Ta-Nehesi Coates on Bill Cosby…

In fact, there is no real difference in claiming that a woman in an unmarried man’s hotel room forgoes the right to her body, and asserting that a black boy wearing a hoodie forgoes the right to his. Brutality is brutality, and it always rests on a bed of lies.

Piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic on black men defending Bill Cosby and the fictions we create to justify brutality: Bill Cosby and Black Lives Matter – The Atlantic.

12 Historical Women Who Gave No F*cks

These are just some of the women who, historically speaking, didn’t give a single fuck. They are my heroes. 2016: the year of not giving a fuck.

Source: 12 Historical Women Who Gave No F*cks

Subvert the dominant paradigm: link roundup

Here’s a roundup of online reading I’ve been doing lately around issues fo diversity, gender equality, and culture change. Enjoy!

Reading journal: Ringing in 2016

This year, I’ve decided to post snippets from my ongoing reading journal that aren’t full reviews, just thoughts about what I’m reading and what I want to read. This will possibly be terribly dull; I’ll let you decide. Here’s what I’ve been reading since the start of the year — a lot of short books!

I started with the The End Is Now. This is a second in a series of short story anthologies called the “Apocalypse Triptych.”  This stories in this volume take place during the apocalypse, and many continue from where the stories in Volume 1 left off. It wasn’t as good as Volume 1. There were several zombie stories. What is the fascination with zombies, anyway? Seriously, they’re not that interesting. I’m over zombies altogether. Totally.

I also finished The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes, a noir thriller published by New York Review Books in their classics line (reviewed previously). I liked Hughes’ taut writing, but particularly enjoyed her setting of 1960s Phoenix, Arizona, so much so that I’m planning to read  more books set in the Southwest. I wonder how many I’ll get through before I get tired of desert settings?

Unfortunately, the library is hampering my plans to read more in the Southwest. I am on the waiting list for one request, the other is coming from somewhere else (possibly Nepal), and the third turned out to be almost 700 pages long, which is more than I’m willing to gamble on a new-to-me writer. Honestly, what is with all the big bloat? I understand that some stories legitimately take 600+ pages to tell, and if the writing is good and the story is enthralling, I’m willing to put in the time. But I seriously doubt that so many books have to be that long. Ideal length for me is around 350 pages, especially if I’m just getting to know the writer.

Anyway, in the meantime, I knocked out Edward Abbey’s Black Sun, which is set in the Southwest and is very short. The writing is lovely, especially in reference to nature, but it was written in the early ’70s (and shows it), and Abbey’s attitude toward women is… cringe-worthy, at the least.

Since I’d just read another noir novel, The Expendable Man, I thought I’d also go ahead and knock out The Maltese Falcon, which I already had on my shelf (still waiting for library books). Eh, it was better than The Thin Man, but as a writer, Hammett doesn’t come close to Raymond Chandler. He’s good with dialogue, though, which is probably why his books made such great movies–better than the books, in my opinion. I’ll give this one props for helping to invent a genre and a ton of tropes. And I think I’m done with crime noir for the time being.

I’m a sucker for gorgeous book covers, so check out these beauties, all of which I own.

51Is4NUI4XL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_51R5exKK2uL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_80616maltese_falcon_book

After a detour to California, The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi came in from the library, and it is near-perfect length, 370 pages. It’s set in Nevada and Arizona, so continuing my Southwest streak…

Links for readers…

Happy new year! I have decided that 2016 is the year of not giving a fuck. And yes, there is a book for that.

Here’s a fresh roundup of links for your reading pleasure.

Recommended reading: The Expendable Man

This week I’m recommending The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes, a crime noir classic recently reissued by New York Review Books. See my full review on Books Worth Reading.

Popular Books Read and Unread in 2015

I like to track my reading in multiple ways, for which I use the various OCD tracking tools on LibraryThing. One way is to track what I read during the year as compared to what others were reading during the same period (here’s the list). It interests me to see what trends emerge.

Here are the most popular books I read last year that multiple others also read:

I can recommend all of these!

Now here’s a selection of what everyone else was reading that I chose not to read, and why:

  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: So many people were reading this and talking about it, that I was sure it would be a letdown. Let’s just say that I’ve been burned by uber-popular thrillers in the past.
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which won the Pulitzer and all, yadda yadda yadda. Let’s just say that I couldn’t bear taking on yet another World War II book at this time.
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simpson, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple: As we all know, we shouldn’t judge books by their covers (or titles), but these seem way too cutesy for my tastes.
  • The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey: I actually picked this one up and read the first few pages, but I am sooooo tired of zombies. Burned out big time.

Feel free to try to convince me I made a mistake passing any of these up in the comments.