Dystopia, Self-Acceptance, and Artificial Intelligence: 3 To Read

I feel like every week passes by in a blink and suddenly we are more than halfway through December. Of course, 2020 has been such a mess that I’m not really mad about it, BUT I do still have a lot of reading to do before this year is up. So, let’s turn to a few books you might also want to squeeze in before the new year.

 

HOT PICK

Cross-Hairs

by catherine hernandez

 

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Synopsis:

Written by the author of the acclaimed novel Scarborough, our hot pick of the week, Cross-Hairs, depicts a dystopian near-future, in which massive floods have lead to an extreme amount of homelessness and devastation. Due to this, a government-sanctioned regime called “The Boots” took advantage of the opportunity, rounding up communities of color, the disabled, and the LGBTQIA+ into concentration camps. However, a queer black performer and his allies band together to stand against this oppressive regime. Not only this, but they plan for their uprising to take place at a major televised event.

Why:

Booklist describes Catherine Hernandez’s writing as “raw yet beautiful, disturbing yet hopeful,” and that is actually the perfect way to describe this book as well. She has written a cautionary tale that depicts a horrifyingly possible future, while featuring bold and exciting characters whose personalities jump off the page. Yes, this is a dystopian novel, but it also speaks to to the themes of self acceptance and love.

 

 

Coffee Shop

Dandelion

by gabbie hanna

 

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Synopsis:

This is the New York Times best-selling author’s long-awaited second collection of illustrated poetry, in which she writes honest and personal essays about her childhood and relationships. Find yourself going along with Hannah through the process of what begins with self-loathing, but is then followed by self-reflection and eventually self-acceptance. She does this through deeply metaphorical imagery, chilling twists on child-like rhymes, and popular turns of phrase flipped around and used as counterarguments to what they normally support.

Why:

Gabbie Hannah’s poetry is quite possibly the epitome of a coffee shop read, and in the best way possible. Dandelion beautifully dives into what it means to struggle with declining mental health in a world where mental health is simultaneously stigmatized and trivialized. Before you know it, you will be flipping through its pages at incredible speed, soaking in their messages and appreciating the artwork that accompanies the poems.

 

dark horse

The Preserve: a novel

by ariel s. winter

 

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Synopsis:

In The Preserve, artificial intelligence and a plague have reduced the human population to a minority. The complex robots which have now become the majority population are almost indistinguishable from humans, and, nine months ago, they opened a series of preserves; plots of land on which humans can choose to live without robot interference. However, someone has been murdered on the preserve and this poses the ultimate complication. Read how Chief of Police, Jesse Laughton, navigates this complicated case, and what information comes to light as a result.

Why:

This exciting new mystery comes to you from a writer whose previous book, Barren Cove, was called “bold, innovating, and thrilling,” by Stephen King himself (AKA the father of horror). For me, this book represents my worst nightmare, and I read it in the same way that I watch my favorite horror movies. Honestly, I am terrified of artificial intelligence, despite owning a Google Home. Everyone who is close to me knows that I am adamant about saying “please” and “thank you” to it, as if that would really help me if AI were to ever take over the world. The Preserve, however, goes to show exactly why I will continue to do so.

 

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Thanks again for tuning in and don’t forget to tell us what you’re reading. Like I said, I’m also always on the lookout for my next book too! See you at the next “Three to Read!”

 

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