September is long gone. Erased by beautiful October weather, a trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the endless tide of days. I could probably use a vacation, but instead my body has forced vacation’s unpleasant doppelgänger on me in the form of a cold and a sick day.
Before I get to the books of the past month oh my god guys look at the first trailer out for Hunt: Showdown. This is the world where my head lives during the working week. It is dark and bloody and terrifying and wonderful and I love every second I spend there. (It isn’t out yet, but you can already wishlist it on Steam.) So watch the trailer and then I promise I’ll stop talking about this.
And now, boooooooks! September was a pretty epic reading month thanks to a novella binge. (Still my current favorite story length.) Seven novellas read, and not a word to say about them here—not until the reviews are published on Fischer Tor at least. So in this month’s wrap up I’ll ignore them and focus on the books that haven’t gotten any of my word treatment just yet.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. I have been binge reading memoirs this year, specifically the memoirs of badass women artist parents (or some combination thereof), and David Sedaris is currently the only white man I can stand to read. Right now, when I see the memoir of a white dude (More Fool Me by Stephen Fry, which I listened to in October being a good example), and I am just like PLEASE STOP TALKING I AM SO TIRED OF THIS NARRATIVE LET THE WOMEN SPEAK. Me Talk Pretty One Day is a book I have read on paper at least once and listened to three times. Naked may be his masterpiece, but Me Talk Pretty is a close second, and I love listening to Sedaris read his essays about living in France, coming out, hitchhiking, and getting therapy for a speech impediment. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, also by Sedaris, also read by Sedaris, was a first-time experience for me and funny and interesting, if not quite as good as Me Talk Pretty.
Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin. I devoured this book in one sitting and closed its cover excited. Now, you should know it has a lot of issues and missteps, particularly in regards to nuance and historical context. But within it contained the sparks of ideas that excited me in spite of its flaws. To take one example, Crispin discusses the incompatibilities of equality and capitalism, and I fucking loved it for that. (Sidenote: I am certain other people are writing about feminism in more radical terms than I have come across just yet. Please hit me up with any recommendations in the comments, for I am an insatiable book beast.)
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. What can I say? I fucking love this graphic novel about the false dichotomies of good and evil, and it is an excellent comfort read in times of great distress. Or simply times of great comfort spent beneath mountains of blankets on cold fall nights.
Why Have Kids? A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti. I have become a full-on Jess Valenti fan girl, and her writing about parenting is the only writing I have found that speaks to my experience as a parent. This book explores the reasons people have kids, what they expect to get out of doing so, and the discord between those expectations and what actually happens when you become a parent. She is the ultimate cynical feminist mom writer, and I am so grateful that she published this book. I hope that the coming years bring me more like it because fthis is my fuel. Thanks, books. Thanks, Jessica Valenti.
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. At first I worried about The Argonauts‘ experimental style. I was not in the mood for experimental style (unlike me, I know, but you know how it can be sometimes), but paragraph for paragraph this memoir reeled me in with its thoughtful exploration of parenting and sexuality and marriage and identity and desire and queer families. Love.
And now, for the complete month’s reading list.
64. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
65. Passing Strange by Ellen Klages
66. Everything Belongs to the Future by Laurie Penny
67. Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal
68. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (audio, re-read)
69. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
70. The Devil You Know by KJ Parker
71. Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw
72. Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin
73. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris (audio)
74. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (re-read)
75. Why Have Kids? by Jessica Valenti
76. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson