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« April, 2021 »

The Good Turn   book icon  
by Dervla McTiernan (2020)

read: 30 April 2021
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Another interesting Irish cop story, this one with a few separate story lines all exacerbated by some terrible winter weather. And it’s mostly not really about Cormac Reilly, who is working out some relationship stuff in this installment. Relatable! It’s an even-smaller-town mystery and a lot of family drama both among cops but also among the people who all are interdependent in a small town. A few discarded stories tho which was too bad by the time it all wrapped up. Hoping for a sequel.

Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space   book icon  
by Amanda Leduc (2020)

read: 26 April 2021
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

I got an ARC of this and it took me far too long to get around to read it. It was so good! Leduc, who lives with cerebral palsy, takes a critical look at the stories that fairy tales tell us about disability and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the larger world. Mixing old & new interpretations--including a lot of well-deserved side-eye at Disney--with her own life’s stories as a disabled woman creates a powerful narrative. I had somehow been concerned that this was going to be too academic for me but instead it was a more personal view of the notion of “happily ever after” stories and how they can erase the narratives of people who don’t necessarily have the same “happily” goalposts as the rest.

Eladatl: A History of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines   book icon  
by Jessica Abel (2021)

read: 25 April 2021
rating: [+]
category: fiction

A fever dream of an art project + novel about an alternative history of LA where dirigibles roamed the skies after climate disasters that I never quite got a handle on, but mostly enjoyed being along for the ride. Great art accompanies this novel which is told as a bunch of overlapping vignettes, not so great on my ancient B&W Kindle.

I’m Waiting for You and Other Stories   book icon  
by Kim Bo-Young (2021)

read: 21 April 2021
rating: [+]
category: fiction

An odd little collection of two stories written as a wedding proposal (you learn this at the end of the book) and a confusing (for me) pair of metaphysical/philosophical stories sandwiched in-between. Worth it for the title story, but an uneven read.

Rebel Visions: The Underground Comix Revolution 1963-1975   book icon  
by Patrick Rosenkranz (2003)

read: 18 April 2021
rating: [0]
category: non-fiction

A look at the rise and fall of underground comics during the late 60s thru early 70s. Well-illustrated. Not sure if this is narrrowbanded to cishet men intentionally or if that’s just who wound up in it (so many penises!), but I missed diverse voices. There are a lot of great illustrations but even though this book is large format, many of them are still reproduced too small to read well.

The Ruin   book icon  
by Dervla McTiernan (2018)

read: 17 April 2021
rating: [+]
category: fiction

I’ve been trying to read fewer mystery-genre things unless they’re written by women. This was a really interesting small town but not-quite-cozy cold case-ish mystery taking place against a backdrop of the conservativism of Irish cops and family law. It’s the start of a series and so there’s a lot of getting to know you types of things against a backdrop of a bad thing that happened a long time ago. You think it’s going to get super dark but, mercifully, it doesnt.

The Scholar   book icon  
by Dervla McTiernan (2019)

read: 17 April 2021
rating: [+]
category: uncategorized

Same author, different book. These are really great cop procedurals. Complicated and interesting without all the hyper-violence we seem to see in US cop books. Lots of smart women. Lots of drama about what can be obtained by the hyper-rich. This book has a little more to do with the main cop and his relationship with his longtime partner who has a tragic past and also gets mixed up in something going wrong in the present.

Ambergris   book icon  
by Jeff VanderMeer (2020)

read: 8 April 2021
rating: [0]
category: fiction

So many highs and lows in this book. I reallty enjoyed his last trilogy but this one was really only batting about 500 and it was LONG. I reached the end of this epic three-in-one urban-gothic set of tales and really wasn’t sure what I felt. First book: mostly good. Second book: a slog. Third book: fave but also grimdark. Helped me get my head around life during wartime somehow. Not sure I’d really recommend it.

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