Poets & Writers (March/April 2015) – This issue is probably my favorite one of the year because it hosted so many diverse and different people. The articles were very lively and in-depth, and, unlike it other issues, nothing really dragged or seemed too long. I especially loved “A Profile of T. Geronimo Johnson” by Kevin Nance, “A Profile of Tracy K. Smith” by Renee H. Shea, “Going Hollywood: The Business of Film Adaptations” by Michael Taeckens, and “The Moment of Truth: Eleven Authors Share Stories of Life-Changing Retreats” by Kevin Larimer. So glad I read this, even if I came to it late.
Batgirl, Vol. 1: The Batgirl of Burnside by Cameron Stewart (2015) – This is the first volume of Cameron Stewart and illustrator Babs Tarr’s new Batgirl run. It features Barbara (Babs) Gordan living and going to school in Burnside, coming up with her new persona, and dealing with being Burnside’s most Tweeted-about superhero. It’s a fun ride, but what really stands out are the illustrations, which are lively and gorgeous and really appeal to teen and twenty-something girls. Great fun.
The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (2006) – This collection of essays has author Ayaan Hirsi Ali detailing exactly what is wrong with Islam, how it fosters terrorism, and generally why it’s bad. Ali paints with an extremely broad brush and writes in a rambling, fragmented manner. Honestly, I couldn’t finish the book. Ali jumped from anecdote to anecdote and gave no indication that she knew any one region or time period well. She just used examples to fuel her agenda. Would not recommend.
One Teacher in 10: LGBT Educators Share Their Stories edited by Kevin Jennings (2015) – In this newest edition, Kevin Jennings brings together the voices of a few dozen educators to talk about what it’s like being a queer teacher, where things went well, where they struggled, and what still remains to be done. I loved this book. The voices were so authentic and honest and conveyed a great deal of strength and power. I even teared up a few times. A couple of my favorite essays were “Being Gay and Brown in Private Schools” and “Finding a Way and Making One: Coming Out Brown, Feminist, and Queer.” Cannot recommend enough.
Hana-Kimi (For You in Full Bloom) by Hisaya Nakajo (1996 – 2004) ch. 112 – 138 – These chapters, while feeling both slow and forced, nonetheless present us with two of Mizuki’s biggest school highlights: 1) her and Sano telling each other that they love them and 2) someone unsupportive finding out about Mizuki’s gender. I’m not sure why several of the chapters were so unsatisfying, but by the 130s it starts to get better again. Still, I’m mostly waiting for the end now.
Ongoing manga series:
Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars!/Soma’s Cooking Battles) by Yuto Tsukuda (2012 – ongoing) ch. 131 – This chapter shows the fall-out from the Soma-Terunori battle. It’s meant to humanize Terunori a bit, but I thought it fell flat.
Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (Assassination Classroom) by Yusei Matsui (2012 – ongoing) ch. 150 and 151 – In these two chapters, the class tries to figure out how to go about saving Koro-sensei – only to learn they may have to go into space to do so. It’s fun and silly with great pacing. I love this manga.