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[Book Review] World of Wonders // Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Nezhukumatathil's collection of short essays draws comparisons between her life and creatures of the natural world such as fireflies, axolotls, and octopuses. The illustrations in this small book are what drew me to it. I read a digital copy of this book, though, so I'm not sure if I got to appreciate the full extent of the illustrations.

[Book Review] Permanent Record // Mary H.K. Choi

Pablo has been struggling with finances, with finding a passion, with discovering what he wants to devote his life to. At the moment, he's working the graveyard shift at a 24-hour bodega. He's avoiding telling his parents how over his head he is from student loans and the credit card he opened when he first started college. Basically, his life is a mess. Then one night, famous pop star Leanna Smart wanders into the bodega and everything changes. There's an instant connection, but Leanna is crazy busy all the time, zipping from one continent to another making albums and movies and business deals while Pablo spends his time working and avoiding taking responsibility for all his problems. Is there any way they can make their relationship work, or were they doomed from the start?

[Book Review] Disability Visibility: 1st Person Stories from the 21st Century // Edited by Alice Wong

I expected this book to be dense or to contain lots of jargon. I assumed since it was an essay collection that all the contributors would be academics writing about the portrayal of disability in literature or film. I was pleasantly surprised, then, to find this was not the case. As the subtitle "First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century" states, the essays in this collection tell 1st-person stories from individuals with disabilities. For example, Ariel Henley writes about her experiences with beauty and art in her essay "There's a Mathematical Equation That Proves I'm Ugly--Or So I Learned in My Seventh-Grade Art Class." Henley's art teacher taught her about the subjectivity of beauty in art, and Henley movingly write about how her teacher changed her view of her own reflection.

[Book Review] The Anthropocene Reviewed // John Green

John Green deviates from his regular fiction writing to bring us a collection of essays on the current geological age. I knew that this would be a collection of essays, but I have not listed to Green's podcast, from which these essays are adapted, so I didn't have a clear idea of what to expect going in. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. Green reviews everything from Super Mario Kart to Diet Dr Pepper to the world's largest ball of paint. I expected many of the reviews to be informational content, yet Green infused each review with personal anecdotes and connections to his life and the larger world. The book, in many ways, reminds me of the YouTube vlogs he's been doing with his brother Hank for many years. I used to watch every vlog, but their videos have since drifted out of my watch list, although not because they became less entertaining or diminished in quality. I simply got too busy to keep up with them.

[Book Review] A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is the sequel to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, which is the story of an "alien" visitation by a giant samurai robot referred to as Carl (the Carls when plural). It's difficult to discuss the second book without inadvertently giving away the ending of the first, so be forewarned that this review contains a spoiler for the first book. I do not, however, include spoilers for the second book.

[Book Review] The Unknown Knowns by Jeffrey Rotter

Jim Rath is obsessed with a lost aquatic race called the Nautikons. He enjoys visiting a local hotel pool where he floats submerged in the water, with only the top of the snorkel peaking out, daydreaming about the Nautikons. One day, Jim spots a man he is certain is a Nautikon in disguise, and he follows the man to several hotels in pursuit of evidence to prove his theory of the existence of this aquatic race.

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