I know it’s been 2 weeks again since the last one but I had nothing to post last week really. Hell, I don’t have much now.
What I am currently reading
Nothing at the moment.
What i’ve recently finished
Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haban Girma – 5 stars!
This is a wonderful autobiography! I loved how stories from her life was told in the present tense, it felt so much more personal. It’s also infused with humor. You can learn so much from this, in an accessible way and having a nice time while doing it. Please read the discussion questions at the end, they give food for thought.
I have also been disabled my entire life but for entirely different reasons. I am neither deaf nor blind. I do have auditory processing disorder though so when she mentions there was too much noise to make anything out, I relate to that. I can’t make anything out in those situations either.
She’s the first deafblind student to graduate Harvard, and she’s barely 6 months older than me. We still have so far to go, but that’s not meant to take away from how far we’ve come.
What do I think i’ll read next?
Something for netgalley? A magazine? Who knows. Maybe something else.
Me and my mom are sick. It’s not covid but it still sucks and I can’t get a break because it’s one thing after another trying to recover from intense surgery still and now i’m sick on top of it and my body has a lot of trouble healing in the best of circumstances :(. But the drain sites look better so hopefully in time i’ll get better. If this cold doesn’t turn into pneumonia which they love to do with me. Please, send good vibes or whatever.
I was born with VACteRL Association and a part of that was imperforate anus aka no butthole. Dr. Templeton, who passed away in 2015, made my anus. I was born in 1989. That’s why I got his autobiography. My mom wants to read it since he helped save my life. It is a bit weird though … wiki says he donated $1 million to parties opposing same-sex marriage. I wonder what he’d say now if he knew he saved a queer baby? I can’t help but wonder.
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt – I absolutely loved this! This book means so much to me now! I felt so much of what Tova was going through for my own reasons. And felt for Cameron. And Marcellus the Octopus is amazing, all three of these characters are amazing. I loved so many lines. It made me cry. I found so much depth in these pages personally. And I had to hug the book! I wanna give it more than 5 stars!!
More than a month after finishing it I still wish I could give it more than 5 stars.
Monster Musume, Vol. 7 by Okayado – Funny manga and I enjoy the characters. Not much to say. 5 stars
Monster Musume, Vol. 8 by Okayado – 4 stars
Saga, Volume 5 and 6 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples – 5 stars each. Rereads since volume 10 is finally coming out in October (last I checked)!
Why I’m Afraid of Bees by R.L. Stine – 4 creepy fun stars.
Gender Queer: A Memoir Deluxe Edition by Maia Kobabe – ALL THE STARS! ALL OF THEM! I had read the original years ago so it was a reread but in this new edition! Words fail to express the love I have for this book but I did my best in my original review Here and my “review” of the new deluxe edition Here.
Monster Musume, Vol. 9 by Okayado – 4 stars
The Gender Friend: A 102 Guide to Gender Identity by Oakley Phoenix by Oakley Phoenix – I absolutely loved this book! Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for letting me have an advanced copy. This book is so accessible in the language and is also kind. Kind not just to transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary folks (TGNCNB for short) but also to loved ones wanting to support their TGNCNB loved ones. I can’t stress enough I can see someone really trying but it’s not always easy. If someone is truly trying and caring I don’t want them to feel like it doesn’t matter or that they are awful if they mess up. Mistakes happen. Trying is what matters and you’ll get there. I am a nonbinary trans person and it’s generally easy to tell who cares and is trying versus the ones that aren’t. This book is like a hug from a kind friend. It explains gender related thing, answer questions, etc. I am going to have to buy this book when it comes out so I can give it to loved ones. 5 stars
Paradise Club by Tim Meyer – 5 stars I cared for the characters and this has a lot of gorey fun! Horror, slasher, splatterpunk …
I have a long way to go still in terms of recovering from surgery. I came home with 2 drains, a left and a right, and initially the left was very active and the right wasn’t doing much of anything. Well … the night before (as I was going to lay down to sleep) I was going to get the right drain out the left one, that was still VERY active, fell out!! Scaring the shit outta me!
Long story short (actually still long, sorry) I still have the right drain in. I was also leaking (and still might be to a degree) via part of my incision down my stomach. Well i’ve had (and still have, as of typing this on Monday August 8th) a lot of gauze and tape over my stomach (and a large hernia belt for compression) because the hole that was left behind from the left drain leaked for awhile but it appears to be closed now. While the hole was leaking the right drain continued doing it’s almost nothing crap, which was scary because they said “in theory the right one should pick up the slack” and i’ve been dealing with low grade fever and swelling (feet, legs …) from retaining fluid, even before the left drain fell out!
Also some heat and pain in my lower stomach from the fluid build up. So i’ve been doing as much as I can of walking and keeping my legs up, which is thankfully helping! And now that the left hole is actually closed it looks like the right drain might be picking up finally? Let’s hope so! And let’s hope it stays in long enough! I’m so afraid of needing to go back to the hospital over this shit. But I have been keeping an eye on myself and I know if I start vomiting or get a high fever to call the Dr or go to the ER.
I haven’t felt like reading much, and that’s ok, but I am reading Haben at least this month and I am enjoying it so far! I’ve been playing Sims 2 and watching Youtube videos
Edit (On August 10th, Wednesday): The right drain stopped holding suction and was not salvageable. Had to come out despite it not being ready yet so they said i’ll probably be ok but ya know, if I start feeling like shit etc. to keep them posted. Right now the hole is leaking but if it’s like the left one within 2 days it’ll be closed and my body wasn’t ready yet. So here’s hoping I leak enough + my body is able to absorb the fluid it needs to.
Saga, Volume 7 and 8 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples – Need to continue the reread for volume 10 in October!
Deep Trouble I and II by R.L. Stine – Working on reading all the Goosebumps books.
Do I think i’ll read all these this month? No. But I just barely got to one in July because of the surgery and everything. Also I think i have an infection at the moment from the drains I still have. Pray for me, seriously. At least 6 of these would be nice but we’ll see what happens.
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – I’ve been saying I need to finish the extras in this book for awhile now. And Frankenstein is my favorite!
Communion: A True Story by Whitley Strieber – Yes I did just read this a few months ago and yes i’m annoyed I have to reread it. I wanted to get to this for YEARS. I finally did a few months ago, and it’s the first in a 6 book series, and bam, there’s a new edition with extra information or something. Ugh. Yes I know, it’s weird to be complaining about this. But I wanted to continue the series not reread the first one. It’s an autobiography series and at least I was able to get this new edition of the first book on audio and it’s narrated by the author so that’s nice.
Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana by Michael Backes – Until this past week I hadn’t smoked in years but I remembered how it helped my chronic pain and severe stomach problems. Not to mention I like getting high off weed but that’s not the point. My main reason for using it is medical. I finally realized NJ has recreational marijuana legalized now and I went and bought some at my nearest dispensary. I plan to go through the hoops to get a medical card eventually but at least even the “recreational” stuff helps medically to.
I know it’s been more than a week, because of surgery, and I was going to try to do one last week but the only book I read was The Gender Friend: A 102 Guide to Gender Identity by Oakley Phoenix which I had already wrote a review for Here. So here’s just the past week!
What I am currently reading
Nothing at the moment. Hopefully that’ll change soon, we’ll see. There is at least one book I need to read this month but since i’m feeling like shit (I appear to have an infection from the surgery drains I still have but I am on an antibiotic now so here’s hoping i’ll be ok) i’m not sure what else i’ll get to.
What I finished in the past week
Paradise Club by Tim Meyer – This was good gorey slasher fun! And I liked the characters to, even cried a little bit at a certain death. Gave it 5 stars.
Discover – May/June 2022 by Kalmbach Publishing Co. – Science Magazine. Gave it 3 stars.
BBC Wildlife Magazine – May 2022 by Immediate Media Company London Ltd – Animals and nature magazine. Gave it 4 stars.
What do I think i’ll read next?
Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haban Girma – This book is the bare minimum I need to read this month, because I picked it for a book club, The eclecticist of eclectic book club. Hopefully i’ll read more but, who knows. I certainly don’t. I do have an August Pile of Possibilities that’ll be posted on Saturday.
When I was in elementary school I had no idea why I struggled with reading comprehension. I could read and I could read fast but remembering what I read? How the hell does one do that? I didn’t know I have aphantasia and that others were being literal about seeing pictures in their head. I have aphantasia in ALL the senses (technically aphantasia just refers to pictures but the other senses don’t have words as far as I know, so you know I mean). I love having aphantasia because reasons. That’s not what this post is about. If you are going to pity me over it, i’m going to ignore you. That could be it’s own post. We all think differently, and yes I can think just fine, it’s just different. (Please note: If you have aphantasia you are allowed to feel however you feel about it)
Anyway because I thought differently and didn’t know that, I struggled and no one could help me. Aphantasia wasn’t a word (even though it was described back in the 1880s) in the 90s. It became a word in 2015. I graduated high school in 2007.
School didn’t help me and the books I had to read for school were so boring and unrelatable (I loved The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton I had to read in 7th grade, because I could feel for the characters. That is the ONLY book I read for school I enjoyed). I couldn’t find any representation for people like me. Disabled kids. Queer kids (also grew up in homophobic because religious family). I didn’t know i’m autistic then either so I could add neurodivergent to the list. And to top it off, I wasn’t allowed to read some things I wanted to, like Harry Potter (because religion). All that combined, i’m surprised I didn’t hate reading with a passion, but it did turn me off.
Thankfully I found Goosebumps as a kid and loved it! Goosebumps, Fear Street. I didn’t read a ton but I enjoyed reading them when I could and a couple other odd books maybe. I’ve always loved the horror genre.
After high school, I didn’t read much. I read a little but mostly, if not completely, books about paganism now that I could explore that because adult. I thought I was “too old” for Harry Potter so it was “too little too late” for me there.
At 26, almost 27, years old in late 2015 I realized I was being dumb. And i’d always had a desire to read, despite my frustration. I still didn’t know about aphantasia though, even though at that point it had been named. It was like 2019 by the time I heard of aphantasia.
I started with Harry Potter, of course. I read it and watched the movies. Loved it. Where do I go from there though? Look up harry potter reviews on YouTube! I found BookTube and it spiraled from there. I read the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis next, and fell in love. Slowly I read more and more. I even found representation about characters like me, finally! Seriously, almost 27 when I read a book with the first bisexual representation i’d ever seen. Even later to find some disabled rep.
I learned I just had to slow the fuck down. I was reading too fast. I couldn’t process what I read. I had to learn it’s ok to whisper read (I can read silently to a degree but after so much it gets difficult and a mix of silent + whisper-reading is really what helps me the most). I was taught to stop doing that in elementary school, making the already difficult task of reading comprehension (well remembering) so much harder. I thought I was so dumb growing up.
I can think in silent words as well as it’s like stuff is going on on a computer screen with the monitor turned off. What I mean is, picture a desktop computer with a monitor and a tower. The tower is on and working. The monitor works. The speakers are unplugged or off. The monitor is off but the computer is working just fine. My brain is the computer. The files are there. I just can’t see the monitor.
Another way to think about it is there is stuff going on in a sound proof room I can’t see into because i’m outside of it but somehow I know exactly what’s going on inside. Well I don’t know things like colors or details but I know the basics. I know people are moving around etc. It’s hard to describe but i’m trying. I can “feel” the scene in my head, I just don’t hear it or see it (or technically “feel” anything as in the touch sense but there’s no other word for it).
So if I slow down and take the time to process the words and “feel” the scene/story, I can read just fine. No I won’t fucking remember what color stuff was or what clothes they wore unless i’m beaten over the head with it, because that stuff doesn’t matter (to me). I remember the characters, their personalities, the themes, what I thought and felt. There’s a reason you will never hear me say “but they don’t look like how I pictured them!” in regards to a book to movie adaptation. I simply don’t have that problem! I can understand certain things are important though in that regard.
Now I realize reading comprehension wasn’t my issue really. I could understand things, I just couldn’t remember things because I wasn’t letting myself process it. I’m slow to process but if I let myself process I can understand just fine.
I love to read now and am an avid reader. I don’t need to be a fast reader. I don’t need to be “the best”. I just need to have fun and enjoy reading.
I am currently in the hospital and can not for the life of me figure out how to get an image on this thing. Hopefully i’ll remember to add the book cover when I get home. I’m doing good all things considered. On to the review!
I figured it out 🙂
This book is like a kind friend. It is so accessible. It explains gender stuff like you’re talking to a friend. I am a nonbinary transmasculine person and I am really glad to see it was kind towards allies as well. I know people who are trying and really care but will of course make mistakes in learning and getting used to it. It’s pretty obvious who actually cares and who doesn’t.
This definitely shouldn’t be the only book you read on gender, no book can do it all, but it is a great and kind starting place! It truly felt like I was chatting with a friend.
Gender can be complicated. Books like this can help. I want to thank Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy and I will have to buy a copy when it comes out so I can give this to people in my life.
Like any genre I’ve liked some classics and haven’t liked others. Here are ones I have liked!
This is the only book I remember reading for school that I actually liked. It made me cry and I felt for the characters. They felt real and relatable. I reread it once so far as an adult and still loved it.
Talks about racism, sexism, love. Real. Beautiful. Heart-breaking. I’ve read it 3 times. And I didn’t realize it’s the first in a series so i’m going to have to reread it and continue the series at some point.
Yes, I know, it’s about an appalling topic. You aren’t supposed to like Humbert. It’s beautifully written about an awful topic and it even says at the end you aren’t supposed to fall for Humbert. It’s an interesting book with how it’s written.
When I first started reading this I was very confused and was like “this makes no sense!”. Once I realized that’s the point and turned my brain off, I had fun with it.
An interesting and gothic tale. I still have to read The Haunting of Hill House, I know, I suck.
The shoes are silver. Also, this is much darker than the movie!
Tugged at my heart and made me cry (at 30 years old). Charlotte is best spider.
Sad. Made me cry. Do not think it’s a children’s book despite it saying it is, like holy fuck. There is some kindness in it too.
Gothic romantic suspense.
There is also a character who appears to have down syndrome. I say that because he is described but I googled it, the name down syndrome did not exist when this book was written. I want to bring this up only because the way he was described/talked about in some cases, if written today, would be offensive, but looking up what was known at the time this book was published, it seems like it was handled as best as it could be for the time (tis why knowing history can be important).
And there is stuff that happens later in the book (I won’t spoil anything) that made me go “Fuck yes!!” when it was brought up. Stuff I didn’t expect to get mentioned more, was, and it made me so happy. The characters (well except one asshole, but he’s an asshole) treated him, Ben, very nicely. And I loved that it showed his fear of being sent to the asylum (which makes even more sense when you read it), that the asylum isn’t a nice place, and that no one was going to send him anywhere.
Haunting, beautiful and sad at the same time.
That was fun. I enjoyed it. Not completely sure why. Definitely didn’t age well in all respects (which is to be expected), a bit disjointed and overly moralistic (and not as nuanced as I usually prefer but it’s old and a children’s classic), with a few things that don’t make sense but I still found it a fun tale that got me thinking a little bit but mostly just fun. Pinocchio can be such a pain, but he learns and he has a heart. I want to tell him “you always were a real boy, just before you were a marionette boy and now, you’re a human boy”.
Much darker than expected too!
If you know me you know i’m usually a Grinch. Why do I enjoy this classic? Honestly, I don’t know. I had fun with it.
A very important and heart-breaking book.
My favorite! Where to even begin? The creature is abandoned by his creator, his father, Victor, who runs away from him in horror. The creature has a heart, he just wants a friend. He tries to make friends but everyone is shallow and runs from him in horror based on his looks, so of course after awhile, it gets to him, as it would anyone. Nothing like the original movie portrayal! Victor is the real monster.
And no, i’m not saying what he ends up doing is ok, but you can understand his feelings and where he’s coming from. He’s sympathetic and I wanna be his friend before all hell breaks lose. Show him that there are some people that aren’t shallow assholes.
I said what I said.
Also, the creature is relatable to me, being disabled and having deformities. Obviously not as bad as the creature and I know it could be worse but I could still put myself in his shoes. There are deformed people in real life that get that treatment, sadly this book and that message is still relevant. He’s an outcast who just wants some companionship. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.
Heart-wrenching and important.
Terrifying and realistic. Supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual!
Just a fairy-tale fantasy that I enjoy.
Again. Supposed to be warning, not a friggin instruction manual!
Have I watched any of the movies or anything? Nope. I need to do that at some point. Brings up some interesting questions about ethics and is thought-provoking.