Robot by Adam Wiśniewski-Snerg

finished 1-10-24

We Both Laughed in Pleasure by Lou Sullivan

finished 3-30-23

not necessarily a content warning but this book does include detailed descriptions of Lou's sex life - I didn't know when I first picked this up and was a bit surprised lol

“We Both Laughed in Pleasure” is a collection of the selected diaries of Lou Sullivan, a gay transsexual, activist, transgender historian, and writer. The diary spans the entirety of his life, starting from when he got his first diary at age 11 until his death at age 39. Lou existed as a gay transsexual in a time when that was widely thought to be impossible and paved the way for people like me to exist. In 1986 Lou was diagnosed with HIV and unfortunately passed away in 1991 but his contributions to the transsexual community will never be forgotten. Here is a link for extra reading.

This book was beyond description. I read it at a really critical time. I found it a month after I began medically transitioning and came out to my parents, and it was so beautiful and affirming to see my own thoughts reflected in someone else’s– it was like someone made a transcript of my mind and published it. It felt so personal. I spent some time after finishing trying to find something similar to this book but I think that’s gonna be close to impossible. I think what made this so magical for me was the fact that these entries weren't written with the intention of showing it to an audience (until later in his life when he decided he wanted to publish it but I think by then he understood the importance of being intimate) Of course some of the writing is going to be changed when it goes through the process of publication but the selection that remains feels uncensored and genuine.

I bought a physical copy since I couldn’t find it at my library but I lent it to a friend and I have a feeling I’m never seeing it again so I think I’m gonna have to buy another one lol. Anyway, this is a book I would recommend to everyone to all walks of life. It's powerful and moving and so personal and I’m so thankful that Lou chose to publish something so revealing because this is definitely a book that is so important to me and will continue to be for many others like me.

If you’d like to discuss this book or topics related to it feel free to send me an email or leave a message in my guestbook!
i had to planned to talk more in depth about this book but I would have to reread it to do that and I don't have access to a copy right now lol. So.. maybe in the future i'll revisit.

Paradais by Fernanda Melchor

finished 11-13-23


CONTENT WARNINGS: rape, murder, child sexual assault, casual use of slurs

This book was short- only 112 pages and I went in blind, lured in by the deceitfully cute and colorful cover. This book was nothing like what I thought it would be and it felt mostly like a big wind up to a punch in the gut. It’s violent and cruel, it questions masculinity, and the relationship between men and women.

This story follows sixteen-year-old Polo, who dreams of escaping his controlling mother, his pregnant cousin, and his dead-end job where he cleans up after wealthy families inside a gated community called Paradais. Franco, or Fatboy as he is referred to by Polo, lives inside this community with his wealthy grandparents. Porn-addicted and lonely, Franco fantasizes about seducing his attractive neighbor, Señora Marian, who is married to a famous TV star and has two children. The two boys start an unusual relationship and hatch a macabre plan to both get what they think they deserve.

I wasn’t as immersed as I would have liked reading this, but the last ~10 pages is what sold it for me. Watching Polo’s constructed tough-guy act fall apart was satisfying but hard to read. I could feel the gravity of the situation pulling me down. Melchor does such a good job at making his fear so palpable that you can’t help but pity him despite knowing he had dug his own grave. I like characters like this that are rotten, but pitiable, because you understand that they’re just products of their environment.

Also. upon reading other people’s reviews on the book, there was a lot of remarks about how there’s barely any breaks between paragraphs and how the story mostly consists of long walls of texts but I didn’t even notice that while reading. I thought it was well-written and easily digestible despite the graphic contents.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book and i'm excited to read Melchor's other novel "Hurricane Season."

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.

finished 10-??-23

trying to piece together my review !!!