Monthly Archives: March 2015

Ruby is Painfully Beautiful and Worth Every Minute



Cynthia Bond has written about how terrible human beings are in the most beautiful way possible.  I never really needed to use the term “lush prose” until I read this book.  The words are fat, and gorgeous, and paint a picture that you wish was not quite so vivid because Ruby is full of horror and misery, and a tiny bit of loveliness.

The story of Ruby is the story of a young black woman who tried to outrun her past, and found that it wouldn’t stay in the past.  Mostly set around the time of the Washington Riots, a letter from a beloved friend reached Ruby, and she made the choice to return home to her small town.  Once home, she found small minds, judgement, and secrets waiting to tear her down, and Ruby’s descent into mental illness is met with smugness and derision, not compassion.  Many of the characters are just horrible, but Bond doesn’t let you have the satisfaction of completely despising them, because almost all of them have some horrible happening in their own past that twisted them – and it almost makes it worse, because they could maybe have been good people.  Maybe.

Some of the characters are truly evil.  I’m talking gag inducing, have to put the book down for a while evil.  This book has child abuse, sexual abuse, and rape in it, and you should be prepared for that.

If you can manage it, read it.  It is heart searing, dreadful, flashback prompting – beautiful.  And there is a little hope for humanity in there, I promise.

Don’t be surprised if this starts showing up as required reading for English Literature classes.  Wow.  One of the most powerful books I’ve read in a long time.





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Terry Pratchett & Bromeliads

Thanks to xkcd for this.

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The End of the Discworld – Terry Pratchett has Died



It is with true sadness that I report the death of Sir Terry Pratchett, at the age of 66.  It is sadness for me, because I love his work beyond that of any other.  Because reading Thud! transported me to a wonderful world and a literary journey that will impact my life forever.  His barbed wit was apparent in novels for both children and adults, and I have loved them all.

I am happy for him, however, because I know he wanted nothing more than to escape his brain that was slowly being ravaged by Alzheimer’s, taking away that quick mind and sly humour.

Thank you, Sir Terry, for all of the joy you have given me.  May you rest in peace, and may the goddess Anoia watch over you.



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LGBT Picks?

Hi everyone,

Here in Toronto, Pride Week falls in June, and I love doing great displays for pride.  I want to not feature the same titles every year, so I am asking you guys if you have read anything with LGBTQ characters or themes, for all age ranges, that you thought were great.  I have some great YA picks, but I need more books for kids under twelve, and new books for adults.  I don’t just want romance – books that feature great characters who are gay, trans, asexual – I am perfectly happy for that not to be central to the story line.  In fact, that’s great, because I want there to be books where a person’s sexuality, gender identity, gender expression, is only a part of who they are, not the whole story.

I know I’m super-early, but the more time I have, the better the selection will be, and it gives me extra time to get hold of hard-to-get stuff.  Thanks for the help!


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