Archive for the 'bookmaggot' Category

farewell to the horse: a cultural history, by ulrich raulff

Against its nature, the terrified prey animal is turned into an incarnation of terror which drives the predator, man, to flee

The horse was born not in Troy, but in Alexandria: it is a phantom of the library

The connections forged between humans and horses nowadays are relationships based on love, communities of interest and sporting camaraderie.

the native language of equine history is Arabic.

Nobody would have noticed the waif-like boy who hung around the Paris horse market for days on end, in 1851 and the following year. Confident that he was unobserved, he scribbled away on the notepad he took everywhere with him, like a painter on his travels. Nobody recognized him as a young woman dressed as a man, pursuing her ambitious plan.

girls and horses are islands in the flowing river of time.

Somewhat like a precursor to cybernetics, only more direct: a neuro-navigation between interrelated natures. Two moving, loosely coupled systems, circumnavigating the lengthy route of thought, exchanging information directly via the short cut of touching nerves and tendons, thermal and metabolic systems. The act of riding means that command data is transferred in the form of physical data, in a direct exchange of sensory messages. Riding is the connection of two warm, breathing, pulsating bodies, mediated only by a saddle, a blanket or mere bare skin. Humans enter into similar informational connections when they dance together, wrestle or embrace.

unspoken, by sarah rees brennan

It was one of Kami’s earliest memories, the look of fear on her mother’s face as she watched Kami. “I’ve been scared all my life,” Kami said slowly. “I’ve thought I might be crazy all my life, and you did it to me.”

the red parts, by maggie nelson

I am beginning to think that there are some events that simply cannot be “processed,” some things one never gets “over” or “through.”

the outrun, by amy liptrot

The more I take the time to look at things, the more rewards and complexity I find.

rosewater, by tade thompson

Aminat has her own story; she is not a supporting character of yours.

insomniac city, by bill hayes

I am heartbroken but at peace.     Last night, before getting some sleep, I came in to see if he needed anything. I tucked him in and kissed his forehead.     “Do you know how much I love you?” I said.     “No.” His eyes were closed. He was smiling, as if seeing beautiful things.     “A lot.”     “Good,” O said, “very good.”     “Sweet dreams.”

black wave, by michelle tea

Nearly all the queers Michelle knew were fuckups in one way or another. Being cast out of society early on made you see civilization for the farce it was, a theater of cruelty you were free to drop out of.

the argonauts, by maggie nelson

How to explain, in a culture frantic for resolution, that sometimes the shit stays messy? I do not want the female gender that has been assigned to me at birth. Neither do I want the male gender that transsexual medicine can furnish and that the state will award me if I behave in the right way. I don’t want any of it.

promised land, by rose lerner

“Do you think anything will really be different after the war?” Rachel asked. She felt afraid even to voice the idea. Did one wilderness only give way to another, on and on into eternity?

without you there is no us, by suki kim

For those of us raised by mothers and fathers who experienced such trauma firsthand, it is impossible not to continue this remembering.

weave a circle round, by kari maaren

“It will all be terrible,” said Cuerva Lachance, patting her on the shoulder, “but let’s pretend it won’t.”

a cyborg manifesto, by donna haraway

Evidently, I should’ve read this years ago.

Modern machinery is an irreverent upstart god… Our best machines are made of sunshine… They are floating signifiers moving in pickup trucks across Europe, blocked more effectively by the witch-weavings of the displaced and so unnatural Greenham women, who read the cyborg webs of power so very well, than by the militant labour of older masculinist politics, whose natural constituency needs defence jobs.”

Or maybe it’s fine that I waited. The extent to which it speaks to me right now is a little uncanny.

documenting light, by ee ottoman

Some parts of our past, Avery Gordon said in her book about haunting and the social imagination, are lost so completely that only ghosts remain. In that way, we are linked to a past we don’t or can’t remember.

simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda, by becky albertelli

Remember the way people would look at you blankly and say, “Um, okaaay,” after you finished talking? Everyone just had to make it so clear that, whatever you were thinking or feeling, you were totally alone. The worst part, of course, was that I did the same thing to other people. It makes me a little nauseated just remembering that.

bird minds, by gisela kaplan

currawongs are intelligent, resourceful, adaptable and utterly loveable (affectionate, patient and accommodating – those who have raised one or two will know what I mean)

what happened, by hillary rodham clinton

It’s bewildering to me when female friendships are depicted in movies or on TV as catty or undermining. I’m sure there are relationships like that, but in my experience, they’re not the norm. Friendships between women provide solace and understanding in a world that can be really hard on us.

walkaway, by cory doctorow

Being in the death cult of money and status marked you. They bore the marks.

bookish

By the numbers: I read 156 books this year, of which 105 were by women, 73 by queer folk, 54 by writers of color, and 8 by trans people. I reviewed 30 of the books by POC as part of this Dreamwidth community, and they included some of the best books I have ever read: notably Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and The Color Purple.

My discovery of the year is Alexis Hall, who is essentially Georgette Heyer reborn as a fannish, kinky queer, and thus very much to my taste. In a similar vein I also read everything by KJ Charles and Roan Parrish. A book I keep coming back to and reading a page or two at a time is Marion Milner’s meditative, lovely A Life of One’s Own. A book I picked up again after a long hiatus is Gisela Kaplan’s fascinating Bird Minds: Cognition and Behaviour of Australian Native Birds. But if I could persuade you to read a single book I read this year, I would ask that it be The New Jim Crow.

autonomous, by annalee newitz

…she realized that the woman she saw in the mirror was not a loser. Her life was going somewhere. Maybe not where she’d expected, but somewhere good.

lab girl, by hope jahren

She was always angry and I could never piece together why. With the self-focus peculiar to children, I convinced myself that it must be because of something that I had said or done. In the future, I vowed to myself, I would guard my words better.