Reading stats for June 2016
Cut by Patricia McCormick
Real World by Natsuo Kirino
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
The Rest of us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
George by Alex Gino
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
Total finished: 9
Borrowed from library: 5
LGBTQ Authors: 4 (Books w/LGBTQ characters: 6)
Women authors: 7
POC authors: 1
In translation: 1
Favorite: The Sunlight Pilgrims (I’ll be writing more about this one soon.)
In celebration of LGBTQ+ pride month, I would like to present to you for this Tunesday in June, Spit and Passion by Cristy C. Road. I met Cristy in the late 90s when we were both awkward teens trying to figure our shit out on America Online in the depths of Punk and Green Day chatrooms. After years of publishing zines, Cristy put out this amazing graphic memoir examining her identity as a queer pre-teen in a Cuban household in Miami. Like myself, Cristy clung to Green Day as a life preserver in deep seas of identity confusion. Spit and Passion explores being queer and closeted while reaching out to grasp art and music that keeps one afloat when feeling alone.
You may recognize Cristy’s subversive artwork that has appeared all over progressive politics and punk rock showing us a beautiful world of queer people of color. In this pairing, I present the song that closed out Green Day’s MTV live show, Jaded in Chicago, She. I wore out my VHS playing this over and again, sobbing and singing. This song was a big part of staying alive through the 90s for me, and it is the perfect soundtrack for Spit and Passion.
I was so lucky to have met Alex Gino at Book Expo America and get a copy of their most recent book, George, signed. Alex was a bright and lively spirit and I am so happy to have met them and had an opportunity to thank them in person for the tremendous work they are doing for LGBTQ+ and children’s literature. Because of this serendipitous event I have my very first blog giveaway!
I present to you a signed copy of Alex Gino’s George!
During the month of June, also Pride month for the LGBTQ+ community, I have made it a point for the vast majority of my reading to be LGBTQ+ friendly. George fit right in as it is the story of a fourth grader who knows they are a girl despite what the outside world sees. George sets her heart on playing Charlotte in her school’s rendition of Charlotte’s Web but is turned down due to her teacher reading her as a boy. Frustrated, she plots with her best friend Kelly to overcome this wrongdoing. Meanwhile, George struggles with family life and school bullies as a transgender kid. (TW for emetophobia as there is a large plot point involving emesis.)
George isn’t only for trans kids, but for all children to read and learn how to have empathy and understanding for people who are not the same as them. In all honesty, it’s a book for adults as well. George serves as a starting point to learn how to create a safe environment for transgender kids to thrive.
If you are interested in winning this signed copy of George please fill out the form below by June 30th. You must be over 18 and in the United States. If you are under 18 please ask a trusted adult to enter under their name and pass the book along to you. A winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by email on July 1st. I won’t pass along your email address, I just need it to request your address!
I’d like to invite the bookternet and beyond to participate in an event to raise up positive stories that portray LGBTQA characters. A Literacy Memorial for Orlando was created by my friend Rebekah in the goal to “fill our communities with positive images and stories of the LGBTQA community.”
Participation is simple. Donate books with a positive portrayal of LGBTQA characters. Donate them anywhere you feel they are needed. Schools, libraries, prisons, little free libraries, your coffee shop “give a book take a book” etc. It is asked that you add a bookplate or a inscription with the language below:
This book is dedicated in remembrance of those who lost their lives in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. We hold those individuals in the LGBTQA community in the light and wish for a future of hope and understanding.
One of the easiest ways to create empathy for marginalized groups is to share our stories. We know that in reading even fictionalized accounts of characters with different experiences than our own it creates a greater understanding and acceptance. Change comes from going into our communities and showing them that we exist. We are their neighbors and co-workers. We are the soccer moms and the doctors and the fast food cooks and the CEOs and the bus drivers and the clergy and the children who haven’t decided which of these they will be.
(Article originally posted on Up ‘Til Midnight; reblogged and edited in light of recent events) If you logged into Twitter yesterday even for 1 minute or followed the news at all, you heard the tragic news about the mass shooting that happened in Orlando, Florida. Hearing about the 50 people who were killed and the dozens…
via In Honor of Orlando: 10 Books That Celebrate Queer Latinx Identity — Read Diverse Books
Alaska of Looking For Alaska is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I feel like the energy of Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen suits her well. Don’t get me wrong… I love this song and Alaska should do whatever the hell she wants without puppy dog admiration from the new kid. Which is why I pick this song for her.
Reading stats for May 2016
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
Mosquitoland by David Arnold
Shrill by Lindy West
The Girls by Emma Cline
Total finished: 4
Owned: 3 (2 obtained from BEA)
Borrowed from library: 1
Women authors: 4
POC authors: 2
Favorite: The Girls is a major standout but I truly loved everything I read in May.
I received an advanced reader’s copy of The Girls both from NetGalley and Penguin Random House for an honest review.
I feel I should fully disclose that I have a slight obsession with cults and communes. This is an all around fascination with both fictional and factual accounts of life within these groups. There is something I find intriguing with the admiration of charismatic leaders and the sense of desperately wanting to belong and find identity.
The above is partially why, The Girls by Emma Cline is thus far my favorite book of the year. Yes, we are only in June and something could beat it, but The Girls did way more for me than just the thrill of the Manson Family-eqsue subject matter. Cline’s words are beautiful. I love an author that can paint a scene, but with The Girls, I could taste the soggy end of a joint, feel the sticky heat, and smell molding wood of the house.
What I loved about The Girls is that the story doesn’t so much focus on the charismatic leader, Russell, but rather is from the point of view of a woman, Evie. Evie spent much of the summer of 1969 at age fourteen on the ranch. We learn her story as she looks back to that time and her admiration for the girls in the group, and one girl in particular, Suzanne. Evie struggles through her parents’ divorce and the thought of the boarding school which waits for her once summer ends. All the while, she’s figuring out how to live in her changing body and use her newfound sexuality.
It was interesting to see the pieces of the Manson Family that Cline peppered throughout the novel. We see the Charles Manson character in cult-leader, Russell. Mitch played a hybrid of musician Brian Wilson and producer Terry Melcher. Suzanne seemed to be Susan Atkins doppelganger even with a nod to her name. If you are at all interested in learning more about the time of the Manson Family, I highly suggest listening to the Charles Manson’s Hollywood series of the podcast, You Must Remember This.
The Girls is an addition to the recent wave of debut novels that knock you off your feet. I cannot wait to see what Emma Cline comes out with next. She’s already been added to my auto-buy list. Even though I had received a copy of The Girls via NetGalley for review, I stood in line to get a signed copy at the Penguin Random House booth at BEA. That was solidly one of the best decisions I made at BEA! Pre-order or put The Girls on your hold list now for its June 14th release date.
Let me start off by saying that I am incredibly sad to hear that Books on the Nightstand is ending their podcast in June after a super long run. Ann and Michael’s thoughts on the book world and their recommendations will be sorely missed. The fact that they announced this on the same day as summer book bingo probably saved a lot of fallen tears as many of us were too excited about downloading new bingo cards to cry for long.
For those unfamiliar with summer book bingo, you can download a card here. The object is to obtain a bingo by reading books that match the categories (open to your interpretation). In the US we have two holidays which bookend our summers, Memorial Day and Labor Day (if you are outside of the US think the last weekend in May through the first weekend in September). That is the time frame in which you have to play.
I am posting my card below. Leave a comment with your suggestions for what I should read in these categories! Last summer I completed 3 rows, I hope to meet the same goal this year.
What better to pair with Lindy West’s new humorous memoir, Shrill, than one of my favorite pop punk songs of the mid 90s? I present Libel by the band Tilt:
I think that some of my feelings about internet trolls can be summed up in the lyric, “You just want the chance to show. How little you really know.”
I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of Shrill at BookCon from the Hachette Publishing booth. It was pretty awesome that Lindy came out to do a signing right before the book’s release date, and we were given finished copies. While waiting in line one of the awesome Hachette representatives gave us some lovely Shrill branded megaphones.
It took me about a week to read Shrill, not because it was a difficult read, but rather because I wanted to savor and think about each essay. There was so much thought packed into such a small book. From dealing with internet harassment, how the comedy scene can be toxic to women, to fat body acceptance, and dealing with the death of a parent. I related to much of what Lindy put out there, and what I couldn’t exactly relate to, I took as an opportunity to be educated by an extremely smart woman. I laughed out loud multiple times, I growled in anger and I shed tears of empathy. A memoir that touches all of those emotions is so worth reading. I highly suggest picking up Shrill as soon as you can. If you ever have the chance of seeing Lindy West speak, do that as well. I saw her at the Women In Secularism 3 conference and she was spectacular. Her unapologetic voice is one that all should listen to.