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The Lie Tree

The Lie Tree - Frances Hardinge

I absolutely loved this book. Just sunk into it each winter night with so much happiness.


It's a dreary, creepy, mysterious world, full of old bones and suspicious locals and sea caves and private papers full of secrets.


I loved the intersection of religion and science and the guile of the main character so much. 


Beautiful, beautiful sentences. Gorgeous story.


Look forward to seeing what else this author has made.

Voices Of Chernobyl

Voces de Chernóbil - Swietłana Aleksijewicz

This has to be one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. 


And it's not written; it's all stories from the people themselves. 

The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin

The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin - Tracey Helton Mitchell

This is a great memoir about addiction recovery from so many angles:


- homelessness

- women in recovery

- harm reduction

- the many paths to getting clean

- trauma, rape and abuse

- self-reinvention and recreation

- motherhood

- relationships

- drug policy


Highly recommended. The author is a candid and clear writer who meets the topic with frankness and personal experience in a way that's helpful to those struggling with addiction and those who want to understand the problem better. 


Afterparty - Ann Redisch Stampler

What a great book.


Funny: I love it when YA writing is witty


Great voice: told in realistic teenager tones that are consistent


True: so much about girl friendship and first love and fitting in and parents who are too permissive or too repressive


Will def include on next episode of Oral History Podcast.

True Stories about First-Time Sex

The V-Word: True Stories about First-Time Sex - Amber J. Keyser

I have an essay in this book, which came out last week. 


Here's what VOYA had to say about it:


A selection of seventeen women writers tell about their experience of first-time sex. The stories reveal a great diversity in age, situation, sexual orientation, gender identification, and even what counts as first-time sex. The resources section provides a bibliography, notes, biographies of all the contributors, and several essays. One essay gives straight-forward advice, empowering young women to be informed and to make their own choices about when and with whom. Kelly Jensen, a former teen librarian, suggests teen novel and nonfiction that deal particularly well with different sexual situations. Parents are also addressed with resources for them as well as advice on opening an on-going conversation with their daughters about their values and experiences around sex. The book serves young women as a kind of rite of passage with a bevy of older sisters telling it like it is, sharing experiences that are rarely talked about. Given the array of experiences (from wedding night to casual encounter) and identifications (hetro, lesbian, bi, and trans) some readers may have difficulties with some of the frankness, diversity, and language. The trade-off, however, is well worth it. The variety emphasizes how individual it is and how important it is for each young woman to make an informed and conscious choice for herself. It turns out the V-word of importance here is not so much "virginity" as it is finding one's own "voice." -- — Elizabeth Matson (5Q 5P J S NA)

Disgruntled by Asali Solomon

Disgruntled: A Novel - Asali Solomon

Absolutely loved this. THIS is what I want in contemporary fiction. 


Great ending. I will read whatever else by Asali Solomon that I can find.

Full by Kimber Simpkins @kimbersyoga

Full: How I Learned to Satisfy My Insatiable Hunger and Feed My Soul - Kimber Simpkins

Recommended to me by a graduate school friend who is married to the author. (Thank you, Chris! You have always been so kind.)


I can't say enough about this book.


Probably, I can't say much, because a lot of it is so similar to my experience. Not the yoga part. Or the meditation part. I don't do either of those things.


But the brain-fuck of body image and disordered eating. Yes. Those things. This book is a trip through a woman's mind through a life of self-doubt and self-cruelty and self-imposed discipline that becomes destructive, to a place where she can say, "my body is my best friend," in the words of a toddler schoolmate of her son.


I am so far from saying "my body is my best friend." It's not even a casual acquaintance. It's basically my enemy. I can't remember a time when it wasn't.


I have a long way to go. But reading this book makes it seem like there's a pathway out.


The Master (The Game Maker Series) - Kresley Cole

Not being a person who reads a ton of contemporary romance (I like my Highlanders in their kilts or my roguish dukes who plow through brothels searching for love but only gaining sexual skills, okay?) I didn't expect to like this.


I also don't give two shits about BDSM or billionaires. 


But, um...THE HEROINE? She's pretty much the top thing.


And...THE RUSSIAN GUY? Sweet water-walking Jesus.

I'LL MEET YOU THERE by @HDemetrios

I'll Meet You There - Heather Demetrios

Just finished this. Really great book on so many levels.


I'll talk more in depth about the physical stuff on our Body Image episode of The Oral History Podcast.


But it's a book that resists a triumphant, happy ending for a realistic look at kids whose lives aren't suburban and middle class. It's a story that's full of whimsy AND shittiness. Economic hardship AND abundant friendship. Romantic scenes & situations of absolute heartbreak and assholery. The uncertainty that accompanies a high school graduate's launch into adulthood. 


I recommend yall check it out. 


release day for Cut Both Ways

— feeling big smile
Cut Both Ways - Carrie Mesrobian

Lizard Radio - Pat Schmatz
""Before you can be what you are, you must be all things."

This book is astonishing. It is all things itself. "

Between The World And Me

Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates


Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. 

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Out of Darkness (Fiction - Young Adult) - Ashley Hope Pérez

goddamn this book is good @AshleyHopePerez

Other Broken Things by C. Desir

— feeling grin
Other Broken Things - Christa Desir

Yall have to wait until January 2016 to read this. I feel very sorry for this! But damn. This book is a BOMB of reality in the contemporary YA world. 


Put it on your list. 

Starred Review from Kirkus

Cut Both Ways - Carrie Mesrobian
— feeling smile

Publishers Weekly review of CUT BOTH WAYS (HarperCollins, September 1, 2015)

Cut Both Ways - Carrie Mesrobian

First trade review for my third book! Pretty cool, yall...