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 review

100 word review 4

Trans Power

Own Your Gender

by Juno Roche

I recently read, and reviewed ‘queer sex’, by Juno Roche, and really enjoyed that book. So, I was excited to hear that the author has another book available and even more excited that the publisher allowed me to see an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.  Queer Sex was a journey of self-discovery for the author.  It was a series of interviews with queer individuals which asked how they came to terms with their identity.  It explored their daily sexual lives. In Trans Power, Roche continues her personal journey, asking her interviewees how they conceptualize their sexual identity, questioning the language we use when we speak about queer and trans individuals.  This work challenges us, as individuals and society, to rethink, and keep rethinking, the way we think about ourselves, others, and society. I really loved this book

Posted in advance copy

100 word review 3

The A-Z of Gender and Sexuality

The A-Z of Gender and Sexuality

From Ace to Ze

by Morgan Lev Edward Holleb

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  The title says it all.  This book is a list of words that we use when we talk about Gender and Sexuality.  It explores concepts utilised in; Queer studies academia, activism and lived experience.  I wouldn’t recommend reading it straight through.  Use it as a reference work.  As such, it is a useful addition to the Queer cannon. Keep it by your side when writing or reading Queer texts.

Posted in advance copy

100 word review 2

Confessions of a Bookseller

by Shaun Bythell

Profile Books

Biographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction (Adult)

This book wad given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Shaun Bythell owns an antiquarian bookshop, in Scotland’s book town, Wigtown.  This is Shaun’s account of running that shop. This humorous book looks at; the shop, the people who work for it, the people who shop there, and the community that surrounds the shop.  It is an exploration of a life lived surrounded by; books, beautiful scenery, and the eccentric individuals who love these things.  It looks at the pains and pleasures of running a bookshop. Above all, it is a painfully honest picture of the author’s life. 

Posted in Uncategorized

100-word review (one)



Aphrodite Made Me Do It

by Trista Mateer

(This work was given to me by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review).  This poetry collection explores the way that Aphrodite is represented within ‘western culture. ‘It challenges narratives that seek to depower the goddess.   Many of these poems are written from the perspective of Aphrodite. She rails at the way that popular culture has represented her as a sexualised, unintellectual being.  In response to these representations, the poet presents the reader with a powerful goddess, who knows her own mind and who is very angry. This collection deconstructs gender and presents the reader with a powerful new narrative. I highly recommend this work.

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. 

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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?

Posted in advance copy, arc review, netgalley

Throwback Thursday

We are back in the realm of semi-forgotten arcs. (Please be aware that I received these books from the publisher in the hope of an honest review I will begin with the book that I didn’t finish. Messengers Who We Listen    To, Who We Don’t, And Why by Stephen Martin; Joseph Marks.  The title tells you what it is about. It’s about those people who get listened to and those who don’t, looking at the characteristics of both groups of individuals. There’s nothing ground-breaking about this book. If you’ve lived in the world, then you know many of these arguments.

Semicolon How a misunderstood punctuation mark can improve your writing, enrich your reading and even change your life by Cecelia Watson. I scan read this book.  The title makes you think that it’s about semicolons.  But, it’s more than that. It’s a history of grammar and a historic explanation of how people have understood grammar.  It outlines how the grammar rules, we have today, were born. The author continues to argue that the current rules of grammar are too rigid and confusing, concluding that these rules need to be redrawn and relaxed. The book is highly detailed and extremely interesting. However, the amount of detail stopped me from being fully engrossed in the book.

I really liked Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett.  Simone has recently left her old school after being forced to come out as HIV Positive. When we meet her, she is comfortable at her knew school. She has made friends and is directing a high school production of Rent. She has even met a cute boy and is considering a sexual relationship.  Then she begins to get letters and messages threatening to disclose her HIV status.  This book has a diverse group of characters. It explores issues that confront teens who are living with a HIV status. In addition, it shows a teenager coming of age in a complex world: confronting prejudice and finding allies. It is an engaging and fun read that deals with serious issues in a fun way.

Posted in Uncategorized

Throwback Thursday

The year 1999 felt like a good year. I was happily ensconced at University.  I had made a great group of friends.  The Labour Party was in power.  They were making some great changes.   The Scottish Parliament was born.  Everything felt new and fresh.  I can’t believe twenty years have passed since that happy year.  But, here we are and the Scottish Parliament is celebrating its twentieth anniversary.   To celebrate,  the Parliament has released two books; – The Scottish Parliament in its Own Words An Oral History by Thomas A.W. Stewart Luath Press and The Scottish Parliament At Twenty by Jim Johnston and James Mitchell Luath Press.  The first is a series of essays.  These essays, penned by various individuals, speak of the; past, present and future of the Parliament.  They discuss issues,  such as; how the Scottish Parliament differs from its London counterpart,  It’s relationship with the UK Parliament, its attempts to increase local participation,  its relationship with local councils, the inclusion/exclusion of marginalized groups, the way that the Parliament is funded, and the way that the institution utilizes its budget. The second book explores the memories of people involved in its history.  I really enjoyed these two books

The other two books were less impressive.  I DNF’d the one and scanned read the second.   I DNF’d  We Need New Stories Challenging the Toxic Myths Behind Our Age of Discontent by Nesrine Malik, Orion Publishing Group,  W&N… It argues that the stories we tell are toxic and that we need to create new ones.  I don’t know why I couldn’t finish this book.  I may have been in the wrong mood for this work. 

David Bowie was a reader and he was asked to share a list of his favorite books.  This is an annotated version of this list. It looks at the books on the list as individual items, before exploring the role they played within Bowie’s life and art.  If you dip in and out, reading a section, and then putting the book down, then you will enjoy this book. But, it gets boring if you try and read straight through.

These books didn’t warrant a full review.  But, I wanted to tell you what I have read.  I hope you found this to be a worthwhile read. What are you reading?

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Posted in arc, arc review

Forgotten Arc Thursday

Forgotten Arc Thursday

AIl books provided by netgalley in the hope of an honest review. seem to have gotten back on a semi regular posting schedule. So, I am reinstating Throwback Thursday. However, I have given it the new name of Forgotten Arc Thursday, which makes more sense. Firstly, Modern Sudanese Poetry an Anthology Translated and edited by Adil Babikir.  This book was an interesting read and had some fairly good poems.  However, it wasn’t very memorable.  I don’t have much to say about this work.  I can say the same for Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith.  I loved Just kids  and M Train , Therefore, I was really excited when I saw that Patti Smith had another book available. The first two books were inspirational to me.  They showed me the creative life, inspiring me to be more imaginative in my life and work.   This book is very different to the other books.  The first two books have a conventional structure. They follow a life journey.  However, while this is still a memoire, this is less linear.  It takes the form of a stream of consciousness narrative, combining real life with dreamscape.  I liked this book and found it intellectually intriguing.  However, it did not have the same emotional punch of the first two books. 

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World and The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World explore the cultural narratives  of this route and the nations that have; thrived, died, and recreated themselves alongside it.  As a rule, history is a story that centres on Europe and its off shoots.  These books change that focus, expanding the cultural story to embrace other countries, including; Russia, China, and the Middle East.  They show how these countries have always been at the centre of history and will be the centre of any, future, global order. 

These books were all good.  However, I didn’t have much to say about them.  Therefore, I put them here. I Hope you find something that you want to read.  Leave a comment down below if anything is calling to you.  What are you reading? ֣1��