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Well, Lesbian Reading Month is a go, but a bit delayed. I had to finish the Peak Oil Survival guide first, and then during some slow time at the store, I ended up finishing two other books, so there’s more male non-fiction than I was hoping for this month. Oh well!
Peak Oil Survival: Preparation for Life After Gridcrash by Aric McKay (128 pages)
Well, I did take a lot of notes, but it wasn’t all I was hoping for. It didn’t really say the important things: how to stay warm in the winter, and most of all, how to get food. That’s what was really lacking. It was okay, but not worth buying. 2.5/5
Things I’ve Learned from Women Who’ve Dumped Me edited by Ben Karlin (240 pages)
Great book to pass the time. One of the main reasons I bought it, though, was for Stephen Colbert’s contribution, and his story turned out to be pretty much just the gag of haivng it edited by his wife, with very little remaining, which was disappointing. The stories are entertaining, though, and well-written. 3.5/5
Other People’s Love Letters by Bill Shapiro (192 pages)
I loved this one. In the same vein as Postsecret and Found, this is a collection of love letters, but they’re not all happy ones. I was grinning like an idiot for some of them, but many were quite sad. It also has convinced me I should get a typewriter, because I love the look of those letters. If you like Found and Postsecret, you’ll probably like this. 4.5/5
On to the lesbian reading!
Another Kind of Love and Love is Where You Find It by Paula Christian (304 pages)
This is two books in one volume, but I’m counting them separately. I decided I’d start off Lesbian Reading Month with some lesbian pulp fiction, so I was very happy to see that the library right across the parking lot from my work had this one. I quite enjoyed them, though the obligatory “Being gay is a mental disease!” were tiresome. 3.5/5
Deliver Us From Evie by M.E. Kerr (192 pages)
This one I whipped through in a day. I like little books sometimes. It’s a sweet story about a farm boy whose sister is a lesbian. Light read, nicely written. I really liked the character of Evie. 4/5
If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho translated by Anne Carson (~50 pages)
This book is technically 416 pages, but it is a collection of all of the fragments of Sappho’s work in the original Greek and the translation on the next page, so half of it doesn’t really count (I can’t read Greek) and many, if not the majority, of the pages would have only a couple words on it. I’m glad I can now say I read all of Sappho’s remaining works, even if one fragment was just “sinful” and another was “rosy-fingered Dawn” (each with a page of its own). My favorite fragment seems nearly complete on its own. Ann Carson’s translation is this:
He seems to me equal to gods that man
whoever he is who sits opposite you
sits and listens close
to your sweet speaking
and lovely laughing–oh it
puts the heart in my chest on wings
for when I look at you, even a moment, no speaking
is left in me
no: tongue breaks and thin
fire is racing under skin
and in eyes no sight and drumming
and cold sweat holds me and shaking
grips me all, greener than grass
I am and dead–or almost
I seem to me.
And another fragment I love (I’m starting it mid-fragment) (square brackets represent missing bits):
]among mortal women, know this
]from every care
]you could release me
]to last all night long
and just one more:
I treat well are the ones who most of all
and others, too. Ah, Sappho. ❤ 5/5
I also bought a few books from a bookstore on Fort street: Shepherd Books.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger for $8
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk for $9
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield for $11
for a total of $29.40 after tax.
Now I’m reading the Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith and have a stack of library books to get through. (There’s a lock-out starting at the library on Sunday! Damnit, library, when will you realize you should pay fairly? Graaagh.)