Cold Mountain Poems: Twenty-Four Poems by Han Shan translated by Gary Snyder. Library book. These poems were beautiful. There were only 24 of them so I feel like I zoomed through them too fast. I may have to reread this.
For Want of a Nail by Mary Robinette Kowal. Ebook short story. This has been nominated for a Hugo. To celebrate, the author has offered it online. It includes human/robot family relationships and how memory exists between these two very different beings.
Poetry Magazine, July/August ed. Physical magazine. An intriguing array of poems, as usual. (Note: there was one tone-deaf poem that has since been removed from future publications due to anti-black sentiment without reflection. After a letter from the community, the editor has apologized, and is actually leaving the magazine to make room for new big changes at the Poetry Foundation itself.)
The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities Into Soulful Practices by Casper ter Kuile. Physical book. A thoughtful look at what constitutes a sacred practice, focusing mainly on meals, sacred reading, and… wait for it… the gym!
Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada by Adam Joseph Barker and Emma Battell Lowman. Ebook. I’m learned a lot but I gotta admit, reading this is a slog. I really had to push myself. Still, this gets into the nitty gritty of settler colonial thinking which is super useful to know. Definitely worth a reread, although I wish I had a physical copy I could scribble in.
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty. Ebook. I ate this book up! You get to read about this mortician’s first six years of work in the funeral industry. It was funny, provocative, and just plain interesting. This is the second book of Doughty’s that I’ve read. I look forward to more.
The Fox and Mr. Shimamura by Christine Wunnicke. Translated from the German by Philip Boehm. Ebook. I read this for the August Japanese Book Club at the queer-owned Argo Bookshop. This was an interesting story about a doctor sent abroad after Japan opened itself up to the world. It was an odd tale about aging, folklore, and death. It’ll be worth a reread in the future to look for all the little nuggets left by the multiple unreliable narrators.
The Necessary Arthur by Garth Nix. Ebook short story. Recommended to me by L.H. It was short and fun game with Arthurian legends.
The Scripture of the Golden Eternity by Jack Kerouac. I’m still reading Kerouac when I can! Here he is writing his own Buddhist sutra or sacred text. It’s a wild read.
The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories by Ursula K LeGuin. Physical book (gift from S + R). This is fun! There are so many short stories! I have been giving myself breaks from reading this because it’s a long, long book. I’m especially thrilled by the sci-fi stories returning to the worlds of the culture-sharing league of planets, the Ekumen. I had tried reading such stories when I was younger but found them incomprehensible and boring. Now, they are fascinating!
Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle by Claire Hunter. A library book on the sociopolitical history of fiber arts. I am more than halfway through. It’s an intriguing read but I admit I am starting to miss pouring myself into reading fiction.
White Noise by Adrien Lee. Webcomic. Recommendation from M.L. Unfinished LGBTQ+ webcomic about animal-aliens intermingling and fighting with humans. There are already ten chapters available. Content warnings: frequent mentions of slavery, hints of trauma, death.
Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetics edited by TC Tolbert and Trace Peterson. Physical book (gift). I was not expecting this book to be a literal TOME of poems but it IS. How magnificent. I look forward to reading this… eventually. I’ll probably read it a few weeks after I finish the tome of LeGuin’s short stories. (Too many big books)
After finishing Hunter’s book, I’d like to tackle the Heart Sutra, as examined by Thich Nhat Han. This is one of the main sacred texts within Buddhism and I’d like to try and understand it.
2 other books from the library are sitting on my TBR shelf as well. I’ll comment on them next month.
Two aborted library books on history this month. I’m wondering if it would be easier to read shorter books, or historical fiction.
I’m also rewatching the Legend of Korra series for the second time. I’m on season 2 and am looking forward to all the extra backstory.
Two exciting books come out this coming September. I preordered them months ago:
The Four Profound Weaves by RB Lemberg. Transgender fantasy. I commented on Twitter that while I have read lots of YA novels and comics about trans youth, I’ve yet to read a book about trans elders and I am SO READY FOR THIS Y’ALL. These two trans elders are friends and have to weave Death?? Or something?? Who knows! The GoodReads bio relates it to LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, which is one of my fav books, so clearly this is gonna rock.
The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Katie O’Neill. Comic about tea and dragons. What more could you want?? Third in a trilogy of comics about little dragons that grow tea leaves on their horns and the people that foster these lil beings. It’s cute and heartwarming and GAY.
What are you hoping to read this fall?