2016 has basically been a left-up toilet seat of a year, but it wasn’t all terrible. Some great books were published that I gobbled up like a little library gremlin. If you haven’t read these books yet, I strongly recommend you resolve to do so in 2017. Get in quickly, before the world ends.
The Good Immigrant (Edited by Nikesh Shukla)- This collection of essays from black, Asian and minority ethic writers in Britain explores what life is like. Some are funny. Some stir up fury. Some will make you cry. They are all beautifully-written, smart and moving. Shukla has done a jaw-dropping job in assembling these voices and putting together a collection of must-read meditations on living on this rainy fascism island.
Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain (Edited by Kate Harrad)- A collection of writing, interviews, essays, poems and commentary on bisexuality and its many intersections. It examines the challenges bisexual people faces, and honestly examines bi activism–the good, and the things that we need to work harder on. It’s a great introduction for would-be allies and those who think they might be bicurious, yet also an important read for hardened bi activists.
Virus (Linda Stupart)- I honestly can’t really explain this novella, so I’ll quote from the blurb: “WHAT TO EXPECT IN THIS BOOK:* tentacle sex * Kathy Acker * the violent deaths of male genius artists, philosophers and theorists * zombies * sirens * biohacking * rampant plagiarism * cop killing * spells you can use at home”. You get all of that, and more.
Everything Belongs To The Future (Laurie Penny)- Penny’s debut long-form fiction is a dystopian near-future where time is a commodity which the rich hoard, and a ragtag gang of scruffy anarchos want to change this. It’s a terrifyingly plausible dystopia, and the characters are highly recognisable if you’ve ever moved in activist circles.
An Accident of Stars (Foz Meadows)- This fantasy novel is a revival of everything that was enjoyable about your classic portal fantasy novel, but without the stuff that made them annoying (e.g. being all about a bunch of white men). It’s great fun whether you are usually a fantasy reader, or whether you’re new to the genre.
The Turning Tide (Dr Brook Magnanti)- If you’re a fan of thrillers, this is one for you. It’s got grisly murders, political conspiracies, and also, queer rowers, just to sweeten the deal. I also really enjoyed the fact that this is a thriller which actually understands the social media age, rather than just parps it in as a plot device without getting what’s going on.
Happy reading, friends. If you got book tokens or money for Christmas, I strongly recommend buying all of these books, and there’s only six of them, so you can probably burrow through them quite quickly.
This is probably my last post of 2016, so 🖕🖕🖕🖕 to the year!