Primaries and a quick book #review

white-privilege-350.gif.pngTwo primaries today, Kentucky and Oregon.  Both states are 88% white, therefore Sanders will win both.  I’ve seen a couple of reports of a poll out of Oregon that shows Clinton in the lead but I can’t actually find it anywhere and the reports were on Twitter and didn’t include links.  I came across an article on NPR this morning that discusses whiteness in our politics in an interesting way, but while it talks about the astonishing reluctance of most mainstream punditry to even mention racism in connection with Trump’s support, there’s nary a word of the 85% rule.

(Oh, and also: there’s nothing from keeping Trump’s supporters from being both idiots and racists.  Half the problems Republicans see with this country literally do not exist.  There is plenty of room for these people to be stupid and racist at the same time.)

But anyway.

51czyF4FFRL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI finished Tananarive Due’s My Soul to Keep yesterday, a book I read in three big gulps over just a couple of days.  It’s the first book of her four-book African Immortals series, and I think it’s probably the most unapologetic horror novel I’ve read in quite some time.  It’s further evidence that “horror” isn’t really a genre on its own anymore so much as something that infiltrates other genres; the book is equal parts paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and horror, and Due’s writing appears to be what would happen if Anne Rice and Stephen King wrote a book together.

That’s a compliment.

The book I read before this one was Sofia Samatar’s A Stranger in Olondria, and I wrote a rare Goodreads review for it to explain my star-rating.  Samatar is a gorgeous writer; her prose is something I couldn’t equal if my life depended on it, but the story in Olondria kind of left me cold.  Due’s prose is much less flowery and lyrical than Samatar’s is (I could have written My Soul to Keep, which sounds like shade but isn’t; I just think Tananarive Due and I are similar writers) but it’s in service of a much stronger story, one that got in my head and fucked with me something fierce while I was reading it.  As a reader I’m much more likely to respond to strong story and utilitarian writing than I am lyrical writing and a serviceable story– I am, myself, a pretty utilitarian author.  As such I loved the hell out of My Soul to Keep and only enjoyed Stranger in Olondria.  You may feel free to adjust the amount of salt you take with my review if your own preferences are different.

I continue to believe that “no more than 25% books by white dudes” was a great way to structure my reading this year, by the way.  I would never have found this book had I not gone looking for it.  Feel free to check out my Goodreads shelves if you want to see some of the other books I’ve read this year.

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