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TV Corner: Monsterland

Monsterland is kind of like Black Mirror, only with supernatural creatures instead of technology. Based on the short story collection North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud, it is indeed very American in its horrors; I might even call it a modern iteration of American Gothic. It’s not a Creature Feature; though the monsters are very, very present, they are not the focus of the horror. They are only peripheral to the very human characters’ trauma and the hard and sometimes despicable choices they find themselves forced to make when put between a rock and a hard place.

Monsterland is an indictment of the failures of the so-called American Dream. Its characters struggle with poverty, sub-par healthcare, sexual assault, lack of abortion access, racism, abusive parents, corporate greed, mental health, and more. The realism inherent in their struggles elicits an existential dread that easily eclipses any fear of monsters. And no, it’s not particularly subtle in its messaging, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a show very suitable for 2020, and I absolutely loved it.

I want to talk about the individual episodes, but it’s very difficult to do so without spoiling some plot elements, so be aware of that if you continue to read, if you want to remain totally unspoiled. However, while I’ll be revealing significant plot details, I’ll avoid revealing any major twists or reveals.

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Book Review: Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Harrow the Ninth
Tamsyn Muir

Tor.com, 2020
★★★★☆

So, the thing about Harrow the Ninth is that it is completely fucking incomprehensible. On purpose. It’s also kind of brilliant.

But like, here’s the thing. You don’t realize that it’s brilliant until after the fact, and the only reason I made it through the whole book for there to be an after the fact, is because I looked up spoilery articles and trawled reddit subforums for – I kid you not – hours. I read detailed summaries. I read discussion threads. I read theories. See, I’m the kind of reader who loathes being confused. Seriously, nothing will get me to DNF a book faster; it’s the main reason I was so frustrated with Gideon the Ninth. So, when I started this book and immediately felt myself sink into total confusion, I was like, fuck it, we’re going to Spoiler City.

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Wrap Up: September 2020

  • This Is Shakespeare by Emma Smith (★★☆☆☆)
  • Luster by Raven Leilani (★★★☆☆)
  • A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess (★★★★☆)
  • I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid (★★☆☆☆)
  • Blood+ Volume 1 by Asuka Katsura (★★★★☆)
  • Blood+ Volume 2 by Asuka Katsura (★★★★☆)
  • Blood+ Volume 3 by Asuka Katsura (★★★★☆)
  • Blood+ Volume 4 by Asuka Katsura (★★★☆☆)
  • Blood+ Volume 5 by Asuka Katsura (★★★★☆)
  • Before and After the Book Deal by Courtney Maum (★★★★☆)
  • The Lost Village by Camilla Sten (★★★☆☆)
  • The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang (★★☆☆☆)
  • The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman (★★★☆☆)
  • A Concise Guide to the Quran by Ayman S. Ibrahim (★★★★☆)

MONTHLY TOTAL: 14
YEARLY SO FAR: 94

September was a very uneven reading month. I didn’t read as much as I expected to, and nothing that I read particularly wowed me. Even the books I enjoyed I didn’t grow particularly attached to in any way, so I felt kind of apathetic, and that led to me being kind of apathetic about reading in general. Alas.

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25 Books for a Spooky Season TBR

Happy September!!!

With September, Spooky Season, otherwise known as THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR, has officially begun. How am I defining Spooky Season, you ask? Well, I’m pretty flexible about it. For me, Spooky Season begins in September and ends when November does. It’s not just about Halloween for me; it’s more about autumnal vibes, which last past October.

If you couldn’t already tell, this is my absolute FAVORITE time of the year, when I am imbued with energy and am even more obnoxiously upbeat and joyous than usual. The chill in the air, the anticipation of Halloween, spooky vibes, hot chocolate, cider and pumpkin treats, cozy socks and sweaters, crunchy leaves…and creepy, Gothic books! A great time, I tell you!

So here’s 25 books I plan to read within the next three months to make this wonderful time of the year even better!

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