Posts Tagged With: diversity

Friday Diversity // K.J. Charles // LGBTQ+

Often, at least in gay men literature, characters who identify as homosexual tend to hate themselves, no matter how society views them. It’s one reason why I really like K.J. Charles, for there’s little to absolutely no self-loathing due to sexuality there, even thou the settings of these books are often placed in times where homosexuality in any form was considered a crime.

The first books I ever read by K.J. Charles was A Charm of Magpie trilogy. Now that I’m reading another one, I’ve noticed that’s not the only peculiarity she has. Author likes her characters, the ones doomed to fall for each other, to be as different from one another as possible

Lucian is tall, blond, all the way from exotic China where his father exiled him due to his homosexual nature. To London he returns a wealthy merchant, tattooed, handsome, and mighty unusual, flashy even.

Stephan day is short, red-haired, and the only oddity about him is his magic. With a high position in, what I’d call, magical police, he still barely makes the ends meet, and in general prefers staying unnoticed.

These two end up together, prepared to maybe fight a little, but end up figuring they both loathe Lucian’s father, and they both would rather keep the last living Vaudrey alive. The rest is just beautiful, adventure filled, and well paced story.

While in Shades of Magic character orientation was a matter of fact, here – the pair can’t even hold hands in public due to outlash they would receive, the danger they’d be putting each other into.

So, when your straight friends complain about Gay Pride parades, or wonder what’s there to be proud of, when you were born this way, do remind them these little facts: straight people were never ever persecuted due to their orientation, so they can celebrate it every single day, really, and you’re proud, because you’re alive, you survived, you’re here, and you’re awesome.

Categories: Books, Books of Occult, Friday: Diversity, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

David Ebershoff – The Danish Girl

danishgirlI keep picking up these fairly popular books on transgender people, and I keep getting disappointed. It seems all of the trans people are disappointed in life, depressed, schizophrenic, had a very clear choice, and/or has atrophied bits or other gender reproductive system organs in them, that simply needed to be found during the surgery. Convenient. Wow. So I grabbed David Ebershoff book “The Danish Girl” (ISBN 9781474601573; 336p.; Goodreads), with hopes that maybe, maybe this will be better. But once again I got disappointed. So if you don’t feel like reading my rants, know that the movie was pretty okay, even good, but this book is just not worth the trouble, and time.

Einar is a painter, married to a painter. He paints, well, mainly the bog he grew up by, landscapes. She paints portraits, unsuccessfully. The best sold portraits she ever made were of Lilly. Or rather, of her husband dressed as a woman. And while this continues, Einar is sinking deeper, and deeper into some kind of mental illness, split personality disorder. And I mean it. He pulls up the pants, and forgets how he got here, who Lilly spoke to. There’s two completely separate people in his body.

 

Through the book we’re seeing this disorder intensifying. He even gets monthly nose bleeds, which leaves me wondering whether it’s his mind fighting through somehow, or did he have a tumor that split his persona, or otherwise affected him. Mind you, I am not claiming Lilly wasn’t a real woman, or that Einar wasn’t transgender. No, I am sure that was the case. But I am also sure that she was mentally ill too first and foremost, and that they should’ve helped her untangle everything before pushing her to choose: another brain doctor that’ll make your mind masculine again (yes, this is NOT a choice, but the book gave it as one), or a sex change. Oh, and surprise surprise, they open her up, and find some remnants of atrophied female reproductive system bits.

I hated the suggestions in this book: trans people have split personalities; trans people are most likely physically secretly the gender they feel like, you just have to dig deep during surgery; trans people are nuts. They aren’t. Or if they are, it’s not a trans trait, it’s simply a human trait. I await the day where the trans character I’ll read will be happy, living their life, having adventures. This book gets 2 out of 5 for trying.

Categories: 2-5, Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday: Diversity // Race

People of Color, different races. My language lacks words to describe “other” races, but we’ll see how it goes with English.

One of currently most visible books with a black person as main hero is Angie ThomasThe Hate U Give”, a.k.a. Thug. The title is probably self-explanatory, and I don’t need to add anything to it. I didn’t plan to read it, really, haven’t heard all that much good about it, until I actually started looking into things. Then BookTube happened, and now I know I need to read it. At the very least to educate myself a bit on this, because let’s face it, my country couldn’t be whiter, I’ve no idea what racism really is, but I sure as hell should learn, being a different kind of minority.

So here’s three reviews that stuck with me, and why:


This young woman here missed the race point completely. She constantly questions it: why is it about the race? Why do you hate officers? So your black friend was shot because he’s black, from a bad neighborhood and it’s a tragedy? It’d be a tragedy if he wasn’t black just the same! – Which is not the case. Yes, it would be a tragedy. But the case lies in a different question: would he have been shot if he was a white guy? Rather, as we constantly see on tv and news media, he would’ve been properly apprehended, questioned, and most likely released. It happens all the damn time, where people of color, different race, are labeled thugs, terrorists, murderers – damn white rapists, terrorists, hate-filled scum walk among us, charged and released. So my own point here is this: be aware.

iLivieforbooks tells about the balance: the need to adjust when you’re a black kid from primarily black neighborhood, and go to a primarily white school. She also touches the previously mentioned subject: Starr friend was shot, because he was a black guy from a bad neighborhood, and touches a different edge of the same truth. People are not allowed to grieve their lost ones, because all the while they’re bombarded with half a country yelling: he probably deserved it anyway. I like that she mentioned interracial dating too, I always found that curious, and she shone some insight.
Two Worlds: black neighborhood, and white “neighborhood” – the school. And while we are accidentally told that the characters might just very well be aliens, Problemsofabooknerd barely contains herself telling us of characters, how they are, what are their personalities, and how they fill each other out. Then she touches another important subject: White privilege. I admit, I myself wasn’t aware of having such for a very long while, and only recently I started to notice things. Truth is this: when you live in a super white country, with black people number so small you could count them on your two hands, you don’t know what you have, because you simply have nothing to compare it to. Or you tell yourself that. A few years back I watched the news, and they spoke of gypsy communities, which we do have here, and they are treated poorly, for reasons, or no reasons. And I realized a very simple, but very true fact: okay, so I can’t get a job in my damn town. But if there was a spot, and there stood I, aiming, say, at waiter job, no prior experience, and a gypsy woman, with plenty of prior experience: I would get hired. Because, as a white person, I get the benefit of the doubt, and that’s the biggest, fattest privilege anyone can ever ask for.

So these are my three muses who “told” me to read this book. Each one of them is important, whether their review was good, bad, or biased (NOT IMPLYING ANYTHING). As Philip DeFranco keeps repeating us: we must have a conversation, and we must educate ourselves. Hate without a reason means only one thing, that you chose to be ignorant. And in an age of information being under our fingertips – it has no excuse.

 

Categories: Friday: Diversity | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Friday: Diversity // LGBTQ+

I had a chat with one other book blogger recently, where we discussed the lack of diversity in books we’re, so to speak, served. In a sense, unless you look by yourself, for yourself – you might not come around a lot of diversity. So I started digging through my blog, just so I could mark things down: which books had people of color? Were they main characters, or merely sidekicks? What about LGBT people? Different religions? In the end it was fairly hard to find books from different, less popular countries, let alone bigger things, like gender or color.

So we came to a conclusion, or rather, she did, and I stole it, as I do, as should you with good ideas if they’re not copyrighted: maybe we should speak up a little. Education is lacking, points of view are lacking. So let’s help each other out. Let’s find the good things, the diverse things and share them. Let’s educate ourselves, for no one else will!

Schedule will be this, if all goes well: Fridays. Every other Friday we speak of a topic, then next Friday I try to read a book for the previous topic. All suggestions are very welcome.

Today’s topic is LGBTQ+, and the books are V.E. SchwabShades of Magic trilogy [1]; [2]; [3]:

x_shadesofmagic

Shades of Magic is a wonderful fantasy trilogy of three Londons. Grey one is dull, without any magic in it. White one is where magic bites back, eating the very life-force of the world, people. And the Red one is wonderful, full of beautiful, peaceful magic. There’s two main heroes here, Delilah Bard, who comes from Grey London and dreams of adventure. And Kell, who is basically adopted by the royal family, and considers their legitimate son Rhy – his brother. He’s the key to Delilah’s adventure, for she soon finds a way to get him to take her away from the Grey London, into his, Red.

Rhy gets a time to shine in third book, even thou there’s plenty of him in other ones too. He’s a delightful man of tan skin, beautiful eyes, easy flirt, and charming character, with a lot of strong emotions that seemed very true, and honest. And while his bed was warmed by lovers of both genders, his heart secretly belongs to only one: Alucard Emery. Alucard is a captain of a ship Delilah Bard finds herself in while on an adventure to, basically, find more adventures.

While Alucard was beaten by his brothers and thrown out of the home by his father due to where he spent the night (Rhy’s bed), homophobia here is a matter of isolated incidents and oddities of distant lands. Little if any pay attention to Rhy’s orientation, and the worst thing that came out of it was a consequence to Alucard not explaining why he left, for Kell swore to beat him to a pulp for breaking his brother’s heart.

SPOILERS:

Everything solves in the end, and we get a happy ending for everyone, including Rhy and Alucard. Alucard comes back with solid proof of his love, and Rhy, being a smart young man, finds a way to work his love into his life.

SPOILERS END:

These are truly delightful books. No one’s perfect, and yet the logic these characters show is so very refreshing. There’s no love triangles, there’s no abandoning of dreams for love, but rather true, and honest reaching for the stars, not letting go of anything, not compromising. They’re captivating and wonderful, and everyone should read them!

Categories: LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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