Bad Bad Leroy Brown refused to let me document her bathing. Because she’s BAD.
Bad Bad Leroy Brown refused to let me document her bathing. Because she’s BAD.
Inheritance by Malinda Lo
I read the ebook, so I didn’t have to deal with the skinny pretty white girl cover until just now. It’s true that the main character, Reese Holloway, is a white girl, who may well be pretty and skinny, but the novel is about connection between people, not a waif by a window.
Inheritance is the second in the series that begins with Adaptation. (Presumably there will be more?!?) Reese and her debate team partner, having survived a fatal car accident, thanks to alien intervention, now have abilities they need to learn how to control. They also need to learn how to adapt to a culture built around sharing conciousness and figure out who the bad guys are and who to trust.
I liked reading it and wanted to know what would happen, but there was a bit of that second-in-a-trilogy feel to the novel, where it’s a lot of getting you from book one to book three with lots of action and maybe not enough energy spent on it as a standalone story.
I also got a little annoyed with Reese. She’s starting to get bossy, is a real brat to her parents sometimes, and and is not nearly was interesting as the other characters.
Fun moments—Lo explaining sex vs. gender and white people having a race:
"You know that sex and gender are different things, right?"
Reese raised her eyebrows. “You mean biological sex, like male or female, versus gender?”
"Exactly. Biologically, sex is about whether you create eggs or sperm—that’s all. Gender is about everything else. The way you dress, the way you move, the way you act. Among humans, gender is usually correlated with sex, so women are supposed to look a certain way, like wear dresses and heels or whatever."
"Reese had grown up in San Francisco surrounded by people of all races, but she had never thought of herself as white until she walked through Eric Chung’s crowded living room. It wasn’t that she thought of herself as not white; she simply never thought about it. She realized that was probably the biggest sign of all that she was white.
I don’t need feminism because this is not a patriarchy. This is a Catriarchy. Deal with it.
I’m okay with living in a catriarchy.
Do you love pop music, feminism and cats? We definitely do! Join us for a launch party to celebrate the release of Mess of a Dreamer: a Taylor Swift fanzine created by veteran zinester and Bluestockings favourite, Erin Fae. Music, style, comments on media’s misogyny and a love of squirrel pyjamas fuel this zine. There will even be Meredith and Olivia Benson cookies, plus some other surprises! Co-hosted by Bluestockings’ own zine curator, Betsy Housten.
Taylor, now that you’re on tumblr, i think it’s important you learn about zines. So please, please come to Bluestockings on Tuesday night and eat cookies and watch the powerpoint I’ve made about you and cats. Really, it’s all cats, all the time, but you’re the context.
This is happening! See you there?
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
This is a well-written novel with strong, endearing characters, and yet, my biggest takeaway from the book is that Afghanistan is not the best place to be a woman today. For many it is no better than it was 100 years ago.
The stories of Rahima and her ancestor Shekiba unfold in irregularly alternating chapters, Rahima’s in the first person. Rahima is the middle daughter in a family with five of them—seen as worthless compared to boys, despite fetching a dowries.
Shekiba is the only surviving daughter of cholera in the early twentieth century and, due to a disfigurement, rather than earning her family a bride price, they more or less sell her off as a servant/slave.
It’s hard to go into the story without giving it all away, so I’ll just say I heartily recommend it, unless you find the marital rape and other abuses of teenage girls triggering. Parents of young children, you might want to skip it, too.
The Planet Savers by Marion Zimmer Bradley
I know I shouldn’t be reading MZB now that it’s been alleged by her daughter that Bradley molested her. Ironically, if I hadn’t heard that story, it might not have popped into my head that it was time to reread the Darkover series. Be assured that I will not enrich MZB’s estate in any way. Instead, I’ll download the books from Project Gutenberg/the Internet Archive or borrow them from a library.
As far as I can tell this is the first book written for the Darkover series. I’ve read them in the order they take place before and so thought this time I might give them a try in publishing order. Or maybe I won’t read them at all because I have so much else to read first.
In The Planet Savers a hard-hearted doctor is tasked with saving a people he disdains by making contact with a different people he likes even less—those who raised him. They’re of a different sentient species who live in trees on a part of the planet that is nearly impossible to get to physically, or remain in without some in from the locals.
The short book was first published in a magazine in 1958, so it’s dated in terms of mores and style. Even so, it’s a quick, enjoyable read and gives us a preview of the renunciates, Darkover’s independent women who have renounced the planet’s feudal, ladies-in-dresses society.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
I found this title recommended on any number of lists—diversity, Harry Potter readalike, and I don’t know what all. Then I found it on the table where people leave books in my building’s lobby.
I don’t want to diminish Akata Witch by comparing it to Harry Potter, but the readalike designation is justified. They’re both about tweens with supernatural powers. They have grownups to please, the world to save from a powerful one of their kind gone bad, and a sports match to win. The protagonist, Sunny, also like Harry, comes into her powers blind, unlike the other kids in her posse who grew up in Leopard (wizard) families.
Sunny, an albino Nigerian, who lived in the US for a time, is more complex than Harry (but really, as much as I enjoy the first five books of the HP series, Harry is a dullard compared to pretty much every other character in the series, minus, perhaps, Ginny). She’s also a girl. Who knew you could, or should try to, write a successful novel with a female protagonist?
Sunny and her friends are outsiders and don’t all get along with each other. Sunny’s dad is a real threat, unlike Mr. Dursley. Akata Witch though written about and for a similar age group, is not a cartoon like HP and will never be a blockbuster movie series—unless they cast a white girl as the Black albino and made the whole thing take place somewhere a lot whiter?
Regardless, I’m looking forward to the next volume, which is schedule for release in 2015, per the author’s website.
Jewish students around the country are telling Hillel that its blanket support for Israel’s policies does not speak for them. At our conference this fall, we’ll be empowering student voices and developing a long term strategy to ensure that Hillel International will no longer be able to ignore those it has a duty to represent.
BREAKING: Jewish =/= Zionist.
As Library and Information Science (LIS) practitioners, students and scholars, we are committed to the principles of our field: to the free access to and flow of information and to the intellectual…
We are *this close* to 200 signatures. C’mon librarians and archivists—show you support academic freedom and administrators not canceling tenured hiring appointments over what someone says on Twitter (or anywhere).
Ofrenda: A Zine Anthology by Celia Perez
Basically, you want to support/pre-order this zine anthology because Celia’s writing is, as I’ve described it in the past, “…nostalgic, observant, brooding, creative, self-aware and a little self-mocking, smart, and makes you want to be her friend.”
Hi Kim! I see you! And I owe you five million letters!