October TBR

GRAPHIC NOVEL

WYTCHES VOL. 1

Synopsis (from back of novel):
When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry.

_

I haven’t read a “scary” graphic novel in a while. I think the last one that I read was The Field and that one was more ~trippy~ than scary. However, I’ve shelved this one a few times at work, heard the occasional good thing about it from people who’ve checked it out and I’ve decided that October is the perfect month for me to give a read.

 

BORROW || BUY

 

“JUNIOR FICTION”

HOW I GOT MY SHRUNKEN HEAD

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
What has two eyes, a mouth, and wrinkly green skin? Mark’s shrunken head! It’s a present from his Aunt Benna. A gift from the jungle island of Baladora.

And Mark can’t wait to show the kids at school!
But late one night the head starts to glow. Because it’s actually no ordinary head. It gives Mark a strange power. A magical power. A dangerous power…

I haven’t read a Goosebumps book in forever and this one is definitely on my Re-Reading Childhood Favorites list. I think this is the first Goosebumps book that I read and I’m looking forward to seeing if it will still ~creep~ me out.
Also, as a quick sidenote: does anyone know why they changed the original covers of the books? These new covers kinda sorta suck😔

BORROW || BUY

 

THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY’S TOMB

Synopsis (taken from back of novel):
Something dead has been here…

Gabe just got lost – in a pyramid. One minute, his crazy cousin Sari was right ahead of him in the pyramid tunnel. The next minute, she’d disappeared. 
But Gabe isn’t alone. Someone else is in the pyramid, too.
Someone. Or some thing.
Gabe doesn’t believe in the curse of the mummy’s tomb. 
But that doesn’t mean that the curse isn’t real.
Does it?

Ok, see, now these are the covers that I love and remember. I’m pretty sure this was maybe the second or third Goosebumps book that I read and it’s one of the ones that I actually still own so I figured I might as well add it to my October TBR / Childhood Favorites Re-reads.

BORROW || BUY (AbeBooks)

 

ADULT FICTION

NOCTURNAL

Synopsis (taken from inner flap):
Homicide detective Bryan Clauser is losing his mind. How else to explain the dreams he keeps having—dreams that mirror, with impossible accuracy, the gruesome serial murders taking place all over San Francisco? How else to explain the feelings these dreams provoke in him—not disgust, not horror, but excitement?
As Bryan and his longtime partner, Lawrence “Pookie” Chang, investigate the murders, they learn that things are even stranger than they at first seem. For the victims are all enemies of a seemingly ordinary young boy—a boy who is gripped by the same dreams that haunt Bryan.  Meanwhile, a shadowy vigilante, seemingly armed with superhuman powers, is out there killing the killers.  And Bryan and Pookie’s superiors—from the mayor on down—seem strangely eager to keep the detectives from discovering the truth.

Doubting his own sanity and stripped of his badge, Bryan begins to suspect that he’s stumbled into the crosshairs of a shadow war that has gripped his city for more than a century—a war waged by a race of killers living in San Francisco’s unknown, underground ruins, emerging at night to feed on those who will not be missed. 
And as Bryan learns the truth about his own intimate connections to the killings, he discovers that those who matter most to him are in mortal danger…and that he may be the only man gifted—or cursed—with the power to do battle with the nocturnals. 

Weird murders taking place in San Francisco, uh yes please. Seriously, who doesn’t love to read books that take place in their own city?

BORROW || BUY

PET SEMATARY

Synopsis (taken from back of novel):
When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son—and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat.
But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth—more terrifying than death itself…and hideously more powerful.

This was the first Stephen King book that I read back in the 7th grade and I’ve re-read this book every single October since. Honestly, it is one of my all time favorite books.

 

BORROW || BUY

 

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

 

Weekly Reading Goals | August 20th – 26th

I “go back” (I’m in an online grad program) to school on the 23rd so I’m really not planning on reading a ton of stuff when I know I’m most likely going to be stressed out of my mind. I have three reading goals for this week, one graphic, one work of fiction and one non-fiction book and let me just tell you about ’em!

GRAPHIC NOVELS

March Book Three

March: Book Three (March, #3)I have made it to the final book in John Lewis’ March trilogy! The second one left off with the Birmingham Church bombing and I believe this one is going to cover the Freedom Summer (getting blacks to vote) and the Selma march. As per usual, I’m excited to see how John Lewis chooses to depict the events and what he decides to place emphasis on.

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

 

 

 

FICTION

The Stone Sky

The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)I absolutely love Jemisin’s approach to fantasy/science fiction. I mean, seriously LOVE it. So when I got the call from the bookstore where I pre-ordered this lovely piece of work I practically dropped everything that I was doing in order to pick it up. This is the last book in her Broken Earth trilogy and you can definitely tell that events are starting to come to an end. I’m loving that even though the series is ending Jemisin’s world building is still on point.  I’m almost finished with this novel and I honestly can’t see myself not finishing it up this week.

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

 

NONFICTION

Why Do Fools Fall in Love

 I’ve been having some major issues with love lately. I’m still dealing with the mental aftermath of having lost probably one of the most amazing partners ever and it’s really starting to wear on me. I’ve been through a complete doozy of mini-relationships and one-night stands. And I do want to say that not all my one-night stands are sexual; the majority are emotional but I’ll get into that at a later date. This book caught my eye in April – when my relationship was still “good” and now that it’s 110% over, this book sounds like something that I need to read. The why’s and how’s of love fascinate me and I just need to figure some ish out. I’m sick of love, but I miss being in love and I want to know why I’m stuck in that mindset. There are 10 chapters in this book and my goal is to read the first 5.

BORROW || PURCHASE

AND THERE WE HAVE IT

Those are my reading goals for this week. Let me know what you plan on reading this week, and what types of blog posts/videos you would like to see from me. My current  to-do list consists of how I scheudle my reading, a few book reviews, a book buying tag and a tattoo show-and-tell. I also eventually want to go into my graduate program but I think I’m going to hold off on that until I’ve completed a whole year. But yes, let me know what you would like to see from me!

Hope you have a wonderful day & read a wonderful book,
Rae

 

Weekly Wrap Up || August 6th – 12th

We are totally going to pretend that I posted this in a timely manner. Thank you for your cooperation😂

COMPLETED GOALS

Deadly Class Vol. 5: Carousel

This was definitely a dope ass volume with an even crazier ending than the 4th. The new freshman class is pretty insane and the new group of friends that the story follows is definitely a group I can get behind. They play D&D and have a more “innocent” nature than the group in the first four volumes. However, I didn’t manage to get around to rereading the previous volumes, but when my TBR pile has dwindled down and I’ve gotten around to filming a view of the reviews I have typed up I fully intend on getting around to reading those.

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

March: Book 2

As I mentioned in my goals video, I’m not reading this series with the intent of learning anything incredibly new. I’m reading this series to see if it conveys a historical message in a way that I feel comfortable with recommending for youngish people and people unfamiliar with the Civil Rights movement. This book focuses first on the Freedom Riders and then on the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; the same march where MLK Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech”.  So far it’s been a good series and I’m definitely enjoying how the history is being told and portrayed.

BORROW || PURCHASE

Black Panther: The Complete Collection Vol. 1

This was also a dope read. I didn’t realize that Christoper Priest was the same person who wrote Static Shock, and that was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid! This volume definitely did not disappoint and I loved the way how the story evolved throughout the issues. I actually enjoyed that this was told from Everett’s POV. At first I thought that I was going to get too much of Everett and not enough of T’Challa but it was a very nicely done balance of the two.

BORROW || PURCHASE

Hypatia

This was a very cool look into how philosophy was viewed, taught, and coexisted with Christian theology in late antiquity. I went into this knowing only that Hypatia had something to do with Cyril of Alexandra and that she was murdered by a mob. I enjoyed the amount of research that Watts did and the amount of time that he spent explaining background details. I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who isn’t already slightly familiar with late antiquity or to someone who expects this to be solely about Hypatia. This is about Hypatia, her world, and why her life mattered.

BORROW || PURCHASE

In the Wake

I’m going to be honest, like super honest, the only reason why I decided to finish this book this week is because I honestly did not enjoy it. The thought of having to continue onward with this book next week just did not make me excited for reading so I just gritted my teeth and powered through. Now! If you follow me on Goodreads, you may have noticed that I gave this book 4/5 stars. I will not deny that this book is beautifully written, well researched, nicely formatted and all that jazz. It is definitely a four-star (or even five-star) book. It’s just not my book and I didn’t agree with a lot of Sharpe’s criticisms. To me, and I truly mean this as to only myself, this is one of those books that made me feel uncomfortable to be bi-racial. It’s a long story and I’ll probably write a blog post about it some other time but that was just the vibe that this book gave me.

BORROW || PURCHASE

ALL THE GOALS WERE COMPLETED!

I’d do a mini-wrap up for August 13-19th but honestly, I only read one book, Virgin Soul by Judy Juanita, half-assedly started on Garth Ennis’ Punisher and I full-heartedly started on N.K. Jemisin’s The Stone Sky. So, nothing that warranted it’s own blog post. Hopefully (if I get my act together) I shall see you tomorrow with a new round of reading goals!

Hope you have a wonderful day & read a wonderful book,
Rae

A Letter to an Ex-Lover; A Voicemail Never Sent

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You were someone who I deeply respected from the get go. Someone who I looked up to when I was younger and continued to look up to once I truly got to know you as an adult.

I told you all my secrets. I laid open my soul to you, but not in the most beautiful way. You saw the ugliest parts of it. You saw the part of me that was shattered; broken down from years upon years of mental and physical abuse. You watched me try to piece myself back together and you saw a me that truly hated myself for my inability to understand the why or how of what had happened.

You also saw something else. I want to say that you saw the beauty in my brokenness, but I know that’s not it. That’s much too poetic. I think what you saw was the me that could have been. The me that would been me if my life had gone differently and a part of me hates you for seeing that. A part of me truly hates you for seeing me not as myself, but as an idolized version of me. As your own projection of someone who I wasn’t, and someone who I had no intention on being.

The worst part is. I tried to make your projection, my reality.

I was fascinated by you. Fixated on you. I’d even say obsessed with you.

I changed my standards. I changed some of my behaviors. Some, not all. I wanted so badly to be yours. I wanted so badly to be the me that you thought I should have been, that I completely ignored the me that I was in the moment.

On one hand, you made me feel special. You treated me like I meant something to you. You treated me like I was worth investing in. You treated me like I had potential.

But, on the other hand, you made me feel worthless. You made me feel like I wasn’t quite good enough. That I wasn’t perfect. You made me feel like a failure. Like all the good things were just a bribe for my silence. A bribe for your inability to see me as I really was; A broken girl struggling to become a less broken woman. A bribe that was an empty statement.

“I wouldn’t say never”

How those words haunted me. How the possibility of a future with you clouded my present. How I stopped focusing on the things that I needed to clear up with myself. The things that I needed to get out of my soul and heart. I was out of my mind because my mind was such a fucked up place to be.

I wish you could have seen me for who I was. I wish you had listened to the pain in my voice when I asked you if we could be more than whatever we were. I wish you had heard that pain and done the responsible thing.

Walk away.

Because there was no way you were going to commit to me in the way that I desired and I know that you knew that was what I needed.

You were (maybe still are?) one of the few people who knew what I wanted before I even did. And I say that with true confidence.

I wish you had respected me enough to let me do the things that I had to do. I wish you had respected me enough to try to understand my thought process and to try and understand why I did what I did.

I wish you could have supported me, but I understand why you couldn’t.

You saw the broken me.

At the end of the day, I should have been honest. I should have been honest with you and myself.  I shouldn’t have let my fear of losing you override all my common sense. I shouldn’t have pretended that I was fine, that I was ok with our situationship. I should have spoken up and I should have left you alone. I should have understood that you weren’t The One, and I want you to take that as however you want because honestly, there’s no wrong to interpret it.

I loved you with a love I didn’t know I was capable of. I loved you in the way I couldn’t love myself. I trusted you in a way that was unfair, because I trusted you with too much. I trusted you with the things that I couldn’t trust about myself.

At the end of the day, I put too much on you and not enough on me.

I want to thank you.

Thank you for carrying the load for me when I was too weak to do it myself. And thank you for teaching me a bit about myself and for reawaking passions I forgot I had.

I’m mine now,
Rachel

Weekly Reading Goals || August 6th – 12th

I’m bringing back the “Weekly Reading Goals” you guys!

This week it’s mostly me trying to knock out a decent chunk of my August TBR. Since posting my August TBR I have finished with Talon of God and March Book One.

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Deadly Class Vol. 5: Carousel

(and potentially Vols. 1-4)

I mentioned in my August TBR video that I’m really excited about volume 5 of this series. Some of the freshmen from the first four volumes have made it to sophomore status at Kings Dominion School of the Deadly Arts and there is also a new freshmen class to replace those lost from the last school year. Saya is one of my favorite characters so I’m looking forward to seeing how she moves forward from the events of the last volume.

The reason why I want to re-read volumes 1-4 is because I want to do a review on the series and I need to refresh my memory on them before I even attempt to do that. I currently have the previous four volumes checked out via Hoopla (awesome app – swear I’m not sponsored) and I’m looking forward to reading them again.

BORROW || PURCHASE

March Book 2

Since posting my August TBR I have finished with Book One of the March trilogy. March is about the life of John Lewis one of the key figures of the Civil Rights movement. If you’re super familiar with the Civil Rights movement and John Lewis you might want to sit this series out, but if you’re unfamiliar you might want to give it a try. I’m going to do a full review of this series once I actually finish reading through it so stay tuned for that. I’m looking at it more as a potential educational resource that I can recommend to young people or to people who really don’t know anything about the Civil Rights movement. I know the majority of my history so I’m pretty familiar with the events of these graphic novels, but I am finding them to be engaging enough to keep me reading.

BORROW || PURCHASE

Black Panther: The Complete Collection Vol. 1

Yooo, I’ve been on a Black Panther kick lately. I’ve had this one checked out from the library for a while now and I think I have to return it soon because someone else has requested it. This is part of a five volume series that covers the 1998 run of Black Panther as written by Christopher Priest. This volume collects issues 1-17 and I’m currently on issue 8. This volume focuses on T’Challa’s reputation as a statesman through the eyes of government official Everett K. Ross, his relationship with the Avengers, and a coup in Wakanda. I would love to finish this volume this week.

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

NONFICTION

Hypatia

I only have 50 pages of this book to go so I see no reason as to why I shouldn’t be able to finish it this week. I can’t really say much about this book besides from the fact that I’m really enjoying learning about Hypatia and how education worked in late antiquity.

 

 

 

 

 

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

In The Wake

Since I’m going to finishing Hypatia this week I figure I might as well start on In The Wake. My goal is to read the first two chapters since this is a four chapter book. All I really know about this book is that Sharpe is interrogating the literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian (every day) representations of Black life. It sounds super educational and I’m (as usual) looking forward to getting started on it.

 

 

 

 

BORROW || PURCHASE

 

_____

What do you plan on reading this week?