Reading Roundup for August 2018


This month’s Reading Roundup offers a collection of some of the best articles I read, covering topics including Kelly Marie Tran, uncovering a lost city in Kansas, and a horrific lynching in Waco. Plus a list of my own written work. Get those tabs ready!

My Writing

Book review: “Barracoon: The Story of the Last ‘Black Cargo’” by Zora Neale Hurston

Book review: What Is, What Could Be, What Should Be: Before She Sleeps by Bina Shah

Book review: “Exit Strategy” by Martha Wells

Book review: Queers! In! SPAAAAAACE!!! Emily Skrutskie’s Hullmetal Girls

Book review: “American Hippo” by Sarah Gailey

Comics review: Pull List: Nancy Drew and Submerged Tackle the Mysteries of Life and Death

Comics review: “Josie and the Pussycats” volume 1

Book review: Ancient Gods and Deadly Magic: The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

Book review: Rebels, Colonizers, and Those Caught In Between: Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Conference recap: WorldCon Day 1, WorldCon Day 2, WorldCon Day 3, WorldCon Day 4

Other Works

“What It’s Like to Medically Transition As a Nonbinary Person” by Alex Verman for them.: “Trans people are often mocked for being confused and emotional in regards to the choices we make with our bodies. For the sake of the trans community, I feel like I’m supposed to know what I want and who I am. But there are no roadmaps for me to follow. After all, how do you embody a category of experience that many people don’t even believe exists? How do you make sense of your body and how it’s changing when all available narratives feel too gendered to apply?”

“The Waco Horror” by W.E.B. DuBois for Crisis: “While a fire was being prepared of boxes, the naked boy was stabbed and the chain put over the tree. He tried to get away, but could not. He reached up to grab the chain and they cut off his fingers. The big man struck the boy on the back of the neck with a knife just as they were pulling him up on the tree. Mr. Lester thought that was practically the death blow. He was lowered into the fire several times by means of the chain around his neck. Someone said they would estimate the boy had about twenty-five stab wounds, none of them death-dealing.

About a quarter past one a fiend got the torso, hung a rope over the pummel of a saddle, and dragged it around through the streets of Waco.”

“Archaeologists explore a rural field in Kansas, and a lost city emerges” by David Kelly for LA Times: “Using freshly translated documents written by the Spanish conquistadors more than 400 years ago and an array of high-tech equipment, Blakeslee located what he believes to be the lost city of Etzanoa, home to perhaps 20,000 people between 1450 and 1700.”

“Should We Stop Using the Word ‘Pariah’?” by Akil Kumarasamy for Catapult: “Language usage reflects shifts in social norms. In Webster’s dictionary, the word gay is given three possible usages. The third meaning of “awkward, stupid, or bad; lame” is provided with the caveat that it is “often disparaging and offensive.” The decline in this usage can speak to changing perceptions of non-conforming identities and relationships. I was struck by how certain words were given parentheticals referring to their offensiveness while other words, like retarded, weren’t. It reminds me that the dictionary is a human creation, made by panelists and editors, who provide their own opinions of how the language is changing, and what might be considered objectionable usage. Pariah might not be on their radar.”

“Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment” by Kelly Marie Tran for New York Times: “You might know me as Kelly.

I am the first woman of color to have a leading role in a “Star Wars” movie.

I am the first Asian woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair.

My real name is Loan. And I am just getting started.”

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