Today’s book mail was an impulse buy, because that’s the sort of thing you end up doing after not leaving your house for three weeks because how else are you going to stave off the anxiety ha ha am I right no I’m seriously asking how are you lot coping like this all a lot and I hope you’re all holding up okay⠀


I love Edward Gorey, although I confess I’ve only read just a handful of his books. A curious thing about me, when it comes to artists in particular, is that often the way I get into their work is by first being interested in them as people. Sometimes I end up reading biographies or books analyzing their stuff before I ever get to their actual work. It’s sort of a ridiculous way to get into stuff, admittedly, but I do find that knowing about a person helps me appreciate their stuff a bit more.⠀

But that’s only occasionally. And I don’t do it with every creative person I come across. Mostly it tends to be with figures that are somewhat flamboyant and bigger-than-life, magnetic personalities that attract all manner of interesting and curious anecdotes.

People who are made up of stories.⠀

All of which certainly applies to Gorey. So a biography — a picture book no less — about the man, written and drawn in his style, is totally up my alley. It’s a beautiful object and  I can’t wait to get into it.


It’s a little wild to think of how even the simple act of receiving mail has changed in just the span of two weeks. And now you have to do this awkward dance with the UPS guy as you both try to avoid touching one another because neither of you thought to suggest putting the package on the floor.⠀

It’s a little funny, too, in a bittersweet sort of way.⠀


Have really been looking forward to this graphic novel! I have absolutely zero interest in basketball, but I am definitely interested whenever a new book by Gene Luen Yang comes out. His graphic novel American Born Chinese made a huge impact on me when I was young, and it helped shape the way I view the comics medium as a whole. (“You mean you can tell this kind of story?”)⠀

So expectations are a little high! But I have no doubt Yang can deliver.⠀

(The last sentence originally read “I have no doubt that Yang can deliver a slam dunk,” but I thought it was a bit much and took out the pun. So, you know, you’re welcome.)⠀


Today’s book mail comes courtesy of Nic Stone, who read a less-than-glowing review I did of one of her books and still offered to send me an advanced reader copy of her latest. Because some authors are class acts. ⠀

She also totally and utterly sassed me out about said review, because some authors are also as mischievous as they are tactful. Which I love, obviously.

Thank you, Nic, for the books and the banter. And for making my week. Looking forward to reading this!


Today’s book mail ain’t no junk mail.⠀

Ordered this immediately after finishing Ghost. Because obviously. ⠀

I remember listening to a talk Reynolds gave where one of the kids in the audience asked which of the books he had written was his favorite. Jason, like any other writer, couldn’t decide, of course, so he just asked the kid which was his favorite. “Patina!” came the immediate reply. And Reynolds beamed. “Y’all don’t know what a big deal that is,” literally patting himself on the back, “that a boy’s favorite book is Patina.” He didn’t elaborate, but he was referring to the fact that this was a book about a young woman, dealing with things that young men don’t necessarily — usually — go through. And it was this boy’s favorite. Which means that he saw a piece of himself reflected within the pages of this story.⠀

And that is what a Jason Reynolds book does: it lets us see, and be seen. ⠀

Excited to dig into this one soon.


3My partner and I saw Knives Out last night and had an absolute blast with it. The fact that I’ve been in a murder mystery sort of mood anyway, and had started reading Agatha Christie’s most well-known Poirot novel, Murder on the Orient Express, a couple of days prior only added to my enjoyment, too, I’m sure.⠀

This was my first time reading this story, although I have seen — and thoroughly liked — Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation a couple of times. What surprised me reading the original work is just how cold and calculating Poirot is with this particular case. I’ve read only a handful of the Poirot books, but just enough of them to know that he can be quite the fierce and impassioned character when the mood strikes. Going solely by Branagh’s interpretation (as well as David Suchet’s, which I have not seen, but have heard enough about), you are led to believe that this is Poirot’s hardest, most trying case, and so I went into the book expecting a Poirot full of righteous anger. And then by the time you get to the end you realize that, actually, this is all pretty damn standard for him. He even explicitly comments on it, at one point.⠀

Which I think is pretty damn great. As much as I can appreciate the Shakespearean drama of the modern adaptations, there’s something brilliant about this ridiculous, charming little man just relentlessly plowing through everyone’s nonsense to get to the truth. And at the end of it all, leave the resolution entirely in the hands of somebody else. Mainly, the reader. “I cannot judge this,” indeed.⠀

Anyway go see Knives Out if you love Agatha Christie stories and also straight up spoofs of Agatha Christie stories like Clue. It’s too good.