Everything is The Worst. [PINNED POST]

August 17th, 2017 4:06 pm by Kelly Garbato

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tweets for 2018-03-18

March 19th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

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March 18th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-03-16

March 17th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • A person from New Mexico was just killed in a preventable gun violence incident. #POTUS, please use your influence… https://t.co/NRqpGYn9Zz ->
  • RT @ClaraJeffery: 1/ The coolest thing just happened. After seeing @ava's Wrinkle in Time, Milo wanted me to read it to him. So I pull down… ->
  • RT @ToLiveUnchained: Just took my 88yr old grandma to see #WrinkleInTime in time and she was in awe!
    *and said “Erika, you look like that… ->
  • RT @sttepodcast: Day nineteen of our twenty days of Funko is this Silhouette Flash Pop! – Entertainment Earth exclusive
    Just follow @sttep->
    WIN this new Star Wars inspired T-shirt before we release it. RT and FOLLO… ->
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Book Review: Pierce Brown’s Red Rising: Sons of Ares by Pierce Brown, Rik Hoskin, & Eli Powell (2018)

March 16th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Satisfying, though not as grand a story as I expected.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Fitchner au Barca is a goblin among Gold Gods. In a world that places a premium on physical perfection, he is short, scrappy, and ugly. But he’s also a survivor, one who makes it through the Passage even though he was sent there as a sacrificial lamb. He weathers the Institute by swallowing his pride and aligning himself with the leader of a rival house. But his loyalty goes unrewarded: rather than serve by his friend Arturius’s side, Fitchner is forced to sell his contract after graduation. He’s sent to a terraforming colony on Triton, where he falls in love with a lowly Red named Bryn. The rest, as they say, is history.

Based on the Red Rising trilogy, Sons of Ares gives us a little glimpse of proctor/terrorist/freedom fighter Fitchner’s backstory: his time at the Institute, his relationship with Bryn, the birth of Sevro, and the injustice that would prove the seed of the rebel group Sons of Ares.

The story itself is interesting; while there isn’t much new here, it does at least flesh out Fitchner’s past for us. That said, and especially considering Brown’s intro, I half-expected the roots of the Sons of Ares to go deeper, for the tale of the rebellion to be a little grander and far-reaching. Fitcher might have been the match that lit the spark, but I’d love to know more about the many men and women who provided the kindling and accelerant leading up to Bryn’s murder. Certainly he couldn’t have done this all on his own? It takes a village … over many generations.

It feels more like Fitchner’s memoir than a people’s history of the uprising, if that makes any sense.

Sons of Ares is constructed as a standalone story, but most likely fans of the series will enjoy it most: newbies might find it difficult to get fully invested in the characters, given the sheer scope of Brown’s universe and the comparably short length of the comic.

3 stars for non-fans, 4 for Howlers.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2018-03-15

March 16th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

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March 15th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

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March 14th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Kim Reaper: Grim Beginnings (Kim Reaper #1-4) by Sarah Graley (2018)

March 13th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Freaping adorable!

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Becka is totally crushing on the goth girl at school, black-clad, purple-haired Kim. What Becka doesn’t know – that is, until she inadvertently follows Kim through a portal and interrupts a cat reaping* – is that Kim wields a scythe and is the only human reaper in employ down in hell. Can their budding romance survive Kim’s super-intense, yet just part-time job? How about a buff cat guy high on energy drinks? One of the girls’ death-dates? A zombie apocalypse? Yes, this all transpires in a mere 114 pages, and it is as weird and wonderful as it sounds.

Kim Reaper is, in a word, freaping adorable. Okay, that’s two, but Kim would excuse me. Becka and Kim make a cute as heck couple, and the bizarre obstacles that inexplicably pop up in their path will just have you rooting for them all the more. I mean, two cute girls? One of them a reaper? Crushing on each other, kicking ass, reaping souls? What’s not to love?!?

Also, some of the over-the-top emotional panels are reminiscent of the Sarah’s Scribbles series, which only ups its cool quotient imho.

The only odd thing is that the writing feels a little young – like tweeny – even though the girls – err, women – are in university. It has the vibe of a middle grade story with a YA/New Adult cast.

* Bonus points for imparting a sort of personhood to nonhuman animals, even though it probably wasn’t meant as a political statement or anything.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2018-03-12

March 13th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-03-11

March 12th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Fourteen Little Rennie Things

March 11th, 2018 2:30 pm by Kelly Garbato

2017-09-17 - Rennie Batgirl - 0018 [flickr]

Dear Rennie,

I love you.

I want to say more, but I’m apt to get weepy and hysterical in my present condition. And no one wants that! There’s just so much to worry about lately without you going and getting all old on me!

I hope you’re still around when we up and move to New York. I hope you like your new home and yard (smaller though they may be), and your cousins Hash and Roxy. I hope I’m doing right by you guys and making this all at least a tiny bit easier. You guys do, you know: make this all a little easier to bear. Some days you guys are the only reason I get out of bed. (So you don’t poop in it, hardee har har.)

I love you. Please stick around a little bit longer, for me?



(Can you believe it’s been thirteen years? I mean, h*ck.)

2017-09-30 - Walking at the Cemetery - 0072 [flickr]

2017-09-06 - Mags, Rennie & the Acorn Cap - 0014 [flickr]

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tweets for 2018-03-10

March 11th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

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March 10th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-03-08

March 9th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Burger by Carol J. Adams (2018)

March 8th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

A Burger is in the Eye of the Beholder

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for allusions to violence against women, and actual violence against nonhuman animals.)

Toward the end of a very long evening in which Harold and Kumar overcome a variety of obstacles in their pursuit of a White Castle hamburger, Kumar makes a speech about the meaning of immigration to the United States. In his telling, hamburgers form the heart of being a citizen of the United States.

“So you think this is just about the burgers, huh? Let me tell you, it’s about far more than that. Our parents came to this country, escaping persecution, poverty, and hunger. Hunger, Harold. They were very, very hungry. They wanted to live in a land that treated them as equals, a land filled with hamburger stands. And not just one type of hamburger, okay? Hundreds of types with different sizes, toppings, and condiments. That land was America. America, Harold! America! Now, this is about achieving what our parents set out for. This is about the pursuit of happiness. This night . . . is about the American dream.”

The symbolism of the hamburger may seem fixed (equal to the entire United States), yet Kumar did not consume White Castle hamburgers in the movie scenes. The actor who plays Kumar, Kal Penn (Kalpen Suresh Modi) is a vegetarian and ate veggie burgers. Ten years before White Castle introduced a vegetarian slider to its customers, they custom-made veggie sliders for Penn to consume as Kumar.

Why do the history and technologies of violence central to the hamburger remain unacknowledged? The violence could be invoked as a reminder of masculine identity and conservatism, something [Michael] Pollan himself celebrates when he goes boar hunting. It could also have been claimed as part of the human identity.

True, the bovine is more pacific and in general less dangerous than a carnivore; killing a bovine might be seen as a less virile activity than killing carnivores. Still, a narrative of violence might have been developed to celebrate hamburger eating. The question becomes not how do we understand the violence at the heart of the hamburger, but why isn’t the hamburger celebrated for the violence at its heart?

Published by Bloomsbury, Object Lessons “is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.” I was both surprised and a little exhilarated to see that the author of Burger, the latest addition to the series, is none other than ecofeminist Carol J. Adams, she of The Sexual Politics of Meat fame. If anyone could restore the absent referent – the 32.5 million+ cows slaughtered annually in the U.S. alone – to a conversation about hamburgers, it would be her.

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tweets for 2018-03-07

March 8th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

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March 7th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

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March 6th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One (Women are some kind of magic #2) by Amanda Lovelace (2018)

March 5th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

“warning II: no mercy ahead.”

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Netgalley. Trigger warning for violence against women.)

/m ‘säj ne/
1: the power-driven hatred of women.
2: just the way things are.

/mi ‘ sandre/
1: the reactionary, self-preserving hatred of men.
2: somehow this is going too far.

very being

is considered
an inconvenience,

our bodies
vacant homes

wrapped in layers
of yellow tape,

our legs
double doors

for one man
(& one man only)

to pry open so
he can invade us

& set down his

never once
asking us

how we feel
about the curtains.

– they love us empty, empty, empty.

in this novel
the woman protagonist

claims she’s not like
those other girls,

not because she finds
their femininity

to be an insult or
a weakness, no—


she knows
all women have

their own unique

that cannot be
replicated by her

or any other

– the plot twist we’ve all been waiting for.

It pains me that I didn’t love this book more than I did.

I credit Lovelace’s first collection, The Princess Saves Herself in this One, with reigniting my love of poetry. Accessible and invigorating, it showed me that I could both enjoy – and understand – modern poetry. Based on the strength of the first book, and the fairy tale promise of the follow-up’s title, my expectations were really quite high. Maybe unfairly so.

If you read The Princess Saves Herself in this One, many of the pieces here will feel familiar to you; this is not necessarily a bad thing. Lovelace’s words have the same fierce intersectional feminist spark that drew me to Princess. There’s a lot to love here – but there’s also quite a bit of repetition. I was also hoping for a more obvious connection between the poems and fairy tale villains; maybe a retelling here or there. Mostly though the poems just draw on imagery of witchcraft and witch hunts. Again, this isn’t a bad thing, especially given the current backlash against the #MeToo campaign. I was just hoping for something … more.

That said, there are some really wonderful and memorable poems within these here pages. The topics are timely AF, and I love that Lovelace takes care to embrace all women under the banner of sisterhood (say it with me: all women are authentic). If you love women and love poetry, The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One is still a pretty solid pick, and I look forward to the next title in the “Women are some kind of magic,” The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in this One.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2018-03-04

March 5th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato