Lat’s Bookish Adventures of 2023 Roundup

Posted January 1, 2024 by geograph in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Lat’s Bookish Adventures of 2023 RoundupHeartstopper by Alice Oseman
Series: Heartstopper #1
Published by Scholastic on December 27, 2023
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Romance, Young Adult Fiction / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Dating & Sex
Pages: 288
Source: Booksweet

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. A sweet and charming coming-of-age story that explores friendship, love, and coming out.

"Absolutely delightful. Sweet, romantic, kind. Beautifully paced. I loved this book." -- Rainbow Rowell, author of Carry On

Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn't think he has a chance.

But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works.

Lat’s Bookish Adventures of 2023

The most important and worthwhile bookish thing I did this year is that the Howl’s Moving Castle trilogy by Diana Wynne Jones (Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle In the Air, and House of Many Ways) came out with new covers by Josee Shimazaki, I instantly fell in love with them, and I forwarded the post to Booksweet’s Instagram and I was like “I know these are British editions, can you get them for me?” and they DID. They’re beautiful, they’re paperback, I can carry them around, I’m going to mark them up and annotate them and feature them in any Bookish Posts I make forever.

Andrew Joseph White had his second book out this year, and it was a BIG EVENT this summer when my roommate went to pick up my Booksweet preorder and came home with THE SPIRIT BARES ITS TEETH, White’s second YA book. Less gory but more visceral than HELL FOLLOWED WITH US, I devoured this book in an afternoon and felt incredibly nauseous with dread the entire time. There’s an on-page Cesarean section that feels victorious. Most importantly, there’s a happy ending for all the trans characters.

My First Book of the Year was volume 1 of HEARTSTOPPER and wow, it successfully lived up to the hype of everything Around it! Heartwarming, homosexual, drawn in an endearing style, cozy in a true-to-life way. A lot of Teen Fiction has many elements exaggerated for Narrative Reasons and Style, and I don’t feel like Heartstopper does at all. It captured so much of being 15 for me. I think everyone everywhere has read Heartstopper at this point, but if you haven’t, or if you feel like you’ve missed “the hype” or “the moment”, you haven’t. All you need is an afternoon and a cup of tea, and you’ll be all caught up.

I had a lot of trouble Reading for Fun this year because I did too much Reading for School, but one book I really enjoyed was THE ANNUAL MIGRATION OF CLOUDS by Premee Mohamed (also author of the incredible “Beneath the Rising” series). I read this in its entirety on a plane coming back from New York, and I think getting on and off planes is always a lifechanging wild experience, but this time, I felt perhaps more so. Parts of this novella are so beautiful in just description that I teared up while reading them. I was left with more questions than answers, which is frustrating but in an extremely good way. What’s even better, though, is that Mohamed has a sequel coming out in 2024, WE SPEAK THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS, so you’ll have only a few months to percolate on those questions before some of them are answered (and more, I hope, unanswered).

This year I read two books at very different times, but in some ways inextricably paired: PEOPLE LOVE DEAD JEWS by Dara Horn in January and THE GOLEM OF BROOKLYN by Adam Mansbach in September/October. THE GOLEM OF BROOKLYN was screamingly funny; PEOPLE LOVE DEAD JEWS was bittersweetly nonfiction. Sometimes you walk around a problem your whole life and try not to stare it in the face, and both of these books unpacked antisemitism and laid it in front of me, and asked me what I was going to do about it. PEOPLE LOVE DEAD JEWS presented some solutions that I didn’t like, and THE GOLEM OF BROOKLYN neither told me what to think nor what to do, and both books left me percolating.

In 2023 I had the incredible opportunity to work on the Muriel Rukeyser archive at Eastern Michigan University. Working in an archive and combing through Rukeyser’s original papers and letters, discovering a person through the things she left behind, I got to know Rukeyser. At the end of my internship, I was gifted THE ESSENTIAL MURIEL RUKEYSER, which had many of my favorites and additional new poetry not in the archive. Rukeyser was a “documentary poet”, a “poet of exactly her generation”. One of the letters in her archive describes her as “unique, wild, splendid; out of time with this century”. I find her poetry to be technical but intense, not unlike my other favorite poet, Louise Glück. I recommend her to people of the 21st century, historians, Eastern Michigan University graduates and affiliates, and anyone prone to strong and unpredictable tides of feeling. Also, you can go to the Eastern Michigan Archives and look at her archive for yourself, lovingly cataloged by yours truly.



HEARTSTOPPER by Alice Oseman





ordering special and foreign editions through Booksweet, who can probably get you anything under the sun

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