March 23, 2009
I’ve set a goal for myself to read 100 books in 2009. I read 80 in 2008, so I figured I can step it up. I need to hit 8.3 books a month, and so far I’m more or less on track.
Best Music Writing 2008 (DaCapo) edited by Nelson George and Daphne Carr (library)
Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost & Found in the Loony Bin by Norah Vincent (library)
Recommended that I’m interested in:
yes means yes edited by jaclyn friedman and jessica valenti
Atlas of the Human Heart by Ariel Gore
Lipshitz six, or two angry blondes by T Cooper
The Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
Irene Nemirovsky’s Suite Francaise
1. Black Girl/White Girl: Joyce Carol Oates (library) my thoughts: i was not in love with this book. in fact, i kind of hated it and forced myself to finish it. i hated the self-absorption of the white narrator and her total failure at grasping white privilege.
2. Indignation: Philip Roth (autographed!! purchased at Common Good Books in St. Paul, MN) my thoughts: short but excellent, Roth remains one of my favorite living American writers.
3. The Best American Non-Required Reading 2008: edited by Dave Eggers, Intro by Judy Blume (gift from my mother) my thoughts: there is something for everyone in here.
4. Everyman: Philip Roth (library) my thoughts: less intense than Indignation, but still pretty good. I don’t know why stories about aging, Jewish guys are so enjoyable to me, but they are.
5. The Best American Short Stories 2008: edited by Salman Rushdie (gift to my partner KC from my mom) my thoughts: again, something for everyone in this collection. Loved it.
6. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For: Alison Bechdel (purchased at Common Good Books) my thoughts: DTWOF and Bechdel have saved my life too many times to count. This collection is outstanding– a great summary for people who haven’t read every strip. if you haven’t read Fun Home yet, you’re missing out. Bechdel is amazing.
7. DeadEye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut (mom gave it to us when she cleaned out some old books) my thoughts: meh, it was fine. i found it compelling, but I wasn’t in love.
8. The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving (mom gave it to us when she cleaned out some old books) my thoughts: damn, I really do love John Irving although there is some squick-out factor with regards to incest.
9. Mother Night: Kurt Vonnegut (mom gave it to us) my thoughts: intense, but a good read.
*started The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut but hated it so much I put it down…which is rare for me. I usually have to finish a book, even if I hate it.*
10. The Quiet American: Graham Greene (from KC’s personal library) my thoughts: i probably would have been confused if i hadn’t seen the movie, in which Brendan Fraser does not suck.
11. Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood (library) my thoughts: intense in a good way… i had a hard time putting it down.
12. Fledgling by Octavia Butler (library) my thoughts: oh, i can’t believe how much i dug this book! i’ve never been into vampire stories before, but this was unbelievably compelling. i couldn’t put it down.
13. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives by Judith Halberstam (KC’s personal library–gift from me in 2007) my thoughts: amazing. my crush on Halby rages on.
14. I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb (loaned to me by friend Rebecca– 900 freaking pages!!!!) my thoughts: again, i couldn’t put this gigantic thing down. it’s not that i liked it– too many sad things covered to say i liked it–but again, i use the word compelling.
15. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (library) my thoughts: i rented a movie from the library and it had a preview of the movie version, which looked interesting. i wanted to read the book first, so i did. i liked it– i liked the characters, even at the points where they were somewhat unlikeable, except i didn’t like the part that focuses on Moushumi toward the end. I enjoyed the movie but prefer the book.
16. love is a mix tape: life and loss, one song at a time: Rob Sheffield (library) my thoughts: intense, sad, uplifting, sad, glorious. spoke to the music nerd in me almost as much as Joe Meno’s Hairstyles of the Damned (read that if you love music). only this is non-fiction, and wonderful.
17. People of the Book: Geraldine Brooks (loaned to us by KC’s mom) my thoughts: smart and engaging historical fiction that is loosely based on a real thing that happened. i dug it a lot.
18. Color of Violence: The Incite! Anthology by Incite! Women of Color Against Violence (my personal collection) i was recommended this book at an anti-racism/anti sexual violence workshop and it’s full of really amazing, but intense stuff, and can’t be read directly through like a novel… but I definitely recommend it.
19. Queerly Classed: Gay Men & Lesbians Write about Class edited by Susan Raffo (purchased at Quatrefoil Library book sale) my thoughts: This was awesome–and a lot of food for thought for someone who feels as transclassed as I do.
20. Super in the City by Daphne Uviller (library) my thoughts: it was smarter than most “chick lit” and more fun– a quick, easy read.
21. Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Year Disguised As A Man by Norah Vincent (please, get this crap out of my life from eBomb) my thoughts: i want to write a big entry about it– stay tuned.
22. Chaos Theory & Higher Education edited by Dr. Marc Cutright (my personal collection– Dr. C was my boss in grad school) my thoughts: it covered a bunch of stuff I don’t really understand in some ways, but some of it was pretty interesting.
23. Look at Me by Jennifer Egan (library) my thoughts: there was a lot going on in these 400 pages, and there was a really strong lack of resolution– i hate fake-ass resolution, but i also hate wondering why i just read about someone if i have no idea what happened to them. kind of po-mo thoughts on identity but not po-mo enough to really get me thinking.
24. Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo edited by Deborah Siegel & Daphne Uviller (library) my thoughts: oy! I’m going to have to do a whole entry on all the resonant stuff in this book for me. Most of it is nothing new, but there are a few things. Damn, I’m reading faster than I can write about what I’m reading.