Blogger on Books (2019) – Quick Takes I

This is the page for books read or attempted in 2019 for which I’m not doing a full review but had some notes I wanted to share.

After by Marita Golden – It didn’t do what I expected it to and I liked that. Topical, humanizing; a good read.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin – “I remembered my buddies of years ago in the hallways with their wine and their whiskey and their tears, in hallways, still frozen on the needle.” – the most well known line from this work is “God gave Noah the rainbow sign; no water, the fire next time” but this one punched me. It’s frustrating to listen to when you consider that this was written decades ago and the racial issues it examines are still too relevant to day.

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Giant Size X-Men – Stan Lee presents The Uncanny X-Men – Second Genesis
by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum w/Glynis Wein and John Costanza – feel like  I read this already but was fun to revisit the quippy banter in high stress action situations even if some of the attitudes haven’t aged well.

Ladies of the Night by Althea Prince – a pretty quick and engaging read. Favourite stories in this included ‘How You Panty Get Wet?’ and ‘Body and Soul’. Highly recommended.ladies

On this Island The Natives… by Dale Butler with illustrator Lindsey George – intended for tourists, I’d say.

Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin (audio book) – this was actually a DNF (did not finish) for me due to no fault of the material (I first read James Baldwin – Go Tell it on the Mountain – in university, and have read other books since like Giovanni’s Room, just a year or so ago sang the praises of the documentary I am not Your Negro, have If Beale Street Could Talk on my to watch list, and still pull up clips of his talks and interviews on youtube) – I just have difficulty focusing with audio books. But I feel I could really like Sonny’s Blues if I could focus and there’s an image that really sticks visually and metaphorically of the boys’ heads bumping abruptly against the low ceiling of their actual possibilities (wow!).

X-Women One Shot – not knocking them (I’ve read my share and I’m still a reader) but the gravity defying presentation of women in comics is sketchy on a good day; wedgies and nipslips seem inevitable in those costumes. But hey not only are they not real, in the fictional reality in which they exist, they’re not human (exactly), but the art work in this one is especially distracting. Their barely there outfits, the way they pose on each line of dialogue, the way they get the job done but with more emphasis on their sexiness than their power, their juxtaposition against each other in frame, the de-aging – Kitty Pryde and Storm look nothing like themselves but like vampish teenage alternate reality versions of themselves – even the way they talk is off. I wanted to read this because it has some of my favourite X-Men characters and I’ve been reading comics again this year. I don’t remember these issues being that blatant when I read X-Men comics in my college years but maybe I just didn’t notice. All I know is I was excited to read this one because it’s some of my favourite X-Men Women but it quickly became clear that it wasn’t written for me (rather for hormonal teenage boys…which…yeah…ok). Still, yes, women are always underdressed and vamped up in comics, but this book seemed extra which seemed ironic to me considering the title. Authors names omitted (because I didn’t write them down and google isn’t turning up the particular issue referenced here) and plot (they’re on vacation and yadda yadda yadda someone is trying to steal all their powers and …other things) because that didn’t seem to be the point (as noted).

For more reviews, go back to Blogger on Books VII (2019).