Skip to main content

August, you were CRAZY. But I love you anyway.

I read a ridiculous number of books in August. Otherwise known as "nine."

And since I've been finding it hard to update the blog this week, let's do that fun thing where I outline said books quickly, which will maybe hopefully perhaps be translated into longer reviews, as I genuinely liked many of these.

Rose of No Man's Land, Michelle Tea. I reviewed this one. Michelle Tea's a damn brilliant writer. You should read her books. I think some people likened this to Catcher in the Rye for ladies, only the heroine complains much less, so you Philistines who don't like CITR will probably like this.

The Gifts of the Jews, Thomas Cahill. The title of this is just weird. Louis CK said "Jew" is one of those words that can sound really racist just depending on your tone, so I feel like I have to be cautious when saying it out loud and when a book title uses it, that increases the danger enormously. ANYWAY. This is about how the Jewish people (ah, nice) and their worldview influenced all of Western society. It's okay, but I vastly preferred Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization.

Frances Willard: Her Life and Work, Ray Strachey. Oh, Ray. You're the tops. This was a thoroughly accessible look into the cow-taming WCTU president we now all know and love. I tend to disregard biographies from the early 20th and previous centuries, but that apparently is just me being an idiot. It might not have an index, but it's still great. And has firsthand sources! Huzzah.

Love Story, Erich Segal. Well. I just really really liked this.

Passions Between Women: British Lesbian Culture 1668-1801, Emma Donoghue. I think we've established that I read in the shower. I was gchatting with my roommate's girlfriend and she said "I saw that in the bathroom and went 'Yup. Must be Alice's." WHATEVER EVERYONE WOULD LIKE THIS BOOK (lies). No, there's a way to make this subject boring, and that way is called Dangerous Intimacies: Toward a Sapphic History of the British Novel, and Emma Donoghue does not do this. This is one book of many that furthers the thought process of how to consider past lesbian culture, what constitutes a lesbian at a time when the term does not necessarily exist, and how did society as a whole treat this type.

Like that, I guess?

Inferno, Dan Brown. I mean. I dunno, you guys. It really is entertaining. Just ignore the bad writing. Just ignore it. Read for plot. Which is fun.

No Wind of Blame, Georgette Heyer. This was my first Heyer, and it was kind of a big disappointment. When I found out who did it and how, my reaction was essentially "Oh. Okay." There was one interesting character, and I think Heyer knew it, because she kept having her pop up. I really hope her romances are way better.

Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir, Beth Ditto & Michelle Tea. Beth Ditto, lead singer of the band Gossip wrote a book! With Michelle Tea helping! Hurray! It's really short, and even if you don't know who Beth Ditto is (LISTEN TO GOSSIP'S LATEST ALBUM ON SPOTIFY), it's worth a read.

And Beth's kinda awesome.

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood. This was really great. Really...really great. Which I don't know normally say about books with a more didactic slant, but Atwood somehow did it. I think I shall attempt a genuine post on this one.

There's no way that level of reading is being maintained in September, but GOOD JOB, AUGUST. There wasn't even any YA in there. How ridiculous.


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…