If 'My Autobiography of Carson McCullers' didn’t convince you that Shapland is one of the most exciting, subversive, and inventive of American writers, a writer with nerve and wide-ranging interests, then the essays in 'Thin Skin' will surely demand your attention like they demanded mine. Shapland has written more than just essays—these are eruditely-researched works of journalism tangled with deeply personal memoir, connected and cohesive like a mycorrhizal network. These essays about reproductive rights, poison in America, our many failures to out-engineer climate change, and the literal meaning of life will challenge and educate those seeking a way to articulate the discontents of the Anthropocene. 'Thin Skin' is also a masterclass in pandemic-era writing, swimming in the moment without succumbing to it. You’ll find Adrienne Rich, Eula Biss, David Graeber, and Audre Lord in these pages, in-depth frameworks for a subversive queer history, and something that resembles a My Autobiography of Rachel Carson (if we can be so lucky). Shapland grows into her own as a nature writer, and with this new collection, claims her place as a major writer of the Southwest. Not only should this book last; it should be taught.
At once a lovely little friends to enemies to friends to lovers, and a tender reckoning with grief, trauma, and prejudice. I love these characters and their friendships and their flaws and their growth. I wanted to eat every meal they ate, drink every cocktail they shared at their quasi-group-therapy-
speakeasy-get-togethers, and just exist within the chaos and the calm. Hug your friends, tell your loved ones you love them, confess your feelings to your crush, trust your gut or heart or brain or whatever, go to therapy, and read this book (in no particular order).
This might be the most honest and glorious thing I've ever read. I love this book so much, I want to eat it.
Big Swiss is less like a novel and more like an endurance test of second-hand embarrassment. Greta/Rebekah's genuine curiosity and awe of her boss's mysterious new patient, nicknamed Big Swiss, spirals into a relationship based on lies, amorous feelings towards armpits, and jealousy in the fraudulent form of Javier Bardem. My shoulders were in a permanent state of cringing while reading this, but that didn't stop me from racing through this book.
I'm not much of a YA reader, I couldn't say they last time I read one. That said, I very much so enjoyed this! A tender, sweet and often times hilarious story of young queer love. I recommend this to anyone looking for a light, heartwarming read to sit in the sun with.
As "LA's Renowned Lesbian Dominatrix", Chris Belcher could pay off her student loans while working towards her doctorate, and keep from slipping into the cycle of poverty she had escaped from once she left West Virginia. She was also able to examine gender dynamics behind the dungeon door, and the way masculinity presents itself when she has her boot pushing into someone's back. Complicated questions of sexuality, queerness, identity, and power arise with every essay in this memoir, as well as the way society harms those that deviate from the norm.
Thank you, P. Djeli Clark, for writing this Victorian Egyptian steampunk novel just for me! "A Master of Djinn" melds the mysterious adventures of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody archaeological mysteries with the snarky steampunk vibe of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. Along with a dash of the inclusive romance that I've been devouring lately and a cast of multicultural characters, the result is the most entertaining book I've read this year from the most original voice I could hope to find.
This has it all: an eating disorder, mommy issues, frozen yogurt, sex, the spirit of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, and lots more. The detail Broder brings to this story of appetite (that of spirituality, sensuality, and food) is magnificent. You feel like you're under the neon lights of the kosher Chinese Polynesian American restaurant in the middle of LA, rooting for Rachel as she starts feeding herself in more ways than one. Let me assure you that it's not for everyone, with a big trigger warning and explicit sex scenes, but it could be for you.
There's a reason why he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2020! These poems are lovely and devastating. Beautiful and heartbreaking, of course, with titles like "Bullet Points" as a black man in America and lines like "I love a man I know I could die" as an openly gay, HIV-positive man. Read this if you want something solid and good.
This novel is both the stories of twelve women and a sweeping history of the Black British experience. With poetic prose, dazzling characters, and intricate details, it is impossible not to get lost in Evaristo's work.