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The Editors

If you would like to read a dramatized story about some editor feuds on a very Wikipedia-like online encyclopedia (I did!) then this book is for you. There’s a teen admin, a Chinese American paid editor, a Uyghur young man, a journalist trying to live up to her dad’s legacy, and a social justice-motivated librarian. Oh and a crank who tried to take it all down, motivated by his own personal backstory. And a billionaire (of course) and the well-meaning doofus who set the whole thing up. You might know the author, he’s a journalist who has written a newsletter about Wikipedia stuff for a while. He sent this to me after asking me to read a sample chapter a while ago. The final product was even better than the chapter. I’m not sure how this book would read to people who aren’t fairly deep-in Wikipedia culture nerds, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Escape Velocity

I need to get better at reading the CWs before diving in to books. It’s hard to talk about this story--in the luxury space hotel subgenre, usually my jam--without giving too much of it away. It’s one of those gradual-reveal plots that takes place in a nearish future where the world is burning and billionaires make deals and plans about who is worthy enough to move to the Mars Colonies. And there’s a strong Upstairs Downstairs vibe with the majority-Filipino hotel staff who oversee everything their rich clients are doing and talking about. There’s a weird orgy in the middle seemingly for no reason. There’s a theme running through it about people suffering abuse as young people and the roles they start to inhabit as grown-ups.


A very straightforward YA graphic novel about a small town in Oklahoma that is dealing with some parents who want the popular fantasy series banned because it promotes witchcraft and is “obscene.” Spoiler alert: the book is not obscene. Even though the small town is not great for our protagonist, he finds some fellow travelers at the library and in places he doesn’t expect. I enjoyed it, a quick read. It really seemed like it could have been written just this year but in fact is over a decade old.


A graphic memoir from Ai Weiwei which uses the structure of the Chinese zodiac to tell stories from the life of Ai Weiwei. If I did not already know about Ai, I am not sure this book would have helped me learn the facts about his life (though there are some) but it does really give you a sense of, for lack of a better word, why he has the vibes that he does. Gorgeously illustrated with fairly prosaic text, I still would have read this if it were 10x as long.

Fight Me

It seems petty and a bit naive for me to say that this book had a few too many fight scenes. I loved Grossman’s book Soon I Will Be Invincible and I very much liked this one but it felt a little tropey and norm-y and I’m used to more diverse stories nowadays. The one person of color who has any real role to play is referred to as “the black girl” a few times and all the characters seem very cishet. Nothing wrong with that, it’s certainly a choice one can make, it just sees very old fashioned.This was a fun superhero origin tale--here’s when they’re young and cool, here’s where they’re older and jaded--that hewed more towards more traditional superhero types of things.

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

Janzen grew up Mennonite. She left the church about the time she went to college, got a higher ed degree and got married. Then it turned out her husband was a jerk with mental health issues who left her for “Bob from Gay.com.” As part of putting her life back together, she moves back in with her family and re-immerses herself in the Mennonite world only this time as an outsider, somewhat. It’s a gentle story, at times a bit funny and even as she’s describing some of the odder statements or practices of her family, she does so with love.

Alien Clay

If you like Tchaikovsky, or Van DerMeer, you’ll like this. Yet another novel including hte phrase “fruiting bodies” which I always took as a Van DerMeer thing. This story takes place on a prison planet, it’s an exploration of a whole new ecosystem where what we’ve come to know as “organisms” are true symbiotic colonies. Lots of ruminations about individuality vs. the whole and the concept of sell outs, takeover, and ultimately, revolution in the face of extreme resistance. A somewhat brutal book (it’s a prison planet) but I liked the protagonist and enjoyed thinking about the science

Indian Burial Ground

This is a Native vampire tale. Sort of. It’s about multiple generations of people in a small community--dealing with suicide and alcohol use disorder and all manner of bad things--who work on a way forward while bad an inexplicable things happen all around them. Medina is a member of the Tunica Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. This story takes place in a fictional Louisiana tribe. I usually have a hard time with stories that have too much trauma in them but this one kept me reading. Mind the CW at the beginning, it’s no joke.

The Ministry of Time

This was not so much a time travel novel as a novel of what it means to be out of place, not where you’re meant to be, among your people. This is a stirringly poignant novel that hovered just on the edge of “too much” for me. The main protagonist spends a lot of time in an anxious tension about their relationship. It’s got a lot of funny bits, can be a bit uneven, but overall just a well-done story about a near-future earth where we can kidnap people from the past to try to solve current problems. Kind of. I’m not usually a fan of “ripped form the headlines” fiction that only dabbles in historical accuracy but this one has some pretty well-interwoven Franklin Expedition trivia in it too.

Ocean’s Godori

I enjoy a good sci-fi space romp that doesn’t get bogged down in too many “But how does the spaceship take off/land exactly?” physics details and this is a good one of those. The Alliance is a big Korean spacefaring concern. A ship takes off with a quirky assortment of misfits with different backstories. There is some drama, a lot of interesting personalities interact, the main character is female and charismatic in an odd way that is hard to pin down. The story seems to end somewhat in the middle, so hoping there’s a sequel.