The Rise and Reign of the Mammals Book Review

I recently installed DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials and it breaks some things, including this video. If you have that and want to see the video, please go to the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension in your browser, go to options, at the bottom will say unprotected sites, click “add unprotected site” and type in (or would probably work to but would do the entire website).

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How I did with Nonfiction November and manga

How did I do with Nonfiction November and 30 in 30 Manga Reading challenge?

In my opinion? Great! I read 4 nonfiction books, 1 for each of the prompts, and 6 volumes of Food Wars! … That’s it, 6 volumes. I know that’s no where near 30 but I do remember it being said that the point is just to read more manga than you usually do, and I succeeded in that. Sure, more woulda been nice but I didn’t fail either. And hopefully this time I won’t stop reading Food Wars and will actually finish it! I initially read the first 12 volumes, loved them, and then … well i’m bad at series ok? So I need to read 6 more and i’ll be where I was at before. There are 36 volumes. Wish me luck.

The Nonfiction Books I Read

I read Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff for the prompt Record. I gave it 3 stars. I listened to it on audio book and it was very interesting. I’m just bad at processing audio books and I know it didn’t really get into my brain, but that’s a me problem. I did like it.

I read The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Stephen Brusatte for the prompt Element. I loved this! It was so fascinating (and I have it physically) and understandable and there are pictures and DINOSAURS. I have a newfound love for dinosaurs now. I gave it 5 stars. My review on Goodreads states:

“Dinosaurs are fascinating! I learned so much. Very well written and accessible.
My favorite dinosaur, is penguin. Confused? Read the book. If you are remotely interested in Dinosaurs, read it.”

I read Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake for the prompt Border. I gave this 4 stars. This was also very fascinating, and unexpectedly thought-provoking! I read it on kindle.

I read Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell for the prompt Secret. I gave this 4 stars. This both is and is not what you’d expect. Once you read it you’ll see it everywhere. But is that really terrifying? Yes and No. It depends. Read it if you want to understand what I mean. I listened to it and did really enjoy the narration and it kept my attention.

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Nonfiction November POP (Pile of Possibilities)

I love Nonfiction but don’t read enough of it! I aim to change that! I’ve participated in Nonfiction November before. At first I thought I wasn’t going to pay attention to the prompts but then with Olive explaining different ways to interpret them and the Nonfiction November reading challenge on storygraph with recommendations I decided i’ll give them a shot!

Nonfic Nov announcement by abookolive

Nonfic book recommendations by abookolive

Nonfic November storygraph reading challenge

I’ve also made an Expand your mind with Nonfiction 2023 reading challenge for myself on storygraph. I made it public in case anyone wants to join in. Even though there are 24 prompts a book may fit more than 1 (and as 2023 implies goes through-out all of next year).

This is NOT all of my possibilities as that would be ridiculously long. I have a lot more possibilities for Record and Element (mostly Record) than I do Border and Secret (the 4 optional prompts) but I still have options for each. So here are just some of my options. Also some of the options work for multiple prompts but I only put them in one here.

Each of the covers should link to the Goodreads page if you wanna check them out!





Other (many of which do actually fit a prompt)

Yes, that is a lot, and yes I have even more possibilities lol but i’ll stop here because that is still a lot. I either have the book or it’s available on hoopla, libby or scribd for me.

I am so excited for Nonfiction November! Are you planning to join? Have you joined before? Do you enjoy Nonfiction? There are so many subgenres and wonderful writers I truly think there is something out there for everyone! Have you read any of the above books and if so what did you think of them?

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Wednesday Wrap Up August 17th, 2022

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.

Other Stuff

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.

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10 Books that define my reading taste Part 5

The last part!

The Haunting by Ruby Jean Jensen

A wonderful horror novel! Tackles grief and sexism. Loved the characters and depth and creepy atmosphere.

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

A F/F historical fiction romance. My initial review …

I freaking loved this! I adored the characters, especially Lucy. A very strong woman who knows what she wants and doesn’t take crap. Don’t get me wrong, she has her insecurities for sure, but she still has a strength within her than shines. Catherine has been hurt in the past and is very insecure in the beginning despite having the countess act down in public. She hides it well but she’s hurting. I loved her character arc and seeing her grow stronger. Both women have their own interests and personalities that I really enjoyed getting to see. Both are interesting characters that I loved in their own rights. I also felt for Catherine with what she had been through and some stuff rang quite true for me too.

A beautiful sapphic historical romance.

Bodymap by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Poetry about being a queer disabled femme of color. Raw, emotional, heart-breaking, thought-provoking, beautiful. I related to some of it, being queer, afab, and disabled myself.

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft & Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon

Wonderful biography on Mary Shelley and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft! Told in alternating chapters it came together really well and I learned so much about them. Amazing women! Amazing, and humanized.

To Touch the Light by E.M. Lindsey

A latino gay trans man (also a chef) and a undocumented immigrant from Russia (forced out of Russia) who is half-blind, Jewish and gay. Age gap. M/M Chanukah HEA romance.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Hard-hitting, fantasy, packs a powerful punch, educational to boot. It has themes of being oneself, of being a part of a group and having a group history, of kinship, trauma, climate change. I’m sure there is even stuff I missed. It has powerful messages wrapped in a fantasy story with merfolk

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

A ghost story that’s not quite a ghost story. Very creepy, the writing flows, strong atmosphere, loved the characters. Easy to read while being complex.

Rare and Resilient – ONE in 5000 Anthology by Greg Ryan

Here is my entire review because I can’t figure out how to shorten it.

I was born with imperforate anus (IA) AKA no butt hole. Like one in 5000 people around the world. Yes, it’s real. There is no cure as it causes other life long issues, even after surgery. I have always been and always will be incontinent. I used to do enemas/malone, currently have a colostomy (again, had one as a baby). I also have other issues related to VACteRL Association (used to be called VAteR Syndrome) as many of us born with IA/ARM do (but not all. And ARM stands for anorectal malformation). It’s not laziness. It’s an invisible disability that causes pain, trauma, medical procedures, doctor visits, surgeries etc. Each person with IA can have a different story. Some have more issues, some have less. What works for one person, might not work for the next.

It also causes a lot of shame. And growing up when I did, the internet barely existed and as a teen I had internet but it was dial up and certainly not like it is now. Now we have facebook groups and ways to talk to others in the same boat, which is amazing, but I and many others didn’t have that growing up (and some still don’t depending on where they live/their situation) so we literally felt completely alone, like no one understood, because it’s so rare. I’m in my 30s and to my knowledge , i’ve never met anyone else with vacterl or IA/ARM. Though it is an invisible disability, so who knows, I might have.

The shame and stigma need to end, but it’s going to be hard getting there as these issues are so taboo. There needs to be more awareness and understanding. Something Greg Ryan and the one in 5000 foundation are working towards.

It is so wonderful, on one hand, to read these stories, to see myself in so much of them, to know there are others out there who understand, going through the same things. Feeling all alone is the absolute worst. But on the other, it’s a double edged sword, as I would NEVER wish these issues on anyone. No, not even my worst enemy. After that though I must mention there is also plenty of hope in these pages. Also plenty of emotion and it is heart-wrenching.

I’m beginning to see just how strong I am. But … can I please get a break?

Btw, it’s also on KU.

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown

This book is a memoir/essays by a black disabled woman with so much honesty, truth and power in the pages! Honestly I wish I knew how to describe it, but all I can say is the affect it had on me, an afab (nonbinary) disabled person. I don’t know what it’s like to be black, i’m white. I learned a lot from this book, from where I didn’t relate personally but also from where I did, with being disabled (though with different medical issues) as well as the talk about depression and suicidal ideation.

It showed me that though i’ve already been working on having disability pride and unlearning internalized ableism, as someone who has also been disabled my entire life and always will be, I still have a lot more to learn/unlearn. Some of it felt like a much needed punch to the gut! It wasn’t easy to hear some of it, but I know I needed it.

This was incredibly emotional for me, and some of it i’m just like “how do I get there?”. I’m still working on a lot of things, but life is a journey and as long as i’m working on it, that’s what matters.

Transmuted by Eve Harms

As a deformed trans person myself this hit so many feels! The feelings of dysphoria, of being fetishized, of being looked at like a freak, of feeling like a freak. The way people treat you. I loved Isa. I want to gush about this book but i’m at a loss for words. I read it on KU and had to buy myself a physical copy.

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10 Books that define my reading taste part 2

I came up with 50 potential books for this and instead of narrowing it down to 10 I decided to make 5 posts lol. Here is part 2.

It by Stephen King

Horror. Very character-driven. I absolutely love character-driven and getting to know the characters! Coming of age.

Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom

Fantasy. Holiday. Reminds me to not be a Grinch during the holidays. Emotional.

Better Off Red by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Paranormal romance. Vampires. F/F. Much erotic-ness. But also emotional with some depth. Romance. First book in a trilogy and for some stupid reason I never continued. I have it on audio now and need to reread it since I own all 3 physically.

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal

Nonfiction. Animals. ❤

Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner

Character depth. Friendships. Action. YA Fantasy. Queer. F/F.

Defining Myself: Transmasculine Experience Through Poetry by Michael Eric Brown

I am transmasc. Transmasculine poetry. I cried. A lot. Related so hard to this!

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe

I also related a lot to this! A Nonfiction autobiography about growing up nonbinary and asexual. I am not asexual but I am nonbinary and I wish i’d had this as a teenager. It would have helped tremendously! I am so glad it exists now and I wish people would quit banning it!

Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century edited by Alice Wong

Nonfiction essays by disabled people about disability. These 37 essays feature a huge diversity of disabled people! Queer, Trans, People of Color, physical and mental disabilities, all very much featured in here! It’s accessible and so very much needed. If I could ask everyone to read just ONE book, it’d be this one! No question about it!

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

Fantasy. Fairy-Tale. I love The Little Mermaid.

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib

Exactly what it says, a queer Muslim memoir.

Have you read any of these? Thoughts?

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May Book Haul Part 2

I swear May 2022 has been the month i’ve bought the most books ever! I don’t normally buy THIS many books! The first part didn’t actually quite cover the first half because I expected to buy less in the second half … oops. Anyway, on with the books!

Audio Books

The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity–and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race by Daniel Z. Lieberman
Hurts So Good: The Science and Culture of Pain on Purpose by Leigh Cowart
The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates by Eric Jay Dolin
Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach
The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain by Gregory Berns
The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
Mind to Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality by Dawson Church
Hippie by Paulo Coelho
The [Un]Popular Vote by Jasper Sanchez
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa
Robbergirl by S.T. Gibson
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

I got most, if not all, of these via sales! The Bone House involves a disabled character. The (Un)Popular Vote has a transgender character. Ghost Story i’ve read via Libby and loved. Also, it wouldn’t process after I bought it so I had to talk to audible help. They were really nice. I ended up getting a refund and a $10 credit so I could buy it again (it was a 24 hour $5 flash sale and refunds aren’t processed that quickly) and it worked.

I read And the Trees Crept In via Netgalley years ago and really enjoyed it. The Cat Who Saved Books, cats AND books, what could be better?! Robbergirl is a lesbian Robin Hood retelling. I read Coraline years ago via Scribd and really enjoyed it.


Alien Erotica: The Invasion by Nikki Orchid
High School Hypnosis 1 by Jezebel Rose
In the Werewolf’s Den: Lesbian Erotica by Tara Shaw
Serving Her Ladyship: Lesbian Erotica by Tara Shaw
Seduced by Her Boss! Lesbian Erotica Part 2 by Allison Lindell
She Thought I Was Asleep… A Lesbian Erotic Story by Allison Lindell
Sunbathing Seduction: A Lesbian Erotic Story by Allison Lindell
The Trans Case Against Queer Theory by TaraElla
Conscience by Jonathan Pongratz

Smashwords. Free and cheap. What? I’m stocking up on taboo reads for Taboo Thursday ok? Not that I don’t have a ton of things I could read for that already that I haven’t read yet … Well some of it’s taboo, not all of it. And of course the The Trans Case Against Queer Theory because i’m trans and I believe I got Conscience through signing up for some email newsletter thing.

Kindle Books

Tordotcom Publishing 2022 Debut Sampler by Scotto Moore
Secrets of Watercolor – From Basics to Special Effects (Essential Artist Techniques) by Joe García
The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
Spooky Business by Addison Creek
The Chimpanzee Whisperer: A Life of Love and Loss, Compassion and Conservation by Stany Nyandwi
The Literature Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by James Canton
The Connecticut Corpse Caper by Tyler Colins
If She Dies by Erik Therme
Abra-Cadaver by Matt Drabble
Acoustics by London Price
The Atlas Defect by A.J. Scudiere
Death and a Dog by Fiona Grace
Blood Debt by Heather MacKinnon
Phantoms by Dean Koontz
Where City Lights Fade by Seth Pevey
Philosophy Now – Issue 150 by Anja Publications
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Haunting of Blackwater Cottage: A Riveting Haunted House Mystery by Clay Wise
The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body by Frances Ashcroft
Covet the Night: Ascent of the Wicked Book 1 by Rebecca Main
The Sacrificial Man by Ruth Dugdall
Sọ̀rọ̀sóke: An #Endsars Anthology by Jumoke Verisimo and James Yeku
Quaker faith & practice by Religious Society of Friends

Again, I got a lot of these, if not all of them, free and cheap because of various reasons! Free and cheap is going to be the death of me. Acoustics is a transgender M/M romance!


My Immortal by Tara Gilesbie

I have not read this and this is infamous apparently.

Physical Books

I Can’t Believe I Slept With You! Vol. 1 by Miyako Miyahara
The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (Newly Annotated): The Original 1818 Version with New Introduction and Footnotes by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity by Devon Price
The Little Mermaid by Walt Disney Company
How to Identify Yourself With a Wound by KB
Crooked Tree by Robert C. Wilson
Invasion of the Body Squeezers Part 1 by R.L. Stine
Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Ice Orchids by Eulo Elena Yates
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Are You Terrified Yet? by R.L. Stine
Jekyll and Heidi by R.L. Stine
The Haunted Car by R.L. Stine
Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls by R.L. Stine
Fright Camp by R.L. Stine
I Am Your Evil Twin by R.L. Stine
Revenge R Us by R.L. Stine
Invasion of the Body Squeezers, Part 2 by R.L. Stine
Cry of the Cat by R.L. Stine
Savage Island by Brian Moreland
Bag of Bones by Stephen King
The Party by Christopher Pike
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Dumbstruck: A Cultural History of Ventriloquism by Steven Connor
The Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
Take Back the Word: a queer reading of the bible by Robert E. Shore-Goss
Bible Trouble: Queer Reading at the Boundaries of Biblical Scholarship by Teresa J. Hornsby
The Dance by Christopher Pike
The Graduation by Christopher Pike
To Be Devoured by Sara Tantlinger
The Book of Non-Binary Joy by Ben Pechey
The Plants by Kenneth McKenney

I got many of these from thriftbooks and a few from a used book store really cheap! I Can’t Believe I Slept With You is a Yuri (F/F) Manga. Frankenstein, well we already know i’m obsessed. Same with The Little Mermaid now. How to Identify Yourself With a Wound is queer and poetry. I got Bag of Bones, The Party, and The Scarlett Letter really cheap at a used book store near me, and then I had to get The Dance and The Graduation on thriftbooks since they are out of print so I could make sure I had the full trilogy, also got those really cheap.

To Be Devoured I read years ago on KU and loved it, and it’s going out of print in July so I had to snatch up a physical copy! It’s queer horror. The Non-binary Book of Joy was a pre-order from B&N that arrived a bit damaged. Bent, crinkled, scuffed, but it’s still in one piece and readable so I said to hell with it i’ll keep it. It came via UPS.

Have you read any of these? What did you get in the month of May? Part 1 is Here.

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