I am working at being more honest with myself when it comes to books that I have started at some point and just never got around to finishing. As part of that, I have decided to just give up on books I have been reading for over half a year because let’s be real here: I will not be finishing these books anytime soon.
So, without much further ado, welcome again to my shame corner of ARCs I will not finish.
Black Jesus and Other Superheroes by Vanita Blackburn (published by University of Nebraska Press)
Black Jesus and Other Superheroes chronicles ordinary people achieving vivid extrasensory perception while under extreme pain. The stories tumble into a universe of the jaded and the hopeful, in which men and women burdened with unwieldy and undesirable superhuman abilities are nonetheless resilient in subtle and startling ways.
Venita Blackburn’s characters hurl themselves toward the inevitable fates they might rather wish away. Their stories play with magic without the sparkle, glaring at the internal machinations of the human spirit. Fragile symbols for things such as race, sexuality, and love are lifted, decorated, and exposed to scrutiny and awe like so many ruins of our imagination. Through it all Blackburn’s characters stumble along currents of language both thoughtful and hilarious.
Thoughts: I feel really bad about not finishing this but I did not get along with the first couple of stories in this collection. I am super fickle when it comes to short stories. I requested this soley based on the title (and my love for short story collections) and still think that the title is just genius.
The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen (published by Tachyon Publications)
Enter the Emerald Circus and be astonished by the transformations of your favorite tales. Ringmaster and internationally bestselling author Jane Yolen (Briar Rose, Sister Emily’s Lightship) spins modern fantasy classics in tales that go well beyond Wonderland and Oz, down the rabbit hole and back again.
Where is Wendy? Leading a labor strike against the Lost Boys, of course!
It’s time to go back to—and beyond—the treasured tales you thought you knew: The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and many more. Ringmaster and internationally bestselling author Jane Yolen (Briar Rose, Sister Emily’s Lightship) spins modern fantasy classics for delighted readers. A girl blown away from Kansas returns as a sophisticate with unusual gymnastic abilities. A talented apprentice, forging her first sword, is suddenly left to the mercies of Merlin. Alice’s infamous nemesis has jaws and claws, but also lacks the essential: a sense of humor.
Witty and bold, and unexpected, these tales go well beyond the rabbit hole and back again.
Thoughts: This is another short story collection that just did not work for me. Here I made it around 40% through before putting it down. I found the retellings a bit too on the nose while the language did not work for me. While there is nothing wrong with these stories, they just did not excite me in the least – and I don’t want to be reading books that don’t excite me or give me something new.