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reading tiger

Reading and Listening, let's get this over with early so I can take a nap edition

This week's earworm: Smash Mouth. Dammit. With bonus minor election coverage reference.


I finished The Small Backs of Children. I remain ambivalent. I am glad I read it, I am not sure I like it, I am very not sure if it succeeded, damn it's nice to see someone take on that particular thematic material, yes I understand why all the artists are all over the book now, I am still not sure I like it, but it's definitely worth a read.

The Eastern Europe stuff actually threw me out of the book briefly, but I got over it. Probably it suffers for having been read in close proximity to Jessa Crispin's book, which deals with real-life Eastern European cities rather than fictional ones (fictional ones that are actually possibly fictional, that is, you'll see what I mean when you read the book).

And I think the poor performance artist is treated very shoddily. I know it's part of the theme -- all the women in the book suffer dreadful things. Still.

Anyway. I finished it, I'm now reading The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, which does suffer from equating losing weight with getting healthier and the belief that if you cook and eat more unprocessed foods you'll naturally shed pounds. I am a living testament to the fact that this is a lie, so, uh. But I sure do enjoy the food I eat a lot more than I did before! And I'm probably healthier, too, although the blood test results I got back this week suggest that I really should exercise a bit more and no, slinging cases of books around a bookstore once or twice a week does not count. But I digress.

(Actually, funny, I learned to cook "whole foods," mostly veg at the time, because I was trying to drop my cholesterol levels. It didn't work, and I have maintained my slightly-high numbers my entire adult life. Which indicates that exercise may not make much of a difference either. They're too low for drugs, too. Liminality is a way of life, baby.)

Anyway, I picked up a couple books at the bookstore that I am looking forward to delving into alongside the above book -- Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, which I am hoping will be a bracing antidote to didactic books like Eats, Shoots and Leaves, and Black Deutschland, a novel about a gay black American in 1980s Berlin, hubba hubba. Also Bullies, in which Our Author confronts his childhood bully, now president of the East Bay Rats, in the midst of the rapidly-gentrifying Oakland of the last 10 years. How strange to think that I moved to "pre-gentrified" Oakland. But I know the rent they're charging in my old neighborhood now, and I think I need to make a couple thank-yous for having stable housing even through divorce.

Also a zillion children's books. Finished Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, which is a super-cute middle-grade epistolary novel starring a Latina girl from L.A. who has relocated to rural California with her down-on-their-luck family. The Mom is a freelance writer who's (barely) supporting her family by writing dumb service articles, so you know we all relate and that I giggled when I read Mom's refrigerator to-do list out loud. I'm looking forward to a bunch of graphic novels (Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Rollergirl, Lumberjanes 2, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel 4) and, out-loud-wise, The Cheshire Cheese Cat, which is apparently a parody of Dickens starring cats (and mice), and which narrowly won out over The Hobbit because the main cat character has a bent tail just like our cat Crook.

Whew. Also I've been on deadline. And migrainey. That's basically the first time in decades the two have coincided, lucky me. (Usually I have the post-stress migraine thing instead, but I ate erratically over the weekend and skipped lunch entirely on Monday and that was a very bad idea. My glucose is fine, by the way, thank you for your concern.)

I think I am going to take a nap now.


Rollergirl and the Phoebe and Her Unicorn series are both big hits at our house (especially since we met Dana Simpson at WorldCon last year, so Dan got to buy right from her and get them signed. These are formative moments.) We have the Chickens book, since it is written by a local, but right now the kids are suffering from "mom suggested it, it must not be cool" disease. Tweens. *eyeroll*

Maybe I should bribe their friends for endorsements; I initially only got them to be excited about Rollergirl because it was blurbed by Raina Telgemeier, whose books are wonderful but probably work better for older kids.