Reading Round Up for October 2021

This month’s Reading Round Up offers a collection of some of the best articles I read last month, covering topics including moral panics, the human brain, and African history. Plus a list of my own written work. Get those tabs ready!

My Writing

New books: New Young Adult Speculative Fiction October 2021

Feature: “Pilgrim” by Lisabelle Tay

New books: Bookmail – October 6, 2021

Review: “The Other Man” by Farhad J. Dadyburjor

Review: “Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol” by Mallory O’Meara

Review: Breakup Brownies and Great Big Feelings Cookies: The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta

Short fiction: Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction for September 2021

Review: An American Werewolf in Piedmont: Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle

Review: “If It Makes You Happy” by Claire Kann

Listicle: Managing My Ever-Expanding TBR Stack

Short fiction: Alex Brown Reviews Short Fiction: Anathema, Baffling, Clarkesworld, Dark Matter, Fireside, Fiyah Spring, Strange Horizons, and Tor.com

New books: Bookmail – October 20, 2021

Review: A Wonderful Use of YA Tropes: Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

Other Works

“Your Brain Is Not an Onion With a Tiny Reptile Inside” by Joseph Cesario, David J. Johnson, Heather L. Eisthen for Current Directions in Psychological Science: “A widespread misconception in much of psychology is that (a) as vertebrate animals evolved, “newer” brain structures were added over existing “older” brain structures, and (b) these newer, more complex structures endowed animals with newer and more complex psychological functions, behavioral flexibility, and language. This belief, although widely shared in introductory psychology textbooks, has long been discredited among neurobiologists and stands in contrast to the clear and unanimous agreement on these issues among those studying nervous-system evolution. We bring psychologists up to date on this issue by describing the more accurate model of neural evolution, and we provide examples of how this inaccurate view may have impeded progress in psychology. We urge psychologists to abandon this mistaken view of human brains.”

“The Methods of Moral Panic Journalism” by Michael Hobbes: “I don’t think I’m reaching for the stars when I say that if you’re going to compare a modern-day political movement to some of history’s worst episodes of repression and mass murder, you had better have some strong evidence to back it up.”

“Built on the bodies of slaves: how Africa was erased from the history of the modern world” by Howard W French for The Guardian: “In most of the New World plantation societies, the average remaining lifespan of trafficked Black people was reckoned at seven years or less. In 1751, an English planter on Antigua summed up the prevailing slaveowner sentiment this way: “It was cheaper to work slaves to the utmost, and by the little fare and hard usage, to wear them out before they become useless, and unable to do service; and then to buy new ones to fill up their places.” [thanks to Dr Spinney for sharing this article!]

“The Shadow Penal System for Struggling Kids” by Rachel Aviv for The New Yorker: “Each year, some fifty thousand adolescents in the U.S. are sent to a constellation of residential centers—wilderness programs, boot camps, behavior-modification facilities, and religious treatment courses—that promise to combat a broad array of unwanted behaviors. There are no federal laws or agencies regulating these centers. In 2007, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that, in the previous seventeen years, there had been thousands of allegations of abuse in the troubled-teen industry, and warned that it could not find “a single Web site, federal agency, or other entity that collects comprehensive nationwide data.””

You Are Good podcast episode on Little Shop of Horrors (1986): “Does this look inanimate to you, punk? Let’s talk about Little Shop of Horrors with the fabulous Dana Schwartz!…You Are Good is a feelings podcast about movies.”

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