Lauren (she/her) studied history, political science and ethnic studies at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon as well as film from Santa Barbara City College. She also has a masters in library science from UW. She loves all things PNW, film, horror, cooking/food, history, and BTS.
This poetry collection is simultaneously a grieving for and a celebration of the world around us. We are grieving for the destruction humans have caused but also celebrating the beauty of life that still manages to thrive despite our interference. I love that this collection urged me to more closely observe the world around me and the ways in which everything is connected on some level.
Cursed at birth to be poisonous to the touch, Soraya considers herself the shameful secret of the royal family. That is, until a fortuitous series of events leads her down a path that will irrevocably change her family and her country. As she attempts to come to terms with her actions, she learns that not everything is black and white. I truly appreciate how Bashardoust casts Soraya in a morally gray light in which she is not the hero, nor the villain, and not simply a damsel in distress either. She is fully aware of her reach and her actions. This story beautifully blends Persian fairytale, historical drama, and epic poetry.
This memoir beautifully weaves personal and family history with stories that represent each animal that forms her family totem. Myers grapples with her at times warring Native and White identities. She explores topics such as Indigenous portrayals in popular media, violence against Native women, the death of a language, and anti-Native laws and infrastructures. She is deeply introspective and candid about her loves, losses, battles, and scars.
This is the perfect guide for a movie marathon! Whether you’re feeling horror, romance, avant garde, or apocalypse, this book is a thorough catalog of Pacific Northwest film and television (both filmed and themed in the PNW). My favorite films and TV included in this book: Grey’s Anatomy (2005-Present), The Goonies (1985), Short Circuit (1986), and Practical Magic (1998), and Coraline (2009).
This fun collection of anecdotes about Darkshire’s life as an antiquarian bookseller is delightfully quirky and playful. He takes us deep into his unpredictable apprenticeship at Sotheran’s in London–one of the oldest bookshops in the world–sharing tidbits about the people he interacts with, the books he comes across, and the unexpected perils of rare bookselling.
In an instant everything stops and the world goes silent, but why? As the first novel in the Black Winter series, we are thrown into a mysterious yet terrifying new look at what the end might look like. A perpetual blizzard rages outside whilst Clare and Dorran must confront that what brought them together was much more sinister than a car accident. This book is fast-paced, insidiously descriptive, and thoroughly spine-chilling.
This book is fast-paced, gut-wrenchingly macabre, and well-fitting for a cosmic horror novel. Through the eyes of three women–Erin, Savannah, and Mareva–we are shown the devastating and life-altering effects of an unknown virus which ravages the human population. Their world is only made more terrifying as it is often difficult to differentiate between reality, dream, and hallucination. As the story unfolds, the pieces of what is happening to the planet crash into place and we must face the wreckage.
Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson is a love story to Los Angeles. When Miranda Brooks takes over her uncle’s bookshop after learning of his death, she must face her own past and her family secrets that have been buried for well over a decade. This book gracefully explores grief, community, and family. Being from Southern California, I enjoyed how this book had me engrossed in a wistful portrait of Los Angeles.
Terraformers by Annalee Newitz is a visually stunning story laced with moral questions about labor, the environment, and corporate greed. In the distant future on the planet of Sask-E, the Environmental Rescue Team is faced with many challenges in protecting the formation of this nascent planet. Their hopes for a healthy planet built for everyone is undermined by the corporation of Verdance and the entitlement of the wealthy who wish to relive the glory days of a flourishing Earth from the Pleistocene era. This work is a magnificently imaginative piece which closely resembles the contemporary conversations we are having about the environment and corporate greed.
Ghost Music by An Yu is a wistful and thought-provoking book. Song Yan is living an unremarkable, simple life in Beijing as a piano teacher with her husband and mother-in-law, when boxes of mushrooms are suddenly being sent to their apartment every week from an unknown sender. The truths she discovers as a result sets her routine and everything she knows to be reality ablaze. This book urges us to reflect on who we are outside of our family, relationships, and career…outside of ourselves and our routines. I also love the jacket cover art–it’s quite whimsical!
The Hole by Hye-Young Pyun is utterly devastating and tragic. Oghi, a professor and PhD student had everything–until he has nothing. After waking up from a coma, we witness Oghi’s introspection of his life. This book is all about the terrifying what-ifs of living in the fragile state that is humankind. Although this story is painful in many ways, it allows us to see the beauty in the everyday and reminds us not to take our bright moments for granted. This book is not for the faint of heart.
Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong by Louisa Lim is a deeply personal reflection on the contested yet collective history, memory, and identity of Hong Kong from the ancient times through the Umbrella Movement of 2019. It is a deliberate reexamination of what it means to be a Hong Konger whether it be under British rule or China’s “One Country, Two Systems” policy. Lim created a meticulously researched and profoundly eye-opening piece of literature which is thoroughly engaging and necessary for our contemporary moment.
As a dark historical fantasy, Babel gives us a new look into the history of exploitation of the British empire. I enjoyed how this book shed light on the magical links between languages and how a single word can carry many meanings.