Hello, I’m Rogan and I’m back already in just two days? What’s happening? Obviously as you could see from the title, this is a BookTube post. The reason why I’m back in two days is because today is the 30th, I decided I want to try to do a once-a-month sum up of what I’ve read. The last post/video was on July 30th, so… One month. And this time, I’ve actually read several books!
First up at bat: Hidden Figures. You already saw this in my previous post/video. I was still in the process of reading it. You should read it. No question. Read it. It’s really good. It’s kind of chronological, from when women and people of color started getting involved with NASA, being what they called the computers, engineers, etc. It follows a few different people who were involved. The story–it’s good. Read. Yes, I still haven’t watched the movie. I plan to…eventually.
Second book! Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I did not realize that this was the first in a series, guess I’ll have to find the rest! It’s good. I haven’t seen the movie either. What I really liked about this book is that it takes a lot of concepts that are kind of old concepts, but add a twist to it. You know the freakshows way back then in circuses and the such? They would have a bearded woman, a strongman, that kind of thing. This book kind of has a connection to that. Those people (in the context of this book) and the people in this book are called peculiars or peculiar people. I really like this because it takes old pictures that are actual pictures but adds a twist, a story to include actual people. I thought that was really cool, including a little bit of history in the story. It has time travel (in a way) and… Yeah it’s really good. If you haven’t read it, read it.
Next is technically two books in one – Wicked/Son of a Witch. Way back when I ordered Hidden Figures, I also ordered this book. This is from Barnes & Noble’s Collectible Editions series. Fancy! It has a green ribbon marker and gilded pages. I thought the concept was interesting, but… A lot of holes, a lot of questions. The writing style is not exactly “normal.” I’m unsure whether I like it or not. I definitely like the concept, changing how she became the Wicked Witch of the West, her family, and the story about that. I like that concept, but the writing… I’m a little ehh about the writing. I’ve read several things online that said that the stage play was a lot better than the book. So, that’s interesting! If you like the Wizard of Oz, or you like twists on classic stories (or both) like Wicked is, yeah I’d say go ahead and read this. But I wouldn’t say it’s a must-read.
The next book, I… I’m really conflicted about this book: The Riddle of Gender. One thing you have to keep in mind is that this was published in 2005. So… There is some problematic language in it. It will often use the word transsexual. I want to be clear here, it will use that word if the person themselves identifies as transsexual. Which is fine, if a person identifies as transsexual, that’s what you use. But what I have a problem with is that it often will refer to this particular group as “transsexuals, transgender and intersex people.” I think it’s great that they have both terms – transgender and intersex – because they are different things. But also using transsexual to talk about the group as a whole, I’m not so sure about that. Another reason why I feel really conflicted about this book is because it was written by a white cis woman. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but… The author herself clearly states she started writing this book because a friend of hers came out as trans. That made her go, “Oh, I want to understand this.” So she went on a journey, learning about gender and whatever. I think that’s great and all, but…mmm, I don’t know. She does include interviews with trans people and people who are heavily involved in the trans community though, so that’s good. This book is also heavy on the science, so I’m not sure how I feel about that. Let’s say this: It’s not awful. But… It’s not great either. I don’t know if I would recommend this to anyone. I would definitely not recommend it to someone who’s new to the queer community. It’s not the kind of book you want to read if you’re new to the community. Let’s move on.
Next book is much more fun! A Visual Guide to Drink. This is an amazing book. This has different graphics, visuals of how drink evolved or how it’s made, the history, all of that. A few examples of pages are: the varieties of beer and styles and how they’re connected. The process of making red wine. Different maps throughout the book showing regions where the beer/wine/spirits come from.
The evolution of wine storage. Pages of cocktails that you can make with that specific kind of alcohol. They will list mixers, garnishes, alcohols, wine, all of that stuff. They even include amounts so you can make it yourself if you want. Pretty cool! There’s a lot of different fun stuff like that in here. It’s really good. It’s not at all a comprehensive history, it’s more of an overview of how things are made, how the history happened, how it evolved to what it is now. The point is, it’s a fun, informative book about different kinds of alcohol.
Next book! Remember I felt really conflicted about The Riddle of Gender? This book, I do not feel conflicted about: A Guide to Gender – The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook. This book is really good for beginners, people who are new to the queer community, or are still learning about the community. The author himself says this is NOT a textbook. But a lot of universities and professors have used this as a textbook. (Mainly in Gender Studies classes.) Which is fine, he’s okay with that. It’s “uncopyrighted” so you can actually download a free copy from his website or get a cheap e-book (guidetogender.com). So that’s cool. I do have to warn you, this book is very… Light, funny, lalala. He has A LOT of pop culture references in it, a lot of jokes, etc. Sometimes it’s a little annoying, but that’s his way of teaching people. Making it so that people are more able to connect to and learn from it, and not feel like they’re being preached at. Also, just be aware that the author is a white cis man. But it’s written really well. He had a lot of peer editors. He had a lot of different people look at it, say yes it’s good, and give it the okay. So it’s not like he wrote whatever and said this is what I think, here you go. No. He had a lot of people checking him. One thing that bothers me though. He had about 12 editors (?). I STILL found 5, 6 typos in it. Some were typos, some were grammatical errors. 12 editors? And none of them caught those? They were really basic errors! Anyway. Simple, basic errors bother me, especially when this is the second edition, not the first one! If it was the first edition, I understand that. But second edition? Come on! Come on. It even has this on the cover in the upper right corner which says: Now with a new foreword by the author, brand new chapters, fixed typos, and more gender! You did not fix all of them!
That aside, those are the books I’ve finished reading in the past month. I am currently reading two books: Calumet City and Coming Out: An Anthology of International Gay and Lesbian Writings. I won’t expand too much about them but Calumet City is basically a cop noir, even the blurb on the book says so. Coming Out is interesting so far. It does bother me a little bit that it says gay and lesbian writings because what about all of the other people in this community? But I want to finish reading it and see what the writings are before judging.
This post is getting a little long so I’m going to end here. I hope you found some books that you’re interested in reading. Let me know if there’s any books you want me to read and mention here in the comments of the video. Hopefully I succeed in doing another BookTube video within a month! We’ll see. Remember next month is Deaf Awareness Month, so keep an eye out for deaf topics!
If you want to support my content financially, I would really appreciate it if you joined my Patreon or made an one-time donation to my ko-fi tip jar. Subscribe to my channel. Follow me on my socials – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Thanks for reading, see you next time.