December rewind

The last rewind of the year, and how exciting is that. Not that exciting. Anyway. Here we go. December wasn’t a spectacular reading month, there was too much going on I think. But this is what I read.

Winter by Marissa Meyer
The last book in the Lunar Chronicles came out this year, and I read it in two days, because I was off work sick, and had nothing to do. The only reason that’s interesting is that it’s 827 pages. It was a great book on its own. It was a fun adventure story, it was a great Snow White retelling, Winter the character was adorable and weird and beautiful. It was a great conclusion to the series as well. It tells the story of Cinder and her friends going to Luna to end the war between Luna and Earth and to stop Levana. There are weird and adorable love stories. There is a lot of growth and I feel like Cinder finally became princess Selene, which was great.

Kindred by Octavia Butler
Kindred is a story about a young, black woman living in California in 1976. She is suddenly called back to Maryland in the early 1800s to save a young boy, Rufus, from drowning. She keeps getting called back whenever Rufus is in trouble, and she somehow has to save him. Since she is a black woman going back to the Antebellum South isn’t a great experience. She is constantly in danger, but it seems that Rufus has a very important connection to her and her life in the future, so she has to save him, putting herself in danger while she does. It’s beautiful and painful and wonderful.

Back Story by David Mitchell
This is by the comedian David Mitchell, and not the author David Mitchell, and it’s about his life, it’s a memoir, and it’s centered around one walk he takes. David Mitchell has had back problems, and he walks to avoid being in pain. And he sort of chronicles where he walks, what it means to his life. He also recounts his story, where he was born, grew up, his life at Cambridge and in Footlights. It recounts how he and Robert Webb met and how they created Peep Show. It also tells the story of David Mitchell’s seemingly doomed crush on his now wife, Victoria Coren. It was fun. I really like David Mitchell and I like his style and his voice. So this was fun.

X by Ilyasah Shabazz
This is the fictionalized biography of Malcolm X’s childhood and his life up until he’s 23 and in jail. Ilyasha Shabazz is his daughter, and as far as I’ve gathered she wrote this based on his autobiography and her conversations with her mother and Malcolm’s siblings. She didn’t really know him well herself as she was three years old when he was assassinated. So it chronicles his life from he was about six until he is in jail for breaking and entering in 1948. It’s supposed to be quite close to the truth and a lot of the people in it are real, some are sort of amalgamations of a lot of people in Malcolm’s life. It was really interesting. He’s a very frustrated young man, and he’s very angry, and seemingly wants to put his life back in Detroit behind him, so he keeps running to Boston and New York. Like his daughter, Malcolm grew up without his father, because his dad was assassinated by white supremacists. This seems to have brought him a lot of pain and he is furious with his father for lying to him by saying he can be whatever he wants, because he comes up against so much crap. It was really interesting and it was cool to read about a historical figure in this way, because it is written like a novel, even if it is ostensibly a biography, and it was just very cool.

Missoula: Rape and the JusticeSystem in a College Town by Jon Krakauer
This is a non-fiction book looking at Missoula Montana, where there seems to have been a lot of sexual assaults perpetrated by players from the University of Missoula football players. Jon Krakauer looks closely at three or four cases of women being assaulted by UM football players and how the justice system either helped or failed them. It was so infuriating to hear how these women were often ridiculed and offended and how their alleged rapists got away and could continue to perpetrate sexual assaults. And how these women were sort of assaulted again by having to live through horrifying trials where the defense lawyers of the alleged rapists brought up their sexual history and tried to cast them as lying, hysterical, attention seeking sluts. It was really good. It was a bit disheartening to read how these women were treated, but it was also good to see that the town of Missoula and other places are trying to educate their police and their prosecutors about rape, acquaintance rape and how rape survivors react to being raped.

Zami: a new spelling of my name by Audre Lorde
This is Audre Lorde’s memoir of growing up in Harlem in the 30s and her coming of age in the 40s, 50s and 60s. She was a poet and she was a black, gay woman coming up in a time in America when that wasn’t really acceptable. It is about both Audre and it is told through the women that Audre spent her life with and the women who taught her about herself and brought her out of her shell and it was beautiful. It was just a beautiful read and it was heartbreaking and just so lovely. It’s an interesting way to write a memoir and how to focus the writing. It was really cool. I now just need to read some of her poetry.

Um...: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean by Michael Erard
I read this mainly because I was doing an A-Z challenge on goodreads and I was missing the letter U. So I bought this, because why not. It’s about verbal blunders, and how people blunder. The different types of blunders, like saying Um, which isn’t so much a blunder as a pause filler, and can be very useful. A more blunder-y blunder would be to say the wrong word and then restarting your sentence with the correct word. It’s interesting to see that pretty much everyone blunders, it’s a very international phenomenon and it’s completely normal. There are people who blunder more than others. There are people who work very hard to eliminate blunders. It was interesting to read and to learn about different types of blunders and people who blunder. It’s fascinating, and now I’m very self-aware when I speak, so that’s fun.

That was my rewind for December. 2015 rewind to come.