Parkland

Evils of the world,
take heed: children do not stay
children forever.

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Reading Wrap-up: January 2018 Edition

I swear I will get back to posting these in a timely fashion.  Pinky swear.

I finished reading one book in the month of January, and that book was…

*drumroll*

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursual K. Le Guin!  I actually started reading this towards the end of 2017 but due a chronic case of Life Getting Busy, I wasn’t able to finish it until January.  This one is a novel that has been on my radar for a long time, as has Le Guin’s work as a whole.  I know I read a different novel of hers when I was in college, but it was so long ago now that I don’t remember much of it, apart from the fact that it was The Lathe of Heaven.  But I digress.  I very much enjoyed The Left Hand of Darkness – particularly its commentary on gender/gender roles and how such dynamics can influence the very fundamental structure of society.  What happens when toxic masculinity doesn’t exist because there’s no such thing as masculinity except in strictly biological terms?  What happens when every member of the population has the potential to bear children, and therefore everyone has a stake in the rearing of children?  I found the examination of these questions (and others like them) fascinating.

The story’s political commentary also hit a little too close to home in certain instances.  Brutal, accurate, and poetic – but uncomfortably relevant to the current events of 2018.

Definitely check this one out.  But you don’t need me to tell you that.  This is a classic of science-fiction.  You already know you should check it out.

My Body’s Gratitude

Whenever my vanity depicts my form
As something less than perfection
(Whatever it is that “perfection” means)
I remind myself that the curves
And stretched skin exist because
My body has known abundance
And has spent all its days
In the land of plenty.

Hunger – vicious, gnawing hunger –
Is a foreign language
That I have never heard,
And the “imperfections” are simply
My body’s thank you
For all the good fortune it has known.

Bookish Adventures: 2017 Edition

Here it is!  The full list of every book I read in 2017.  The grand total: 27.  This was a little bit shy of my goal to read 36 books this past year – I wanted to see if I could average three per month – but per usual, life happened and got in the way of reading time.  The bolded titles are some of my favorites of the year:

1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
3. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
4. The Gunslinger by Steven King
5. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
6. Animal Farm by George Orwell
7. Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
8. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
9. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
10. A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
11. The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan
12. Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan
13. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
14. Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier
15. Saga, Volume Seven by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
16. In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan
17. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
18. Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan
19. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
20. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
21. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
22. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
23. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
24. Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
25. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
26. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
27. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

As you can see, books with a mythological bent (either retellings or analyses) and the entirety of the Memoirs of Lady Trent series got a lot of love from me this year.  And while I enjoyed many other novels listed above, the books in bold are the ones that have stuck with me the most.

Here’s to happy reading in 2018!

Reading Wrap-up: December 2017 Edition

Hey folks!  Long time, no see.

I figured since January 2018 is nearly over I should get this up sooner rather than later.  And if you’re wondering where my November 2017 wrap-up went, it doesn’t exist; I didn’t finish reading any new books during that month as I was a bit busy working what is close to a full-time job and rehearsing/opening a play.  Leisure time was in short supply for a spell.

But anyway, here’s my final monthly wrap-up of 2017:

Continue reading

Reading Wrap-up: October 2017 Edition

Yes.  I know.  This reading wrap-up is extremely late.  But in my defense, I’ve been rehearsing a play for the past month-and-a-half and we finally opened last night!  Woohoo!  Maybe now I can actually get some sleep.

But the reason why this is late is also the reason why I only finished one book in the month of October…

…and that book was Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

I bought this book on a whim, knowing only a little about it.  But myth and folklore are right up my alley, and I was excited to dive in to see what exactly it was about.

Fair warning for anyone who has not yet read it: there is quite a bit of technical, psychological jargon and terminology present in this book, and it can be quite a dense read at times.  But setting that aside, while reading many (most) of its passages I felt like I’d been in therapy with the author for the past several years, and she knew all of my deepest secrets and desires.  She described in detail feelings and experiences so close to my own that it felt like she was reaching through the pages to comfort me – to put a hand on my shoulder and say that everything was going to be alright.  Reading this was both a comfort and a call to arms all wrapped up into one.

All women should read this book.  All men should read this book.  All people should read this book.  And I shall leave it at that.

See you next month with the next installment in my reading wrap-up series!