Reviews: 5/14-5/20

Kwaidan
by Lafcadio Hearn

This was an interesting set of Japanese ghost stories collected back in the early 1900s by Lafcadio Hearn, a British man who moved to Japan and devoted himself to all things Japanese (the original otaku!). There were some really good ones in here, and I recommend checking it out. It’s not too Orientalist, which is a good thing, but he does explain some things that wouldn’t be known to his audience. I’m looking forward to finding more (possibly more authentic?) stories in the future.

Ghost Boys
by Jewell Parker Rhodes

This made me cry. It starts with a young Black boy getting killed by the police. You follow him as a ghost as he watches his family grieve, and goes through to meet the daughter of the cop who shot him (she’s the only one alive who can see him), and meets Emmett Till, who guides him through this new world he inhabits. It’s heart-wrenching and brutal, but it’s such an important read. I definitely recommend this one.

Natural Causes
by Barbara Ehrenreich

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a look at medical practices and how we’re sometimes killing ourselves to live longer. She talks about all the unnecessary tests doctors put patients through, the lack of understanding we have of ourselves even down to the cellular level, and the way wellness has become some kind of societal marker, all of which stems from a fear of death. It was really fascinating to read, and I definitely recommend it to anyone questioning the rationale of the new wellness trends.

White Rabbit
by Caleb Roehrig

I’ve seen two one-star reviews of this that both center on a throwaway set of lines from a pining teenage boy, that addressed absolutely nothing else about the book. The book itself is about murder, and boy is there going to be a lot of it. Rufus (our lead) gets a call from his half-sister telling him he’s the only one who can help her. When he and his ex arrive at the cabin she called from, they find her bloodsoaked and holding the knife that killed her boyfriend (and, of course, her boyfriend’s body at her feet). What follows is an all-night chase across town to find out who really is guilty, and to do so quickly, before more people are killed.

It was a solid mystery with enough clues that you could follow along easily. I recommend it for a good queer mystery that has a great balance of both romance and mystery.

About Fleet Sparrow

Writer, Reader, Critic, Bear.
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