“Artemis” from Andy Weir only checks the boxes without any depth

I read a book by a white guy and I regret it.

For a while now I’ve made a conscious effort to read books not written by white men. But I’d seen enough reviews of Andy Weir’s sci-fi novel Artemis that when it came through my library holds I stopped what I was doing to check it out. And now I’m sad. It was exactly the kind of book I’d been avoiding: trying too hard to be edgy, featured a flat female lead, and with a diverse set of characters just to have them there.

Continue reading “Artemis” from Andy Weir only checks the boxes without any depth

Apparently 2017 was the year of the Chinese adoption books

Looking at Little Fires Everywhere, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, and The Leavers.

I always thought I had an understanding about adoption. Never questioned much, just accepted everything I was grateful for. After reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See, and The Leavers by Lisa Ko, I’ve started thinking about it again.

It hasn’t been easy, or particularly fun (I should probably talk to a professional about this, but blogging will suffice in the meantime.) I set out with the goal to compare the three, and while reading them back-to-back-to-back started to weigh on me, it’s been enlightening too. Reading them together put into words a lot of the feelings I didn’t realize I even felt. By the end, finishing with Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, I had a new clarity on the topic. But I never felt like any one of them told a complete story of adoption. Here, let me explain each one a little better.
(Warning, spoilers ahead.)

Continue reading Apparently 2017 was the year of the Chinese adoption books

A fresh, needed perspective from a living female rock critic

Jessica Hopper’s book, “The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic” goes beyond the simple story of a review or profile.

After years of music criticism, Jessica Hopper assembled her best work to plant a flag in pop culture criticism with her second book, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic. Her dry humor and honest reviews make this First Collection an enjoyable read, but Hopper’s refreshing point of view on female musicians and fans really make these essays cultural criticism. She took each artist, body of work, and the overall culture to contextualize it within her own perspective.

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A dependable fantasy in “A Darker Shade of Magic”

A magician, a thief, and an intriguing world.

A few weeks ago, I was bored and felt nostalgic for some bad steampunk. I found a cheap YA steampunk novel (it was indeed bad but I enjoyed it anyways) and when I finished it my friend asked, “Do you want a book that doesn’t suck?” With that introduction, she handed me V. E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic.

Prepare to be dazzled by a world of parallel Londons — where magic thrives, starves, or lies forgotten, and where power can destroy just as quickly as it can create.

Continue reading A dependable fantasy in “A Darker Shade of Magic”