tweets for 2015-03-04

March 5th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Bloodchild and Other Stories, Octavia E. Butler (2005)

March 4th, 2015 12:27 pm by Kelly Garbato

These stories will burrow into your brain like a grub into an achti carcass.

five out of five stars

(Trigger warning for rape and sexual/reproductive exploitation.)

The truth is, I hate short story writing. Trying to do it has taught me much more about frustration and despair than I ever wanted to know.

Yet there is something seductive about writing short stories. It looks so easy. You come up with an idea, then ten, twenty, perhaps thirty pages later, you’ve got a finished story.

Well, maybe.

Don’t let Butler’s apparent distaste for short stories fool you; many of the stories collected here are shiny little masterpieces in their own right.

(…although I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t also love to see several of the stories fleshed out into full-length novels; “Bloodchild,” “Speech Sounds,” and “Amnesty,” I’m looking at you!)

The second edition of Bloodchild and Other Stories includes seven short stories (five previously published, two brand spanking new) and two essays (both reprints). While the essays offer advice to aspiring writers as well as insights into Butler’s childhood (“Shyness is shit.” might be the realest, rawest sentence in the whole damn book), the stories are that wonderfully creepy, complex, unsettling, and ultimately deeply profound brand of SF/F that I’ve come to associate with Butler: earth-based worlds characterized by rapidly crumbling dystopias, or alien societies in which the human survivors are forced into untenable compromises with their extraterrestrial saviors/overlords. Each piece is followed by a brief (but enlightening) Afterward penned by the author herself.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2015-03-03

March 4th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2015-03-02

March 3rd, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: The Girl With All the Gifts, M.R. Carey (2014)

March 2nd, 2015 12:19 pm by Kelly Garbato

Curse the children, for they are our future.

five out of five stars


Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.

Every once in a while, I’m accused of providing too much information in my reviews: vague hints and sly winks, plot details, even outright spoilers. And while it’s true that my reviews tend to be wordy, I almost always try to avoid spoilers, and clearly mark them when they do appear. But I’m reluctant say much of anything here, for the journey into Melanie’s world – beyond that hinted at in the deliciously vague book description – is half the fun.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2015-03-01

March 2nd, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

2015 Dive Into Diversity & LGBT Reading Challenges: February Roundup

March 1st, 2015 3:08 pm by Kelly Garbato

After careful consideration, I’ve decided to roll these two challenges into a single monthly wrap-up post, given that there’s just so much overlap. I’ll begin with each challenge’s logo, followed by a cover gallery for that month’s books. At the bottom of the post you’ll find a bullet list of titles, along with some notes on why I think they qualify (or might qualify; a few of the books are a little iffy) for the challenge. Easy enough, right?


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2015 Real Book Challenge: February Roundup

March 1st, 2015 2:45 pm by Kelly Garbato


Ten books down, forty to go!

By the way, Kindred? So good I can’t even. I should really write a review, but truth be told I’m kind of afraid to. There just aren’t enough words in the English language, okay.


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  • Diverse Energies edited by Tobias S. Buckell and Joe Monti (2012); reviewed here
  • Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol (2011); reviewed here
  • Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (1979/2004)
  • Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler (2003); review coming soon
  • Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock (2014)


  • tweets for 2015-02-28

    March 1st, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

    Stacking the Shelves: Wintery Book Mail ed.

    February 28th, 2015 2:06 pm by Kelly Garbato

    I don’t usually bother with a weekly Stacking the Shelves feature unless I have a pretty epic book haul that I want to show off. But I’ve taken to tweeting my book mail lately – and the past few weeks have been kind to me, book mail-wise – so why not? Plus I took some purty pictures, so.

    2015-02-28 - New Friends - 0001 [flickr]

    New friends, just arrived for the weekend! I bought a copy of Pretty Deadly on Amazon (just $6.50, with a $1 credit back for no-rush shipping) and apparently won a copy of The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant through BenBella’s book tour. Gotta love those surprise wins that just show up in your mailbox unannounced.

    2015-02-27 - Bookish Mail - 0001 [flickr]

    Yesterday was also a good book mail day, thanks to Fettle Vegan and (in another unexpected score) Viking Children’s Books: But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner and Mosquitoland.

    2015-02-25 - Bookish Mail - 0001 [flickr]

    Wednesday’s mail! From top to bottom, there are two titles from (Imager and The Outstretched Shadow); a used copy of Empress of the World, “purchased” on BookMooch, which I’m currently reading; an ARC of The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, courtesy of Fierce Reads; and a finished copy of The Country of Ice Cream Star, won for review through Goodreads (the hardcover more than makes up for its slow arrival).

    2015-02-05 - Candlewick Prize Pack - 0001 [flickr]

    Aaaaand a few weeks back I received a box o’ Candlewick’s Best Books, according to Time Magazine. Top to bottom, there’s The Tiger Rising; Boy Proof; The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane; Feed; The Knife of Never Letting Go; and A Monster Calls. Thanks, @foreverliterary & @Candlewick!

    2015-01-26 - Dive Into Diversity Giveaway - 0001 [flickr]

    Last but not least is this ARC of My Heart and Other Black Holes, via a Dive Into Diversity giveaway hosted by @gone_pecan! I’m really looking forward to reading it, but not sure my heart can handle all the feels right now. (Peedee, man. THESE DOGS WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME.)

    Speaking of, my furkids got some new swag this week too!

    (More below the fold…)

    tweets for 2015-02-27

    February 28th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

    Country Vegetable Soup

    February 27th, 2015 12:17 pm by Kelly Garbato

    2015-02-17 - SRJ Country Vegetable Soup - 0005 [flickr]

    Another one from Simple Recipes for Joy ! This soup proved much kinder to my insides than last month’s Cream of “Broccoli Hates You” Soup. The broth is surprisingly understated, considering the amount of spices that go into it: two tablespoons of rosemary, and a tablespoon each of cumin and coriander. (Is it just me, or does that sound like a ton of rosemary?) Really tasty though, and excellent for dipping crackers and rolls. The veggies include potatoes, carrots, corn, and peas (which I omitted), for a hearty vegetable soup.

    We’ve been experiencing a cold snap here in MO, and an oversized mug of piping hot soup sure hit the spot.

    For the dogs, I finally dug the heated blanket out of storage. I think they’re officially in love.

    2015-02-16 - Enjoying the Heated Blanket - 0001 [flickr]

    2015-02-16 - Enjoying the Heated Blanket - 0007 [flickr]

    2015-02-16 - Enjoying the Heated Blanket - 0017 [flickr]

    2015-02-16 - Enjoying the Heated Blanket - 0011 [flickr]

    tweets for 2015-02-26

    February 27th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

    tweets for 2015-02-25

    February 26th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

    Cashew Cappuccino Nanaimo Bar Chunk Ice Cream

    February 25th, 2015 12:03 pm by Kelly Garbato

    2015-02-07 - Cashew Cappuccino Nanaimo Bar Ice Cream - 0002 [flickr]

    Like many of my recipes (especially ice cream recipes – though usually banana-based), this one was borne of a desire to clear out the fridge/freezer. (Spring cleaning, it’s about that time!) I had about a quarter of the messed-up Cashew Cappuccino Nanaimo Bar I made (or tried to make, rather) for Christmas sitting in the freezer, and I decided what better way to finish it off than mixed with ice cream? You can’t go wrong with ice cream. It’s just not possible.

    So basically I just chopped the leftovers up and stirred stirred them into a batch of vanilla ice cream post-processing: easy peasy! You can do this with pretty much any baked good you’ve accidentally-on-purpose made a little too much of: cookie batter, cupcakes, granola bars, truffles, you name it.

    While certain layers caught my attention more than others (namely the cashew cream and chocolate topping), the finished ice cream proved tasty enough that I’m thinking about turning these flavors into their own honest-to-goodness ice cream, no nanaimo bar required.

    2015-02-07 - Cashew Cappuccino Nanaimo Bar Ice Cream - 0001 [flickr]

    (More below the fold…)

    tweets for 2015-02-24

    February 25th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
    • Photo: ghostly-youth: lanadelyasss: feminist marina is the best marina international womens day is my bday… ->
    • RT @LibrarianEllice: GIVEAWAY! Graphic novel. ARC of THE SCULPTOR by Scott McCloud. US only. Ends tonight (2/24) @ 11:59pm CT. RT to enter … ->
    • Photoset: smartgirlsattheparty: micdotcom:12 famous women who totally owned sexist, racist and transphobic… ->
    • Photo: veganpizzafuckyeah: So I finally got around to trying the new Daiya cheese pizza from Amys’…. ->
    • Photo: weneeddiversebooks: Please join WNDB and authors Brandy Colbert, G. Neri, Jason Reynolds and Renee… ->
    • (More below the fold…)

    tweets for 2015-02-23

    February 24th, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

    African American Readathon: 2015 Wrapup

    February 23rd, 2015 10:00 pm by Kelly Garbato


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    So here’s the final count for the African American Readathon: I read three Octavia Butler books (Kindred, which is amazing, as well as the short story collections Bloodchild and Other Stories and the posthumously released Unexpected Stories). I also started (but didn’t quite finish) Janet Mock’s memoir, Redefining Realness. Reviews forthcoming.

    tweets for 2015-02-22

    February 23rd, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

    tweets for 2015-02-21

    February 22nd, 2015 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato