Reading Roundup for June 2019


This month’s Reading Roundup offers a collection of some of the best articles I read, covering topics including Alanis Morissette, YA twitter, and reparations. Plus a list of my own written work. Get those tabs ready!


My Writing

Listicle: New Young Adult Speculative Fiction June 2019

Review: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Review: Not All Heroes Wear Capes: C. B. Lee’s Sidekick Squad Series

History Day Trips: Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park

Review: Love, Hate, and Everything Between: Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

Conference wrap-up: ALA Annual Conference 2019

Review: Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction: June 2019


Other Works

Alanis Morissette on Pregnancy at 45, Childbirth, Postpartum Depression, and #MeToo” by Nicole Cliffe for Self: “I talk about this with my kids a lot, the four boundaries being: You can’t tell me what I’m thinking, you can’t tell me what I’m feeling, you can’t fucking touch my body/you can’t do anything with my body, and don’t touch my stuff.

Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children” by Isaac Chotiner for The New Yorker: “Children described to us that they’ve been there for three weeks or longer. And so, immediately from that population that we were trying to triage, they were filthy dirty, there was mucus on their shirts, the shirts were dirty. We saw breast milk on the shirts. There was food on the shirts, and the pants as well. They told us that they were hungry. They told us that some of them had not showered or had not showered until the day or two days before we arrived. Many of them described that they only brushed their teeth once. This facility knew last week that we were coming. The government knew three weeks ago that we were coming.”

YA Twitter Can Be Toxic, But It Also Points Out Real Problems” by Molly Templeton for BuzzFeed News: “However flawed social media may be, it’s still an important tool for giving marginalized voices and diversity advocates a much-needed platform. And if we set aside, for a moment, the focus on the authors; if we pause to remember that there are bad-faith voices in all parts of Twitter, not just YA; and if we step back and consider that the power to publish or cancel a book lies not with internet critics but with publishers and authors — then there’s another aspect of these stories that’s often ignored in mainstream discussions: What if these critics, with their focus on representation and diversity, have a point? And what change might happen if more people listened to them?”

The Nonwhite Working Class” by Henry Grabar for Slate: “Whatever went wrong for the white working class [in Youngstown] went even worse for their black counterparts. Blacks were hurt by job sprawl that saw work opportunities move from the heart of town into distant suburbs, where housing racism kept black workers out. They were hurt by the racist legacy of the unions here, which left them with worse jobs than their white peers and made them more likely to be dismissed first when downsizing occurred. They were hurt by urban renewal and the wave of declining home values, public services, amenities, and school quality. They were stuck in the city as white flight hollowed out the neighborhoods. They were hurt by the whiteness of the county Democratic Party, which they say has shown little interest in the city’s problems. ”

Bodies in Seats” by Casey Newton for The Verge: “Speagle vividly recalls the first video he saw in his new assignment. Two teenagers spot an iguana on the ground, and one picks it up by the tail. A third teenager films what happens next: the teen holding the iguana begins smashing it onto the street. “They beat the living shit out of this thing,” Speagle told me, as tears welled up in his eyes. “The iguana was screaming and crying. And they didn’t stop until the thing was a bloody pulp.”

Under the policy, the video was allowed to remain on Facebook. A manager told him that by leaving the video online, authorities would be able to catch the perpetrators. But as the weeks went on, the video continued to reappear in his queue, and Speagle realized that police were unlikely to look into the case.”

Read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Testimony on Reparations” by Olivia Paschal and Madeleine Carlisle for The Atlantic: “It is tempting to divorce this modern campaign of terror, of plunder, from enslavement, but the logic of enslavement, of white supremacy, respects no such borders and the guard of bondage was lustful and begat many heirs. Coup d’états and convict leasing. Vagrancy laws and debt peonage. Redlining and racist G.I. bills. Poll taxes and state-sponsored terrorism. We grant that Mr. McConnell was not alive for Appomattox. But he was alive for the electrocution of George Stinney. He was alive for the blinding of Isaac Woodard. He was alive to witness kleptocracy in his native Alabama and a regime premised on electoral theft.”

Transmyscira: The Cat Eats Its Own Tail in MAN-EATERS” by Véronique Emma Houxbois for Comicosity: “What should have been a sharp and relatable satire in the midst of a fearsome rollback of reproductive rights under the Trump administration has instead proven to be divisive and deflating. The irony of Man-Eaters’ initial reception is that despite the final issue of Mockingbird’s infamous cover, it seemed like no one had actually asked Cain about her feminist manifesto and were taken aback at what Man-Eaters’ debut revealed about it.”

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