Let’s Hope August Is Better: A Links Round-Up

Alton Sterling was killed in Louisiana (which is where I live) on Tuesday, July 5th. Roxane Gay talks about his life and his death. Rembert Browne on people who don’t want anyone not like them to exist at all. Ijeoma Olua on the tragedy in Dallas and how we should (and shouldn’t) respond to it. Ta-Nehisi Coates on the unbreakable link between violence by police officers and violence against them.

In the wake of Black Lives Matter pulling out of the Pride parade in San Francisco due to increased police presence, some thoughts on the disconnect between the two major civil rights fights of our day.

A profile of our nation’s top ASL interpreter for hip-hop artists. My one complaint about this article is that it does not include sufficient videos of Amber Galloway Gallego being awesome.

Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer spent four months as a guard in a for-profit prison in Louisiana and wrote a massive report on it. It’s basically exactly what you’d expect from our broken-ass prison system.

Suki Kim, author of Without You There Is No Us, talks about categorizing her book (a work of investigative journalism) as a memoir, and the persistent devaluing of women’s work. It made me scrutinize my own reaction to the ethics of her book, and I hope I’ll be more cognizant of that when reviewing journalism by women in the future.

Why plots are so important (also, has anyone read Emily Barton’s book, The Book of Esther? I am tentatively interested but want more information from y’all).

Your summer comic book recommendations, from Kieron Gillen, Kate Leth, and Marjorie Liu. Bid adieu to your productivity.

Queerbaiting in Captain America

The Millions released their book preview for the second half of 2016, and it is EPIC. I also discovered just yesterday that there’s a nonfiction one too.

THE SCIENCE OF BOOKS: All books everywhere with no exceptions whatsoever1 follows one of six emotional arcs. Oh how I love a taxonomy, my precious.

Rumaan Alam inquires what makes a book diverse, and wonders if his own novel — about straight white women — can be considered diverse.2

On Twitter last week I told a story about a good dog from history that doesn’t die tragically. You can read that story here.

Finally, and completely frivolously, please enjoy this wonderful review of the Blake Lively shark movie by Wesley Morris (one of my favorite cultural critics ever), which is brilliant on the subject of interchangeable celebrities.

  1. This may be hyperbole
  2. Pet peeve: A BOOK cannot be diverse. Groups can be diverse, an individual cannot. Dictionary Curmudgeon Gin Jenny urges you to get off her lawn.
  • I feel so ineffectual with the deaths and politics going on right now. It’s so wrong and upsetting and I have all these angry feelings of injustice and I’m doing f-all about it. #privilagedwhiteproblems

  • JeanPing

    I read Suki Kim’s article too, and I still feel skeevy about her methods. I didn’t notice at the time that it was being billed as a memoir, and that’s not cool.

  • I really, really would like to know how much of the text of Kim’s book changed when the decision was made to market it as a memoir. Did it read like a memoir to me because that’s what the cover said, because it was edited to feel like a memoir, or because (whatever Kim’s intentions) it felt like a memoir all along? And, like you, I want to be more aware of these issues in the future when reading investigatory books by women. It’s a good thing to think about.

    I share your pet peeve about the word diverse. But, even though I don’t like it, I’m still guilty of that usage because I can’t always think of a better way to say it.

  • Oh, thank you for the article on Amber Galloway Gallego!! I hadn’t seen that and I love it. I also love footnote 2.

  • Read Diverse Books

    I read Rumaan Alam’s piece and something about it bothered me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Perhaps it was his perpetuation of the myth of “The Only One” as if there really can’t be more than one great writer in America who is Indian, or African-American, or Jamaican. He probably doesn’t think so, but he kept repeating the phrase over and over.
    I also agree that individual books cannot be diverse. I wrote a whole blog post about this lol

  • ooh, enormous book lists…love those.

  • Stefanie@SoManyBooks

    Comics and book lists! Thank you for demolishing any shred of reading plan I may have had left this year.

  • Jodie

    The lists!!!