I’m Getting Married in 3 Months!

Yup, January 8th is only 3 months away! And the only thing we’ve accomplished so far was sending out Save the Dates and looking at venues. But I figured I’d so an update kind of post, because why not.

“The Dress”

For a while, I just wanted a dress, any kind of dress, doesn’t matter. Just something that would look good and be under $100. I did find a really gorgeous navy dress that fit me perfectly, and even ordered it (for $45, woohoo)… but ended up returning it because by the time it came I decided I wanted something else.

I was scrolling through this Buzzfeed post of non-traditional wedding dresses and I love a whole lot of them, but #26 stuck with me and now I know that I want to do something like this:

This ode to tulle:

It’s PERFECT. A white tulle skirt is the perfect amount of wedding-ishness that I’m looking for, plus I can wear any color sweater or cardigan and matching shoes. And I’m getting married in January, so the sweater part is important. So, now I’m on a hunt to find a fluffy white tulle skirt. Etsy has some, but they might not be fluffy enough. I won’t know till I order one. (The skirt in #23 is also perfect, but so far haven’t been able to find one. And I’m sure they’re not cheap. But it’s so pretty!)

“The Venue”

Originally I wanted a cabin or lodge in a county park that we could just rent and bring food in. But I ran into two issues – that they’re usually not available past 10 PM, and that they’re in the middle of parks and snow may well be an issue. So we looked at two other places this week – both are actual venues that have their own catering (although with one of them, I’d have to work with their caterer separately – the other handles all of that for me), and both provide some sort of bar (no way can I afford to do an open bar of any sort, but there’s other options).

Option #1: Alright, so this is the one I’m leaning towards right now… we would not be decorated nearly as fancy, but it’s very pretty. And this is the place that will basically do everything for me – I’d go in to set up my own centerpieces, photo corner, etc but that’s just small stuff. And they have better drink options.

Option 1.2

Again, it would not be this fancy – but they have some nice chandeliers, and we might do some of the lanterns and some pretty blue uplighting… and we’d bring in our own string lights, maybe.

My issues – it seems TOO big and fancy, even without extra decorating because it’s a nice banquet place and they do lots of weddings, anniversaries, graduation parties, etc. We’re only gonna have like maybe 60 people, so… it seems a bit big.

Option #2: This place might be a little cheaper in the long run… but I’d have to do more work. But I love the smaller size of it – it’d be a lot more intimate than Option #1.

Option 2

My issues: They don’t really offer any decorating, and this place really needs it because it’s just an old fireman’s hall or something that they rent out now. I have to use their affiliated caterer, but they don’t handle that for me – I’d have to work directly with the caterer. They have some good drink options, but not quite as many. And this is farther away – about 20 to 30 minutes for us and most of our guests. And again, snow might be an issue.

So I’m hoping we can choose one of these and book it by the end of the week. I really want this decided and set so that I can move on to other, more fun details. We’re trying to be pretty frugal – but I’m thinking the couple hundred dollar difference might be worth it to go with Option 1, because we’d have to do less and at this point the idea of someone taking care of the food and most of the decorating for me sounds pretty sweet. (I don’t know how women do this on a bigger, more extravagant scale.) I’d have no hesitation about going for Option 1 if it was a little smaller. Hmmmm.

And of course, there’s always a third option – assume a ton of people aren’t gonna show anyways and just plan on having a smaller gathering somewhere, with outside catering or pizza or something.

“The fun stuff”

We’re going to have board games there, because we just want to hang out and have a good time with a bunch of people and don’t want anyone to feel bored. In the same vein, there will be stacks of my favorite romance novels / love story books around and shy/quiet people are absolutely free to sit there and read if they want.

We probably won’t have a DJ, but there will be music and hopefully some dancing.

I want to set up a well-lit corner with a fun backdrop and props where people can take pictures (man I wish I could afford to do a photo booth or something). I have to think up a good Instagram hashtag still.

I can’t wait to go pick out and buy our wedding bands.

We’re starting to look at some honeymoon options… just to get away for a couple days somewhere not too far away. We rarely get the chance to go anywhere, so this is super fun to think about.

I am both excited and a just a little sad about changing my last name.

Aaaand I guess that’s all the updating I have. It’s so close! Even if all this planning is a giant pain in the ass – I couldn’t be more excited to be marrying the honeyman and celebrating with people we love.


September Mini-Review Recap

Kudos September, you didn’t suck! Life in general has gotten less crazy, and I managed to read 7 books and 23 issues of comics. Woo-hoo!

The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander – Probably the most important book that you need to read right now. Seriously, you need to read it.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid – A man in Pakistan tells an American stranger about his time living in NYC, before and after 9/11. Definitely worth the read.

You're Never Weird on the Internet


You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day – Maaaaan… Felicia Day is great. She’s funny and smart and this look at her life and how she got to become a celebrity known for her geekdom was really fun.

Secondhand Souls

Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore – Wooooo, new Christopher Moore book! This is the sequel to A Dirty Job, and it was a fun, weird ride like all of his books are. I do kiiiinda feel like his newer books are a little heavy on the more crude humor than his older stuff – kind of like how The Hangover was a pretty good movie, but then The Hangover 2 was just too over the top and tried too hard. Moore will always have a special place in my heart though and I’ll probably read everything the dude writes, cause it’s always good for a laugh.

Shatter Me

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – I needed a “book written by someone when they were under 25” pick for Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge, and I had heard positive things about this and it was on Scribd, so I gave it a go. The main character can kill someone just by touching them, and she HATES that – and now someone wants to use her as a weapon. Fun stuff, will probably read the rest of the series for fun. I REALLY liked the writing, especially in the beginning.

Why Not Me

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling – Another famous lady memoir! I adore Mindy Kaling. Just absolutely adore her. This collection of essays is more thoughtful and mature, with the same Kaling humor. It’s fabulous on audio, but I’ll definitely be picking up a print copy for myself to own.

Sorcerer to the Crown

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – Zacharias is the Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers in England, and the other magicians don’t think he’s fit for the role, given his color. But he has other things to worry about – mainly, figuring out why the magic in England is decreasing. Penelope is a feisty woman who also happens to be a naturally excellent magician – a shock to all because shock! gasp! women aren’t supposed to do magic. Together they tackle the problems at hand, and it’s DELIGHTFUL.

Alright, now let’s take a look at dem stats.


Books read: 7

Female authors: 5 (71%)

Non-white authors: 5 (71%)

Format breakdown: 5 print, 1 e-book, 1 audiobook

STATS – COMICS (including writers and illustrators)

Issues read: 23

Female authors/illustrators: 10

Non-white authors/illustrators: 6

Format breakdown: 18 print, 5 e-book

So that’s cool. I did quit one book, it was a novel about superheroes, the main character was a crazy strong, indestructible female and the book was written by a male… and it started to feel a little pervy. The main character’s shirt and pants kept getting torn to shreds, showing her bra or her ass…  And then the main character actually said something along the lines of “Sometimes I think I should just not even bother with clothes” and I threw my arms in the air and DNF-ed that shit.

Have you read any of these yet? Read anything you really enjoyed (or really hated) in September?






October Monthly TBR

September and I got on pretty well, at least on the reading front. I finished 7 books and 23 comics (technically I’ve read more comics than that, because I’m re-reading The Walking Dead: Compendium 1, but I’m not going to add it to my spreadsheet until I finish it). And I’ve really liked a lot of the stuff I’ve read! Good month.

Andi at Estella’s Revenge is hosting a #15in31 challenge in October, and I’m crazy enough to have signed up. There isn’t a single month so far this year where the number of books I’ve read has been in the double digits, so I’ll consider it a success if I manage 10 and an uber-success if I manage a whole 15. Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is October, 17th, so hopefully that’ll give me a nice boost.

Anyways, here are my mega TBR piles! I’m trying to focus on digital reading this month, because man it’s out of control.


On the Kindle:

  • Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus by Mira Grant – A kinda new Newsflesh novella. Totally saving this for the readathon.
  • Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah – Had this on my Kindle for a literal age now, and I’m finally gonna read it! It’ll satisfy one of the categories for Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge anyways.
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – I wanna re-read this just cause it’s that time of year. The e-book was like a dollar and the Audible narration with it was three bucks I think, so I might listen to it on audio. (Back-up plan – re-watch the movie with Tom Hardy. Won’t count as a book read, but still.)
  • The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan – Why does the Kindle version have this ugly color instead of the normal pretty blue one with a big ring on it? Anyways, I’ve heard fabulous things and got this on a good sale a while back.
  • When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James – Giving this a shot, to fulfill the “fairy tale retelling” category for the RH challenge. Happy that Overdrive had it.
  • Cybersexism by Laurie Penny – One of those $1.99 short ebooks, I’ll probably save it for the readathon. Penny is a feminist writer that I follow on Twitter and a while back I saw some vicious, horrible, sexist tweets to her that were INFURIATING. I haven’t actually read any of her books yet, so hoping this will be a good intro to her published work.
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor – This novella just came out, excited to read it but will probably hoard it for the readathon (seeing a pattern here?)
  • Cujo by Stephen King – Because Halloween season, and I need to read more King.
  • More Than Human by Ramez Naam – A book about the future biological enhancements and stuff. I like Naam, and have had this idling for a while. And I desperately needed some non-fiction here.


On my physical to-read shelves:

  • Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Because I loooved Americanah by this author and really want to explore her backlist.
  • Season to Taste by Natalie Young – Seemed seasonally appropriate as it’s about a woman who kills and cooks her husband. A little bit of murder and comfort foods!
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) – This is the second Cormoran Strike book. I really liked the first, and the third comes out later this month, so I should probably dive in already. I was holding out to see if the ebook would become available on Overdrive, but no such luck, so I guess I’ll read the hardcover copy THAT I ALREADY HAVE. (I am ridiculous.)


On Scribd:

  • Edward Scissorhand comics – I added these to my list when I first got Scribd, so I’m gonna finally read em. Also, seasonally appropriate.
  • A Leaf On the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon – I’ve read this short story before, but it’s on audio so I may just listen to it again. I miss Outlander.
  • Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness by Rebecca Walker – A group of essays about black culture. There is probably a more in depth way to describe it but I haven’t read it yet, but that seems to be the basis.
  • Zoo City by Lauren Beukes – I’ve heard fabulous things about Beukes’ other novels, but this one was available on Scribd so that’s the one I’m starting with. Something about a girl in South Africa who writes scam emails to make a living but then gets hired to find a missing person because she has a supernatural gift for finding things? Whatever, I’m in.
  • Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi – This is the sequel to Shatter Me, which I just read this month. It’s a YA novel about a girl who is basically Rogue from the X-Men, but it was interesting, and definitely a quick read.
  • Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi – An even quicker read, as this is a novella told from the POV of a bad guy. Fun!

Holy shit that was a lot of books. And clearly my TBR piles are always subject to change – I’ll probably ditch a few and pick up some other random stuff (I mean, I think there’s a new Rainbow Rowell out this month too, so…)

What are you looking to read this month?


Reading Stats: My Google Docs Spreadsheet


I think I mentioned a couple months ago that I switched from an Excel spreadsheet to a Google Docs spreadsheet, and that it was different than what I had used previously. Well, I’m here to finally show it off and talk about how it works a little. I got the template from Book Riot – you should definitely read their article and look at the author’s (Amanda Nelson’s) spreadsheet.

So here’s my sheet below – this is just the books tab. I have several tabs down at the bottom for keeping track of comics read, book purchasing stats, TBR lists, etc. I may do a separate post on my comics tab later, but I feel like it still needs some tweaking.

My spreadsheet is set up to track books read, gender, genre, nationality, format, source, pages read, and any other little note-worthy comments (like if it featured LGBTQ characters or storylines, characters with disabilities, if the book was a re-read, etc.). The bolded titles are just ones I liked an extra lot, to make it a little easier when I go to do “best of the year” type lists. And this is my Master spreadsheet, so it has info on it starting in 2011- I like having my data in one place, and can separate it later on if I want to.

0928 spreadsheet

When I start a book, I add it to the spreadsheet with as much info as I can and highlight it in that purple color. That first little column, A, is what tracks the number of books I’ve finished. I add the “1” once I finish a book and remove the highlight. As you’ll see, there are a couple books in grey-shaded cells that I never got around to finishing, but sometimes I find it interesting to go back and look at what books I quit. You can’t see it here, but in the very first cell under column N, I have a sum formula that shows total number of books read, it just updates automatically every time I add a 1 in column A. For tracking POC authors, I just add a “1” in that column if the author isn’t white and get the stats that way. You can create a column for basically anything you want to track. On my previous spreadsheet I had a column for publishers… until I decided I didn’t really care who the publishers were, so I deleted it.

It’s not perfect – using the filter in Google Docs doesn’t seem as easy as in Excel (apparently I have to change the date format of the finished column if I want to filter by month or year, ugh), but so far this has worked wonderfully. AND I have the Sheets app on my phone, so I can update it from anywhere. This was a big reason why I switched to Google Docs – I wanted to be able to update my spreadsheet from any place, without having to save various versions of it to my laptop or flash drives, etc. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to make some graphs and charts easily using Google Docs, but I haven’t played around with it yet. If anyone has any tips or tricks for Google Docs spreadsheets, I’m all ears.


There it is, in all it’s nerdy glory. What do you use to track your reading stats?


Top Ten Tuesday: Autumn TBR

the broke and the bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Ahh, what a nice and easy topic this week – Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR. This is kind of perfect, because I’ve been looking at the Read Harder Challenge and checking what I still need to cross off, so I have a good idea of what I want to seek out soon.

1 – Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – I heard about this on the Book Riot podcast, and I got the sample on my Kindle. It sounds super amazing – a Victorian kind of setting in an England in which the magic is disappearing, and the kind of “head” magician is a black man, and it’s his job to try to bring the magic back. And he apparently finds out that women’s magical abilities are being suppressed, which is nuts because they need all the magic they can get and women should be able to freely practice magic, and it just sounds feminist and fabulous. I ordered a paper copy from Amazon (because screw you publisher, I’m not paying fucking $12.99 for an e-book) and I’m about 80 pages in so far and it’s GREAT.

2 – The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma – I had this out from the library at one point but didn’t get around to reading it before it was due, and I’ve been regretting it. And now I’ve been hearing extra buzz because it’s shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. I really gotta get my hands on it again.

3 – On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss – This checks off the “indie press” category, and I’ve had the audiobook from Audible for a long while now but haven’t got around to it.

4 – Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – This book is BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW and guess who grabbed a copy at the library? That’s right. And it wasn’t even on the express shelf. Hell yeah. I actually have already kind of forgot what it’s about, but I remember hearing excitement about it and it’s on the NBA longlist, so it should be good, right?

5 – When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James – I tried reading an Eloisa James book before but got really annoyed with the main characters and DNF’ed. But, this one will count for the “fairy tale retelling” category and I’ve hardly read any romance this year, so why not. Better not ruin Beauty and the Beast for me though.

6 – Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found by Frances Larson – This sounds like it could a fun, disturbing, weird read and perfect for the “microhistory” category.

7 – Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah – I have had this on my Kindle for AGES. I’m going to focus on trying to read mostly digitally in October I think, so this will work for that and the “written by an author from Africa” category. I’ve read Beah’s memoir and that was really good. It’ll be interesting to see how his fiction is.

8 – The Dinner by Herman Koch – A book that got a lot of praise and that I have sitting on my shelf. It has an unreliable narrator… and that’s all I really remember from the description. It’ll cross off the “originally published in another language” category since it first came out in Dutch.

9 – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Alright, so one of the categories on the RH challenge is “book published before 1850”. I have never read Frankenstein, so I might FINALLY give that a go. I also kind of have Wuthering Heights in mind for this, but I don’t know if it counts since it would be a re-read. It’s been a couple years so I might re-read it anyways, I kind of miss it.

10 – Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan – This sounds like it might be a really fun read, and it’ll work for the “takes place in Asia” category. The dynamics between the old and young, and mainland Chinese and American-born Chinese, sound really interesting. I added it to my holds list on Overdrive.

Is there anything in particular you’re excited to read this fall? A new release, or something just perfect for the season?


Stuff I’ve Read – The Reluctant Fundamentalist and You’re Never Weird on the Internet

Hey, I’ve read some stuff! And I’m actually blogging about it! It’s a miracle.

The Reluctant Fundementalist by Mohsin Hamid is one of those books I’d heard of in an abstract way but never really got around to seeking it out. I happened to grab it at the library when I was looking for some slimmer reads for the last readathon, but left it sitting on my table until I heard Book Riot mention it on their podcast. (Some idiot student objected to this book and others required for the Literature of 9/11 course offered at the University of South Carolina.)

I’m glad I finally read it. The main character is from Pakistan, a man named Changez. He tells his story to an American visitor as they eat in a cafe in his hometown, and talks about his experiences as a young man in America – his desire to succeed at a prestigious company in NYC, and of falling in love with a distraught young woman. It takes place before and after 9/11, so you can see the shift that occurs in him once the towers are hit.

My thoughts on this are still percolating, and feel free to disagree with me at any point because at this point I’m kind of musing out loud. It feels like a very real look at how 9/11 led to an increase in prejudice, and how that prejudice has affected others. It looks at the impact of American foreign policy, and how it affects other country’s feelings and perceptions. It demonstrates that it’s possible to object to American foreign policy even while loving America and it’s people. Definitely a thought-provoking book and worth the read, even though I didn’t love the kind of non-ending it had.


Has anyone reading this ever seen Felicia Day’s show The Guild? I haven’t – I didn’t know who Felicia Day was until I saw Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog for the first time – but I totally want to check it out now. (She also has a book club called Vaginal Fantasy – check it out on Goodreads and Youtube. I don’t have much interest in this month’s picks, but I want to join in on it soon).

Anyways, You’re Never Weird on the Internet! and Felicia is pretty right about that. I just want to hug her. She seems like the COOLEST person. And I found her career so awe-inspiring – not really getting the acting jobs she wanted, she eventually made herself sit down and write something and it turned into a super popular web show that totally changed her life. She has so much tenacity and determination and I need more of that in my life. I love the feeling of THE INTERNET IS SO AMAZING WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE and I feel like it’s going to be a theme in a lot of memoirs in the coming years – so many amazing people are famous and doing incredible things now just because of the internet. And because the internet is so cool, I’m going to check out The Guild soon and start reading some Vaginal Fantasy book picks so I can cyber hang out with Felicia Day.

Also, if you haven’t watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog then you need to do that ASAP. It’s like 45 minutes long, I know you can squeeze it in.


Survey thingy comes to my rescue

I was going to do a Top Ten Tuesday post today about things I miss about reading and blogging all the time – like readalongs, and blog hopping/socializing, and feeling like a part of the book blogger community, and blah blah blah. It started to bum me out. BUT THEN Alley at What Red Read did a post that popped up on my Twitter feed and I was checking on her posts that I’ve missed and she did this survey thing, which sounds like so much more fun. Thank you Alley!

A – age: 28. Excited to be almost 29, which is almost 30. In my head, 30s are where it’s at.

B – biggest fear: Killer dolls. I can blame this either on Child’s Play movies, or those Goosebumps books about the dummies. Probably both.

This is gonna give me nightmares.

C – current time: PARTY TIME. No, I lied. It’s still morning.

D – drink you had last: Coffee. I should probably actually have some water or something.

E – easiest person to talk to: Treland, usually. And sometimes my sisters, and how funny you mention that because I wanted to have lunch with my sister today and talk to her but nooooo, she’s in a stupid meeting out of town. Damn.

F – favorite song: Uhh.. ummm… I don’t know. I listen to mostly podcasts and audiobooks these days. But I DO enjoy lots of songs by The Heavy lately.

G – grossest memory: Currently it’s that there was pee on our stoop at work. This is happened twice now. Drunk people are peeing on our doorstep in the middle of the night. We’re asking for a motion-sensor light to be installed to see if that deters people at all.  (And I say drunk people because there was an empty vodka bottle next to it one morning. Lovely.)

H – hometown: A place in NY that is not New York City, which is what people who don’t live in NY tend to assume.

I – in love with: The honeyman. Books and comics. Borderlands (whatever, that game is great. It is fun and ridiculous and inclusive and awesome).

J – jealous of: The teenage girl’s hair on Fear the Walking Dead.

K – kindest person you know: My sisters, and my friend Doni.

L – longest relationship: The honeyman, obviously. 8 years, hell yeah.

Soon we’re gonna be married and I’m gonna have to try to remember how long we’ve been together and how long we’ve been married and that’s just too complicated. So just assume that I’m always going from the time we started dating.
M – middle name: May.

N – number of siblings: Three. And we are all WILDLY different, but I love them all.

O – one wish: A credit card just for books that I never have to pay the bill for. But I’d settle for e-book pricing to go back to normal, because they are way too damn expensive lately and it’s really bugging me that every book I want to get on my Kindle is $10.99 or higher. That’s just insane. Overdrive and Scribd can only help so much.

P – person you spoke to last on the phone: My mom.

Q – question you’re always asked: Are you okay? (I have resting bitch face, I get asked this a lot.)

R – reason to smile: Sunshine through my window at my new work office, woohoo!

S – song you last sang: Some Lily Allen song.

T – time you woke up: 5:45 AM. And I really wish I could motivate my ass to start getting up at 4 again to go to the gym.

U – underwear color: Black. Yup, nothing exciting there.

V – vacation destination: Not sure. If we could afford a honeymoon, Hawaii would be nice, but we’ll probably end up postponing our honeymoon until we have the extra money, or just going to a little bed and breakfast for a couple days. But in the long run, I want to go to ALL the places.

W – worst habit: Stressing? Sometimes for potentially no reason?

X – x-rays you’ve had: I’m pretty sure none. I’ve had ultrasounds, but no x-rays.

Y – your favorite food: Chicken. And lately, froyo because this place in our mall is AMAZING. The last time I went I had espresso and peanut butter flavors, with marshmallow sauce, hot fudge, and peanuts on top. It was SO GOOD. I’d go get it every night if I could.

Z – zodiac sign: Pisces. I feel no sentimental attachment to my sign.

Well that was a hoot. Feel free to join on in, you guys.


The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander


“Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination – employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service – are suddenly legal. As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow. We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”

It feels like forever since I’ve done an actual complete book review. I’m out of practice, and inspiration has been in short supply. But I cannot just bypass reviewing this book and only doing a little mini-review at the end of the month.

If there’s a book you need to read right now, it’s this one. In fact, I’m actually asking you, (yes, YOU), to read this book.

Michelle Alexander takes a searing look at our criminal justice system and makes a solid case for it being the current form of maintaining a racial undercaste, designed specifically with the purpose of marking black men as criminals and then legally discriminating against them almost permanently afterwards, making them second-class citizens.

I cannot put into words how incredible this book is. It was published in 2010, and so much of what the author discusses seems to have double the impact, given the current Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality. What’s horrifying is how much she exposes that goes far beyond police brutality – the money the federal government gives to police to encourage them to harass and arrest people, the unjust and ridiculous laws that trap people in prison for lengthy amounts of time for non-violent crimes, and the ways that ex-offenders are discriminated against when they are released. The book ends on a somber note – abolishing or amending all of the laws, policies, and procedures that enable this mass discrimination and incarceration aren’t enough. Sure, they should still be changed – ex-offenders shouldn’t be barred from jury duty, we should switch to a system of addiction treatment instead of imprisonment – but the author points out that a new way of subjecting black citizens to being in an undercaste would likely arise. We would not be able to predict what form it would take (as hardly anyone was able to see how the current system evolved from the ashes of Jim Crow), but until we can move past racism as a society – we’ll likely be here again. And this brings me to probably one of the most important concepts in The New Jim Crow – that the current system of  discrimination via mass incarceration has been so successful because of colorblindness. In a time when almost everyone knows that it’s not okay to use racial slurs, it’s become nearly impossible to call anyone out on their racism – both personally, and legally.

“We could choose to be a nation that extends care, compassion, and concern to those who are locked up and locked out or headed for prison before they are old enough to vote. We could seek for them the same opportunities we seek for our own children; we could treat them like one of “us.” We could do that. Or we can choose to be a nation that shames and blames its most vulnerable, affixes badges of dishonor upon them at young ages, and then relegates them to a permanent second-class status for life. That is the path we have chosen, and it leads to a familiar place.”

Even if you think you know what this book entails, it’s well worth the read. You may already know and understand how the War on Drugs came to be and how it disproportionately affects black citizens, you may have first-hand experience in being discriminated against for a job because of a misdemeanor or felony on your record. But there’s still a lot to gain from reading this, trust me. Michelle Alexander does a fantastic job in making the book easily readable and the ideas flow smoothly from one to the next. I highlighted and underlined and took notes in the margins like crazy because there’s so much valuable information. And the 30 pages of notes and citations in the back read like a “For further reading list” – I’ve already added a lot of her sources to my Amazon wishlist.

The New Jim Crow is a must-read, and will definitely be on my top ten list of the year.

Sarah Says: 5 stars


August Mini-Review Recap

Man, August – you sucked. Lots of stuff happened (stupid it happens in threes rule of life), and August was annoyingly busy. I didn’t manage to read much, but here’s my smallish reviews on what I did read.


The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez – This is about a Mexican family, the Riveras, who comes to the US to help their daughter, who hasn’t been the same since a bad accident. I wasn’t expecting it, but this book was really touching and wonderful. The Riveras bond in unexpected ways with other immigrants in their Delaware community, and you get a little bit of heartbreaking backstory from everyone. I absolutely recommend to everybody, especially with the ridiculous, racist wave of immigrant-hate that Trump is spreading all over the place.


The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – I can’t believe I’ve never read a Faber book before this! So, a Christian preacher gets the opportunity to go to another planet to spread religion to the native inhabitants – but in doing so, he leaves his wife behind on Earth, at a time when the whole world seems to be falling apart. Fascinating and sad and SO well-written.

Heh, just noticed that both of those titles start with “The Book of…

The only other book/comic I read was a re-read, and that was Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. It was on Scribd, and it provided MANY laughs late at night when I should have been sleeping. Alright, let’s get to stats.


Books read: 3

Female authors: 2 (66%)

Non-white authors: 1 (33%)

Format breakdown: 2 print, 1 e-book

STATS – COMICS (including writers and illustrators)

Issues read: 38

Female authors/illustrators: 12

Non-white authors/illustrators: 10

Format breakdown: 30 print, 8 e-book

So, not horrible I guess. I read more comics in August than in July, and had more female and POC creators in the comics I read. I started an audiobook, How to Rob a Bank by the Freakonomics guys, but I got bored with it 2/3 of the way through and haven’t finished it yet. And I started The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander which is BRILLIANT and I totally would have finished in August if I wasn’t watching my nephew so much. I’ll be finishing it soon though.

And because I’ve just been too busy to do decent comic reviews, I wanted to mention some of my favorites this month:

  • Princeless by Jeremy Whitley and various artists (so good)
  • Fables: Volume 3 by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (loving this series but damn there’s so many volumes and they’re so expensive)
  • Rat Queens #11 by Kurtis Wiebe and Tess Fowler (am SO SO psyched that Tess Fowler is the new artist and looking forward to seeing issues more regularly)

So then. Have you read anything good lately?


September Monthly TBR

Well August turned out to be a little brat. I was expecting the last month of summer to be relaxed and not busy. I was SO wrong. Between my little sister being in the hospital (Lyme Disease), my grandma dying, my mom having kidney stone complications (she’s recovering from the surgery now), watching my nephew, and work being busy because of vacations and moving our office to a new location – CRAP it as hectic.

Anyways, so I ended up reading 3 books and 38 issues of comics. I am tentatively optimistic about September – my mom and nephew are still in town at least for the next couple weeks before moving to NYC to be with my little sister, so I’ll be baby-sitting more again. But who knows, maybe after that things will calm down.


From left to right…

  • Time Salvager by Wesley Chu – Wesley Chu’s Tao trilogy is absolutely awesome, so I’m really excited to dig into his new book. I am so in the mood for some good, intense sci-fi.
  • Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore – NEW CHRISTOPHER MOORE BOOK! And it’s a sequel to A Dirty Job, which is my second favorite of his books. I am hella excited to dive into this.
  • Concrete Park: Volume 1 by Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander – I forget how I heard about this, but it takes place on planet Oasis – where poor young people are shipped to mine for resources, which is a hopeless endeavor since nothing grows there. I also read articles that this was originally developed as a sci-fi show/film and pitched to a Hollywood studio exec who wanted to change the race of all of the characters. The creators decided not to go that route (thank goodness) and developed the story as a comic instead.

So that’s all I’m putting on my list this month. I have a lot of stuff left over from my pile last month that I’d still like to get to, so I’m purposely keeping my TBR post this month light.

What are you excited to read this month?