🌹 Reviews: Asexual Erotics

As you can imagine this book discusses erotics with a focus on asexuality. It’s introduction focused on how the meaning of erotic had changed since Freud and how more modern queer theorists define it to mean more than simply the “sexual”. The great thing but about it hitting such a specific note is this discussion is all but nonexistent when it comes to social ace places. It asks what are we missing when we make ‘erotic’ be a single note. 

The book definitely is not an introduction to asexuality, it has a strong academic voice at times that make the points less clear than they could have been, but if you hang around queer spaces and think your life could use more theory, history, or a look at discussions of human development then this is definitely the sort of book to pick up. 

In my opinion the book also does a good job explaining how white women were rewarded for being “sexually liberated” while in the same decade people of color were and are punished in a number of ways for even the appearance of the same. In doing so, this book showcases that social change is not an absolute for all people, but varies along intersectional lines.

The book also goes over ‘political celibacy’, why it exists, how it often differs across race, and why it’s often grouped under asexuality history. It’s the first time I’ve seen a reason it’s so casually grouped and a spells out those reasons instead I’d just casually glossing over.

I feel like the chapters on childhood and ageism could have been combined for a stronger point instead of a more vague “this is a thing that people debate about”. I also found the epilogue featuring the discussion of violent entitled sexism felt like an afterthought more then an ending note. 

Despite my less than rave review for some chapters, overall the book left with me new things, ideas, often history nearly lost to time to consider when discussing how complete freedom can be gained for all. Here’s a few quotes I haven’t posted in our “ref” tag or on twitter that I enjoyed. 

“It is only through asexuality that a sufficient critique of compulsory sexuality as limiting to people across spectrums and different positionalities can be developed.” 

“Where there is queerness there is also asexuality.” 

If you’re curious to read more you can get your own copy here.

🌹 Reviews: Waking Up The Sun

Waking Up The Sun front loads a protagonist who has anxiety and has already learned ways to cope with it. It mentions magic almost right away too, but my favorite part of that is that a potion is considered magic instead of just having a spell go “cure” him. It’s a great bit of world building I wish more things had. Having a lead character who has to consider their racing thoughts and find medicine because that’s part of their basic needs is so a plot point, instead of a casual one off line. That’s amazing to see.

Around the 20% mark you see the consideration of being lost in the woods and having to wash your clothes. These are such small things that most writers just ignore because they think it will ruin— whatever. But these are the exact things that makes Waking Up The Sun real and something that feels new.

The only criticism I have of this was I thought the writing could be tighter. Sometimes I thought why is this being mentioned now, or at all. It may not be the best read for the sex repulsed for similar reasons but maybe this review can serve as your content warning.

With that said, this book is why I like to read from LGBTQ authors, generally found from small publishers. They have a number of important things that aren’t found elsewhere. Both men in the pairing are sweet. Awkward only in an realistic way instead of being an often sexist adorkable trope. I think my favorite thing is how much they check in with each other, ask if the other is okay.

[Learn more or buy your own copy here.]

Shelby Eileen’s Goddess of The Hunt

I was given a review copy of this book, because I wanted to be able to review in time for aro week. As you might know, I love aro ace Artemis. It’s something that shines the truest to me so if you also want more a-spec Artemis this is a great option. Just out of the gate, you might like this for that.

I’ve posted Sappho’s poem was about Artemis before, that felt divine in a way. This is from a far more personal standpoint and will connect to those struggling with their identity. It’s not a book of greeting card affirmations, it’s honest and full of things that need to be said just as much.

From a pure poetry style point of view, it’s not my favorite style, but let’s be honest, poetry so wide ranging it’s a matter of personal taste. So if you’re unsure, give it a try because you wouldn’t want to miss something wonderful. I think everyone can find a gem in here that they’ll want to carry with them after reading.

Overall, it’s a worthy addition to any a-spec or Hellenistic pagan’s bookshelf.
Be sure to check it out for yourself!

Merry Book-mas Eve!

If there is one thing that allows me to embrace the spirit of giving year round it’s my Little Free Library. For anyone who doesn’t know what those are, it’s a nonprofit organization that encourages people to set up outdoor community libraries in their yards. It’s a take book, leave a book set up that aims to help make books accessible to every household. There might even be some right around you! 

I personally use mine a few different ways. First, as an excuse to buy indie books I already have in hopes that I can share my love of them with new people. This month with Christmas in mind I went through my collection and picked out books that I felt deserved a more loving home. These books have been very well received, I just for whatever reason did I not get super into them so instead of hoarding them like a book-ish Grinch I decided to release them into the wild where they hopefully can find someone who truly cherishes them.

Before I get into the books a little more, I also picked up a new accessories for the library itself. The stuffed little elf decoration you see above. Who I believe was recused from the Island of Dollar Store Dog Toys. And a magnetic light with a flip switch since it gets dark so early these days I wanted to make sure if someone drove around at still early hour of five pm they could see see what was inside my Read Box without having to aim their headlights or pull out their cellphone and turn on their own flashlight. But hey, it also will come in handy year round for anyone burning the midnight oil in hopes of a new read.

The library’s collection now contains Daemon and Annihilation. Both are very big science fiction stories. The first doesn’t have a movie is likely among the most known in cyberpunk circles, the second I first heard when it was made into said movie. I don’t do scary movies or even really monster movies but watching Annihilation was like nothing really else so when I saw the book had such a nice binding I picked it up. I hear this series is even better than the movie (no surprise there, right?) but book almost falls open to scream, “Read me!”

The Iron Cast draws the eye. Its one of those that proves covers sells books. I’ll link you to goodreads here so you can see it better. The book is set in 1919 and design really helps you get there. Author Destiny Soria is also a great author who goes the distance to add much needed diversity and I’m always so excited to offer books like that to people who might not otherwise be able to afford them.

Speaking of good authors doing good things. Rick Riordan’s The Sword of Summer won a Stonewall Book award for children’s literature. Named for the historical trans-led history event that’s considered the “start” of the LGBTQ rights movement in America.

That brings us to Heart of Iron. I picked this one up originally because it was sold to me as Anastasia in space and while I hadn’t gotten far in it I definitely see why it was given such a killer comparison.

Plus, the first among the first Santa themed events I can remember was wanting the Anastasia toys as I kid. I think they came from Burger King and I most have had them all. The tiny bat, the bigger dog that you could squeeze and his ears would go up. An Anastasia doll with like hair that you could bring up or down with a wind up or down in her back. And of course, a themed but classic Christmas train. If that toy was big enough to set around my Christmas tree I’d rebuy it for the memories in a heart beat. (In my heart, that Polar Express train has nothing on Anastasia nostalgia.)

As an adult that same excitement over toys is gone, but I think as adults we are often able to recapture that feeling with books and I hope one of my books either personally written or donated to a stranger does that for someone.

No matter what you celebrate, I hope you have a great Holiday!

Little Free Library Finds

I really love going to the dollar store and Savers and finding what they have. Normally things that go into my Little Free Library are things I’ve read, but this time I just picked things I heard of and thought they looked good.

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between
To be honest, I know nothing of this series or author. It’s simply a really good title. All of the authors work is titled in a way that grabs my attention so maybe it will grab other people’s interest too!

Looking for Alaska
This was the only one out of this month’s additions that I have read. I don’t remember it extremely well but I do remember liking it. And always enjoyed the way John Green talks which is also how he writes.

Life of Pi
I’ve only seen the movie which is scandalous I know. I’m not even sure how we ended up watching it, but it was really incredible so I assume the book has even more of that curious and wondrous tale.

The Book Thief
I’ve had so many chances to read this book, but someone told me it is really sad and will mess you up so I’ve simply always avoided it. But, I know the brave souls who have it seem to love it.

Artemis Fowl
I’m always been so very curious about this series, but it came out when I was, like what,  nineteen, so the adventures of a 12-year-old kid didn’t really appeal to me. Hopefully, some other kid can see what I missed!