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Alex Cabe

Joined 1 year ago

It's not like I'm a preachy crybaby who can't resist giving overemotional speeches about hope all the time.

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Alex Cabe's books

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2023 Reading Goal

Success! Alex Cabe has read 25 of 25 books.

Even Though I Knew the End (Hardcover, 2022, Doherty Associates, Tor) 4 stars

A magical detective dives into the affairs of Chicago's divine monsters to secure a future …

Short and Sweet Hard Boiled Magic

5 stars

This picked up on a couple of genres that have been fairly well-trod, but was so well written they seemed fresh and propulsive. Helen and Edith were likeable and relatable, and the prose was direct but enjoyable and descriptive. The use of magic was well thought out. I thought the short length benefited the book, it made its points and got in and out.

One nitpick is that a lot of the characters' ages seemed off. Chronologically they were mid-20s, but it feels like Helen was written as older.

The thing that stands out most to be is that it's written so well it leaves you wanting more, but also explains to you why the story's a closed loop, and shouldn't continue beyond what was written.

Even though Helen knew the end, it's not going to stop me from speculating that their story after the book plays out differently. Hey, …

Napoleon (Paperback, 2015, Penguin Books) 4 stars

This was most interesting to me as a study of leadership style. I see micromanagement as a character flaw, but Roberts argues that Napoleon could often focus on insignificant details and still get major things done. I’m not sure if it’s in spite of, or because of. Napoleon’s relationship with common soldiers was also very interesting, he seemed to strike just the right balance of relatability and distance to inspire fierce loyalty.

Assessing Napoleon as a ruler, there’s some contradiction between deep social conservativism and desire to move the country forward. The Napoleonic Code, as an example, was a progressive reform that set France’s legal system on a more modern rationalist course. At the same time, it centralized power and brought things more under his direct control.

I found myself wondering sometimes what things were like for the common soldier, and how you would hype yourself up to fight the …

History of My Brief Body (2020, Two Dollar Radio) 4 stars

The youngest ever winner of the Griffin Prize mines his personal history in a brilliant …

Beautifully Written, Requires Close Reading

4 stars

What struck me most was that I had to read this in a different way than I ordinarily read. Ordinarily reading for me is relaxing, flowing and almost dissociative, here I felt like I had to engage my full attention and engage carefully with each sentence. I had to go slow, frequently re-read, and look up concepts, as if I were back in college.

I read this way because the sentences were very dense. Belcourt is a poet who writes like a poet, and he shows an admirable trust in his readers to pick up oblique, multilayered concepts without a lot of hand-holding. I'm not sure what it means that the book was most direct when talking about sex. The most difficult part to me was teasing out what was uniquely NDN and what was just the general human experience.

The major theme was joy and utopia as a reaction …