• Literary Book Review

    The Human Zoo

    Warnings: Violence, Death, Homophobia My Thoughts The Human Zoo is a surprising novel, one that I feel is needed to shine a spotlight on the current state of the Philippines’ broken political system. The main character, Ting, is researching and writing about Timicheg and the Igorot people who were brought to the United States as part of a human zoo. The Philippines’ long and horrendous history of colonization provides context for Ting’s story in present-day New Manila. I loved this book because it was both charming and uncomfortably real, many of the characters felt like I was reading about my actual friends and family. “If you spend enough time in…

  • Book Review

    Hardboiled & Hard Luck

    My Thoughts Hardboiled & Hard Luck is a collection of two novellas that share a theme of grief and loss. Both stories read like a gentle goodbye as each narrator explores their feelings through memory. The stories together elicit a warm, comforting feeling despite the heavy subject matter in its sparse prose. It was an easy read to calm my anxieties and unplug while wrapped up in a blanket. “She was still there inside me now, just as she always was: a life put on hold, a memory I didn’t know how to handle.” Hardboiled follows the journey of a narrator as she walks along a country road to visit…

  • Book Review

    Convenience Store Woman

    My Thoughts Keiko is a convenience store worker and, to the people around her, a bit of an oddball. She has worked part-time at the same store for her entire adult life with no aspirations to pursue a full-time career, she has no interest in romantic relationships or starting a family, she struggles with everyday social interactions, and most of all–she’s satisfied with her life. Keiko often feels out of place, like she has to put on a mask while interacting with others. She has difficulty understanding people’s motivations and feelings, she struggles to hold conversations and to navigate social norms, she has no interest in marriage, and she feels…