My list of books to read this month

“The Chalk Man”

By C.J. Tudor

Oh shit! Go get this book! Tudor’s debut novel is a hell of a ride. Nothing preachy, nothing to learn. Just a good old heart pumpin’ and jumpin’ psychological thriller.

“Fever Dream”

By Samanta Schweblin

Opposite here: Lots to learn in this baby. Written by an Argentinian writer, I can’t even find it on Goodreads. But my local library recommended it as one of the best of 2017. Indeed, I’ve never had a book affect me physically until I read this one! It’s more than frightening. My skin crawled and itched from about page 20 onward. It had me checking and double bolting the doors. But, alas, the real terror was all around me…

“Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto”

By Jessa Crispin

Here’s another one I couldn’t recommend more. I needed to read Jessa Crispin’s argument about how the feminist movement has gotten off course in its attempt to commodify and convince all women they are feminists. I didn’t agree with every point she made, but, as she so convincingly writes, that’s the whole fucking point.

I particularly appreciate her call out of feminist righteousness and how we need to center it back to human rights (ALL human rights, not just female human rights):

“No one talks about toxic femininity, but certainly if we look at certain feminine modes in contemporary culture, it exists. But we would prefer to think of toxic masculinity as innate, and any problems with women’s behavior as being socially created. It’s convenient. Saying or believing that women are special also, by default, dehumanizes men. If we are special because we are caring, then men must be uncaring. If we are special because we are compassionate and nurturing, then men must be emotionally dead and destructive. And if these qualities are innate, then we can dismiss the entire male gender.” 

“The Fact of a Body”

By Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

This book is brutal but brilliant. Proceed with caution, but certainly proceed. Marzano-Lesnevich took ten years to write it and it was worth waiting for. She changes the genre of memoir. “The Fact of a Body” intertwines her story of family secrets, hidden crimes and ignored molestation with the story of a child molester she learns about in law school. What I liked about this book was that it questioned the limits of empathy.Is the death penalty humane? Are there limits to empathy? Should victims be allowed to have that?  These are tough and personal questions. But it’s a relief to see someone asking them — and asking them in a new way.

“Difficult Women”

By Roxane Gay

I’ve been on such a Roxane Gay kick lately. This month I’m returning to where I first fell in love with her: in her comforting gray worlds of fictional short storytelling. She’s the best at uncovering darkness and enchanting you to look. No really, look at it. See their scars. These tales are for and about those whom a careless world made brave hearted.

“Astrophysics for People in a Hurry”

By Neil DeGrasse Tyson

NDT 4-Life! Neil DeGrasse Tyson makes nerding out about the wonders of the universe fun and fast in his latest book. I like how little it feels in my hand. My hand made of stars. 😉

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