Everything is The Worst. [PINNED POST]

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

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2018-12-18

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

Book Review: Donald and the Golden Crayon by P. Shauers (2018)

December 18th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Covfefe!

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-book for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for references to sexual assault.)

A send-up of the popular children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon, Donald and the Golden Crayon features 45 doing what he does best: insulting people of color, celebrating misogyny, building walls, destroying the environment, bagging on the troops, bragging, and just generally winning. (SO MUCH WINNING!) With his magical golden crayon, 45 traverses the country, scribbling on all the things. The United States will never look the same (sob).

Donald and the Golden Crayon is part of a growing list of parody books about our current political climate that would be funny … if it wasn’t so damn depressing. Like, I appreciate what Shauers has done here, but parts of the book just make me want to cry. I do hope he sends a copy to Drumpf though, that would be yuge.

Normally I would not recommend “children’s books for adults” to actual children – and there is some harsh stuff here, from a “Grab ’em by the Pussy!” protest sign to an allusion to the alleged sex tape – but, idk, probably they’ve heard all this and worse on the news. If anything, Donald and the Golden Crayon could provide an opportunity to explain to kids why 45 is the worst. But, you know, be your own decider person.

(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 2018-12-17

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

tweets for 2018-12-16

December 17th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @IBlame: If y’all haven’t seen this real good horse thread yet, I am sorry for you. 1/ https://t.co/A8ka5Gvlzu ->
  • RT @Slate: 20 years apart, two actresses found their careers at CBS cut short after alleged harassment. https://t.co/kPVxELVUXS ->
  • RT @gsilvarole: INBOX: The two men charged with the vandalism of a Frederick Douglass statue earlier today are students at St. John Fisher… ->
  • RT @ScottHech: The Mayor once again has deferred to the NYPD to police themselves. Think about the message this sends to the force. You can… ->
  • RT @ScottHech: But this is not the end of the story. Cannot be. Right now, the NYPD has sent the message that the behavior of its officers,… ->
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tweets for 2018-12-15

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

tweets for 2018-12-14

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

Book Review: Gwen the Rescue Hen by Leslie Crawford & Sonja Stangl (2018)

December 14th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Enjoy with a plate of scrambled tofu!

five out of five stars

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

“Come on, Gwen,” says Mateo, as he helps settle her onto the handlebars. Let’s hit it! she thinks. Let’s fly.

Hen is suffering a pretty miserable existence when a natural disaster proves her salvation. Imprisoned in a battery cage and exploited as a laying hen, Hen shares a tiny cage with half a dozen or so of her sisters. Everywhere Hen looks, she sees rows upon rows and stacks upon stacks of hens. Hen’s only freedom – her only escape from the chaos and filth of her prison – is in her dreams.

That is, until the day a tornado lifts Hen’s cage from the giant, industrial shed in which it’s housed and deposits Hen and her companions in a beautiful green field. The girls scatter, but not before a boy and his friends spot Hen. After a tense stand-off and a few close calls, Hen learns to trust the human boy called Mateo. Newly christened Gwen, Hen and the Boy become best friends, enjoying swims in the river (or, in Hen’s case, dust baths on the shore), roosting/reading marathons, and social calls.

Based on the destruction of an egg farm in Croton, Ohio, Gwen the Rescue Hen is a sweet and beautiful tale of friendship – and compassion. Gentle enough for young readers (Hen’s time as a cog in the machine of animal ag is indeed morose – as emphasized by the black and white palette – but handled with care, and with the more horrifying details omitted), the story is also educational, with plenty of facts about chickens sprinkled throughout. By giving a name to a bird – one of five billion such animals living in American battery cages at any given time – the authors affirm Gwen’s personhood: she is a someone, not a something. This shouldn’t be a novelty, and yet.

Gwen the Rescue Hen is a wonderful choice for vegan families, or for any parent or guardian wishing to instill a sense of compassion in their young children. And the artwork is super-adorable too!

(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 2018-12-13

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

tweets for 2018-12-12

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

tweets for 2018-12-11

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

Book Review: Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill (2018)

December 11th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Oh, the mixed feelings!

three out of five stars

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

After her mother perished in a tragic boating accident, Lana’s father moved them out of the idyllic seaside town they called home and into the city. Now they’re back, if only for a few days, to help the community recover from an especially devastating storm. Yet when she rescues a sick young aquicorn (think: a cross between a seahorse and a unicorn) from a tide pool and nurses her back to health, Lana’s mission ripples outward until it becomes monumental in scope. Not only must she confront the unacknowledged grief and depression that assailed her after the loss of her mother – indeed, everything she’d ever known – she must also save the aquicorn’s home, under assault from climate change, pollution, and overfishing.

So there are lots of things I loved about Aquicorn Cove: The artwork is super-adorable, the aquicorns especially (and unsurprisingly). I appreciate the breadth of diversity when it comes to Aquicorn Cove’s citizens: not only do we see a variety of skin tones, but there’s a refreshing range of body types too, from tiny little old ladies (who are still getting it done, okay), to aunt Mae, who is big and beefy and has the kind of biceps I’d kill for. There’s even an implied same-sex romance between Mae and Aure, the queen (keeper? guardian?) of Aquicorn Cove. I ship it.

While I liked the environmentally friendly vibe, as well as the message that not a single one of us is too small to make a difference, the story lost me in its treatment of its smallest creatures: the fishes. There’s a clear divide between the aquicorns (flashy, majestic, kind, unique) and the fishes (food, natural resource), even though both are someones, not somethings. Whereas I doubt Lana would even dream of killing and eating an aquicorn, somehow it’s just fine to do this to someone who’s “just” a salmon (or whatever). In a word, it’s speciesist.

Granted, Lana’s people are perhaps indigenous to the island, and that’s a conversation worth having. That said, I don’t think it’s helpful to feed kids self-serving pap about how food animals “sacrifice” themselves for you. Most animals, when faced with death, fight to survive – just like human animals. So please just don’t try to romanticize their deaths, or make them appear complicit. They do not exist for your pleasure or convenience.

In summary, Aquicorn Cove is a pretty adorable book, though vegan parents might be better off skipping it entirely. There’s just too much to unpack.

(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 2018-12-10

December 11th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @HoneyDemForce: It’s official: Trump’s asylum crisis is driven by people coming legally
    New stats make clear that the Trump administrat… ->
  • RT @Ocasio2018: Memo to humanity that NOT 👏🏽ONE 👏🏽DIME 👏🏽 should go towards funding the human rights abuses of this administration.
    If any… ->
  • RT @BrittneyMMorris: ✨ GIVEAWAY!! ✨
    YAY! SLAY passed 300 adds on GR! To celebrate, I'm giving away a 2019 debut pre-order! To Enter: Follow… ->
  • RT @BrendanNyhan: Orrin Hatch 2018: I don't care if the President's own DOJ has implicated him in felonies. What is a "crime" anyway?
    Orr… ->
  • RT @chick_in_kiev: https://t.co/S2weZSON00 ->
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tweets for 2018-12-09

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

tweets for 2018-12-08

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

tweets for 2018-12-07

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

Book Review: Claw the System: Poems from the Cat Uprising by Francesco Marciuliano (2018)

December 7th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Welcome to the Catnip Cabal

three out of five stars

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

THE PRESS

There is nothing more important
Than the press
There is nothing more indispensable
Than the press
There is nothing we need more right now
Than the press
Of my paw
Against the lips
Of anyone spewing hatred
Right after that paw has been in the litter box

MENTAL HEALTH DAY

When you can’t lift your head up
When you can’t raise your hopes up
When you can’t get yourself up
To face another day
Remember
You can still bring your leg up
And lick yourself down there
For like hours if you want
Because you have to take care of yourself
Before you can take on this world

The cats are fed up with our bullshit – and, in addition to silly Halloween costumes, tasteless kibble, and sleeping past 3AM, I’ve got to believe that the 2016 election has a little something to do with it. Normally felines would not deign to involve themselves in something as crass as human politics, but come on! The death of democracy and all that jazz. Plus where are they going to get their cat dancers and laser pointers if Drumpf starts a trade war with China, hmmm?

The clues are sometimes subtle, but look closely and you’ll see ’em. With chapter headings like Recognize, Resist, Revolt, and Rebuild, and poems celebrating the “press” and advocating for mental health days, these cats are obviously #withher. They dislike voter disenfranchisement almost as much they hate your best friend’s handsy toddler.

So this is a cute idea that gets stale about halfway through the book. Unsurprisingly, my favorites were the more radical poems in the bunch. Some are straight-up meme-worthy; the rest are good for a chuckle or two, hence the middling rating. The cat photos range from adorable to downright fierce.

Should you find yourself guffawing at the very idea of feline resistance, you owe it to yourself to read Jason Hribal’s Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance.

(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 2018-12-06

December 7th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @SchomburgCenter: Are you an educator interested in learning how to best teach slavery to your students? Then join us on 12/11 for a spe… ->
  • RT @LECrockett: In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment passing in the US in 2019, I’m giving away 3 paperback editions of… ->
  • RT @LECrockett: To tide you over till #GrantchesterPBS returns in 2019, I’m giving away a finished hardcover copy of @clarissaharwood’s BEA… ->
  • RT @TheDailyShow: Trevor visits his Grandma Koko in Soweto, South Africa, to talk about his childhood, her life under apartheid, and what e… ->
  • RT @ClaraJeffery: “Over the course of nearly three years, BuzzFeed News has spoken with more than 30 people for this story…” bravo ⁦@azee… ->
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tweets for 2018-12-05

December 6th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @mbrockenbrough: I am incredibly grateful for all of the tweets about my Trump bio, UNPRESIDENTED.
    Thank you for supporting this book.… ->
  • RT @DailyBrooklyn99: ☃️ b99 christmas giveway ☃️
    WINNER gets a choice of phone case or 4 stickers
    RUNNER UP gets 4 stickers
    • rt to en… ->
  • RT @GWillowWilson: Somebody legit had the nerve to suggest that Priyanka Chopra, star of a dozen Bollywood mega-hits, is a social climber f… ->
  • RT @AriBerman: Wisconsin GOP voted in wee hours of morning to brazenly strip power from Dem gov/AG & make it harder to vote
    Similar GOP le… ->
  • RT @wagatwe: If you want to read more about how @tuftsuniversity failed me as a Black woman because they took my report less seriously, che… ->
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tweets for 2018-12-04

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

Book Review: The Many Deaths of Scott Koblish by Scott Koblish (2018)

December 4th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Not for the chronically anxious.

two out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free book for review through Library Thing’s Early Reviewers program.)

— 2.5 stars —

The Many Deaths of Scott Koblish is exactly what it sounds like: the author’s weird and varied imaginings of how he might meet his end. The scenarios range from the mundane-yet-tragic (being buried in an avalanche; dying in a festive house fire) to the more bizarre and outlandish (being kidnapped by aliens only to die in a fiery wreck when the US government shoots your flying saucer down; being murdered in the night by your daughter’s adorable stuffed teddy bear). My personal favorites are those that involve nonhuman animals getting revenge (such as the kangaroo boxer who stomps his human opponent to death. down with animal fighting!). There are no fewer than five instances of cats sending an unsuspecting Scott Koblish plummeting out a window to his death.

It’s a cute enough idea, if not terribly memorable. Well, unless you’re scared of clowns, alligators, or dying in unclean undies. Then some of these panels just might keep you awake at night. No death by sheer embarrassment, though, so I’m safe! :)

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