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The inheritance trilogy (2014) 5 stars

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under …

While not as epic as The Broken Earth trilogy, this N.K Jemisin series goes very deep into the nature of power, religion, divinity, and so many other things, in a series that's mostly just characters talking to each other and thinking thoughts. There's a revolution against Light and Order (which, it turns out, are pretty authoritarian things when taken to the extreme). There's dismantling of good-evil binaries. There's a LOT of queer sex. Brilliant.

finished reading Antifa by Mark Bray

Antifa (2017, Melville House Publishing) No rating

In the wake of tragic events in Charlottesville, VA, and Donald Trump’s initial refusal to …

A concise, well written ''history and its lessons'' of antifascist movements in Europe and North America. Its best part are the practical lessons for contemporary antifascist organizing.

Babel (EBook, 2022, Harper Voyager) 4 stars

From award-winning author R. F. Kuang comes Babel, a thematic response to The Secret History …

Colonialism is, in fact, bad

5 stars

R. F. Kuang's Babel is actually much more than an indictment of colonialism, although it performs that job magnificently. Novels abound on the struggles of immigrants from the Global South once they have reached the supposed land of the free; their struggle to fit in, their identity crises, and their disillusionment with what the West has to offer.

Babel is focused on essentially a 1830s version of Western liberal arts education. Four students in Oxford struggle to balance their desperate eagerness to learn and take advantage of the enormous resources at their disposal, with the imperialist ends that their skills are put toward.

Where Kuang departs from most is by asserting that you can never actually strike that balance - and, in fact, that you should not. Where she truly elevates beyond almost every other book on the subject is by charting an actual path of unambiguous resistance for the …