Checking in + Blogger Links

What I Blogged About This Week:

closerPlease check out my review of Closer Than You Think by science fiction writer S.A. Barton. I don’t read many short stories, as a rule, but this was a hit with me, and it inspired me to start occasionally writing short stories again.

What are some of your favorite short story collections?

What I Am Reading:

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Holy shit…this book! It’s absolutely soul-crushing, but I can’t put it down. Which is another way of saying, yes — so far, this novel actually lives up to the hype.

As you’ve probably heard, it’s an alternate history of slavery in the nineteenth century US in which the underground railroad is not metaphorical — it’s actually an underground railroad, of sorts, complete with a locomotive. It’s labyrinthine and erratic, struggling to adapt to changing political tides and other circumstances, and it takes the protagonist, Cora, on a strange, terrifying journey through an alternative version of the antebellum South.

It doesn’t sound like a premise that would work, but it does. Based on what I’ve seen so far, the story is essentially a pastiche of our country’s long history of racism. It starts with a complex and brutal portrait of slavery on a Georgia plantation and incorporates many other elements of this ugly history — including eugenics and the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiments — which many people struggle to sanitize or forget altogether. Obviously, this is not for the faint of heart, but it’s gorgeously written and brilliant. Definitely brilliant — and I don’t use that word lightly.

Have you read this novel? What do you think?

What I Am Listening To: Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

What I Am Watching: I haven’t watched any movies or shows lately, but I just purchased Moonlight and preordered Get Out. I’m deliberately avoiding all reviews and discussions of Get Out, because I want to go in more or less blind. I hope it’s as terrific as everyone says it is.

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My reaction whenever I catch up on current events.

What I Am Cooking: spicy tuna wraps

What’s Going On Off the Blog: My thirteen-year-old “baby” is having mood swings — the Puberty Fairy is on the horizon. And as further proof that nature has a sadistic sense of humor, this coincides with the arrival of the Menopause Fairy. That bitch has basically taken up residence, put her feet up on the table, and refused to leave. She’s even demanding a cup of tea.

What an epic suck-fest.

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4 thoughts on “Checking in + Blogger Links

  1. Spicy tuna wraps…mmmm. Hadn’t heard of the novel The Underground Railroad, but that premise is awesome. I’m a little biased because I clearly remember thinking that Harriet Tubman was literally travelling underground from plantation to plantation, hopping in and out of trap doors in slave quarters all over the south and eventually making her way north with those she freed. Of course, I was like 7, but still. Gotta get my hands on that book. Can’t wait until you see Moonlight and Get Out. Thanks for the link!

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  2. The Underground Railroad is on my wish list. I am glad you are enjoying it so far. It sounds like quite a read.

    I had to chuckle as I read your off the blog news–more in sympathy than anything else. And because of the image it creates. Puberty meets menopause. I feel for you on all counts!

    Thank you for the link, Stephanie!

    I hope you are enjoying your week!

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