Book Review: Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez

Posted November 22, 2016 // 1 Comment
Book Review: Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez

A sign in the window of the local diner reads “No Negroes, Mexicans, or dogs”, and it sets the tone for the rest of Ashley Hope Pérez’s debut novel, Out of Darkness. Tackling subjects like integrated families, discrimination, interracial romance, and domestic abuse, this isn’t a book for the faint of heart. (Considering this is published by Carolrhoda Lab, who put out the unforgettably brutal Drowning Instinct, this should probably […]

Book Review: I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

Posted November 18, 2016 // 0 Comments
Book Review: I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

The last thing I expected to experience while reading this book was boredom, but there you have it. I found I Shall Be Near To You to be very dull. It’s a book about a young woman who runs away to join the Union army to fight alongside her husband, which sounds exciting. But actually, it wasn’t? The major problem with the novel, I feel, is that it’s too simplistic […]

A Letter of Intent (changing what I cannot accept)

Posted November 16, 2016 // 6 Comments
A Letter of Intent (changing what I cannot accept)

After 5(!) years of blogging, mostly “for fun”, I’ve reached a point where the focus of almost all of my thoughts/energies/actions has crystalized into a two-pronged goal: to engage critically with fiction, understanding that art reflects and informs society and then, with that in mind, to give space in my mind to marginalized narratives. Call that my mission statement, my manifesto, what have you. I don’t have a large voice […]

Book Review: Annie’s Song by Catherine Anderson

Posted November 14, 2016 // 1 Comment
Book Review: Annie’s Song by Catherine Anderson

I’m kind of weirded out by this book, but also I really enjoyed the story. It’s a conundrum for sure. What drew me to read this, first off, was the unique premise. Annie’s Song is about a young deaf woman who, due to negligence, has been mistakenly identified as a moron for her entire life. She is raped and, because of reasons, her rapist’s brother marries her, then discovers she’s […]

Book Review: Conor’s Way by Laura Lee Guhrke

Posted November 11, 2016 // 0 Comments
Book Review: Conor’s Way by Laura Lee Guhrke

Okay okay okay. Suspiciously green 90’s book cover aside, Conor’s Way is not a book to be missed. Trust me, you need this book in your life. This novel takes on everything I love about the romance genre, and Laura Lee Guhrke executes everything to perfection. This, right here, is why I read romance novels and why I love them so damn much. So let’s lay the scene. In the […]

Book Review: Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler

Posted November 8, 2016 // 2 Comments
Book Review: Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler

At its core, Wild Seed seems to be a novel about a patriarchal society’s eugenics program. It is also a story about a woman and her conflict with an amoral mass-murderer. It’s a wearisome, and often hopeless, text. It’s hard to discuss and even harder to digest. Butler is, of course, a magnificent author and it’s only to her credit that she’s written such a complex, ambiguous narrative. For herself, […]

Book Review: A Respectable Trade by Philippa Gregory

Posted November 5, 2016 // 0 Comments
Book Review: A Respectable Trade by Philippa Gregory

In historical fiction circles, Philippa Gregory is not generally recognized for her accuracy or seriousness. Her books are high on drama and glamor, and her reputation is for, at the very least, embroidering the details. I’ve read one of her Tudor novels, and it was perfectly fine, though it lacked staying power or memorability. A Respectable Trade is not like Gregory’s Plantagenet or Tudor books. It is, rather, a genuine […]

Tolkien, problematic faves, author intent

Posted October 31, 2016 // 2 Comments
Tolkien, problematic faves, author intent

This semester I’m taking my capstone class for my English degree. What this course is usually consists of some reflective work and then whatever else the professor want’s to focus on: romanticism, modernity, or, in my case, The Lord of the Rings. Not gonna lie, I’m a pretty huge fan of Tolkien, which I’ve never really written about here on Respiring Thoughts before. When I say huge, I mean my […]

Book Review: These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

Posted September 15, 2016 // 0 Comments
Book Review: These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

I feel like pioneer fiction has seen its peak come and go already; with a few exceptions, it’s not nearly as popular or common on new release lists as it used to be. But for those of us who grew up imagining themselves in a covered wagon alongside Laura Ingalls and Jack the bulldog, pioneer fiction will always be worth reading. Thus, Nancy E. Turner’s These Is My Words, published […]

Leafing Through Lit: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Posted September 13, 2016 // 0 Comments
Leafing Through Lit: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

I absolutely love so-called “Classic” literature, and this feature was born of that love. Leafing Through Lit is my way of spotlighting and commenting on old-school lit. This is not a formal review, per se, though it might have similarities in format. However, I won’t attempt to be nearly as objective as usual in this feature, so mostly I’ll talk about my feelings related to books and stories. Uncle Tom’s […]

Book Review: Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith

Posted September 10, 2016 // 0 Comments
Book Review: Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith

From Alexis M. Smith, author of Glaciers, comes Marrow Island, an exciting, much-anticipated sophomore novel that falls into the growing climate-themed post-apocalyptic subgenre. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to expectations in any way, really. Smith’s prose, characters, and storyline were all lackluster, and upon reading the final chapter I was left with no lasting impression. Another reviewer used the word “anemic”, and I think that’s a very fitting […]

What I’ve been up to: Europe edition

Posted September 5, 2016 // 1 Comment
What I’ve been up to: Europe edition

Reading has…not been a priority for me over the past year, and that probably isn’t going to change anytime soon. But. Sorry not sorry, you know? I’ve been doing ~other things~ like tramping all over Spain and Italy for two months. (And by “all over” I basically mean wherever I could catch a decently-priced bus that didn’t take longer than 10 hours.) And now I’m back in the States and […]