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sakeriver

sakeriver

Joined May 2016

Writer, photographer, and host of the arts & lit podcast Keep the Channel Open.
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Cleanness by Garth Greenwell
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Cleanness | Garth Greenwell
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Most of what I've seen people say about this book has focused on the structure. And, yes, that was striking, but what stuck with me most was the portrayal of different forms of desire, the slippery perspective, the theater milieu. I do find the metafictional aspect interesting, the conversation it provokes about the nature (and responsibility?) of fiction, but I‘m not sure quite where I or the book are on those questions. Anyway, yeah, I liked it.

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Real Life: A Novel | Brandon Taylor
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‪I have been a fan of Brandon‘s for some time now, so when I say that this book is everything I dreamed a Brandon Taylor novel could be, I mean that as high praise.‬ ‪It made me feel so many things. Rage, at times, to the point where I literally got goosebumps. And sadness and happiness. And, most interestingly, recognition—there were things about the protagonist that felt so familiar, in ways I found both comforting and unsettling. So well done.

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Real Life: A Novel | Brandon Taylor
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DrexEdit As soon as I read in the book description that it was set at a midwestern lakeside university, I knew it was set in my hometown and I would have to read it.😊 it looks like a really good story though! Looking forward to your thoughts about it! 2mo
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‪I liked this for a lot of reasons—representation, characters that felt familiar—but what I liked the most was how the book made the protagonist ignorant or naive in some ways but also more perceptive than her parents in other ways.‬ It made the dynamics between the characters a lot more complex and authentic, with each character getting their own flaws and strengths, with no one reducible to a simple stereotype.

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The Fortunes | Peter Ho Davies
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‪I‘d seen a lot of people recommend this book, and I‘m glad I read it. I think as an examination of the history of the Chinese American experience it works well, particularly in thinking about how Chinese American history is American history—and the book is all the more remarkable for having been written by a non-American. I struggled a bit with the character in the fourth section, but overall I thought it was very well done.

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Our Debatable Bodies | Marisa Crane
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I enjoyed the way the love poems in this collection sat next to and with the more fiery poems, how the defiance and righteous anger of the initial poems sharpens the intimacy of the later poems. I'm interested to read more of Crane's work.

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Our Debatable Bodies | Marisa Crane
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‪This reminds me somewhat of Ishiguro, which I mean as a compliment since Ishiguro is one of my favorites. It is close throughout, intimate, yet somehow also reserved, though that reserve lies atop deep and complex and passionate emotion.‬ In Ishiguro, that reserve feels very Japanese to me. Here, I‘m not sure what it feels like, but it is beautiful and perhaps familiar still. Quite a remarkable novel, I think.

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Wow.

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jenniferheidi I really loved this one. 2mo
4 likes2 comments
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‪The poems in this collection really run the gamut of human emotion—anger, frustration, despair, erotic love, romantic love, familial love, laughter, it‘s all in there, often many at the same time.‬

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Feed | Tommy Pico
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‪I want to say that this is my favorite of Tommy Pico‘s books yet, and I wonder if that‘s because there is a stronger (or at least more obvious) narrative in this one. The book feels like a letting go, in the best and most filling way. I just loved it.‬

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Feed | Tommy Pico
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We talk a lot about nuance and how we need it, and what I think this book does so well is presenting a nuance that is not just compassion but also accountability. I thought it was really well done.

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‪I think what I admire most about this book is how open and honest Keah is, not just about her struggles and triumphs, but about her joys, her flaws, her contradictions. It‘s something I aspire to in my own writing, and I appreciate her for it.

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The Fortunes | Peter Ho Davies
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My Private Property | Mary Ruefle
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‪This is the first book of Ruefle‘s I‘ve read, and I think what I wasn‘t prepared for—though I probably should have been—is how funny parts of this book would be. While other parts inspired existential panic? Really enjoyed it, overall.

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My Private Property | Mary Ruefle
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Next (waiting at the Toronto Airport)

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Nosy White Woman | Martha Wilson
Mehso-so

‪It happens that I read this book while visiting family in Ontario, so perhaps it‘s not surprising that where this collection works best for me is in its depictions of Canadian towns, ordinary family life, and things unsaid between people in close relation.‬ Where it missed me was when it felt like the stories were trying to make a point, a few of which stories felt a bit more like essays. So, a bit hit or miss for me, but overall I enjoyed it.

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Nosy White Woman | Martha Wilson
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Nature Poem | Tommy Pico
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‪What an extraordinary book. I love how Tommy Pico moves between fire and tenderness and humor, sometimes all within just one line. Many of the books I‘ve loved lately have been about the struggle to be oneself, and this one does that in such a vital, energetic, scintillating way‬. Nobody else sounds like Tommy Pico. It‘s something I aspire to in my own writing.

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Nature Poem | Tommy Pico
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‪I love what Yang is doing with this series. I‘ve said this before, of course, but this is the kind of truly innovative and imaginative SFF that makes me excited for this moment in literature.‬

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The Book of X | Sarah Rose Etter
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‪Surreal, grotesque, gripping—this was a hell of a book. Often I found myself unsure whether I wanted to laugh or cry or both. I have been shaken by this book. Going to need to spend some time thinking about it.‬

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The Book of X | Sarah Rose Etter
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The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited! | Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Carey Pietsch
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‪Reading these graphic novels makes me want to go back and re-listen to the Balance arc again, but they are still a lot of fun in their own right. I‘m very to have this on my shelf.‬

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The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited! | Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Carey Pietsch
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‪What a gorgeous, romantic, joyous book. As I was reading it I found myself thinking first “I wish I could write like this,” then “I wish someone would write me letters like this,” back and forth. Definitely one of my favorite books of this year.‬

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Was not expecting a Calvin & Hobbes reference, which makes it all the more delightful.

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Your Strange Fortune | Chloe N. Clark
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‪Speculative poetry isn‘t something I‘ve had a lot of experience with so it‘s cool to me to read poems that deal in horror, SF, and fantasy. And I like what Clark does here in making the apocalypse personal, and also a source of motion, pushing us away from complacency.

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Your Strange Fortune | Chloe N. Clark
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Exhalation: Stories | Ted Chiang
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‪I don‘t know what to say about this except that I think Ted Chiang is one of the greatest living writers of short speculative fiction. I mean, I‘ve been thinking about “The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling” for literal years now, and yet I still find it just as breathtaking reading it again as part of this collection. Great book.

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Exhalation: Stories | Ted Chiang
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Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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‪I had trouble with this book a bit insofar as I found two of the main viewpoint characters to be not just unpleasant, but tragic in having become so banally insensitive. Yet each is also allowed moments of grace and growth. I do love Ali Smith‘s writing‬, and I think there is a fundamental hopefulness to this book. One that I hope can exist in real life as well.

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Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Saga, Vol. 2 | Brian K. Vaughan
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I had forgotten how gleefully obscene this series is. It‘s a little gratuitous in that way but it‘s really quite compelling.

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Saga, Vol. 2 | Brian K. Vaughan
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ju.ca.no Oh enjoy!! Saga is great😍😍 4mo
7 likes1 comment
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I think this book is very sweet and just right as the thing it‘s intended to be: a book you can pick up at any time, flip to a random page, and find a little pep talk or benediction. It‘s just nice to have a little collection of kindness you can hold in your hands.

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Dealing in Dreams | Lilliam Rivera
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I really enjoy seeing a Latinx dystopian YA story, and the way the book flips gender roles is interesting. I also particularly liked how gender fluidity is presented. I think this works well as the first of a series but there aren‘t current plans for a sequel and as a standalone the ending was a bit too rushed and open-ended for my taste.

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Dealing in Dreams | Lilliam Rivera
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Magic for Liars | Sarah Gailey
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‪Dang, that was *fun*. Sarah Gailey is really good at crossing fantasy with other genres, whether it‘s American Hippo and Westerns, or detective novels in this. Throw in a magic high school, a broken family, and this was just really satisfying.‬