September Reading Wrap Up

Hello my murder of crows I am going to be doing my wrap up of all the books I read in September this is probably going to be filmed over a couple of days i’m haven’t finished my notes. i’m dealing with a lot of focus fog right now but i don’t want to wait too long to film it. i read 12 books in the month of september, uh six of them were from my library so that’s pretty cool so let’s get into it. the first book i read is The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran this is uh Gibran is a an author who was born in Lebanon and immigrated to the U.S. as a young adult this is a collection of philosophical poetic essays that cover topics such as love, marriage, work, teaching, death, etc the poems have a very, like, biblical/ prophet feel this book also kind of reminded me of the I-Ching in terms of the, the musings, the philosophical thoughts also kind of being a sort of framework for how a society can be successful. and how an individual can be a happy, well-rounded person within a society i definitely felt that the first couple of poems were stronger and as they went on i was just less interested in what the message of each poem was. i don’t know how much of it is because of the shift in topics- like things just kind of got more abstract i want to read a little section from the poem that talks about marriage because this is an example of one of the things that i found kind of interesting in it so at the end of the poem about marriage it says “and stand together/ yet not too near together/ for the pillars of the temple stand apart/ and the oak tree and the cypress/ grow not in each other’s shadow” and i think that’s, i think a good example of like the beauty of this poetry. because like that imagery like first off it’s like beautiful imagery but also like philosophically like that’s a great idea of like when you come into a marriage you are each like you’re you have your unique structure and you have your unique strengths but together you hold up something bigger than yourself i was given this by my last ex. it was really meaningful that he gave me this book to read mainly because he wasn’t someone who really read a lot of books and he also wasn’t someone who like held on to a lot of stuff so there’s part of me that really regrets not having read it while we were together and being able to talk about it with him and what it meant to him um he was also of Lebanese descent so i think he, part of it was like he was connecting to one of the cultural icons that has come out of lebanon that has had international success um but i also know that i am able to appreciate this a lot more now in a way that i wouldn’t have been at the time. i would have just read it to have read it. anyway i, i i’m glad i finally read it. i’m glad that i have kept it and made a choice to read it and i enjoyed reading it so book number two that i read was Sabriel by Garth Nix. i actually did not read the physical copy i read the audiobook that i borrowed from my library the reason that i wanted to make a point of reading it in the audiobook was i learned that it was narrated by Tim Curry. there is a particular character in here by the name of Mogget that once i thought about Tim Curry narrating that character i was, i was so enamored with the idea the book is about Sabriel, this young woman, she is the latest in a long line of Abhorsens, who are counter necromancers necromancers raise the dead up Abhorsens put the dead down. the old kingdom is where magic, specifically Charter magic reigns and modern scientific technology doesn’t really work. the story kind of starts out that something has happened to Sabriel’s father and she has to literally take up his tools of the trade to discover what happened to him and in the course of that discover what has been plaguing the old kingdom and now threatens to spill over into the new kingdom, into Ancelstierre on the quest to figure out what happened to her father she teams up with a talking cat named Mogget who is uh much more than he seems

and later on they encounter a mysterious young man who goes by the name of Touchstone who we slowly discover what his history is and how his long history is related to the events that are currently happening in this book i really enjoyed listening to this um i think Tim Curry was a fantastic choice for narrator. this is one of my favorite fantasy worlds from childhood. i really, really love the magic system. yay fun. the next book i read was the Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. this copy is probably like at least from the 70s maybe from the 60s. i have no idea how often a translation of a book gets updated- because Victor Hugo was french, he wrote this book in french originally. that was definitely a question that was on my mind was- are there other translations out there that people would consider better or more modern um because it took me about a hundred pages to get into it like up until at least page 70 i was thinking that this was going to be a dnf. there was so much detailed description like there was like one very lengthy chapter that i pretty much just skipped over so when i found this specific version on Goodreads, so i could track accurately the number of pages, i’ve discovered that the book descriptions vary with the different editions. uh let me read to you the description that goes along with this modern library edition Quasimodo, a gentle and kind hunchback who lives a lonely isolated life in the cathedral in Paris, rescues the beautiful Esmeralda from being hanged for a crime she did not commit. that’s not what happens! and i don’t really want to tell you exactly what’s wrong with that because it would be a major spoiler maybe, maybe, you know what, fuck it. this book is like 200 years old. Quasimodo TRIES to rescue the beautiful Esmeralda that’s already significantly more accurate. there’s a lot in this book that i think really went over my head, and that’s okay, that’s gonna have some reread value i guess if i with my modern lens was going to talk about what this book is about- the story explores three [four] very different iterations of masculinity in the form of these men’s fixation on the character of Esmeralda in the cathedral of- what’s it called?! fuck, uh brain fog. so we have Claude Frollo who is a bishop? [archbishop] i think in the cathedral of Quasimodo you forgot the name of the book you were holding, looked it up, and still got it wrong we have Captain Phoebus who is a captain of the, he’s a military, he’s a military dude i don’t remember and i don’t care, i’ll get into that and then we have Quasimodo who is uh the hunchback who is the bell ringer of Notre Dame um and they all through various events become fixated on La Esmerelda who is a, they describe her as an “Egyptian” which i think is a misinterpretation intentional or otherwise, i don’t know, again because this was written 200 years ago about events that take place like 300 years before i would just, so, “egyptian” which i think is a misinterpretation of somebody who is of the Roma community. i’m not going to say the other word because yo that’s a slur and we should get used to describing it in other ways what do i mean about three very different iterations of masculinity? so Claude Frollo is a fucking incel. he is someone who becomes viciously obsessed with Esmeralda, he becomes viciously obsessed with her feminine purity because she’s a virgin for- that’s a whole storyline. first he sees her as you know, you know a sinful low woman but then he learns that she’s a virgin, in addition to her being beautiful now he becomes just like very creepily and manipulative- manipulatively, i got a little dizzy trying to figure out that word through him we have a lot of debate of the virgin/whore dichotomy so like he’s an incel because he wants her to give him her attention,, but she refuses it because she’s creeped the fuck out by him when he is refused because he’s very

much got this idea of like well “if i can’t have her then nobody can have her” so he’s a piece of shit and fuck him. and then we have Captain Phoebus so when i was typing up my notes i had already forgotten his name and i was very pleased that i had forgotten his name because fuck him Phoebus is like a frat house dude-bro who comes up to you in a setting, interrupts your conversation and demands your phone number at no point in him talking at you does he ask for your name, does he ask if you’re single, does he ask if you’re even into men, or looking. he’s just like i want you and you don’t really have a say in that there’s a telling scene when Phoebus is hanging out with his- i don’t know if they’re engaged yet but his like fiance or fiance to be- and her friends and these are a bunch of like higher class ladies and he feels very uncomfortable with them because he usually runs with a soldier crowd. so he’s like i can’t swear, i can’t like talk about the things i usually talk about, and like okay that’s fair. um but he’s like very much not attracted to these definitions of a lady and then he sees Esmerelda then he invites her to come dance. he feels more comfortable with her because she feels accessible to him, you know like he doesn’t have to worry about her honor because i mean “”just look at the way that she’s dressed that’s part of his thought process. its like she dances in public, she uh you know shows her shoulders and shows and bits of her legs, so she’s clearly like a loose woman and he’s comfortable with that and he doesn’t really care about besmirching her honor, besmirching her reputation he’s definitely not interested in marrying her, like he’ll tell her that she loves, that he loves her but he doesn’t want to fucking marry her because, you don’t do that with the women that you want to fuck so fuck him. okay i’m done talking about him. okay day two a character who was not in the disney movies was Pierre Gringoire- that is a difficult word for me to say i learned that he is loosely based on an actual historical playwright/ poet but he makes an appearance in this story and this is a little bit of a spoiler but it’s important for how he plays into the portrayals of masculinity um so he uh gets married to Esmeralda but because of reasons uh she doesn’t want to consummate the marriage and i mean props for him for respecting that perhaps, for him, for understanding that she doesn’t want him to touch her so he’s not going to what does he do uh he then gets uh very fixated and enamored with her pet goat there’s a lot to read into of this man who is, once he has his sexual advances rejected instead of trying to pursue a platonic relationship with this woman, atthe end of the book choose to save the goat rather than save the human woman. okay so finally um we’ve got Quasimodo. now my impression of him going into it was like he’s kind of like the nice guy who finishes last and that’s, it’s more complicated than that. he’s a good guy but because of his physicality because of his circumstances he is “different” and that makes the common people around him afraid of him and then they, and it causes them to treat him very cruelly and unfairly. so not only is he disfigured, but he’s also deaf. there’s a book that i’ve been seeing some people talk about, going around on youtube that is called Disfigured and it’s like part memoir/ anecdote and then part critical analysis of fictional fictional representation of disability, and one of the characters they talk about is Quasimodo. and but he’s the closest thing we have to a hero. he’s the one that we root for and the reason is he’s the only man in this entire book who is drawn to Esmeralda because she was kind to him you know he he’s drawn to her for something that, because of an aspect of who she is as a person um there’s there’s a moment where he’s in the stockade and every the crowd is like throwing shit at him and yelling at him and making all these assumptions about this man who doesn’t know what’s going on because he’s deaf but she comes up and she gives him water and she she treats him decently. even though like it’s very clear that she’s like repulsed by him and afraid of him um she behaves like, she she’s kind to him. and um you know that that is why he becomes kind of fixated on her. because kindness has been so limited in his life as much as you can you’re root for him. i mean i, i knew going into the story that it’s like, he’s not going to get a happy

ending he’s not handsome so he doesn’t get a happy ending um i wish i had more to say about the character of Esmeralda but i think because we only ever see her described through the views of these men, and we never really get a sense of like what’s going on within her own head, she she doesn’t really feel like a person, she’s, she’s a plot device, she’s a holy grail anyway um in summary uh i like this book more than i was expecting i feel like at some point in the future i would like to try to read a different translation and maybe find like, maybe not spark notes but some kind of study guide to kind of help me put into words these things that just kind of went over my head so the next book i picked up was the novella for uh Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proux i saw the movie when it came out. i think i saw it twice um and it was fucking robbed of its Oscar so this novella um it is a story that follows two male ranch hands who form a queer romance uh over the summer that they work together on Brokeback Mountain so Ennis Delmar meets Jack Twist in 1963 so this takes place mostly like in the 60s and 70s what i thought was was really interesting in this story was uh there’s some mention of labels, like there’s there’s a line where one of the characters is like “i ain’t no queer” you know because they’re Midwest very masculine manly-men. um and there’s like some mention of like what the queer culture is like outside of their relationship it’s very much on the fringes and i really appreciated that the story just kind of focused on like their own relationship without putting a lot of pressure on labels of what their own identities were and what they were to each other and focusing on like the connection that these two human beings had to each other in a world that provided barriers to them being able to be together. what’s also really fascinating is their relationship is just like so aggressively masculine like and not in a bad way that’s like that’s that’s who they are as people like that’s how what they were raised into. um but it’s also, it’s amazing how like within that they are still like tender and vulnerable and that like have desire and dream it’s like a very like just sweet little whole story with kind of a tragic ending because, you know, gay cowboys in the 60s and 70s like they don’t, they’re not the ones who get happy endings we know because it’s so short um pretty much everything that’s in here is in the movie, i think the movie actually kind of expands on their post-married life quite a bit more than what is in the story. also because it’s a short story like the nature of a short story is kind of like every detail every sentence is kind of uh full of more information than when you have like an entire novel to tell a story um and i, i also really liked that you didn’t really need to know a lot of the context in order to understand like what the point of the story was. that description is going to be relevant later when i talk about another book. the next book i read was The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio i talk about this a little bit in um one of my recent videos, The Tarot Card Book Tag. in that one i talk about some of the ways in which this book smashes stereotypes so this book is written by one of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard, she is a DACA recipient so this is mostly investigative journalism, part memoir, a collection of essays that was researched and collected in the years following the 2016 election it gives the reader a tiny glimpse into the lives and communities of undocumented Latinx immigrants in this country. it is a community that for matters of safety um they often try to stay out of the public eye. shortly after reading this i listened to a fabulous interview with the author on The Stacks Podcast. i will link the instagram and the podcast below god Villavicencio, i’m just gonna call her Karla, she’s a fascinating human being

um i, i loved hearing her talk about herself and her writing and like how she is drawn to writing. um i, i love when she talks about this book how she did not, she made a point that she did Not want to write a book that was going to be for white ladies in their book clubs. so there’s a lot in this book that makes people outside of this community have to confront a lot of really challenging truths. um case in point, the day that i picked this up was September 11th, and when i was starting to read it i realized that the second essay was called Ground Zero. as indicated in the title Ground Zero, uh that essay explores all of the undocumented workers that were affected by the attack on the Twin Towers and how many of them were instrumental in the cleanup of Ground Zero we talk about how many people died that day those are only the ones that we have paper evidence for, and who knows how many undocumented immigrants were working in the area or working in the building that do, are not allowed to be factored into that number because their families couldn’t prove that they were there another key point about this book um and kind of what my point was in the Tarot Card video when i talk about smashing stereotypes, is this book really emphasizes the humanity of these people and um Karla is very critical of the rhetoric of like respecting immigrants because they’re so “hard-working” and because they contribute so much to this country and and she’s just like, fuck that! like they are human beings they are flesh and blood, human beings with basic needs and we have an ethical and moral obligation to give fellow human beings basic human dignity this is a beautiful collection of essays i want to read it again I don’t really have like, fully formed feelings on it but it’s fucking fantastic. and um everybody should read it or at least read an essay from it or listen to the interview let us move on to the next book. okay um so the next book i read was Gods of Jade and Shadow by Sylvia Moreno Garcia. this is a book i read from my library um so it has a fucking beautiful cover. i will, i will show here um so uh this follows the character of Casiopea, um she’s clearly named after the um constellation Cassiopeia that we we pronounce Cassiopeia but given the spelling and the fact that this book takes place in Mexico i’m going to make the assumption that her name is pronounced Casio-peh-ah so the story follows Casiopea who is a young Mexican woman who inadvertently releases an imprisoned Mayan death god and has to work with him on his quest to regain control of the realm of Xibalba and wrest control away from his brother who tricked him into losing his power and being locked up. this book takes place in the jazz age in 1920s Mexico it starts in a small village in the Yucatan and then travels up to Mexico city to a border town in Texas and then in Baja California i loved the lush settings, i just, i totally felt that i was i was there um the descriptions are beautiful and i really really, my probably my favorite part of the book is the way that the the turning point that is the 1920s like not just in America but in a lot of the world, i love how that is explored through the character of Casiopea one example is one of her life’s goals her dreams is to drive an automobile, you know not just ride in the automobile but to Drive in one, and there’s a scene where she talks about why she’s so enamored with that idea. you know she’s you know i think they are on a train, and she explains how like on a train like you are tied to the tracks you can go forward and you can go backward and that’s it but in an automobile in a car you can go anywhere, a car is freedom um and that is not just like symbolic of the time period in which like technology and ideas and everything was changing, but also like her as a young woman in that time period she is very much pushing at the boundaries of what is expected of a young woman in Mexico of her social standing you know she she dares to dream big and and i love that about her. so apart from that, there’s what i didn’t like. what i, what i didn’t love as much is i feel, i felt like there was a lot of

inconsistencies in a lot of the character developments. um in Casiopea she is portrayed as like very headstrong and very like um reluctant. she, she doesn’t like that she can’t, she’s kind of like the poor relative living in her family’s house so she’s kind of got like a little bit of a Cinderella vibe, and she’s very resentful of having to like serve her rich family you know very much she wants to form her own path. but then when she gets uh tied to the death god- i mean yes, there is the motivation that if she doesn’t help him over time um his body will draw strength from her and eventually kill her. so yes that is very strong motivation but i felt like she falls in line with with the death god- his name is Hun-Kamé- she falls in line with him like a little bit too easily. like she doesn’t like, i feel like she kind of just like gets like star struck and just kind of like falls in line with him and doesn’t start asking questions until later she would at least act more reluctant or like ask more questions. that kind of bothered me a little bit. and also um she has a cousin Martín who’s kind of like the human bad guy, because there’s also like the the other death god brother who’s kind of their antagonist but the cousin Martín is kind of sent to follow her and try and bring her back and it is drilled into you he is sexist. he’s the bad guy he’s sexist. and it’s annoying it’s, it’s like you know three quarters of the book before we start getting any other aspect of his personality another thing i did like i did kind of like how it explored the the aspects of like humanity and contradiction to the gods one of the the things that they talk about is brother uh he can kind of see the future and the more that Hun-Kamé spends, the more time that Hun-Kamé spends with Casiopea the less clear his future is. because humans are like the only ones who can be free of fate. humans can make their own future in a way that um god figures can’t. so it’s interesting to kind of see that even though she’s a human wrapped up in a god’s game, there are parts of her humanity that are very powerful in and of themselves. and something else to know when i was compiling my notes is, um this is an adult novel, it’s an adult fantasy novel but a lot of people think that it’s young adult. and this is something that the author has even confirmed and talked about, is there’s a lot of adult work that’s classified as young adult because it’s written by a woman. and there’s an important point that just because a story is accessible to young readers doesn’t mean it was written For them. that was, that was interesting because reading it i was like, yeah there’s definitely a lot of it, but it kind of feels like something i would have read as a young adult and that seems to happen to women more than men. so the next book i read, book number seven, was The Hammon and the Beans by Américo Paredes so this was another book that i had on my shelves and i had read. and this was a collection of short fiction stories written by Américo Paredes who is, he i think was one of the instrumental academics in the founding of Chicano studies or maybe not even the founding but like he, he definitely had like a lot of a strong resume and credentials um in the study of Chicano history and Chicano literature um so these stories mostly focus on the U.S. Mexican border, and the like American-Mexican war it has an introduction written by another person that is very academic. i have an intense dislike of super academic writing, like high academic jargon. i’m going to read you an example of what i hate. “Together with the later scholarly work, the novel and the poetry can now be seen as part of a larger imaginative project to invent a figural discourse of transnational epic proportions appropriate to the construction of a new narrative of a modern american social and cultural history.” what the fuck does that mean?! figural discourse if you are not schooled in the unique language that is academic jargon then then this, it’s not accessible to you and i know that i am a decently intelligent person and i read shit like that and i feel dumb as a rock and i hate it sorry that’s a very specific tangent. the introduction then kind of does start to examine each story specifically and it’s kind of necessary because this

is the kind of short story that i don’t like- in contrast to Brokeback Mountain this is the kind i don’t like- where there’s a lot of details that if you don’t go in knowing all about the relevant historical events or who the people are that they mention then the significance of that story is lost on you. and i’ve read most of these stories not understanding what is your point? what is the theme? like i understood like okay there’s this character and this plot point happens and this is how it ends but like but why? i couldn’t get the why without going back to the portion of the introduction that then like would explain it all for you and there was one of the stories that it dealt with a man having to, “having” to murder his wife because she was seen in the car with another man and uh toxic masculinity machismo dictated well now he has to kill her, and okay. i kind of got like the, the themes about like how machismo can be very self-destructive but there was all of this history about how the cycles of sexism and poverty affects women and like that wasn’t discussed at all in the analysis and i, i then i have to question like, did the author even realize things like that in writing this character? or was he just using the sexual shame of a woman and like the brutal murder of this woman as nothing but a plot device for the character development of a man? it really wasn’t for me. um so this is gonna go into my little giveaway basket. anyway sorry for the glare right here. so the next book i read uh this was also borrowed from my library this is The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez this is a futuristic space sci-fi that mainly follows a ship captain named Nia Imani, she is a woman out of time um because she for for her job her her ship transports goods from planets to space stations and back and they travel through these wormholes where there’s like time dilation so like a month for her will be several years for the people on her various destinations. so it’s very hard for her to make connections with other human beings outside of the little family on her ship. the story really picks up when she encounters a strange boy who fell out of the sky. and he is mute, it is implied that the muteness comes from past trauma um he has a very strong connection to music like he uh Nia gives him um a flute, of just like a little cheap flu she picked up as a souvenir but it becomes like this very special a symbol of connection between her and the boy um there are other forces in the universe that are searching for the boy because there is something about him that could really crack open the future of space travel the story has like a beautiful found family aspect and i love how it explores the healing process that can happen when you are responsible for another living creature. when you are so overwhelmed by your trauma or your depression or something like having another living creature or another human being or a pet that is utterly dependent on you it takes you kind of it, kind of takes you outside of yourself to have to meet their basic needs and in doing that for this other being you kinda have learned the emotional muscle memory to do it for yourself i kind of, i kind of wish the ending was a little bit more filled out. like we kind of know like where the story is heading and it very much just stops there. and i wanted to see the fallout of what happened after that event that we’ve been rushing to at the very end um but overall it was like a really beautiful book, like it’s, like it’s definitely like a science fiction space novel but there’s a lot in there it’s about human connection that’s really cool i highly recommend. the next book i read was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. i listened to this on audiobook also borrowed from my library the narration of this is fucking fantastic. i could, i could picture each character so distinctly with the narrator’s voice. just amazing. um so the story follows uh the main character Star she is a 15? 16? year old black girl who uh witnesses a childhood friend murdered by a police officer during a traffic stop. and uh there is a lot in there about the world that we currently live in that leads up to an event like that. but it’s this book is really about um the people who get left behind in

that event and all of the weight of that trauma that they have to live with over and over again multiple times in a person’s life and this book is only a couple of years old but holy shit is it timely um and it’s really disappoint- disappointing that it’s still timely but also like it’s a reminder of like it’s gonna fucking take all of us to change shit. the story also explores the tension between like wanting to seek safety and staying out of the limelight but also the power of using your voice to advocate for change i love that it also explored um like internal biases that happen within uh BIPOC communities um you know one thing they talk about is like the way some gang groups actually really help people. the way that sometimes gangs can provide a lot of basic services in communities but also like when the gangs initiate a lot of violence or when they sell drugs like that can be really detrimental um but like to an outsider, to to you know a white newscaster like all the gangs are the same. but it’s like, no, there’s, there’s a reason like why they exist in the first place and they usually exist to fill a gap in social investment in these communities and it’s fucking complicated. um and if you’re not in it who the fuck are you to judge? uh this is the first in the series it looks like the next book in the series is going to explore the backstory of Star’s father i’m i’m really looking forward to reading that book. like the writing is so good the narration is so good is the narration better than Felix Ever After? Maybe. i feel like Felix Ever After had like the perfect voice for the character of Felix but i feel like Hate U Give while the narrator is amazing for the voice of Star, she’s also so good for every other character in a way that maybe slightly trumps the narrator from um Felix Ever After. oh it’s a tough call day three uh next book i read, number 10, was Educated by Tara Westover. so this is a memoir that is about Tara Westover who was raised by Mormon survivalist parents in rural Idaho, which meant that she never went to school and she never went to a doctor and she didn’t have a birth certificate until she was like nine all of, all of her education was kind of given by her parents and then was also kind of very self-directed which meant that it was very incomplete so she was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom she managed to study and get good enough marks in taking the ACT that she was able to um attend Brigham Young University there’s a lot of this book that kind of just deals with her life and you know having grown up in this very particular upbringing and then kind of coming into the rest of the world but um i really like this i fucking devoured this um because it it was like a testament to the power that is human curiosity. um like as much as i am critical the promotion of our modern western educational institution because it’s kind of been turned into a business at the expense of a lot of my generation who are drowning in student debt, this is a reminder that the concept of education, access to education can be very liberating she has like some revelations in here that kind of talk about like how the act of learning helps us grapple with the inconsistencies and hypocrisies in our society and there’s an excerpt that i want to read so she is kind of coming out of the initial shock of being an adult learning about things like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement for the first time. let’s see she writes: “i knew what it was to have a misconception corrected, a misconception of such magnitude that shifting it shifted the world. now i needed to understand how the great gatekeepers of history had come to terms with their own ignorance and partiality i thought if i could accept that what they had written was not absolute but was the result of a biased process of conversation and revision maybe i could reconcile myself with the fact that the history most people agreed upon was not the history i had been taught dad could be wrong and the great historians Carlisle and McCauley and Trevlin could be wrong, but from the ashes of their dispute i could construct a world to live in

in knowing the ground was not ground at all i hoped i could stand on it.” i love it. she makes it kind of clear that like as much as like the mormon faith of her parents did influence their decision like she, she’s not, this isn’t like a crusade against mormonism it’s just the context that is relevant to her experience a fascinating journey, and she’s she’s a great writer and [this was] a great experience. the next book i read was from my library again, this is Stormfront by Jim Butcher. this is the first book in the Dresden Files series this is an urban fantasy that follows a wizard investigator named Harry Dresden i had previously in my early 20s read up to the 12th book so i, i was familiar with the world and i had like fun memories of the world. um i’m very much more aware of the sexism in this book than when i first read it. interesting to like examine like how much of the sexism is like a character choice and how much of it is from the author because like there’s multiple moments when the character is like called out for being a “sexist pig” it’s kind of a joke but you know like for example he has um a contact within the uh police agency she hates that he has to hold the door open for her but he does it anyway because you know call him “old-fashioned” so there is a little bit of like awareness of you know the ways that his very straight male mind thinks of women and the way like he wants to protect, them the way he’s like a sucker for like helping a damsel in distress okay but you know there’s things that are definitely like the author’s choice uh for example you describe how brutally mutilated a murdered woman’s body is but then you also like have to comment about like how great her ass is like going forward stop, fucking doing that you know i bring that up because if this was the first time i was reading the series that would probably be enough to turn me off. but my memories of just kind of like enjoying this magical world because like i feel like the stories have good pacing, i i feel like the magic system is well developed. [we] see how certain things get set up, they get explored more in, in this, in later in later books. so like my nostalgia for it and then i also remember, i think it was like around book like seven or eight i noticed a distinct change in the writing style, so i have hope that the sexism improves? you know it’s a low investment for me to keep borrowing the books from my library but i will say if you like urban fantasy if you like that kind of action and fast pacing and monsters and stuff, uh Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse was better next book i read and the last book i borrowed from my library was The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith. this was a book that i added to my library list because the premise sounded really interesting. i learned about it from Sandra from Gotathingforthings, and she kind of had like meh feelings about it. but the premise sounded really interesting so this follows the librarian Claire and her assistant from the Library of the Unwritten which is located in Hell and it is where all of the unfinished stories and artwork resides- either like unfinished stories where the author has passed away so the stories are never going to be finished, or they are ideas and partially written works that are still in progress with authors who are still living occasionally a character will escape from one of the books, and especially if it’s from an author that’s still living, uh that can cause problems. and it is the librarian’s duty to kind of capture that character and put them back in the books. and then there is kind of a concurrent storyline uh of some of the angels in heaven learning about the existence of a very powerful book and their search for it. and the search for it collides with the librarians when they are searching for an escaped character and great epic journey and drama ensues. premise is great, the world building is great i’m interested in the world, but the characters are not super engaging um i mean Cl,aire our main heroine is like she’s supposed to like kind of be closed off as a defense mechanism but she just kind of comes off as like kind of boring and forgettable um the plot lags a lot there were just multiple points where i’m like “should i dnf this?” i feel like some of the magic and like supernatural rules aren’t super well established, like they’re not contradictory, but it does leave a lot of room for certain actions to just be really convenient because there’s not really

any setup or discussion about the the significance of doing these things. or whether or not this is really difficult or something that’s happened before i don’t know if i’ll continue with the series i’m gonna at least like keep my ear open for reviews if you like the idea of magical libraries, like, cool all right so when i started filming i said that i had read 12 books and yesterday was the 30th and i finished another one so actually i’ve read 13 books. and the last book i read was Get a Life, Chloe Brown. [by Talia Hibbert] this is the first romance book that i’ve ever read and it was delightful. and uh i know like everyone who know who it talks about books on the internet probably knows about this book and this author in this series and has gushed about it to no end. Chloe Brown narrowly escapes um getting killed by a car and she realizes that her life up until this point has been so boring and uneventful so she makes like a to-do list to get a life and she then enlists the help of her very attractive rugged bad-boy-but-sensitive superintendent of her apartment building, Redford Morgan. um to kind of help her in accomplishing some of her goals. Chloe Brown suffers from fibromyalgia and a couple other chronic illnesses so there’s some great um disability rep in this where like it’s a part of her life and she’s like you know it affects things in her life and she has to make adjustments but it’s not something that like overly defines her it’s just it’s just a thing that’s part of her life um it’s got great depictions of men taking responsibility for their mental health and their past trauma and be sensitive but also like being like a little bit reckless but like in a healthy way it’s such like a lovely, steamy, adorable story towards the last act of the book there’s like one final little conflict between Chloe and Red and i’ve seen a couple people be like “i feel like that kind of came out of nowhere” or it was unnecessary and you know what, i i actually really need to disagree with it. i think it really makes sense to have that conflict because they are both characters who have some unresolved past trauma that has influenced the way that they can and cannot make connections with people and i have been in a situation where one person gets triggered by something and it makes them behave in a really ugly way and that triggers something in the other person who, now because they’re triggered cannot properly deal with and support the other person needs. and it is just this awful cyclical roller coaster that you didn’t choose to get on you just have to wait to ride it out. and that is absolutely a thing that happens you know and i actually think like that little conflict is an important portrayal of what it can be like to be in a relationship with someone who is still working through their issues when you are also someone who is working through your issues. like it does it does bring up the point of like you need to take responsibility and figure out how to recognize when you’re spiraling or when you’re triggered and not be harmful to the other person um but also like sometimes there’s going to be ugly moments because neither of you are in control. and you need to have the grace to not judge that event by that moment but judge it with clarity when that moment is over anyway that’s my little defense. um i love this i am absolutely going to be reading the rest of the books in the series and i’m definitely going to be exploring more romance. the one thing though is i think moving forward i need to buy my romance in ebook format because i am definitely someone who will like skim a couple pages ahead, look for the good parts, and i can’t do that in an ebook so that’s i think that’s going to help me like be more focused on like what’s happening in the story right now and um appreciate the story as it’s written i need to read you um a little blurb from the author- “Talia Hibbert is a Black British author. she writes sexy diverse romance because she believes that people of marginalized identities need honest and positive representation.” everybody deserves a fucking happy ending we don’t all get it but we all deserve it. okay! finally it only took me three days. um but those are all the books that i read in September

i hope you have a good rest of your day i encourage you to go out into the world and be curious interpret that how you will. go be inquisitive or go be odd, or be both please remember to vote. please remember to wear a mask please remember that Black Lives Matter i’ll have a couple of links of support in my description box. catch you in my next video