Four Leaf Lit

The Prospects, with it's beautiful depiction of the two main characters enjoying a baseball win in their Beaverton green baseball shirts, sits on a blue American Baseball button up shirt with various baseball caricatures. There are trans pride stickers, including one of a corgi holding the trans flag in their mouth and Ruby teaching Sapphire to swing a baseball bat (a reference to Steven Universe's "Hit the Diamond").

The Prospects - KT Hoffman

KT Hoffman's The Prospects is lovingly gay and trans, hilariously romantic, and definitely a must-read for PNW queers. It's especially relevant for all us Tacomans and Rainers fans out there. More than that, Gene Ionescu is the most precious, optimistic, gay, openly trans, baseball player. And his rival turned romance is one that will make you cry with sadness, frustration, and, most especially, beautiful gay love.

P.S. Shaan Dasani's voice acting for every character in the book is FIRE! The voice acting for the radio hosts is *chef's kiss,* too! 

Gideon the Ninth, with the cover of a red haired woman in skull face paint wearing all black and sunglasses surrounded by skeletons, sits on a rainbow table with a maroon rose, purple sage blossoms, and purple cat mint blossoms.

Gideon the Ninth - Tamsyn Muir

Happy Pride Month! I have been completely possessed by Tamsyn Muir's "The Locked Tomb Series." I had been told it was intentionally complicated. However, I was deprived of the absolutely hilarious, albeit dark, world building. I think of the first book, Gideon the 9th, as high fantasy wearing a necromantic sci-fi mustache donned in a cape of murder mystery which is sequinned with extremely gay dry humor and quips. Gideon is 💯 rad AF and a completely lovable muscle-head goof and omfg I can't even. 

Blackmail and Bibingka - Mia P. Manansala

I am a huge fan of Manansala's Tita Rosie's Kitchen Series. Blackmail and Bibingka is the third book in the series. It is delicious, Christmas, and full of tsismis! And of course, Manansala has the most delectable recipes in the cookbook at the end. And btw, I listened to the audiobook and it is a riot! I can hear the aunties and ate's and the audacious and loving advice from Denice Cabanela's fantastic voice acting!

the blue cover of Portraits of A Thief is sitting in a bush of green fuzzy mugwort leaves. The sun is dappling through.

Portrait of a Thief - Grace D. Li

The garden is reminding me to talk about books. Grad D. Li's Portrait of a Thief is like Oceans 11 with a bit of Fast and the Furious and the well-intentioned Carmen Sandiago robbing museums to give art back to its cultures. The kicker is that the thieves are all first and second gen Chinese American college kids. It was such a roller coaster of "how're they gonna get away with it!?" Interspersed are beautiful and painful discussions of the diaspora, belonging, and generational healing. But for real, art belongs to the people. Colonizers need to give back the art they stole and continue to steal. 

the maroon cover of Winter in the Blood sitting on Hawthorn branches with bunches of dark pink blossoms. The sun is filtering through the branches above.

Winter in the Blood - James Welch

Just finished James Welch's "Winter in the Blood," even if it has not been feeling like winter. I learned of this book from Rivers Solomon's "Sorrowland." This book is all about alienation and disconnection from culture and identity. It's bizarre, quirky, self-destructive, tragic, and strangely uplifting. It made me question my own disconnection from cultures lost to colonization.

P.S. I also really want to know what the airplane man did to need to run from the FBI. 

Barbara Jane Reyes's bright and colorful book cover rests on a salakot (Filipino hat) with mint and lemon balm and two wooden knives from Survival Arts, a practice/movement focused on educating women, femme, gender nonconforming, and children about Kali (Filipino martial art form).

Wanna Peek Inside My Notebook - Barbara Jane Reyes

My current read is "Wanna Peek Into My Notebook?: Notes on Pinay Liminality" by the incredible Barbara Jane Reyes. As a pinxy child of the diaspora, this book puts language and shared stories to my rage at society, at politics, and at academia. As we move through Asian American Pacific Islander Month, I call into question what AAPI, Asian American, Asian American Literature means. There is a whole essay/eloquent rant about this very categorization/separation. We should celebrate our heritage but society should not and cannot ignore the violence and injustice towards BIPOC, immigrants, disabled, trans, queer, marginalized folx. Keep raging on, yo. 

a tablet with the cover of H.E Edgmon's the Fae Keeper on a black and gold bandana with baybayin script. The Numinous Tarot is displayed on one side of the tablet with my daily draw of the Star on the other side.

The Fae Keeper - H.E. Edgmon

I finally finished the Fae Keeper, the sequel to H.E. Edgmon's the Witch King, and OMFG YASSSSS! Our angsty, sardonic, traumatized-but-healing trans-masc witch Wyatt is back to help fix the broken system of the Fae Kingdoms on Earth. We also unearth [haha, see Wyatt's humor is influencing me] some pretty big truths about the kingdoms that came to colonize earth. The plot thickens!


There are so many wonderfully inclusive things about this book. Our main character is a white trans masc teen, but he learns from his mistakes. We have a beautiful discussion about ace identity, which includes a bigger discussion about the spectrum of gender and sexuality. These kids are doing the real work while taking down oppressive systems. I cannot recommend it enough!

Confessions of a Modern Day Kumiho - Alissa Tu

I got my copy of Alissa Tu's Confessions of a Modern Day Kumiho during the South Sound Book Crawl. I devoured it like the fox demon devours their victims' livers. Delicious and tormenting, I could not put this book down. Pick up your copy from @bluecactuspress and all the lovely bookstores and small businesses in Tacoma that carry their delectable books.

Several People Are Typing - Calvin Kasulke

Calvin Kasulke's "Several People Are Typing" is one of those stories that is both too relatable and too surreal. It's like workplace dry humor meets capitalism meets tons of queer existential dread meets .hack//sign (any anime fans?). Main character Gerald is accidentally uploaded into his work Slack channel and has to convince his work peers that he's not just working from home. And of course, SlackBot was my fav!


Also, the voice acting was HILARIOUS! It's only a 3 hour listen and you will be laughing the whole way through. Real talk: is this how people are on slack at work? 

Period: The Real Story of Menstruation - Kate Clancy

Kate Clancy's "Period: the real story of menstruation" is a much needed, well-researched, inclusive, and feminist riot. While this book primarily focuses on menstruation, the overarching theme is bringing to light the incredibly biased beliefs of cis het white normative male scientists and anthropologists. To no surprise, these historical male figures and their unscientific beliefs have had damaging and detrimental effects that still persist today. I recommend this book to EVERYONE, because everyone needs to understand menstruation. Moreover, I hope that through this book we can reimagine a better future for our fellow menstruators.


As an enby with a uterus and endometriosis, I'm usually very averse to reading works on menstruation. However, Clancy is incredibly inclusive and further discusses this exact need for inclusivity in menstrual and reproductive knowledge. Also, there's an insightful chapter on endo AND an interesting study on how the COVID vaccines caused some pretty irregular periods. 

Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers - Jessie Q. Sutanto

Jessie Q Sutanto's "Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers" is a cozy murder mystery but if it was led by your favorite pushy Asian auntie. Eunice Wong provides spot-on voice acting for every character, especially for Vera (the Asian auntie main character). Vera is so lovable and so terribly helpful in that Asian Auntie way, I was scream-reacting to every bit of her dialogue. Above all else, this book is about healing generational trauma, finding your found family, deliciously described tea (and hand recipes), good food, and gossipy goodness. Oh, and solving murder in a tea shop. 

Living Resistance - Caitlin B. Curtice

Living Resistance by Caitlin B. Curtice is a balm for the soul. It's definitely being added to my (soon to be announced) Radical Resistance book club, along with Rest is Resistance, the Body is Not an Apology, Hood Feminism, and Becoming Kin. Living Resistance is about connection, belonging, and decolonizing in a society that pushes us too far from just existing. Curtice does discuss her experiences as an evangelical Christianity, but through a lens of decolonization and building harmony with her indigenous spirituality. "I am a human being. I am always arriving."

The Spear Cuts Through Water - Simon Jimenez

Simon Jimenez's "The Spear Cuts Through Water" is an epic fantasy woven with stories and perspectives that connect through generations and time. You only get one chance in the Inverted Theater, a place run by the child of the moon and water. What stories will you hear? What decisions will you make? What will you remember of the old lands from your Lola's stories?

Applause for voice actor Joel De la Fuente who brought this story and its many characters alive with beautiful story telling and dramatic voices. 

Pride and Protest - Nikki Payne

Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" is one of my guilty pleasures. I can't resist the Mr. Darcy - Elizabeth Bennet dynamic. So when I found out Nikki Payne wrote a melanated modern retelling, I had to read it ASAP! Set in DC, Liza Bennet is the 'only DJ who gives a jam' and is trying to safeguard her primarily black neighborhood from gentrification. Dorsey Fitzgerald is the adopted Pinoy son of a wealthy white family and the CEO of the company behind said gentrification. The story takes wild twists and turns, just like AND very unlike the original. Everyone is more than they seem to be, if they can only get past their pride. And for the romance lovers out there, this book is much spicier than its historic original (if you catch my drift).

Black Candle Women - Diane Marie Brown

"Black Candle Women" by Diane Marie Brown is such a juicy book of family secrets, voodoo, hoodoo, romance, a love-killing curse, and healing from generational trauma. Brown weaves the connected stories between 4 generations of women and goodness it takes twists and turns! I could not put it down! Plus, the family drama reminded me a lot of my own family dysfunction, but with a very strong foundation of love. Plus, there's Debarge! (Be sure to have the music list going).


I started knitting a beautiful moss green hat with yarn from @jadawoo_designs while listening to this ravishing story. And I'm always writing down sporadic ideas and inspirations with my dark green pen and pocket notebook from @shoplauda and @arcadygoods. 

The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi - Shannon Chakraborty

Sometimes depression hits me so hard that holding a book and moving my eyes is impossible. Thank gods for audiobooks from @librofm! S.A. Chakraborty's Adventures of Amina Al Sirafi is like Taika Watiti's Our Flag Means Death, but with a badass Muslim multi-racial mother who retired from piracy to raise her daughter and now has to return to the seas for... reasons. And it takes place in the Indian Ocean circa 12th century. Amina is sassy af! And the voice actors do her and her snarky crew justice. Hilarious, thrilling, fantastical! And it's queer and trans. And there's a ship cat that's bad at catching mice.

A few notes. The author, Shannon Chakraborty, is a white Muslim convert who took her husband's name. She respectfully clarifies this on her Twitter when she was accidentally listed in a POC publisher post. Regardless, I think she has done a wonderful job of creating a historical fan-fic fantasy world which beautifully shows Muslim culture, religious traditions, and family life.

Additionally, I did not realize this book was published through Harper Collins, whose workers recently went on strike for 60 days in order to receive better wages and working conditions. HC is also the only one of the big 5 publishers to have a union. I'm still processing these facts that surround this book. 

Hood Feminism - Mikki Kendall

As we move from Black History Month (which should be celebrated all year long) to Women's history month, I thought it was imperative I finally sit down and deeply read Mikki Kendall's "Hood Feminism." Kendall calls out the historic and systemic lack of intersectionality in feminism. She covers all the topics, such as food insecurity, reproductive justice, hair, colorism, gun violence, missing and murdered, and education. As a queer POC, I felt seen and validated by this book, which challenged many events and actions from the 2015 through 2020 era. As a passing person, my allyship was challenged as well. Kendall asks we all become accomplices, as opposed to allies, of hood feminism. Because hood feminism is for everyone. 

The Unbroken - C. L. Clark

CL Clark's The Unbroken is for those folx who liked She Ra: Princesses of Power or Sanderson's The Way of Kings but wanted a more melanated perspective from the main characters. This books got it all: revolution, decolonization, taking land back, indigenous magical systems, complicated romances, and sexy arms (you just gotta read it hehe). Be sure to set aside time to finish the last few chapters, because they are action packed (CW: a tad bloody)!

an e-reader with the cover of Sangu Mandanna's "Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches" sitting in a yule tree with rainbow lights and legend of Zelda perler ornaments.

Do you want a found-family story that's quirky, funny, lovey-dovey, cottage core, and witchy? Look no further than Sangu Mandanna's "The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches!" In this British world, too many witches gathering draws attention to their magic. Thus they live isolated from one another and only dare to meet up on the third week of every third month. However, rebellious Mika Moon reaches out on social media, pretending to be a witch. But then she's found out by the people of the mysterious Nowhere House who want to employ her to be a teacher. What could possibly go wrong? 

I also think these pics represent Rest is Resistance. Wrapped in a maroon blanket. A tattooed (batok) hand petting a tuxedo cat named Bayonetta. My half asleep face with unruly dark brown hair similar to my Dad's. And Tricia Hersey's book, Rest is Resistance.

Rest is Resistance - Tricia Hersey

I've been re-reading Tricia Hersey's "Rest is Resistance," especially when I feel capitalism weighing on me, imposter syndrome threatening me, and CPTSD haunting me. The minute I feel overwhelmed and exhausted, I turn to this text. If there's a book I hope you read, it's this one.

As I read this book, I'm reminded of my Dad. When I was a kid, my Dad would work long hours at the hospital doing what psychologists do. He'd come home barely staying awake to watch Star Trek TNG with me. He'd ultimately fall asleep on the couch. Now look at me falling asleep on the couch watching Star Trek Discovery, Strange New Worlds, and Prodigy. Dreaming. Reading, Resting. There's a connection Dad and I falling asleep to shows that dream up better futures and possibilities. There's a connection that my Dad, a Filipino immigrant, still rested and dreamed even when exhausted. And even tho I still have work to do with Clover Daydreams, I still rest and resist.

Unearthing Our Roots - Krista R. Perez

Krista Perez's "Unearthing Our Roots" is another must-read and read-asap! I return to this book when I'm feeling unsure and anxious, especially as I work to make Clover Daydreams a reality. 

Blood Debts - Terry Benton-Walker

I was blessed to receive this advanced readers copy of Terry J. Benton-Walker's "Blood Debts." Y'all, this book is FIRE! I could not put it down. The generational magic system and New Orleans world building is fantastic. Our teenage twin main characters, Clement and Cristina, are beautifully humanly written. The dramatic family dynamics made me laugh and cry with all their intricacies, flaws, and love. I cannot wait to gush over this amazing young adult novel with others. Release is set for April 4th, 2023.

Story of the Hundred Promises - 

Neil Cochrane

Neil Cochrane's "The Story of the Hundred Promises" is why I read fantasy. My gender-kin, you need this story. It's described as a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it is so much more. It's a love story with all the different kinds of love, including aromanticism. It's a story of change, good and bad, mistakes and reparations. It's rivalry between magical cousins. It's fae folk getting into mischief and helping a human or two. It's a book within a book, telling the "Callistan Folk Tales" told from different perspectives. The writing is thrilling, healing, and delectable.

Personally, I gravitate toward Cochrane's queer optimism. We see the society in the book evolve from a controlling gender binary to clear gender communication. First name pronoun last name. Or Dom, Sir, Madam. Tattoos symbolizing gender and attraction are widely accepted especially amongst the sailors. Everyone is "they" until we hear these introductions and witness these symbolisms. I normally don't want to live in most fantasy worlds. But this one I'd whole-heartedly enter. 

Becoming Kin - Patty Krawec

I'm still processing the immense truth, knowledge, and wisdom of this book by Anishinaabe writer Patty Krawec. At its core, "Becoming Kin" is a primer on the history and atrocities of colonization of Turtle Island (North America) and her peoples. It explains how original treaties were misunderstood and intentionally broken, like the Two Row Wampum and the Dish with One Spoon Wampum. It explains how settler colonialism penetrated and perpetuated terrible mindsets and racist idealogies. It talks about harsh truths, such as slavery, blood quantum, the Big Scoop, and residential schools. And while I am not Christian or religious, Krawec eloquently compares and contrasts indigenous spirituality with Christian doctrine. This first half of this book will gently break you down, revealing the ways we benefit from and participate in settler colonialism, willing or unwilling.

The second half asks us to return to ourselves and begin reframing, re-membering, decolonizing, and ultimately learn how we can become better kin. Krawec talks about how Anishinaabe worldview is verb based, flexible, and like quantum physics. Being a colonizer is not something you are but something you do. In this way, being kin is also something you do. These final pages offer strategies and suggestions on building community and kin.

"Return to yourself and pick up your bundle," is a common grounding phrase throughout. "Becoming Kin" needs to become part of your bundle/book shelf/reading list.

Nii'kinaaganaa. Kapwa. We are related.