Posted in arc, arc review

100 word review

This Thing Called Life

by Joseph Vogel

Bloomsbury Academic

This book was given to me by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Prince is known as a brilliant recording artist.  They are recognised as a brilliant live performer and as a sexual transgressive.  But, their political, and moral, views hardly ever get a mention.  This Thing Called Life Prince, Race, Sex, Religion, and Music seeks to fill this hole in existing writing around Prince.  The work explores the artists’ view of various politicians. The author deconstructs princes’ view of race and highlights his views on gender equality in his band and in everyday life.  The work highlights the importance of spirituality on his art and life.  It is well worth a read

Posted in arc, arc review

100ish word review

Whose Water Is It, Anyway?

Taking Water Protection into Public Hands

By Maude Barlow

This book was given to me by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Whose Water, is it Anyway?  Is the story of Maude Barlow’s discovery of water activism. It tells the story of how the author became interested in this issue.  It then narrates the stories of various campaigns around water management. In addition, it is a manifesto for the water industry to be owned by the public. This is an interesting read.

Posted in animal rights, arc, Uncategorized

100 word review

Bird Therapy
By Joe Harkness

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Bird Therapy is the tale of two journeys. Firstly, it is a journey from addiction and depression to a healthy life with the help of bird watching. Secondly, it is a journey of discovery in which Joe Harkness seeks to understand that recovery and place it into a broader context. This book is a combination of; personal narrative, psychological study, and journalistic endeavour. It seeks to explore the role of bird watching in a person’s mental well-being. It is an engaging read.

Posted in arc, arc review, black history

100 word review

Ebony magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr.
Popular Black History in Postwar America
By E. James West

Ebony magazine began as a style and celebrity magazine, aimed at the emerging middle-class Black community. However, led by Lerone Bennett Jr., they soon took on another role, that of a source for the analysis of Black History. Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, the magazine began to; explore, report on, and champion the telling of a version of Black history, centred on the Black individual, their achievements, and oppressions. The author traces the development of the magazine’s historical focus. Its first historical analysis focused on, aspirational, black, historical, figures. However, inspired by the Black Civil Rights Movement, it soon broadened its focus to include the, historical, oppression of Black individuals. This book provides an interesting overview of the development of a magazine. In addition, this work provides a brilliant analysis of the development and teaching of Black History. It is a worthwhile read. I highly recommend this book.

Posted in arc, arc review, Austrian women writers challenge, Book review

Quick review

Sophonisba Breckinridge
Championing Women’s Activism in Modern America
By Anya Jabour

Sophonisba Breckinridge was a founder of modern-day social policy who is said to be the first person to run a Womens’ Studies course. She was a feminist, actively engaged with social issues, such as racial equality and poverty. However: her status as a woman; her collaborative methods; her interest in various issues; and time in history, positioned between the first and second waves of feminism, have made Sophonisba Breckinridge invisible to history.

This book seeks to rectify that omission. Anya Jabour has explored Sophonisba Breckinridge’s: early life, and attitudes to race; her time in University, her academic career; and her various political roles. This book is a brilliant picture of both; its’ subject and the time that she lived. It is well worth a rea

Posted in arc, arc review, Diversity

100 word review

Stim
An Autistic Anthology
By Lizzie Huxley-Jones

I was given this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. There aren’t many disabled voices in literature; in particular, there is a lack of Autistic representation. Huxley Jones argues that her goal is to show that there is a large pool of creativity within the Autistic community. This is an #ownvoices anthology; which includes; fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and visual art. There are some really good pieces within this work. However, like most anthologies, some pieces are stronger than others. Yet, it still works as a whole. It’s worth a read.

Posted in advance copy, arc

100 word review

One-Dimensional Queer

by Roderick

A. Ferguson

Polity

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. One Dimensional Queer is a history, and critique, of the queer movement.  Ferguson explored the changes in the Queer movement, taking it from its freewheeling birth to the business structure of the present day.  The author argued that the Queer movement has changed.  Ferguson argued that the movement was birthed by actors from various sectors of the Queer, LGBT+, community.  The author introduces; Trans individuals, drag queens, Black people, etc… who were at the heart of the early history of the movement.  Ferguson argues that the movements drive to become more compatible with capitalism and its attempts to become more ‘professional’ and Business-like has meant a focus on Gay, Cis, white, able bodied men.  These individuals are the new key actors in the movement.  They are the movements ambassadors and shapers. Ferguson argues that this has excluded many voices, has weakened the ‘queer rights’ movement and left the needs of many individuals unaddressed.  This is a powerful book that needs an audience.

Posted in advance copy, arc

Autism Is the Future

The Evolution of a Different Type of Intelligence

by Marlo Payne Thurman

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Autism is the Future is a blend of personal narrative, sociological study, medical analysis, and journalistic investigation. The author talks of his own experience of cognitive difference, discussing a brain injury acquired in his adult life.  In many ways, this book reminds me of the work of Juno Roche.  They both use sociological methods, i.e. the interview, to further their own journey of self-discovery.  Roche’s work is an attempt to understand, and reconfigure, their sexual identity and Payne Thurman’s is an attempt to understand his new identity as someone living with a Neurological difference.  To do this, Payne Thurman undertakes a series of interviews that discuss some of the features of Autism, asking how these enrich or hinder the interviewees’ lives. This book contains accounts of lives lived to the full and differences that both impede and empower.

Posted in arc, arc review, Diversity

Throwback Thuraday

Both of these books were given to me by the publisher in the hope of an honest review.I have chosen to review, Black, Listed Black British Culture Explored, by Jeffrey Boakye, Little, Brown Book Group UK, Dialogue Books and Taking Up Space the Black Girl’s Manifesto for Change, by Chelsea Kwakye, Ore Ogunbiyi, Random House UK, Cornerstone together.  Since, their themes gel together really well. 

I

Russell Group Universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, are elitist institutions whose studentship mainly comprise; rich, white, heterosexual, Cis, men. Taking up space is written by a group of Black women who have bucked that trend by attending these Elite Universities. It takes the form of letters written to; Black girls who wish to follow in the footsteps of the authors, and those individuals who wish to help them accomplish that goal.   The letters take the reader through every step of the process; applying to the university, arriving at the university, Fresher’s week, leaving university, and finding a job.  It gives advice on; how to tackle Fresher’s week, finding your tribe, socialising, balancing work and personal time, issues around mental health, and dealing with institutions that are imbued with hidden and not so hidden Racism.  It clearly outlines the barriers faced by this group of students.  It’s a condemnation of these institutions and an inspiration for those students wishing to survive and thrive in institutions that are hostile to their very existence.  This book was aimed at Black women.  However, many of the issues raised in the text resonated with my experience of being; a working class, queer, state educated woman who attended a Russell group University. It is a thought-provoking work.  That inspires and reproves in equal measure.

Blacklisted is another book on Race.  But, while Taking up Space explores practical experiences of racism, Blacklisted looks at the language we use to describe and explain issues of Race.  It explores the words we use to describe ‘Black’ people.  It looks at words, such as; Black Ethnic Minority, Black Minority ethnic, ‘other’, and African American, exploring the various ways that society creates and reinforces racial hierarchies.  Each word is given its own essay.  Each essay weaves together personal narrative and cultural criticism to form a picture of the word and its place in both; cultural discourse and lived experience. It is a very worthwhile read. I highly recommend both books. What are you reading? Talk to me in the comments.

Posted in arc, arc review

Throw Back Thursday

I received these books from the publisher in the hope of an honest review. This post will be an update on what I have been reading.     I DNF’d We are the Weather Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer, Penguin Books (UK) and Deeplight  by Frances Harding, Pan Macmillan, Macmillan Children’s Books.    Neither of these books managed to keep my attention. Deeplight is a fantasy novel.  It is set In a world in which the Gods have destroyed themselves. The novel follows the attempts of a group of humans to survive in this new world. The novel was interesting.  However, I couldn’t connect with either; the setting or the characters.  So, I lost interest and couldn’t gain the motivation to keep reading.

We are Weather seeks to argue that we have become disconnected to the issue of climate change.  The author argues that we need to be given clear guidelines concerning, both; what we can do as individuals, and what we can do as a collective. However, ironically, the opening arguments of We are Weather felt disjointed and muddled, making the reader disconnected from the text and its important arguments. In addition, there’s a lot of stuff about the author here.   We hear endlessly about how guilty HE feels about global warming and how great he is at being vegetarian.  It would have been nice to hear about those people already suffering the effects of climate change.  Therefore, I soon became disconnected to the text and stopped reading.

The Nuremberg Trials: Volume I, Bringing the Leaders of Nazi Germany to Justice by Terry Burrows.  Following the Second World war, prominent Nazi officers were put on trial for war crimes. This book follows; the lead up to the trials, the decisions made, and the characters who made those decisions. The text makes a detailed analysis of the primary documents surrounding these trials. It is an interesting read. However, its detailed nature may prove off putting to some readers.

I hope that you enjoyed this post. What are you currently reading?