Category Archives: things i read this week

Things I read this year: My favourite books of 2016

2016 has basically been a left-up toilet seat of a year, but it wasn’t all terrible. Some great books were published that I gobbled up like a little library gremlin. If you haven’t read these books yet, I strongly recommend you resolve to do so in 2017. Get in quickly, before the world ends.

Non-fiction

The Good Immigrant (Edited by Nikesh Shukla)- This collection of essays from black, Asian and minority ethic writers in Britain explores what life is like. Some are funny. Some stir up fury. Some will make you cry. They are all beautifully-written, smart and moving. Shukla has done a jaw-dropping job in assembling these voices and putting together a collection of must-read meditations on living on this rainy fascism island.

Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain (Edited by Kate Harrad)- A collection of writing, interviews, essays, poems and commentary on bisexuality and its many intersections. It examines the challenges bisexual people faces, and honestly examines bi activism–the good, and the things that we need to work harder on. It’s a great introduction for would-be allies and those who think they might be bicurious, yet also an important read for hardened bi activists.

Fiction

Virus (Linda Stupart)- I honestly can’t really explain this novella, so I’ll quote from the blurb: “WHAT TO EXPECT IN THIS BOOK:* tentacle sex * Kathy Acker * the violent deaths of male genius artists, philosophers and theorists * zombies * sirens * biohacking * rampant plagiarism * cop killing * spells you can use at home”. You get all of that, and more.

Everything Belongs To The Future (Laurie Penny)- Penny’s debut long-form fiction is a dystopian near-future where time is a commodity which the rich hoard, and a ragtag gang of scruffy anarchos want to change this. It’s a terrifyingly plausible dystopia, and the characters are highly recognisable if you’ve ever moved in activist circles.

An Accident of Stars (Foz Meadows)- This fantasy novel is a revival of everything that was enjoyable about your classic portal fantasy novel, but without the stuff that made them annoying (e.g. being all about a bunch of white men). It’s great fun whether you are usually a fantasy reader, or whether you’re new to the genre.

The Turning Tide (Dr Brook Magnanti)- If you’re a fan of thrillers, this is one for you. It’s got grisly murders, political conspiracies, and also, queer rowers, just to sweeten the deal. I also really enjoyed the fact that this is a thriller which actually understands the social media age, rather than just parps it in as a plot device without getting what’s going on.

Happy reading, friends. If you got book tokens or money for Christmas, I strongly recommend buying all of these books, and there’s only six of them, so you can probably burrow through them quite quickly.

This is probably my last post of 2016, so 🖕🖕🖕🖕 to the year!

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Things I read this week that I found interesting

For once, this is actually weekly. Enjoy these links.

All politics is “identity politics” (Maya Goodfellow)- This should be required reading for everyone.

Statement on the endemic sexual violence perpetrated by police officers. (Sex Worker Open University)- A necessary analysis of police as perpetrators.

“San Junipero” Is A Beautiful, Haunting Queer Love Story With Mixed Messages About Disability (Valerie Anne and Carrie Wade)- A conversation about the good and not-so-good in the best episode of Black Mirror.

Smear Fear (Annabel Sowemimo)- A black woman’s perspective on cervical smear testing.

The Chicken Connoisseur – On The Exploitation of Black Creativity (Everliving Roots)- The problems with going viral, and white exploitation of creativity from black people.

For the love of God, stop donating canned goods to the food bank (Tristin Hopper)- This warning is important. Always ask your foodbanks what they need–cash? Specific items?–rather than just donating whatever is in your cupboard.

Why Do Innocent Women Confess to Crimes They Didn’t Commit? (Amanda Knox)- Highlighting an often-overlooked aspect of examining false confessions.

A simplified political history of Big Data (Flavia Dzodan)- This accessible history of data is vital.

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Things I read recently that I found interesting

It’s that occasional round-up again!

Same as it ever was, only much worse (Dykes To Watch Out For)- In our hour of need, DTWOF returned after eight years hiatus!

Oral History: In 1985 Mr. Snuffleupagus Shocked ‘Sesame Street’ (various)- A really sweet oral history of how the decision was made to reveal Mr Snuffleupagus as real, and how it tied in to teaching children being abused that they would be believed.

Juridified Dispossession: Brexit, Migrant Workers and the Law (Gracie May Bradley)- What will Brexit mean for workers’ rights? Bad things, very very bad things.

Prejudice, “Political Correctness,” and the Normalization of Donald Trump (Julia Serano)- Theorising about the rejection of “identity politics” and what we can do next.

Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy (Moira Weigel)- A history of the myth of “political correctness” and fighting this imaginary enemy led to Trump’s election.

The eroticization of abusers: from jizz in the face feminism to dapper white supremacists (Flavia Dzodan)- Examining and unpicking a particular strand of fuckery within white feminism.

From inside Colnbrook: my drawing is my feeling (Jay)- A young man in detention talks about the impact of detention and shares art he has produced.

Five Tropes Fanfic Readers Love (And One They Hate) (Flourish Klink)- Analysing preferences of fanfic readers and presenting massive survey results.

‘I knew I was home’: a trans woman’s journey through porn (Nadika Nadja)- A side of porn we rarely talk about.

It’s Time To Retire the “No Blacks, No Asians” Topic (Angry Black Hoemo)- Why discussions of racism in the gay community are limited in scope and unlikely to bring about much change.

No One Makes It Out Alive (Casey Plett and Morgan M Page)- Developing a trans reading of Little Shop of Horrors.

And finally, ever wanted to see a capybara farting in the bath to the chagrin of some ducks? Of course you do.

 


Things I read recently that I found interesting

Welcome to the semi-regular link round-up. It’s been a while since I’ve put one of these up, on account of the apocalypse having come (and also, I went on holiday).

Memorialising 2016: Transgender Day of Remembrance– Today is TDoR, and this year 271 murders of trans people have been recorded. The vast majority of them are trans women of colour. Read the list of their names, and remember their brutal killings.

Free e-books for the struggle ahead (AK Press)- Three books about resisting fascism are now available for free from AK Press. It’s vital that we are ready, and we know the history and tactics available to us. Also, free books, everyone!

Introducing Post Trump Europe (Flavia Dzodan)- This rise of fascism is not just limited to the USA. Flavia provides a brief, intelligent overview.

Preparing Your Children For The Apocalypse (Jendella Benson)- Reflections as a parent on the terrifying turn of world events.

Fuck Trump, But Fuck You Too: No Unity With Liberals (Bobby London)- Liberals are holding back any effective resistance, and maintaining the hierarchy of violence.

They interned my family. Don’t let them do it to Muslims. (George Takei)- George Takei–yes, that George Takei–has a warning from recent history.

Not guilty does not mean innocent (Rashida Islam)- A reminder, for those who have some weird vested interest in defending rapists.

Stop Calling Human Trafficking “Modern Day Slavery” (Eminism)- Some points as to why this phrase is inaccurate and appropriative.

Unaccompanied minors (judeinlondon)- A twitter thread on the needs of refugee children and why white people reject them.

Obedience tests (pookleblinky)- A twitter thread on normalising fascism and how we must disrupt at every step.

And finally, meet the Horniman Walrus, London’s most terrifying taxidermy, and read this cute little interview. As a bonus, have some ugly medieval cats. Yes, two jolly links today, because everything is terrible.


Things I read recently that I found interesting

Welcome to the occasional link round-up. Here are some things I read recently that I found interesting.

Aberfan: The mistake that cost a village its children– On the anniversary of the tragedy, survivors, rescuers and families tell their stories.

“I’m not looking for a new England”: On the Limitations of Radical Nationalism (Kojo Koram)- How nationalism cannot be reclaimed, and a better model.

A post-Brexit spike in homophobic hate crime? It’s a part of ‘taking back control’ (James Butler)- The increased violence is a feature, not a bug.

Gender stereotypes have made us horrible at recognizing autism in women and girls (Matthew Rosza)- A useful introduction into gender and autism.

Porn Didn’t Ruin Your Sex Life. Sorry. (Kitty Stryker)- A porn performer explores what actually ruins sex lives (tl;dr it’s men).

Men’s Silent Consent Of Rape Culture (Shane Thomas)- I don’t usually recommend stuff about rape culture written by men. This is a very welcome exception.

Thirteen things I wish I’d learned before choosing non-monogamy (Lola Phoenix)- These points are all SO important, and currently poly/non mono people should read and take note, too.

And finally, it was Ursula Le Guin’s 87th birthday. Did you know that as well as being an awesome SFF writer, she loves cats, and writes blogs about her cat? And from her cat’s point of view? And there’s loads of pictures of her cat, too? Here’s Le Guin’s Annals of Pard.


Things I read recently that I found interesting

It’s link roundup time!

Bad science misled millions with chronic fatigue syndrome. Here’s how we fought back (Julie Rehmeyer)- If you have ME/CFS, you’ll know that exercise and therapy probably don’t help you. This is because the science was nonsense.

Why Neuroscientists Need to Study the Crow (Grigori Guitchounts)- Crows are excellent beasties, capable of complex cognition, but this shakes up everything we think we know about cognition, because they lack a neocortex.

Why we have to take white working class people’s fears seriously (Jacinta Nandi)- On the misconception of working class people coming from the media and political class.

The Luke Cage Syllabus: A Breakdown of All the Black Literature Featured in Netflix’s Luke Cage (Tara Betts)- Enjoyed the series? What do you mean you haven’t watched it yet, go and watch it right now, and come back in 13 hours to read all of these book recommendations.

Jess Phillips targeting marginalised women proves it’s her own career she puts first (Stephanie Farnsworth)- Why this brand of feminism needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Why I Find Safe Sex With Men Much More Difficult Than With Women (Andre Shakti)- I related to this too damn hard.

And finally, have a cuddle puddle of big cats.


Things I read recently that I found interesting

It’s link roundup time, once again!
‘We build a wall around our sanctuaries’: Queerness and Precarity– (Joni Pitt (Cohen) & Sophie Monk)- This article on queer lives under austerity is essential reading.

Occupy vs. Reclaim: what’s in a name? (Sisters Uncut)- Are these activists occupying or reclaiming spaces? They explain.

Looking at Paris Is Burning 25 years after its release (Shon Faye)- Examining the enormous cultural and personal impact of this documentary

On Outrage (Alison Phipps)- Reflecting on outrage and its function, and carceral solutions.

A relationship is not a skill (Lola Phoenix)- Dispelling the myth in poly/nonmonog communities that relationships are something you need to have your own skills to be “good at”.

The psychology behind the unfunny consequences of racist and sexist jokes (Thomas E. Ford)- A short introduction on what purpose such jokes serve.

Dear rapists, I don’t give a f*ck about your future (Chelsea Hensley)- V. V. cathartic

Are “faux-feminists” the new pick-up artists? (Roe McDermott)- Honestly, I related to this so much I wondered if Roe and I had dated the exact same awful men, until I remembered just how widespread their shit is.

POPsec Part 1: Security Lessons Learned from Harry Potter (Totally Not Malware)- A useful primer.

Caster Semenya won the gold medal in the 800m race. (Zoe Samudzi)- Examining the intersections of misogyny and racism and the nonsense of gender testing in sport.

I’m fat, and I have a restrictive eating disorder (Barbed Wire Wings)- A clear look at the experience and misconceptions faced.

The Internet Thinks I’m Still Pregnant (Amy Pittman)- The more absurd consequences of data sharing.

Worst of McMansions– This blog is fun, snarky, and tricks you into learning about architecture.

And finally, the story in this twitter thread is one of the cutest things I have ever read.

 

View story at Medium.com