Archive for September, 2020

by Kate Bornstein

prompt 48: published in the 20th century

It was quite interesting reading a book about gender that was written so long ago. Language has changed and t hear words used then but no longer considered appropriate, fair or desirable was odd. There were moments when I felt ‘aha’ there were also moments when I squinted my eyes and thought ‘really?’
I am cishet though so I don’t think I have a right to comment on her use of language and concepts – I just felt uncomfortable with some of her phrases, ideas and beliefs in a way that I don’t with the concepts for gender now. I don’t think I will ever be able to hear the word ‘tranny’ and not cringe for the 90’s.
I just found it dd that while she was speaking of the huge range of gender possibilities she also seemed to be categorising people quite strictly. ‘We do this’, ‘they do that’ etc. I struggle with the idea of anyone saying that any group, even if they belong to it, is one thing or another.
So yeah – interesting but problematic in 2020 the way it probably was not in the ’90s. And this is something the early gender warriors face all the time too – the way they fought is no longer deemed appropriate – but without their fight, the present would not exist.
So I do not want to bash Bornstein but rather used this text as a way to see how much the language has changed, but sadly, often, not the attitudes of individuals.
Let’s hope that anything written now seems as odd in 20 or 30 years as this does now – because society has grown up and moved on from its obsession with gender and the rules it imposes based on some binary bs.

by Helen Keller

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 43: character with impaired vision

I found this memoir well worth reading.
I knew a little of her story; Sullivan, water, deaf and blind – that was about it. Keller was a much more accomplished person than I realised. Her interaction with and grasp of life, literature and beauty would have been pretty extraordinary for someone with sight and hearing.
I am quite awed and so glad I found this book.

Artificial Condition

by Martha Wells

#ppsugarreadingchallenge prompt 28: with a robot, cyborg or AI character
I read the first on this series for a prompt last year and was very glad to remember it and read the next installment.
This Murderbot is so likable once again I am sorry it is both fictional and not human.
In this book it sets off to discover exactly what happened in the previous book when it was deemed responsible for a terrible massacre of humans. With the help of ART, a Research Transport vessel Murderbot sets off to find out what really happened.

I love the humanity that is slowly developing in this murderbot. it is very moving when it says that the more human-like it look the harder it becomes to remember it is not.
Poor chap – it’ll break your heart even though it is a machine.

I’m going to have to read the next book in this series sooner rather than later. I need to know what it will do with the knowledge it gains

by Kate Anderson Brower

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 30: about a world leader
I found this book very interesting and hugely accessible. It was fascinating to read of the relationships the five former presidents had, as well as those between the first ladies.
How very different the Trumps are was glaringly obvious and the former five’s opinions quite clear.
This book certainly fleshed out the first families into whole people with lives before and after office.
I’m not even American or particularly political and I really enjoyed this book.
I did the audio book and found the narrator pleasing and easy to listen to.

The Last Widow

by Karin Slaughter

popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 27: Featuring a deadly sin

In this thriller we find lust, pride, wrath and greed. All the components that make people hurt or kill each other really.
Lots of twists and turns and redirections in this book made it quite gripping but also had me wondering at times why certain elements were included. I almost feel like Slaughter’s books are too full – too many details we don’t need, too many parallel or unimportant threads which muddy the water.
This may be because I haven’t read them all so perhaps I am missing the personal connections she has created with her readers. But I do sometimes think that I don’t care about that (whatever detail it is) – get on with the story dammit.

This one has kidnapped people, cults, pedophiles, bacterial warfare, romance and manifestos.
So yeah – it is full, so very full.

I was very interested in the central story and how it unfolded. Slaughter is certainly very good at revealing a story. will keep going back to Slaughter because for me they are easy reads that still engage and entertain me


by Luvvie Ajayi

#popsugarreadingchallenge prompt 15: about or involving social media
This book was funny but also contained lots of truths.
I agreed with a lot of what Ajayi says so I guess I am as judgy as she is. Which I am okay with. I did like how she encourages everyone to question the assumptions we all make and the way we let social media direct and control us.

I liked how Ajayi raised and shone a light on racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism and the crap we are fed regarding beauty standards.
I felt spoken for, listened to and educated all at once.