This anthology was the most enjoyable 360 pages that I’ve read in a long while. At some other point I’ve reviewed Truckface zines on this blog (you can use the little search box up top to find them); I totally dug them then, and my “digging” continues. The anthology includes Truckfaces #7 – #11, and it will make you really happy if you like TMI perzines that are all about, you know, life and growing up and stuff (through a pretty much anarcha-queer, feminst, gender fucking lens).
The content follows LB from working shitty retail and food jobs, all the way up to working in a high school. I could totally relate, as I’ve worked lots of shitty retail and food jobs– and I’ve recently moved up to jobs in high schools and public libraries. It was written in real-time, so there’s all kinds of good messiness. But it’s also really well-written, and you won’t be like “Whaaa, where’d the rest of that sentence go.” Some of the sentences are like, whoa.
A++. Buy a copy from Mend My Dress Press. It’s $19 and totally worth it. But if you can’t handle the $19, you can also get #16 for $3 from Antiquated Future, and probably some of the other ones from other places.
Ahhhhh, this book was kind of awesome!
I hadn’t read a solid sex work memoir in a while– I got this one of the Small Press shelf at Powell’s in Portland. It follows Kenney from kid-hood to broke college student life, to a friend’s relative’s spare room “dungeon” to a fancier dominatrix house to independent work, and later to her exit into a new life.
The writing is upbeat and pretty great. As a reader, you get maybe 20% personal life, and 80% of what she was actually doing as a dominatrix. Yes! You won’t want to put the book down because it reads like good gossip– but it’s quality stuff so you also won’t feel like a drip for spending the whole morning reading it on the couch.
Hey, this book exists and its kind of great. It tells the story of what happens during an impressionable era in the life of Click, a genderqueer kid in Portland, Oregon. If you ever spent any time as a broke young queer punk in a broke young queer punk social scene, this novel may provoke some nostalgia that just kinda settles in a fine layer atop your skin, often lovely, sometimes cringe-worthy. There are bad relationships and hormones and power dynamics and rat pets and living together and more. Lots of us have been there.
The ending didn’t quite exist. I’m assuming there will be a sequel?
I scoffed at this book when I learned about its existence. After all, clearly the rich facebook lady was just trying to make another million.
Luckily, I have a taste for irony. Or, perhaps, a strong interest in books and media that I think will go against my queer-feminist-reallyreallyleftist-worikingclass/poor values system. I got in line for the book with like 300 other people in my library system, got it after a couple of months, and read in in a couple days. I have to admit, the fact that millions of people are reading Lean In means something really good for America. Yep, I said it. And I’m gonna take things even further: It might even be kind of like a Second Sex for the 2013-plastic-pop-internet age.
Sure, the information and inspiration in the book is best suited for college educated white ladies. And sure, it kind of creeps me out that lots of the argument and discussion is poised within a capitalist framework. But that’s how america thinks– that’s what’s on teevee.
Sandberg and her co-writer cite all kinds of sexist injustices both in the “spheres” of work and home, they point out double standards, wage differences, messed up gendered socialization, and way more that leans to inequality in the workplace and beyond. If you’ve taken womens studies 101 you know this stuff– but most people haven’t taken womens studies 101. She even pulls out the “F Word,” and actually identifies herself as a feminist in the penultimate chapter, and has lots of paragraphs explaining why. What other “inspirational bestseller nonfiction” is doing that these days?
Sure, the book has some problems (e.g., I felt like the 2nd half of the book had lots of paragraphs that focused too much on relationships and not enough on the revolution), but it really exceeded my expectations with its good research and straightforward feminism (in a mainstream arena– eek!) that will maybe help people start finally identifying as feminists and standing up for themselves…
Get a copy at your library
The Book Bindery by Sarah Royal
Coming in at almost 100 pages, The Book Bindery is the story of what happens when Sarah takes the “go for whatever job takes you” route of employment upon moving to a new place. In a lot of ways, she captures how truly mundane any job can be; though I have never worked in a book bindery, I have absolutely felt similar feelings of apathy, surprise, obsession, etc. In this mega-zine, you’ll not only learn about the various weirdnesses of the author’s particular employer– you’ll also learn bits about how books get bound. Check it out!
Find a copy here
Wish You Were Me by Myriam Gurba
Wish You Were Me came sometime after Gurba’s previous pretty awesome book of shorter stories, Dahlia Season. It’s a weird little combination of story-lets (The whole thing is 45 pages long), ideas, and poem-like pieces. She’s a super- smart writer– and in this book– ridiculously “OMG did those words really just say what I thought they said.” It’s a dirty little collection about relationships and sex and life and stuff. But it’s maybe not that simple. I can’t really describe it– check it out! Buy a copy here!
I am taking a drawing class at CCSF right now (something I’ve literally wanted to do for years, and was finally able to make the time for) , and am therefore on a bit of a drawing kick. OMG, I’m not super skilled at it, but drawing is awesome. I’ve always been a margin doodler and a cartoon scribbler, but I’m beginning to look at how “good” (i.e. legible and clear) drawings are put together for the first time. Lines, man! It’s an entire secret world.
I grabbed Sophie Crumb Evolution of a Crazy Artist from a shelf at work (a library) because I judged it by its cover and it was big and looked nice. So the big thing you need to know is that Sophie Crumb is R.Crumb’s daughter. He’s a famous comic artist. Dudes really like him. If you read the reviews of this book on Amazon.com, you’ll see that people (seemingly mostly R.Crumb fans) are generally kind of upset about this book, saying that it wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the parental fame.
True, it would be otherwise next to impossible for a female comic artist to get a hardcover retrospective of her work published through WW Norton & Co. There’s a lot more space in the mainstream comics industry for men. duh. But in my mind, the book gets an “A.” It’s a pretty awesome concept. Sophie is a constant drawer, and her parents have archived her lifetime of drawings so far. This book contains the highlights. Read in succession it’s almost kind of biograhy-like, and has qualities ranging from totally weird to sobering. You don’t even need to care about the Crumb family to appreciate this book; it stands nicely on its own. She’s really talented. The style and skill that she already had even by age 12 was totally nuts and well-put-together.
Find a copy at your nearest library here
So I don’t really think it’s reasonable to think about I Love Dick as a typical memoir or novel. It’s, like, some kind of experimental art project? Maybe a paper documentary? I’m being all question-marky because it’s unlike other books I’ve read. It hits lots of clear chords of femaleness and obsession and feminism and failure– and lots of distorted chords of art-life, maybe love, and some other stuff– but the structure of it all is somewhat other-worldly. There’s second person narration that’s simple to follow– but the real brunt of the book is delivered through letters (written in the first person by Kraus (or her very similar narrator!?)), and then more letters– but kind of in a memoir-ish form– that are about artists and theorists and writers (it gets very deep into stuff that I don’t know a bunch about). Also, there’s the foreword and the afterword, which are both pretty important to read…
Though officially classified as fiction, I Love Dick is about real people and (I assume) real events. I figured this out late. About halfway though the book I figured that maybe I should Google the names of some of the characters just-cuz– and sure enough they were actual known people with their own wikipedia entries and stuff. Knowing this made Kraus’s project a little more omg.
It took me maybe a week to read I love Dick— and with the pace I’ve been reading at lately, it felt like years. The well-worn library tome would be sitting right next to my lazy body, and I would get up and walk across the room to get some magazine I didn’t care about instead. Not that I Love Dick sucks. It’s fucking rich with thought and research and experience. There are tons of literary allusions that I didn’t get (It reminded me of trying to read Kathy Acker’s books that I’ve been stockpiling because I know they’re important– but that I find obscure and hard to understand all the references in). I was particularly drawn to the part on Hannah Wilke and female/feminist artists– Kraus makes some good points about how sexist stuff can be.
Find a copy HERE
Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love, & Fashion
I really like feminist anthologies. This one was not an exception! Hot & Heavy contains a bunch of essays by a broad spectrum of people, who have a wide variety of takes on fatness in life as a girl/woman. The essays are a grand tie-dye of personal, political, sexy, academic, fun, and powerful. Though each essay does center on the theme of fatness, each expresses different angles and takes on it– so there’s not a narrow central agenda.
Paralleling how I feel about all anthologies that I read, I found some pieces to be stronger or more captivating than others– but none were bad reading (and who’s to say that you or someone else won’t love those particular pieces?). Also, the anthology is well balanced and assembled– nothing feels out of place.
Recommended for anyone with a body.
find a copy here