Shirley Jackson became renown for her spookier works, but at the time she was writing, readers were much more enamored of her tales of domestic life. Now I can see why: Life Among the Savages is one of the most heartwarming and charming books I've ever read. Shirley's deadpan humor in the face of her children's antics and clueless husband and household mayhem had me smiling and laughing along. This is a wonderfully realistic portrait of family life - the good, the bad, and the exasperating.
One of those books you have to read with a pencil and highlighter nearby. Every page is a revelation.
When I first read this years ago, I didn't fully realize that this book is about society trying to "fix" people with autism. Two people, actually: one who rebuffs what's expected of him to the detriment of those around him, and another who has her own definition of normal and flourishes within it. The translation feels a little clunky, but the rage, anguish, and confusion of both the neurodiverse and neurotypical characters still pierces through. I can see how this might be a challenging read for some, but I haven't stopped thinking about this book since it was first released. It's really important to me.
A horny bisexual disaster. This book made me feel reassuringly and uncomfortably seen. I loved it.
When Lindy West described herself as an “unflappable human vuvuzela” in one of the first few chapters of Shrill, I knew right away that I was going to love the book and the author. Part memoir, part social commentary, part jokes, West describes moving through the world as an unapologetically fat, opinionated, nerdy, hilarious woman. Her insights are so creative, so specific, that I found myself grinning idiotically, often in public. I wish I could write exactly like her.
The Goblin Emperor is the story of an inexperienced ruler taking control of an empire and, despite being set up for failure, succeeding through a wonderful combination of trust, curiosity, courage, and integrity. An absolute breath of fresh air, and one of the best in the "cozy fantasy" genre!
This is my favorite SFF book of all time. Absolutely obsessed with Tamsyn's writing.
The mainstream discourse around nonmonogamy is exhaustingly, obsessively concerned with communicating all of your problems away while also placing the entire onus of your negative emotions on your own "unlearning" journey. Fern's synthesis of attachment theory and adult relationships - truly, of all types! - bridges the gap between the work one needs to do on oneself and what one might want or need from a partner. It's exactly what the broader nonmonogamy conversation was lacking. If you read THE ETHICAL SLUT and found something lacking, this book is for you.
These stories focus on the private lives of black women, with their relationship with the church as the throughline between each. If you love messy, complicated women, you'll love these stories. This is the sort of book I love to give as a gift.
This is queer melodrama written by a queer person, about queer people, for queer people. I was, at times, heartened and repelled, but I want to talk about all of it, all the time. I haven't stopped thinking about this book since I read it.
Queers deserve petty bourgeois drama too! Davis's writing flows so steadily, so deliciously over the reader, I found myself getting completely lost in the prose. The language is VERY Gen Z and VERY steeped in queer culture - which I found delightful, though others (The Straights) might find this discouraging.
What a gorgeous, delicious story, combining magical realism with post-colonial satire and pure strange fun - a lush sensory experience from start to finish. This is one of those books that you wish you could live inside forever.
Investigative journalism as engrossing as any thriller or narrative drama. Gallagher's crimes were so hideously politicized that this work - examining the whole scope of the story from SEAL culture and ethics, their role in Mosul after ISIS's invasion, and the astounding failure of Navy and DoD leadership to course-correct - provides the depth, nuance, and context which were deliberately or conveniently excluded in most media coverage.
I can't recommend this audiobook highly enough. Amber Ruffin is an absolute delight, charming and earnest and hilarious. These stories had me physically cringing and gasping out loud. This book is, I hope, helpful for people of color to feel some solidarity in their experiences. It is also essential for white people to better understand the implications of the seemingly benign but actually wildly idiotic things they say.
Sundial succeeds in sustaining an ambiently unsettling atmosphere punctuated by moments of intense fear and violence. It was also deeply immersive, activating my imagination in a way that few other books manage to do. I can't wait to recommend it to those who enjoy the more psychological/thriller aspects of horror. Catriona Ward is my new favorite author.
Our culture depends on us glorifying the grind. But why? For whose sake? For what purpose? I realize now the subversive power of refusing to rush, refusing to be treated like a machine, refusing doing in favor of being. More importantly, many of the more recent anti-capitalist works leave out the racial justice dimension, which is why they always felt incomplete. Capitalism and white supremacy are necessarily intertwined; we can't examine one without the other. Treating human bodies like exploitable resources began with Black and indigenous people. Now, it affects us all.
It is such a treat to be immersed in a high fantasy setting that isn't Anglo-European in design - in fact, it makes me want more worldbuilding exactly like this. This book has a lot of violence, which is usually not my thing, but it all works in service to the plot and never feels gratuitous. The story builds and builds to an incredible crescendo, one which was so satisfying to watch unfold. I'm so glad I read this book exactly when I did; the cliffhanger of an ending would have completely ruined me if I had to wait for FEVERED STAR to come out!
An essential read. A thorough account of the intent and legacy of the war on drugs, subsequent mass incarceration, and the creation (reestablishment?) of an enduring racial undercaste in this "colorblind" or "race-neutral" era.
A wonderful memoir about learning to live off the land and lesbian identity and partnership. There was not a single chapter that I did not enjoy.
An examination of why mainstream feminism is exclusionary by necessity: it is a fight to gain privileges within the existing system rather than redefine the system itself. A successful feminist within this framework looks pretty much like a successful white male: wealthy, self-made, corporate, personal value attached to productivity. This model is inaccessible to most marginalized groups, which Beck elaborates on in the first part of the book. I most appreciated her inclusion of queer and gender non-conforming people and how they fit into the feminist movement, both as it exists now and how it could exist if it was truly inclusive. Her discussion of the value and invisibility of women's (domestic) work, especially women of color and working-class women amidst the COVID pandemic, was especially important, and something I wish I could get everyone to read.
This book was the first time the concept of "administrative violence" was introduced to me - how our bureaucracy demands heteronormative compliance before it provides any sort of assistance, especially to marginalized people.
(This book cannot be returned)
Delightful! I was expecting a history of the building and its place in Providence, and what I got was a series of local stories, spanning a century, in which the Biltmore was a part. I will be recommending this book every chance I get to people looking for a taste of RI history.
Life-changing. If you only read one book this year, it should be this one.