Review Round-Up - June

Friday, 28 June 2019


Au revoir, Pride 2019. Let us not forget that, as we move forward into the rest of the year, to paint all of the eleven months with the same love and pride and, of course, all of the colours of the rainbow.


Boy in the Well (Review)
No ordinary detective.
No ordinary invesitgations.
The body of a young boy is discovered at the bottom of a well that has been sealed for two hundred years. Yet the corpse is only days old... No one comes forward to identify #Boy9, and DI Ben Westphall's only suspects are the farmers on whose land the well sits. They certainly seem as though they have something to hide. But it might not be what he thinks. Soon, similarities from an old crime emerge and Westphall must look to the past to piece together the dark and twisted events taking place in the present.



Picture of Innocence (Review)
My name is Lydia. I’m 12 years old. I’m not an evil person, but I did something bad. My name is Maddie. I’d never hurt my son. But can I be sure if I don’t remember?
With three children under ten, Maddie is struggling. On the outside, she’s a happy young mother, running a charity as well as a household. But inside, she’s exhausted. She knows she’s lucky to have to have a support network around her. Not just her loving husband, but her family and friends too. But is Maddie putting her trust in the right people? Because when tragedy strikes, she is certain someone has hurt her child – and everyone is a suspect, including Maddie herself… The women in this book are about to discover that looks can be deceiving… because anyone is capable of terrible things. Even the most innocent, even you. This is the story of every mother's worst fear. But it's not a story you know... and nothing is what it seems.


This Brutal House (Review)
On the steps of New York's City Hall, five ageing Mothers sit in silent protest. They are the guardians of the vogue ball community - queer men who opened their hearts and homes to countless lost Children, providing safe spaces for them to explore their true selves. Through epochs of city nightlife, from draconian to liberal, the Children have been going missing; their absences ignored by the authorities and uninvestigated by the police. In a final act of dissent the Mothers have come to pray: to expose their personal struggle beneath our age of protest, and commemorate their loss until justice is served. Watching from City Hall's windows is city clerk, Teddy. Raised by the Mothers, he is now charged with brokering an uneasy truce. With echoes of James Baldwin, Marilynne Robinson and Rachel Kushner, Niven Govinden asks what happens when a generation remembered for a single, lavish decade has been forced to grow up, and what it means to be a parent in a confused and complex society.


Diary of a Drag Queen (Review)
Northern, working-class and shagging men three times her age, Crystal writes candidly about her search for ‘the one’; sleeping with a VIP in an attempt to become a world famous journalist; getting hired and fired by a well-known fashion magazine; being torn between losing weight and gorging on KFC; and her need for constant sexual satisfaction (and where that takes her). Charting her day-to-day adventures over the course of a year, we encounter tucks, twists and sucks, heinous overspending and endless nights spent sprinting from problem to problem in a full face of make-up. This is a place where the previously unspeakable becomes the commendable – a unique portrayal of the queer experience.



Don't Touch my Hair (Review)
Straightened. Stigmatised. 'Tamed'. Celebrated. Erased. Managed. Appropriated. Forever misunderstood. Black hair is never 'just hair'. This book is about why black hair matters. Emma Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and on to today's Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. We look at everything from hair capitalists like Madam C.J. Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, from women's solidarity and friendship to 'black people time', forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian's braids. The scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic. Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in black hairstyles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don't Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.



Head on over to http://bit.ly/2y7JSWV for all of these books, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

*Thanks to NetGalley, Edelweiss and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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