Every year begins with a new grand plan, and I had aspirations to write more often about the books and other literary/writing news of note. I did not. You all don’t need me to tell you it’s been a long year, and between the daily slog of the news, plus some additional health problems, I found it difficult to summon the words.

However, you don’t need a list of my excuses. Let’s just end the year right and talk about some of my favorite books that I read in 2018.

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Favorite Fiction: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

On a long train ride to Portland and back, I inhaled this classic novel for the first time. It has so much to say about obligation, communication, and social class, and I enjoy the spin it puts on a Jane Eyre -esque story. You don’t have to love all these people to find why they make the decisions they do interesting. …


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(Still from The Twilight Zone, “The Lonely,” S1 E5)

Which is the best way to phrase a thought without inviting an explosion?
Which financial slights of hand are easiest to conceal?
Which items are easiest carried from the fire that is this life?

If she takes this medicine to get through the day, is it a failure?
If the medicine makes her health easier to skate through, but makes her gain weight, is it a failure?
If she know she shouldn’t care about weight, but she does, a little, is it a failure?

Does she build a home, a fortress, full of every item that brings her satisfaction? Joy? Security?
Or does she keep only what can be thrown in a bag, ready for the next room down the road? …


Some were published this year, one has decades under its belt: All Amazing

Though we have a few more weeks left in 2017, and though I am attempting valiantly to read at least 5 more books before it ends, I am still awash with bookish guilt over not doing one of these lists last year. (Best book I read in 2016? After Disasters by Viet Dinh. Full of all the best, hard stuff: love, lust, loneliness and longing. A beauty of a book.)

If I had to find a common thread for what most captured my attention in 2017, I’d venture this: Ambitious Escapism. Big, over-the-top books in either character, plot, or format, where reality is bent just so. And with one pick, it’s a matter of state pride, however dark the subject matter. …


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Michelle Gomez does ‘delightfully bonkers’ so well.

I AM 400000% IN FOR THIS: The Missy Chronicles is a new collection of Doctor Who stories from BBC Books, this time focusing on the TIME LADY OF MY HEART. The stories are by Cavan Scott, Paul Magrs, Richard Dinnick, Jacqueline Farrow and James Goss, with the cover design by Lee Binding.

Scott has written some of the Ninth Doctor comics from Titan, among other things, which I’ve enjoyed. I interviewed him at Persephone Magazine when the comics run first began in 2015.

I feel little embarrassment about reading Doctor Who comics, novelizations, and audio dramas, except in that I mow through so many of them when I have other, supposedly “more serious” books around the house. …


Plus lots of other good writerly links and a tune to play us out…

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Pleased to see GLAAD talking about #BiWeek, since their organization’s name is not very inclusive.

This week is #BiVisibility week, with the official Bi Visibility Day happening on September 23rd, as it has done every year since 1999. Remind your local queer groups that the B in LGBTQ does not stand for Babadook, and they should remember that a large percentage of the queer community are bi.

I enjoyed this essay by Gaby Dunn, whose book (written with Allison Raskin) I Hate Everyone But You, allows bisexual characters to be messy and real, rather than be concerned with being a “model minority.” …


It is my mission to let you all know that Montana is not-s0-secretly a happening place for creative people, if only we pay attention.

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Add to your shelf on Goodreads

This week, Akashic Books released the Montana installment of their Noir series. Living in Great Falls (the north-central part of the state, near the capitol, Helena), of course I’d be all over it, even if I didn’t have friends with stories contained within.

But I DO have friends with stories contained within: Jamie Ford, Eric Heidle (who also took the cover photo), and David Abrams. I’ll be reading this book next.


Familiar gig, newish venue.

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I’m trying, sign. I’m trying. Geez.

For seven years, I regularly wrote book reviews on my blog, Glorified Love Letters, and I spent four years editing literary links of interest on the Word Riot blog, in a column titled Notes From Elsewhere. At the same time, I wrote about music and recent news stories at Persephone Magazine, among other occasional topics. Word Riot changed ownership and underwent a publishing hiatus until recently, and P-Mag has gone quiet for now.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped writing anything more than a few sentences on Goodreads with each book finished. I don’t know how this gradual decline in my publishing schedule happened — a hazy mix of illness punctuated by moments of busyness, is all I can speculate — but I realized I missed it. Tossing off a few links on Twitter isn’t good enough for me; I want something less fleeting, but incorporating bits of what I’ve done before. …


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Queer in Montana is an ongoing series profiling people who identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum and live in the 406 area code. Each person is asked the same set of questions in an effort to demystify what it’s like to be a queer person in a state that has a reputation for being conservative.

Montana has a population of just over a million people, and recently, Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order that protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in state government jobs and contracts. …


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Queer in Montana is an ongoing series profiling people who identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum and live in the 406 area code. Each person is asked the same set of questions in an effort to demystify what it’s like to be a queer person in a state that has a reputation for being conservative.

Montana has a population of just over a million people, and recently, Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order that protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in state government jobs and contracts. …


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Queer in Montana is an ongoing series profiling people who identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum and live in the 406 area code. Each person is asked the same set of questions in an effort to demystify what it’s like to be a queer person in a state that has a reputation for being conservative.

Montana has a population of just over a million people, and in January 2016, Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order that protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in state government jobs and contracts. …

About

Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of INFINITE DISPOSABLE and the co-founder of Electric City Creative, an arts and culture organization based out of Great Falls, MT.

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