Skip to main content

Hiking, Plus Also Margaret Atwood Is Not Terrible

I went to the library last night.



I am now ONE book away from my checkout limit of 30 (did I mention how I haven't been reading at all? yeah? okay), but I'm returning Cheryl Strayed's Wild today, so that'll completely solve that problem.

Speaking of that book, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I got as far as "It had begun before I even imagined it, precisely four years, seven months, and three days before, when I'd stood in a little room at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and learned that my mother was going to die." 

THAT IS WHAT YOU WRITE WHEN YOU ARE A TERRIBLE WRITER. Or writing a book liked by moms who're shopping in the book department at Target.

And yeah. Admittedly, that's only like four pages in. But do you know how many really really good books are out there written by really really good writers? Yeah. So no.

So the opposite of that book is The Handmaid's Tale, which is teetering between pretty damn amazing, and allllso maybe mainly political sci-fi intended to scare people? So I keep going back and forth about whether I like it. 

I like the writing, which surprised me because I read The Blind Assassin when I was like 16 and retained NOTHING from it, and then I read The Penelopiad because I ship Odysseus/Penelope like whoa, except then I hated The Penelopiad, because Margaret Atwood was all "Feminism! Reinterpretation! Penelope and Odysseus no!" and Penelope waited for Odysseus for 20 years and loves him because he is the BEST and yeah, maybe he slept with some sorceress ladies on his way home BUT MAYBE YOU WOULD TOO and he kept trying to GET home is the point, because PENELOPE is the best, and then you picture them as Sean Bean and maybe Dana Delany and it all becomes even better.

I super-wish I knew more about the culture when Handmaid's Tale was published, because it probably seemed way more likely to happen then than now. Roe v Wade had been 12 years ago at that point, as opposed to before we -- living, breathing, awesome human beings -- were born, and I thiiink that's when abortion clinics were being bombed? Because I have vague, vague memories of that being an Issue in the culture. Doctors being shot and clinics being bombed. Not that Handmaid's Tale is really about abortion (not at the halfway point, anyway), but it's more on the broader topic of women's autonomy over their bodies, and if their body determines them or not.

p.s. I'm on episode 8 of Orange Is the New Black, and you all need to watch it so we can talk about it omg.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

A synonym for 'Neanderthal' is 'boorish,' which just isn't very nice

So this article came out, which isn't really groundbreaking at all, but it happens to have been published the day after I watched part of the NOVA special "Becoming Human," so it's been on my brain anyway.

I was checking out a book a while ago called Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans, and it was all "Oh dude, our ancestors probably didn't even LOOK at Neanderthals. No way. 'Cause they would've been like, RIDICULOUSLY ugly."

This book was published in 2010. And what came out this year? DNA Shows Humans Found Non-Humans Irresistible

That's right. Your lady ancestor, at some point, sidled up to a Neanderthal gentleman and said "Hey. How's it goin'?


Because all non-Africans ('cause the Africans stayed put instead of traipsing around becoming the Don Juans of prehistoric Europe) have 1-4% Neanderthal DNA. So the above scenario DEFINITELY happened. Which is disheartening NOT because of my huge Neanderth…