To Be Taught, If Fortunate: A Book Review

This past weekend, I traveled to outer space. I didn’t visit NASA, I didn’t pay a large sum, and I didn’t undergo any specialized training–and in fact, a part of me still lingers in space, floating in a detached wonderment, content and untethered. To accomplish this intergalactic voyage, I immersed myself in the cosmic tale of To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers.

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Bookish Brains Issue 11

Letter from the Editor:

Salutations, dear reader! September went so rapidly, and now autumn is settling upon us. My reading month was more sparse, as my classes are quite demanding. I suppose it’d be more accurate to explain that I’ve been reading heavily all month, but rather than leisurely reading, my time has been spent on academic reading. Likely, October will be much of the same for me as well, until November when my semester comes to a close. However, I did manage to read a few books, which I’ll discuss in this issue: Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri and When the Tiger Comes Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo. I’ve also got a great list of upcoming October book releases that you won’t want to miss!

Hope you had a lovely month (whether you read anything or not) and enjoy your October!


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Bookish Brains Issue 10

Letter from the Editor:

Greetings! How has August treated you? At the time I’m writing this, I’ve just begun my first semester studying a Master’s in Library and Information Science! All my courses are completely online, so I spent the morning reviewing the syllabi and noting the classes’s modules. Though it will be a fair workload, I’m excited to step back into the role of an active student and delve into the material. Make sure to check out my Slanted Spines YouTube page if you’d like to hear me discuss my thoughts regarding my first semester in grad school!

Because of my enrollment in this program, I felt like I was ravenously reading this August, attempting to plow through all the books I wanted to read before I became inundated in school work again. Not only have I read six books so far this month, but I also read from a wide variety of genres: graphic novel, memoir, horror, science fiction, and fantasy, and several of the books I read are authored by trans and non-binary folks.

In this tenth edition of Bookish Brains, I review Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen, She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan, The Natural Mother of the Child by Krys Malcolm Belc, A Touch of Jen by Beth Morgan, and A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers. Additionally, I share what I’m currently reading: Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi and Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. And lastly, I list a few books I’d like to read next month and some upcoming September book releases! It’s a jam-packed newsletter full of incredible books, so I hope you enjoy and find something you like!


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A Touch of Jen: A Book Analysis

“What the f#*&?” was the phrase I uttered when I finished reading A Touch of Jen by Beth Morgan.

Theoretically, I understood what had happened, but I wasn’t sure I really understood what I had just spent the past few days reading. Scouring YouTube and Google for explanations of the book, I came away unsatisfied, with only an author interview between Kristen Arnett and Beth Morgan to help navigate the contents of this book.

And because I can’t stop thinking about it, I decided to break it down myself.

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Bookish Brains Issue 9

Letter from the Editor:

Lo and behold, it is nearly August! Hoping you fared well this July and enjoyed at least one quality book.

July brought many changes to my life, most notably my recent employment at a local library! After a year of time off and re-evaluating my career direction, I became a part-time circulation clerk at a gorgeous community library. Spending my time there has been lovely, and consequently I have taken home quite a number of stray books with me! Because of this tremendous resource, I’ve been able to indulge in more new release books and “sample” books I may be interested in.

Though I’ve been fostering a decent stack of books, I’ve only had time enough to read five books so far this month, including two short story collections and one brief manga. Compared to my ravenous reading habits of June, this is a decrease in quantity for me, though I’m perfectly satisfied with the literature I have managed to read. I’ve gotten in the habit of reading for an hour or two every morning during my cup of tea, which has helped me keep up with the books on my TBR despite the changes to my schedule. Plus, it’s the most pleasant way to start the day!

In this month’s issue of Bookish Brains, I share my reviews of Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor, Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia, Are You Enjoying? by Mira Sethi, Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi, and Junji Ito’s Cat Diary. Plus, what I’m currently reading, what I’d like to read next, and some new releases to keep an eye out for! Hope you enjoy!


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Disability Visibility: A Book Report

As I’ve recently discovered, July is Disability Pride Month. At the end of June, I finished a collection of essays entitled Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories From the Twenty-First Century edited by Alice Wong, and having been quite moved by these articles, I would like to highlight some of the voices and encourage you to pick it up as well.

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