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Books in My Bedsheets
Enchanted Islands  by Allison Amend

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enchanted islands allison amend review

There are many reasons that I don’t understand arguments against diversity in media, but outside of the obvious ethical arguments, sometimes I just want to grab writers by the shoulders and scream “You have such an easy shortcut to originality! Just write a story about people that nobody else is writing about!” Because originality is often held up as the diamond standard of a storytelling, and yet we still keep seeing the same cookie cutter ingenues and heroes that we’ve always seen. Ok. Rant over. But it does relate to this particular story, because this is a story that spans…

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Books in my Bedsheets
My Best Friend’s Exorcism  by Grady Hendrix

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My Best Friend's Exorcism

Have you ever wanted a book to just really deliver on its name? My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix (author of Horrorstor) will give you what you signed up for. It will give you best friendship, and an exorcism, and that huge side of kitsch and nostalgia that you probably also had your fingers crossed for after a glimpse at the cover. 1988... Now I might have been an 80s baby, but I was not an 80s kid. Even so, after years of rifling through my older sister’s seventeen magazines during those early years, I’m prone to letting the…

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Books in my Bedsheets
Does Not Love  by James Tadd Adcox

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Does Not Love tells the story of spouses that continue to orbit one another, but fail to collide in passion anymore. Damaged by a painful failure to conceive, we find them each questioning whether what they have is still considered love. Had the premise stopped there, I would’ve likely never sought the book, however, the world that the couple faces their challenges in, an alternate reality Indianapolis infused with Big Pharma conspiracy, skirts reality just enough to render the novel wholly original… and fascinating. Personally, I had been seeking a book like this, that explores a complicated relationship without being…

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Books in my Bedsheets
Margaret the First  by Danielle Dutton

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In my recent reading streak of modern fiction, I’d had yet to read anything set in a time period other than the present day. Margaret the First, however, is a historical work; a fictionalization of the life of Margaret Cavendish. And yet, it is so thoroughly modern, and that’s where it delights. Dutton’s writing is incredibly skillful, owing to its lilting, almost hypnotic style. The book is brimming with research and references, but they’re laid so gentle-handedly, that pure immersion is still the result. The story focuses on the near maddening ennui that Margaret suffers whenever distanced from her self-expression,…

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Books in my Bedsheets
Green Girl  by Kate Zambreno

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Green Girl works much better as a character study than a story. If you’re looking for plot, go elsewhere, but if you’d like to get inside the head of a young, insecure American woman working as a shop girl in London, then this book is a special venue for that. I enjoyed it because I fall into the demographic that can relate to its protagonist, Ruth— relate to the confusion of the male gaze at her age. Yet, due to its thin narrative, others may not fall so in love. The writing is artful, but also makes deliberate use of…

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Books in my Bedsheets
The Unfinished World  by Amber Sparks

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The Unfinished World

Ahh, to fall in love with the short story again. It’s a wonderful feeling. I got Sparks’ more recent The Unfinished World because her earlier work was briefly unavailable online and I was impatient after reading an excerpt. This was serendipitous, because her stories here are some weird and wonderful treasures. Cinematic, magical, anachronistic, and a little bit gothic, Sparks doesn’t hesitate to reach out to fantasy, science fiction and history for inspiration. Because of this, daydreamers and nerdy birds can all feel welcomed in by her deep wells of reference. Here they can feel let in to a secret…

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The Tusk that did the Damage  by Tania James

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The Tusk that did the Damage

The Tusk that did the Damage is a story of the ivory trade told through three points of view. The most captivating of these points of view is almost certainly that of the escaped bull elephant known as The Gravedigger. Telling part of the story directly from the perspective of the elephant was a daring move because it could’ve so easily been a heavy-handed effort to drum up sympathy for only the tormented animal, painting the other perspectives as ill-meaning and cruel. Instead, the perspective of the elephant is well balanced with that of a documentary filmmaker, and a young…

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