“Shock of Birth” by Cadwell Turnbull

Shock of Birth by Cadwell Turnbull

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Loved this episode of Levar Burton Reads. Turnbull has such a way with vivid details of person that draw me into the scenes and characters – the hands, the mug, the Anne Rice book, the jean cuffs. I usually dislike when stories don’t resolve a plot, but this one so masterfully ratcheted up the tension and then drew it down into that beautiful ending. Really lovely.



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The Angel of Khan el-Khalili by P. Djèlí Clark

The Angel of Khan el-Khalili by P. Djèlí Clark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Love the intersection of steampunk and the workers’ right movement, the transition from one era of the world to another as shown by a moment in the life of one desperate young woman, the liminal space of the angel’s den that allows her to reconcile with the burden and consequences of her own choices. Excellent addition to Clark’s alternate magical Cairo.



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St. Valentine, St. Abigail, St. Brigid, by C.L. Polk

St. Valentine, St. Abigail, St. Brigid by C.L. Polk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Listened to the Levar Burton Reads podcast of this story, and his reading is fantastic. I really appreciate that he highlighted Teresa’s inner landscape of acknowledging, receiving, and giving love. There are a lot of things going on this story, and that wouldn’t necessarily have been the element that stood out to me the most, but it is at the heart of the character, and drives the story above all other aspects.

This story has so many things I love – witching, witching with bees, birdcage elevators, women being strong in different ways, academic competitive friendships, and horrible people getting what they deserve.



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