My first manga style book I've ever read and it drove me a little batty to be reading 'backwards'. I had heard about this artist online, so learning mMy first manga style book I've ever read and it drove me a little batty to be reading 'backwards'. I had heard about this artist online, so learning more about her story from her own perspective was interesting. ...more
I made the mistake of reading a review before reading the book. The reviewer's issues with the book nagged me as I read and I think my opinion suffereI made the mistake of reading a review before reading the book. The reviewer's issues with the book nagged me as I read and I think my opinion suffered for it.
I am not terribly familiar with Amy Poehler. I didn't watch SNL when she was on it, I've seen Mean Girls, and we just bingewatched Parks and Recreation last month. Mostly she's the kind of loud annoying comedian who grates on my nerves. But I loved Tina Fey's book, and I really enjoyed P&R, so I'm glad I got this for Xmas.
However, if you are going to spend 1/3 of a book talking about how much you don't want to write the book... Maybe just don't write it? When Poehler could stop being self-effacing and tell a story or express an opinion, I enjoyed it. A lot. But so much of the book is discounting her talent, her strengths, as her ability to finish the book at all that it got old and annoying. I would have enjoyed more about her time on Parks and Rec since that's all I'm really familiar with, but her account of her time at SNL and UCB were also good. The book is also quite disjointed since its a mishmash of memoir and opinion piece/stream of consciousness? It felt like it either got rushed through editing to get it out for Xmas or that the editors were afraid to alter Poehler's "voice" and let her get away with more than they should have. ...more
I usually don't love books of personal essays; they tend to be inconsistent and poorly edited. Although this book did suffer from some obvious - thisI usually don't love books of personal essays; they tend to be inconsistent and poorly edited. Although this book did suffer from some obvious - this was a blog post first - problems, it also really spoke to me many MANY times. There wasn't a single essay I didn't read thoroughly. Some made me want to argue with the author extensively, others had me wanting to cut and paste and scream from the rooftops. This book made me stop reading and sit back and think. ...more
I've been reading these issues as they come out, not as a trade, but I've loved the direction the series has taken. The letters in each issue are hilaI've been reading these issues as they come out, not as a trade, but I've loved the direction the series has taken. The letters in each issue are hilarious as well.
I thought it was going to go a little less silly and more psychadelic, but I'm enjoying the silliness. The first couple of issues depicting the sexual awakening of both characters were just brilliant and truly surprising. It's so nice to see truth and realism in the representations of sexuality....more
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. ThA 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. ...more
Just didn't get it. This was a short story that reminded me of short stories I would have to read in high school or college. Think too hard about a stJust didn't get it. This was a short story that reminded me of short stories I would have to read in high school or college. Think too hard about a story that I didn't care about and leech symbolism for the purposes of writing an essay....more
Alright, I didn't love this book as much as I loved the 2nd chapter, but I let it keep its 5th star. The chapter on DIY crafting and the Etsy cultureAlright, I didn't love this book as much as I loved the 2nd chapter, but I let it keep its 5th star. The chapter on DIY crafting and the Etsy culture was written FOR me, I loved it. I'm sure the other chapters were just as enlightening, but I've never had a desire to cook, garden, or farm so I couldn't relate to them in the same way.
This book tracks the rise in 'new domesticity' through DIY crafts, gardening/cooking, farming, and 'homemaking'/mothering. Mostly I appreciated Matchar's balance approach. She acknowledges the appeal of the ideas, but challenges the utopian view so many people espouse.
Other than the crafting chapter, the chapters on motherhood and parenting were pretty thought-provoking for me. My mother didn't work when I was a kid (though she provided in-home daycare briefly), and I have personally always felt that I wanted to raise my kids at home until they were school-aged. And some of the values and parenting approaches that I belive in (as someone without kids) are in line with some of the families profiled. However, I don't have kids, nor does it seem likely that if I were to have children that the economy or the workforce would allow me to be a stay-at-home parent.
The book also compares the theoretically diverse views from neo-con Mormons to crunchy liberal that are starting to converge into one mess of off-the-grid libertarians.
I appreciate that the book goes beyond just telling the stories of different people, and delves into the societal aspects of the movement. Matchar addresses class privilege (and within that, white privilege) and particular the risks associated with taking the educated upper middle class 'off grid' and focussed rather than agitating for greater societal change. People are making the decision to step back from corporate America in many ways, but they are the people who have the resources to do so, and ALSO the resources to make a real change for EVERYONE including those less-privileged. Very interesting point that is shown throughout the different chapters as she discusses herd immunity, workplace benefits, and food safety.
Awesome book, I am wishing I had bought a physical copy so I could share it with friends!...more
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 AntoniaI 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....more
I've been reading a lot of compilations lately, and I really need to stop. Unfortunately, the more you narrow the field of expertise, the harder it isI've been reading a lot of compilations lately, and I really need to stop. Unfortunately, the more you narrow the field of expertise, the harder it is to find good writers...
This book didn't have many bad essays, but it did have a few and it had a LOT of overlap. Fortunately, I am a big sucker and really like reading about Madonna. I was surprised at the few and far between critical essays, but I suppose we do need variety, and she's a controversial lady....more
Read this book again after excerpts of it were in one of the Best American Sports Writing books I read recently. It's quite dated, particularly becausRead this book again after excerpts of it were in one of the Best American Sports Writing books I read recently. It's quite dated, particularly because it ends just as the Magnificent Seven are preparing for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. The book extensively covers Shannon Miller and her coach, and Dominique Moceanu appears just as the book ends. Interestingly Moceanu later came out to complain about abuse from the Karolyis, her stories mimic the problems described by Joan Ryan.
The ice skating portions of the book discuss the Harding/Kerrigan feud extensively, but I didn't feel that Ryan had the same 'inside information' that she did with the gymnasts. I don't know Ryan's background, but she didn't focus on any of the coaches or their methods the way she does the gymnasts. The skating portions seemed almost tacked on, and dwelled more on the judging than the training, coaching, or the problems presented for the elite skaters.
As dated as the book is, it is interesting. Seeing the Karolyis impact on gymnastics and American gymnastics is very striking. And the health problems found in gymnasts seem to be still be in evidence. All of it is pretty horrifying, particularly the information about the ruling bodies of American gymnastics. I'd love to read an updated book with information about the changes in the past 20 years....more
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 hiThis 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....more
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 - livingI 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. ...more