November Reading

Plus the previous month’s  list of stuff I was reading slowly, with a couple of new things added to it.


Claudia Rankine, Citizen: I’d been reading this on and off for months as an ebook, and it was as good as everyone said (which is spectacularly good); and then I saw the paperback and there is something about the quality of the paper and obviously I had to read it all and it’s glorious.

JiHyeon Lee, Pool: Reviewed here; and beautiful.

Dale Jamieson and Bonnie Nadzam, Love in the Anthropocene: I’m … not sure yet what to make of this; I’m underwhelmed; and the book’s foreword and afterword both suggest I’m doing it an injustice. I need more time.

Monica Byrne, The Girl in the Road: A reread, for a Strange Horizons book club which you can find here. On a second read I find I’m still a fan of the sheer energy of the book as well as the refreshing, relatable dickishness of Meena. I also find myself a little more sceptical of things that said energy had previously encouraged me to ignore. The book club was great fun, as ever; and addressed a few questions I don’t see addressed often enough regarding the role of non-white/western critics. I wish we’d had time to get into the gender politics of the book (and particularly the depiction of the one trans character, as I have … reservations) , so I’m hoping someone asks a question in the comments to allow us to get into it.

Ernest Hemingway, Fiesta/The Sun Also Rises: This was work, does work count? It is about dicks and animal cruelty and sads; but I like it better than other Hemingway things.

Daljit Nagra, Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!!: Obviously my choice to read this was a politically motivated one. I did write a positively unhinged thing about the machine in question and Tipu Sultan’s legacy, and why the Kohinoor diamond is the Elder Wand and why we should send the royal family into space, but I’m not sure the world is ready for it.

Maria Negroni, Dark Museum: There are short stories that are longer than this book; it’s practically a pamphlet. And yet it’s rich and dense and I am the second owner of this copy (a reviewer we sent it to said she couldn’t take it on at the moment so I’m having a go) and between us we’ve practically underlined and annotated the whole thing.

Joy Chant, Red Moon and Black Mountain: I read this because it’s a British portal fantasy published during the period in which I am academically interested; and also because Erin has spoken well of it. I think it may require a separate post. I don’t know that I can include in my actual thesis, which is very focused (for good reason) on the British children’s fantasy canon–this book has rather faded from memory and I’m not even sure it’s children’s literature, though I could make a decent argument for it. But it’s fascinating; plus I sometimes forget how much I enjoy a certain sort of high fantasy and this was certainly of that sort. .



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