longest book I’ve read in a while (560 pages), but I devoured it in one day, so you know that’s a fast-paced book. I don’t want to spoil too much, but let me say, the first part of the book went by so fast you wondered just how he was gonna fill out the rest of it.

There are some spoilers for his Bill Hodges trilogy in this book, so if you care about that and you haven’t read them yet, I suggest you do before you get into this one. On the other hand, if spoilers don’t bother you or you have no plans to read them (as I don’t), go for it and dive into The Outsider full on. I promise it won’t disappoint.

The Book of Leon
by Leon Black (JB Smoove)

I listened to the audio book of this, because the library doesn’t have a copy and I bought the audio book on sale one time, so I thought, why not?, and went ahead on. It was hilarious. If you aren’t familiar with Leon Black the character, he’s from Curb Your Enthusiasm. However, you don’t really need to know his character from that to enjoy this book. It’s 90 short chapters, the average coming in at about 3 minutes long, so it covers a lot of topics. It’s definitely not safe for work or for children, but it’s funny as hell. I recommend it if you need a laugh and don’t mind copious swearing or sexual references.

How Not to Get Shot
by D. L. Hughley

Pitch black satire about taking advice from White people about how not to get shot by police. It’s funny as hell, but in a very darkly comedic way. It contains advice from such pinnacles of wisdom like Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly, suggesting such great advice like, “Comply with police” and “Don’t wear hoodies”, or, what it basically comes down to, “Don’t be Black”. It’s so worth a read, especially in the current political climate, and it might help White people understand exactly what your Black friends, neighbors, and strangers are going through right now.

by Zora Neale Hurston

Wow, this book was powerful. Told pretty much verbatim by Kossula Cudjo Lewis (and in dialect, so if you have trouble with that, be prepared), the story of his life back in Africa and being brought here as a slave at the end of the slave trade in America, and his life here. It’s a tragic tale, but one told willingly and fully. Hurston spent a lot of time getting the full story of Kossula’s life and it’s such an important read to hear first-hand what the slave trade was like from the point of view of a former slave, unlike so much of the history we learned from the slave traders.


One book I DNF, Hope Never Dies, the really promising Obama Biden team up fanfic that got published. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to the hype. I’m glad I just borrowed it from the library instead of ordering it, because that would’ve been an extreme disappointment. It starts, unbelievably, with Biden whining that Obama never writes, calls, or sees him anymore, which is hilarious coming off of a week where they were both spotted happily having lunch together. It tries too hard to be something dark and edgy when neither of the people involved are dark and edgy types. Believe me, I’ve written better fanfic than this, but I didn’t have the gall to have it published.

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Reviews: 7/16-7/31

Bone Game
by Louis Owens

I read Bone Game after seeing it on a indigenous reading list. It’s about a centuries-old mystery, prophetic dreams, and new murders. The author himself is Cherokee-Choctaw-Irish and his lead character is Choctaw-Irish. It’s an odd sort of rambling tale, with frequent flashes to the past, to dreams, and later to other characters. Each chapter follows its own path, all of which wind up together for a rather startling climax.

Over all, I recommend it. Don’t go into it expecting it to be a traditional murder mystery, but let it flow around you and flow with it. You’ll find it’s a very good read.

Stay Hidden
by Paul Doiron

This is a more classic mystery, with a twist I can give away because it’s given away on the blurb, so nyah. Ariel Evans has been found murdered by person or persons unknown on a small Maine island. Except the next day, Ariel turns up alive and well. It’s a small mystery to figure out who the victim is, but finding the killer is the real challenge, especially on an island where no one is willing to talk.

I really love the Mike Bowditch series. The writing style is very natural, impressive for being in first-person imo, and flows easily. Every book is a unique mystery and you learn quite a lot about Maine, the wildlife, and some Maine slang. The voices are distinct and the characters are all pretty well fleshed out.
Currently, I’m in the middle (OK, first third) of The Outsider by Stephen King. It’s the closest to a typical detective story I think he’s ever written, which is what made me pick it up, but I already know we’re about to get into some kind of strange Stephen King twist. More on that next week.

Also!  If you like what I do here, check out my Patreon here or sign up for my brand new Facebook page Fleet’s Reviews.  That’s where all my reviews will be going from now on.

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Reviews: 7/1-7/15

No, you didn’t skip a page.  It’s been almost a month since I last did reviews, but I was in the middle of a reading slump, so bear with me. There’s not a lot of books (these were spread out by weeks), but I’m going to review them the best I remember them.

Broken Ice
by Matt Goldman

The second in the Nils Shapiro series, and it’s just as good as his first, Gone to Dust. Broken Ice is about a missing girl, a dead girl, and two arrow murders. Our hero Nils gets shot with an arrow in the first or second chapter, so you know things are going down fast in this book. It’s really readable, with likable characters and a solid mystery (or two, as it turns out). I definitely recommend it. It can be read as a standalone, but it does make mention of the previous book (no spoilers, though).

Ask a Manager
by Alison Green

This was a very informative, and sometimes funny, book. I definitely recommend it to have on hand if you work in an office, because it gives very good tips on how to navigate an office job with bosses and coworkers. It covers a wide variety of topics, from how to get along with your boss, how to ask for a raise, to how to get along with coworkers, and even how to get along in interviews.

Over the Garden Wall Vol. 4

Our quest for the dread Pirate Croaker continues. We’ve found the Hero Frog, but something suspicious is happening. But Greg and Jason Funderburker (the frog) are on the case! Meanwhile, Wirt and Sarah are on the trail of a shapeshifter who steals candy. It all culminates in a wild ending I won’t spoil for you.

This series is unfathomably adorable and I definitely recommend it to fans of the show.

Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity
by Arlene Stein

I have a lot of opinions on this book, so be prepared. First, the good. It follows several trans men and one woman (though it spends almost no time talking to her, so) getting top surgery. It does a good job explaining to the layman what top surgery is about and how these different men came to be there to get it. And here’s where we get to the bad.

Arlene Stein is a cis lesbian. She really has no business writing a book about trans men, especially when she frequently undermines them by asking if they’d “would have been butch lesbians 20 years ago”. No, because they’re men. Lesbians do this a lot to trans men, acting as though we’re “taking away” lesbians by… somehow convincing them to be men, instead of just being men to begin with. She talks about one man who gains passing privilege (she claims gaining cis white male privilege), without acknowledging that that privilege is solely dependent on “passing” as a cis man, something which can be lost in an instant the moment someone learns you’re trans.

While she admits at the very end of the book that she brought her own judgements to her writing this, she claims that she learned better. However, there’s enough in the way she talks about trans men that makes us seem like some sort of inversion to the natural order. Clearly, objectivity is not her strong suit. Fucking TERF.

Neverworld Wake
by Marisha Pessl

Moving on to a good book, now, we reach Neverworld Wake, a book about five teenagers who become stuck in time following a car crash. They must solve the mystery surrounding the death of their other friend to escape the Wake. But only one can survive.

This was a quick read that made me keep reading to finish it in a day. The pacing was just right and the story itself was worth diving into. The repetition of the same day was a fascinating device, which kind of asked the question of what you would do if you kept living the same day over and over with no consequences. The pursuit of the mystery was a solid journey that revealed secrets about everyone, even people you thought were innocent. Also, there’s a fictitious book mentioned in the story that I so want to read, it’s not even funny. I definitely recommend this for a quick, fun read.

by James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth

Awakened is a fast-paced horror adventure that I ended up so caught up in, I legitimately forgot about time and what I was doing while reading it. It starts with a train pulling up to a new underwater platform with its car covered in blood. It then escalates to a global conspiracy and a fight for survival against a race of unspeakable creatures.

I’m going to spoil something now, so stick forks in your eyes if you want to avoid that.

Continue reading

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Reviews: 6/4-6/17

by Ellison Cooper

What a thrilling ride! The search for a serial killer in DC leads Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair on a hunt through mythology and science. One great thing I really loved this book for is when a transgender character was introduced, no one misgendered him even after they found out. I give major brownie points to an author who understands the right way to gender people. The mystery itself is a wild chase, with twist after twist that are all worth it. There’s no sudden out-of-nowhere plot device that figures in this book. Everything is based on deduction and science. I definitely recommend it if you’re not a big serial killer reader like me; it hits the right balance of mystery and thrills without feeling overly reliant on serial killer tropes.

Nickel and Dimed
by Barbara Ehrenreich

This book was the result of an experiment to see how long she could live on minimum wage jobs. It’s a really good look into the world of waitressing, housework, and Wal-Mart workers. A surprise to few of us, wages were too low often to cover rent plus food and other expenses. But the reason she did this was not to tell people like us, the minimum wage workers of the world, but to explain to her middle class peers what life is truly like for the bottom percent of the country. It’s a fascinating read (and one that’ll make you hate Wal-Mart even more than you probably already do).

Death Notice
by Zhou Haohui

Oh god, I could talk for days about this book. Just… everyone go out to your library and get a copy. I’ll wait.


Are you back? Good. Now we can dish.

The plot revolves around the return of a vigilante named Eumenides, who goes around killing those who have gotten away with crimes the police can’t touch (either because they were acquitted or never caught). Before each killing, Eumenides sends a death notice, a paper saying who is going to die, what their crimes are, and when they’re going to die. Even when the police try and protect the victim, somehow Eumenides reaches them.

But there’s more going on than just Eumenides. Each member of the newly reformed 4/18 task force has something to hide, and something to find. With secrets hidden just below the surface, ones that could bring the task force down from the inside, plus the connection between cases old and new, Death Notice has twists and turns that’ll throw you for a loop, but will keep you completely enthralled. Just beware: this is only part one.

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