Lists, Reviews

Two Books That Are Gonna Hurt: In the Cold & Kingdom of Scars

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you’re doing well, enjoying your candy, your classic and not-so-classic horror movies, hiding under the cover reading THAT novel. You know the one, the one that makes you shiver, makes you quiver, makes the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up and then when you’ve put it away infiltrates your dreams.

Now normally around this time of year, I try to read something scary, or horrific. I try to find books that make me want to turn the page as quickly as I can and simultaneously make me not want to, so I can hold onto that feeling of fear for just a little bit longer.

This year however, I found myself not doing so. I didn’t even pick up a vampire novel until last night. Strange isn’t it?

Instead I read two books that hurt, and when I say hurt, I mean you care so deeply, so infinitely about these characters that you wish you could take care of them yourself.

Continue reading “Two Books That Are Gonna Hurt: In the Cold & Kingdom of Scars”

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Reviews

The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut as a Feminist Icon

The Woman Who Would Be KingHatshepsut has been in my periphery as something amazing, something more for as long as I can remember. I remember little blurbs about her in books I saw as a child on Egyptian history. I saw her statue at the British Museum when I was only 18 years of age, and marvelled at the thought of a woman so powerful.

So when I saw given the opportunity to read this book, I leapt at it with both hands.

It should be noted though, that I am not an Egyptologist and when it comes to mythology I tend to lean toward the Greeks and Romans, for no reason in particular.

But the idea of a female Pharaoh? It appeals. Especially in a world where women are often still treated as second class citizens.

I of course, went into it with little understanding of Egyptian life, and therefore this book was definitely a breath of fresh air.

Kara Cooney cares about Hatshepsut, and the history of Egypt, something which is clear in the writing about this Queen. Half-historical and half-speculative fiction this book weaves a wonderful tale and characterization of the female Pharaoh from the beginning of her life, when she was a mere child, raised in Egyptian nurseries to taking up the mantle.

There are passages such as the one below, which enrich the display of power earned by one woman, with help from her own mother that drew me in.

Hatshepsut has the misfortune to be antiquity’s female leader who did everything right, a woman who would match her wit and energy to a task so seamlessly that she made no waves of discontent that have been recorded. For Hatshepsut, all that endured were remnants of her success, props for later kings who never had to give her the credit she deserved.

This passage, a reminder of what would have been left after her, perhaps those who were ungrateful of having “endured” a female ruler, but along with many others speak of how powerless women really were then. And perhaps those feelings are echoed, in some way how powerless women are today.

It is this book that showed me, in some small way, how far the world has come, but how much we have to learn from each other, from women from other regions, from other times.

Reviews

Review: A Life Apart

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I don’t really know what to say about this book. It evoked so many emotions in me that I cannot even begin to explain them all.

It made me sad, when I started reading it thinking about the way the world once was, how people were segregated and treated, as history fell on the page before me wrapped up in fiction. The writing is evocative, and well thought out, though parts of it did seem rushed. The multiple points of view were definitely appreciated as it allowed me to slip into the minds of each character.

The depictions of racial tension were wrought with emotion, and terror. It’s something I’m not entirely sure we’re over today, in fact I’m certain we’re not, which was brought to the front of my mind as hate speech was thrown out by those too ignorant to realize we’re all human, that we all bleed the same and that we all hurt the same.

None of these characters are without flaws, from Morris who doesn’t know when to admit to his own mistakes, Agnes who fights to remain ignorant of them, Beatrice who perhaps should’ve known when to walk away and their children who were all touched in some way or another by their parents actions.

It is a beautiful book, and I certainly enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read historical fiction.

Lists

Comic Books I’m Loving Right Now

I, like many other singles in their twenties have a personal profile on a dating site, on that site for the longest time as my headline were the words, “Must love comic books and comic book movies.”

I’ve since changed it, and am not really interested in dating so much as I am interested in my next trip. But my love of comic books remains the same.

So without further ado, the comic books that you should be reading.

 

810YhrDk40LHawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja

Besides the fact that Hawkeye has always intrigued me as an Avenger, and out of the Avengers this is one of the best written and drawn comic series’ of the current time. Trust me on that. Not only is Hawkeye often in trouble, as he always is, but the other characters in it are amazing. I’ll admit, I didn’t know much about Kate Bishop before this, but I sure as hell know a lot about her now.

It’s a breath of fresh air, full of wit, drama, angst and strong characters.

 

portrait_incredibleMs Marvel by G Willow Wilson amongst others such as Jamie McKelvie, Sara Pichelli, and Adrian Alphona

Marvel Now is doing some awesome things right now, so many awesome things that sometimes I can’t even handle it, nor can my bank account. Seriously, it’s become a problem.

But this, this comic, in which Ms. Marvel isn’t really Ms. Marvel but might in fact be more Ms. Marvel than she has been in years, in terms of what that means. She is Muslim, she is a teenage girl, she messes up, she feels self-conscious but she is herself.

And it is glorious. If you haven’t picked this up, or don’t think that’s a big deal you need to do it anyway.

portrait_incredible-3Black Widow by Edmonson and Noto

She has relatively normal proportions. SHE HAS RELATIVELY NORMAL PROPORTIONS. She is also a badass, and she doesn’t take crap from anyone, male or female and I love her for it. This is a new era for Black Widow, given her portrayal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it is awesome.

This comic takes no prisoners, and no names, it is unapologetic in its violence, and in it’s blunt nature and I love it for it.

 

Sex_Criminals_CoverSex Criminals by Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction

Now if you want a comic that’s unapologetic, and goofy, yet means so much this is it. There is no holds barred (though at the same time there’s…holds in other ways), it is comedic, and clever and witty. This comic shows us how ridiculous we are in being so inhibited in even talking about sex.

It’s just brimpin’ awesome.