September TBR

A new month means a whole new bunch of books to read!

GRAPHIC NOVELS

The Punisher: The Complete Collection Volume One written by Garth Ennis

Synopsis via Goodreads
Experience the gritty and uncompromising Punisher MAX from the very beginning! When a mob hit killed his beloved wife and children, Frank Castle became the Punisher – an unstoppable one-man army waging war on every piece of criminal scum plaguing New York’s streets. But do the Punisher’s origins trace back even further? In 1971 Vietnam, Captain Castle’s platoon faces a Viet Cong attack…and to survive, he must make a grim choice. Then, Punisher’s old partner Microchip, long thought to be a casualty of Castle’s war, resurfaces with a startling offer!

I’ve always had a bit of a thing for misunderstood villains. (Magneto was, and still is, my all time favorite comic book character). Netflix’s Daredevil made me fall in love all over again with Frank Castle. I’ve never read Garth Ennis’ run of The Punisher but thanks to numerous patron’s telling me that it’s one of those “You have to read it” collections I’ve finally picked it up.

BORROW || BUY

Black Panther: The Complete Collection Volume Two

Synopsis (via back of novel)

When T’Challa falls to the one foe he’s never beaten, Killmonger earns the right to become the new Black Panther! Now, only Everett K. Ross can save T’Challa’s life — okay, Ross plus Moon Knight, Brother Voodoo and the Panther God! Still suffering, the deposed Wakandan leader finds himself caught in a cat trap with the Avengers and…Deadpool?! Storm of the X-Men offers comfort as Wakanda finds itself on the verge of war with Lemuria and Atlantis — and Klaw, Malice and Man-Ape threaten to destroy the African Avenger once and for all! Plus: Ross spends a day in Mephisto’s metaphorical shoes, and Captain America recounts his never-before-revealed wartime meeting with the former Black Panther, T’Chaka! Super heroics meet geopolitics as only Priest can mix them

Volume One was dope, so I’m ever so happily moving onto Volume Two. I do need to pick up the pace though when it comes to me reading these since folk have been putting them on hold a lot recently.

BORROW || BUY

NONFICTION

Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Marting, Jr.

Synopsis (via Goodreads)

Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement and its disastrous unraveling. Informed by twelve years of meticulous archival research, as well as familiarity with most of the former Party leadership and many rank-and-file members, this book is the definitive history of one of the greatest challenges ever posed to American state power.

I was super excited when I saw this was going to be SFPL’s One City One Book selection for 2017. My knowledge of the Black Panther Party definitely isn’t where I want it to be and it would probably be practically non-existent if I didn’t go to San Francisco State University. I’m super looking forward to attending some of the lectures/programs that are going to be going on around this book!

BORROW || BUY

#TellEveryone: Why We Share & Why It Matters by Alfred Hermida

Synopsis (via Goodreads)
Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters is an unapologetic antidote to the endless handwringing about social media. It is a much-needed alternative to the commentators who blather on about the perils of the Internet and social media. Tell Everyone is a manifesto on the power of social media and the ways in which it can be harnessed for good.
Bringing together journalistic flair and academic rigour, online news pioneer and social media maven Alfred Hermida debunks the idea of Twitter as an echo chamber or Instagram as a place for narcissists. Instead Hermida places our fears about social media in context by showing how we have always been suspicious about new ways to communicate. He takes on the notion of slacktivism to show how individuals come together through social media to push for the common good.
Tell Everyone reveals how social media is becoming the planet’s nervous system. It highlights how we are using social media to amplify the power of individuals, challenge elites and make decisions, from choosing politicians to doing business to raising money for charity. Tell Everyone is a must-read tour of journalistic blunder, corporate PR fiascos, social movements and revolutions

Honestly, the main reason I’m reading this is because I have to write a context review/reflective essay for my Information Communities class and this seemed like the most interesting book out the selection of books we could write about. *shrug*

BORROW || BUY

FICTION

Black Wave by Michelle Tea

Black WaveIt’s 1999 in San Francisco, and as shockwaves of gentrification sweep through Michelle’s formerly scruffy neighborhood, money troubles, drug-fueled mishaps, and a string of disastrous affairs send her into a tailspin. Desperate to save herself, Michelle sets out to seek a fresh start in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, climate-related disruptions and a string of extinctions are the background noise of impending doom. One day, Michelle wakes up to an official announcement: the world will be ending in exactly one year. Daily life in Los Angeles quickly becomes intensely surreal.
Humans begin to collectively dream of the lives and loves they would have had, if not for the end of the world, and the lines between fantasy and reality become increasingly blurred. As the planet nears its expiration date, Michelle holes up in an abandoned bookstore and calmly begins to write—convinced she’s finally stumbled upon the elusive “universal story”—a novel about a struggling writer facing the end of the world.
Funny, gritty, improbable, and endearing, Black Wave muses on the hallucinatory confusions of addiction, the hope and despair of a barely published writer, notions of destiny, and the porous boundaries between memoir and fiction.

However could I resist a book that starts off in San Francisco? I mean, seriously! I love books that start off in my ever so lovely foggy, overpriced, diverse, techy city. This was another of those books that quite literally fell into my hands at work one day and I made me go “oooooooo”.

BORROW || BUY

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Who Fears Death

In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means “Who Fears Death?” in an ancient African tongue.
Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny – to end the genocide of her people. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, the spiritual mysteries of her culture – and eventually death itself.

My roomie sent me an article about how this book is going to be adapted for TV and produced my George R.R. Martin and I sharply inhaled and ran off into the stacks to see if my library had a copy. Alas, it did not so I had to request this one via Link+. I absolutely loved Binti and I’m really looking forward to reading one of her longer works.

BORROW || BUY

YUP.

& that sums up what I’m planning on reading this month. Let me know what you plan on reading or what you’re currently reading!

September 9th

Maddy Leonard's portrait.
Photo credit: Maddy Leonard (Sept. 1st, 2015: Engagement photoshoot out-take)

Two years ago today I was supposed to get married to my high school sweetheart; the same sweetheart I wrote 9 Minutes about.

Today is one of those days where I reflect on the relationship that I have with myself; along with the relationships I have with my family, friends, and current/potential lovers.

I stress the importance of remaining myself; of not sacrificing a part of my soul to satisfy the ego of another. I stress the importance of people such as my Dad and best cousin/friend, the co-workers who essentially became family, and the people who spent time helping me plan and then helping me heal. I stress the importance of loving without fear. & I stress the importance of listening to my intuition.

However, today is also a day where I feel off. I tend to feel worried, stressed, and anxious. I’m on edge. I’m paranoid. I avoid certain places and people. I jump whenever my phone rings or a text message comes through – because even though his number is blocked there are always ways around that. I feel a deep guilt that makes no sense for me to feel because there was nothing I would have done differently. 

It’s overwhelming. There’s so much relief, fear, resentment, anger, exhaustion, joy, and just overall emotional bullshit going on with me today that I don’t even know how to process it all.

– Rae