A compilation with such a narrow theme runs the risk of getting repetitive. Different art styles helps save this one, but it's nothing exceptional. Th...moreA compilation with such a narrow theme runs the risk of getting repetitive. Different art styles helps save this one, but it's nothing exceptional. The notable thing about this collection is the issue it's addressing... being bisexual and how to fit into the spectrum of sexuality that society accepts. Many of the creators experience the same struggles, but there is some variety in attitude and approach. (less)
I'm not familiar enough with the work of Patti Smith and Robert Maplethorpe to fully appreciate this book. It was interesting and painted a pretty pic...moreI'm not familiar enough with the work of Patti Smith and Robert Maplethorpe to fully appreciate this book. It was interesting and painted a pretty picture of a particular era of New York. (less)
A few essays were fabulous, and these tended to be written by longterm residents. The essays written by visiting authors rarely seemed to capture the...moreA few essays were fabulous, and these tended to be written by longterm residents. The essays written by visiting authors rarely seemed to capture the soul of the state.
An interesting anthology though, and worth reading for a few choice selections.(less)
I am trying to be a bit better about dropping books that I don't want to finish. I'm a little disappointed in this one since I generally enjoy Antonia...moreI am trying to be a bit better about dropping books that I don't want to finish. I'm a little disappointed in this one since I generally enjoy Antonia Fraser's work.
As other reviews note, this book is very fractured and poorly organized. It is also quite dated and relies on being British? Or at least the first chunk of the book, constantly aluding to a historical heroine I had never heard of, assumes knowledge of Celtic heroines. I won't judge an author for writing to a specific audience, and it seems that this book was prompted by the rise of Margaret Thatcher and the novelty of having another woman in power.
Mostly I just got annoyed by the frequent non sequitors and tangents. Throughout a chapter on Cleopatra, Fraser would bounce around to other eras or locales, but rarely seemed to give context for the references.
I enjoy reading history, and in particular, history of women. But this book kept losing me. The writing style is quite dry despite much of (at least the early chapters) being primarily legend rather than fact, and the poor organization of the information left me spinning.
I'll keep this and give it another try, but judging by other similar reviews, this is harly her best work.(less)
I knew next to nothing about Juarez and the serious ramp up in violence over the last 5 years. The name sounded vaguely familiar, but it took time to...moreI knew next to nothing about Juarez and the serious ramp up in violence over the last 5 years. The name sounded vaguely familiar, but it took time to realize I recognized the name from all the femicide coverage that had coverage in feminist press. (More on that later!)
The author's first-hand accounts of violence and every day life in Juarez create a conflicted and complicated view of a conflicted and complicated city. Torn apart first by cartels, then by a culture of lawlessness, Powell shows that hope is not lost in Juarez, it's often all the city has.
Powell's 'in' to the city is his contacts on the Indios, the city soccer team that recently advanced to the Primera league. An American reader may try to compare this to the NFL experience, and Powell calls out some key differences. The Indios season is the framework Powell uses to describe his experiences in Juarez, his travels with them open his eyes to other cities in Mexico, and his friends tend to be pulled from the staff and fans of the team.
Much of the book is spent comparing Juarez to its sister city, El Paso, just across the border. Anyone who is anyone from Juarez has fled to El Paso, including the mayor. The corruption Juarez faces seems to be allowed and encouraged by the Mexican government and its involvement with the drug cartels terrorizing the citizens.
I learned while reading the book that Robert Andrew Powell had also written a Kindle Single about the 'femicide' in Juarez. Having read the first few chapters of This Love is Not for Cowards it became apparent that the violence is ubiquitous. And there is an entire chapter where Powell makes this argument and focuses on the foolishness of some of the reporters of the femicide. He walks a fine line, but does manage to convey his disgust with the deaths of the women while still educating the reader with the hard numbers of murders in the city. It's not a femicide so much as a genocide, and the focus on the women's death internationally allows us all to ignore the gruesomeness of the reality.
The book is eye-opening and unsettling, but it also shows a lot of heart. As horrifying as the violence is, the Indios are the little team that could, surprising the reader with their last second successes. Powell keeps you rooting for the characters you're introduced to, the team he follows, and the city he lives in.(less)
Huh. Well, that book was not bad as far as 'celebrity autobiographies written by ghost writers' go.
I assume that a good chunk of the book is hyperbol...moreHuh. Well, that book was not bad as far as 'celebrity autobiographies written by ghost writers' go.
I assume that a good chunk of the book is hyperbole, but it was reasonably enjoyable. I can appreciate Jenna Jameson's willingness to cop to her background and not be ashamed of her work. Much of the problem with pornography is in fact the stigma that people place on it, and the shame many of the participants take on.
The book shows the flaws in the system, and shows how it preys on the weak. Fortunately, by her account, Jenna Jameson manages to claw her way out of the problems (mostly of her own making) and become a success. Her single-minded obsession with money keeps her going, and the support of her fucked up family saves her a few times.
It's a trashy book, but lighter on the celebrity gossip than many of these sorts of tell-alls. There's a decent amount of graphic sex clearly meant to titillate her fanboys, but it's not constant. Just as often are explanations about how the adult film industry works. Overall pretty interesting.(less)
I have a difficult time judging this book because it evokes such strong emotions for me. I wasn't raised during the timeframe the author talks about,...moreI have a difficult time judging this book because it evokes such strong emotions for me. I wasn't raised during the timeframe the author talks about, but my experiences with my mother going crazy in front of my eyes are painfully similar. Madness, it seems, is a lot less unique than you'd expect.(less)
I didn't buy what this girl was selling. Couldn't finish it, I found her pronouncements so mainstream and not worth a book. What an insufferable narra...moreI didn't buy what this girl was selling. Couldn't finish it, I found her pronouncements so mainstream and not worth a book. What an insufferable narrator.(less)
This was one of the very first indie comics I ever picked up, at my very first SPX. Little did I know that this introduction to autobio comics by a hi...moreThis was one of the very first indie comics I ever picked up, at my very first SPX. Little did I know that this introduction to autobio comics by a hilarious (but awkward!) artist would end up with me loving the genre and hitting the creator on roller skates.
Monica Gallagher has immaculately applied red lipstick, 2 currently running webcomics, has been featured in a couple of compliations, and has illustrated a book for Oni Press, Glitter Kiss. But her strength and humor shines in her autobio comics that never fail to make me nod knowingly and giggle. She has a way of nailing the universal insecurities of awkward girls everywhere.
Boobage is a book about the obvious, but specifically about the author's lack of boobage. I don't play on the A-team, but her hilarious observations were still familiar even to those of us deeper in the alphabet. It's a book about adolescence, self-consciousness and body acceptance, and I'd recommend it to teenage girls, teenage girls' parents, people who were once teenage girls, people who have ever wanted to date someone who was once a teenage girl, and anyone who's ever appreciated a nice set of tits. This book is what it's like to be in a girl's head, particularly if she's been bra-shopping recently.(less)
I was totally enthralled in this biography of Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter. I've spent a good chunk of my life surrounded by Jefferson - living...moreI was totally enthralled in this biography of Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter. I've spent a good chunk of my life surrounded by Jefferson - living in Virgina and visiting Monticello, attending a HS named after him, spending time at the University he founded, and then attending his alma mater - so I have a certain fondness for the man. But I also always want to know more about the women, and you don't hear much about Martha Jefferson Randolph because she wasn't like the vocal Abigail Adams or the folk hero Dolley Madison.
The main critique others have of this book, and I agree with it, is that the book is less about Jefferson Randolph herself than it is about the better documented people surrounding her. She was diligent about maintaining her father's legacy, but did little to keep track of her own.
Most sources cited are letters to Martha or about Martha, or more general societal texts about the world she lived in. It makes much of the biographical details conjecture, particularly when the author tries to discuss Jefferson Randolph's motivations and feelings about her situation. Although it's a failing, I don't think it's a terrible one, nor does it seem to misrepresent the woman the book is about. (Would Martha agree? Hard to say.)
I would hestitate to say this is the definitive book of Martha Jefferson Randolph's life, but I don't know that there ever will be one with the sources available. However, it's certainly a solidly researched book about a woman in unique circumstances, and a time when women's lives weren't necessarily well-documented.
I found the book enjoyable, and I felt that the author did a wonderful job developing personalities of the principal people in Jefferson Randolph's life. More conjecture based on slim sources perhaps, but the characterizations of the crazy family members were what made the book enjoyable despite a rather dry topic.
Worth a read if you're interested in the lifestyles and tribulations of Virginian women during a time when the state was struggling with the institution of slavery morally and economically. The troubles created by slavery as noted in this book make me wonder about the effect of cognitive dissonance and the motivations of the Civil War in Virginia. (less)