Reviews and Comments


Joined 1 year, 6 months ago



i like reading and imagining beautiful futures.

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Sim Kern: The Free People's Village (2023, Levine Querido) 3 stars

In an alternate 2020 timeline, Al Gore won the 2000 election and declared a War …

Hard to get into, but finished strong

3 stars

Going into the book, it was really hard to read the story through Maddie's voice. She was incredibly annoying, and reminded me a lot of being in university and meeting white college students who would "invade" local organizing spaces and center movements around themselves. I guess in a lot of ways, she reminded me of a younger version of myself that didn't know how to navigate my (relative) privilege in spaces, and maybe I'm embarrassed for that version of my self.

But somehow this story ended up resonating with me, and revealing a lot of the lessons that need to be learned if you want to try to make change in the world. This book felt very much grounded in Sim's own experiences in organizing, especially how large mass movements can be breeding grounds for conflicts between different (and often legitimate) tactics and approaches.

I think the book ends on …

Ruthanna Emrys: A Half-Built Garden (EBook, 2022, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

On a warm March night in 2083, Judy Wallach-Stevens wakes to a warning of unknown …

It was okay and cute

3 stars

I wanted to like this book more. And the beginning and the ending were compelling and easy to get through. I really liked the ideas about decentralized systems that was part of the world building, and how technology and nature can exist in symbiosis.

That said, perhaps I wasn't a fan of the writing style? There was a family drama in the center of the story, but I did not find those conflicts to add a lot of meaningful tension to the overall story.

Andreas Malm: How to Blow up a Pipeline (2020, Verso Books) 3 stars

Why resisting climate change means combatting the fossil fuel industry

The science on climate change …

Maybe better suited to newcomers

2 stars

My number one critique of this book is that it had so many opportunities to share and relate revolutionary movements throughout history to the climate movement, and it did not. Even worse, there were parts of the book that critiqued attacks on oil pipelines in the SWANA region that were connected to local anti-imperialist movements, without drawing the connection between anti imperialism and the climate movement (embarrassing, frankly).

That said, I think the book is a fine introduction to the idea that violence in the form of property destruction is a legitimate action to take, although I wish the book made a stronger case to the idea of armed resistance in the pursuit of national democracy and socialism. I also think the last chapter of the book was the strongest, since it offered good critiques of climate doomerism.

Anyway, I shouldn't be surprised lol, but whatever, it was fine.

Agustina Bazterrica, Sarah Moses: Tender Is the Flesh (Paperback, 2020, Scribner) 4 stars

Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans —though …

Brutal for the sake of being brutal

3 stars

This book made me feel disgusted in a way that a book has never made me feel. It was really fascinating, and upsetting, and I'm glad it's over. I'm not a huge fan of the horror genre, so perhaps it wasn't for me. But, as brutal as this book was, and how clearly allegorical it was, it surprisingly did not have a lot to say beyond "imagine what it would be like if we had industrialized meat but made from humans". Maybe it did say something more than that (it did seem to touch on the topic of how we so easily can dehumanize others), but I didn't grasp it. ANYWAY, it was okay, thanks TikTok for the recommendation.

Gina Apostol: Insurrecto (2018, HighBridge Audio) 4 stars

"Histories and personalities collide in this literary tour-de-force about the Philippines' present and America's past …

Dizzying and keleidoscopic portrait of the Philippines

4 stars

The first part of this book was utterly confusing, with how it shifted perspectives and time periods with each chapter. This book made me feel a lot of things - I felt recognition in all of those peculiarities of being Filipino, the heaviness of that experience, but also the joyful resilience. It's odd reading a book that spoke so frankly of the US genocide against the Filipino people, when that's something I never learned in school as an American, or even from my mother who is from the Philippines. I feel angry and sorrowful - when will we see justice? When will we have our own self determination? The book doesn't answer these questions beyond the simple fact that we must struggle for it ourselves, and expect it from no one, especially anyone posing as our "benevolent" saviors.

Assata Shakur: Assata (1987, Lawrence Hill Books) 5 stars

On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, …

Exhillerating and necessary!

5 stars

I am so glad my friend gave me this book to read. This book is so necessary for anyone involved in political organizing, community organizing, mutual aid, etc. There are so many lessons pertaining to the COINTPRO campaign against Assata and other Black revolutionaries. Her message is poignant and so optimistic, but also so grounded in a scientific and material understanding of our world.

Tricia Hersey: Rest Is Resistance (2022, Octopus Publishing Group) No rating

Far too many of us have claimed productivity as the cornerstone of success. Brainwashed by …

I was a bit disappointed in this "manifesto." I am a big fan of The Nap Ministry and their message, and fundamentally I do think rest should be intentionally centered in community care. But this book doesn't really do that message justice.

The structure and flow of the ideas was a bit confusing - it repeats itself often.

I wish there could have been more anecdotes or practical advice around organizing community care.

I think with a "rest is resistance" message, it can very easily be co-opted by hyper-individualist culture, and I felt the book did not take the necessary care to prevent that message from potentially being distorted.

I'm not really good at writing critiques, and again I'm a fan of the message itself, but I just did not enjoy reading this and did not care to finish.