This collection of essays (written by a phenomenal poet) is smart, intricate and incredibly well written. It's a short read, but it now lives next to my favorite poetic reference books on my bookshelf. Most of the essays center around gender, ethnicity, nationhood and the intersectionality of all three as they relate to the author's identity as a Queer Native American. The essays are deeply personal and thought-provoking. I devoured this book. If you enjoy Mary Ruefle or Maggie Nelson, you'll love this book!
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I was born a rambler, and I like to travel with books of poetry, philosophy, and sci-fi tucked inside my backpack. I also read a lot of classic literature and short stories. Regardless of genre, I seek out stories with strong elements of magical realism, narratives in which readers are encouraged to lose themselves in small moments of beauty and curiosity, and characters who live in the “in-between” spaces of language, culture and identity.
The Horror! No, really, this horror/dystopian novel about medical experimentation on African Americans is spooky, to say the least. I listened to the audio book, which was expertly narrated, and the story itself is riveting and believably suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading/listening. I was absolutely hooked on this novel, start to finish [Christina].
This is one of the best poetry reference books I’ve ever read. It’s also just an incredibly interesting read. It’s lyrical, imaginative, unpretentious, and thought provoking. I used some of the chapter themes (which are actually written lectures Ruefle delivered to her writing students) as writing prompts. If you're a writer, philosopher or budding linguist, this book is for you [Christina].
This is such a fun, quirky read! The narrative, told mostly through the voice of Janie - a young woman struggling to find her way after her mother's death - is witty and quick-paced. The plot is delightfully original, too, following Janie as she starts working for, and then plotting a chicken heist against, the chicken/egg farming industry. I laughed out loud throughout the entire book [Christina].
Read. this. book. It is laugh-out-loud funny and is a heartfelt tribute to grandmothers everywhere. For all you lit nerds out there: Midge's sense of rhythm and pacing as a storyteller is impeccable. This book makes an excellent gift (pro tip: buy it for a friend and then borrow it from them in 2020). [Christina]
This tiny book embodies curiosity and quirk! This is the kind of story that makes you lean in, do a double take and then reread the chapter. The Factory is very Kafka-esque, with reality slipping sideways before you even begin to notice. [Christina]
A funky, funny combination of space opera and traditional storytelling of the Champagne Aishihik First Nations. This graphic novel is beautifully bilingual, written in English and Southern Tutchone, to encourage language learning and cultural vitality. I could not stop laughing while learning new words. [Christina]
I'll admit I'm skeptical of memoir, categorically, but this book opened my eyes to what memoir can be: scarily engrossing and intimate. Machado paints a harrowing picture of her experience in an abusive, queer relationship (this is relevant, trust me) and how it shaped her psyche throughout graduate school. This book hollowed me out. [Christina]
Reading this poetry collection is like being sucker-punched in the gut. Haeflinger's poems ask s to be honest about the suburban cages we build ourselves into. Each page is packed with tension and observation. Read this to shake off the holiday gloom. [Christina]
This eerie collection of Arctic horror stories is the perfect tool to help you zone out during upcoming (and socially painful) holidays. Most of the stories include monster sightings, hunting-gone-wrong, and blood. Lots of blood. Pro tip: read the last story first - it's easily the best story in the book. [Christina]