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Showing posts from November, 2015

December: The Last Scrabble for Reading Stats

How's your reading for the year coming? I hope well, because tomorrow is December and the holiday rush means THERE'S NO TIME, PEOPLE.


Hahaha jk stats don't mean anything just enjoy what you're reading. 

I feel like this year, I've focused a lot on non-fiction and graphic novels/comics, and I'm extremely happy about that choice. I'd never read any Sandman before this year! It was out of my life! The sheer insanity of that. Although, if I'd read it when I was a teenager, I probably would've been horrified by discussions of sex, drugs, lesbians, etc, so maybe this is coming at just the right time. 

True to form, I'm in the middle of a bunch of books. Right now we've got:

Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth Century Americans: A Mormon Example. DON'T JUDGE ME.



Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time.This is for church book group and it's the easiest Karen Armstrong I've ever read.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Should probably finish this. It'…

books I'm thankful for this year

Thanksgiving, aka The Best Holiday of All of Our Holidays, is almost upon us. Let's all take this moment to remember that Jimmy Kimmel sketch where Meghan Trainor hawked a fake Thanksgiving album:


But also! Also -- let's remember books read this year for which we are thankful. The following are my favorites for 2015 (so far). All these books have stuck with me in some positive way, and I'm glad I read all of them.

Murder by Candlelight: The Gruesome Slayings Behind Our Romance with the Macabre
I haven't written a review of this yet, but IMAGINE A BOOK that talks about Regency murders and links them up with how the culture around them reacted and it all culminates in the much-later Ripper murders and it all gives you a greater appreciation for the Romantics who you maybe have made fun of a lot in the past. I like this book.

Sandman
I AM SO THANKFUL FOR SANDMAN. I'm on volume 8 in the series, and despite being in a state of decluttering my life and getting rid of what boo…

Old Movies You Should Probably Just Watch Right Now

You know how sometimes you look at the You of 5, 10, 15 years ago and can sometimes barely recognize yourself? Or you think how the people who've met you in the years since that time have no idea that certain things used to be The Most Important to you?



From about ages 10 to 20, I was very, very into old movies. It started with PBS showing them when I lived out in the country and we only got seven channels because of some malarkey about satellite dishes not working out there.

They'd show them late, and that's how I first saw Bringing Up Baby, the classic Katharine Hepburn/Cary Grant comedy, and arguably their best. I also caught The Philadelphia Story that way, and both of these spawned a Katharine Hepburn obsession that culminated in my friend and me starting this community.

I STILL LOVE THESE MOVIES. But our culture has switched to Netflix, so I basically never see them. I am, however, reading a book about 19th century murders, and it reminded me of my brief but intense ob…

How Books Can Save Us

As we have now seen for millennia, literature can be the sane voice of reason at times when anxiety, fear, and panic threaten to lead us into actions we might someday regret.

I have great amounts of love for also known as middle grade fiction. This genre has a special knack for stating an idea both succinctly and clearly. 
The recent tragedy in France made me think of a specific middle grade book series: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. For those unfamiliar, it's semi-gothic, has a very particular and excellent prose style, and consists of 13 books, all about the three Baudelaire orphans.
The thing I remembered from the series is that in one of the later books, the Baudelaire siblings are met with a difficult decision: they can use underhanded tactics to capture one of the many villains out to get them, or...they can choose to not. Every. Other. Children's book I've read would have had no problem with them capturing a villain and using them as leverage to …

The Time Fetch: Time is stolen! And also the world might end.

The Time Fetch is a delightful romp through ponderings of atoms, time, and Christmas cookies. 

I snatched it from someone's table at Book Expo America last year (me: "Can I take this?" guy: "um...maybe?" me: "ok cool" *takes it*) and it's been sitting on my shelf ever since. UNTIL NOW, when I read it and loved it.

So there are these little time-gnat/fairy things and they steal tiny bits of time. Not so you'd really notice. It's just that when time seems to go faster than normal and you are shocked it is already 2 o'clock, and how did that happen so quickly?--time-gnats. (note: they are not called time-gnats in the book, but it how they are best described)


At a certain time of year, namely, the solstice, they go back into their home (the time fetch), which is a little rock/walnut-type thing, and they wait to be picked up. But if someone disturbs the time fetch, like an idiot teenage boy named Edward who didn't do his homework assignm…

Suffragette: "War is the only language men listen to."

I wasn't going to see Suffragette. When it was first announced, I was leap-in-the-air excited, and then as time passed and disappointing reports kept trickling in, that enthusiasm waned and waned until my only motivation for going was a friend asking + a dull desire to learn more about the British women's suffrage movement.

I'm extremely glad I saw it.

My expectations were The Lowest because most of the articles I've seen about Suffragette either commented on the whitewashing involved, or on the hideous PR debacle surrounding the Pankhurst quote "I'd rather be a rebel than a slave" t-shirts the cast was photographed wearing. (Does Pankhurst say this quote in the movie? Yes, but it's in context, and therefore not horrifying)

I have to do more reading to verify how accurate this portrayal of the situation was, but Suffragette gives an on-the-ground view of what the actions and consequences were for the everyday women involved in the suffrage movement in En…

The Creation of Patriarchy, Part II: Leslie Knope GIF Edition

Continuing on with Gerda Lerner's The Creation of Patriarchy, her 1986 attempt to discover how we arrived at the current patriarchal system that OPPRESSES OUR VERY SOULS and does things like make the default character on Grand Theft Auto a dude with no lady option unless you log into your online account, which is bullshit. It also does a lot of other things, most of which are very important. The Grand Theft Auto one was maybe not the most important. But it came up this weekend. So there we are.




Lerner's book is really hard and I am here to read it for you and give you nice quotey bits that make you feel like you've learned something.

Chapter 2 is "A Working Hypothesis." This begins with:

The basic assumption with which we must start any theorizing about the past is that men and women built civilization jointly.


She basically says that yes, man probably hunted, and woman was "the inventor of clay and woven vessels, by means of which the tribe's surpluses cou…

Curious Wine by Katherine V. Forrest: Ladies lovin' ladies

We don't talk about lesbian literature enough. Because in the grand scheme of things, there isn't a lot of it. But Curious Wine, originally published in 1983 by Naiad Press, was one of the bigger 1980s lesbian novels.



Katherine V. Forrest is mainly known for her lesbian detective series, starring policewoman Kate Delafield, but Curious Wine and An Emergence of Green are her big standalone novels.

This book is the gayest. A bunch of ladies sitting around a cabin, talking about Emily Dickinson. Then two of them lez out. Theeee end.



But for reals though, Forrest's books are very much of their time, and you've gotta take this book for what it is if you're going to enjoy it. If you read it in 2015, it comes off extremely dated and very reactionary to the culture of the time. Suffice it to say, in both of Forrest's standalone novels, there's an evil male and a rape scene that reaffirms one of the women's decision to be with another woman.


Reading LGBT books from …