Review: Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered

Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide★★★★☆

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are the hosts of the part-humor-part-true-crime podcast My Favorite Murder. Their podcast is a regular accompaniment to my commute and has made D.C. traffic infinitely more bearable since I’ve become a regular listener. And now, much to my delight, they’ve written a book.

This book is a real reflection of the podcast and community Karen and Georgia have built together, each chapter is framed by one of the iconic quotes that sprouted from the podcast and two essays on the topic, one by each host. That being said, this is not a book for murderinos only. Anyone looking for an extremely candid, often humorous memoir by two kick-ass women will love this. Even if that isn’t what you’re specifically seeking, I’d be willing to be that there’s something in Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide for you.

A note on the audiobook: For the first time ever (yep, ever in my life) I sought out an audiobook. I know these to people by their voices, so why not continue in that medium? I’m no expert, but this felt like a truly unique experience. Karen and Georgia are wonderful narrators, portions were recorded live, Paul Giamatti occasionally interjects, and there is even a guest appearance by Georgia’s dad. There’s nothing like holding a physical text and experiencing a book that way, but just this once, opt for the audiobook or you’ll miss out on more of the humor and personality that make Karen and Georgia so wonderful. Continue reading “Review: Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered”

Review: The Book of the Moon

42193752★★★★★

The Book of the Moon is exactly what it claims to be: a through look at our nearest celestial neighbor. In this lucid, occasionally humorous guide to all things lunar Maggie Aderin-Pocock- space scientist, science communicator, and self-proclaimed lunatic- is our guide. This isn’t a typical scientific text, but it is my favorite kind. Though this small book is absolutely packed with figures and data, it also explores the deep connection that humans have had with the moon from our earliest days. After describing her background and relationship with the moon in the introduction, Aderin-Pocock breaks The Book of the Moon into four sections:

  • Moon 101: The Basics – A description of the physical properties of the moon, its environment, and how it formed.
  • Moon Past: The Moon in Our Culture – This was easily my favorite section. Topics here are broken down into groups of five. Five people, five places, five poems, five works of art, and more. The people and works featured here are refreshingly varied, a break from the Eurocentric, whitewashed version of scientific history that we’re all used to seeing.
  • Moon Present: A Sharper Focus – Tools and techniques for observing the moon accompanied by a description of our recent past involving the moon from, the beginning of the Space Race to present.  
  • Moon Future: What Lies Ahead? – An unbiased discussion of the future of science, commerce, and settlement on our moon.

I’m currently pursuing a degree in Earth Science with special interest in Planetary Geology and there was still more for me to learn in this brief, but densely packed little book. For all the information here, I never felt bogged down. Aderin-Pocock’s intense enthusiasm for the moon permeates this whole text and carried you along effortlessly. My only regret upon finishing it is that I wasn’t immediately able to pick up another book by Maggie Aderin-Pocock. In less than 300 pages I’m completely convinced, the next great science communicator- among the likes of Sagan and Nye- now stands before us. Continue reading “Review: The Book of the Moon”

Advance Review: A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

★★★★★

This is a book I wish I could’ve handed to a younger version of myself. In this beautifully illustrated graphic novel queer identities of all varieties are explored by our narrator, a snail. It is clear that this book was made to be accessible to younger readers, but I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about identities beyond their own, those trying to figure out what identity suits them, and allies trying to educate themselves.

Other reviewers have critiqued the fact that a book geared towards younger readers includes a section on relationship basics, but it was a touch that I actually loved. If you are closeted or struggling with your identity, there may never be an opportunity for you to learn about what the basis of a healthy relationship is or signs of a partner that may be controlling and/or manipulative. I think there is little harm in the way this was approached- emphasizing self love and open communication. It is clear that the authors aimed to make this an accessible, inclusive read and I can wholeheartedly say they succeeded. Continue reading “Advance Review: A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities”