Reading Round Up for December 2020

This month’s Reading Round Up offers a collection of some of the best articles I read, covering topics including NYC food delivery workers, Black time travelers, and She Who Must Not Be Named. Plus a list of my own written work. Get those tabs ready!

My Writing

Book review: Sing Me a Song: Ruinsong by Julia Ember

Book list: Best Young Adult Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror of 2020

Short fiction spotlight: Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction: November 2020

Book review: War Is Hell: King of the Rising by Kacen Callender

Book review: “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Leah Johnson

Book review: “Felix Ever After” by Kacen Callender

Book review: “Be Dazzled” by Ryan La Sala

Book review: “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Book review: “The Once & Future Witches” by Alix E Harrow

Other Works

Fine Weather, Isn’t It?” by Tochi Onyebuchi for SWFA: “A number of presumptions hold up the line of thinking that asserts the necessity of police and prisons: namely that the people the police target, the ones who wind up in jail or prison, deserve it; that the rest of us are left safer for it; and that “justice” is an inherently bloodthirsty conceit. Peace can only come after order has been restored, presuming some primordial rending. And the blood spilled in service of this mandate is not simply the cost of doing business but part and parcel of the whole deal. If others see how horribly the targeted and the incarcerated are treated, then they’ll fall in line. The more we bomb their homes, the more we topple their leaders, the more we raid their libraries and their homes, the more we make them fear a sky populated with Predator drones, the fewer terrorists there will be.”

How Do You Survive a Child Meant to Survive You?” by Terri Linton for Catapult: “Glo buried her face into the curve of my mother’s neck and fell limp in her open arms. I watched her twist and writhe her body as if her soul were trying to break loose in pursuit of her boy, who was racing toward a destination farther out of her reach. A destination from which he’d never return.”

All Black people are time travelers” by Scott Woods for Columbus Alive: “Which is funny because Black people are time travelers. There are places we can drive to in this country where the year changes, where the glances become stares and the trees bend to sniff at our necks, remembering. This past summer I watched videos from a Black Lives Matter demonstration held in Bethel, Ohio. Participants were attacked by the town’s citizens, their signs snatched and torn while being pushed, punched and threatened. This was not in 1960. It was July. Fifteen years ago the KKK was recruiting door to door in this town. Bethel is simultaneously two hours and six decades away.”

Tethered to the Machine” by Lizzie Presser for ProPublica: “No matter how much he tried to go a different way, JaMarcus was being pulled along the same course, one laid out for him at birth. Black Americans are more likely to be born to mothers with diabetes, which predisposes them to the condition. They have lower rates of insurance coverage and can’t see doctors or afford medication as regularly, so diabetes and hypertension are more likely to cause complications like kidney disease. Even clinical care can work against them; doctors estimate kidney function using a controversial formula that inflates the scores of Black patients to make them look healthier, which can delay referrals to specialists or transplant centers.”

NYC Food Delivery Workers Band to Demand Better Treatment. Will New York Listen to Los Deliveristas Unidos?” by Claudia Irizarry Aponte and Josefa Velasquez for The City: ““We want the city to finally treat us like the essential workers we are,” Williams Sian, a delivery worker in Midtown, said in Spanish. “When the city was shut down, we were the ones running the restaurants, we were carrying that industry on our backs.””

My Spirit Burns Through This Body” by Akwaeke Emezi for Paris Review: “I know that my spirit burns through this body with no regard, no respect, no care. I’m trying to figure out how to become gentler with myself; I don’t want to be as cruel as the rest of this world. Slowly, as I learn to listen to it, I acknowledge that this body is disabled. This is language that makes my spirit pause rather than driving the flesh into ruin, language that gives me gentleness. Without it, I keep making my body do things it does not have the capacity for, fueled by rushes of invincibility, possibility, waves of analgesic euphoria. I thought this would make me safe—if I could write enough books, make enough money to breathe—and then, for the first time in my life, I had a home that I didn’t have to leave. But even after stepping away from work, the energy was still there, rabid and hungry.”

Who Did J.K. Rowling Become?” by Molly Fischer for The Cut: “In the past few years, Rowling began to share her skepticism of transgender identity online. She seemed to have aligned herself with a camp of people who often call themselves “gender-critical feminists”; opponents tend to call them TERFs, or “trans-exclusionary radical feminists,” though they are not necessarily very radical. Then, in June of 2020, she posted a 3,670-word essay titled “J. K. Rowling Writes About Her Reasons for Speaking Out on Sex and Gender Issues.” Here, she eliminated any lingering doubt: Yes, she did in fact believe the trans-rights movement was “doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it.””

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