kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
[personal profile] kaberett
This came into my possession via the latest Humble Ebook Bundle, and I am so glad it did. This is how glad I am: I am about two-thirds of the way through it and I can't wait to finish before I tell you all how good it is.

The protagonist, Hanna, is sixteen, manic depressive (and explicitly, canonically prefers that descriptor to "bipolar", Because Reasons), and Finnish-"island girl" (Hawaiian?), raised (for most of her life) in Dallas. She describes herself as biracial and bicultural, and she's bilingual in English and Finnish - and the codeswitching is genuinely plausibly represented.

The dude she ends up hanging around with a lot is the same age, Latino, and bilingual in Spanish and English - again, really nicely represented.

The story takes place in creepy smalltown Texas. It's sub/urban fantasy and abusive parents and a critique of the medical-industrial complex and teenagers having (complicated, not always happy) sex lives all tied up in tight, funny monster-killing brilliance. It's lovely.

Content notes. )
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[personal profile] rsadelle
I loved both of Marisa de los Santos' previous books - Love Walked In and Belong To Me - so I was excited to see a new book from her, and Falling Together didn't disappoint.

Spoilers/Review )

All said, I loved this book, although I wish I had read it more slowly (I was up against a library due date and it was unrenewable). If you liked her previous books, you will definitely like this one, although if you didn't like those, you probably won't like this one either.
[identity profile] puritybrown.livejournal.com
30. The Greatest of Marlys, Lynda Barry

I used to say that I didn't like slice-of-life comics, that they were boring and self-indulgent and awful; and I didn't understand why so many cartoonists did them when they were so difficult to make interesting. Well, now that I've read The Greatest of Marlys, I think I can see why: because when Lynda Barry does it, it's awesome, which gives you something to aim for.

The strips in this collection were originally published in Barry's Ernie Pook's Comeek over a number of years; they're about an eight-year-old girl called Marlys, her brother Freddie, her teenage sister Maybonne, and her cousins Arna and Arnold, who live in the same suburban neighborhood (later, in the same house) at some unspecified period that feels to me like the late 1960s. I have to confess, I didn't much warm to Marlys at first. The first crop of strips in the book are from Arna's POV, and next to Arna's quiet, self-effacing personality, Marlys appears brash and egotistical and spiteful. I gradually grew to like her because Arna obviously liked her (though, in the way of family, they bicker and fight a lot, and in the way of children, Arna once claims she hates Marlys), and after I'd read enough of the strips where Marlys herself takes centre stage, I came to love her. She is brash and egotistical and sometimes spiteful; she's also arrogant and a tattle-tale and a know-it-all, but she's boundlessly creative, full of energy and curiosity and love of life, and very loyal and compassionate to the people she loves.

Barry captures the perceptions and experiences of childhood so beautifully it makes my heart hurt. The simplicity of her drawings belies their sophistication, how they show us how Marlys and the other children see the world; the strips were published over a long enough period that Barry's style changes and develops, her line growing thicker and thinner, the drawings sometimes highly detailed, sometimes deliberately sketchy. The sheer versatility she displays is amazing, even within the highly circumscribed format of the black-and-white four-panel strip she uses for most of the book. And the writing! My God, the writing! Here's a sample from one of my favourites (it's Arna speaking):

Up the street, on the dirt part of the road, was the house of Louis Cheek and his sister Sandra Cheek. None of us ever liked them because they had bad tempers, so "big deal" is all we thought when Louis told us they were moving away... I want to tell you that none of us even knew what moving away was until we all walked over to Louis's house and seen it was totally empty. My brother and Marlys boosted me up through the window so I could go inside and open the door. Mainly I noticed a smell. The smell of Louis and his sister. And seeing stuff on the floor, like a blue curler and some matches. It gave me the shivers. And even though we never liked Louis, we didn't think that it was any fair that we would never, for the rest of our whole entire lives, get to see him again... And even though a bunch of different families lived in that house later on we still called it Louis Cheek's house. That was the real name of it, and since we were there the longest, we made the rules.

There's so much to love about this book. I've barely scraped the surface of it. It's the kind of book to read when you feel a need to fall in love with life again.

(tags: a: barry lynda, i: barry lynda, graphic novel)
[identity profile] sweet-adelheid.livejournal.com
Masquerade (Blue Bloods, #2) Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz (Hyperion, 2008)

I know it's fluff. I know they're not literature. But gee, I'm enjoying these books. This one probably even more than the previous one, which surprised me in a way, as I wasn't expecting to like this one *more* than the first.

Angels, vampires and designer dresses )
[identity profile] sweet-adelheid.livejournal.com
This is my first review in my second year of counting. I got two books away from 50 last year (Feb09 to Feb10) in terms of reading (but I'm a little behind on reviews) and after a little while away from the whole counting thing (during which life was so busy I barely read any books) I decided to start a second year: 25 May 10 to 24 May 11.

So - here's book number 1 in my new year of counting.

Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods, #1) Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz (Hyperion Paperbacks, 2007)

This is, in a way, my accidental [livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc. read. Melissa de la Cruz is an American writer of Filipina background, although I didn't even think to look into her background at first. I'm not that used to the popular (as distinct from good) adolescent books also being possible reads for [livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc. Reading the rest of the series won't be so accidental. Blue Bloods is pretty much the only vampire-related series that has really caught my eye amongst all the myriad of vampire books available at the moment.

I keep describing Blue Bloods to the kids at school as "Gossip Girl with vampires" - despite the fact that I haven't ever seen Gossip Girl. Synopsis and comments )
[identity profile] rcloenen-ruiz.livejournal.com
I decided to purchase this book on the basis of it being touted on a list for Filipino-American authors. The author, Marisa de los Santos was born in The Philippines and moved to the US when she was ten years old. I don't normally read chicklit, but people were quite excited about this book being picked up for filming and by it being promoted by Sarah Jessica Parker. That was enough to rouse my curiousity. Also, SJP wanted to play the lead lady, so I was wondering if the lead lady was Filipino or white. Turns out she's white.
summary behind the cut )
[identity profile] rcloenen-ruiz.livejournal.com
I hope it's all right to post about poets as well. While the book below has been classified as poetry, it's actually more than that.

Here's a brief review: 

Eileen Tabios is one of the most prolific Filipino-American poets. She has a varied and exciting body of work in which the desire to engage the reader in a conversation is central.

"The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes" is an account of the passing away of Eileen's father as well as an account of the historical and political reasons behind their leaving The Philippines. There are plenty of poignant images in this book, and while it is classified as poetry, it could also be easily read as a memoir.

While this book is highly personal in its account, it is also very much political. The poet talks of the mail-order bride phenomenon, the phletora of Filipina penpal sites on the Internet, the objectification of the Filipina and how she has been transformed into a commodity.

Alongside this, is the personal aspect of the poet coming to terms with the loss of her father.  The poet reminds us of the transcience of life, our own human frailty and our vision of our parents.

Here is a poignant line that I think would resonate with many readers: 

I want my father immortal, but that’s beyond my control.

This book is available also from amazon.com as well as from Marsh Hawk Press
Eileen's blog can be found

[identity profile] meganbmoore.livejournal.com

Schuyler Van Alen is a modern goth emo teen who attends Duchesne, a prestigious, exclusive school for New York’s terminally rich. Naturally, she hates all her snobby classmates and lounges around with her equally disaffected best friend, Oliver. Her opposite number is the bitchy and elite Mimi, who isn’t happy when her twin brother, Jack, the most popular boy in school, starts having an interest in Schuyler. Mimi’s best friend, Bliss, secretly hates everything Mimi stands for, but goes along with it to be in the In crowd, until she falls for bad-boy Dylan, who is also Schuyler and Oliver’s friend.

No, Gossip Girl’s cast didn’t get renamed, I promise.

Virtually every student at Duchesne can list off a few presidents in their background and trace their lineage at least as far back and The Mayflower. There’s careful explanations about how the truly classy rich don’t show off their wealth and endless brand name dropping, exclusive clubs, exclusive fashions, etc. But then a student is found dead and drained of blood, and Schuyler and Bliss start to notice they’re feeling strange and developing strange habits. Like eating raw meat.

more )
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[personal profile] littlebutfierce
I used to be so diligent about posting here, alas! My reviews have gotten shorter, too. But seeing all the new folks joining & everyone posting their reads has inspired me to try to catch up! Here's what I've read since I finished the challenge last year (using IBARW as my deadline). Links go to my reading journal.

Locating Filipino Americans: Ethnicity & the Cultural Politics of Space - Rick Bonus

America Is in the Heart - Carlos Bulosan

Racing the Dark - Alaya Dawn Johnson

Making More Waves: New Writing by Asian American Women - Edited by Elaine H. Kim, Lilia V. Villanueva, and Asian Women United of California

Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America - Edited by Quang Bao and Hanya Yanagihara

Race Manners for the 21st Century: Navigating the Minefield Between Black and White Americans in an Age of Fear - Bruce A. Jacobs

Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White - Frank H. Wu

Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam - Edited by Tony Medina and Louis Reyes Rivera

Funny Boy - Shyam Selvadurai

Waiting to Be Heard: Youth Speak Out about Inheriting a Violent World - The Students of San Francisco's Thurgood Marshall Academic High School

The Taste of Sweet: Our Complicated Love Affair with Our Favorite Treats - Joanne Chen

The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code-Breaking - Simon Singh

A Century of Migration (Bristol's Asian Communities) - Munawar Hussain

Chinatown Beat - Henry Chang

Stuffed & Starved: From Farm to Fork, the Hidden Battle for the World Food System - Raj Patel

Kin: New Fiction by Black and Asian Women - Edited by Karen McCarthy

Women, Race & Class - Angela Davis

From Outside In: Refugees and British Society - Edited by Nushin Arbabzadah


Jun. 29th, 2008 05:02 pm
littlebutfierce: (Default)
[personal profile] littlebutfierce
Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization among Post-1965 Filipino Americans - Leny Mendoza Strobel. Read more... )

Whispers from the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction - Edited by Nalo Hopkinson. Read more... )

Of Love and Other Monsters - Vandana Singh. Read more... )

Filipino Women in Detroit: 1945-1955: Oral Histories from the Filipino American Oral History Project of Michigan - Joseph A. Galura & Emily P. Lawsin. Read more... )

Filter House - Nisi Shawl. Read more... )

Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings By and About Asian American Women - Edited by Asian Women United of California. Read more... )

Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage: The First Quarter Storm and Related Events - Jose F. Lacaba. Read more... )

Topography of War: Asian American Essays - Edited by Andrea Louie & Johnny Lew. Read more... )

x-posted to my reading journal, [livejournal.com profile] furyofvissarion
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
  1. De la Cruz, Melissa - Masquerade
    I am not quite sure why I read this, as the first book was fairly mediocre, as was this. But I did, and I will probably pick up the others as well, unless something is sporkworthily bad. (more)

  2. Hopkinson, Nalo, and Uppinder Mehan, ed. - So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy
    I am a really bad person to write about this book, as I generally suck at reading short stories that focus more on the conceptual than the emotional. I found most of the stories that I "got" were the ones I wanted to argue with ("Native Aliens" and "Lingua Franca" in particular), and the ones with the neatest concepts were the ones I didn't really "get" (a lot). I, uh, largely feel like I fail at reading comprehension. (more)

  3. Narayan, Kirin - Love, Stars, and All That
    Gita Das is an Indian grad student at Berkeley, where she's overwhelmed by culture shock and her Aunty Saroj's astrologer's prediction that she will find her true love that March. (more)

  4. Cisneros, Sandra - Caramelo
    I found this in the YA section of my library, and I have to say, I am very confused by this classification. Even though the heroine is Celaya, who grows from child to teenager in the book, the book itself is a giant, sprawling family saga of the Reyes, encompassing about three generations and at least ten side stories. (more)

  5. Lee Iksop and S. Robert Ramsey - The Korean Language
    As noted in the title, this is a book about the Korean language. It's written mostly for linguists, which is why I skimmed a huge portion, as I have very little knowledge about linguistics and only a tiny bit more about Korean, largely thanks to [livejournal.com profile] yhlee. (more)

  6. Thomas, Sherry - Private Arrangements
    Gigi Rowland and Camden Saybrook have been married for ten years, but for reasons unbeknownst to anyone but them, they have been living on separate continents since the day after they got married. We, of course, know that something tragic must have happened, and indeed, it was a Really Bad Mistake on Gigi's part that then multiplied like gremlins. (more)
littlebutfierce: (Default)
[personal profile] littlebutfierce
One Tribe - M. Evelina Galang. Read more... )

The Shadow Speaker - Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu. Read more... )

Not Home, But Here: Writing from the Filipino Diaspora - Edited by Luisa A. Igloria. Read more... )

Homelands: Women's Journeys Across Race, Place, and Time - Edited by Patricia Justine Tumang and Jenesha de Rivera. Read more... )

Learn to Play Go: A Master's Guide to the Ultimate Game - Janice Kim and Jeong Soo-hyun. Read more... )

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex - Edited by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence. Read more... )

So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy - Edited by Nalo Hopkinson & Uppinder Mehan. Read more... )

Brother, I'm Dying - Edwidge Danticat. Read more... )

Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America - Linda Furiya. Read more... )
[identity profile] jinian.livejournal.com
(For anyone who's as literal as I am, I will first note that only around 20 demons are included in the book.)

Lynda Barry started on the project of painting a hundred of her personal demons after reading about an artistic exercise based on a Zen monk's scroll of a hundred demons. Those appearing in the book have background stories, mostly from her childhood and connecting to her experience as a multiracial person -- Barry is a redhead and generally seems to be able to pass, but her Filipino family doesn't just disappear: "Dean tried to say it wasn't my mom, how could it be my mom, the lady wasn't even shouting in English." Men in the childhood world seem to be confined to drive-by abusers, bullies, and objects of desire, though later Barry has acquired a husband. Her mother is terrifying, but she has a good relationship with her live-in grandmother, a pattern apparently common in her family. I found it painful in places, but still funny and engaging.

Barry's cartooning style ranges from simple black-and-white brushwork to watercolor with collage elements, some three-dimensional. Some samples of her work are at marlysmagazine.com. One Hundred Demons is fairly elaborate, with glued-on fake flowers and origami insects on colored cartoons. I love her stuff and have a couple more books coming from the library soon.
littlebutfierce: (queer)
[personal profile] littlebutfierce
While looking for resources for POC-written YA books, I stumbled upon Paper Tigers, which focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on books about the Pacific Rim & South Asia. They've got a lot of reviews up. Not all the books are by POCs, but still, looks like a decent site to check out.

2. Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women on War, Faith, and Sexuality - Edited by Sarah Husain. Read more... )

3. Growing Up Brown: Memoirs of a Filipino American - Peter Jamero. Read more... )

4. Translations of Beauty - Mia Yun. Read more... )


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