Books read this last year

I’ve just started a new bullet journal, and thought that now was a good time to clear out the list of books that I completed over the last year or so.

Photo by Eli Francis on Unsplash
  • Whipping Girl (Julia Serano)
    So, I read this a few times last year, including the audiobook. But then last year I’d also put everything in place to start medically and socially transitioning, and this is a pretty good book to read if you’re transitioning (and especially if you’re a trans woman).
  • Excluded (Julia Serano)
  • Waking Up (Sam Harris)
    Oh god, did I really read this? This is a book about meditation, and since I meditate I did find this interesting. But also, I’m not a fan of the new atheists, like Sam Harris. They have a world view and various bigotries that I don’t truck with. If I recall (and it’s been a bit more than a year since I’ve read this, so I could be wrong), while the book discussed Buddhism, it avoided a lot of talk about Buddhist practice in general (or at least the practice of the noble eightfold path).
  • The Last Dark (Stephen Donaldson)
    Wow, I’ve lived with the Thomas Covenant / Linden Avery stories for so long now, since my early teens. Seeing it finish off was interesting, although it did feel like the story was dragging in the last few books, which made me a bit maudlin.
  • The Bride of Science (Benjamin Woolley)
    I was deciding on name changes, and Ada Lovelace was always a big inspiration for me. This is a biography of her life, and I reread it since I was thinking of taking Ada as my second name (Ada was technically her second name as well). Spoiler alert: my second name is now Ada.
  • The Fifth Season (N. K. Jemisin)
    Wow, so much fun. This was a great science fiction novel that I recommend. The sequel is even better, and made me bawl.
  • This Census Taker (China Miéville)
    Beautiful world. Not my favourite Miéville, but I enjoyed this a lot.
  • The Last Days of New Paris (China Miéville)
  • Straight – the Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality (Hanne Blank)
    Interesting, although it felt like an overly *cough* straight *cough* description of straightness.
  • Outspoken (Julia Serano)
  • Tranny (Laura Jane Grace)
    I started reading books by trans women, especially biographies. They were inspirational, filled me with hope and sadness and made me happy and made me cry.
  • Norse Mythology (Neil Gaiman)
    The norse gods were assholes, and should have used their words more than they hit things.
  • Nerve Endings (anthology)
    Reading erotica with positive representation of trans folk is great! Give this book a go!
  • Abuse is not conflict (Sarah Schulman)
    I didn’t finish this. The main thesis (it’s in the title) gave me a lot to think about, but I found myself disagreeing with the author a lot (especially later in the book).
  • Kim and Kim (Magdalene Visaggio)
  • Obelisk Gate (N. K. Jemisin)
    I cried reading this. Great sequel! Has a lot to say about minority groups, and people deciding who is a person or not.
  • Nevada (Imogen Binnie)
  • Never let me go (Katsuo Ishiguro)
    Oh shit, I pretty much didn’t stop crying for the last quarter of this book. It’s science fiction, about kids growing up and leaving school, and the role they have in society. Hard to say more without spoiling it.
  • If I was your girl (Meredith Russo)
    Very sappy, idealised high school life of a teen trans girl. Big thumbs up! Much crying.
  • Gender Wars (Juno Dawson)
    Interesting, but Whipping Girl is a better read.
  • Annebel Scheme (Robin Sloan)
  • She’s Not There (Jenny Boylan)
    More trans women biographies. I love reading about the lives of other trans women.
  • Clean Room (Gail Simone)
    One of the most fun comics I’ve read in a while. Science fiction about cults, demons and aliens.
  • A Safe Girl to Love (Casey Plett)
  • To my trans sisters (Various)
    I series of letters written by trans women to folk just transitioning. I was surprised at some of the toxic stuff that made it in to this.
  • Spinning (Tillie Walden)
    Beautiful comic about being queer and discovering yourself. And ice-skating.
  • The Communist Manifesto (Marx and Engels)
    Shouldn’t everyone read this? Gotta say that it made communism feel more like an attempt at preserving a changing past than the authors would like you to believe.
  • Winter Tide (Rothanna Emrys)
    A Cthulhu Mythos book, focusing on a character from Innsmouth, after the Innsmouth residents are rounded up and held in camps for decades.
  • The New Girl (Rhyannon Styles)
    Another trans biography about a trans woman who starts out as a drag performer. Related to this one a lot.
  • Northern Lights, Subtle Knife, Amber Spyglass (Pullman)
    Somehow I’d only ever read the first novel in this trilogy as a kid. All three are fun, though. Fantasy, about a girl who finds herself travelling between worlds and dealing with matters of consciousness and love.
  • Monstress volume 1 and volume 2 (Marjorie Liu)
    Fantasy comic, dealing with being labeled a monster (and in this case even being a monster) in war.

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