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Crooked Little Vein

Picked this up on a library booksale cart. I’ve long been an admirer of Ellis’s essays but hadn’t read any of his novels. I figured from the title and description this was going to have weird drug stuff in it and... that’s not really it. It’s a fun hard boiled detective story set in more or less current times that has a lot of ancillary “weird shit” happening. Some of that is drug use, some of it is odd fetish stuff, some of it is weird government stuff. A lot of it would have, probably, seemed more weird in 2008 than it does in 2017 with the ubiquity of weirdness thanks to always-on internet and these weird times we find ourselves in. Not that this detracts from the depth of the story. This is a great short lively read and I look forward to picking up more of Ellis’s stuff.

The Inheritor’s Powder

I am not sure how a book about arsenic poisoning could be so dull but this one did not grab me. There was a lot of recitation of historical facts without enough threading it all together.


Better than the one before it, this sequel to Relic had more interesting stuff about subterranean subway dwellers and less weird gory murdering (though there is plenty of that).

Born Both: An Intersex Life

There is a lot going on in this book. Viloria didn’t really discover or understand that s/he was intersex until s/he was in he/r twenties. And spent a lot of time making up for lost time. Viloria is also Hispanic, grew up in a difficult household and had a brother who is gay who was shunned by Viloria’s father. Viloria spends a lot of time taking the reader along with he/r as s/he goes through the various discoveries of he/r own sexuality, dating life, gender presentation and path to becoming an intersex activist. As someone who is interested in the topic of genderfluidity but has mostly read about people who have been transgender, this is a different, sometimes entirely lateral approach to some of the same issues about how to move within a society that is not expecting you the way you are. I really enjoyed it.


This was a thick book sort of about whales from someone I went to high school with and who I still know now on social media. I LOVED the cover and have been thinking about reading it for a while and finally had the opportunity when I was down with a headcold at a friend’s place who had it. And I liked it. It’s an interesting Maine islander sort of story with a bunch of odd quirky characters--the lead is named Orange Whippey--which is sort of funny but not like “funny ha ha” I liked the characters, I sometimes got bogged down in the lengthy diatribes of some of them. I had a hard time connecting to the main character or telling the names of some of the other ones apart. And yet I still really liked it because it all seemed pretty real to me despite some obviously fantastic elements.


a slightly formulaic horror story that nonetheless I enjoyed because it let me nose around in the back hallways and basements of the Natural History Museum.

Please God, Find Me a Husband

Grabbed this out of the Widener basement. It’s a great mix of wonderful accessible cartooning along with a storyline I understood but could not entirely empathize with. The author is in her 30s and single and really really wants to get marries. She is also quite religious. She approaches that issue and tries to figure out what to do about it. The book is very religious but not preachy if that makes sense and I really enjoyed how much the author let us in on her inner monologue of this journey. Also it does NOT wrap up with her finding a husband which I appreciated.

The Library

A swirling collection of vague ideas made really interesting by Chihoi’s illustration style. It was fascinating for me to see hs sketches of his deceased father coming back and ... doing things. I thought I was the only one with zombie dad dreams. The library part is minimal but overall it’s an interesting book outside of the usual moody graphic novels I usually read.


I got an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley. It seems like Gregory and I saw the same James Randi documentary, possibly, because there are some debunking stories in here that seem like they are right form there. Or maybe it’s just that he’s interested in the same things I am. I haven’t read any of his other stuff but enjoyed this story of three generations of maybe-psychics trying to deal with life around them.

The One Hundred Nights of Hero

I was captivated by Greenberg’s earlier book and was happy to find this on my small town library’s shelves. It’s a great weaving of stores within stories which I’m not always up for but I enjoyed very much. Greenberg has a way of having her characters tell stories that are at the same time relatable but also of another time and place. Very feminist and female-centric, I appreciated getting to read mythology that had female heroines at their centers.