Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi

Five stars, read in February 2018. Nobody ever warned me about mirrors, so for many years I was fond of them, and believed them to be trustworthy. Despite one of the best first lines I’ve ever read, I’m certain I wouldn’t have finished this if I hadn’t read, and been so impressed by, What is Not…

New Volumes of My Favorite Comics

Saga, Vol. 8, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Four stars. Excellent as always, less robot penis than usual, so plenty of good news. For the bad news, in chapter 47: oh my god, Brian K. Vaughan, no, absolutely fucking not. That is too far. Such excruciatingly graphic sexual violence against women is fetishistic, and…

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel

Five stars, read in July 2014. For the first 50 pages it seemed like I wasn’t making any progress—it’s one of those books that looks longer than it is, so you feel like it will never end. Once I got to the last hundred or so pages, I was hoping it never would. It’s funny, really, because several of…

Jane, Unlimited, by Kristin Cashore

One star, read in October 2017. This did not work for me. Graceling and Bitterblue are two of my all-time favorites, and some of the little YA that I am still able to read, so I was really hopeful for Cashore’s first book outside that series. But, in the first place, I wish I could…

Sister Outsider, by Audre Lorde

Four stars, read in March and April 2017. I have meant to read Audre Lorde for so long, and now that I have, I see the irony of it having been her prose that I read first, and not her poetry. Poetry was everything to Lorde, not just a form of art but a framework…

Just Kids, by Patti Smith

Four stars, read in February 2017. I didn’t know much about Patti Smith before this and hadn’t heard of Robert Mapplethorpe at all, so this book was a springboard into a huge number of artistic works for me to explore. I’ve been listening to her first album, Horses, since finishing the book a few days…

Juliet Takes a Breath, by Gabby Rivera

Four stars, maybe five. Read in December 2016. I’d been excited about this book for a while, and there was a surprise right up front because for some reason—because of the glorious cover design—I had thought it was a graphic novel. It is not. It has a very self-published look underneath that fabulous cover, which was…

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, by Helen Oyeyemi

Four stars, read in November 2016. This ended up being my choice for fiction for the Goodreads Choice Awards.  I am still a little torn because I loved this book, and I didn’t understand it—not all of it, anyway, and it’s hard for me to not be able to understand completely. It took me until…

Lumberjanes, by Noelle Stevenson

Four stars, read in August 2015. This is a fabulous, diverse, female-led fantasy series about the girls at a summer camp “for hard-core lady-types.” The Millennial humor is a little much for me, but mostly it’s fun. I love all the exclamations referencing women from history—”what the Joan Jett,” “oh my Bessie Coleman,” “holy Mae Jemison!”—and…

A + E 4ever, by I. Merey

Five stars, read in July 2016. This book is gorgeous. I don’t have anything objective to say about it—I just want to gush feelings for a while. It’s so lovely, in fact, that I went and found a bigger-than-usual picture of the cover to use here, just so I could look at it. I read…

The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters

Four stars, read in November 2014. This book takes a lot of unexpected turns, particularly if it’s your first of Sarah Waters’ books (it was mine). I had the sense of a Downton Abbey-type situation when I picked it up, the story of the upper classes having to adjust to the postwar world, losing their…