#whatrachelsreading

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Got a text from a friend I never see out of the blue telling me he thinks I'd love this book. So despite the endless hype it received, I went straight out and bought it. I think it absolutely was not fair to it to read it after The Three Body Problem- the world building in that one was unmatchable, but still this story of Binti, a teenage human from a culture that chooses to search inwards instead of out was still deeply charming. Binti, though heroic, behaves like a teenager, as she confronts catastrophe after catastrophe and sees the world that she loves fall apart. From the first she is dodging a deeply traditional culture to go out and discover who she truly is. A really enjoyable summer read with lots of excitement. I didn't much like how many doors to potential stories Okorafor opened and left unaddressed, but that's just a personal preference. Some people may prefer the mystery. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #binti #nnediokoroafor #sciencefiction #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Got a text from a friend I never see out of the blue telling me he thinks I'd love this book. So despite the endless hype it received, I went straight out and bought it. I think it absolutely was not fair to it to read it after The Three Body Problem- the world building in that one was unmatchable, but still this story of Binti, a teenage human from a culture that chooses to search inwards instead of out was still deeply charming. Binti, though heroic, behaves like a teenager, as she confronts catastrophe after catastrophe and sees the world that she loves fall apart. From the first she is dodging a deeply traditional culture to go out and discover who she truly is. A really enjoyable summer read with lots of excitement. I didn't much like how many doors to potential stories Okorafor opened and left unaddressed, but that's just a personal preference. Some people may prefer the mystery. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #binti #nnediokoroafor #sciencefiction #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
People keep talking about Danticat and I say "I'm embarrassed but I've never read her." So finding this book at @boneshakerbooks in the @wmnsprisonbookproject used section, I snatched it and dove right in. And within a couple chapters knew that I've DEFINITELY read her and her writing has haunted me for years. Such a distinct style, both intimate and detached allowing you to see  much more deeply into intense family situations while holding back the waterworks. The true and truly horrifying story of Danticat's family and of the USAmerican imperialism that scarred her home country of Haiti and permanently damaged her family. Told in her lyrical, wistful voice, one is carried back and forth, present to past, life to death, in a pulsating rhythm. She is able to stare the monster of the US government in the eye and name its sins, without letting it take over her story telling. That is an incredible feat- the center of her story is her father and her uncle and the tenderness with which she tells their stories is the glory of love. The centering of the true story of love and family rather than letting the brutality of USAmerican politics towards Haitians is so delicately rendered that the violence is made more clear. Danticat is a true force. This book that I accidentally picked up speaks to the deplorable conditions that Haitian asylum seekers went through, not unlike what we are seeing now. We have always had concentration camps in the United States. It's better that we don't pretend that this is new- it is simply an expansion of the ugliness that has been here since the birth of the nation. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #brotherimdying #edwidgedanticat #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklover #bookreview
People keep talking about Danticat and I say "I'm embarrassed but I've never read her." So finding this book at @boneshakerbooks in the @wmnsprisonbookproject used section, I snatched it and dove right in. And within a couple chapters knew that I've DEFINITELY read her and her writing has haunted me for years. Such a distinct style, both intimate and detached allowing you to see much more deeply into intense family situations while holding back the waterworks. The true and truly horrifying story of Danticat's family and of the USAmerican imperialism that scarred her home country of Haiti and permanently damaged her family. Told in her lyrical, wistful voice, one is carried back and forth, present to past, life to death, in a pulsating rhythm. She is able to stare the monster of the US government in the eye and name its sins, without letting it take over her story telling. That is an incredible feat- the center of her story is her father and her uncle and the tenderness with which she tells their stories is the glory of love. The centering of the true story of love and family rather than letting the brutality of USAmerican politics towards Haitians is so delicately rendered that the violence is made more clear. Danticat is a true force. This book that I accidentally picked up speaks to the deplorable conditions that Haitian asylum seekers went through, not unlike what we are seeing now. We have always had concentration camps in the United States. It's better that we don't pretend that this is new- it is simply an expansion of the ugliness that has been here since the birth of the nation. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #brotherimdying #edwidgedanticat #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklover #bookreview
This book has been sitting on my shelf for months. I knew I'd eventually get to it but all starts were false starts. But this time I started and couldn't stop. A near future world where physics has gotten strange, scientists are killing themselves, and a nano tech scientist finds himself deep inside a bizarre world. There's a lot of really technical language in here that makes it feel more real, and lots of really great character building. The story itself, based on a world that has three suns and is tired of the chaos, so is seeking out a new home, is fascinating and completely different from anything that I've ever before read. The author is obviously well versed on obscure theoretical physics which increases the realness of the book, but perhaps, for some, makes it a harder read. Liu's ability to move through time and place and his choice of protagonist in a story with so many great characters is admirable. As it becomes apparent that this other world is coming for earth, and that physics will no longer be able to help us here, the story unfolds gracefully, coming back around and answering everything. An excellent sci fi detective story. Can't wait to read the next two. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thethreebodyproblem #cixinliu #sciencefiction #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
This book has been sitting on my shelf for months. I knew I'd eventually get to it but all starts were false starts. But this time I started and couldn't stop. A near future world where physics has gotten strange, scientists are killing themselves, and a nano tech scientist finds himself deep inside a bizarre world. There's a lot of really technical language in here that makes it feel more real, and lots of really great character building. The story itself, based on a world that has three suns and is tired of the chaos, so is seeking out a new home, is fascinating and completely different from anything that I've ever before read. The author is obviously well versed on obscure theoretical physics which increases the realness of the book, but perhaps, for some, makes it a harder read. Liu's ability to move through time and place and his choice of protagonist in a story with so many great characters is admirable. As it becomes apparent that this other world is coming for earth, and that physics will no longer be able to help us here, the story unfolds gracefully, coming back around and answering everything. An excellent sci fi detective story. Can't wait to read the next two. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thethreebodyproblem #cixinliu #sciencefiction #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Sometimes when I'm tired and my brain doesn't really want to work I read emotionally manipulative trash that has a thousand garbage tropes and flies off the shelves at airports because it's easy and the tropes behave as if they're some advanced humanity but there's nothing truly difficult in not being a shitty human being. Or is there? 📚
A young woman is abandoned by her family but survives. She is stunningly beautiful and very talented and like a rescued pitbull, difficult but lovable. Her only true friends are Black people, but the racist tropes around them are ridiculous. I mean this book is like a giant cliche but whatever. It was very readable. My brain was tired and this filled space. Essentially a hallmark movie but a book. People love the shit out of this book and that's cool, I'm just a snob and that's fine. We all have our own purpose to fill on this Earth. This one perfect planet. Mine is apparently book bitch. 🤷‍♀️ #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #wherethecrawdadssing #deliaowens #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
Sometimes when I'm tired and my brain doesn't really want to work I read emotionally manipulative trash that has a thousand garbage tropes and flies off the shelves at airports because it's easy and the tropes behave as if they're some advanced humanity but there's nothing truly difficult in not being a shitty human being. Or is there? 📚 A young woman is abandoned by her family but survives. She is stunningly beautiful and very talented and like a rescued pitbull, difficult but lovable. Her only true friends are Black people, but the racist tropes around them are ridiculous. I mean this book is like a giant cliche but whatever. It was very readable. My brain was tired and this filled space. Essentially a hallmark movie but a book. People love the shit out of this book and that's cool, I'm just a snob and that's fine. We all have our own purpose to fill on this Earth. This one perfect planet. Mine is apparently book bitch. 🤷‍♀️ #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #wherethecrawdadssing #deliaowens #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
I don't tend to be one for nostalgia but I do adore Babes in Toyland and this memoir by the original bass player (who I learned from reading went to my high school) was a pretty fun rock and roll memoir. The thing that really weirded me out was how many truly world changing incidents the band was in town for (the World Series earthquake, the fall of the berlin wall...)but only noted as an aside. Rockstardom truly does create an insular world and this book really highlights that detachment. An easy enough read though I can't imagine any non fan reading it. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #iliveinside #michelleleon #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
I don't tend to be one for nostalgia but I do adore Babes in Toyland and this memoir by the original bass player (who I learned from reading went to my high school) was a pretty fun rock and roll memoir. The thing that really weirded me out was how many truly world changing incidents the band was in town for (the World Series earthquake, the fall of the berlin wall...)but only noted as an aside. Rockstardom truly does create an insular world and this book really highlights that detachment. An easy enough read though I can't imagine any non fan reading it. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #iliveinside #michelleleon #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
When I was a kid I lived in fairytales, believing that good could overpower evil. The Phantom Tollbooth was my favorite story; strange, irrational, breaking from the dull everyday to bring back the sun. This book is an adult phantom tollbooth. A reminder that revolution can't start with guns and violence but in creating an entire better universe and embodying that entire better universe. Revolution isn't in being allowed access to an oppressive culture but subverting that oppression. Not begging to be let in but opening the doors for people to get out. 
A primer for the revolution that I want, enjoying the world that is perfect and beautiful instead of gathering and hoarding and destroying. Enjoying the company of my species instead of fighting against and setting myself against and always being against so I can be better. With, and for and warm and naked and never hungry because we share what we have. This is the book that names my revolution. It is a beautiful, beautiful book. 
Originally began as a kids book, it has the sweet lyrical quality of my favorites from childhood, but the content is so much more vast. The world of Men is over. Let's let them burn it down themselves and emerge from the rubble with fully formed enterprises of love and delight. 
Happy Independence from the imperialist pigs day bbs. Love and support to you all. Come over soon. Let me feed you and snuggle you and let's create new paradigms together. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thefaggotsandtheirfriendsbetweenrevolutions #larrymitchell #nedasta #queerlit #bookstagram #bibliophile #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview 🔥
FWIW I still believe good can overpower evil. Just not using their techniques. Let's just build so much love and tenderness and community that we are unstoppable.
When I was a kid I lived in fairytales, believing that good could overpower evil. The Phantom Tollbooth was my favorite story; strange, irrational, breaking from the dull everyday to bring back the sun. This book is an adult phantom tollbooth. A reminder that revolution can't start with guns and violence but in creating an entire better universe and embodying that entire better universe. Revolution isn't in being allowed access to an oppressive culture but subverting that oppression. Not begging to be let in but opening the doors for people to get out. A primer for the revolution that I want, enjoying the world that is perfect and beautiful instead of gathering and hoarding and destroying. Enjoying the company of my species instead of fighting against and setting myself against and always being against so I can be better. With, and for and warm and naked and never hungry because we share what we have. This is the book that names my revolution. It is a beautiful, beautiful book. Originally began as a kids book, it has the sweet lyrical quality of my favorites from childhood, but the content is so much more vast. The world of Men is over. Let's let them burn it down themselves and emerge from the rubble with fully formed enterprises of love and delight. Happy Independence from the imperialist pigs day bbs. Love and support to you all. Come over soon. Let me feed you and snuggle you and let's create new paradigms together. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thefaggotsandtheirfriendsbetweenrevolutions #larrymitchell #nedasta #queerlit #bookstagram #bibliophile #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview 🔥 FWIW I still believe good can overpower evil. Just not using their techniques. Let's just build so much love and tenderness and community that we are unstoppable.
""People get trained in schools to build models and make adjustments...And then they apply it to race as though it's the same pill you would take. It's completely bizarre," warns Kaufman. "Most practitioners of medical research with medical degrees and basic science degrees don't really have much background in statistics. Many people with perfectly good intentions end up committing a lot of statistical errors because of lack of training and something we call 'wish bias,' which is the idea that you want to find something interesting so you keep sifting through the data and fishing around until you find something interesting. That's a practice that generates many incorrect findings." As useful as imaginary worlds can be, Kaufman tells me he cannot understand why medical researchers persist in applying statistical methods to race when it's obvious that the methods cannot work the way they want them to, that they produce imaginary worlds of little or no use."
📚
In elementary school we learned about genetics. Looking at my wonky thumb my teacher exclaimed "That is QUITE the hitchhikers thumb," and somehow that statement hooked me for life into the strange world of DNA. I will read just about anything you hand me on genetics and human history, but I've come to see them more as a map, a marker of place that is driven by cultural movement, and less of a prescription, a script for how things must go. This book backs up a lot of the sense that I already had, that genetics is a slippery slope towards race science, and that intention has little to do with the impact that that racially coded "medical" interventions have had. Sickle cell is not a "Black disease" it a disease of people from malarial land descent. Tay Sachs is not an Ashkenazi jew disease, it is a bottle neck disease. The dangers of classifying them racially are twofold- 1.  diseases that are considered race based overlooked in the other, and 2. Racism is prolific and data is easily skewed by malicious minds. This book is very clear in its belief that it is the scientists job to not only do "pure science" but to be aware of the impact that science will have. (Cont in comments)
""People get trained in schools to build models and make adjustments...And then they apply it to race as though it's the same pill you would take. It's completely bizarre," warns Kaufman. "Most practitioners of medical research with medical degrees and basic science degrees don't really have much background in statistics. Many people with perfectly good intentions end up committing a lot of statistical errors because of lack of training and something we call 'wish bias,' which is the idea that you want to find something interesting so you keep sifting through the data and fishing around until you find something interesting. That's a practice that generates many incorrect findings." As useful as imaginary worlds can be, Kaufman tells me he cannot understand why medical researchers persist in applying statistical methods to race when it's obvious that the methods cannot work the way they want them to, that they produce imaginary worlds of little or no use." 📚 In elementary school we learned about genetics. Looking at my wonky thumb my teacher exclaimed "That is QUITE the hitchhikers thumb," and somehow that statement hooked me for life into the strange world of DNA. I will read just about anything you hand me on genetics and human history, but I've come to see them more as a map, a marker of place that is driven by cultural movement, and less of a prescription, a script for how things must go. This book backs up a lot of the sense that I already had, that genetics is a slippery slope towards race science, and that intention has little to do with the impact that that racially coded "medical" interventions have had. Sickle cell is not a "Black disease" it a disease of people from malarial land descent. Tay Sachs is not an Ashkenazi jew disease, it is a bottle neck disease. The dangers of classifying them racially are twofold- 1. diseases that are considered race based overlooked in the other, and 2. Racism is prolific and data is easily skewed by malicious minds. This book is very clear in its belief that it is the scientists job to not only do "pure science" but to be aware of the impact that science will have. (Cont in comments)
"From the Mesopotamians to the ancient Greeks all the way to the present day, societies have restricted and punished women who have dared to breach the moral standard. By Charles Darwin's time, thousands of years into this regime, ideas of female nature had thoroughly adjusted to the new normal. Humans began to see women through a lens of their own creation. The job was done. Victorians, including Darwin, believed that women really were coy, modest, and passive."
📚
It's sometimes easy to miss how much men are centered in everything that you read in science until you read a book that cites women at least as much as men. I'm not exaggerating when I see that I teared up reading this. How does one move forward in a world that claims that science is objective, and yet it is disproportionately males who continue to operate under deep cognitive bias? This little popsci book gets in the dirt and shows the history of sexism in the field, AND, importantly for me, the women who fought back against the assumptions. I love a book that has me putting lots of other books on my wishlist. This is one of them. 
In chapters that build on each other, Saini takes common science culture ideas and digs into where they come from, the science behind the theories, and where they may be wrong. She interviewed what seems like an endless number of scientists, actually sitting down and speaking with them about the hows and whys. 🧫
It's glorious conclusion (not really a spoiler but, spoiler alert,) based on and research with our primate cousins, and then looking out through the animal kingdom, shows that when women work together, and organize together, they subvert much of the "natural" genetic domination found in the males of the species, and oftentimes themselves become the dominant gender. 🔬
Super enjoyable read. Will definitely be moving on to the authors book about race asap. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #inferior #angelasaini #womeninscience #howsciencegotwomenwrong #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
"From the Mesopotamians to the ancient Greeks all the way to the present day, societies have restricted and punished women who have dared to breach the moral standard. By Charles Darwin's time, thousands of years into this regime, ideas of female nature had thoroughly adjusted to the new normal. Humans began to see women through a lens of their own creation. The job was done. Victorians, including Darwin, believed that women really were coy, modest, and passive." 📚 It's sometimes easy to miss how much men are centered in everything that you read in science until you read a book that cites women at least as much as men. I'm not exaggerating when I see that I teared up reading this. How does one move forward in a world that claims that science is objective, and yet it is disproportionately males who continue to operate under deep cognitive bias? This little popsci book gets in the dirt and shows the history of sexism in the field, AND, importantly for me, the women who fought back against the assumptions. I love a book that has me putting lots of other books on my wishlist. This is one of them. In chapters that build on each other, Saini takes common science culture ideas and digs into where they come from, the science behind the theories, and where they may be wrong. She interviewed what seems like an endless number of scientists, actually sitting down and speaking with them about the hows and whys. 🧫 It's glorious conclusion (not really a spoiler but, spoiler alert,) based on and research with our primate cousins, and then looking out through the animal kingdom, shows that when women work together, and organize together, they subvert much of the "natural" genetic domination found in the males of the species, and oftentimes themselves become the dominant gender. 🔬 Super enjoyable read. Will definitely be moving on to the authors book about race asap. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #inferior #angelasaini #womeninscience #howsciencegotwomenwrong #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
Part protest log, part graphic novel this quick read gives an account of protest and dissent in Russia under Putin. We miss so much of the world following the standardized news sites. Things like this fill is in to what we may have missed. A country not unlike our own, full of abuses of power. Reading it you can see though why Trump is so attracted to Putin's politics. We should be reading what we can about modern Russian politics, and ready to push back. Pithy little chapters that sympathetically show average Russians, not the Moscow elite, and give us a moment to recognize that it is a vast country that is far away from us, both in physical distance, and worldview. Really well done, if a bit surface level. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #otherrussias #victorialomasko #bibliophile #graphicnovel #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Part protest log, part graphic novel this quick read gives an account of protest and dissent in Russia under Putin. We miss so much of the world following the standardized news sites. Things like this fill is in to what we may have missed. A country not unlike our own, full of abuses of power. Reading it you can see though why Trump is so attracted to Putin's politics. We should be reading what we can about modern Russian politics, and ready to push back. Pithy little chapters that sympathetically show average Russians, not the Moscow elite, and give us a moment to recognize that it is a vast country that is far away from us, both in physical distance, and worldview. Really well done, if a bit surface level. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #otherrussias #victorialomasko #bibliophile #graphicnovel #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Well, Maria Vladimirovna you're free,' said the unit head. 
Freedom doesn't exist unless you fight for it every day. And I'm riding in a car that's picking up speed."
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Masha Alyokhina, famous for her two minutes of action in a Moscow church that put her on prison for two years, writes about her life in prison. I wish that there had been a better editor for this choppy narrative, that while interesting is so broken up it feels like talking to someone with no focus. While I dislike Masha Gessen, her reporting on Masha and Nadya in prison is much easier to follow. That said, it's a simple book and very easy to read and I recommend that people do read firsthand narratives of dissent wherever they can. This is one of those and her willpower is admirable. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #riotdays #mariaalyokhina #pussyriot #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Well, Maria Vladimirovna you're free,' said the unit head. Freedom doesn't exist unless you fight for it every day. And I'm riding in a car that's picking up speed." 📚 Masha Alyokhina, famous for her two minutes of action in a Moscow church that put her on prison for two years, writes about her life in prison. I wish that there had been a better editor for this choppy narrative, that while interesting is so broken up it feels like talking to someone with no focus. While I dislike Masha Gessen, her reporting on Masha and Nadya in prison is much easier to follow. That said, it's a simple book and very easy to read and I recommend that people do read firsthand narratives of dissent wherever they can. This is one of those and her willpower is admirable. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #riotdays #mariaalyokhina #pussyriot #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Huh. 
Do you ever read a play and wonder if reading plays is a terrible choice? This one did it for me. Love Beckett, but this is not the one for me. A woman, buried to her neck in dirt talks to her friend who crawls around on all four and declares these "happy days"

Likely some thinly veiled criticism of the false joy of western "normality" but mostly just not my jam. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #happydays #samuelbeckett #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Huh. Do you ever read a play and wonder if reading plays is a terrible choice? This one did it for me. Love Beckett, but this is not the one for me. A woman, buried to her neck in dirt talks to her friend who crawls around on all four and declares these "happy days" Likely some thinly veiled criticism of the false joy of western "normality" but mostly just not my jam. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #happydays #samuelbeckett #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
The scar that runs across my vocabulary is my only concession to vanity; the only hint of resistance in my ... efforts to integrate, let's call them. I use the expression for the sake of convenience, because it means something to you, even though brought up on a steady diet of French culture, I can tell you that you have to separate, detach, disassociate. No one who demands that immigrants make 'an effort at integration' would dare look them in the face and ask them to start by making the necessary effort at 'disintegration.' They're asking people to stand atop the mountain without climbing it first."
📚
Phew. If you decided to skip the quote and just come to the review, abort mission and begin again. Read it? Yeah. This book about exile and family and Iran is the book the whole world needs to read right now. We need them in droves. Piling up on our bedside table, drowning us in their thousands of ways of spelling out the loneliness and the isolation of exile. Djavadi beautifully illustrates the overlap of queerness into this framework of exile, her outsiderness not just in her new country, but also in her family. All written from a fertility climic, where Kimiâ Sadr begins retelling the story of her family from her blue eyed great grandfather with his fifty-two wives, to her revolutionary parents. Beautifully and densely written, this one is much more than it appears. A slow burn, the first hundred pages aren't anything compared to the last- not because of any flaw in the writing, but because those hundred pages built a framework to weave into. Gorgeous, gorgeous book. Another lambda winner. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #disoriental #negardjavadi #négardjavadi #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
The scar that runs across my vocabulary is my only concession to vanity; the only hint of resistance in my ... efforts to integrate, let's call them. I use the expression for the sake of convenience, because it means something to you, even though brought up on a steady diet of French culture, I can tell you that you have to separate, detach, disassociate. No one who demands that immigrants make 'an effort at integration' would dare look them in the face and ask them to start by making the necessary effort at 'disintegration.' They're asking people to stand atop the mountain without climbing it first." 📚 Phew. If you decided to skip the quote and just come to the review, abort mission and begin again. Read it? Yeah. This book about exile and family and Iran is the book the whole world needs to read right now. We need them in droves. Piling up on our bedside table, drowning us in their thousands of ways of spelling out the loneliness and the isolation of exile. Djavadi beautifully illustrates the overlap of queerness into this framework of exile, her outsiderness not just in her new country, but also in her family. All written from a fertility climic, where Kimiâ Sadr begins retelling the story of her family from her blue eyed great grandfather with his fifty-two wives, to her revolutionary parents. Beautifully and densely written, this one is much more than it appears. A slow burn, the first hundred pages aren't anything compared to the last- not because of any flaw in the writing, but because those hundred pages built a framework to weave into. Gorgeous, gorgeous book. Another lambda winner. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #disoriental #negardjavadi #négardjavadi #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
The ultimate difference between the author of poetry and that of prose, in my opinion, is intimacy. The poet bleeds their story onto a page where the prose writer stands back a bit. (I write prose, not poetry so I'm no expert on the poet.) There were a couple times in this book that I had to remind myself that this is not memoir- details so minute and unnecessary combine to create a sense of reality that is a mirage. This is a novel not a memoir, and that is still hard for me to believe. Vuong's craftsmanship is truly magical, breaking up this brutal story of generational trauma with images of monarchs, with facts about the producers of Oxy, with these itty bitty little images that are the images of lived life- the things that make ones heart jump but are so hard to describe to another. I know this book is getting a lot of hype and it's deserved. Little Dog's family moves from Vietnam to the states when he is very young for reasons never explicitly stated. Moving through time in chronologically, he unfolds his story of family and violence and queerness. Somehow weaving a loneliness that is palpable and at the same time, bound up with all the others. 
Gorgeous as the title suggests. Read this. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #onearthwerebrieflygorgeous #oceanvuong #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
The ultimate difference between the author of poetry and that of prose, in my opinion, is intimacy. The poet bleeds their story onto a page where the prose writer stands back a bit. (I write prose, not poetry so I'm no expert on the poet.) There were a couple times in this book that I had to remind myself that this is not memoir- details so minute and unnecessary combine to create a sense of reality that is a mirage. This is a novel not a memoir, and that is still hard for me to believe. Vuong's craftsmanship is truly magical, breaking up this brutal story of generational trauma with images of monarchs, with facts about the producers of Oxy, with these itty bitty little images that are the images of lived life- the things that make ones heart jump but are so hard to describe to another. I know this book is getting a lot of hype and it's deserved. Little Dog's family moves from Vietnam to the states when he is very young for reasons never explicitly stated. Moving through time in chronologically, he unfolds his story of family and violence and queerness. Somehow weaving a loneliness that is palpable and at the same time, bound up with all the others. Gorgeous as the title suggests. Read this. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #onearthwerebrieflygorgeous #oceanvuong #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
I don't know where to begin with this book. It's probably one of the sweetest books I've read, though were i to describe it to you, you'd almost certainly raise an eyebrow. Wendy is maybe one of my favorite characters that I've read in some time, complicated, alcoholic, sad, funny. Her and her small group of trans friends go about having lives in a world that wants to erase them. Wendy, from a Mennonite family, learns a family secret, which she unravels through the rest of the book. It's not often that you read trans characters who aren't caricatures, but then it's not often that the publishing industry recognizes that trans people are also writers and ffs they should tell their own damn stories. Casey Plett is a gorgeous writer. Her book of short stories pops into my head occasionally, years after having read it. There's something very, I don't know, midwestern about her writing, which i like, as a midwesterner. A sense of space and spareness perhaps, but also the weather descriptors, the pace, her world is a world very recognizable to me. Written as a chunk of time in Wendy's life, there's no perfect wrap up. She remains trans in a world that hates trans people. And yet, her resilience is pushed to its edge. It's hard to write about what happens because the pacing at which Plett carries it through is what makes this book so good, the true and brutal ways that people who live life on the margins have to experience. 
I know it's silly and I rarely say it but oh god I wish she would write a sequel of Wendy because I love her. 
CW: there is sexual assault. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #littlefish #caseyplett #translit #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
I don't know where to begin with this book. It's probably one of the sweetest books I've read, though were i to describe it to you, you'd almost certainly raise an eyebrow. Wendy is maybe one of my favorite characters that I've read in some time, complicated, alcoholic, sad, funny. Her and her small group of trans friends go about having lives in a world that wants to erase them. Wendy, from a Mennonite family, learns a family secret, which she unravels through the rest of the book. It's not often that you read trans characters who aren't caricatures, but then it's not often that the publishing industry recognizes that trans people are also writers and ffs they should tell their own damn stories. Casey Plett is a gorgeous writer. Her book of short stories pops into my head occasionally, years after having read it. There's something very, I don't know, midwestern about her writing, which i like, as a midwesterner. A sense of space and spareness perhaps, but also the weather descriptors, the pace, her world is a world very recognizable to me. Written as a chunk of time in Wendy's life, there's no perfect wrap up. She remains trans in a world that hates trans people. And yet, her resilience is pushed to its edge. It's hard to write about what happens because the pacing at which Plett carries it through is what makes this book so good, the true and brutal ways that people who live life on the margins have to experience. I know it's silly and I rarely say it but oh god I wish she would write a sequel of Wendy because I love her. CW: there is sexual assault. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #littlefish #caseyplett #translit #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
I don't read a lot of YA, not for any reason of judgement, it just doesn't tend to be on my radar but I do like reading local authors and this book has been on my shelf since it came out. The story of a transracially adopted teenager whose father, an ex pro player, has coached her into being the best baseball player on his team. Tenderness is a thing I've been very drawn to lately and the sweetness with which Gibney tackles this very painful subject is obviously attributable to her own experiences as a transracial adoptee. Being raised by parents who pretend that colorblindness is an actual option is deeply traumatizing and Gibney lays bare the emotional abuse that often kids in these situations have to carry. Essential reading for all people currently raising transracial adoptees or considering it. Also just really good. Definitely can't wait to read her latest book. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #seenocolor #shannongibney #transracialadoption #yaliterature #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
I don't read a lot of YA, not for any reason of judgement, it just doesn't tend to be on my radar but I do like reading local authors and this book has been on my shelf since it came out. The story of a transracially adopted teenager whose father, an ex pro player, has coached her into being the best baseball player on his team. Tenderness is a thing I've been very drawn to lately and the sweetness with which Gibney tackles this very painful subject is obviously attributable to her own experiences as a transracial adoptee. Being raised by parents who pretend that colorblindness is an actual option is deeply traumatizing and Gibney lays bare the emotional abuse that often kids in these situations have to carry. Essential reading for all people currently raising transracial adoptees or considering it. Also just really good. Definitely can't wait to read her latest book. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #seenocolor #shannongibney #transracialadoption #yaliterature #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Ah! I must begin this with a disclaimer, which is that I think @mahazimmo is one of the absolutely loveliest people that I've met through the bookstagram community, and as all you who read my reviews know, I'm absolutely biased in most of my reviews. I'm not a journalist, ok?!
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Maha is a brilliant human, A Palestinian Muslim in exile, born in Libya, and now Canadian, and these poems that bring you through the truths of love, family, and heartbreak are very compelling. Poetry is not my medium and so I'm not the best judge of what I love and don't as I would say I am with prose, but some of them hit me hard (I hate reposting poetry on Instagram because the formatting always gets screwed up, and half of poetry is in the format.)
Moving between tender and fierce Maha's love of her faith and her family are only matched by her fierce rejection of anything that pushes against her devotion to sisterhood and her nation in diaspora and at home. Formatted in a way similar to Waheed, but written from someone with a bit more life under her belt, Zimmo leads you through romantic and spiritual love in a way that feels both natural and magical. Love it Maha! May you be blessed with many more poems. And happy almost Eid! #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #rosewatersyrup #mahazimmo #palestinianliterature #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Ah! I must begin this with a disclaimer, which is that I think @mahazimmo is one of the absolutely loveliest people that I've met through the bookstagram community, and as all you who read my reviews know, I'm absolutely biased in most of my reviews. I'm not a journalist, ok?! 📚 Maha is a brilliant human, A Palestinian Muslim in exile, born in Libya, and now Canadian, and these poems that bring you through the truths of love, family, and heartbreak are very compelling. Poetry is not my medium and so I'm not the best judge of what I love and don't as I would say I am with prose, but some of them hit me hard (I hate reposting poetry on Instagram because the formatting always gets screwed up, and half of poetry is in the format.) Moving between tender and fierce Maha's love of her faith and her family are only matched by her fierce rejection of anything that pushes against her devotion to sisterhood and her nation in diaspora and at home. Formatted in a way similar to Waheed, but written from someone with a bit more life under her belt, Zimmo leads you through romantic and spiritual love in a way that feels both natural and magical. Love it Maha! May you be blessed with many more poems. And happy almost Eid! #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #rosewatersyrup #mahazimmo #palestinianliterature #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
This book was an incredibly strange dive into heartbreak and madness. A near future or parallel now finds all the oceans trash washed up onto a beach in Taiwan, decimating the local indigenous peoples livelihood. A woman searches for her missing husband and son, lost in a climbing accident. A boy from a distant island washes up with the trash and befriends the lonely woman. Somewhere between the fever dreams is stark, exhausted, reality, the weight of the world telling us that we are missing a lot through our myopic worldview. It's been on my tbr forever and having finally gotten around to reading it, I'm mesmerized. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #themanwiththecompoundeyes #wumingyi #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
This book was an incredibly strange dive into heartbreak and madness. A near future or parallel now finds all the oceans trash washed up onto a beach in Taiwan, decimating the local indigenous peoples livelihood. A woman searches for her missing husband and son, lost in a climbing accident. A boy from a distant island washes up with the trash and befriends the lonely woman. Somewhere between the fever dreams is stark, exhausted, reality, the weight of the world telling us that we are missing a lot through our myopic worldview. It's been on my tbr forever and having finally gotten around to reading it, I'm mesmerized. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #themanwiththecompoundeyes #wumingyi #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
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"I echo the names of all who have pulled me 
from the depths of my own design. 
and underneath the known haunting 
of invented darkness, I promise you 
it isn't all that bad, we can all mourn 
until the mourning trembles out a celebration."
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I walked in to grab lunch and @justhans76 excitedly said to me guess what we got in and pulled me into @milkweed_books where he handed me an advance of Abdurraqib's upcoming book of poetry. When people who live in urban areas and don't have serious health issues and who are not actually poor, tell me they shop online I will never understand why you would lose relationships to save a few bucks. That all aside, this book was a real treat, as was the joy on Hans' face that he was in possession of it. I love that subtle giddiness about a new book that only true book lovers emote.
📚 Abdurraqib has let us look into the roots of his brilliant craftsmanship for essays. His poetry strips down entire storylines into a few spare words, laying bare essential human experience. Much of this book is about Black pain, something I'm not going to review because it's not my place, but the parts about love, and loss, and loneliness that are so universal in our world resonate like biting on aluminum. Abduraqqib has a way with communication that makes you feel like you're in conversation with him, and that's a truly rare and sweet gift. @nifmuhammad uses repetition, a much maligned (why? Probably the Iowa school, huh?) but very effective trope and wraps us around ideas from different angles. Details pop in technicolor- a cardinal, a jukebox, fake violets, as opposed to their real, silken brethren. Abdurraqib has a way with nostalgia that transports you back to now, acknowledging the sadness that makes the world whole. 
Comes out September 3 from @tin_house 
#whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #afortuneforyourdisaster #hanifabdurraqib #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
📖 "I echo the names of all who have pulled me from the depths of my own design. and underneath the known haunting of invented darkness, I promise you it isn't all that bad, we can all mourn until the mourning trembles out a celebration." 📚 I walked in to grab lunch and @justhans76 excitedly said to me guess what we got in and pulled me into @milkweed_books where he handed me an advance of Abdurraqib's upcoming book of poetry. When people who live in urban areas and don't have serious health issues and who are not actually poor, tell me they shop online I will never understand why you would lose relationships to save a few bucks. That all aside, this book was a real treat, as was the joy on Hans' face that he was in possession of it. I love that subtle giddiness about a new book that only true book lovers emote. 📚 Abdurraqib has let us look into the roots of his brilliant craftsmanship for essays. His poetry strips down entire storylines into a few spare words, laying bare essential human experience. Much of this book is about Black pain, something I'm not going to review because it's not my place, but the parts about love, and loss, and loneliness that are so universal in our world resonate like biting on aluminum. Abduraqqib has a way with communication that makes you feel like you're in conversation with him, and that's a truly rare and sweet gift. @nifmuhammad uses repetition, a much maligned (why? Probably the Iowa school, huh?) but very effective trope and wraps us around ideas from different angles. Details pop in technicolor- a cardinal, a jukebox, fake violets, as opposed to their real, silken brethren. Abdurraqib has a way with nostalgia that transports you back to now, acknowledging the sadness that makes the world whole. Comes out September 3 from @tin_house #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #afortuneforyourdisaster #hanifabdurraqib #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Raymond Chandler meets Jodorowsky in this wonderfully weird Bordertown novel. A tired old man, Bellacosa finds himself drawn into a plot that highlights his great flexibility. As he ventures into weirder and weirder worlds, somehow he seems more and more real. Some people may think the prose is clunky because some people have a weird sense of a floridness that books are supposed to have- detective novels are pretty low on peoples literary standards. But this is written in that language and it fits the subject perfectly. @f.a.flores is a fantastic writer and this allegory for the violence our world currently faces was absolutely wonderful. I hope it gets the hype it deserves. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #tearsofthetrufflepig #fernandoaflores #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Raymond Chandler meets Jodorowsky in this wonderfully weird Bordertown novel. A tired old man, Bellacosa finds himself drawn into a plot that highlights his great flexibility. As he ventures into weirder and weirder worlds, somehow he seems more and more real. Some people may think the prose is clunky because some people have a weird sense of a floridness that books are supposed to have- detective novels are pretty low on peoples literary standards. But this is written in that language and it fits the subject perfectly. @f.a.flores is a fantastic writer and this allegory for the violence our world currently faces was absolutely wonderful. I hope it gets the hype it deserves. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #tearsofthetrufflepig #fernandoaflores #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Our editing discipline involves decisions, mostly as given, like the hundred-word unit. But still there are other overs and unders, punctuation exerting writerly will and unexpected contraction too: We ask our readers to perform the jamb when language overruns the mental breathing that reading leans on. We cannot know for whom the text will become a riot, a notice, a wormhole, or mote. We prompt attention with an extra phrase or a subsentence here and there. The point is to jolt the eye amid the flow of things that will turn out to have detours, despite the editing."
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Theory people man...nobody makes me feel less like I get it. I think there's more to this book than just a writing practice that forces the authors to write in groupings of a hundred words. There's something about indexing that I absolutely don't understand- that's definitely an academic in story, and there's probably more I'm missing because of the expectation that if you're reading this book you already have the language to understand. Oh well. It's still an enjoyable book even though I'm missing a lot of what they're selling. The extremely short stories are mostly banal but the boundaries set on them give them a sheen, a neatness that the subjects perhaps don't deserve. An occasional story made me long for pages more but locked into this format, the longest story is around two pages and some change. And it's got me writing again which, other than postcards, I've been skipping on since the end of March, so that's good. Never underestimate the power of reading other people's writing exercises. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thehundreds #laurenberlant #kathleenstewart #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Our editing discipline involves decisions, mostly as given, like the hundred-word unit. But still there are other overs and unders, punctuation exerting writerly will and unexpected contraction too: We ask our readers to perform the jamb when language overruns the mental breathing that reading leans on. We cannot know for whom the text will become a riot, a notice, a wormhole, or mote. We prompt attention with an extra phrase or a subsentence here and there. The point is to jolt the eye amid the flow of things that will turn out to have detours, despite the editing." 📚 Theory people man...nobody makes me feel less like I get it. I think there's more to this book than just a writing practice that forces the authors to write in groupings of a hundred words. There's something about indexing that I absolutely don't understand- that's definitely an academic in story, and there's probably more I'm missing because of the expectation that if you're reading this book you already have the language to understand. Oh well. It's still an enjoyable book even though I'm missing a lot of what they're selling. The extremely short stories are mostly banal but the boundaries set on them give them a sheen, a neatness that the subjects perhaps don't deserve. An occasional story made me long for pages more but locked into this format, the longest story is around two pages and some change. And it's got me writing again which, other than postcards, I've been skipping on since the end of March, so that's good. Never underestimate the power of reading other people's writing exercises. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thehundreds #laurenberlant #kathleenstewart #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Every time I read Ali Smith I think this woman is a genius. Then a couple weeks later I sort of forget about her, wondering why I keep so many of her books on my shelf. Such slow burning, tender books. Books that show characters in grief who are difficult, hard to be around, unlikable, grating even. But pulling you through that grief with such sweet tenderness, it's really very beautiful. Her books are slow burns, luminous and spare. I have come to really love her, placing her books on my shelf to read when I need something that will thoroughly move me. 📚
The loss of the narrators partner, an essayist on art and literature sends her back through his notes, she muses on them as he comes back to haunt her, speaking in some type of gibberish. A book rich with art and with the sense of losing something irretrievably. I don't want to spoil anything but there's a bit at the end that made me cry enough that I had to put it down. Ali Smith is almost certainly not for everyone, but she certainly is for me. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #artful #alismith #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Every time I read Ali Smith I think this woman is a genius. Then a couple weeks later I sort of forget about her, wondering why I keep so many of her books on my shelf. Such slow burning, tender books. Books that show characters in grief who are difficult, hard to be around, unlikable, grating even. But pulling you through that grief with such sweet tenderness, it's really very beautiful. Her books are slow burns, luminous and spare. I have come to really love her, placing her books on my shelf to read when I need something that will thoroughly move me. 📚 The loss of the narrators partner, an essayist on art and literature sends her back through his notes, she muses on them as he comes back to haunt her, speaking in some type of gibberish. A book rich with art and with the sense of losing something irretrievably. I don't want to spoil anything but there's a bit at the end that made me cry enough that I had to put it down. Ali Smith is almost certainly not for everyone, but she certainly is for me. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #artful #alismith #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Online activism has, to date, shown itself to be particularly limited and ineffective in the face of military power, corporate interests and the politics of nation-states. Securing meaningful advances towards a radical change in human consciousness requires much more than faith in new information and communications technologies. Above all, we need an understanding and critique of reality, its inertias and its functioning on a deeper level than provided by evolutionary technocratic pacifism." 📚
Love these semiotexte books even though most of them could seriously use a good editor, this one being no exception. Using Mexico and the narcoeconomy as a stepping off point to discuss the increasing militarization of our day to day lives, the scope of this book is huge but a bit scattered. A lot of this information is not new to anyone who follows the situation but at the same time I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is looking to understand. All in all, an interesting addition to the unfortunately under documented (because journalists are routinely killed in this world) field. Gonazález Rodriguez was a huge journalist, whose willingness to go against both the government and the narcos put him in harms way almost continuously. Unfortunately, long form journalism wasn't his strongest point and the ramblings of this book captures that. Don't let that dissuade you though if you don't read Spanish. Not enough of his work is in translation and that is a crying shame. Also do forgive his use of the phrase "New World Order" and perhaps just ignore it? It's become a bit too loaded to use thanks to all the neonazis. A decent read, especially if you're interested in how the drug war has created one of the most profitable quagmires ever. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #fieldofbattle #sergiogonzalezrodriguez #journalism #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Online activism has, to date, shown itself to be particularly limited and ineffective in the face of military power, corporate interests and the politics of nation-states. Securing meaningful advances towards a radical change in human consciousness requires much more than faith in new information and communications technologies. Above all, we need an understanding and critique of reality, its inertias and its functioning on a deeper level than provided by evolutionary technocratic pacifism." 📚 Love these semiotexte books even though most of them could seriously use a good editor, this one being no exception. Using Mexico and the narcoeconomy as a stepping off point to discuss the increasing militarization of our day to day lives, the scope of this book is huge but a bit scattered. A lot of this information is not new to anyone who follows the situation but at the same time I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is looking to understand. All in all, an interesting addition to the unfortunately under documented (because journalists are routinely killed in this world) field. Gonazález Rodriguez was a huge journalist, whose willingness to go against both the government and the narcos put him in harms way almost continuously. Unfortunately, long form journalism wasn't his strongest point and the ramblings of this book captures that. Don't let that dissuade you though if you don't read Spanish. Not enough of his work is in translation and that is a crying shame. Also do forgive his use of the phrase "New World Order" and perhaps just ignore it? It's become a bit too loaded to use thanks to all the neonazis. A decent read, especially if you're interested in how the drug war has created one of the most profitable quagmires ever. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #fieldofbattle #sergiogonzalezrodriguez #journalism #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
This one was a doozy and should come with a solid page of trigger warnings. So content warning: sexual violence, rape, suicide, suicidal ideation, heavy God stuff. It was hard to wade through all that heaviness. At a certain point in the book one of the voices says they let her have a period of joy- but why not offer that also to us, the reader. As someone who has watched people I know and care about slip under the spell of madness, there's usually still some joy. I don't want to say this book was joyless, there were moments of sweetness, but again, a very heavy read. All that said, and said to honor the fact that this book is NOT for everyone, for some it will be very triggering, this book is very good. The authors writing pulls you through a lot of really yucky things that are really real things and manages to do much of it from a distance, so one doesn't have to feel too exposed to the sludge. At times that distance seems too much, I wanted to feel closer to the protagonist, but not here, this book is all about tenuous balances and holding distances for safety so the reader too, is kept at bay. I'm interested to see where the author goes from here. This will be a hard act to follow in that I hope they doesn't get typecast into a writer of only the struggle because the way they use language kept me reading even though sometimes I had to put it down because of all the violence. I say, with warning, that I recommend this. It's good but do be in a good place when you read it. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #freshwater #akwaekeemezi #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
This one was a doozy and should come with a solid page of trigger warnings. So content warning: sexual violence, rape, suicide, suicidal ideation, heavy God stuff. It was hard to wade through all that heaviness. At a certain point in the book one of the voices says they let her have a period of joy- but why not offer that also to us, the reader. As someone who has watched people I know and care about slip under the spell of madness, there's usually still some joy. I don't want to say this book was joyless, there were moments of sweetness, but again, a very heavy read. All that said, and said to honor the fact that this book is NOT for everyone, for some it will be very triggering, this book is very good. The authors writing pulls you through a lot of really yucky things that are really real things and manages to do much of it from a distance, so one doesn't have to feel too exposed to the sludge. At times that distance seems too much, I wanted to feel closer to the protagonist, but not here, this book is all about tenuous balances and holding distances for safety so the reader too, is kept at bay. I'm interested to see where the author goes from here. This will be a hard act to follow in that I hope they doesn't get typecast into a writer of only the struggle because the way they use language kept me reading even though sometimes I had to put it down because of all the violence. I say, with warning, that I recommend this. It's good but do be in a good place when you read it. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #freshwater #akwaekeemezi #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
I tend to avoid super hyped books because I just do ok there's nothing wrong with them good on the hyped for getting their checks. So this came out and pretty much everyone was like 😍😍😍 and I skipped it. I'm so glad I did because I got to read it from my sick bed and it was extraordinary. So quiet and tender and simple. 📚
A young woman fresh from the heartbreak of her fiancé leaving her visits her family for Christmas where her mother asks her to stay to help with her father, just diagnosed with dementia. As she stays a lifetime of family secrets slowly comes out, musty and sad, as her father begins to forget simple things. The author moves with such grace through very difficult topics, unfolding each new pain like a whisper. The gut scratching ache of loss and loneliness is perfectly tethered to the sense of love and discovery. Hyped for a reason, she's a beaut. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #goodbyevitamin #rachelkhong #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
I tend to avoid super hyped books because I just do ok there's nothing wrong with them good on the hyped for getting their checks. So this came out and pretty much everyone was like 😍😍😍 and I skipped it. I'm so glad I did because I got to read it from my sick bed and it was extraordinary. So quiet and tender and simple. 📚 A young woman fresh from the heartbreak of her fiancé leaving her visits her family for Christmas where her mother asks her to stay to help with her father, just diagnosed with dementia. As she stays a lifetime of family secrets slowly comes out, musty and sad, as her father begins to forget simple things. The author moves with such grace through very difficult topics, unfolding each new pain like a whisper. The gut scratching ache of loss and loneliness is perfectly tethered to the sense of love and discovery. Hyped for a reason, she's a beaut. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #goodbyevitamin #rachelkhong #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Samuel Delany y'all. I love him and then bam. He throws in weird shit with fucked up consent. Every single time. It's upsetting because in normal sci fi/fantasy you're expecting all the inner groans but Delany you think is going to be better with all his pro woman, anti capitalist rhetoric. Still hands down better then any average fantasy novel but I'd be wrong to not acknowledge that shit is there. Otherwise really fun storytelling about the dawn of money exchange and the peoples of an earthlike world. Recommend if you're looking for a good trashy novel. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #talesofneveryon #samueldelany #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Samuel Delany y'all. I love him and then bam. He throws in weird shit with fucked up consent. Every single time. It's upsetting because in normal sci fi/fantasy you're expecting all the inner groans but Delany you think is going to be better with all his pro woman, anti capitalist rhetoric. Still hands down better then any average fantasy novel but I'd be wrong to not acknowledge that shit is there. Otherwise really fun storytelling about the dawn of money exchange and the peoples of an earthlike world. Recommend if you're looking for a good trashy novel. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #talesofneveryon #samueldelany #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"One of the strangest projects of privatization and commodification in the early twentieth-first century has been the movement to commoditize scholarship. Two versions have been surprisingly powerful. In Europe, administrators demand assessment exercises that reduce the work of scholars to a number, a sum total for a life of intellectual exchange. In the United States, scholars are asked to become entrepreneurs, producing ourselves as brands and seeking stardom from the very first days of our studies, when we knew nothing. Both projects seem to me bizarre- and suffocating. By privatizing what is necessarily collaborative work, the projects aim to strangle the life out of scholarship."
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A lyrical, slow, and meandering book that manages to subvert the normal tropes of science and environmental studies pulling way back to see a broader picture. Matsutake mushrooms are much prized, fetching prices that make their annual forage more valuable to some than their daily labor. Their tendency to grow only in disturbed forests puts them in an interesting position and Lowenhaupt Tsing does a lovely job of taking us through histories layered on histories to examine what "disturbed" means. I've never read a book quite like this, one that instead of pushing deeper into a terrain already muddied asks us, what do we mean when we ask for ideal conditions? What is "pure" what is "natural"? Why are these things so glorified. No answers are offered, no judgements rendered, just some information from a wise one who's traversing this path. 📚
The best book I've read this year. Will be thinking about it for a long time. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #themushroomattheendoftheworld #annalowenhaupttsing #mycology #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"One of the strangest projects of privatization and commodification in the early twentieth-first century has been the movement to commoditize scholarship. Two versions have been surprisingly powerful. In Europe, administrators demand assessment exercises that reduce the work of scholars to a number, a sum total for a life of intellectual exchange. In the United States, scholars are asked to become entrepreneurs, producing ourselves as brands and seeking stardom from the very first days of our studies, when we knew nothing. Both projects seem to me bizarre- and suffocating. By privatizing what is necessarily collaborative work, the projects aim to strangle the life out of scholarship." 📚 A lyrical, slow, and meandering book that manages to subvert the normal tropes of science and environmental studies pulling way back to see a broader picture. Matsutake mushrooms are much prized, fetching prices that make their annual forage more valuable to some than their daily labor. Their tendency to grow only in disturbed forests puts them in an interesting position and Lowenhaupt Tsing does a lovely job of taking us through histories layered on histories to examine what "disturbed" means. I've never read a book quite like this, one that instead of pushing deeper into a terrain already muddied asks us, what do we mean when we ask for ideal conditions? What is "pure" what is "natural"? Why are these things so glorified. No answers are offered, no judgements rendered, just some information from a wise one who's traversing this path. 📚 The best book I've read this year. Will be thinking about it for a long time. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #themushroomattheendoftheworld #annalowenhaupttsing #mycology #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Two fiction books in a row can y'all believe it?! This one is a brick, and takes some getting into but opening with Livingstone in Africa, it chronicles the lives of four generations of three Zambian families (though the first generation is very hazy, still, it remains.) From the beginning these families have connections but as the story wraps tighter and tighter around its protagonists, their stories become one. Brilliantly conceived and executed for the most part, I'm not convinced by the ending. In a way it feels as if the author had been going for so long she had to terminate and chose to do so rather abruptly. The last few pages seemed rushed and incomplete, compared to the meticulous engineering of the rest of the work. Still an excellent book that muses on colonialism and racism and sexism and what any of us can do to set things right. The characters are rich and charming and as they develop over the years one gets an urge to probe deeper into their lives. The vignettes between storylines that are narrated by mosquitoes are pretty silly, but a great palate cleanser for the next piece to begin. 🦟 
Don't let my displeasure with the ending dissuade you from this book- it's not a BAD ending, it just isn't as tight as the rest of the book which is truly wonderful. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #theolddrift #namwaliserpell #zambianliterature #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Two fiction books in a row can y'all believe it?! This one is a brick, and takes some getting into but opening with Livingstone in Africa, it chronicles the lives of four generations of three Zambian families (though the first generation is very hazy, still, it remains.) From the beginning these families have connections but as the story wraps tighter and tighter around its protagonists, their stories become one. Brilliantly conceived and executed for the most part, I'm not convinced by the ending. In a way it feels as if the author had been going for so long she had to terminate and chose to do so rather abruptly. The last few pages seemed rushed and incomplete, compared to the meticulous engineering of the rest of the work. Still an excellent book that muses on colonialism and racism and sexism and what any of us can do to set things right. The characters are rich and charming and as they develop over the years one gets an urge to probe deeper into their lives. The vignettes between storylines that are narrated by mosquitoes are pretty silly, but a great palate cleanser for the next piece to begin. 🦟 Don't let my displeasure with the ending dissuade you from this book- it's not a BAD ending, it just isn't as tight as the rest of the book which is truly wonderful. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #theolddrift #namwaliserpell #zambianliterature #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
So many people have been raving about this and for good reason. Plagued by an inability to focus yesterday I walked to the bookstore to grab a copy and could not put it down. A wonderful fairytale of gender and self discovery in queer 90s culture. Not sure if this will hit non children of the 90s as hard as it did me but all of the references were brilliant (team dresch! How could i have forgotten you,) and the feeling of being young and uncertain of your identity so relatable. This book was not what I was expecting, far more tender than all of the blurbage gives it credit for, but also a book that offers up that rare, actually laugh out loud line. It is indeed sexy, as all the reviewers seem to focus on, but it is so much more than that as Paul comes to terms with his mutability, transforming his body easily between bio male and bio female engaging in queer relationships with anyone and everyone until discovering love and heartbreak. All this set against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis. Beautiful, sweet, and incredibly entertaining, cannot recommend this enough. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #paultakestheformofamortalgirl #andrealawlor #queerlit #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
So many people have been raving about this and for good reason. Plagued by an inability to focus yesterday I walked to the bookstore to grab a copy and could not put it down. A wonderful fairytale of gender and self discovery in queer 90s culture. Not sure if this will hit non children of the 90s as hard as it did me but all of the references were brilliant (team dresch! How could i have forgotten you,) and the feeling of being young and uncertain of your identity so relatable. This book was not what I was expecting, far more tender than all of the blurbage gives it credit for, but also a book that offers up that rare, actually laugh out loud line. It is indeed sexy, as all the reviewers seem to focus on, but it is so much more than that as Paul comes to terms with his mutability, transforming his body easily between bio male and bio female engaging in queer relationships with anyone and everyone until discovering love and heartbreak. All this set against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis. Beautiful, sweet, and incredibly entertaining, cannot recommend this enough. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #paultakestheformofamortalgirl #andrealawlor #queerlit #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"We need new vocabularies for alternative futurities. We need legitimizing vocabularies for not having biological children- both 'childless' and 'childfree' are already inflected/infected. We need an elaborated vocabulary for making kin and caring far beyond 'pro- and anti and non-natalist,' and that does not use the binary implying word 'choice.'"
"Decolonization is not an individual choice. We must collectively oppose a system of compulsory settler sexuality and family that continues building a nation upon Indigenous genocide and that marks Indigenous and other marginalized relations as deviant. This includes opposing norms and policies that reward normative kinship ties (e.g., monogamous legal marriage, nuclear biological family) over other forms of kinship obligation. It includes living or supporting others in living within nonmonogamous and more-than-coupled bonds. It includes advocating policies that support a more expansive definition of family, and not rewarding normative family structures with social and financial benefits."
📚
Reading this book was like finding friends that I didn't know i was looking for. Several brief essays that approach the concept of kin from different angles, all which are quite different in theme and yet in my mind coagulate into a whole. 🌍 
Our planet has too many people. It's not sustainable. But the method of population control that has been the primary factor against this has created much harm and long term social damage. We need to push back against it and look towards the formation of non biological relations, kin. I especially liked Haraway's essay and am going to get a copy of her Cthulhucene book now, and Kim Tallbear writes with such clarity it's hard to believe she's a theorist. Loved this book. Definitely read. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #makingkinnotpopulation #ruhabenjamin #donnaharaway #adeleeclarke #yulinghuang #michellemurphy #kimtallbear #chialingwu #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"We need new vocabularies for alternative futurities. We need legitimizing vocabularies for not having biological children- both 'childless' and 'childfree' are already inflected/infected. We need an elaborated vocabulary for making kin and caring far beyond 'pro- and anti and non-natalist,' and that does not use the binary implying word 'choice.'" "Decolonization is not an individual choice. We must collectively oppose a system of compulsory settler sexuality and family that continues building a nation upon Indigenous genocide and that marks Indigenous and other marginalized relations as deviant. This includes opposing norms and policies that reward normative kinship ties (e.g., monogamous legal marriage, nuclear biological family) over other forms of kinship obligation. It includes living or supporting others in living within nonmonogamous and more-than-coupled bonds. It includes advocating policies that support a more expansive definition of family, and not rewarding normative family structures with social and financial benefits." 📚 Reading this book was like finding friends that I didn't know i was looking for. Several brief essays that approach the concept of kin from different angles, all which are quite different in theme and yet in my mind coagulate into a whole. 🌍 Our planet has too many people. It's not sustainable. But the method of population control that has been the primary factor against this has created much harm and long term social damage. We need to push back against it and look towards the formation of non biological relations, kin. I especially liked Haraway's essay and am going to get a copy of her Cthulhucene book now, and Kim Tallbear writes with such clarity it's hard to believe she's a theorist. Loved this book. Definitely read. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #makingkinnotpopulation #ruhabenjamin #donnaharaway #adeleeclarke #yulinghuang #michellemurphy #kimtallbear #chialingwu #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Content warning: sexual violence
This book has been recommended to me a thousand times. That disturbs me. Two opposing men fight in endless, seemingly meaningless wars as a great wall of ice encroaches on the entire planet. The men fight over a waifish woman, only described as "the girl" though it's made clear that she's an adult. The only things that are used to describe her beauty are her white blond hair and her fragility. But these two are repeated over and over, almost as a fetish. "The girl" has no apparent personality other than petulance and capitulation. This book is deeply deeply disturbing. Her rape is described on multiple occasions, and both of the men seem pleased by the violence wrought against her. I for most of the book assumed that it was a metaphor for the Cold War, that perhaps "the girl" was a stand in for freedom or independence and "the warden" and the narrator were the USSR and the US but there seems to be nobody else who thinks that so I guess it's just a book about violent men and how violence against women and the world are inextricably entwined. Did I like this book? I'm not sure I can recommend it, it is very troubling, but I will definitely keep Kavan on my radar. Her writing is spare and haunting. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #ice #annakavan #literature #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Content warning: sexual violence This book has been recommended to me a thousand times. That disturbs me. Two opposing men fight in endless, seemingly meaningless wars as a great wall of ice encroaches on the entire planet. The men fight over a waifish woman, only described as "the girl" though it's made clear that she's an adult. The only things that are used to describe her beauty are her white blond hair and her fragility. But these two are repeated over and over, almost as a fetish. "The girl" has no apparent personality other than petulance and capitulation. This book is deeply deeply disturbing. Her rape is described on multiple occasions, and both of the men seem pleased by the violence wrought against her. I for most of the book assumed that it was a metaphor for the Cold War, that perhaps "the girl" was a stand in for freedom or independence and "the warden" and the narrator were the USSR and the US but there seems to be nobody else who thinks that so I guess it's just a book about violent men and how violence against women and the world are inextricably entwined. Did I like this book? I'm not sure I can recommend it, it is very troubling, but I will definitely keep Kavan on my radar. Her writing is spare and haunting. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #ice #annakavan #literature #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Pretty weird mixed bag from my overdoing it in New York. Retail therapy + already having a problem = 😬💸 A lot of stuff that I've been looking for for awhile. The Keller, Kavan, and McLuhan are pretty exciting. Soldiers Alive is "a lightly fictionalized account of Japan's war in China," I bought it from a book vender in front of NYU across from Washington Square Park and sadly it was the only book on Chinese history that seemed interesting in my whole trip. What is up with that y'all?! Yes there are two Federici's in there. Love her. Lot of theory. I know. For someone who doesn't love theory I read a LOT. 🤷‍♀️ They were sold out of the Klint catalogue at the Guggenheim which is honestly heartbreaking and if anyone wants to get and gift me a copy I will not complain. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #bookhaul
Pretty weird mixed bag from my overdoing it in New York. Retail therapy + already having a problem = 😬💸 A lot of stuff that I've been looking for for awhile. The Keller, Kavan, and McLuhan are pretty exciting. Soldiers Alive is "a lightly fictionalized account of Japan's war in China," I bought it from a book vender in front of NYU across from Washington Square Park and sadly it was the only book on Chinese history that seemed interesting in my whole trip. What is up with that y'all?! Yes there are two Federici's in there. Love her. Lot of theory. I know. For someone who doesn't love theory I read a LOT. 🤷‍♀️ They were sold out of the Klint catalogue at the Guggenheim which is honestly heartbreaking and if anyone wants to get and gift me a copy I will not complain. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #bookhaul
A great subway book, though ultimately pretty forgettable, haphazardly throwing out all the anxieties of a late stage capitalist world where the singularity is a distinct possibility and we're all addicted to technology. It gets a solid meh from me though would recommend to anyone who sits in spurts on public transit and doesn't want to get too caught up in anything. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #theageofearthquakes #shumonbasar #douglascoupland #hansulrichobrist #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
A great subway book, though ultimately pretty forgettable, haphazardly throwing out all the anxieties of a late stage capitalist world where the singularity is a distinct possibility and we're all addicted to technology. It gets a solid meh from me though would recommend to anyone who sits in spurts on public transit and doesn't want to get too caught up in anything. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #theageofearthquakes #shumonbasar #douglascoupland #hansulrichobrist #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
"Blowing up a cliff to steal the mosses is a crime, but it's not against the law, because he 'owns' those rocks. It would be easy to call this abduction an act of vandalism. And yet, this is also a man who imports a team of experts for the gentle wrapping of mossy rocks. The Owner is a man who loves mosses. And the exercise of power. I have no doubts in his sincerity in wishing to protect them from harm, once they conformed to his landscape design. But I think that you cannot own a thing and love it at the same time. Owning diminishes the innate sovereignty of a thing, enriching the possessor and reducing the possessed. If he truly loved mosses more than control, he would have left them alone and walked each day to see them"
📚
It comes as no surprise to any of y'all reading this that I am not a fan of capitalism. Kimmerer is perhaps one of my favorite writers in that she so gloriously speaks to the ways in which human pride hurts our ability to experience joy. This woman loves moss. Moss. I myself have been known to stop in my tracks to admire an especially lush carpet moss or moss that has worked its way into sidewalk cracks. Moss is luxury. Kimmerer is able to share her adoration for a subject but more than that- she encourages you to constantly be in communion with the apace that you're in. The pace at which a moss scientist travels is slow, and her writing brings you into a slow, meditative state. Someone make this woman write more please. I'm deeply indebted to her gentle way of seeing the beauty, and seeing the deep rifts we're tearing into this beauty but not losing sight of the beauty. The beauty is the meaning. We fight against indecency for the beauty. The beauty is the purpose and the prize. Kimmerer gives me a place to lean and breath and reconnect. I love this book as I loved Braiding Sweetgrass. Highly recommend. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #gatheringmoss #robinwallkimmerer #naturalist #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Blowing up a cliff to steal the mosses is a crime, but it's not against the law, because he 'owns' those rocks. It would be easy to call this abduction an act of vandalism. And yet, this is also a man who imports a team of experts for the gentle wrapping of mossy rocks. The Owner is a man who loves mosses. And the exercise of power. I have no doubts in his sincerity in wishing to protect them from harm, once they conformed to his landscape design. But I think that you cannot own a thing and love it at the same time. Owning diminishes the innate sovereignty of a thing, enriching the possessor and reducing the possessed. If he truly loved mosses more than control, he would have left them alone and walked each day to see them" 📚 It comes as no surprise to any of y'all reading this that I am not a fan of capitalism. Kimmerer is perhaps one of my favorite writers in that she so gloriously speaks to the ways in which human pride hurts our ability to experience joy. This woman loves moss. Moss. I myself have been known to stop in my tracks to admire an especially lush carpet moss or moss that has worked its way into sidewalk cracks. Moss is luxury. Kimmerer is able to share her adoration for a subject but more than that- she encourages you to constantly be in communion with the apace that you're in. The pace at which a moss scientist travels is slow, and her writing brings you into a slow, meditative state. Someone make this woman write more please. I'm deeply indebted to her gentle way of seeing the beauty, and seeing the deep rifts we're tearing into this beauty but not losing sight of the beauty. The beauty is the meaning. We fight against indecency for the beauty. The beauty is the purpose and the prize. Kimmerer gives me a place to lean and breath and reconnect. I love this book as I loved Braiding Sweetgrass. Highly recommend. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #gatheringmoss #robinwallkimmerer #naturalist #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Thus I want to close this chapter repeating the words of the late Latin American writer, Eduardo Galeano... 'Utopia is on the horizon. I move two steps closer: it moves two steps further away. I walk ten steps and the horizon runs ten steps further away. As much as I may walk, I'll never reach it. So what's the point of utopia? The point is this: to keep moving forward." Our political dreams may end in disappointment, but are likely, nevertheless, to make us feel more alive, and hence happier, along the way, at least when they help to connect us to and express concern for those around us. Happiness (as eudaimonia) demands nothing less. 📚
Not quite the book that I was expecting the first part sets out to make you feel like finally some very bright person is going to uncover the veil that hides happiness from the world. And she marginally does as much but it's far more complicated and requires more work than I'd hoped. Not a self help book where one just practices positive thinking, and says nice things to people, Segal proposes that true happiness can only be felt in group settings wherein you feel like you are part of something whose goal is for the betterment of the world. There's a lot of radical history in here, which I wasn't expecting, and to be honest not much talk of community building that can create those actions. 
Again, not at all what I was expecting, not quite sure she was able to hit her mark, but a genuinely pleasurable book to read that centers feminism and puts voice to all of the historically disenfranchised from an elder in the movement. If you're looking for self help DO NOT ENGAGE. If you want answers, they're not in here, if you're looking for a meandering and very intelligent train of thought, have at this book. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #radicalhappiness #lynnesegal #feminism #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Thus I want to close this chapter repeating the words of the late Latin American writer, Eduardo Galeano... 'Utopia is on the horizon. I move two steps closer: it moves two steps further away. I walk ten steps and the horizon runs ten steps further away. As much as I may walk, I'll never reach it. So what's the point of utopia? The point is this: to keep moving forward." Our political dreams may end in disappointment, but are likely, nevertheless, to make us feel more alive, and hence happier, along the way, at least when they help to connect us to and express concern for those around us. Happiness (as eudaimonia) demands nothing less. 📚 Not quite the book that I was expecting the first part sets out to make you feel like finally some very bright person is going to uncover the veil that hides happiness from the world. And she marginally does as much but it's far more complicated and requires more work than I'd hoped. Not a self help book where one just practices positive thinking, and says nice things to people, Segal proposes that true happiness can only be felt in group settings wherein you feel like you are part of something whose goal is for the betterment of the world. There's a lot of radical history in here, which I wasn't expecting, and to be honest not much talk of community building that can create those actions. Again, not at all what I was expecting, not quite sure she was able to hit her mark, but a genuinely pleasurable book to read that centers feminism and puts voice to all of the historically disenfranchised from an elder in the movement. If you're looking for self help DO NOT ENGAGE. If you want answers, they're not in here, if you're looking for a meandering and very intelligent train of thought, have at this book. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #radicalhappiness #lynnesegal #feminism #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Charlotte: if that were only true. Despite all the segregation, the tragedy is we are on the same side. We've always been here together, shipwrecked here together. 
Charles: You're right; we're here together.
Charlotte: wrecked together, solitary, here together...
Charles: But the feeling is the feeling of a gap. 
Charlotte: The gap, Charles, is caused because you refuse the role you actually play."
📚
Claudia Rankine's first play takes place in the upper echelons of the USAmerican class system, the first part, a dinner party of the very wealthy, discussing rare wines and million dollar investments as if they were every day events- because they are. But though the gap between the Black artist is apparent to begin with, it only grows as the night progresses, and Charlotte is forced to explain systemic violence to people who believe themselves white saviors. As usual with Rankine, she highlights the way that whiteness is erased, making all the problems with race into Black problems, instead of the problem of those who inflict the trauma. With humor and patience, Charlotte makes plain Charles' inability to see his own complicity in the violence he so loudly speaks to wishing to stop. Rankine is able to show that it is not that people don't want to change the world, rather that they don't see that it is they, themselves, that must change. I had the pleasure to see actors read the second act at her talk the other night, very much looking forward to @penumbratheatre performing this next season. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thewhitecard #claudiarankine #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Charlotte: if that were only true. Despite all the segregation, the tragedy is we are on the same side. We've always been here together, shipwrecked here together. Charles: You're right; we're here together. Charlotte: wrecked together, solitary, here together... Charles: But the feeling is the feeling of a gap. Charlotte: The gap, Charles, is caused because you refuse the role you actually play." 📚 Claudia Rankine's first play takes place in the upper echelons of the USAmerican class system, the first part, a dinner party of the very wealthy, discussing rare wines and million dollar investments as if they were every day events- because they are. But though the gap between the Black artist is apparent to begin with, it only grows as the night progresses, and Charlotte is forced to explain systemic violence to people who believe themselves white saviors. As usual with Rankine, she highlights the way that whiteness is erased, making all the problems with race into Black problems, instead of the problem of those who inflict the trauma. With humor and patience, Charlotte makes plain Charles' inability to see his own complicity in the violence he so loudly speaks to wishing to stop. Rankine is able to show that it is not that people don't want to change the world, rather that they don't see that it is they, themselves, that must change. I had the pleasure to see actors read the second act at her talk the other night, very much looking forward to @penumbratheatre performing this next season. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thewhitecard #claudiarankine #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Jeanette Winterson's take on Frankenstein, transhumanism, and gender is deeply thoughtful and illuminating while at the same time being super readable. Moving between Mary Shelley and her relationship with her husband and her character Victor Frankenstein, and present day Ry Shelley, a young trans doctor who falls for transhumanist Victor Stein. Winterson's simple, clear prose moves through information at breakneck speed, while managing to seem like a just slightly odd thriller (this is a compliment.) I've never read Winterson before, for no particular reason, I just haven't, but that will be rectified. The humor with which she treated unpalatable characters was perhaps my favorite part. Highly recommended. Available October 1st #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #frankissstein #jeanettewinterson #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
Jeanette Winterson's take on Frankenstein, transhumanism, and gender is deeply thoughtful and illuminating while at the same time being super readable. Moving between Mary Shelley and her relationship with her husband and her character Victor Frankenstein, and present day Ry Shelley, a young trans doctor who falls for transhumanist Victor Stein. Winterson's simple, clear prose moves through information at breakneck speed, while managing to seem like a just slightly odd thriller (this is a compliment.) I've never read Winterson before, for no particular reason, I just haven't, but that will be rectified. The humor with which she treated unpalatable characters was perhaps my favorite part. Highly recommended. Available October 1st #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #frankissstein #jeanettewinterson #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
A slow to unfurl story of a college student awakening to her sexuality and befriending the other weird queers she comes across in late 80s/early 90s Taipei. Threaded through the story is the story of crocodiles living as humans. It takes awhile to all come together, the story lines meander non chronologically and are full of heartbreak and self-destructive behavior. Unputdownable. #notesofacrocodile #qiumiaojin #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
A slow to unfurl story of a college student awakening to her sexuality and befriending the other weird queers she comes across in late 80s/early 90s Taipei. Threaded through the story is the story of crocodiles living as humans. It takes awhile to all come together, the story lines meander non chronologically and are full of heartbreak and self-destructive behavior. Unputdownable. #notesofacrocodile #qiumiaojin #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
"I'm always surprised when people say they find walking boring. Walking defines us as a species. It is not a luxury. Not a bonus. It is not optional. Walking is a biological imperative, like eating and having sex. Which is why we should, as a species, see the inability to walk without pain for what it is- a huge, red, waving flag calling attention to the state of other parts and processes necessary to perpetuate our humanness."
📚As the glorious @half_book_and_co so graciously pointed out, this is easily read as ableist. And I think that that is something that I want to expand upon more than the rest of my post put together. There's a man who rolls his wheelchair down the greenway all the time. He doesn't have an electric chair, it's the highend, more permanent version of the kind you'd get if you broke your hip. This is, in my mind, and from what I read of the author, hers too, the same beneficially as walking. It's the movements that our culture deems as too slow, or uninteresting, that allow us to access what our bodies evolved to do. This book is NOT a fitness book. This book is about encouraging you to find the best alignment for your body. 
Been thinking a lot about the ways exercise culture manipulates us into doing things that are not good for our bodies by telling us that what we are doing is good for our bodies. Pretty goofy huh? I want to push back against this so intensely. Katy Bowman goes a little farther than I necessarily would but she does it with a very serious background in biomechanics so honestly she *probably* knows more than me. Lol. If you're a movement junkie, read this book. And everyone stop sucking in your damn tummies and sitting in chairs and wearing shoes all the damned time. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #moveyourdna #katybowman #biomechanics #movement #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"I'm always surprised when people say they find walking boring. Walking defines us as a species. It is not a luxury. Not a bonus. It is not optional. Walking is a biological imperative, like eating and having sex. Which is why we should, as a species, see the inability to walk without pain for what it is- a huge, red, waving flag calling attention to the state of other parts and processes necessary to perpetuate our humanness." 📚As the glorious @half_book_and_co so graciously pointed out, this is easily read as ableist. And I think that that is something that I want to expand upon more than the rest of my post put together. There's a man who rolls his wheelchair down the greenway all the time. He doesn't have an electric chair, it's the highend, more permanent version of the kind you'd get if you broke your hip. This is, in my mind, and from what I read of the author, hers too, the same beneficially as walking. It's the movements that our culture deems as too slow, or uninteresting, that allow us to access what our bodies evolved to do. This book is NOT a fitness book. This book is about encouraging you to find the best alignment for your body. Been thinking a lot about the ways exercise culture manipulates us into doing things that are not good for our bodies by telling us that what we are doing is good for our bodies. Pretty goofy huh? I want to push back against this so intensely. Katy Bowman goes a little farther than I necessarily would but she does it with a very serious background in biomechanics so honestly she *probably* knows more than me. Lol. If you're a movement junkie, read this book. And everyone stop sucking in your damn tummies and sitting in chairs and wearing shoes all the damned time. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #moveyourdna #katybowman #biomechanics #movement #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Can the interests of China, the US, and Africa be reconciled? Potentially but not automatically. 'Yes' - If Africa can strike beneficiation and exploration partnerships, and if China and the US seek to improve governance standards. Even though China and the US are acting in their own self interest in deepening their ties with Africa in the resources sector, Africa should not be afraid of losing out. Lasting relationships need to be mutually beneficial."
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A genuinely fascinating book that brings the differing governance styles of the West and China to the fore. This is something that I wish was taught to us from a very young age- the cultural practices that can make us seem alien to each other, and how they pan out on the large scale. This book is by a bunch of policy wonks and is focused on Africa and infrastructure, little is spoken of the people of Africa other than as an aside that people's discomfort with the sometimes very poor practices of the Chinese in their countries is silly compared to the economic benefits they bring. It's very strange reading this type of thing and recognizing that capitalism has taken over everywhere and that capitalism is entirely destructive to the individual spirit. Hoping the next book is less from the perspective of the wonks, and their desire to see the never ending economic growth of their dreams, and more from the perspective of the people, and what the repercussions of the Chinese in their continent feel like to them. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #themoralityofchinainafrica #stephenchan #africa #china #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
"Can the interests of China, the US, and Africa be reconciled? Potentially but not automatically. 'Yes' - If Africa can strike beneficiation and exploration partnerships, and if China and the US seek to improve governance standards. Even though China and the US are acting in their own self interest in deepening their ties with Africa in the resources sector, Africa should not be afraid of losing out. Lasting relationships need to be mutually beneficial." 📚 A genuinely fascinating book that brings the differing governance styles of the West and China to the fore. This is something that I wish was taught to us from a very young age- the cultural practices that can make us seem alien to each other, and how they pan out on the large scale. This book is by a bunch of policy wonks and is focused on Africa and infrastructure, little is spoken of the people of Africa other than as an aside that people's discomfort with the sometimes very poor practices of the Chinese in their countries is silly compared to the economic benefits they bring. It's very strange reading this type of thing and recognizing that capitalism has taken over everywhere and that capitalism is entirely destructive to the individual spirit. Hoping the next book is less from the perspective of the wonks, and their desire to see the never ending economic growth of their dreams, and more from the perspective of the people, and what the repercussions of the Chinese in their continent feel like to them. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #themoralityofchinainafrica #stephenchan #africa #china #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
CW for paragraph before emoji: suicide "What is shocking is that Money doesn't interpret this anger as directed at him, as stemming from the patient's profound disagreement with his dogged insistence on gender reassignment. Rather, he believes it is the product of a wrongly assigned gender, believes this child is upset because he was reared as a male despite being intersex, and thus not possessing what, for Money, was the ultimate arbiter of manhood- a 'normal-looking' penis. Money concludes the case history noting the patients eventual suicide, which he argues would not have happened had this patient heeded his advice and accepted gender reassignment as female."
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I bought this book because I was hoping to read about queering of the hard sciences, something that I think is enormously necessary and there is much room for. The examples of science being skewed by the preconceived notions of the white cisheteropatriarchy are many, I'm not going to get into that now but if you're curious, feel free to ask. There were a few essays in this book that focused on hard science and one that gloriously talked about slime molds and Evelyn Fox Keller and Octavia Butler which was definitely worth the price of admission. Unfortunately most of this book is theory. Which is fine. But the back does sell it as interdisciplinary and tbqh I don't think there's a shortage of queer theory around gender and sexuality and it really didn't need a book centered around it. If you absolutely love theory you should get this because it's actually good for what it is. As you've probably gathered by now, I do not. I'm still glad I read it because the pieces centering around hard science were wonderful but there really should have been more. And yes I'm that asshole who believes that hard science and social science are definitely very different. Sorry. 🤷‍♀️ #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #queerfeministsciencestudies #queerstudies #genderstudies #feministstudies #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
CW for paragraph before emoji: suicide "What is shocking is that Money doesn't interpret this anger as directed at him, as stemming from the patient's profound disagreement with his dogged insistence on gender reassignment. Rather, he believes it is the product of a wrongly assigned gender, believes this child is upset because he was reared as a male despite being intersex, and thus not possessing what, for Money, was the ultimate arbiter of manhood- a 'normal-looking' penis. Money concludes the case history noting the patients eventual suicide, which he argues would not have happened had this patient heeded his advice and accepted gender reassignment as female." 📚 I bought this book because I was hoping to read about queering of the hard sciences, something that I think is enormously necessary and there is much room for. The examples of science being skewed by the preconceived notions of the white cisheteropatriarchy are many, I'm not going to get into that now but if you're curious, feel free to ask. There were a few essays in this book that focused on hard science and one that gloriously talked about slime molds and Evelyn Fox Keller and Octavia Butler which was definitely worth the price of admission. Unfortunately most of this book is theory. Which is fine. But the back does sell it as interdisciplinary and tbqh I don't think there's a shortage of queer theory around gender and sexuality and it really didn't need a book centered around it. If you absolutely love theory you should get this because it's actually good for what it is. As you've probably gathered by now, I do not. I'm still glad I read it because the pieces centering around hard science were wonderful but there really should have been more. And yes I'm that asshole who believes that hard science and social science are definitely very different. Sorry. 🤷‍♀️ #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #queerfeministsciencestudies #queerstudies #genderstudies #feministstudies #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Lai Jin breathed in. Each port had a distinctive smell, as if the sea distilled the climate, hopes, and experiences of each place into a unique essence. Kilindini. Top note, earth, fire, moon flowers, and blood; middle note, salt, putrefying seaweed, and rust; bottom note, wood, twilight's sun warmth, sweat. Fresh cadences, whirling emotions, a temple bell sprinkling high sounds, laughter from somewhere, and the call and response of at least seven different bird species. Containers, cranes, ships..."
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You ever have your next few books planned out and then read something that unexpectedly throws a wrench in those plans? Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor has a way of doing that to a reader. Her prose is sparkling- somehow florid yet often coming off as spare, and her research is immaculate. This book centered around a young girl from a small island on Kenya's coast, and based loosely on the true event of China claiming a young Kenyan as their descendant based on DNA evidence, a fleet of ships had sunk and the remaining crew had taken refuge and stayed. This book is absolutely wonderful and it's very disappointing that it doesn't get more accolades right now. Incredibly Europe and the US are mentioned, barely, in passing, in this very international book about modern day large scale hustlers and imperialists, and it's truly incredible to read such a huge and political book with the global north decentralized, treated almost as unimportant. But ultimately what made the switch, and I tread lightly here to avoid spoilers, is the way she wrote about China's imperialist tendencies in Africa with such a light touch, and in such a way that one actually feels the impact. I want everyone to go out and buy and read this story because I want the author to be very well paid and very prolific. Thanks for sending me her way @kenyanbibliophile and @sreddyen books like this are one of the reasons I cherish this community. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thedragonflysea #yvonneadhiamboowuor #kenyanliterature #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Lai Jin breathed in. Each port had a distinctive smell, as if the sea distilled the climate, hopes, and experiences of each place into a unique essence. Kilindini. Top note, earth, fire, moon flowers, and blood; middle note, salt, putrefying seaweed, and rust; bottom note, wood, twilight's sun warmth, sweat. Fresh cadences, whirling emotions, a temple bell sprinkling high sounds, laughter from somewhere, and the call and response of at least seven different bird species. Containers, cranes, ships..." 📚 You ever have your next few books planned out and then read something that unexpectedly throws a wrench in those plans? Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor has a way of doing that to a reader. Her prose is sparkling- somehow florid yet often coming off as spare, and her research is immaculate. This book centered around a young girl from a small island on Kenya's coast, and based loosely on the true event of China claiming a young Kenyan as their descendant based on DNA evidence, a fleet of ships had sunk and the remaining crew had taken refuge and stayed. This book is absolutely wonderful and it's very disappointing that it doesn't get more accolades right now. Incredibly Europe and the US are mentioned, barely, in passing, in this very international book about modern day large scale hustlers and imperialists, and it's truly incredible to read such a huge and political book with the global north decentralized, treated almost as unimportant. But ultimately what made the switch, and I tread lightly here to avoid spoilers, is the way she wrote about China's imperialist tendencies in Africa with such a light touch, and in such a way that one actually feels the impact. I want everyone to go out and buy and read this story because I want the author to be very well paid and very prolific. Thanks for sending me her way @kenyanbibliophile and @sreddyen books like this are one of the reasons I cherish this community. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thedragonflysea #yvonneadhiamboowuor #kenyanliterature #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
This book SHOULD be so good. But its reported connecting of Tejano and Mohawk cultures as Borderlands people is, at best, tenuous. Maybe some people will love this memoir posing as reporting but I found it a slog. Which isn't to say that I hate hate hate a memoir implicitly, I'm just not that into them, and especially when I think I'm going to get an interesting actual report. If you love memoir and are curious about Border cultures maybe give this a go. If not you can probably pass. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #alltheangelsandsaints #stephanieelizondogriest #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
This book SHOULD be so good. But its reported connecting of Tejano and Mohawk cultures as Borderlands people is, at best, tenuous. Maybe some people will love this memoir posing as reporting but I found it a slog. Which isn't to say that I hate hate hate a memoir implicitly, I'm just not that into them, and especially when I think I'm going to get an interesting actual report. If you love memoir and are curious about Border cultures maybe give this a go. If not you can probably pass. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #alltheangelsandsaints #stephanieelizondogriest #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
This is a pithy little book that pulls no punches. After Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, Mary Todd was institutionalized. She claimed that "a savage indian was causing her pain at night." Leanne Howe conceptualizes this story as one of the 38 Dakota men hanger on Lincoln's orders (the biggest mass execution in US history), come to haunt her. This story is spare and cutting. In literature people often are effusive about heavily descriptive, florid prose. This is not that. It reads almost as if Howe wrote something more massive then cut away 80% of the words. You have the time to read this book. It's short. You should read this book. An important reframing of some of the ugliest bits of USAmerican history. I'd love to get a chance to see it performed someday. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #savageconversations #leannehowe #coffeehousepress @coffeehousepress #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
This is a pithy little book that pulls no punches. After Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, Mary Todd was institutionalized. She claimed that "a savage indian was causing her pain at night." Leanne Howe conceptualizes this story as one of the 38 Dakota men hanger on Lincoln's orders (the biggest mass execution in US history), come to haunt her. This story is spare and cutting. In literature people often are effusive about heavily descriptive, florid prose. This is not that. It reads almost as if Howe wrote something more massive then cut away 80% of the words. You have the time to read this book. It's short. You should read this book. An important reframing of some of the ugliest bits of USAmerican history. I'd love to get a chance to see it performed someday. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #savageconversations #leannehowe #coffeehousepress @coffeehousepress #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"If we want also to know the earth, to cultivate reverence, to look to wild nature in its myriad forms for inspiration, mentoring, sustenance, and perhaps correction, then walking is a necessary practice."
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Notice closely, my friends, this quote, because I want to talk about ableism. I loved this book and I'll come back to that but I think this quote very beautiful illustrates the subtle ableism that infects many of us. When the author says "walking is a necessary practice," what she means is that one must slow down and observe. One does not need to walk to do this, i have pushed elders in wheelchairs who observed far more than I ever did. One need not look- there's a blind woman who I used to see walking all the time and I can say that her power of observation seemed pretty dang sharp. When we ask people not to use ableist language, it encourages us to go deeper and find the language that actually describes what we want. This book is not for the most part like this, but while this quote on the surface, to abled body people, seems brilliant, it encodes an exclusion of people in wheelchairs and the blind. 📚
If you're looking for a book to remind you to observe more closely  the world- this book is it. I've never so badly wanted binoculars to watch the wildlife in my neighborhood, or a good field guide to name everything with. Haupt moves lyrically through the personal and the historical, giving voice to the crows that have always been amongst us, and have much to teach us. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #crowplanet #lyandalynnhaupt #naturewriting #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"If we want also to know the earth, to cultivate reverence, to look to wild nature in its myriad forms for inspiration, mentoring, sustenance, and perhaps correction, then walking is a necessary practice." 📚 Notice closely, my friends, this quote, because I want to talk about ableism. I loved this book and I'll come back to that but I think this quote very beautiful illustrates the subtle ableism that infects many of us. When the author says "walking is a necessary practice," what she means is that one must slow down and observe. One does not need to walk to do this, i have pushed elders in wheelchairs who observed far more than I ever did. One need not look- there's a blind woman who I used to see walking all the time and I can say that her power of observation seemed pretty dang sharp. When we ask people not to use ableist language, it encourages us to go deeper and find the language that actually describes what we want. This book is not for the most part like this, but while this quote on the surface, to abled body people, seems brilliant, it encodes an exclusion of people in wheelchairs and the blind. 📚 If you're looking for a book to remind you to observe more closely the world- this book is it. I've never so badly wanted binoculars to watch the wildlife in my neighborhood, or a good field guide to name everything with. Haupt moves lyrically through the personal and the historical, giving voice to the crows that have always been amongst us, and have much to teach us. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #crowplanet #lyandalynnhaupt #naturewriting #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Machines are not produced by machines in a sort of immaculate conception. Taking the computer as an example, even this most common machine is an ecological disaster, requiring tons of soil and water and an immense amount of human labor for its production...Machines moreover require a material and cultural infrastructure that effects not only our nature commons...but also our psyche and social relations, molding subjectivities, creating new needs and habits, and producing dependencies that also place a mortgage on the future."
"Computerization has also increased the military capacity of the capitalist class and its surveillance of our work and lives- all developments compared to which the benefits we can draw from the use of personal computers pale."
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Phew. Federici is my new hero, confronting the places in Marxism that I've never understood- the obsession with technology and the lack of acknowledgement of the realm of domestic labor- and putting them at the forefront in a critique of capitalism that is powerful in its determination to create a people/earth first praxis. The centering of the commons as an antidote to capitalism is refreshing in its non-exclusionary radicalness. This is the revolution of the people taking back their lives from the ever encroaching state. 📚I love this book and want to read more feminist indigenous centered Marxist books. Plz recommend if you have any suggestions! #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #reenchantingtheworld #silviafederici #thecommons #feminism #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Machines are not produced by machines in a sort of immaculate conception. Taking the computer as an example, even this most common machine is an ecological disaster, requiring tons of soil and water and an immense amount of human labor for its production...Machines moreover require a material and cultural infrastructure that effects not only our nature commons...but also our psyche and social relations, molding subjectivities, creating new needs and habits, and producing dependencies that also place a mortgage on the future." "Computerization has also increased the military capacity of the capitalist class and its surveillance of our work and lives- all developments compared to which the benefits we can draw from the use of personal computers pale." 📚 Phew. Federici is my new hero, confronting the places in Marxism that I've never understood- the obsession with technology and the lack of acknowledgement of the realm of domestic labor- and putting them at the forefront in a critique of capitalism that is powerful in its determination to create a people/earth first praxis. The centering of the commons as an antidote to capitalism is refreshing in its non-exclusionary radicalness. This is the revolution of the people taking back their lives from the ever encroaching state. 📚I love this book and want to read more feminist indigenous centered Marxist books. Plz recommend if you have any suggestions! #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #reenchantingtheworld #silviafederici #thecommons #feminism #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"For Palestinians and their supporters, BDS has proved a shrewd tactic. As a nonviolent movement, It turns the world's attention away from terrorism, which has long undermined sympathy for the Palestinian cause. It gives activists frustrated by America's unwillingness to pressure Israel a mechanism to do so themselves. It harnesses the new technologies that empower citizens to organize across national lines. And it capitalizes on the revulsion that many people whose nations were once colonized- or were colonizers- feel toward an Israeli occupation with clear colonial features. The Israeli government and its American Jewish allies are devoting enormous energy to stopping the BDS movement and improving Israel's public image, but those efforts will likely fail because Israel doesn't have a public relations problem; it has a moral problem. You can't sell colonialism in a postcolonial age."
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The author while decidedly capital L Liberal, has some excellent things to say on Israel's occupation of The West Bank and Gaza. Written in 2012 he states, repeatedly, that the clock is running out on the possibility of a two state solution as Israel continues to pour settlers into occupied territory. This is from an author who considers himself a Zionist, so, there's much to be extracted from that. Some weird stuff, after the above quote he suggests a kind of "Zionist BDS" which would boycott Israeli made goods in the settlement but not in the green line which, while i get his point of making it known that we're not necessarily anti Israel, just anti occupation, pretty much makes the boycott ineffective. All in all a really good read if you're looking to read on the topic by a non radical. Especially depressing was the chapters on Obama dropping the ball. I had to keep putting the book down. So upsetting. #thecrisisofzionism #peterbeinart #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"For Palestinians and their supporters, BDS has proved a shrewd tactic. As a nonviolent movement, It turns the world's attention away from terrorism, which has long undermined sympathy for the Palestinian cause. It gives activists frustrated by America's unwillingness to pressure Israel a mechanism to do so themselves. It harnesses the new technologies that empower citizens to organize across national lines. And it capitalizes on the revulsion that many people whose nations were once colonized- or were colonizers- feel toward an Israeli occupation with clear colonial features. The Israeli government and its American Jewish allies are devoting enormous energy to stopping the BDS movement and improving Israel's public image, but those efforts will likely fail because Israel doesn't have a public relations problem; it has a moral problem. You can't sell colonialism in a postcolonial age." 📚 The author while decidedly capital L Liberal, has some excellent things to say on Israel's occupation of The West Bank and Gaza. Written in 2012 he states, repeatedly, that the clock is running out on the possibility of a two state solution as Israel continues to pour settlers into occupied territory. This is from an author who considers himself a Zionist, so, there's much to be extracted from that. Some weird stuff, after the above quote he suggests a kind of "Zionist BDS" which would boycott Israeli made goods in the settlement but not in the green line which, while i get his point of making it known that we're not necessarily anti Israel, just anti occupation, pretty much makes the boycott ineffective. All in all a really good read if you're looking to read on the topic by a non radical. Especially depressing was the chapters on Obama dropping the ball. I had to keep putting the book down. So upsetting. #thecrisisofzionism #peterbeinart #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"The body that used to have the status of a work animal now has the status of a pet: it does not provide real transport, as a horse might have; instead, the body is exercised as one might walk a dog. Thus the body, a recreational rather than utilitarian entity, doesn't work, but works out."
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It wasn't until around page 260 that I found the rhythm in this clunky, sprawling history of walking. Through most of it I found it chaotic and rather boring but if you can just hang on through all 291 pages, that labor pays off. Solnit takes on a massive task of relating the entire history of modern walking as a radical act. She moves between the personal and the historical in a really unsteady way, which makes some of her arguments seem pretty belabored but this would probably be a great book to read if you are walking the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trails. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #wanderlust #rebeccasolnit #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"The body that used to have the status of a work animal now has the status of a pet: it does not provide real transport, as a horse might have; instead, the body is exercised as one might walk a dog. Thus the body, a recreational rather than utilitarian entity, doesn't work, but works out." 📚 It wasn't until around page 260 that I found the rhythm in this clunky, sprawling history of walking. Through most of it I found it chaotic and rather boring but if you can just hang on through all 291 pages, that labor pays off. Solnit takes on a massive task of relating the entire history of modern walking as a radical act. She moves between the personal and the historical in a really unsteady way, which makes some of her arguments seem pretty belabored but this would probably be a great book to read if you are walking the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trails. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #wanderlust #rebeccasolnit #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Luiselli has made a name for herself with weird, surreal, very short books and while somehow she managed to pull that background into this story, this story is a vibrantly alive, and very real feeling, great American road trip story. As the relationship between the couple slowly disintegrates, the blended family drives from NYC to Apacheria to document Apache space (him) and the fates of migrant children (her). Woven into the text is a short story Elegies for Lost Children, that follows several migrant children as they ride the gondolas (train cars) accompanied by a coyote. Masterfully written between the POV of the mother and her husbands ten year old son, this book pushes you to see whose lives you value and what relationships are important. As a longtime Luiselli fan, this is so far beyond anything she's written to this point it's hard to write this review, as I'm in a giddiness of wonder. 
Y'all better keep your eyes on this one going into prize season. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #lostchildrenarchive #valerialuiselli #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
Luiselli has made a name for herself with weird, surreal, very short books and while somehow she managed to pull that background into this story, this story is a vibrantly alive, and very real feeling, great American road trip story. As the relationship between the couple slowly disintegrates, the blended family drives from NYC to Apacheria to document Apache space (him) and the fates of migrant children (her). Woven into the text is a short story Elegies for Lost Children, that follows several migrant children as they ride the gondolas (train cars) accompanied by a coyote. Masterfully written between the POV of the mother and her husbands ten year old son, this book pushes you to see whose lives you value and what relationships are important. As a longtime Luiselli fan, this is so far beyond anything she's written to this point it's hard to write this review, as I'm in a giddiness of wonder. Y'all better keep your eyes on this one going into prize season. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #lostchildrenarchive #valerialuiselli #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
"So many long-standing and multivalent forms of social exchange have been made into habitual sequences of solicitation and response. At the same time, the range of what constitutes response becomes formulaic and, in most instances, is reduced to a small inventory of possible gestures or choices. Because one's bank account and one's friendships can now be managed through identical machinic operations and gestures, there is a growing homogenization of what used to be entirely unrelated areas of experience...Real-life activities that do not have an online correlate begin to atrophy, or cease to be relevant...Because of the infinity of content accessible 24/7, there will always be something online more informative, surprising, funny, diverting, impressive than anything in one's immediate actual circumstances."
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This book reads sort of like getting stoned on some really good weed at a chill party with really smart people and recording it. Everything makes so much sense, but is really rambling. For being all over the place this book still has value, though it, like most books of its ilk could use an academia to non translator. I can say though now that I've decided that most theory is just really smart stoners at a party it's much more enjoyable for me to read, in that I think of it less as bloviation, and more as overexcited and uncontrolled brain vomit. Which is much more charming.
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Waxing on the ever prevalent nature of the 24/7 world, Crary moves between the history of philosophers that thought of sleep as a waste, to the world of science fiction and the way that it shows a post human world in view of 24/7. Interesting but not invaluable.  #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #24/7 #jonathoncrary #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"So many long-standing and multivalent forms of social exchange have been made into habitual sequences of solicitation and response. At the same time, the range of what constitutes response becomes formulaic and, in most instances, is reduced to a small inventory of possible gestures or choices. Because one's bank account and one's friendships can now be managed through identical machinic operations and gestures, there is a growing homogenization of what used to be entirely unrelated areas of experience...Real-life activities that do not have an online correlate begin to atrophy, or cease to be relevant...Because of the infinity of content accessible 24/7, there will always be something online more informative, surprising, funny, diverting, impressive than anything in one's immediate actual circumstances." 📚 This book reads sort of like getting stoned on some really good weed at a chill party with really smart people and recording it. Everything makes so much sense, but is really rambling. For being all over the place this book still has value, though it, like most books of its ilk could use an academia to non translator. I can say though now that I've decided that most theory is just really smart stoners at a party it's much more enjoyable for me to read, in that I think of it less as bloviation, and more as overexcited and uncontrolled brain vomit. Which is much more charming. 📚 Waxing on the ever prevalent nature of the 24/7 world, Crary moves between the history of philosophers that thought of sleep as a waste, to the world of science fiction and the way that it shows a post human world in view of 24/7. Interesting but not invaluable. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #24/7 #jonathoncrary #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Cultures of domination rely on the cultivation of fear as a way to ensure obedience. In our society we make much of love and say little about fear. Yet we are all terribly afraid most of the time. As a culture we are obsessed with the notion of safety. Yet we do not question why we live in states of extreme anxiety and dread. Fear is the primary force upholding structures of domination. It promotes the desire for separation, the desire to not be known. When we are taught that safety lies always with sameness, then difference, of any kind, will appear as a threat. When we choose to love we choose to move against fear- against alienation and separation. The choice to love is a choice to connect- to find ourselves in the other."
❤️💔
This book has run me through the gamut of emotions. From intense sadness to rage to depression. I could barely move last night, before I went to a gathering honoring a much loved friend, as she moves to her beloved place and person. There I was surrounded by the love of friends and romantic love, and reminded of the broadness of this thing that is so rarely spoken of in a serious way. I say serious in the sense that love is an essential component of life. Without it we become shells. Yet to tell someone, especially a romantic partner, holds so much shame. And why? What is shameful about loving a person. We've been so indoctrinated into this fallacy that love comes in limited quantities and that we must be frugal with it. 💔
I refuse to buy into this notion, which often puts me in the realm of "too much" and oh friends, how sad is that? What would the world look if we were not afraid to love because we knew that we would receive equal love in return? What if we stopped being so cynical and acknowledged that all that we want is to love and to be loved? This book asks and answers all these questions beautifully. I've read it a half dozen times and will read it again. While it's not without problems, there's no other book that addresses so deeply the feeling of loss that one has without love. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #allaboutlove #bellhooks #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Cultures of domination rely on the cultivation of fear as a way to ensure obedience. In our society we make much of love and say little about fear. Yet we are all terribly afraid most of the time. As a culture we are obsessed with the notion of safety. Yet we do not question why we live in states of extreme anxiety and dread. Fear is the primary force upholding structures of domination. It promotes the desire for separation, the desire to not be known. When we are taught that safety lies always with sameness, then difference, of any kind, will appear as a threat. When we choose to love we choose to move against fear- against alienation and separation. The choice to love is a choice to connect- to find ourselves in the other." ❤️💔 This book has run me through the gamut of emotions. From intense sadness to rage to depression. I could barely move last night, before I went to a gathering honoring a much loved friend, as she moves to her beloved place and person. There I was surrounded by the love of friends and romantic love, and reminded of the broadness of this thing that is so rarely spoken of in a serious way. I say serious in the sense that love is an essential component of life. Without it we become shells. Yet to tell someone, especially a romantic partner, holds so much shame. And why? What is shameful about loving a person. We've been so indoctrinated into this fallacy that love comes in limited quantities and that we must be frugal with it. 💔 I refuse to buy into this notion, which often puts me in the realm of "too much" and oh friends, how sad is that? What would the world look if we were not afraid to love because we knew that we would receive equal love in return? What if we stopped being so cynical and acknowledged that all that we want is to love and to be loved? This book asks and answers all these questions beautifully. I've read it a half dozen times and will read it again. While it's not without problems, there's no other book that addresses so deeply the feeling of loss that one has without love. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #allaboutlove #bellhooks #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
It took about halfway through for me to even like this flow of consciousness book about a woman in a small town who's become a bit of an outcast. It really captures the feelings of loss that come from being no longer a kid but not yet an adult, all while evoking the omnipresent sense of being watched by the British in 70s Northern Ireland. 📚
By the end I was captivated. Centering around an unnamed protagonist who's considered a bit of an odd duck due to her habit of walking and reading, and delving into the claustrophobia of a city on lockdown where you're either with is or against us. Do recommend, though it definitely isn't an easy read. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #milkman #annaburns #manbookerprize #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
It took about halfway through for me to even like this flow of consciousness book about a woman in a small town who's become a bit of an outcast. It really captures the feelings of loss that come from being no longer a kid but not yet an adult, all while evoking the omnipresent sense of being watched by the British in 70s Northern Ireland. 📚 By the end I was captivated. Centering around an unnamed protagonist who's considered a bit of an odd duck due to her habit of walking and reading, and delving into the claustrophobia of a city on lockdown where you're either with is or against us. Do recommend, though it definitely isn't an easy read. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #milkman #annaburns #manbookerprize #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Du Bois attempted to distinguish institutional racism, or 'racial discrimination,' from the existence of separate racial institutions. 'It must be remembered that in the last quarter century, the advance of the colored people has been mainly in the lines where they themselves, working by and for themselves have accomplished the greatest advance.' Du Bois argued that blacks should use 'voluntary segregation' to establish black economic cooperatives and other enterprises to address black poverty and to save black schools. Black Americans 'must stop being stampeded by the word 'segregation.'"
📚
W.E.B. Du Bois is one of those names that stands out in the sense that I can't remember a time when I didn't know it, yet I remember it as an "important Black American," not for anything specific. That's so embarrassing. Yesterday would have been his 151st birthday and so I decided to rectify that. Did I know that he died in exile because the United States revoked his right to travel because he was a communist? I did not. The interesting part about his being communist is that despite flirting with socialism much of his life he didn't officially join the party until he was in his 90s. This is very indicative of who he was as a person. Constantly changing and growing; unafraid to critique his allies or to praise his enemies. A fascinating and steadfast man. The world is richer for his presence in it. He was the founder of the NAACP, a father of the Pan-African movement, a voracious student of history, and a prolific writer. His pragmatism often pitted him against his otherwise allies but his unshakable values meant that he was able to stay true to himself. I do wish that this biography had more critical takes on Du Bois, simply because I like to have the whole picture but even without that, a fantastic read. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #webdubois #blackradicaldemocrat #manningmarable #Blackhistory #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Du Bois attempted to distinguish institutional racism, or 'racial discrimination,' from the existence of separate racial institutions. 'It must be remembered that in the last quarter century, the advance of the colored people has been mainly in the lines where they themselves, working by and for themselves have accomplished the greatest advance.' Du Bois argued that blacks should use 'voluntary segregation' to establish black economic cooperatives and other enterprises to address black poverty and to save black schools. Black Americans 'must stop being stampeded by the word 'segregation.'" 📚 W.E.B. Du Bois is one of those names that stands out in the sense that I can't remember a time when I didn't know it, yet I remember it as an "important Black American," not for anything specific. That's so embarrassing. Yesterday would have been his 151st birthday and so I decided to rectify that. Did I know that he died in exile because the United States revoked his right to travel because he was a communist? I did not. The interesting part about his being communist is that despite flirting with socialism much of his life he didn't officially join the party until he was in his 90s. This is very indicative of who he was as a person. Constantly changing and growing; unafraid to critique his allies or to praise his enemies. A fascinating and steadfast man. The world is richer for his presence in it. He was the founder of the NAACP, a father of the Pan-African movement, a voracious student of history, and a prolific writer. His pragmatism often pitted him against his otherwise allies but his unshakable values meant that he was able to stay true to himself. I do wish that this biography had more critical takes on Du Bois, simply because I like to have the whole picture but even without that, a fantastic read. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #webdubois #blackradicaldemocrat #manningmarable #Blackhistory #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Damn. 
This is a funny fucking book y'all. It's also profoundly not funny. I feel like good satire is such a rare beast that when one comes across it the feeling is a bit confusing. The first time I tried reading this it's because I had just left the ER and I wanted something funny, this book IS funny but hooboy golly do you have to work for it. The threads woven amongst each other are somehow flawless. There's the last living little rascal, a city in LA built around farms, a city bus driving love interest, and some smoking weed in the Supreme Court. This book is Pynchon at his very best, knee slappingly funny and at the same time deep and often awkward and painful cultural critique. Vonnegut could only have wished to be this clever- Beatty drops references like most of us use ummmms and like uh..., impeccably tied into the story, and so frequent that you know you missed some. This is the kind of book that you go back for a joyous reread. So fun and surreal and full of righteous rage, y'all this is my kinda book. Did I mention that Beatty can write a damned sentence? I hung on his every word. I read paragraphs two, three times- not because I didn't get it but because they were just so glorious. Read this damn book. A Black man in his hometown of Dickens brings back segregation and ends up in the US Supreme court. It's uproariously funny. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thesellout #paulbeatty #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
Damn. This is a funny fucking book y'all. It's also profoundly not funny. I feel like good satire is such a rare beast that when one comes across it the feeling is a bit confusing. The first time I tried reading this it's because I had just left the ER and I wanted something funny, this book IS funny but hooboy golly do you have to work for it. The threads woven amongst each other are somehow flawless. There's the last living little rascal, a city in LA built around farms, a city bus driving love interest, and some smoking weed in the Supreme Court. This book is Pynchon at his very best, knee slappingly funny and at the same time deep and often awkward and painful cultural critique. Vonnegut could only have wished to be this clever- Beatty drops references like most of us use ummmms and like uh..., impeccably tied into the story, and so frequent that you know you missed some. This is the kind of book that you go back for a joyous reread. So fun and surreal and full of righteous rage, y'all this is my kinda book. Did I mention that Beatty can write a damned sentence? I hung on his every word. I read paragraphs two, three times- not because I didn't get it but because they were just so glorious. Read this damn book. A Black man in his hometown of Dickens brings back segregation and ends up in the US Supreme court. It's uproariously funny. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thesellout #paulbeatty #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Among psychiatric researchers, having a job is considered one of the major characteristics of being a high-functioning person. Most recently, Saks has spearheaded one of the largest extant studies about the nature of high-functioning schizophrenia. In it, employment remains the primary marker of someone who is high-functioning, as having a job is the most reliable sign that you can pass in the world as normal. Most critically, a capitalist society values productivity in its citizens above all else, and those with severe mental illness are much less likely to be productive in ways considered valuable: by adding to the cycle of production and profit." In the first half of the book Wang writes of her being diagnosed with "schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type." She writes of getting forced out by Yale because of a psychotic episode and of what having a psychotic episode feels like. Importantly, she talks about diagnosis being built around a series of behaviors, because the root of schizophrenia has not been found. This is where the idea of "schizophrenias" comes from; it is not a species, but a genus. 📚
My family has a history of bipolar disorder and possibly schizophrenia. One of the few books on my shelf that I refuse to loan out is a cheap, two volume edition of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich that belonged to my great aunt Sylvia who was bipolar, my uncle was chronically homeless and I'd be super flummoxed if there wasn't an unspoken mental health crisis there. I'm always watching myself for symptoms- did it finally land on me? 📚
I wish that the author had expanded upon the diagnosis and that it hadn't been so personal- that perhaps she had spoken more of those "collected schizophrenias," and less about her wardrobe. While I know that the wardrobe bits are touch points- reminders of ostensible normality, I want to know more about her relationship with her mom, her brother, her husband. 
Towards the end when she gets into her Lymes diagnosis there was an excellent opportunity to talk about the potential connection between autoimmune disorders and mental illness something she briefly touches on, and then stops. In all, an excellent read.(Cont in comm)
"Among psychiatric researchers, having a job is considered one of the major characteristics of being a high-functioning person. Most recently, Saks has spearheaded one of the largest extant studies about the nature of high-functioning schizophrenia. In it, employment remains the primary marker of someone who is high-functioning, as having a job is the most reliable sign that you can pass in the world as normal. Most critically, a capitalist society values productivity in its citizens above all else, and those with severe mental illness are much less likely to be productive in ways considered valuable: by adding to the cycle of production and profit." In the first half of the book Wang writes of her being diagnosed with "schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type." She writes of getting forced out by Yale because of a psychotic episode and of what having a psychotic episode feels like. Importantly, she talks about diagnosis being built around a series of behaviors, because the root of schizophrenia has not been found. This is where the idea of "schizophrenias" comes from; it is not a species, but a genus. 📚 My family has a history of bipolar disorder and possibly schizophrenia. One of the few books on my shelf that I refuse to loan out is a cheap, two volume edition of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich that belonged to my great aunt Sylvia who was bipolar, my uncle was chronically homeless and I'd be super flummoxed if there wasn't an unspoken mental health crisis there. I'm always watching myself for symptoms- did it finally land on me? 📚 I wish that the author had expanded upon the diagnosis and that it hadn't been so personal- that perhaps she had spoken more of those "collected schizophrenias," and less about her wardrobe. While I know that the wardrobe bits are touch points- reminders of ostensible normality, I want to know more about her relationship with her mom, her brother, her husband. Towards the end when she gets into her Lymes diagnosis there was an excellent opportunity to talk about the potential connection between autoimmune disorders and mental illness something she briefly touches on, and then stops. In all, an excellent read.(Cont in comm)
This book claims to be about how pirates converted from Christianity to Islam from the 16th-19th centuries as a subversive act and hooboy does that seem like a very good book. What this book reads like is a terribly written, rather long, high school report with lots of opinions that one never fully understands. Am I a sucker for pirates? The answer is DUH. Do I wish there was a good book about pirates? Very much. Unfortunately, considering how recently the golden age of marine pirates was, there seems to be very little extant information about them. This is the kind of thing that gets me up at 3am- is this modern era of accessible information actually going to change the way that history is written? I think yes, and it excites me. What do you think? And can you recommend any good books about pirates? Yar, thank ye kindly. 🏴‍☠️ #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #pirateutopias #peterlambornwilson #pirates #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
This book claims to be about how pirates converted from Christianity to Islam from the 16th-19th centuries as a subversive act and hooboy does that seem like a very good book. What this book reads like is a terribly written, rather long, high school report with lots of opinions that one never fully understands. Am I a sucker for pirates? The answer is DUH. Do I wish there was a good book about pirates? Very much. Unfortunately, considering how recently the golden age of marine pirates was, there seems to be very little extant information about them. This is the kind of thing that gets me up at 3am- is this modern era of accessible information actually going to change the way that history is written? I think yes, and it excites me. What do you think? And can you recommend any good books about pirates? Yar, thank ye kindly. 🏴‍☠️ #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #pirateutopias #peterlambornwilson #pirates #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"When Sierra Leone began its preparedness effort, having learnt about the outbreak in Guinea, no organization in the country was set up to respond to a major outbreak. 
Into that vacuum, we saw individuals step forward and take up pivotal roles in the response, often from unlikely backgrounds or from organizations with seemingly unrelated mandates. They demonstrated that, in an emergency, just one individual can have enormous impact. As one researcher on the outbreak in Sierra Leone put it, 'Regardless of the systems and management structure that were put in place, it seemed that at nearly every level, personalities and personal relationships appeared to be key to the functioning of the response."
📚
Things that I think about more than most people: pandemic preparedness and how it is just not there. It reminds me of when I cover my eyes at a movie to not watch the bits I don't like. It's a very human, and very stupid thing. This book is a fantastic example of how if luck holds out long enough people WILL get their shit together, but the likelihood of a pandemic overcoming our paltry preparedness is not low. An actually fascinating telling of the 2013-16 West African Ebola outbreak, and the view from the ground of people in leadership positions. One thing that is reiterated again and again is that quarantine creates a situation where those with work are incentivized to not admit potential symptoms as missed days can lead to loss of work, and lost wages can lead to other problems. Capitalism and pandemics have a very poor relationship with each other and historically the initial cheapness towards them has led to an exponential increase in cost of dealing with it (AIDS being the obvious example here.) Additionally, the history of colonialism in communities that are potential vectors of disease has created an obvious mistrust of western "professionals" working to treat some of this catastrophic diseases. Ultimately the solution lies in a deeply pragmatic look at the ways that colonialism has created both vectors of disease and vectors of corruption and distrust of people in positions of power. These two factors create boiling points that will (cont in comments)
"When Sierra Leone began its preparedness effort, having learnt about the outbreak in Guinea, no organization in the country was set up to respond to a major outbreak. Into that vacuum, we saw individuals step forward and take up pivotal roles in the response, often from unlikely backgrounds or from organizations with seemingly unrelated mandates. They demonstrated that, in an emergency, just one individual can have enormous impact. As one researcher on the outbreak in Sierra Leone put it, 'Regardless of the systems and management structure that were put in place, it seemed that at nearly every level, personalities and personal relationships appeared to be key to the functioning of the response." 📚 Things that I think about more than most people: pandemic preparedness and how it is just not there. It reminds me of when I cover my eyes at a movie to not watch the bits I don't like. It's a very human, and very stupid thing. This book is a fantastic example of how if luck holds out long enough people WILL get their shit together, but the likelihood of a pandemic overcoming our paltry preparedness is not low. An actually fascinating telling of the 2013-16 West African Ebola outbreak, and the view from the ground of people in leadership positions. One thing that is reiterated again and again is that quarantine creates a situation where those with work are incentivized to not admit potential symptoms as missed days can lead to loss of work, and lost wages can lead to other problems. Capitalism and pandemics have a very poor relationship with each other and historically the initial cheapness towards them has led to an exponential increase in cost of dealing with it (AIDS being the obvious example here.) Additionally, the history of colonialism in communities that are potential vectors of disease has created an obvious mistrust of western "professionals" working to treat some of this catastrophic diseases. Ultimately the solution lies in a deeply pragmatic look at the ways that colonialism has created both vectors of disease and vectors of corruption and distrust of people in positions of power. These two factors create boiling points that will (cont in comments)
No pull quotes. I need all this space for my own thoughts. 
REAL REVIEW: Abdurraqib has a way with words that feels sort of like a voiceover in that he so gracefully moves between the showing the past and and speaking from today, I think if you put a paragraph he wrote in front of me I would recognize it immediately. Le Guin speaks of an author writing with a sense of the words rhythms, something that Hanif is keenly aware of. I reckon he spends time feeling words in his mouth before they reach the page. The tenderness he has for his subjects is so sweet and powerful, and sadly often lacking in the genre of musical essays that he excels at. A really excellent book that teeters at the edge of saccharine without ever falling in- the kool-aid just perfectly sweet
PURE NOSTALGIA:
I love this book but it is so deeply entwined with my teenage years that I'm not certain that I can recommend it to those who didn't come of age in the 90s. I'm so deep in my feelings right now that this review will likely be a rambling mess but phew. @nifmuhammad had me stopping and listening to all the rap music of the 90s, viscerally remembering the first time for each. I was sitting in my best friends house when I was introduced to Midnight Marauders. I was in 8th grade and the child of evangelical Christians who was discovering punk and rap and politics. We watched a documentary about Steve Biko in my social studies class and then here was this perfect unbelievably sharp rap about him and my whole body could feel it. Beats, Rhymes and Life came out just before my 16th birthday and we drove around listening to that and the Dead Kennedys smoking weed and I can say with some certainty that therein lies my politics. I'm a little salty about Abdurraqib's takedown of Beats but that, too, is fed by nostalgia. 📚
I couldn't listen to their last album. I listened to one song and called it terrible. Phife was dead and T was president and I just couldn't listen. I've been listening to their whole catalogue while I read this and good god. It's wonderful. Sometimes you just need space. 📚
It's rare that an author you adore writes about a subject you adore. Even more rare to love it this much. ❤️❤
No pull quotes. I need all this space for my own thoughts. REAL REVIEW: Abdurraqib has a way with words that feels sort of like a voiceover in that he so gracefully moves between the showing the past and and speaking from today, I think if you put a paragraph he wrote in front of me I would recognize it immediately. Le Guin speaks of an author writing with a sense of the words rhythms, something that Hanif is keenly aware of. I reckon he spends time feeling words in his mouth before they reach the page. The tenderness he has for his subjects is so sweet and powerful, and sadly often lacking in the genre of musical essays that he excels at. A really excellent book that teeters at the edge of saccharine without ever falling in- the kool-aid just perfectly sweet PURE NOSTALGIA: I love this book but it is so deeply entwined with my teenage years that I'm not certain that I can recommend it to those who didn't come of age in the 90s. I'm so deep in my feelings right now that this review will likely be a rambling mess but phew. @nifmuhammad had me stopping and listening to all the rap music of the 90s, viscerally remembering the first time for each. I was sitting in my best friends house when I was introduced to Midnight Marauders. I was in 8th grade and the child of evangelical Christians who was discovering punk and rap and politics. We watched a documentary about Steve Biko in my social studies class and then here was this perfect unbelievably sharp rap about him and my whole body could feel it. Beats, Rhymes and Life came out just before my 16th birthday and we drove around listening to that and the Dead Kennedys smoking weed and I can say with some certainty that therein lies my politics. I'm a little salty about Abdurraqib's takedown of Beats but that, too, is fed by nostalgia. 📚 I couldn't listen to their last album. I listened to one song and called it terrible. Phife was dead and T was president and I just couldn't listen. I've been listening to their whole catalogue while I read this and good god. It's wonderful. Sometimes you just need space. 📚 It's rare that an author you adore writes about a subject you adore. Even more rare to love it this much. ❤️❤
"I didn't start out with the intention of exploring or explaining the possibility of an ancient symbiotic relationship between man, wolves (dog) and ravens. As others, I had previously assumed that the well-known association between ravens and wolves and sometimes people, was simply a reflection of the ravens opportunism. However, almost by accident I found innate hard-wired responses in ravens that not only cleared up most of the contradictions I had seen, but that also pointed to a relationship with hunters that is ancient and evolved. It turns out, to my great surprise, that ravens don't feed next to wolves because they have to, they do it because they want to."
📚
I love corvids like ya wouldn't believe. In the winter I'm surrounded by crows roosting and I nearly lose my shit. This book is so indicative of the way that western reductive science kills joy. This guy obviously loves ravens but the anecdotes he tells of non scientists who love ravens are far more interesting than his endless stories of experiments that seem manipulative instead of curiosity based. I am a lightweight who just had two drinks but I'm feeling the sadness of wishing for a science that was pluralistic and not reductive. I guess we all got our own weird brands of sads. Anyway. This book is really only for ultra corvid nerds. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #mindoftheraven #berndheinrich #ravens #corvids #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"I didn't start out with the intention of exploring or explaining the possibility of an ancient symbiotic relationship between man, wolves (dog) and ravens. As others, I had previously assumed that the well-known association between ravens and wolves and sometimes people, was simply a reflection of the ravens opportunism. However, almost by accident I found innate hard-wired responses in ravens that not only cleared up most of the contradictions I had seen, but that also pointed to a relationship with hunters that is ancient and evolved. It turns out, to my great surprise, that ravens don't feed next to wolves because they have to, they do it because they want to." 📚 I love corvids like ya wouldn't believe. In the winter I'm surrounded by crows roosting and I nearly lose my shit. This book is so indicative of the way that western reductive science kills joy. This guy obviously loves ravens but the anecdotes he tells of non scientists who love ravens are far more interesting than his endless stories of experiments that seem manipulative instead of curiosity based. I am a lightweight who just had two drinks but I'm feeling the sadness of wishing for a science that was pluralistic and not reductive. I guess we all got our own weird brands of sads. Anyway. This book is really only for ultra corvid nerds. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #mindoftheraven #berndheinrich #ravens #corvids #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"The community created by printing and by secondary orality is not immediate; it is virtual. It can be enormous-the size of America. Indeed it may be literacy more than any other factor that has enabled or coerced us to live in huge nation-states instead of tribes and city-states. Possibly the Internet will allow us to outgrow the nation-state. Although the Global Village that McLuhan dreamed of is at present a City of Night, a monstrous force for cultural reductionism and internationally institutionalized greed, who knows? Perhaps we shall soar electronically to some arrangement that works better than capitalism. 
But so vast a community must remain more concept than tangible fact. Written word, printed word, reproduced speech, filmed speech, the telephone, email; each medium links people, but it does not link them physically, and whatever community it creates is essentially a mental one. ...it is marvelous that we can talk to living people ten thousand miles away and hear them speak. It is marvelous that by reading their words or seeing a film of them, we may feel communion even with the dead.
But marriage is not of minds only; and the living human community that language creates involves living human bodies. We need to talk together, speaker and hearer, here, now. We know that. We feel it. We feel the absence of it."
📚
Le Guin was an extraordinary woman, as evidenced by her enormous body of writing. But this, her nonfiction is even more stunning in many ways. Her sense of humor and her pragmatic views of the world were far ahead of her time. Her way of speaking intersectionally far predates most white women's understanding f the topic. Her advice for writing is fantastic. Her love of and her take down of Tolstoy and Twain are glorious. Anyway I'm going to read everything of hers now. I'm officially obsessed. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thewaveinthemind #ursulakleguin #essays #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"The community created by printing and by secondary orality is not immediate; it is virtual. It can be enormous-the size of America. Indeed it may be literacy more than any other factor that has enabled or coerced us to live in huge nation-states instead of tribes and city-states. Possibly the Internet will allow us to outgrow the nation-state. Although the Global Village that McLuhan dreamed of is at present a City of Night, a monstrous force for cultural reductionism and internationally institutionalized greed, who knows? Perhaps we shall soar electronically to some arrangement that works better than capitalism. But so vast a community must remain more concept than tangible fact. Written word, printed word, reproduced speech, filmed speech, the telephone, email; each medium links people, but it does not link them physically, and whatever community it creates is essentially a mental one. ...it is marvelous that we can talk to living people ten thousand miles away and hear them speak. It is marvelous that by reading their words or seeing a film of them, we may feel communion even with the dead. But marriage is not of minds only; and the living human community that language creates involves living human bodies. We need to talk together, speaker and hearer, here, now. We know that. We feel it. We feel the absence of it." 📚 Le Guin was an extraordinary woman, as evidenced by her enormous body of writing. But this, her nonfiction is even more stunning in many ways. Her sense of humor and her pragmatic views of the world were far ahead of her time. Her way of speaking intersectionally far predates most white women's understanding f the topic. Her advice for writing is fantastic. Her love of and her take down of Tolstoy and Twain are glorious. Anyway I'm going to read everything of hers now. I'm officially obsessed. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thewaveinthemind #ursulakleguin #essays #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
I had seen a few people love this, my friend gave it to me with a meh and I fully endorse that analysis. 
MEH
To be fair I don't really enjoy memoir and I tend to find people who are fully ensconced in the system that cry out their radicalism really annoying but I dunno. I'm sure there's people who will love this. That person is not me. Glad it was a quick read. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #shewantsit #jillsoloway #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
I had seen a few people love this, my friend gave it to me with a meh and I fully endorse that analysis. MEH To be fair I don't really enjoy memoir and I tend to find people who are fully ensconced in the system that cry out their radicalism really annoying but I dunno. I'm sure there's people who will love this. That person is not me. Glad it was a quick read. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #shewantsit #jillsoloway #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"For many, spiritual practice represents a way to relax and a way to access peace of mind. We want to feel more calm, more focused; and with our frantic and stressful lives, who can blame us? Nevertheless, we have a responsibility to think bigger than that these days. If spiritual practice is relaxing, if it gives us some peace of mind, that's great-but is this personal satisfaction helping us to address what's happening in the world? The main question is, are we living in a way that adds further aggression and self-centeredness to the mix, or are we adding some much needed sanity"
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Pema Chodrön is such an extraordinary teacher. The way she speaks so simply about incredibly complex issues. This little tidbit about spiritual bypassing is something I see a lot in any religious or spiritual community. The ability to go through all the motions and yet not to do the real work. Because ultimately the work isn't about US, it's just that our own bodies are the only vessel that we have control over. The only harm that we can stop is the harm that our self does to others. That's hard shit though. This book is a little guy that encourages us to stop and look at our emotions as they arise and ask if they will help us. Taking the time to notice when we are in emotional spirals that cause us to have outbursts. Nobody is perfect but taking the time to learn self control can help us be kinder. If we could all just take responsibility for our own lives, the world would itself become kinder. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #takingtheleap #pemachodron #buddhism #mindfulness #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"For many, spiritual practice represents a way to relax and a way to access peace of mind. We want to feel more calm, more focused; and with our frantic and stressful lives, who can blame us? Nevertheless, we have a responsibility to think bigger than that these days. If spiritual practice is relaxing, if it gives us some peace of mind, that's great-but is this personal satisfaction helping us to address what's happening in the world? The main question is, are we living in a way that adds further aggression and self-centeredness to the mix, or are we adding some much needed sanity" 📚 Pema Chodrön is such an extraordinary teacher. The way she speaks so simply about incredibly complex issues. This little tidbit about spiritual bypassing is something I see a lot in any religious or spiritual community. The ability to go through all the motions and yet not to do the real work. Because ultimately the work isn't about US, it's just that our own bodies are the only vessel that we have control over. The only harm that we can stop is the harm that our self does to others. That's hard shit though. This book is a little guy that encourages us to stop and look at our emotions as they arise and ask if they will help us. Taking the time to notice when we are in emotional spirals that cause us to have outbursts. Nobody is perfect but taking the time to learn self control can help us be kinder. If we could all just take responsibility for our own lives, the world would itself become kinder. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #takingtheleap #pemachodron #buddhism #mindfulness #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both. Any attempt to 'soften' the power of the oppressor in deference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifests itself in the form of false generosity; indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this. In order to have the continued opportunity to express their 'generosity,' the oppressors must perpetuate injustice as well. An unjust social order is the permanent fount of this 'generosity,' which is nourished by death, despair, and poverty. That is why the dispensers of false generosity become desperate at the slightest threat to its source. 
True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity. False charity constrains the fearful and subdued, the 'rejects of life,' to extend their trembling hands. True generosity lies in striving so that these hands- whether of individuals or entire peoples- need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work and, working, transform the world."
📚
Everything is canceled in Minnesota because you might die going outside, like freeze to death and I'm here inside listening to audiobooks, and going between stretching and cleaning. I love these unintentional breaks from the dominance of capitalist ethics. And I love love love this book. I love his language and his methodology and his message. In fact if there's anything that captures my spiritual beliefs it's the above quote. We cannot allow the concept of charity to favor the values of the haves unless that charity is implicitly designed to take away that which makes the have nots. While I have little control over the world, living these values in my own life is my practice, along with believing in the innate ability of everyone to learn and deploring the arrogance of an educated (cont in comments)
"This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both. Any attempt to 'soften' the power of the oppressor in deference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifests itself in the form of false generosity; indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this. In order to have the continued opportunity to express their 'generosity,' the oppressors must perpetuate injustice as well. An unjust social order is the permanent fount of this 'generosity,' which is nourished by death, despair, and poverty. That is why the dispensers of false generosity become desperate at the slightest threat to its source. True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity. False charity constrains the fearful and subdued, the 'rejects of life,' to extend their trembling hands. True generosity lies in striving so that these hands- whether of individuals or entire peoples- need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work and, working, transform the world." 📚 Everything is canceled in Minnesota because you might die going outside, like freeze to death and I'm here inside listening to audiobooks, and going between stretching and cleaning. I love these unintentional breaks from the dominance of capitalist ethics. And I love love love this book. I love his language and his methodology and his message. In fact if there's anything that captures my spiritual beliefs it's the above quote. We cannot allow the concept of charity to favor the values of the haves unless that charity is implicitly designed to take away that which makes the have nots. While I have little control over the world, living these values in my own life is my practice, along with believing in the innate ability of everyone to learn and deploring the arrogance of an educated (cont in comments)
"In her book Lovingkindness, Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg tells a story that offers a refreshing alternative to the saga of seeking the truth about ourselves, especially the truth of our inherent goodness or badness. 'When I first practiced meditation with Sayadaw U Pandita, in 1984, I went through a period of disturbing memories about all the terra things I had ever done...i said, You know, i just keep thinking of event after event- all of these bad things I've done. I feel terrible. I feel horrible. I feel awful. U Pandita looked at me and asked 'Well are you finally seeing the truth about yourself?' i was shocked at his response. Even though I was enveloped in self-judgement and criticism, something in his comment made me want to challenge it. I thought to myself, No, I'm not seeing the truth about myself. And then he simply said, 'Stop thinking about it.' Only later would I understand the wisdom of his advice."
📚
Several years ago I decided to stop centering white male authors and the *shocking* side effect was that I read far fewer abysmally cruel stories. What is it that turns white men to this cruelty? While Nelson never fully addresses the why and I'd venture to guess that most of us know anyway, this book is a glorious takedown of cruelty as a stand alone artful method, showing that while oftentimes it works wonderfully, far more often it's a lazy stand-in for more thoughtful ways of showing suffering. Oftentimes what is meant to show how awful misogyny is ends up misogynistic in its own right. A really wonderful book that had been sitting on my shelf for far too long. 👌
Additionally and importantly, Nelson shows why all academic writers should have to take several years pf poetry. This extremely academic book is ALSO extremely readable. There was no slogging. I felt like she WANTED me to get what she was aiming at. That is a rare and beautiful thing. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #theartofcruelty #maggienelson #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"In her book Lovingkindness, Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg tells a story that offers a refreshing alternative to the saga of seeking the truth about ourselves, especially the truth of our inherent goodness or badness. 'When I first practiced meditation with Sayadaw U Pandita, in 1984, I went through a period of disturbing memories about all the terra things I had ever done...i said, You know, i just keep thinking of event after event- all of these bad things I've done. I feel terrible. I feel horrible. I feel awful. U Pandita looked at me and asked 'Well are you finally seeing the truth about yourself?' i was shocked at his response. Even though I was enveloped in self-judgement and criticism, something in his comment made me want to challenge it. I thought to myself, No, I'm not seeing the truth about myself. And then he simply said, 'Stop thinking about it.' Only later would I understand the wisdom of his advice." 📚 Several years ago I decided to stop centering white male authors and the *shocking* side effect was that I read far fewer abysmally cruel stories. What is it that turns white men to this cruelty? While Nelson never fully addresses the why and I'd venture to guess that most of us know anyway, this book is a glorious takedown of cruelty as a stand alone artful method, showing that while oftentimes it works wonderfully, far more often it's a lazy stand-in for more thoughtful ways of showing suffering. Oftentimes what is meant to show how awful misogyny is ends up misogynistic in its own right. A really wonderful book that had been sitting on my shelf for far too long. 👌 Additionally and importantly, Nelson shows why all academic writers should have to take several years pf poetry. This extremely academic book is ALSO extremely readable. There was no slogging. I felt like she WANTED me to get what she was aiming at. That is a rare and beautiful thing. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #theartofcruelty #maggienelson #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
I want so much to love this book. As we try to move through this world that is constantly traumatizing us it is so important to find teachers who help give us tools to heal. Levine is obviously quite skilled at what he does but ultimately his racist biases come through far too often for me to take this book seriously as a tool for my growth. From the opening quote from Aldous Huxley about our mind having its "darkest Africas" to the horror with which he prepares us for the promised horrible future of the millions of babies born drug addicted, to the paternalistic way he talks about his "Eskimo" (his language) clients. In addition he goes on about the violence of "the Serbs, Moslems, and Croats" and the Middle East and does not even a single time mention the trauma of the historical slave trade or of colonialism. The guy is so white y'all. And while part of me is glad that I read this, another part is still rolling my eyes at some of the weird pseudoscientific trash he puts forth. Anyway, I did find it helpful as I approach trying to heal some personal trauma but hopefully, somewhere out there, is a book by someone who isn't such a damned white liberal. 🤷‍♀️ #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #walkingthetiger #healingtrauma #peterlevine #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
I want so much to love this book. As we try to move through this world that is constantly traumatizing us it is so important to find teachers who help give us tools to heal. Levine is obviously quite skilled at what he does but ultimately his racist biases come through far too often for me to take this book seriously as a tool for my growth. From the opening quote from Aldous Huxley about our mind having its "darkest Africas" to the horror with which he prepares us for the promised horrible future of the millions of babies born drug addicted, to the paternalistic way he talks about his "Eskimo" (his language) clients. In addition he goes on about the violence of "the Serbs, Moslems, and Croats" and the Middle East and does not even a single time mention the trauma of the historical slave trade or of colonialism. The guy is so white y'all. And while part of me is glad that I read this, another part is still rolling my eyes at some of the weird pseudoscientific trash he puts forth. Anyway, I did find it helpful as I approach trying to heal some personal trauma but hopefully, somewhere out there, is a book by someone who isn't such a damned white liberal. 🤷‍♀️ #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #walkingthetiger #healingtrauma #peterlevine #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
"It should be no surprise that carceral feminists and sex working feminists have such difficulty even discussing this topic. We disagree not only on the solution but on the problem: for carceral feminists, the problem is commercial sex, which produces trafficking; for us the problem is borders, which produces people who have few to no rights as they travel and work. The solutions we propose are equally divergent. Carceral feminists want to tackle commercial sex through criminal law, giving more power to the police. For sex workers, the solution includes dismantling immigration enforcement and the militarized border regimes that push undocumented people into the shadows and shut off their access to safety or justice- in other words, taking power away from the police and giving it to migrants and workers."
📚
A few years ago I had a painful friendship split with one of my closest friends who lives an ocean away, when I realized that she'd become a SWERF (sex worker exclusionary radical feminist.) Now before people get too judgey about her, let it be known that she is a brown  woman survivor of sexual abuse, and someone who researches extensively. Black and Brown women very disproportionately take up the brunt of the abuse in the world of sex work. But isn't that the case with all work? She's smarter than me and more stubborn than me so now, sadly, we hardly speak. I'm planning on sending her this book because it's the first thing that I've read that places the issues with sex work into the framework of the carceral state and EXTENSIVELY speaks to the issues of borders and how criminalizing immigrants creates the very problems that most speak of when speaking of trafficking. The authors are unafraid to call bullshit on the middle class sex workers who say that sex work is empowering and that people shouldn't do it if they don't feel empowered, arguing that this privileged stance has no place in a discussion that is about trying to make sure that everyone has basic human rights. An absolutely essential read for people who are feminists and stand with sex workers and want to be able to speak openly and honestly about it.
"It should be no surprise that carceral feminists and sex working feminists have such difficulty even discussing this topic. We disagree not only on the solution but on the problem: for carceral feminists, the problem is commercial sex, which produces trafficking; for us the problem is borders, which produces people who have few to no rights as they travel and work. The solutions we propose are equally divergent. Carceral feminists want to tackle commercial sex through criminal law, giving more power to the police. For sex workers, the solution includes dismantling immigration enforcement and the militarized border regimes that push undocumented people into the shadows and shut off their access to safety or justice- in other words, taking power away from the police and giving it to migrants and workers." 📚 A few years ago I had a painful friendship split with one of my closest friends who lives an ocean away, when I realized that she'd become a SWERF (sex worker exclusionary radical feminist.) Now before people get too judgey about her, let it be known that she is a brown woman survivor of sexual abuse, and someone who researches extensively. Black and Brown women very disproportionately take up the brunt of the abuse in the world of sex work. But isn't that the case with all work? She's smarter than me and more stubborn than me so now, sadly, we hardly speak. I'm planning on sending her this book because it's the first thing that I've read that places the issues with sex work into the framework of the carceral state and EXTENSIVELY speaks to the issues of borders and how criminalizing immigrants creates the very problems that most speak of when speaking of trafficking. The authors are unafraid to call bullshit on the middle class sex workers who say that sex work is empowering and that people shouldn't do it if they don't feel empowered, arguing that this privileged stance has no place in a discussion that is about trying to make sure that everyone has basic human rights. An absolutely essential read for people who are feminists and stand with sex workers and want to be able to speak openly and honestly about it.
"Both critics and friends of Gender Trouble have drawn attention to the difficulty of its style. It is no doubt strange, and maddening to some, to find a book that is not easily consumed to be 'popular' according to academic standards. The surprise over this is perhaps attributable to the way that we underestimate the reading public, its capacity and desire for reading complicated and challenging texts, when the complication is not gratuitous, when the challenge is in the service of calling taken-for-granted truths into question, when the taken for grantedness of those truths is, indeed, oppressive."
🤔
Unpopular opinion alert: I think academics are often full of shit and much like their forebears, the high priests, they use language that is inaccessible to the rapscallions below them in order to maintain the highest truth. I call bullshit. 
Butler is brilliant and after slogging through this many times I can say I mostly appreciate what she's done here but without a classroom discussion and background in Lacan, Foucault, and Freud (which requires some background in ... and thus background in... and so forth) I'm often left feeling like my position in understanding is not only tenuous but perhaps wrong. I feel stupid reading this type of book and I know that I'm not alone AND I know that it is not necessary to the dissemination of this information but rather part of an academic traditions that promotes the use of internal to the elite language. 😒
All frustrations aside this IS an essential book if you're questioning what gender means, and while it focuses entirely on a Western version of this in near history it very deeply reaches into that place, taking a magnifying glass to different discussions about gender using language and philosophy. Is it an important book? Sure. Am I glad I read it? I guess. I'll probably keep trying. Maybe someday it will really click and I'll have that same deep wow feeling that everyone else seems to have. 🤷‍♀️ #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #gendertrouble #judithbutler #genderstudies #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookreview #booknerd #bookworm #bookish #booklove
"Both critics and friends of Gender Trouble have drawn attention to the difficulty of its style. It is no doubt strange, and maddening to some, to find a book that is not easily consumed to be 'popular' according to academic standards. The surprise over this is perhaps attributable to the way that we underestimate the reading public, its capacity and desire for reading complicated and challenging texts, when the complication is not gratuitous, when the challenge is in the service of calling taken-for-granted truths into question, when the taken for grantedness of those truths is, indeed, oppressive." 🤔 Unpopular opinion alert: I think academics are often full of shit and much like their forebears, the high priests, they use language that is inaccessible to the rapscallions below them in order to maintain the highest truth. I call bullshit. Butler is brilliant and after slogging through this many times I can say I mostly appreciate what she's done here but without a classroom discussion and background in Lacan, Foucault, and Freud (which requires some background in ... and thus background in... and so forth) I'm often left feeling like my position in understanding is not only tenuous but perhaps wrong. I feel stupid reading this type of book and I know that I'm not alone AND I know that it is not necessary to the dissemination of this information but rather part of an academic traditions that promotes the use of internal to the elite language. 😒 All frustrations aside this IS an essential book if you're questioning what gender means, and while it focuses entirely on a Western version of this in near history it very deeply reaches into that place, taking a magnifying glass to different discussions about gender using language and philosophy. Is it an important book? Sure. Am I glad I read it? I guess. I'll probably keep trying. Maybe someday it will really click and I'll have that same deep wow feeling that everyone else seems to have. 🤷‍♀️ #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #gendertrouble #judithbutler #genderstudies #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookreview #booknerd #bookworm #bookish #booklove
One hundred years ago today Rosa Luxemburg was murdered by the state
🖕💰🖕
"...The danger begins only when they make a virtue of necessity and want to freeze into a complete theoretical system all the tactics forced upon them by these fatal circumstances, and want to recommend them to the international proletariat as a model of socialist tactics."
"But nothing is more contrary to the historic-dialectic method of Marxist thought than to separate social phenomena from their historic soil and to present these phenomena as abstract formulas having an absolute, general application."
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For many years I've been meaning to read her despite that all Marxists I've read are terrible writers and seem completely incapable of being readable. Luxemburg is actually a joy to read, from her clear language to her insistence on looking at the Russian revolution as a moment in history instead of as the end of history. Her pragmatism and clarity are wonderful. If only she had lived longer, I wonder what her analysis of Russia would have become. Anyway, here's to Rosa, and the long history of brilliant woman who spoke up despite the endless men who refused to hear them. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #therussianrevolution #leninismormarxism #rosaluxemburg #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
One hundred years ago today Rosa Luxemburg was murdered by the state 🖕💰🖕 "...The danger begins only when they make a virtue of necessity and want to freeze into a complete theoretical system all the tactics forced upon them by these fatal circumstances, and want to recommend them to the international proletariat as a model of socialist tactics." "But nothing is more contrary to the historic-dialectic method of Marxist thought than to separate social phenomena from their historic soil and to present these phenomena as abstract formulas having an absolute, general application." 📚 For many years I've been meaning to read her despite that all Marxists I've read are terrible writers and seem completely incapable of being readable. Luxemburg is actually a joy to read, from her clear language to her insistence on looking at the Russian revolution as a moment in history instead of as the end of history. Her pragmatism and clarity are wonderful. If only she had lived longer, I wonder what her analysis of Russia would have become. Anyway, here's to Rosa, and the long history of brilliant woman who spoke up despite the endless men who refused to hear them. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #therussianrevolution #leninismormarxism #rosaluxemburg #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Able-bodied people are shameless about really not getting it that disabled people could know things that the abled don't. That we have our own cultures and histories and skills. That there might be something that they could learn from us."
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First book finished this year and let me say y'all should all run out and get this one. Written by a queer, brown disabled neuroatypical witchy femme survivor this book is set to be my bible for 2019. The way she speaks of mutual aid in a non white manarchist way and that centers care for even those who are deemed unlovable had me in tears. How do we make a better world when those who fit what is deemed acceptable are the only ones allowed in? Who is the gatekeeper?
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I've always self-identified as a care taker, partially because I enjoy the work, but also because my neurotypicalness makes me a "difficult" person and I try to ameliorate that with providing care. After a string of really challenging years where I had to learn not simply to give, but also to receive care, 2018 was a time to integrate those lessons and to seek balance. 📚
We are, all of us, "imperfect" but our culture deems some of these as "good" (rich white narcissism) and some of them as "disabilities." 2019 is the year where I actively address these issues in my own life, continuing to work rowards uprooting my racist, colonialist, ableist mentalities. I hope that you'll get this book and join me. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #carework #leahlakshmipiepznasamarasinha #disabilityjustice #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"Able-bodied people are shameless about really not getting it that disabled people could know things that the abled don't. That we have our own cultures and histories and skills. That there might be something that they could learn from us." 📚 First book finished this year and let me say y'all should all run out and get this one. Written by a queer, brown disabled neuroatypical witchy femme survivor this book is set to be my bible for 2019. The way she speaks of mutual aid in a non white manarchist way and that centers care for even those who are deemed unlovable had me in tears. How do we make a better world when those who fit what is deemed acceptable are the only ones allowed in? Who is the gatekeeper? 📚 I've always self-identified as a care taker, partially because I enjoy the work, but also because my neurotypicalness makes me a "difficult" person and I try to ameliorate that with providing care. After a string of really challenging years where I had to learn not simply to give, but also to receive care, 2018 was a time to integrate those lessons and to seek balance. 📚 We are, all of us, "imperfect" but our culture deems some of these as "good" (rich white narcissism) and some of them as "disabilities." 2019 is the year where I actively address these issues in my own life, continuing to work rowards uprooting my racist, colonialist, ableist mentalities. I hope that you'll get this book and join me. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #carework #leahlakshmipiepznasamarasinha #disabilityjustice #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"The globalization of knowledge and Western culture constantly reaffirms the West's view of itself as the centre of legitimate knowledge, the arbiter of what counts as knowledge, and the source of 'civilized' knowledge. This form of global knowledge is generally referred to as 'universal' knowledge, available to all and not really owned by anyone, that is, until non-Western scholars make claims to it. When claims like that are made history is revised (again) so that the story of civilization remains the story of the West. For this purpose, the Mediterranean world, the basin of Arabic culture and the lands east of Constantinople are conveniently appropriated as part of the story of Western civilization, Western philosophy, and Western knowledge. Through imperialism, however, these cultures, peoples, and their nation states were repositioned as 'oriental', or 'outsider' in order to legitimate the imposition of colonial rule."
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Sometimes I convince myself that I need to read important books that are not applicable to my life. This book is for researchers. It's really fantastic if you're a researcher but since I don't really even know colonized methodologies quite a bit of it went over my head. That said Smith's work is a brilliant and rich source for the history of colonized research and ways for indigenous people to subvert the system. It was interesting reading this and the last book back to back, I got far more out of the previous, not because Simpson is a better scholar, I would argue that this is not at all true, but because her writing is more accessible to a broader audience. Still, I think if you're a researcher at all, or even if you just read a lot, this is an essential piece that will elucidate much. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #decolonizingmethodologies #lindatuhiwaismith #maori #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"The globalization of knowledge and Western culture constantly reaffirms the West's view of itself as the centre of legitimate knowledge, the arbiter of what counts as knowledge, and the source of 'civilized' knowledge. This form of global knowledge is generally referred to as 'universal' knowledge, available to all and not really owned by anyone, that is, until non-Western scholars make claims to it. When claims like that are made history is revised (again) so that the story of civilization remains the story of the West. For this purpose, the Mediterranean world, the basin of Arabic culture and the lands east of Constantinople are conveniently appropriated as part of the story of Western civilization, Western philosophy, and Western knowledge. Through imperialism, however, these cultures, peoples, and their nation states were repositioned as 'oriental', or 'outsider' in order to legitimate the imposition of colonial rule." 📚 Sometimes I convince myself that I need to read important books that are not applicable to my life. This book is for researchers. It's really fantastic if you're a researcher but since I don't really even know colonized methodologies quite a bit of it went over my head. That said Smith's work is a brilliant and rich source for the history of colonized research and ways for indigenous people to subvert the system. It was interesting reading this and the last book back to back, I got far more out of the previous, not because Simpson is a better scholar, I would argue that this is not at all true, but because her writing is more accessible to a broader audience. Still, I think if you're a researcher at all, or even if you just read a lot, this is an essential piece that will elucidate much. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #decolonizingmethodologies #lindatuhiwaismith #maori #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"For me gender plays an important role in my own perspectives, but my understandings of gender are not shared by other members of my nation. I have been taught that in the past, gender was conceptualized differently than the binary between male and female expressed in colonial society. For Nishnaabeg people there was fluidity around gender in terms of roles and responsibilities. Often one's name, clan affiliation, and individual self-determination positioned one in society more than gender, or perhaps in addition to gender."
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I dogeared the hell out of this book. Like seriously, practically every page is folded over. There's dogears on the bottom of pages. This is the quote I arbitrarily chose to post and it honestly doesn't come near to showing what a wonderful book this is, despite some very serious need for a better copy editor (misquoting Audre Lorde? The HORROR, but also lots of other small but noticeable spelling and grammatical errors). Simpson tackles the heady idea of how to reapproach decolonization studies in a non intellectually centered way, using traditional stories of the fully embodied wisdom of the first human as a concept of how deeply different indigenous wisdom is from patriarchal paternalistic capitalist western wisdom. It's hard to overstate how much I appreciate this author. The way that she is able to pull together the academic with the day to in an incredibly clear and warm way makes me feel at home in her wisdom. I'm currently also reading a deeply academic and very smart book about decolonization but it's hard for me to feel rooted in the wisdom that is huge as much as I do here. That's not saying anything against the other book. Just that knowledge comes in many forms and this book is a solid reminder that the wisdom of the academy is not the most important wisdom. Just one of them. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #dancingonourturtlesback #leannebetasamosakesimpson #anishinaabe #decolonize #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
"For me gender plays an important role in my own perspectives, but my understandings of gender are not shared by other members of my nation. I have been taught that in the past, gender was conceptualized differently than the binary between male and female expressed in colonial society. For Nishnaabeg people there was fluidity around gender in terms of roles and responsibilities. Often one's name, clan affiliation, and individual self-determination positioned one in society more than gender, or perhaps in addition to gender." 📚 I dogeared the hell out of this book. Like seriously, practically every page is folded over. There's dogears on the bottom of pages. This is the quote I arbitrarily chose to post and it honestly doesn't come near to showing what a wonderful book this is, despite some very serious need for a better copy editor (misquoting Audre Lorde? The HORROR, but also lots of other small but noticeable spelling and grammatical errors). Simpson tackles the heady idea of how to reapproach decolonization studies in a non intellectually centered way, using traditional stories of the fully embodied wisdom of the first human as a concept of how deeply different indigenous wisdom is from patriarchal paternalistic capitalist western wisdom. It's hard to overstate how much I appreciate this author. The way that she is able to pull together the academic with the day to in an incredibly clear and warm way makes me feel at home in her wisdom. I'm currently also reading a deeply academic and very smart book about decolonization but it's hard for me to feel rooted in the wisdom that is huge as much as I do here. That's not saying anything against the other book. Just that knowledge comes in many forms and this book is a solid reminder that the wisdom of the academy is not the most important wisdom. Just one of them. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #dancingonourturtlesback #leannebetasamosakesimpson #anishinaabe #decolonize #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #booklove #bookreview
"I had never heard thunder in a place so packed with trees. The booming of the sky made me tremble. The wing beats of birds with no names, that couldn't have names. The violently clashing branches. The heart of the forest suddenly seemed to beat rapidly. 'Breathlessly' is an adverb with rhythm. We all looked up at the sky and in unison looked back at the things on Earth."
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I cannot believe how long it took me to read this gorgeous little masterpiece. I've picked it up every time I've been at the bookstore and then put it back down. Impeccably spare prose almost poetry. Fairytale but more a wash of sensation. Don't read it if you want a storyline that "makes sense" do read it if you want beautiful language that evokes intense feelings. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thetaigasyndrome #christinariveragarza #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview
"I had never heard thunder in a place so packed with trees. The booming of the sky made me tremble. The wing beats of birds with no names, that couldn't have names. The violently clashing branches. The heart of the forest suddenly seemed to beat rapidly. 'Breathlessly' is an adverb with rhythm. We all looked up at the sky and in unison looked back at the things on Earth." 📚 I cannot believe how long it took me to read this gorgeous little masterpiece. I've picked it up every time I've been at the bookstore and then put it back down. Impeccably spare prose almost poetry. Fairytale but more a wash of sensation. Don't read it if you want a storyline that "makes sense" do read it if you want beautiful language that evokes intense feelings. #whatimreading #whatrachelsreading #thetaigasyndrome #christinariveragarza #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #booklove #bookreview