I can’t believe I am announcing the book for December. Readers, this is huge. December will be our 8th month in a row of Bookclub Hexlibris. It has really become a pattern for me, and a way to start of the month. Jumping into the book as soon as I can and enjoying a book that’s hugely diverse in multiple ways. Towards the end of December I will do a wrap up of all the reads, as well as muse about ideas for 2019. If you want input on the types of authors and representation you want to see then leave some comments on this post or posts to come.
The book for December is The Black Tides of Heaven by Jy Yang. Yang is a nonbinary person using they/them pronouns (like me woop woop) and they are Singaporean. The Black Tides of Heaven is the first novella in the Tensorate series. It’s between the 200page-300page mark which is perfect for busy December.
Whether you have a lot of family functions, friendships to catch up on or are working long hours over December, folx are impacted in all different ways during this time of year. December in a Western sense seems to focus on Christmas and commercialism, but many many cultures have important traditions and holidays falling in this time period. In the past for me, I would be working really long retail hours (sometimes shifts finished at 2am or even 4am) and interacting with many stressed out shoppers. As a nonbinary person it meant an increase in getting misgendered. I generally let it go, if you are correcting people when you work alone you can make yourself a target of violence. I have been a target of verbal violence in my old work place from shoppers, and while my fashion is a fusion of queer/goth/punk that instantly draws attention to me and makes people begin to evaluate me, I generally tried to make transactions as straight (lol) forward and painless to avoid extra discomfort. This time of year is difficult for all folx working in service industries, and it is also hard for people marginalised from their families; like queer, trans and gender nonconforming people whose family or old friendship circles do not accept them. Keep these folx in mind, whether it’s a donation to a trans or queer charity in your area, extra change for unhomed people you see out and about, a text to your queer or trans friend seeing if they need support or just to catch up for a cup of tea. Keep in mind that while December and the lead up might be a joyous time for you; that there are multiple reasons it can be very difficult to navigate for others.
With these thoughts in mind I wanted to choose something really escapist and not heavy or holiday themed for us to read. Ending the year with a nonbinary author, exploring the speculative subgenre of silkpunk; seems like the perfect avenue of escape.
Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as infants. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While Mokoya received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What’s more, they saw the sickness at the heart of their mother’s Protectorate.
A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue as a pawn in their mother’s twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond they share with their twin?
Ekho’s Unread Readathon, a December reading challenge.
This is the long winded name I am giving the readathon I drew up to help get to unread books. Each prompt is different from the next, with the intent that it will prompt us to read unread books we already own that fit the prompt, and cut down the amount of unread books by the end of the year. There are 10 prompts but the point isn’t to read all 10 but to get through books you have that fit the prompt. I DO HAVE enough books to fit all the prompts but I can’t see myself wanting to read them all… and if I push myself to I will be grumpy at myself. The prompts are pretty fun, and the wonderful success of the Middle Earth Road Trip Readathon has made me go ‘I need to do one for December’. Because I am running another chillax readathon in Decemeber I am giving myself January off. Yes you read that correct. No TBR, no book for Bookclub HexLibris, and no readathon prompt list. And that’s ok. We all deserve a break. January 2019 will be busy for me. I am sure I will be smooshing loads of brilliant books that I gift myself for Yuletide into my eyes. I will be working on my final essay for my Australian Literature class and I will be getting myself ready for start T1 2019 in March, which will commence my 3rd year studies for my Bachelor degree. Phew. I am also learning that I really do need to relax, I really do need to look after my health, and this seems like a great way to have a bit of balance.
Without further ado… here are the prompts for Ekho’s Unread Readathon. (Only read it if you own it, help whittle down your unread pile in time for the new year.)
- Book by an Author of Colour: read a book written by a person of colour: It doesn’t have to be contemporary or own voices. Focus on broadening authorship.
- Book by a First Nations Author: I don’t see many folks reading books by Indigenous author’s so thought that this prompt would help remind you, if you have a book sitting there waiting to be read that now is a great time to read Indigenous authors.
- Pride: an own voices LGBTQIAP+ book.
- Oldest Unread Book You Own: we all have that book sitting there which is gathering dust and judging us. Maybe now is the time to conquer it (I am looking at you The Lies of Locke Lamora).
- Newest Unread Book You Own: did this book just get delivered or gifted from a friend for (insert holiday name here) and you for once don’t want to lose it in your teetering stacks? Open it, read it. Now is the time.
- WHY HAVEN’T I READ YOU?: pretty self explanatory but if you are like me and have a lot of books you are dying to read, eventually you forget about one of them.
- Finish a Series You Have Already Started: this might take up your whole month if it’s a long series (I don’t advise trying to tackle all of Discworld for example)… really good for duologies and trilogies.
- Read a Nonfiction Book: any genre/category.
- Read a Book by an Author you Love: if you have a book you have been saving by one of your top authors, maybe now really is the right time for it?
- That Classic You Keep Putting Off: what do you know, I really wanted Paradise Lost but I still have not read it.
Ok, that sums it up. We are reading Black Tides of Heaven in December, I am running a readathon challenge (and Black Tides fits two different prompts author of colour//Pride), and to reiterate I am taking January off from Bookclub HexLibris but will be back in February. Keep your eye out for posts celebrating the Middle Earth Road Trip Readathon, wrap up for our November read and more.