Quinn is a child of the West having called New Mexico, Nevada, California, and Arizona home. Her love for books and stories has taken her on an insane journey through film school all the way to the stomping grounds of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. She self-describes as a ‘wannabe writer’ hoping that one day an editor will find her writing alright enough to get published. In the meantime, she enjoys playing her double bass, Beulah, and preaching that the golden age of film was in the 1980s.
Mona is a hedonistic fever dream of a novel. Oloixarac deftly handles tokenism in academia and the writing world, the philosophical quandaries of being a woman on the outside of what society dictates a woman should be, and the absolute madness that lies within genius. The mysteries in the novel will have you racing for answers, the humor will keep you alert, and the moral content will send you spinning. This is a novel for those who love Didion and Bukowski, but want something wholly original.
I absolutely love experimental essays, so it didn't take much for me to excitedly pick up this collection. Night Rooms is told in disparate and fragmented moments from Gina Nutt's life as they mimic the nature of memory. Nutt correlates her life experiences with horror movies, giving greater depth and understanding to the universal themes of grief, identity, and mental health. This collection is a survivor's tale that will open your own eyes to what it is to be alive.
Have you ever heard of Tove Ditlevsen? If you grew up outside of Denmark, chances are you haven't. Ditlevsen was a prominent writer who was born in the 1930s and whose wild nature would have had Hunter S. Thompson blushing. The Copenhagen Trilogy is a groundbreaking, experimental memoir that follows Ditlevsen through her life as she explores how to live her life on her own terms. Full of desire to escape the confines of motherhood and womanhood, Ditlevsen finds herself confined to a different type of dependency than that of what society placed her in. We can all learn something from Ditlevsen and I implore you to take the plunge with this powerful trilogy.
Dantiel W. Moniz astonishes in this striking debut collection. Moniz tackles the female experience with enviable skill. Each story is unrelenting as they dive deep in what it means to be a woman and the violence, grief, and desire that accompanies it. At times, the stories feel surreal but remains viscerally grounded in reality. You will devour this collection and then you'll go back to read it once again. There is no doubt that this collection will stay with you long after you've finished.
Cookbooks freak me out. I usually feel like I need a better skill set in the kitchen before I even glance at a cookbook. I also find myself wishing I was more like Matty Matheson. That being said, I had no fear when I cracked this magnificent cookbook open. Matheson knows how to make the art of cooking more accessible to novices like me, then he throws in his iconic humor and passion for food that makes you feel welcomed into this wild world of his. Matheson is a true culinary genius and anyone who wants to eat like the joyous person Matheson is, should permanently place this cookbook in their kitchen.
Julián Herbert might be one of the wildest and most talented writers living. His collection of short stories, Bring Me the Head of Quentin Tarantino, are chaotic, ruthless, and ambitious as they explore the effects of being a creative in a cruel, vicious world. This collection is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. If you have a love for literary horror and crave something entirely unique, then this title is a must have.
Bro? Bro. Now, I hate Beowulf, or at least I did before I read this masterpiece. This ain't your mother's Beowulf. If you're a purist, then stay away from this translation. But if you are like me, and want to see a classic reinvigorated and the women finally given the voice and power they deserved in the original, then pick up this gem.
Hey, it's me the Mantel fanatic here to try to convince you to read this magnificent woman's writing. If you've never read Hilary Mantel, this collection of her essays is a fantastic place to start. Mantel is fierce, eloquent, and insanely intelligent on every topic that she explores. Mantel's writing is something to behold and is even more impressive when she turns her sights towards the world and history to give her unfiltered, razor-sharp critiques of it all.
Stephen Graham Jones, you are a master. This is not a typical horror novel, this is a horror masterpiece. I was hooked from the beginning and was I yelling out loud while reading? Absolutely. Jones seamlessly blends the themes of revenge and guilt with the complexity of breaking away from tradition and identity. At the heart of the story, Jones gives insight to how traditional and contemporary Native lives clash and then he surrounds it with gore and edge-of-your-seat-this-is-creepy vibes. I can't say enough about how much I dig this book and how traumatized I am every time I see an elk now.
I'll be honest, I have tried to write this review many times and each time I never seem to find the words to adequately describe how groundbreaking and vital this memoir is. One of the greatest modern day tragedies is how society silences Indigenous Women and Toni Jensen is here to shatter that silence. 'Carry' is heartbreakingly poetic as Jensen describes what it is to be Indigenous in America and the monsters that linger in every part of our 'civilized' society. Her words will haunt you, anger you, and awaken you. I promise that this is a memoir that you will never stop thinking about.
I will preface this by saying that I am a massive Mantel fan and think that she is one of the greatest living writers. She does not disappoint with the conclusion of this epic trilogy. You might know how the tale of Thomas Cromwell ends, but Mantel finds a way to make it just as surprising as if you were a novice to Tudor history. With sharp language, humor, and an almost unsettling insight to these historical events you will be enthralled by this conclusive novel.
Mexican Gothic is the story you need as the weather gets colder and you want a scary story to curl up with. Moreno-Garcia delivers with this atmospheric horror story that pays tribute to the Gothic writers of the past. Set in the misty mountains of Mexico and in the creepiest house imaginable, this story will take you on an utterly hypnotic and unsettling adventure. You won't be able to put this book down as you will keep diving deeper and deeper with our heroine, Noemi, until you discover the truth about the family that lives at High Place.
There is something that is incredibly calming in reading Zadie Smith's Intimations. Smith ruminates on the chaotic times that we live in and tries to make sense of the senseless. Although you could speed read through this in an hour or so, please don't. Sit with her words. Take a step back and hear what she has to say. The world will seem less dire and maybe, just maybe, a little more hopeful.
I am not being hyperbolic when I state that I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is, without a doubt, the best book of 2020. This collection of short stories will haunt you and inspire you. Van den Berg masterfully explores the ever-changing nature of identity, the ghosts that haunt us, and the silent but insidious moments that plague women. These beautifully crafted stories will leave you wanting to revisit them time and time again. I am forever grateful for the day that I picked this book up and I am sure that you will be too.
Hood Feminism is the book that society direly needs. As we search for equality, we need voices like Mikki Kendall's. Kendall doesn't sugarcoat the issues that plague the feminist movement as it has left women of color and their issues outside of the driving narrative. If you are a feminist read this book. If you aren't a feminist read this book. If you don't know where you land, read this book.
The Seep is the type of novel that will stay with you long after you finish. It is also the type of novel that can be devoured in an afternoon, I know I did. In this world, a benign alien invasion begins simply with drinking punch. When the world is stripped of class, race, economic, and mortal barriers it is left with humanity unfiltered. Porter excels in portraying humans trying to find what it is to be happy and how that journey affects all those around us.
When people list things that they enjoy, funerals generally aren't one them. Ant finds joy in attending funerals. Yet, when the cousin of his childhood friend dies Ant is less enthused about attending. On its surface, Whiteout Conditions is a road trip story set against the backdrop of Midwest Suburbia. As the story progresses it becomes more of a rumination on loss, grief, and the ghosts in our rearview mirrors.
Pizza Girl follows a pregnant 18-year-old girl who delivers pizzas and is constantly smothered with love and support by her boyfriend and mother. In Frazier's debut novel, she is a master at causing all your muscles to tense up as you follow Pizza Girl's ever-growing obsession with struggling housewife, Jenny, after delivering the very common, pizza with pickles. Pizza Girl explores what it means to realize that we are flawed human beings and the bumpy path that we take to figure out who we are in the end.