Crushing by Sophie Burrows

This debut YA graphic novel by Sophie Burrows has plenty to say for a "silent" book. Crushing is a beautifully drawn, introspective story about two people dealing with loneliness in a big city, each in their own way. There's a moment in the book when the title takes on an unexpected meaning, and that struck me deeply. Powerful stuff. And the ending was perfect! I think continuing on would have taken away from the greater meaning of the book. The artwork completely drew me in to its world and I forgot that this story was being told without words. Most of all, I loved the way Crushing explores feelings of both isolation and togetherness, celebrates quietly observant people, and shows…

0 Comments

Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr

I've only ever read Fr. Richard Rohr's work in audiobook format, but honestly, I need to be buying his books in print so I can underline and put sticky notes everywhere. In Everything Belongs, he explores the radical freedom that comes through believing "that we have no real access to who we really are except in God." Rohr discusses how civil religion and cultural Christianity miss a sense of the whole. They're perfunctory. "The great commandment is not 'thou shall be right,' it is 'be in love.'" When he reminds us that God receives all, he means literally all. Our ego is constantly comparing and dividing. It's responsible for our dualistic thinking. Our true self—our soul—gives space for all. I…

0 Comments

The Predatory Animal Ball by Jennifer Fliss

The Predatory Animal Ball is Jennifer Fliss's debut collection of flash fiction (extremely short stories) about people left in the wake of predators. These stories will expand your idea of how the word "predator" is defined in sharp, clever, and wonderfully absurd ways. (If you like magical realism or fabulism, you'll love this book!) Some of the stories are full of dark humor, some are heartwrenching, and some are downright horrifying. I enjoyed the variety in style among these stories, and how they're all united by a common theme: predators are everywhere. Flash fiction has to say a lot in such a ridiculously brief amount of time. Fliss makes every single phrase an active participant in the story, whether it's…

0 Comments

Flesh & Blood by N. West Moss

Flesh & Blood is a medical memoir that's as delicate as it is powerful. N. West Moss perfectly captures the heartache of infertility and chronic illness - and the fears, hopes, and frustrations that come with major surgery and its recovery - all with a gentle sense of humor and a lovely way of looking at the world, even the smallest little details. Moss has written this book in very short chapters consisting of beautifully engaging prose, making it difficult to put the book down once you pick it up. I grew to love the people she loves (and a praying mantis!), and felt like I was right there with her each step of the way. What a stunning memoir,…

0 Comments

As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman

As the Crow Flies is a graphic novel about Charlie, a 13-year-old queer Black kid at an all-white, all-girls summer Christian backpacking camp. She's deconstructing some of the toxic theology she's been taught (specifically, white evangelicalism), but also holding on to her faith and giving it space to grow. As soon as the camp leader said there was going to be a "feminist ceremony," I knew TERF rhetoric wasn't far behind. Heads up for transphobia, gender essentialism, and racism in this book (none of these things are left unchecked). Charlie makes a new friend at camp who is also troubled by their leader's racism and TERF ideology, and the two girls become each other's confidants—and better yet, accomplices. The book…

0 Comments

The Seep by Chana Porter

Chana Porter's The Seep takes place after an alien invasion that, instead of bringing war and destruction, makes people kinder, more caring and thoughtful. Earth has become a utopia, free of capitalism. Everyone has the ability to be whoever or whatever they feel they need to be, and they are kept happy and soothed. But there's an air of toxic positivity and superficial spirituality, too. The protagonist, Trina, sees through it and struggles with her conflicting, unsatisfied feelings. When her wife Deeba decides to make the ultimate Seep modification, Trina is left to deal with her grief. The world-building and the storytelling is superb. I don't always do well with fiction on audiobook, which is how I took in this…

0 Comments

Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price

When I picked up Laziness Does Not Exist, I was expecting a book that counters capitalistic thinking—maybe along the lines of David Graeber's Bullshit Jobs. The opening of the book got my hopes up and I was excited to dig in deep. Instead, this ended up feeling more like a self-help book for people who have economic and class privilege. It focused on fairly privileged people in traditional workplace environments, with suggestions on setting boundaries, having realistic expectations, and avoiding burnout. That's important stuff for people who are in those environments, but there are so many people working jobs where there is no HR to talk to or negotiate with, where working from home isn't possible at all, and who…

0 Comments

What If We Were Somewhere Else by Wendy J. Fox

Wendy J. Fox's collection of interconnected short stories, What If We Were Somewhere Else, follows the employees of a nondescript office through their relationships, layoffs, and changes in life circumstances. Some of the stories are in first person, others are in third person, but each has their own personality and voice, so it's not too hard to keep track of who's who. You get each character's perspective at least twice throughout the book, and the characters pop up in each other's stories as well. I found Melissa's story most compelling, hearing about the commune she'd grown up in, what it was like to leave and eventually return home, and the impact of these choices on her life. I was also…

0 Comments

Jesus and John Wayne by Kristin Kobes Du Mez

How do I start? Where do I start? There is so much in this book, and it got more and more infuriating with every page. In Jesus and John Wayne, Kristin Kobes Du Mez outlines exactly what brought white American evangelicalism to the profound state of corruption we see today, and why it's so easy for people to be carried along with it. A heads up: This book may be intensely triggering if you have past church trauma or you've been on the receiving end of religious hate. Du Mez takes us through the past 75 years of American history, culture, and politics to help us understand what brought us to this point and why. Get ready for a nauseating…

0 Comments

Weather by Jenny Offill

Have you ever read a book that you simultaneously loved but also...didn't? Jenny Offill's thankfully-short book Weather was that kind of read for me. I love the writing style and the fragmented, slightly random feel of the narrative. It felt like microblog posts. I loved it so much. It carried me along and made the book feel even shorter than its 200 or so pages. But there's no forward motion whatsoever, in plot or character development. Maybe that's the point? If this is an exercise in ennui and existential dread (especially regarding climate change), it does that magnificently. But I still wanted something to happen. I don't especially want to read a book that is basically a mood and nothing…

0 Comments

End of content

No more pages to load