Non-Contemporary May Wrap-up!

 Hello, fellow readers! Rather expectedly, everything I finished was queer. I picked up two straight books and DNF’d both of them. I reviewed the contemporary reads of the month already because it’s my favorite genre, but I do read outside of it. 

57267802_138515267226846_9100267067647816689_nThe Giddy Deaths Of The Gays And The Strange Demise Of The Straights, Redfern Jon Barret 6/12 Satire 

 This is a weird one. I honestly don’t know how to describe this book in relation to other books (if you liked x, read y) so here goes.

 Rutti is the most interesting character, but zie is mostly shadowed by Dom, Caroline, and Richard’s polyam/ love triangle. Yes, love triangles and poly relationships are different things, but it takes the trio some getting used to. But first, a gay bar burned down and Rutti was kicked out of the apartment. Anyway, Caroline and Dom are in a happy relationship when Dom develops romantic, non-sexual love for his new roomie Richard. Time jumps forward to marriage and dying.

In other words, it’s queer and somewhat confusing.

Mundo Cruel, Luis Negron  8/12 Satire

I need to break the rating down for this one. I have a system of grading the plot, characters, writing and setting. Each gets X/3 points, wherein I add it up for a total of X/12.

 Plot:1

Characters:1

Writing: 3

Setting: 3

 It’s plotless, the characters are stereotypes and spokespeople, but the writing is beautiful and the setting, man, is the whole reason why I picked up this book. I’ve been exploring an idea I have for a Puerto Rican protagonist, so I want to read more books by Puerto Rican authors. It’s a total coincidence that it’s gay. It’s a short collection of stories about the queer community in Puerto Rico. There is sex and homophobia. Why do I like this book? He’s a really good writer.

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Heavy Vinyl, Carly Usdin, Nina Vakueva  10/12 Graphic Novel

This is just so cute. As I said in my Goodreads review,

Super cute music loving queer girls fight club ❤️

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Once And Future, Amy Rose Capetta, Cori McCarthy 9/10 Fantasy

This is a retelling of King Arthur of the Round Table.

But in a sci-fi dystopia where it’s more normal than not to be queer.

If that doesn’t make you want to read it, I don’t know what will.

If you have read it, and want to know my thoughts, they are:

I love Merlin.

How do you like this format? Should I always break down my ratings into their subcategories? How do you like these books? 

 

General Update: Native American & Disability Reading Challenge


 You may not have noticed that I usually blog about my WIP once a month. I’m going to stop doing that, at least for this month, and announce my new reading challenge. Two months ago I did a Latinx Book Bingo & Prideathon and was happy that I did. But I don’t want to limit myself, plus it’s Native American heritage month. I also realized I don’t read a lot of disability rep, despite having asperger’s and being hard of hearing.

I want to read a popular book for each as well as several lesser known ones. For the popular books, I have chosen:

 

I’ve heard a lot about all of these, and saw the Me Before You movie before I knew it was a book. I am conflicted about the ableist message in Me Before You that Finn or whatever his name is in this one, Will? I’m like hmmm… Why are you so intent on dying? I experience depression myself, and it’s enflared when I’m bored. Even so, I thought it was a beautiful movie, just not a moral one.

I put in two popular books in case the library doesn’t have one available for a while, and while I reserve the right to read all of them, I’m determined to read one from each, as well as at least half of the lesser known here:

Disability

  • Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, Eli Clare 

  • Mean Little Deaf Queer, Terry Galloway 

  • Consumed, J.R. Ward
  • Cinder & Ella, Kelly Oram
  • Love And First Sight, Josh Sundquist 
  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Sara Barnard

Native American

  • Keeper’n Me, Richard Wagamese
  • When My Brother Was An Aztec, Natalie Diaz
  • Ceremony, Leslie Marmon Silko
  • Hearts Unbroken, Cynthia Leitich Smith
  • Give Me Some Truth, Eric Gansworth
  • The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, Louise Erdrich

If I’ve listed a book that’s more popular than I realize, please let me know. Also, where are the books with Native American disabled protagonists?

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I’m currently reading Vicious by V.E. Schwab and When The Moon Was Ours, by Anna-Marie McLemore. I’ve waited for Vengeful for a good while, since my homeless crisis began shortly before she held a signing event nearby. 😦 So sad I missed it. 

It’s honestly been a bit disappointing. I’m still very early in it, so NO SPOILERS, but it started with a cliche, and it skips around in the timeframe. It’s confusing and I have no idea how to keep the events linear in my head. Vicious did it, but it was two linear timelines. Plotwise, it’s interesting, but Victor’s been doing the same thing over and over. I WANT ACTION!!!

I’m almost done with When the Moon Was Ours. It’s different from most of the other books I’ve read. A fantastic different. It has two protagonists, a trans boy and a girl with roses growing from her wrist. I didn’t realize he was trans for several chapters, therein it became interwoven gradually to the point where the plot is based on preventing his outing. The writing is lyrical and dreamy, and hard to describe. I demand that you read it for your own good.

One last thing: if I’m not already following your blog, your twitter, your Goodreads, or your insta, leave links! All of my links are in the sidebar, displayed prominently. I want to follow you! I want to know who I’m talking to.

Binge Or DNF?

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House of Silk, Anthony Horowitz-DNF.  Sherlock and Watson are hired to follow the silk road of opium, involving high-ranking lords and mortifying Mycroft. I get enough opium from reading the news, and I don’t want to read any more! This is an uncreative book, and while sounds like Watson, is sometimes clunky.

   Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz-slow read. The dullness of HOS with murders instead of opium, adding enough surprise and death to make me want to solve this. But the writing was slow, and some things didn’t click into SH canon.

 The Word is Murder, Anthony Horowitz– DNF. Disappointing! Self-promo abounds, and why are you writing like that when it’s set in modern times?

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Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell– Binge I loved the first half, but the second half got a little too lovey-dovy.  Awesome fangirl in college rep. Click Fangirl for full RV.

 Carry On, Rainbow Rowell- Binge It’s hard to choose my favourite Rowell. They’re just too different to compare. Carry On is inspired by Harry Potter, but Is. Not. Potter. Fanfiction. It’s set at a magic boarding school ans has a Dumbledore-esqe figure, but Simon and Baz, roommates and future lovers, aren’t Drarry. The Humdrum isn’t Voldemort. Great for Potter-heads, but you’d have to read the books to understand that CO isn’t HP fanfic. It’s HP inspired.

 Simon Vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda, Becky Albertalli,– Binge AAWWRGH! Cute romance and gay experience complimenting the other. Simon is closeted, and Martin threatens to expose him unless he helps him with a girl. Blue isn’t who I expected him to be, but I still ship.

  The Life And Death of Sophie Stark, Anna North, -Binge  Cause apparently I read gay romance now. It’s more mature than I’m used to; a bit graphic. I don’t like how Sophie’s portrayed as The Freaky Special One. Unexpected Asperger’s rep, but not a kind one. Accurate, but portrays Aspers as freaks. We are not freaks! Beautiful, sad voice, but sounds like the same voice through different perspectives.

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Wish You Were Here, Sneaky Pie Brown– DNF So dull I couldn’t remember the title. It took forever to get through the introduction, as the human mail carrier apparently has to greet everybody in town. The one curious incident gets glazed over, as the human Harry isn’t a curious person. The small town voice is jarred by swearing, and I just no, no, no.

 Rain Reign, Ann M. Martin– Binge This is sad and clunky, so 5th grade. Rose collects homonyms and searches for her dog Rain after her father lets her out during a storm. The Asper traits are a little exaggerated, although people express it differently. I love Rain. I admire Rose’s bravery and selflessness. 

Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens- DNF You may be going “What?” with this one. It’s a great story, and has a great writer, but I’ve already tried to read it a few years ago, but didn’t get to finish it before it was due. This time I started right away, but everything is too familiar. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen, but once it does, it gives me deja-vu. I think I’ll try to find the good movie version, part of which they showed in class, but not all of it. Ugh. 

Why do you DNF? What’s the good Oliver Twist movie? There’s too many to choose from! What have you DNFed recently? 

Yoon Is Also A Star

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The Sun Is Also A Star, Nicola Yoon, 348 pages, circa 2016, 12/12 I LOVE YOU

  Strengths:

  • Diversity! How often do you read about a Jamaican immigrant? Interracial couples that don’t include a white person?
  • Science! People talking about science like normal people, little burbs about different things, like the biochemistry of love and pie’s reliance on the existence of the universe.
  • Escape Room! In Everything, Everything, the escape room was actually a room, but in The Sun Is Also A Star, the escape room is 18 hours in New York City. I love how so much can happen so much can be felt, in one city, in one day. If Yoon designed escape rooms, she’d be the most memorable, most beloved escape room designer there is. (Moffit isn’t beloved.)
  • Somehow realistic! Natasha and Daniel fell in love in less than 18 hours. It had a sort of surreal, fairy-tale quality to it, but it seemed like real people falling in love. I hate Romeo and Juliet from the heart of my bottom, but I loved and believed this love.
  • Suspense! The Kinsleys face deportation. On e the last day, Tasha finds a lawyer that just might let them stay. It’s not an on-your-toes suspense, as she enjoys her day and time with Daniel. Then she goes into the half-done building with her desperate need to stay. She’s still in denial about the deportation and believes in the lawyer. Can the lawyer do it? It throws the sequence of events into its’ own time flux.

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  Weaknesses:

  • The Baes seem like a stereotypical Korean American family. The parents pressure their sons to go to Ivy League and become doctors. Charlie and Daniel don’t fit the stereotype, but their parents seem cut out of cardboard.
  • What’s with the cover? I get it’s supposed to look like a supernova or the strings of Fates (If it’s the latter, it’s a rather bad representation.) If it’s the former, why yarn?
  • The end was a bit…lame. It should have made a bigger impact, and the author was clearly expecting that impact. But there was no impact. Irene’s story is great, but the chapter itself wasn’t polished, like Nicola sent it off a draft or two early.

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Also seen: For the background I used The Star Trek Guide To The Universe, by Andrew Fazekas. It seemed appropriate given the beauty, science, and powerfulness of it all. 

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  In short, I love Nicola Yoon. I love The Sun Is Also A Star, but Everything, Everything was a tad better. Just a tad.

  How much do you love Nicola Yoon?

Mr. Grump With A Heart Of Gold/IHeartCharacters

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so YOU and others can blog hop and share the character love. ♡

This is very, very, dorky and cliché, but my Grouch with a Heart of Gold is… 

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Darcy!

I feel for Darcy, and I don’t just mean he’s hot. He’s misunderstood. People take his shyness to mean he’s a snob, an arse, an other. True, he has said some things that sounded pretty bad. But Lizzy tried to get a big introvert to dance. This man doesn’t want any attention, and you’re trying to get him to dance?

 When he finally does dance, it says he’s willing to put effort into their relationship. He wants her to see him as a real person, not just the front he puts up.

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His love is strong

 He cares and protects his little sister. It’s not easy to love someone that way, like a parent and a friend. It’s like you’d do anything in the world to protect them, but they ignore you constantly, and when they do acknowledge you, they can get really annoying, temporarily hate you, try to get your attention and displays of love. Georgina is a good girl, but they went through a tough time with Wickham.

His love is persistent

 Darcy knows that Lizzy hates him. Darcy knows that Lizzy isn’t a “proper” match for him. Yet he’s caught by Lizzy’s concern for Jane, by Lizzy’s long walks in the rain, by Lizzy’s lack of embarrassment of mud and poverty. He loves her despite everything, and is courageous in his confession. Speaking of…

His love is articulate

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What more could you want?

A Heartbreaking Post Of Staggering Genius

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(Trigger warnings, graphic cancer details, anxiety and suicide. This is not meant to reflect my writing style or ideas, but a full imitation of Dave. Also, this is the ’90s and does not reflect the current housing market.)

A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers, 1995, 9/12

 Hello, dickheads.

 You will rot the wood from under my feet. You will cut the strings off the giant Jesus and let it fall on my head. You have given me AIDS, probably.

 But I’m still going to perform frisbee tricks with my little brother. When you take him to a foster home, I will bust him out and we’ll fly like falcons. We’ll let the air scream our feathers back, all the way back, balding us.

 When Chicago rids us of our parents with cancer, we go to Berkeley. When Berkeley kicks us out, we drive to San Francisco. When San Francisco gets dull, we fly. We fly! All the way to New York!

 You have but a Sad Role to play in the book of my life; the suicidal friend, the helpless little brother, but I will always be sadder! For I am the Sad Adult-ish Orphan Parent Stand-In For Little Brother! No, I don’t have proof. And you will pity us! 

 We fly!

Happy (Belated) Sherlock Holmes Day!

  Happy belated Sherlock Holmes Day! (Ok, I had no idea that there was a SH day until yesterday. Now it’s my third favorite holiday, after Halloween and Free Comic Book Day. Hey, it tops Star Wars Day.)

 Let’s talk about our favorite, underappreciated Sherlock  Holmes stories. My all-time favorite SH story is The Speckled Band. It starts with a young girl hiring Sherlock and Watson to find out what happened to her sister, who died terrible agony. “The band! The speckled band!” Were her last words. It’s awesome, but has not been turned in a full length episode. In the BBCbatch version, it is mentioned as “The Speckled Blonde” but spares the details.

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 I deduce it’s one of Gatiss’ favorites, but was shot down by Moffat.

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 Will I be shot down for admitting I prefer Charles Augustus Magnesun/Milverton to Moriarty? He’s better, creeper, and more love-to-hate than Moriarty. Even when Sherlock says his name, he sounds better. Moriarty exists just to kill Sherlock. CAM exists to blackmail everyone. Moriarty is the what-if of Sherlock: Sherly reversed. CAM has his own disgusting personality and could exists without Sherlock.

And posts from around the blogsphere:

The Return Of Sherlock Holmes, pt.2

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(You can read pt. 1 here)

The Adventure Of The Six Napoleons– Yeah, seems obvious when you’ve seen the series. Yeah, murder. Ideal portrait of a journalist, unlike the scavengers usually portrayed.

 The Adventure Of The Three Students– Ah, that the very thing that plagues me should be shoved into the Sherlock collection- college. Getting in, exams, dorms, etc. A nice change from the usual running ’round and a very simple solution, or would be, if given all the facts available to Sherlock, instead of waiting with Watson.

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 The Adventure Of The Golden Pince-Nez– Unusual, yet has ordinary features, a combo that made the solution partly accessible. 

 The Adventure Of The Missing Three-Quarter– As always, the mystery can be solved not by the present, but the secrets of the past. It’s strange that Holmes didn’t have a case involving sports before, as today’s sports have a great deal of scandal.

 The Adventure Of The Abbey Grange– It’s a wonder why Hopkins hasn’t appeared on tv. More of the same. I s’pose Doyle was really tired of SH by then. I love the ending, where Watson is Jury and Sherlock judge.

 The Adventure of The Second Stain– Why The Hell Didn’t They Burn The Letter? Cute ending.

  So. What’s your favorite Sherlock story? Have you seen the Moffat series or RDJ movies?

 

The Return Of Sherlock Holmes, Pt.1

 

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The Adventure of The Empty House– It’s brave and unusual for Watson to admit that he fainted; usually women are portrayed as the fainters in their time period.  And what happened to Mrs. Watson?

The Adventure Of The Norwood Builder– One of the more dramatic and thorough cases, beginning with the accused murderer bursting into Baker Street. Fire, murder, blood!

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The Adventure Of The Dancing Men– The opening is more Poe than Doyle. The wife of the client is Modern Mary-esqe, with a secret history and possibly being a foreigner. The hieroglyphs seem more exotic than American. Is that how the English think of us?

The Adventure Of The Solitary Cyclist– Why do so many men fell in love with this woman? So stalkery.

The Adventure Of The Priory School– Every series must have its’ dull moments, I s’pose. But how did the boy actually feel about this?

The Adventure Of Black Peter- Ugh, good riddance! Bit of a plot twist, though it should’ve been obvious.

Adventure Of Charles Augustus Milverton– The creepy descriptions did not disappoint, although the solution  did. While my favorite Sherlock villain and an awesome SH story, is not better than The Speckled Band. Show was better. I love that Sherlock doesn’t always work with the police.

April Wrap-up

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The Bookshop On The Corner, Jenny Colgan, 7/12 333 pages genre-romance

Written slowly, read quickly. It was quite obvious who she’d end up with. It’s loosely based on Pride and Prejudice, but doesn’t mention it in the numerous book references. Scotland is described nicely. Good for rainy days.

End Of Watch, Stephen King, 9/12, 482 pages horror/mystery 

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 Not very scary, coming form the King of Horror. Even though I haven’t read the first two in the series, I could follow it as a single, but not separate, story. Telepathic powers reminded me of Carrie. I loved the use of the song; By the sea, by the sea, by the beauutiful sea… Simple words, terrifying power. Good if you kinda want horror or mystery,  but soft on both ends.

Ready, Player One, Ernest Cline, 12/12, 581 pages, sci-fi/ dystopia 

 

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LoveLoveLove!!! I wasn’t expecting to like it for some reason, so glad I ignored that ridiculous prejudice.  Wade, poor and wanting to escape poverty, hunting for the Easter Egg because he loves gaming and wants to be rich. Who needs a better reason  to do anything?! I kinda wish I knew more about ’80s culture to understand more references, and that it would be funny if they parodied it to be obsessed with ’60s culture instead. Read. Read, tiny humans.

Bard Of The Deal: The Poetry Of Donald Trump, edited by Hart Seely, 6/12,212  pages humor

Funny-not funny. Some of the stuff Dump has said has serious consequences for america. But he’s so stupid and words things so stupidly! Seely arranged the quotes to say what they mean, “There is potential.                                                                                                                            Racism.”                                                                                          Funny, depressing if you think about it, but if you let go, funny.

The Art Of The Book Proposal, Eric Maisel, 7/12, 273 pages, nonfic writing

Some kicks in butts to do something about that book lying around. I didn’t find most of the last chapters useful, as it was directly aimed at nonfic writers, but part of the early stages are similar, some exercises useful.  

Franny And Zooey, J.D. Salinger, 10/12, 201 pages, fiction 

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Earned several points with just the mention of Yorick’s skull: “At least I’m still in love with Yorick’s skull… if you don’t know what kind of skull you want when you’re dead, and what you have to do to earn it…” (Pg 197) Aside from it being a mention of Yorick’s skull, it cleared up the circular argument of the book- what praying means/ is, the flakiness of people- by saying “To hell with Jesus, what do you want?”