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Book Review: The Guncle by Steven Rowley

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GUP, or Gay Uncle Patrick, suddenly found himself in care of his niblings (niece & nephew). Their mother died and their father had to check himself to rehab because the care of his then ailing wife got too much to handle that he turned to pain meds. GUP loves his niece and nephew, however, he knows next to nothing about caring for them full time, even if it's only temporary. But he's determined to not let the children have another person they love turn away from them. Through life lessons he's learned as a gay man in Hollywood, he imparts bits of advice meant to help the kids navigate their lives without their mother.  Lord, this book. I've never read anything that made me laugh and cry just as much. It's full of heart and sadness that will squeeze your cold, cold heart until you have no choice but to feel something. This is about a family in need of time and space to regroup, to gather up their broken pieces and put them together in the company of loved ones --

Mid June Reading Update

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  Hello, Friends.  We're halfway through June and so it's time for my mid-month update. I am once again, speeding through my books like the devil is on my heels. I swear if only I can write reviews as fast as I can read them, I will have no trouble with blog content. As of this writing, I've polished off 20 books this month already and almost all of them were wonderful reads. Let me give you a quick run-down without bogging y'all down. About 90% of these books are LGBTQ+ stories because: Pride month.  Heartstopper, Volume 4 by Alice Oseman . ★★★★★ Predictably, I knew I will love it because it was nothing but a compilation of the Tumblr posts Ms. Oseman usually puts out on a regular basis. Here, Nick finally came out to his dad and Charlie finally told his parents about his mental and eating disorders. Wonderful, wonderful installent.  In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. ★★★★★ You can read my review here.  Hot As Heller, Aster Valley #3 by Lucy Lennox . ★★★★ I&#

Finding Enjoyment in Classic Literature

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The other day I found this video on YouTube that had Tom Hiddleston acting portions of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and bits of War and Peace. His voice was poshly British, and with just a few words, I was hooked.  It was that scene in War and Peace between Natasha and Pierre when he, ever so passionately, tries to convince Natasha Rostova not to waste her life, to keep going because she has a lot more in store for her. I have never seen any film about the book not even a BBC series. But I was curious.  I went down to my basement library in search of my copy of War and Peace. Sadly, I realized I don't have a copy. I do, however, own Anna Karenina. Now, if you are somewhat familiar with this novel, you know that Anna cheated on her husband, left him for her lover. And you will also know that she didn't get her happy ending. In fact, her life ended tragically. But despite knowing that, I still want to read it. So I started it a couple of weeks ago. So far, it's living up t

Book Review: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

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Born on the day his grand mother died, Vivek's life was touched like some sort of a myth. Since birth, his family recognized the aura of one who would either live a blessed life or one that is cursed. To see his story unfold in the eyes of those who loved him was sublime but delicately fragmented -- from his childhood, teen years, and right before his death. But not everything was at it seemed. Because in spite of it all, his family only saw him for what Vivek wanted them to see. Failing to recognize the part of him that was screaming to be let out.    “I’m not what anyone thinks I am. I never was. I didn’t have the mouth to put it into words, to say what was wrong, to change the things I felt I needed to change. And every day it was difficult, walking around and knowing that people saw me one way, knowing that they were wrong, so completely wrong, that the real me was invisible to them. It didn’t even exist to them.” Emezi's prose, gorgeous though as it were, is also a little

Book Review: In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

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 If you're not familiar with Machado's writing, let me warn you that it's equal parts beautiful and disconcerting. Perhaps, it would be akin to seeing Medusa in the flesh. That is, until she stuns you still before she kills you then you won't feel anything at all. In the same way you'll meet your demise, Machado's prose will hit you right in the solar plexus. But like a slow torture, because she'll make you wallow in it first. In her latest work, the memoir features pages upon pages of several doors. Doors leading to different scenarios -- sometimes fun, sometimes sublime, but most of the time, horrific.  I supposed you can say this is her invitation for you to enter her house of horrors. Recounting a life in the hands of an abusive partner. I am honest enough to admit my naivete that abuse only happens in the hands of a man. Carmen definitely proved that theory otherwise. Abuse of any kind doesn't happen instantly, as we all know. It starts off as a thr

Book Review: Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski

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  This book, first and foremost, is about a relationship between two men who seemed to be two ships passing each other at sea. Their encounters, though intense, were very brief. Regardless, this slight book left a mark on me. It's the longing that didn't dissipate with the distance, and even the years that separated Ludwik and Janusz. It's also the sadness I felt for a country under a militant rule and people were suffocating from the weight of poverty and communism.  Jedrowski's lyrical writing added a sublime nostalgia for what could've been and an ache for a country in chaos.  In Brooklyn, New York, Ludwik hears the declaration of Martial Law in his country of Poland. A country which forced him to leave due to the suffocating rule of Communism. Poland was not a place for someone like him -- a homosexual. But the news brought on a  flood of memories that was both idyllic and painful.  Set in 1980, the foreground of the book centers on the waning influence of commu

May 2021 Rewind: I Read A Total of 31 Books

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  Hello, Friends. I hope you're all having a great week. Today is a rewind of May, which was a whirlwind of a month. I read a total of 32 books and pretty sure absorbed more unread books so my TBR grew leaps and bounds. Sigh. I'm still loving my pace and my Goodreads 2021 Reading Goal stands at 139/150. I did post my Mid Month Update , which shows the first 19 books I read.  T H E  R E S T  O F  M A Y Long Bright River by Liz Moore. ⭐⭐⭐⭐.  I posted a review of this book here yesterday.  The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren. ⭐⭐⭐⭐.  It's been a while since I've enjoyed a Christina Lauren work, so thank goodness!  Sweet Talk by Cara Barstone. ⭐⭐⭐⭐. This is a free one on Audible. I'm a new fan of Ms. Barstone, so one of these days, I will try to gobble up her back list.  Call Me Maybe by Cara Barstone. ⭐⭐⭐⭐. This is a re-listen. Still freaking good the second time around.  The Code Breaker by Isaac Walterson. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Y'all know how much I loved this one. Rea