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What I Just Finished Reading
Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur, with forwards by Angela Y. Davis and Lennox S. Hinds
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in US history or the history of the protest movement. The story is divided between Shakur's youth and entry into the Black Power movements, and the four years she spent on trail in the early to mid '70s, and both parts are illuminating, though I found the story of her growing consciousness more interesting. She really lays out what it felt like to be working class and black in New York in the '60s and '70s, and is very frank about how her personal ethics evolved including many past errors.

I wish there had been more detail about her transition from the Black Panthers to the Black Liberation Army, and what life in the BLA was like, but I understand the political constraints she was writing under (not wanting to drop the FBI on anyone's head). Perhaps there will be a follow up some day.

On a prose level, the book is strongly written, and cut through with Shakur's poetry. It's definitely a step up from most memoirs.


Anathema: Spec from the Margins, April 2017 (#1)
First issue of a magazine dedicated to stories by queer writers of colour. I always say that collections are a mixed bag, but I honestly really liked everything in this anthology save one story (life is too short for AIDS metaphors). I think the mermaid story "The Woman with a Thousand Stars in Her Hair" was my favourite this issue. Also excellent, the essay about using Kenyan vernacular to define a place for marginalised people, especially in relation to SFF.

"The Creeping Influences" by Sonya Taaffe
Eerie short story about a bog woman found by a group of peat diggers in '30s Ireland. I like what this story does with love and gender, and I'm very fond of the prose. Fond of Shimmer generally, actually.

What I'm Reading Now
Beren and LĂșthien by J.R.R. Tolkien, slow going. I liked the first part, which was the initial version of the story in a fairytale style with the prince of cats, but retreading the lay isn't really my fave. I'm such a bad Tolkien fan.

Audio: Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman by Cathy Wilkerson. If nothing else, this is underlining what an achievement the brevity of Assata's book was. It's very interesting (she's still not a terrorist!), but probably could have cut some detail.

What I'm Reading Next
Library books! Or maybe that Worth Saga novella by Milan. Something lighter.
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