book reviews, crafts, cheap things…

Posts tagged “work

Book Review: It’s Alright. A Truckface Anthology. Vol 1. By LB Briggs

Photo on 3-25-14 at 8.22 PM #2

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.

recently re-read: Cool For You by Eileen Myles

I first read this one years ago, back when queer lit for me was merely a tool for obtaining the facts of (queer) life. Tumblr wasn’t even a zygote. Re-read as a more stable adult (or something), I still like it, maybe for different reasons. The first time around I missed how great Myles is at bringing together concepts/ideas that you really didn’t think were connected, and it’s basically a long rambling story that you actually want to listen to. There’s memory, lineage, institutions of various types, work, gender, family…

This isn’t really a review; just more of a reminder that this book exists, is quite engaging, and does some neat stuff with structure and language. I think it’s out of print, but maybe a library near you has a copy, and it seems that you can buy a used copy on amazon, or maybe even from a real live local bookstore.

Book Review: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean in : women, work, and the will to lead

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


Book Review: Psychiatric Tales by Darryl Cunningham

Psychiatric tales : eleven graphic stories about mental illness

This is a series of short graphic vignettes about Cunningham’s time working in a Psychiatric hospital. They were written both to explain the work that Cunningham did there– and to destigmatize various kinds of mental illness. A variety of people’s mental situations are described, including Cunningham’s own at the end. Most of them are pretty damn stark. It’s an important collection, gripping at times, and I read through it in about half an hour.

The book was made to destigmatize mental illness, but I still felt like there was some objectification going on. Like maybe the most “extreme” cases were focused on?  I am wondering if my “objectification alarm” was simply going off because any discussion of mental illness whatsoever in our culture is so rare? I’m note sure yet.

But I like Cunningham’s drawing style and this graphic novel is unique in subject matter so maybe you should check it out.

Here’s where you can find a copy at your nearest library

Short book/lets

The Book Bindery by Sarah Royal

Product Image

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!