Perhaps a little late, but these posts were a staple on the blog before the hiatus, so I really want to get back into the habit of them. New year, new me, new blog schedule or something like that. Right?
So, in December, I honestly didn’t read a ton of published books—I read 3—but I read a lot of webcomics, so I’ll drop some links to stuff I’m currently following at the end of this post, too.
4 out of 5 stars. I picked this up on a whim, scrolling through short story collections available on Libby that I might be interested in reading. Earlier in 2018, I listened to Gay’s Not That Bad essay collection on audiobook (that review went up last Friday as part of my catch-up!), and I liked how she put that together. I’ve heard a lot about her, mostly because of her run on the comic World of Wakanda, and have been meaning to read more of her work, so this was my first jump into her fiction.
4 out of 5 stars. The most recent in my V.E. Schwab reading obsession, Vicious is a dark comic book-esque story of ordinary people who, through extreme trauma, become ExtraOrdinary. Victor Vale is out for revenge. Eli Ever thinks he’s doing God’s work. And caught up between their single-minded pursuits to stab the hell out of each other are a cast of interesting and complex side characters.
Read on November 9, 2018. 5 out of 5 stars. I listened to this on audiobook and it gave me chills. It’s almost impossibly difficult to talk about the types of things the individuals in this collection talk about. Listening to their essays and recounts of their experiences was enthralling, horrifying, and gut-wrenching. I have to echo what other reviewers have said: I can’t properly review this book because I can’t assign a rating to someone’s life experiences like this.
It’s beyond commendable that these people contributed their experiences. There’s a powerful message here for men and women alike, and both should add Not That Bad to their reading list. There’s constant reinforcement: it was that bad. It wasn’t your fault. You did nothing wrong. For the people who’ve never had to worry about rape culture, there’s a dose of reality. This happens every day. This happens to men and women. It is a problem that no one is trying to solve.
All of the essays in this collection are valid. It’s impossible for me to talk about any one as “better” than the others, because that’s not the point. Instead, think about how many essays there are in the collection – over 30. Think about how many lives were effected by rape and rape culture. Think about how this is a collection that people would say is a warning to women, rather than a lesson for men.
Know that this is real.
3 out of 5 stars. Alice Proserpine and her mother, Ella, have been running from bad luck for as long as she can remember. It follows them like a curse, dogging their heels wherever they go, chasing them from one stable (or not so stable) living situation to the next. Finally it catches up to them, and The Hazel Wood picks up just as things fall apart for our heroine.
Top Thing of the Year lists are the hot thing in December, and I am a weak willed person, so I’m making a list of my own. Welcome to the first ever Writerly Kind Top 5 Reads of the Year, where I look back at all the books I finished and highlight my absolute favorites and summarize what I liked the most about them. Links to my full reviews are included with each!
2 stars out of 5. What if, instead of being a man in a mask at the end of the episode, Scooby Doo & co unmasked an eldritch horror?