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Showing posts from June, 2021

June 2021 Rewind: A Month of Reading Furiously

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  In the beginning of June, I set out to celebrate Pride Month by reading books from queer authors and queer stories. I read a total of 16 LGBTQIA+ authors and stories out of the 31 books I read this month. So I'm really happy. In case you missed it, I posted my mid-month wrap up here . I try to break up my wrap ups because lately, I've been reading like a mad woman. So here is my wrap up for the second half of the month: Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez . ★★★★ You can read my review here . T he Persephone Station by Stina Liecht ★★★★ You can read my review here.   NightS by Kou Yoneda ★★★★ This is a collection of short series of comics in manga. Quick read, and very steamy!    The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave. ★★★★★ Really enjoyed this mystery novel about a husband who disappeared one day and left a note for his wife. The story unravels in such a great pace. I was completely hooked.  Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibert ★★★★ This is a re-read and still loved it the se

Book Review: Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez

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Nineteen-year old Jesse McCarthy left the regressive religion he grew up in. The grandson of an immigrant during the Windrush generation of the United Kingdom, Jesse is not unfamiliar with racial discrimination and disparity. Growing up in a family of Jehovah's Witness beliefs where homosexuality is considered as a sin, he battled with the complexities of his faith clashing with his identity.   His mother has treated him with veiled contempt and chose to focus her attentions on her daughters from a marriage with a white man. And while his step father was kind to him and gave him affection, he would always choose his own family over Jesse. So when push comes to shove, he ended up running away from home to London for freedom.  In London, life wasn't as great as he dreamt it would be. Without money, he turned to prostitution. Thus became his life of sexual encounters with men in seedy places and even more questionable characters.  This semi autobiographical story explores the life

Book Review: Persephone Station by Stina Leicht

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  Right. I have very little experience with space operas of any kind. The last series I enjoyed was the Illuminae Files by the partnership of Amie Kaufmann and Jay Kristoff. I picked up this book because I wanted to expand my Scifi horizon. I was not disappointed. I was also not ready for this genre, but I persevered and got more for what I bargained for.  Persephone Station is a forgettable planet -- and the Serrao-Orlov Corporation would like it to stay that way. It holds a secret, a profitable one at that that they don't want the rest of the universe to know. If you survive in this planet whose weather is mostly always severe, you're probably golden.  Rosie, the owner of Monk's Bar holds knowledge and influence that could very well get them killed if exposed. So they try not to shake the status quo too much. Until they couldn't. Angel is an ex-marine whose circle of friends are much like herself, mercenaries.  The cast of characters are diverse: BIPOC, nonbinary, LGB

Book Review: They Never Learn by Layne Fargo

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  This Sapphic thriller is such a refreshing take from others of its kind. In a Dexter-like fashion, we have a killer whose motive for killing is actually commendable: ridding the world of rapists and abusers of women.  Scarlett Clark, an English professor in Gorman University meticulously follows her kills for months at a time before she makes them pay for their sins: a star quarterback who watched nonchalantly as the rest of his teammates raped a drugged girl; a guy who abused his girlfriend regularly but makes sure the bruises and cuts are hidden, a professor who takes advantage of vulnerable students. For years, she's left a trail of blood with no chance of the trail ever leading back to her.  But her last kill will prove to be the one that might just expose her night time proclivities.  Carly Schiller, a freshman at Gorman University looked forward to escaping her small town beginnings and the oppressive childhood she grew up in. Her father keeps a tight leash on both her and

On Audio [4]: Library Loot

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  Hey, Friends. I hope you're all having a fantastic week so far. On this edition of On Audio, I found myself perusing Libby once again. Here are the books I downloaded: Wicked Fox by Kat Cho Publication Date: June 25th, 2019

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