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amyberko's books

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Carrie Hunter: Vibratory Milieu (2020, Nightboat Books) 5 stars

Vibratory Milieu weaves together eight years of writing to build an interconnecting web of accretionary …

This is my fav Carrie Hunter book

5 stars

"The Bay Area's secret weapon" Carrie Hunter has written a number of poetry collections, but this one — just out from Nightboat — is my fav. Recommended if you like: telling people your dreams and hearing about people's dreams, eavesdropping, collage, impossible situations, ALL CAPS, thinking about sex while "meditating," the strangeness of everyday language.

Caitlin Sullivan, Kate Bornstein: Nearly Roadkill (1996, High Risk Books) 5 stars

"A novel written in cyberspace, Nearly Roadkill is an Infobahn erotic thriller without any boundaries …

"An Infobahn Erotic Adventure" says it all

5 stars

This is a delightful book! I found it in the "Gender Studies" section of Mercer Street Books, which is not really where it belongs, because it's fiction, but it is definitely about gender! It's a star-crossed lovers story set in a world where everyone must register to use the internet, which means answering a series of questions, including questions about gender, so that their ads can be tailored (lol sounds familiar). However our two protagonists don't want to declare their genders; their genders are fluid, and they prefer staying anonymous, accessing the infobahn illegally, and running into each other on chat room after chatroom, where they have a wide variety of playful, tender, and creative cybersex. A lot of this book is chat transcripts, and a lot of those transcripts are sex. I have never met anyone who has read this book! I will keep talking about it until I …

Jeannie Vanasco: Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl: A Memoir (2019, Tin House Books) 4 stars

tw: rape / "A Literary Feminist Miracle"

5 stars

This book! Sophia Shalmiyev writes: "Vanasco performs a literary feminist miracle for all women who have been denied basic rights, been suspect, been labeled, been unbelievable after their rapes and assaults, and shines our collective shame outwardly, to ask a man why a choice to abuse is made." It's really an extraordinary book; as far as I know, nothing like this has been done before. Vanasco interviews the ex-friend who raped her when they were teens, and makes sense of his answers with input from her writing group, her friends, her editors, and her partner.

Amy Long: Codependence (2019, Cleveland State University Poetry Center) 5 stars

Fearless, haunting, and transcendently honest, Amy Long’s Codependence is a memoir of pain and its …

One of my favorite books on chronic pain

5 stars

This is a beautifully written, formally inventive, moving, and brave essay collection about chronic migraines, addiction, codependent relationships, and how impossible it is for many chronic pain patients to get the care they need. My favorite part may be the essay that's a list of all the NYC pharmacies the author had to visit in order to get her RX filled.

Corinne Manning: We Had No Rules (2020, Arsenal Pulp Press) 5 stars

A defiant, beautifully realized story collection about the messy complications of contemporary queer life.

A …

We Had No Rules "Rules"

5 stars

I don't normally love short story collections ... hard for me to wind up caring about characters and situations I only spend a few pages with ... I realize this is 100% my bias ... but anyway I really loved this collection by Corinne Manning. All kinds of queer characters variously making messes and sorting things out. And I cared about all of them, for the few pages I knew them. One thing that sticks in my mind is a moment when a character makes a bad situation worse by putting on a ridiculous costume. No, I don't remember what costume or what situation. You'll have to read it and find out!