Reliance, Illinois

One night, I had finished my book but wasn’t ready to go to sleep, yet. And, I didn’t have any books or magazines upstairs that I hadn’t read. TW suggested I read the book she just finished, Reliance, Illinois. I didn’t really want to. It looked and sounded like a western. I don’t really do westerns. TW said it wasn’t. Not really. So I figured what the heck, I could read it for a half hour and if I didn’t like it, I’d just start a new book the next day.

I liked it. It wasn’t a western. There were suffragists!

Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe

I was worried about Georgia. Anyone who tries to write a novel about O’Keeffe is taking a big chance. Good thing she did. I found myself nodding my head thinking, “I hope it really happened that way.” and at other times sighing and saying, “I hope that’s not how it happened.” and at others just really enjoying the story.

Well done.

The Witches of New York

Sassymonkey is the BEST and I’m so glad Ami McKay is her internet girlfriend because it means I was gifted with a signed copy of the Canadian version of The Witches of New York, for Christmas. (The link goes to the American version that is available for pre-order.) MONTHS earlier than I’d have been able to get the American version. Also, SIGNED. WOOT.

I stayed up way too late finishing it the other night because I had to find out how Beatrice got out of the… place she was in… and once I read that part, there wasn’t much left so I figured I should keep reading. And I did and it was awesome.

I loved all of our witches and the supporting cast. Loved Perdu. Loved the spirits (and demons) and dearlies.

I know it’s a silly, tiny little thing that meant very little to the story but I loved the addition of Georgie, towards the end. Nice touch.

I also wouldn’t mind a sequel to this one (even though Ami hasn’t really done sequels.) I mean seriously, NYC — suffragists, mediums, witches, demons — and three very strong, independent female characters. It would be awesome.

Thanks, Sassymonkey (and Ami!)

Life of the Party

Life of the Party: The Remarkable Story of How Brownie Wise Built, and Lost, a Tupperware Party Empire was excellent but it pissed me the hell off. If Earl Tupper was still alive, I’d take my ass down to Costa Rica and tell him off.

Dumb ass.

(It also made me think about Tupperware and home party sales people and stuff a lot more than I expected it too, lol. I might have also, almost, considered having a Tupperware party.)

Miss Cayley’s Adventures

I couldn’t resist checking out Miss Cayley’s Adventures when I saw it on the library shelf last week (or was it the week before?) Written in the late 1800s and features one of the first female detectives. This is right up my alley, right?

And, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Lois was smart and daring and (gasp!) and adventuress!

Memories Flow in Our Veins: Forty Years of Women’s Writing from CALYX

TW bought Memories Flow in Our Veins: Forty Years of Women’s Writing from CALYX at Wild Iris on Independent Bookstore Day. Thank goodness because, as I previously mentioned, we had no books to read. Heh.

I really enjoyed this collection. The poetry was particularly good.

How to Grow Up

I’m a Michelle Tea fan. My Michelle T. is a Michelle Tea fan. The two Michelle’s have a lot of personality traits in common. So, I was excited to read How to Grow Up and equally excited for my Michelle T. to read it.

I don’t think either of us were disappointed.

Speaking for myself, I don’t exactly love all of the traits the grown up Michelle Tea has but I have a lot of respect for how she DID grow up and the fact that she owns her grown up addictions and decisions.

PS. Mutha Magazine is fabulous.

Frog Music

I never know what to expect when I read Emma Donoghue – I either love her books or hate them and it’s often the ones everyone else loves that I do not love. Frog Music turned out to be a book that I really enjoyed though a lot of other people seem to have not enjoyed it nearly as much. Whatever.

She did a nice job with the story of Jenny Bonnet and a nice job with Blanche’s story, too. I liked it.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

When you’re 53ish and reading Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl you find yourself wanting to give away all of your crap and move to Philly and hang out with your punk/goth kid and listen to all of the punk/goth music for awhile and do nothing else at all.

And then you might feel like after your kid is sick of you and you’re sick of Philly that it would be a good time to move onto the Pacific Northwest and hang out with another kid and see if you can figure out where all the cool indie musicians hang out and just listen to whatever it is that might be cool now.

At which point you realize that you don’t actually know what kinds of indie music might be cool and whether there is any cool indie music going on anywhere because you’re old now and you have all of these responsibilities and you have dogs, for godsakes (though Carrie has dogs, too, now… which by the way, the almost last chapter of the book comes at you from nowhere and you won’t be prepared for what happens and it might make you feel kind of ill and stuff… just warning you. You should still read the book… where was I?)

Oh yea, which then causes you to think maybe you should just put the book down, turn Sleater-Kinney up really loud and make a zine, which causes you to laugh your ass off because you can’t even manage to write anything decent on your own blog (or anywhere) or paint in your art journal or really do anything except work and think about mortgages and crap.

Which causes you to kind of be annoyed that you missed all of the cool stuff that happened in the 90s because you were busy raising kids and working, working, working — always working.

Whatever. You still have Sleater-Kinney to listen to. And there are some old zines on your bookshelves (or if you’re me, they’re packed in a box but will be back on your bookshelves someday…assuming the mortgage all works out, lol.) And you can listen to your goth/punk kids’ music any damn time you want and even sometimes listen to her playlist for her DJ gig. And… that will be enough. Mostly.

Read Carrie’s book. And listen to some Sleater-Kinney.

Peyton Place

It’s pretty interesting to read (or re-read, in my case) Peyton Place now. Such a scandalous book 60 years ago, now … not so much. Even more interesting to re-read it after reading Unbuttoning of America (which is what led me down the Peyton Place path. lol.

I totally enjoyed reading it — probably more this time around than the first time 35ish years ago.