Kay: Hello, and welcome to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Paperbacks, a cheerful and irreverent book club podcast all about genre fiction, fandom, and the things that make us happy.
[Malt Shop Bop by Kevin Macleod plays]
Chelsea: Welcome to this episode of Sisterhood of the Traveling Paperbacks. My name is Chelsea.
Claire: I’m Claire.
Kay: And I’m Kay.
Chelsea: And on this episode we will be talking about, as always, what we are currently reading. Then we will be talking about our book of the fortnight, which is Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee, which was Kay’s pick.
Chelsea: And then, of course, we will be talking about what we have on the go and coming up in the future, um, yeah. So, I guess, Claire, what are you currently reading? What do you have you’re reading at the moment?
Claire: So currently I’m finishing up my reading from the DiverseAThon that was going on at the end of January. I’m terrible with readathons. I always take forever, to —
Claire: — like, read everything on my TBR. But particularly with DiverseAThon, because of, like, the idea of making sure that we read diverse books.
Claire: Written by, you know, #ownvoices authors and whatever, I don’t want to just be like ‘oh, I didn’t read them in the week so I’m not reading them.’ Especially since I tend to start everything in the week and find it really cool, so I want to continue it. So, I’m wrapping up and I’m finishing up On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis and Dreadnought by April Daniels.
Claire: So the first is this, like, post-apocalyptic, uh, scifi thing about a girl who’s trying to convince this generation ship to take her and her family away from the ruins of Earth. Even though, they are, like —
Chelsea: As you do.
Claire: — neuroatypical and you know they have, maybe, like, social issues and whatever. They’re not the kind of people that, I don’t know, are perceived as the most valuable to society.
Claire: But they’re still people and please don’t leave us to die on Earth.
[Kay and Chelsea laugh]
Claire: And Dreadnought is this really cool superhero YA novel about a, um, a girl who witnesses the death of a superhero and, like, gains all his powers. But the main thing that happens for her is that she is trans and she wasn’t out to anybody, but when she gains the superpowers she, like, her body transforms into what it was always meant to be. And so, she’s, everybody suddenly sees her as a girl even though she always knew she was a girl and, you know, she just wasn’t out to anyone so it’s really awkward for her. And I’m really not far into this one, but it’s a really interesting experience to read about gender dysphoria in a first person point of view.
Claire: ‘Cause like, that’s obviously not my experience at all and it’s not something we see that often. So it’s really, really fascinating to read about.
Chelsea: Yeah, I, I’m, I have both of those on my future TBR. I’m hoping to get to On the Edge of Gone before the end of Hugo nominations because I’m thinking about putting it on the ballot. So. What about you, Miss Kay? What’re you reading?
Kay: Let me pull up my list, ‘cause everybody knows I can’t remember the names of literally anything ever.
Kay: So I just finished The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Which, I had been hearing really good things about it, but then the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books — which is one of my favorite go-to book blogs, they do a lot of romance reviews — the review said there was some ableist language in it that took them out of it. So I said ‘okay, I’m not gonna read that.’ But a friend of mine had an actual final copy versus this reviewer’s advanced copy, and none of that made it into the final book. So I read it. It’s really good. It’s about two, um, high up executive level assistants at a publishing company and it’s like —
Kay: — hate to love. And like that’s…I’m weak to that. It was really charming and kind of angsty and I liked it a lot. And then I just finished, in the car like an hour ago, A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. Which I have been meaning to do for —
Chelsea: Mmhmm, good choice, good choice.
Kay: — forever.
Chelsea: Good choice.
Kay: I did not like it as much as The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. But I did like it! I didn’t love the viewpoints as much. I think it’s still a good book.
Chelsea: That’s a high bar to meet, too.
Kay: It’s a really high bar.
Chelsea: I feel like she really knocked it out of the park with that first book, was like a really solid…
Kay: Yeah, it had fewer team feels, which was the thing I really liked about the first book.
Kay: You still get kind of the found family stuff, but uh, it just didn’t work quite as. Still good. Didn’t work quite as well for me. And then the other one that I’m reading right now…I lied. Two that I [laughs]. I’m reading too many things.
Kay: I’m still finishing The Telling by Ursula Le Guin.
Kay: Which is another one of the Hainish Cycle books, the same as The Dispossessed. Um, really liking it. It’s really dense. I maybe read, like, ten pages at a time. It’s super heavy even for Ursula. And I’m also reading, it’s an advanced copy, I’m pretty sure it comes out in March. I’ll be sure to put the publishing date in our show notes. What It Takes, which is the Kowalski Reunion novel. Shannon Stacey’s the writer, there. Have either of you guys read any of the Kowalski romances?
Kay: I think this is the tenth? Maybe?
Kay: There’s so many of them.
Kay: I have, like, ten percent of it left. It’s super cute. You one hundred percent would not have any idea what was happening, I don’t think, if you hadn’t read at least a few of the other books. Like, there’s enough viewpoint switching to characters you already have to know stuff about. There’s too many people. There’s too many people.
Kay: It’s super charming if you’ve read them! But I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who hasn’t read the rest of the series.
Chelsea: Yeah. That’s fair.
Kay: And that’s mostly what I’m reading. Oh. Should we. Should I leave Dressed for the Weather to you, Chelsea?
Kay: Because I also just finished rereading that yesterday.
Chelsea: Yeah, um….
Kay: And I want to die, it’s so great.
Chelsea: That’s not my fault! It’s not my fault you couldn’t stay out of that.
Kay: It’s, like, 220,000 words.
Chelsea: I made that choice for me, and you have to be totally responsible for your choices.
Kay: It’s totally my fault.
Chelsea: You have to own your own choices, Kay.
Kay: I do own my own choices.
Chelsea: Yeah. For those of you who haven’t been following —
Chelsea: — those particular subtweet threads on Twitter, uh, Dressed for the Weather is, like, 190,000 word, uh, RPF hockey fanfiction.
Kay: [high pitched] So good!
Chelsea: That I started reading because I was just browsing through my bookmarks on AO3 and I just like, I read the synopsis and was like, okay, this sounds good. And I, like a dumbass —
Chelsea: — didn’t check any of the pertinent information, that, like —
Kay: I’m so sorry. [laughs]
Chelsea: — word count before I just, like, started reading. And I was like three chapters into it and I was like, ‘Man, this is, like, uh. This shit’s either gonna have to escalate really quickly or this is gonna be really long.’ And then I looked at the word count and I was like —
[Kay laughs hysterically]
Chelsea: — Jesus fucking Christ. This is, like —
[Kay and Claire laugh]
Chelsea: — basically like a 350 page book. So I was like, that’s cool. And of course I’m gonna not be able to stop reading it and it was fantastic and I finished it at like five this morning and I loved it. But at the same time I was just like.
Kay: [awed] It’s so good.
Chelsea: Let that be a lesson to all of you, kids. Check your word count before you go getting all emotionally invested.
Kay: I do have to ask.
Chelsea: Or be prepared.
Kay: Did you have trouble following along? Because. So this is my only RPF fandom and I’m actually an in real life hockey fan. I was an in real life hockey fan before I got into hockey fandom. And I only even found hockey RPF fandom because a bunch of writers I follow suddenly dropped in a couple years ago and they were writing about my favorite team, mostly.
Kay: Was it super hard for you to follow, Chelsea? You know nothing about hockey.
Chelsea: Not really. Like, that’s the main thing, is I don’t know anything about hockey. There used to be a hockey team in Missouri, the Kansas City Blades.
Chelsea: That we would go to when I was very small. Um, which lasted about as long as you would expect a midwestern hockey team to last.
Kay: It’s hard.
Chelsea: Uh, not long. But, um, I just like, because I knew it was an au fic —
Chelsea: — I just chalked anything I didn’t understand into, like, well, it’s probably just something they made up. So it’s fine.
Claire: Wait, it’s an au? You know that’s what you have to tell me to get me onboard.
Kay: So, the premise of this —
Chelsea: Yeah. It’s, it’s like, yeah.
Kay: — is Sidney Crosby who is, like, the second coming of Gretzky, okay, like this is a real person who like, he is the modern savior of modern hockey. Okay?
Chelsea: He’s also very attractive.
Kay: He’s a cutie.
Chelsea: I’m just saying.
Kay: He’s also a deeply weird dude. And he has had concussion problems in the past. So the premise of this fic is that he had bad enough concussion issues that he’s like ‘I’m going to retire after one more season.’ And he basically rewires the entire NHL with his bare hands to start a franchise team in a projected future expansion, which, the future expansion is a thing that’s gonna happen, though not necessarily these teams.
Kay: And it’s an integrated team, so it’s half women.
Chelsea: Yeah, they’re coed.
Kay: So his sister’s the goalie.
Chelsea: They’re a coed team.
Kay: And he is the coach for the team. And it is the story of the first season of this new franchise. And it’s, like, this really in-depth, ensemble-y, super slow burn of two different relationships.
Kay: Like, the slowest burn. [laughs]
Chelsea: Mmhmm. I don’t know what it is, man, but two of the best slowest burn fictions I’ve read in the last, like, probably six months, have both been from hockey RPF fandom.
Kay: [whispers] So good.
Chelsea: I will say, did not like this one as much as I liked. I mean, I just like Sid, I just, what —
Kay: They’re you’re OTP.
Chelsea: ‘Cause I’ve been in this fandom for like two seconds.
Chelsea: But Sid and Geno are just like my babies.
Kay: For sure.
Chelsea: And I love them so much. The whole time I was reading this I was just like ‘this is lovely, but it’s also not the other thing that I read.’
Kay: Yeah. [giggles]
Chelsea: That was just so good.
Chelsea: And that’s not the fiction’s fault.
Chelsea: That’s completely me. But otherwise, but other than that, but other than running through that crazy, crazy hockey RPF fanfiction, um, I have been reading a couple of things. Um, mostly nonfiction. I’m reading one right now called Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church which is by Rachel Held Evans. If either of you have heard of her, or seen her floating around on Twitter, she is a very vocal proponent, or, supporter of the, like, radicalization of the church in a much more democratic and liberal way. So she is, like, frequently confronting and the book confronts issues of, like: reconciling faith and science, reconciling faith and sexuality, and the parts of church that are, like, you know, super kind of misogynistic. And also not the greatest in terms of, like, church history. So she just talks about that and also how to still cope with those things.
Chelsea: Copes not the right word. But, you know, adapt to those things and reconcile those two things together although they may seem very disparate at first. So. I’m. It’s very interesting. I find religion to be really fascinating and the ways that people, like, express their religion and follow religion to be really fascinating. So I’m really enjoying it.
Kay: Question. Would you recommend that for me? Who is agnostic, but was raised by Evangelical Christians? [laughs]
Chelsea: I was gonna say, I would recommend it for anybody who either finds religion to be really fascinating in terms of, like, sociology and society and just how churches operate in their communities. Or anyone, like myself, and it sounds like you, Kay, is, has been introduced to the ideas of religion and may have been surrounded by that to varying degrees, but definitely has some, like, qualms and things that need to be, kind of —
Kay: Me and my eighteen relatives who are pastors don’t see quite eye to eye, no.
Chelsea: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. And, like, granted, admitted, I am like, a, I was raised Methodist, but I’m usually a practicing Unitarian, so.
Chelsea: About as liberal as you can get.
Chelsea: On the religious spectrum, for me.
Chelsea: Like, my church is usually really cool with, like, ladies and gay people and interracial families and, like —
Kay: I was like, you guys have, have female pastors, right?
Chelsea: Oh, yeah. All the time. We have female pastors and we have, there’s a trans pastor at the Unitarian church that I go to. So it’s very, very liberal. But, uh, Rachel Held Evans was actually raised as I think Lutheran? Or Baptist?
Chelsea: One of the much more, um —
Kay: I was like, something southern conservative?
Claire: [laughs] You said so many words that are, like, defining types of religion and I’m like uhuh, uhuh, uhuh.
Chelsea: Yeah, sorry.
Claire: It’s fine, it’s fine!
Kay: We’re just here describing branches of non-Catholic churches, here.
Chelsea: That’s the thing, if you’ve even like, if you’ve even scratched the surface of Protestant denominational, like, how it all works.
Chelsea: It’s just the most ridiculous fucking thing. It’s so crazy to me. Which is one of the problems.
Chelsea: I have with how structured religion works and whatever. That’s a whole different thing.
Kay: Different podcast! [laughs]
Chelsea: Feel free to DM me on Twitter if you’d like to have more in-depth conversations about that. But. Uh, I am also reading and am also done with Roses and Rot by Kat Howard.
Chelsea: Which I’m really, really liking because it’s really beautiful, but it’s also about the fae. And I’m just like.
Kay: Kat Howard’s prose is super gorgeous so even though that book was not for me, I did like it.
Chelsea: Mmhmm. Yeah.
Kay: And the audiobook is really great, if anyone was interested in checking that out.
Chelsea: I could see that. That’s another one I’m reading ‘cause I’m hoping, or I’m thinking of nominating it for the Hugos. So. That’s like a general theme. And deciding factor in a large portion of what I’m reading.
Kay: I’m thinking about nominating that one for the Hugos, but I’m already nominating another one of her stories for one of the short categories. So I don’t know. We’ll see.
Chelsea: Oohhh, which one?
Kay: The one that we published, which I can never remember the names of anything.
Kay: But it’s something like The Green Knight, maybe? I’ll link it. It’s like, a —
Chelsea: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, no.
Kay: — an Arthurian retelling.
Chelsea: It’s that one, ‘cause it’s on my list, too.
Kay: Real good.
Chelsea: Yeah, that one, too. That’s on my list, too.
Kay: By ‘we’ I mean Uncanny Magazine. For people who don’t know, I’m a submissions editor, there.
Kay: Like I’m acting like ‘I published this.’ No. I’m a submissions editor for Uncanny Magazine so I say ‘we,’ but, like, the magazine did.
Chelsea: Which, I feel like we say this at least once an episode, but if you’re not giving your dollars to Uncanny, go check them out and do that. They’re actually, I just read on Twitter, about ready to start, like, uh, an activism 101 or, like, social engagement 101 kind of thing.
Kay: These unicorns fight fascists.
Claire: What!? Where can I go give them my money some more.
Chelsea: That’s, yeah.
Kay: We’re on Patreon, if you’re interested. [laughs]
Chelsea: All my dollars. Yep.
Claire: Yeah, I know they have a Patreon, I already give money to that.
Chelsea: I know. There are just so many times I just wanna be like ‘guys! Lynne! Michael! Just take more of my money!’
Kay: Take my money.
Chelsea: Just let me give you more money, please. Take all the dollars.
[Malt Shop Bop by Kevin MacLeod plays]
Chelsea: Alright, well that seems like a good transition to — we are gonna start talking about, uh, the book of the month. Which is Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee.
Chelsea: Like I said, this was Kay’s pick. Um, to do the really quick elevator pitch, it is, essentially, The Incredibles with a young adult bisexual, half Chinese, half Vietnamese main character. And so Jessica is basically the youngest child, or the middle child, actually, in a family of superheroes. Her older sister is a kind of superhero in training and her younger brother is an evil genius.
Chelsea: And so she’s just kind of waiting for her powers to show up. And they never really do. And so she’s coping with that while she’s also being in high school and coping with having friends and having crushes. Uh, her main crush is named Abby. She’s beautiful, and you know, on the volleyball team, and is just that kind of allstar, um, woman on campus. To fill her time because she’s not, kind of, you know, finding any superhero powers, Jessica ends up getting an internship at a local tech industry for, as it turns out, the archnemesis to her superhero parents. Which is obviously going to cause some contradictions for her. So she starts this internship and things to develop and as she becomes kind of more aware of the superheroes around her she realizes there be games afoot. And there is some sketchy shit going on in terms of, uh, rewriting some of the histories and using the superheroes and their interactions to distract the general populace from some bigger political shit that’s going on. So Jessica realizes this and she realizes that she has to stop it. Lo and behold, through a couple of very unfortunate run-ins with her hero, an actual established superhero Captain Orion, she realizes that the person she’s been working for, the masked archnemesis villain that she’s been spending all her time with after school, is also her crush Abby, of volleyball team captain fame. And it’s lovely. It’s wonderful. And they have smoochy times. And team up together —
Kay: [high pitched] So cute!
Chelsea: — and fight the baddies.
Chelsea: And I didn’t realize it was the first in a series. I probably just sort of assumed because it’s a young adult novel. I probably should’ve just gone in assuming that. But it handles the kind of arc of the first book really well, I thought, while also setting up some kind of bigger dominos. Claire’s doing that, like, side wiggle thing with her head. So.
Kay: Oh, see, it was, like, the perfect ratio of closed plot threads to hanging plot threads for me. But. I know that’s a fine line for everyone.
Chelsea: Well, n-yeah. And we’ll get to the ending, ‘cause I liked it with, like, a tiny caveat. But. That is kind of the general premise of the book. We also meet her best friend. Two of her best friends. One of whom is transgender, so this book does a really great job talking about sexuality, and sexual orientation, and race, and how legacy and, kind of, family responsibility, all interplays together while also just surviving high school.
Chelsea: Which. You know. Sometimes is great and sometimes is really not. So what did we think, ladies? Should we start with the positives? Things we liked?
Claire: I mean, the stuff I liked was literally 99% of it. Right?
Claire: Like, there’s one thing that annoyed me at the end.
Kay: Do it. Let’s just, just get that out of the way first.
Chelsea: Yeah, fuck it. Let’s just go there.
Chelsea: Just start there. Because I agree. Most of what I loved about this book was everything.
Claire: I spent most of my time reading this book going to take little breaks to go [squealing noise].
Claire: So, you know. Like.
Chelsea: It’s so good.
Claire: Like, I loved all of it. I just got really, I just got slightly annoyed at the end because they explain away why, uh, one of the characters who kind of rebelled against his training as a superhero, um, is able to just, like, keep going in his everyday life even though he pissed off loads of really important people. And he’s like, oh, well, he’s like, ‘the superheroes don’t know who I am because my family is really paranoid.’ Which was established earlier in the books, so that’s all great, but like. Also. Literally one of the people who fought against him is his best friend’s sister, who’s known him since he was a kid.
Claire: So, like, so that. I was just looking at my Kindle and going like no. You’re not safe. Because Claudia, who is, like, super evil and the worst, knows who you are. And has been to your family’s restaurant a bunch. And knows literally where you live.
Kay: Was that your thing, too, Chelsea?
Chelsea: No, my thing was just. It was more of a pacing thing. Like, I thought it was balanced really well. I just felt like, and maybe, like I said, it’s because I didn’t realize until about three quarters of the way through that obviously they were, there were going to be more books. To, like, wrap stuff up. But, I just felt like that once they had the interaction that they kind of had with Captain Orion and they told the parents and that kind of brought everything together, there was literally one sentence where they were like, ‘well, since we told the parents’ they just decided that the adults would handle it. And then it was, like, ten pages of high school life, and boom we were done. And I just felt like it was just kind of a little quick —
Kay: Okay. That’s fair.
Chelsea: — on the actual transition to the end part, but. I mean. That’s such a small thing that, like, nah. I mean, this book, I just, this book was great.
Kay: It felt like a wrapup of a teen drama tv episode to me?
Chelsea: Yes. Mmhmm.
Kay: Which, I kind of liked that, actually. [laughs]
Chelsea: Yeah. And I mean it’s. Yeah. I’m obvious. Like, I’m going to read the second one, like it was obviously not a big enough turnoff.
Chelsea: That I’m in any way not reading the next one. [laughs]
Claire: Oh, yeah, I’m definitely up for a second one, I have to say.
Chelsea: Which is about Bells! It’s called Not Your Villain and it’s gonna be about Bells! It’s gonna be so good! Bells is her transgender friend who also ends up being one of the superheroes, we learn, throughout —
Kay: He’s a shapeshifter like Nimona! Well, he can’t turn into animals, I don’t think.
Claire: No, he can’t.
Chelsea: No, but I think, I think he can change his physical appearance? Right?
Chelsea: That whole thing?
Claire: But see, the thing is, that’s, most of it was super well handled. I actually really liked the fact that they didn’t defeat everything in one book. I really liked the fact that they had, like, a minor victory and that there’s a pause and then there’s gonna be some more, uh, stuff to battle in the second book. Because obviously it’s a really big deal, like a really giant worldwide conspiracy, and it will take more than, like, you know, two teenage girls. Even though they’re awesome!
Chelsea: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No yeah.
Claire: For teenagers.
Chelsea: Yeah, it’s gonna be a much bigger…yeah.
Claire: And so that makes sense. It’s great that we’re gonna have a second book. I felt like even though it’s quite realistic that the parents would be, like, ‘we’re handling it now’ uh, the. It wasn’t so much the pacing of the ending for me, but that placing of the thing with Bells, who is the trans character who also says, like, ‘my family’s paranoid and I didn’t tell them my real name.’ Um, but, also, like, one of the main, like, bad guy of the story —
Claire: — like, knows exactly who he is. And I felt like if we’d had him say that at the beginning of the next book and it could’ve been resolved in the same book it would’ve worked a lot better.
Claire: Like, having that as a thing that wraps up the end I’m gonna spend, like, however many months until the next book is released going like hm? Hm? It makes no sense.
Kay: I haven’t seen an official date, but the release is this year, at some point.
Chelsea: It’s this year, yeah.
Claire: I’m really excited for it.
Kay: Yeah, me too.
Claire: Yeah. I definitely want to read it and there’s some more, like, romance shenanigans.
Chelsea: I thought it was interesting that for an identified bisexual character she spent the entirety of the book being attracted to a female, or only expressing attraction to a female. And I love her and Abby, so, like, don’t care. Thousand percent here for that ship. Ride or die it better not fucking change by the time we get to the end of this book ‘cause like, that just better not happen. But I just thought it was interesting after I finished it, ‘cause huh. Well, yes. But interesting.
Kay: I read her as kind of demi, also.
Kay: So, like, I didn’t think that was that weird. She’s only gonna be attracted to, like, one person at a time. I didn’t think that was that weird. I was just picturing little baby bisexual Kay in high school getting to read this book and having, like, a bisexual heroine.
Kay: And how great that would’ve been? ‘Cause like, there were no bi people in my media. I didn’t. No.
Chelsea: No, of course not.
Kay: And I didn’t know anyone else who was bi, or anything, till, like, college. ‘Cause Idaho high school. [laughs]
Chelsea: And it’s so. And I know that, yeah. It’s a function of scarcity, because this doesn’t, it’s just, it’s just so nice. They both like each other. There’s a little bit of, like, tension.
Kay: It’s not tragic.
Chelsea: When they first start, yeah, it’s not tragic. And they’re adorable and they both just like each other.
Kay: It’s so great!
Chelsea: And want to, like, be smooching and in love and it’s just so great. Just. Yeah. Had I read this book at like, sixteen, I would’ve carried it around and shoved it in the face of every —
Kay: Tattooed it on my heart. [laughs]
Chelsea: — person that I knew. Yeah. Like, take this book and read it. Not to mention, for somebody who is not a person of color, I thought it did a really good job integrating race and being mixed race and having discussions about that without in any way being or feeling forced or feeling awkward or feeling jammed in. And the descriptions of the Vietnamese food in this were —
Kay: I was so hungry, I wanted bánh mì so bad. [laughs]
Chelsea: I loved that Bells’ family had a, um, like jambalaya restaurant.
Chelsea: Yes, please.
Claire: Yeah. I mean, I, same. I thought that the descriptions of the kind of, uh, various, uh, the various identities that she struggles, that Jess struggles with, because she’s. She goes into this Vietnamese restaurant and there’s, like, all the people and they’re like, ‘no, you’re a child. You’re clearly not, like, Vietnamese. That’s not really a thing anymore.’ And she tries to speak Vietnamese to some people and they’re like, ‘nah, you’re, like, American.’
Claire: And they speak to her in English. And that kind of thing. I mean, you know, as a white person it’s difficult to say like ‘this is done great’ whatever. It felt really, really, um, like it felt really real, really true to life and it felt. Like. It gave me so many feels. [laughs] It felt very relatable. And, like, yeah. If. It was integrated very seamlessly. I think the only thing that felt, like, not really realistic for me is like, just how hammy and villainous Captain Orion was when she, like, stopped pretending to be really nice.
Kay: I liked that.
Chelsea: But I loved that! It’s so good! It’s so comic book-y. Like, it’s so…like.
Claire: Oh, like in terms of the genre, fabulous, you know, and that’s great. But the kind of, like, really, really, like, open racism that she has.
Chelsea: Yeahhh. Yeah, that’s not great.
Claire: Where she’s like, ‘Oh, well, your parents couldn’t be, like, proper first class superheroes, obviously,’ quote ‘those people’ or whatever.
Kay: It made her even more villainous!
Claire: No, I know it did! But I, I did think it was a little bit, like, hammy, like, of course she’s also, on top of that. I mean, obviously there’s lots of racist people, so it makes sense. But.
Chelsea: It really is cranked to eleven.
Kay: It felt very X-Men in the way that I actually enjoy and not X-Men in the way that I hate. Where, like, X-Men or their mutant powers stand in for all these other things?
Kay: Like different races and gender identities and sexualities.
Chelsea: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Kay: You actually get those in this. So it was like, I love that! [laughs]
Claire: You know it’s that same problem with Harry Potter. It’s like, you read it, and you can see, like, a very nice white lady writing a book where she’s like wanting to be super progressive as she’s writing this book.
Chelsea: And she doesn’t want to just call it what it is?
Claire: So there are all of these issues, she’s writing about all of these issues through, like, magical creatures that don’t exist, even, instead of writing about them through, about people that are actually real. [laughs]
Chelsea: Joanne. Come speak with us.
Chelsea: We have words for you. We have some words.
Chelsea: That we can share with you about how to do this better.
Claire: You know. Loving words.
Chelsea: Hit us up. You’re definitely listening to the Sisterhood. So please just give us a call.
Chelsea: So, um, I think one of the things that I really enjoyed was, not surprised by, but was something that they spent so much time talking about, was the fact that a large portion of the kind of villainous plot of this book is that there are some shady, like, transnational deals being made with one of the other countries that’s at, that we’re not at war with, but maybe are? And, like, it’s very kind of suspicious. And the superheroes are basically actively using the general, kind of, obsession with superheroes and villains and how they interact to distract from these other things that are happening in a way that’s super deliberate. And then they talk about.
Kay: They’re crafting a media narrative out of alternative facts! [laughs]
Chelsea: Out of alternative facts.
Claire: It’s so fucking timely, ladies.
Chelsea: They’re literally being like, if people are too busy watching this choreographed, staged, preplanned battle between quote good and evil, they won’t be able to or have enough energy left to actually see what it is that’s going on. Which, like, hi! Hi. Hi. Welcome to my house of allegory.
Kay: They point blank say that before the disaster, so this takes place after a solar flare and a World War III, so this is, like, what, like a hundred fifty-ish years in the future?
Chelsea: And that’s where the superpowers come from.
Kay: And that’s where their powers come from.
Claire: Yeah, something like that.
Kay: They, like, point blank say that before all this happened the news was really depressing and we don’t want it to be like that. And I’m just, like, ‘oh God, this is too relevant right now.’
Chelsea: And, like, do not misunderstand me, the entire first three quarters of my Hulu feed is all different versions of The Real Housewives, so this is not said in disbursement, but, like, I can see that happening. Like, I’m like, I make the choice to stay actively involved and it takes extra energy, but people that don’t make that choice I can easily see how that could be a thing that, like, should we ever get actual genetic superheroes will not be all that far off the mark.
Chelsea: It’s just, it’s a very interesting kind of representation of how people are both unwillingly and willingly, like, letting themselves be distracted.
Kay: And the media narrative they’re crafting is not just present day. They’re also retroactively, like, doing some revisionist history. ‘Cause they don’t have paper textbooks anymore, so they’re retroactively turning some of the people who were heroes into villains, now. Which our heroine’s super smart and figures out ‘cause she has a paper textbook. Good girl.
Chelsea: Which, like, you know, it’s not like there are actual, like, you know, people or institutions in real life to actually change —
Kay: Oh, no.
Chelsea: — actual history textbooks to erase things like racism and sexism.
Kay: And that the earth is more than six thousand years old. I want to die. Oh god.
Chelsea: And some of the awful, awful things throughout the globe have done. Yeah, I just. I just, I just, I can’t.
Chelsea: I was listening to Renay talk about it on the most recent Fangirl Happy Hour, and she was describing, like, her public school education in Arkansas, which mine was not that far off hers in Kansas City, and just like. Crying. Crying. Sad tears, it’s just like.
Kay: Or, like, the Eli Whitney not being white thing? That people were talking about recently?
Chelsea: Oh my god. Oh my god, you guys. Frederick Douglass is still doing such good work 142 years later.
Kay: He’s getting recognized more and more!
Chelsea: More and more, just all his good works. I can’t, I’m actually gonna cry.
Kay: We absolutely don’t ughhh.
Chelsea: If you don’t know what we’re talking about, consider yourself blessed. Oh goodness. Okay, well, does everyone have favorite parts?
Chelsea: Do we want to do a quick little favorite parts thing?
Chelsea: It sounds like really, you know, the main is that definitely read this book. It’s great. Just read it.
Kay: We all three loved this book.
Chelsea: It’s the best.
Claire: Yeah. One of the things that I wanted to talk about, that stood out the most for me, in this book, was, um, how openly discussed Bell’s pronouns are?
Chelsea: Yes! That’s what I was gonna talk about.
Kay: She’s like, ‘I don’t want to accidentally misgender you’ when, like, she’s talking to Mischief.
Claire: Right! And that’s something that felt to me, like, you know. I did a double take. I’ve never seen that in a piece of original fiction. I’ve seen it plenty in fanfiction and I’ve seen it plenty in real life.
Kay and Chelsea: Mmhmm.
Claire: I’ve been sat next to people talking about someone else being corrected about their pronouns. And, you know what, it’s not, like, it’s a normal thing. Right?
Claire: And it. To have it in there. It just made me think about all the other things that you don’t see in books. Like characters going to the loo.
Claire: You know, and you’re like, can it please not be on the same level as, like, bodily functions.
Claire: And, like, going to the bathroom. So I was really happy that it was in there and it was addressed a couple times.
Chelsea: And I loved it, ‘cause when in the very first conversation where she mentions Bells and his pronouns I had not realized up until that point in the narrative that Bells was trans, so it was a really subtle way to indicate that he was. ‘Cause I at least missed out on any details before that first conversation.
Kay: I think the only thing you might’ve missed before that is she mentions, ‘oh, no, did you have your binder on all day? Did you need a break?’ I think that was the only thing before that.
Chelsea: And I must’ve just, yeah, I must’ve just missed that. But it’s very, there’s not really any out loud ‘Bells is trans and here are his’ it’s just handled in a way that’s very like the other identity conversations that are had. It’s very seamless and just feels very casual in a way that, like, we should all strive to handle. Like, it should not be a weird things to have these conversations.
Chelsea: And for a lot of people it’s not. Which is awesome.
Claire: Right. And I think one of the things for me that made me really, really love the handling of that in this book was towards the end there is a moment where they’re trying to infiltrate this like bunker, prison-y type place where, um, Abby’s parents are being kept and Bells changes into Captain Orion, the, like, main lady superhero that everyone respects and loves and so as Captain Orion he can order people around and they can get in super easy and there is a super quick blink and you miss it moment where Jess asks him if he’s okay and doesn’t say why she’s asking. And he says yeah, yeah, I’m fine. And, like, there’s no explanation of why, right? You have to, like, at least for me, I read it, i read it again, ‘cause he’s impersonating a woman, and he has dysphoria.
Kay: Does he say he’s fine? Or he’s like, ‘Not really, but we have to do this anyway.’
Chelsea: Yeah, I think it’s very like, it’s not like he’s fine.
Chelsea: But he acknowledges that he’s okay with the fact that it has to be done. So it’s like.
Claire: Yes, what a way of phrasing it, ‘he’s just fine.’
Claire: He makes the choice to do it, anyway. So, um, you know. I mean, he’s not fine, but it’s gonna have to happen, basically.
Chelsea: And like we were talking about with the blatant racism from Captain Orion, I don’t remember if it’s Captain Orion or Claudia who at one point they call Bells by his birth name and not Bells. They call him Elizabeth? Whatever, whatever his birthname was as a way to shame him and to embarrass him.
Kay: I think it was Claudia.
Chelsea: And it’s very clearly cast in a way that’s meant to be villainous.
Kay: ‘Cause deadnaming people is villainous.
Chelsea: Yeah. Like, it’s a way of saying you don’t do that.
Claire: Especially if you know and if, like, this was your sister’s best friend you would know. I did not actually notice that, ‘cause like, for me, it was like a super quick —
Claire: — I was reading it and going super quickly. And also there’s a bit at the end where Captain Orion keeps messing up Claudia’s name and she’s supposed to be Captain Orion’s second in command. And that was the other bit —
Chelsea: I actually really liked that, ‘cause I hate Claudia. I think she’s awful.
Kay: She’s the worst.
Chelsea: I was like, yeah, that’s right.
Claire: Like, Claudia is awful, but I kept thinking about the scene in the musical of Les Mis where Thénardier is like, ‘oh, Collette!’
Chelsea: Yeah, no.
Kay: Everything comes back to Les Mis.
Claire: It does, Kay! It does.
Chelsea: Always and forever.
Chelsea: Always and forever. Alright, did you have anything that we haven’t talked about, yet, Kay, that you wanted to mention?
Kay: I do want to mention: I called literally every scare quotes plot twist —
Claire: Plots twists?
Kay: — very well ahead of time. I think she telegraphs things in a way that’s almost more, CB Lee, I mean, telegraphs in a more middle grade than young adult fashion. Which is fine, ‘cause everything was super charming. I did not mind that stuff was telegraphed.
Kay: I think that might be an issue for people who don’t read a ton of YA. The other thing is, I was so excited by the point of view in this. Because —
Chelsea: Yeah. [laughs]
Kay: — you’ve probably heard me ranting about this before if you follow me on Twitter. I am not a big fan of first person point of view.
Kay: And it’s basically all anyone writes in young adult, now, and that drives me bananas. So this is written in third person present tense, which is my absolute favorite both to read and write in. So I loved that. People should do that more.
Chelsea: And I will say, as a young adult librarian who reads a lot of young adult, this is a, first person is a very popular perspective to write in.
Chelsea: And because of that, and because it fills the market, it can be hard to do that in a way that stands out from everybody else who’s also doing that. So, uh, it’s always nice to see it mixed up like that and to get any form of third person narration in a young adult book. A+. And, yeah, I do, in terms of what you were talking about earlier, I do think it skews towards the younger end of young adult or, like, the more advanced end of middle grade. I think it depends on personal comfort of what you’re, like, willing to expose your children to. Like we’ve talked about, there are no, like, kind of blatant or, like, complicated or in-depth conversations about a lot of these things, but they’re very much so themes that are present. So if that’s not something you feel that your middle grader is ready for, but in terms of style and pacing and all of that, I think you could probably get away with recommending it to the older end of middle grade.
Claire: As the person who was kind of grumbling a little last episode about how tropey the book was and, like, certain things that were super predictable or whatever, I’d like to say I agree with Kay. I called everything super early and I don’t know if it’s because those are tropes that I’m more used for, I don’t know if it’s more because I’m more used to the specific tropes that this book was using because of fanfiction —
Kay: Especially–you read a lot of Marvel stuff, right?
Chelsea: Yeah, if you read a lot of MCU there’s gonna be a lot of that.
Claire: Right, I read a lot of superhero fanfic. So there were a lot of things I found really interesting and, like, things that go into how does being a superhero work and all that. But I also think it’s because, like, in When a Scot Ties the Knot there were things that made me angry in my feminist places.
Claire: Whereas in this one there’s literally nothing. And, yeah. And I was also super happy that even though there’s a bisexual main character there wasn’t a love triangle.
Kay: I hate those.
Chelsea: It was really nice.
Claire: And as I don’t like love triangles, anyway.
Chelsea: Yeah, that’s a really overplayed.
Kay: I always want to solve love triangles with polyamory, like, I just don’t understand why it’s a problem.
Chelsea: Yeah, I don’t get it.
Kay: It’s just not a compelling storyline.
Chelsea: Edward! Bella! Jacob! Stop fighting and just all have sex with each other.
Kay: No brainer.
Chelsea: It’s so much better. I feel like Stephenie Meyer really missed the mark on that one. And in a thousand other ways.
Kay: And we’re being dismissive. Obviously polyamory is not for everyone. But, like, I just think it’s a really tired trope. No thanks.
Chelsea: But it’s also yeah, like, we can just move on from that. I feel like that is a thing that has been done literally to death.
Chelsea: Overwhelmingly so. But, uh, to me, I just feel like it didn’t, ‘cause, uh, like, you know, in general concensus, nothing in this book was necessarily a surprise to me. None of the big twists were, like, twists, necessarily. But it didn’t. It felt campy? But, like, in a good way.
Claire: Oh, yes.
Chelsea: Like when you go to see a classic horror movie and you’re just like ‘obviously, don’t go into the basement alone’ like hi, hi.
Kay: It felt comic book-y in a good way. And I say that as a comic book reader.
Chelsea: Yeah. It was almost like reading a novelization of a comic book. And I think that CB Lee did that intentionally. I think that she was very much so looking to write kind of a blatant kind of playing with superheroes and the superhero genre and all of these kinds of things. So it just like, I really, it, if that’s a thing, like if that’s a thing in books that doesn’t really jive with you, that is thing in this book, but I loved it.
Claire: I don’t know. To me it read like someone who loves the genre and wants, like, to poke fun at it.
Kay: A loving wink and a nod. [laughs]
Claire: With a lot of fondness.
Claire: Yeah, exactly.
Chelsea: Sweet! Alright, well.
Kay: So, like, I’m not gonna quote mine because it’s just a scene. But Abby and Jess, they have a writing assignment that they do together for their English class.
Chelsea: I love that so much.
Kay: And they’re basically writing self-insert fic about themselves and it’s so cute! [giggles] It’s so good.
Claire: It’s so good.
Kay: So cute. And I loved it a lot.
Chelsea: Aw, man. And actually my favorite part was probably, if, Claire, are you talking about the how the pronouns were handled? Those sections? ‘Cause those were also my favorite parts. That’s, that’s what I enjoyed the most. Really, really nice to see a pleasant and normal conversation about how to properly refer to someone.
Kay: And they weren’t, like, being confrontational or snappy, they’re just like, you know.
Chelsea: Yeah, they weren’t, like, being confrontation or condescending.
Kay: ‘They don’t use they/them, but thanks for doing that instead of assuming.’ Yeah.
Chelsea: Yeah, that’s. The part that I have bookmarked, the part that I really liked is a conversation between Jess and Abby and I think it’s important because Jess is Bells’ really good friend and so she’s used to referring to Bells by his pronouns and being conscious of that in a way that the general public might not be. Um, and so the whole scene goes ‘Bells is great, I love their hair. They always do bright colors so often.’ ‘He,’ Jess corrects. ‘He uses he/his pronouns.’ ‘Oh, I didn’t know.’ Abby takes a bite of her sandwich. ‘It’s okay. I think it’s pretty cool you thought of using they when you didn’t know for sure.’ Abby nods. ‘No problem. Daryl always does the same workshop at the beginning of the year for everyone in Rainbow Alliance. In Rainbow Allies.’ Which, Daryl and Rainbow Allies, that’s a reference to a very small side character who is an out gay kid at school who has formed, basically, a gay-straight alliance for —
Kay: Which seems to be all gay dudes?
Chelsea: Which is mostly made up of gay men. Mmhmm. Which is literally just like him and his friends volunteering. Spoiler alert: my high school gay-straight alliance was just me and my best friend and whatever guy he happened to be dating. Like, at the time that he was dating them. It was great.
Kay: We definitely didn’t have one at my high school. Everyone was Mormon. So. [laughs] It was not.
Chelsea: Yeah, there that goes.
Claire: We definitely didn’t have one at my high school because it was kind of like this very French thing of, like —
Claire: — being very socially conservative while pretending that we’re, like, the leftist most people on earth.
Chelsea: [laughs] Yeah.
Claire: So. Uh, yeah.
Kay: That’s very French.
Claire: There was like, one gay person in high school. And when I was in high school, by the way, this is when I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time, and I was legitimately surprised by Willow and Tara when they first came out.
Chelsea: Oh, yeah.
Claire: And I rewatched that recently and I was like ‘whoa! Baby Claire! So sad.’
Chelsea: This probably will be, talk about dating yourself, but I was in late junior high, early high school when Dawson’s Creek was prime on the air and, like, the Jack/Toby gay relationship and, like, Jack as a gay character throughout that whole show? I was like riveted to the WB.
Chelsea: Six o’clock when it came on once a week, I was just like, oh my god, you guys. There’s a gay person on tv on Dawson’s Creek. And my mind just like exploded. It was so, it was so, which. You know. There’s still a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but looking back even that far and seeing.
Chelsea: At least more representation, now. Like, it’s, sometimes it’s kind of nice just to say, ‘well at least it’s better than X, Y, and Z.’
Kay: I’m really looking forward to doing the show notes for this episode and linking to Dawson’s Creek.
Chelsea: Yeah, it’s gonna be so good. I’m so happy for you to do that. Let me know if you need, like, uber tumblr links, ‘cause I have so many of them.
Kay: I mean.
Chelsea: From writing the episode recaps. It’s so good.
Kay: Let me know if you want.
Chelsea: There is [laughs] there is, like, a huge swath of the our age cohort, like, recesses of the internet that is full of Dawson’s Creek gifs and slideshows and, like, photosets on tumblr.
Kay: I mean, Pacey is the best internet boyfriend. So.
Chelsea: It is a fascinating and beautiful place to be.
Claire: I mean, I have literally never seen an episode of Dawson’s Creek, so.
Chelsea: I, listen. He did not win the poll and I want to say Twitter, what the fuck is wrong with you? I’m just throwing it out there.
Kay: Who won the poll?
Chelsea: He didn’t win our best boyfriends poll. Oz. Oz from Buffy. That was Claire’s pick.
Kay: Oz was not a good boyfriend!
Chelsea: No. No. No, no he’s not. No, he’s not.
Kay: He’s an interesting character. He’s not a good boyfriend.
Chelsea: He’s a good person. He’s not a good boyfriend.
Claire: Oz is like a good high school boyfriend. He’s not a good college boyfriend.
Chelsea: I’m just saying that Shawn Hunter didn’t get my vote, because —
Kay: I was gonna say.
Chelsea: — while I love him as a character, he’s not a good boyfriend.
Kay: Not a good boyfriend.
Chelsea: Pacey Whitter for life. Twitter, I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you.
Chelsea: I’m just saying. Y’all let me down on that one, just a lil bit. But there are some excellent, excellent gif streams on that poll. From people linking to gifs of their favorite 90s high school boyfriends.
Chelsea: So definitely something to check out if you need a smile.
Kay: Do I need to link to my massive twitter thread of just gifs of Cory and Shawn, now?
Chelsea: Always. Always something you need to relink. You should probably just pin that whole thread to the top of your Twitter for life. Alright, well, because I refuse to let us fall down the OT3 Boy Meets World 90s pop culture rabbit hole, I’mma talk about the next book we’re reading.
Chelsea: Uh, this was Claire’s pick. We are reading Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Which, if a lot of people read and loved Signal to Noise last year, which was a book about music and Mexico and magical realism.
Kay: I haven’t read it, yet.
Chelsea: This is — Yes. I read it and loved it, so I’m really excited for this one.
Claire: Yeah, that was one of my favorites of 2016 and I don’t really like magical realism, normally, so.
Claire: I thought I’d… I thought it’d be a good idea to have a look at what Moreno-Garcia does next and it’s about vampires. Which. I don’t know. I’m not, like, super into vampires, but I’m ready to be surprised or proven wrong, hopefully.
Chelsea: Yeah. That’s. I’m glad to hear you say she kind of helped you like magical realism because maybe that’ll help me like vampire stuff.
Chelsea: Like, vampires are usually not my jam. They are not my musical creature of choice. But! This one takes place in Mexico City and it’s actually, like, a really cool spin on vampire folklore because it’s, um, one of the vampire kind of races in this book is based on ancient Aztec vampire lore. So it plays with that and there’s a drug cartel and the vampire is involved and also, like, she meets this human companion who starts to fall in love with her, but she’s not having it, ‘cause she’s —
Claire: Okay, did you know that I haven’t, like, read this book, yet? ‘Cause I don’t have it in my house, yet, right?
Chelsea: None of this is, like, spoilers.
Kay: This is not spoilery.
Chelsea: This is all, like, in the Goodreads.
Chelsea: All of this is in the Goodreads stuff, I’m not spoiling anything.
Chelsea: Um, but yeah. So essentially we are kind of following this human as he gets wrapped up with this vampire. And then we learn, of course, her backstory and why she’s kind of involved in this drug war slash vampire clan battle and, not a spoiler, but I have started reading it and it is gritty. It is…not grimdark dark, but Sylvia is not fucking around with her vampires. These bitches do not glitter. There are some throats getting ripped out. Like, these vampires —
Chelsea: — are, they come legit. So. That’s great, that’s good.
Kay: Kay is making a very distressed face right now. Just so you all know.
Claire: Oh, I’m sorry, Kay!
Chelsea: It’s not too bad, there’s not a lot of gore in it. But I’m just saying, like, her vampires, they are vampires. They are gonna —
Chelsea: There is some blood involved.
Kay: See, I am a weird person who I can watch the goriest things and it doesn’t bother me at all, but my imagination’s super vivid and when I read that stuff it’s not…
Chelsea: I will say, I’m not gonna spoil anything, there is one scene in a vet lab that involves eye stuff.
Chelsea: So when you get there, if eye stuff is a thing for you, just a general spoiler warning.
Claire: Yeah, she’s not too much into body horror. I think you had trouble with uh, was it, uh —
Kay: I had to stop reading Six of Crows because of an eye thing.
Chelsea: That is basically the only scene where it’s that bad.
Chelsea: And I just know we have, for a fact, a couple people who listen who have, like, stuff with eyes, especially.
Chelsea: So I’m just like, giving a heads up.
Kay: Waving my hand. Do you–send me links to what chapter that is.
Chelsea: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Claire: Oh, Kay, I’m sorry.
Chelsea: I’ll put some. If you want, if that’s a thing for you and you want like actual details, please DM me I am not afraid to, like, let you know what page it’s on or just spoil it for you outright so you can avoid it. Don’t need anyone getting triggered for their squicks or anything.
Kay: I’ll be fine, I just appreciate the heads up because it’s really not my favorite.
Chelsea: But I’m really excited! But I’m about to talk about this one because I think it does some really cool stuff with, like, Mexican culture and vampire lore —
Kay: And I’ve heard her prose is great.
Chelsea: — and, like, current problem stuff. Yes, it’s great.
Claire: Yes. Her prose is beautiful.
Chelsea: Yeah, yes. She can spin a sentence man, let me fucking tell ya.
Kay: I can ignore a lot of shit for good prose.
Chelsea: Yeah, that’s true. That is very true. I can get through a lot of stuff if you can write a pretty sentence. Alright, so we’re gonna start. We’re gonna officially transition into talking about what we have coming up next. I want to start out as kind of a general guide post for completely skipping Claire in our last episode talking about her future projects. We all just got distracted and we wrapped things up before we actually made it back to Claire. So, Claire, top of the hour. What do you have coming up in the future?
Claire: So at the moment I am trying to read up some stuff that is eligible for the Hugo Awards this year.
Claire: The nomination period is open from now until the 17th of March, I think. So by the time this podcast comes out I think there should be a couple of weeks left. And I’m just trying to read stuff that I wanted to read when it came out and I didn’t get to. I have a super long list, I did a blog post about this. I’m someone who gets, like, really easily nervous by, um, reading lists, but mostly it’s like, if I plan to read a specific number of things and I can’t get to everything. So I just made the longest list in the world. And it’s…I printed it out and I’m, like, marking it with a marker when I’m done with a thing so that i have a visual representation of progress. And I know I’m not going to get to everything because I have literally an entire page of short story titles. Right? So it makes me happy. I can see a visual representation of getting a bit of shit done. And get more, um, a larger pool of stuff to nominate from. So that’s part of what I’m doing now.
Chelsea: So what do you have coming up, Miss Kay?
Kay: Well, as per usual still going on the Trek Rec a Day project. We will see.
Chelsea: I am so proud of you for continuing to do that.
Kay: We will see if I can keep this going until the new show comes out. It’s like 170-something at this point. Again, that’s just, I’ve got it in a Twitter Moment. It’s really easy to find. We’ll link that. And I should have a couple new Book Riot pieces up. The one that I’m fairly sure should be up by the time this goes live is, uh. If you read Book Riot you might’ve read the Literary Tourism posts before. Which is like —
Chelsea: Yeah! Are you doing one for AZ?
Kay: I’m doing one for Idaho.
Kay: Which, if you don’t know, my parents are both from Idaho, I have a lot of relatives who still live there, I lived there in high school. And I’m doing, like, the whole state. If you didn’t know, Marilynne Robinson?
Chelsea: Mmhmm. Love her. The queen.
Kay: She’s from Sandpoint, Idaho. Which is also where Viggo Mortensen sometimes lives. And he is a poet. And that’s also the same town where I learned to ski. And, uh,
Claire: Viggo Mortensen is a poet?
Chelsea: Skiing and Viggo Mortensen? Done.
Kay: And they have a Hemingway House in Sun Valley that you can go to. And there’s this beautiful, like, outdoor Shakespeare Festival in Boise. It’s an outdoor amphitheatre and it’s amazing. Anyway, so. I should have that Literary Tourism post up on Book Riot, we’ll be sure to link that. And that’s about it.
Chelsea: Very cool. Alright, well then I will just be churning out the content on the YouTube channel, as per usual, uh, by the time this goes out the next Sexy in ‘17 Reads —
Chelsea: — will be up. We are reading A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai. I’m really excited. I had some mixed feelings about, uh, Promise of Fire, which was our first pick. So I’m really looking forward to this one.
Kay: A Gentleman in the Street’s the one about the plus size politician’s daughter who owns a sex club, right?
Chelsea: Yeah, it is.
Kay: I’m all in. I’m so on board for this.
Chelsea: Mmhmm. Oh, yeah, I’m so excited. It’s gonna be a good one. Um, and then also by the time this goes up my series of episode reviews for Yuuri on Ice should’ve started —
Chelsea: — publishing on Snark Squad. We’ll link to those.
Claire: So excited.
Chelsea: I am doing episode by episode recap slash breakdowns. I’ve already done the first, like, half a dozen. So many gifs and so many naked pictures of Viktor. And, like, I don’t even know what work must think of me.
Chelsea: My Google image search right now it’s pretty insane. But those should all be up and of course will be linked in the show notes. Please join us in a couple of weeks for talking about Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Until next time, I guess, bye guys.
Claire and Chelsea: Bye!
[Malt Shop Bop by Kevin Macleod plays]
Chelsea: You’ve been listening to Sisterhood of the Traveling Paperbacks, a podcast made by three online besties and all-around lady nerds. Channel art provided by Claire Rousseau. Music credits to ‘Malt Shop Bop’ by Kevin MacLeod. You can get in touch with the sisterhood at email@example.com, @PaperbacksPod on Twitter, or at our website paperbacksisters.wordpress.com. You can reach Kay @kaytaylorrea on Twitter, Claire @ClaireRousseau, and Chelsea @anoutlawlife. Additional credits and show notes will be available at our website. Thank you so much for listening. [Double speed] No paperbacks were harmed in the making of this program.
Chelsea: Third time’s a charm, ladies. We’re so fucking profesh. We got this.