Inbox/Outbox: January 13, 2016

Inbox (Books Acquired)

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood (May 2, Riverhead)— That cover, right? And a memoir about growing up with a Catholic priest for a father and leaving the faith, yes please. I have a similar story (but a Southern Baptist version, more potlucks, maybe), and am looking forward to reading the other side’s tale.

Recitation by Bae Suah, translated by Deborah Smith— A new work by Suah from Deep Vellum (great small press, if you’re looking to read more small presses this year). Unreliable narrators! Mysterious actresses! Meditations on travel! Let’s go!

Outbox (Books Finished)

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson– This is such an odd, amazing book: a meditation on queer family-making combined with philosophy, psychology, and art and literary criticism, with no chapter breaks. It’s like sitting down with your smartest, most academic friend who also likes to say “fuck” a lot and talking about giving birth and her romance with her gender-fluid partner and also isn’t California the best/worst sometimes? I loved this, as much as probably 20% of it went over my head, if I’m being honest (so much Freud).

The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles— A historical fantasy M/M romance with a mystery twist! Lord Crane has returned from China where he’s lived all his adult life, after the mysterious deaths of his brother and father. Turns out he’s cursed (sort of), and calls on Stephen Day, a powerful magician who happens to hate his family (of course) to figure out why. I really liked this for the magic part: it’s dirthy, earthy magic, based on blood and bones and hair and scrappiness. It’s a really interesting magic system, and a very lovable hero/hero couple.

In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate BolickThe Argonauts put in the mood for more books about women’s lives and the families they choose to make for themselves, so I finally picked up this memoir about why the author has remained unmarried (it’s been on my TBR shelf for a minute). I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s got a flavor of literary criticism through it! Huzzah!

White Trash: the 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg— I picked up and put down this history of white poverty and class structures in America a few months ago. Just bad timing. But I really do love the topic, so I’ve restarted it on audio and am doing much better (the narrator is fantastic).

Amanda Nelson: Amanda Nelson is the Managing Editor of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA. Follow her on Twitter: @ImAmandaNelson