Geekly Wrap-Up #16 ft. #Believathon and #Indigathon

Hey everybody, it’s Anna, and welcome back
to my booktube channel! This video is going to be my geekly wrap-up for the
week of November 18th through November 24th. This week, I read three books, and I
played two new board games. I also am going to be wrapping up the first book
in my wrap up, which is “Disabled People Destroy Fantasy” which is one of the
series in the “Destroy” series, I guess, of Uncanny Magazine. I actually read this
last week, but I forgot to wrap it up in that video because I read it on my
Kindle, and as we know, if I can’t see the thing physically there in front of me, I
kind of forget that it exists! So I read “Disabled People Destroy Fantasy.” I
really enjoyed it. I think overall I enjoyed the fiction much less than I
enjoyed the science fiction issue of the magazine, but I really liked the poetry, I
really liked the nonfiction, and obviously I think it’s really
important that the “Destroy” series exists and continues to exist. I would highly
recommend it; it’s very affordable. You can find it for like $3.99 on the Kindle
Store if you’re interested in reading and supporting stories that are by and
about disabled people, so would highly recommend that.
So I read three books this week. One of them was for the Believathon, and that
was the most recent Vanderbeekers book, which is called “The Vanderbeekers To
the Rescue.” This is in that same series that I have been wrapping up for most of
Believathon. In this book, the Vanderbeekers’ mom is about to get her bakery business
launched off the ground and started up, and the kids kind of inadvertently
create a bit of a fiasco when the health inspector comes, which results in their
mom getting her home baking license revoked. So they have a week to just come
up with a creative solution to how they’re going to help their mom’s
business get back up off the ground. I thought that this book was charming, as
always. I don’t think that the story was necessarily as engaging as the
previous two books, but I still really appreciated it. I’m glad that I read it,
and I gave it four out of five stars. Then I read a book that has been on my
TBR for ages. It’s called “We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to
Covergirl, the buying and selling of a political movement” by Andi Zeisler. Now,
this book came out in 2016. I really wanted to read it in
2016, and I remember I didn’t pick it up then because it was a brand new
hardcover then: it was expensive, I was not able to afford it at the time. I
finally found this copy at a used bookstore later. Reading it three years
later, I think, does somewhat dampen some of the message of this book. The book’s
message overall is pretty important: it’s about what happens when you take
feminism, which was a sort of thing that we all understood was a political
movement with various levels of people thinking that it was appropriate or not
in the Second Wave and into the Third Wave, and how the marketplace and
capitalism has kind of co-opted the language and rhetoric of feminism and
gender equality as a way to make money. Whereas feminism is no longer a choice
that you’re necessarily making or a political action that you’re taking,
feminism is buying a t-shirt that says “this is what a feminist looks like,” and
Andi Zeisler talks about how she’s not trying to dog on people that
are making feminist merch, but she is calling for looking critically at the
way especially large corporations tried to appropriate the language of feminism.
So I thought that this book was good, although as a *book* I don’t know how
strong it was. For one thing, I definitely think it was an instance of kind of
“preaching to the converted”: like, I don’t know how many people who don’t already
know about this [issue] would pick up this book and read it, and if that was what she was
going for, that’s fine. I just don’t know that that was necessarily the
strongest way to argue it. It also did kind of read a little bit more like
episodic articles strung together, which makes sense because Andi has been the
editor-in-chief of Bitch magazine, or she had been the editor-in-chief at Bitch
for years and years up to the publication of this book, so her
background is from journalism. So if you like your nonfiction that reads a little
bit more like journalistic articles, then maybe this is a good book for you. I tend
to not like that style of nonfiction writing very much, but again, that is just personal taste. That is not to say that this book is bad. One
thing, though, that I think the book kind of does suffer from is the fact that so
much has changed in the last three years. This book was published before the 2016 like election results, and we have moved on in some
ways in our discussion of the issues facing feminism now. This book does
do a good job of trying to highlight queer perspectives and trans
perspectives, especially in a book that was not by a Black
author, drawing attention to the murder and assaults and the
vulnerability of Black trans women specifically in the current climate, but
a lot has changed in the discourse: we have bathroom bills; we have #MeToo, that movement; we have the climate change crisis becoming all the more
acute. So definitely reading this I was like, “oh
wait, wh isn’t yshe writing about XYZ?” And I was like, “Oh yeah, because this book
came out in 2016,” and while those things were still issues that we were
dealing with in 2016, they have migrated much more so to the forefront of the
conversation. So I think that this is important as far as picking out
some issues and some discourse in a particular time in the feminist
movement, but I don’t know how well the like actual meat of it really holds up
in 2019 going into 2020. So I think that the book sadly outdated
itself a little bit, through no fault of its own. It’s just that a lot of this
conversation has begun moving so quickly, especially surrounding the things that
Andi brings up in the book. So there’s that. I gave it 3 out of 5: still good,
would recommend it if you’re interested in the topic. Then I managed to finish
the last book on my TBR for the Indigathon, which is “There There” by Tommy
Orange. I was very much not prepared for just how much of a punch this story
would pack. Well, wow! Where do I even start with this? First of all, I guess,
thank you to Brody, if you’re watching this, for recommending this and talking
about this book all the time. I don’t think I would have picked it up if it
hadn’t been for you, and I’m so glad I did, so thank you very much for
recommending it. As I mentioned before in my TBR video, if you didn’t watch that,
this is a book that follows twelve perspectives
of different people, most of them Native Americans, that are getting ready to
attend the Big Oakland Powwow. The book starts out with a sort of very
historically rich– almost like you’re sitting down to listen to people talk
about their family’s stories and their everyday lives. It’s got this very
storytelling lilt to it. And then about halfway through the book, some events
occur. I’m being purposefully vague because I don’t want to spoil it, and the
tension in the chapters just ramps *way* up. I think that this book is absolutely
masterful in the way in which it creates a character-driven story and then puts
these characters all together in a very plot driven situation. I don’t think I’ve
ever read a book that did something like this this well while managing to have
both of those aspects of the writing be so strong and still let 12 characters– I
mean, how on earth do you give 12 characters an amazing, each unique voice?
I’ve read so many books where characters’ names blend into
each other and I don’t really remember from one chapter to the next who’s even
speaking, but Tommy Orange just made each of them so individual and distinct that
I know that these characters are going to stay with me even though I finished
the book, long after the chapter’s closed. I really
loved this book. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. The end of it was kind of hard to
read, just because there was some stuff that happened in the book that has
to do with a really like specific fear that I have, but I don’t think that
that is going to hamper anyone else’s enjoyment of the book. That was really
just more of a “me” thing, and I would highly recommend everyone in my life to
read this. Now let’s go on to the board games that I played, but before I do that,
I have to give a big shout out and thank you to Erin from The Geeky Gimp. You all
probably know her as my co-host for the Disability Read-a-thon. She is also a
dear friend of mine. And Erin had asked me if I wanted some
books that she was getting rid of. She thought that I would be interested in
them. And she also was going to send me some little buttons and a tote bag that
she had designed and made for the Disability Read-a-thon, so I said yes. And
what she did not tell me was that she was going to send me a *giant* box full of–
I think it was like seven–new board games from her collection that she
thought that I would enjoy playing that she just wanted to pass on. And I was
floored when I opened my mailbox and I saw this giant box! I opened it and I
was like, what on earth could she have put in this box? This one book and a
tote bag don’t take up this much space! Why is the box so big? That’s why, so
thank you so much for sending me that, Erin! I really appreciate it. I’m very
excited to get to playing all those games, especially with Thanksgiving
coming up this week. We’re gonna be having people over, so I’m really hoping
to get some of those to the table. I will of course be wrapping them up in a
future geekly wrap-up, so if you want to see all the games that Erin so
kindly surprised me with, just keep your eyes peeled for that wrap-up.
But I did play two new games. One of them is called Tainted Grail. I’m not
holding it up because the box is *really* heavy, and also the game is still
kind of in the process of being played on my table and I didn’t really feel
like packing it all up. It is basically a kind of an adventure game
that takes place in a very gothic, twisted Arthurian mythos. It’s a
sort of campaign game that’s played over 15 chapters, and the chapters are *really*
long. I think if you play the entire game start to finish, it on average takes
you a hundred hours! But it’s very easily broken up into episodes, and
you can save the game at any time, almost as if it’s a video game. So I’m playing
through that with my husband right now. He’s playing a character called Beor, who
is a magical smith, and I’m playing a character called Maggot–because I had to
play the character called Maggot, of course! Who is a druid
that has somehow become addicted to these magical psychedelic mushrooms
and elixirs that exist in the world, and they give him these very vivid
nightmares, but also an insight into the fabric of reality. He’s
super fun to play as! It’s coming back to bite me in the butt because in this game,
nightmares can actually have negative impacts on your health and your
sanity and other things, and I’m just like, ain’t that the truth! Wow,
way to call me out, fictional board game person! I am really enjoying this.
Most of the gameplay is us moving around on a little modular map, and we
have decks that we’re building for things like combat and diplomacy. A lot
of the strategy that comes with moving around the map is trying to keep these
beacons lit that will allow you to actually be able to travel safely from
place to place. I don’t really want to say too much more about it because I
don’t want to spoil specific plot points, and also because we only finished
chapter 1. We’ve been playing it for maybe an hour or two almost every
night this week, and we’ve just now finished the first chapter. So that’s
Tainted Grail. The other game that we played is actually one that I got as a
gift for my husband because our wedding anniversary was on Sunday. Love! So sweet!
It was amazing, and I got him the game that’s called Vinhos, and this is a
game by his favorite board game designer, whose name is Vital Lacerda. It is a
game about running vineyards and wineries. It is a sort of classic
euro game, but taken to the max, where you are spending your actions in order to be
able to do things like open vineyards, hire farmers and wine experts. You have
to age your wines in order to be able to sell them, and then every so
often there are these fairs where wine experts come and judge your wines
based off of how well you’re playing the game. I feel like it’s really hard to
explain how this is translated into a board game, but basically just take
someone who has a ton of attention to detail and a really keen aesthetic
sensibility and have them design a board game about wine and wine making! I had got him this game for our anniversary because I knew that
he really wanted it. We set it up; we got through maybe a turn or two last night
before we realized how late it was and that we needed to go to bed because we
had to function like adults the next day. But that’s Vinhos, and I really
enjoyed playing that. So again: a little bit of a lighter reading week. I’m
anticipating that this week–as I’m filming is the week of Thanksgiving–it’s
probably going to be a bit of a lighter week as well, just because of the
holidays and we’ll be busy with that. I hope that you all are taking great
care of yourselves. I hope that you have a happy happy Thanksgiving holiday, for
those of you celebrating, and for those of you traveling, stay safe and have fun!
And I will see you in the next one. Bye!

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