Here’s To You, Ms. Jordan

In seventh grade, I had a science teacher named Ms. Jordan. Whenever students called her Mrs. Jordan, she would gently correct them – “It’s Ms. Jordan” – and then move on. We knew that she was married, because her husband was also a teacher at our school. At that time, I did not understand the […]

The Lives of Tao; Or: Story Time With Andy Dwyer

The Lives of Tao; Or: Story Time With Andy Dwyer

The Lives of Tao is an action-adventure-sci-fi young adult book about a race of aliens whose enormous ship crash-landed on the planet 65 million years ago, causing the climatic changes that killed the dinosaurs. The aliens cannot live in our atmosphere, so they survive as symbionts in the bodies of animals, to whom they can […]

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone

When Harry Potter came out in 1997, it was exactly the wrong time for me. I was too mature for the target demographic but not mature enough to realize there’s nothing wrong with enjoying books written for a younger audience. Plus there was the whole *magic* thing, but let’s not get started on my pearl-clutchy, uptight […]

Dietland; Or: FUCK YES!

Dietland; Or: FUCK YES!

I cannot *begin* to express my love for the wonder that is Dietland. It is a gleeful, triumphant, satisfying FUCK YOU to all the shit that makes a woman’s life small or stifling or treacherous. It is Angela Davis’s iconic fist in the air, with a middle finger proudly raised. It is righteously noncompliant. Dietland […]

Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You

Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You is an excavation of a family’s secrets. The concept underpinning the narrative – that each member of the family operates under a series of misunderstandings of each other’s intentions and the meaning of their life’s events that individually and collectively serve as the catalyst for further hurt and confusion […]

Prairie Silence; Or: On Being An Ex-Pat In Your Own Home Town

Prairie Silence; Or: On Being An Ex-Pat In Your Own Home Town

Melanie Hoffert grew up on the North Dakota prairie. Like most rural kids, she evacuated to a city the first chance she got, moving by degrees until she ended up in Minneapolis-St.Paul, where I met her. We were in different stages in our lives then. I, still in the aggressive autonomy of early adulthood, felt no […]

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad

One of the things I’m learning about grief is how many different ways it manifests. I can easily recognize the Kübler-Ross stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), but their subtleties and non-linear presentation often surprise me. One of these surprising things is my complete loss of critical faculties. I can still read for enjoyment, but […]

Commonwealth; Or: We All Had Something Else In Mind

I was three-quarters finished with Ann Patchett’s new book, Commonwealth, when everything changed for the people I love. After three years of waiting, hoping, and trying to adopt, my friends’ baby girls were born too small and too soon. They were here, just for a moment, and then gone. A tragedy like this breaks you […]

The Mothers; Or: Ginger, Get The Popcorn!

The Mothers; Or: Ginger, Get The Popcorn!

Sometimes, a good book slow rolls you. You begin reading, and you don’t even really notice that you’re that interested until you suddenly realize you’re 215 pages in, and you think, “Huh. This is pretty good.” By the time you get to the end, you’re utterly in love, but you can’t remember where exactly it […]

You Can’t Touch My Hair, Or; Phoebe Explains Black Shit To White People, Hilariously

YOU GUYYYYYYSSSS. Have you been listening to 2 Dope Queens? It is the funniest goddamn thing your face ever laid ears on, and makes me grateful every day that Al Gore invented the internet so that I could have this podcast. Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson have the most amazing chemistry on stage, and such […]