After you read it,... Watch this Pitchfork documentary http://youtu.be/O0yrp3nsvAs and see it all come to life in a far more raw manner than Freedia'sAfter you read it,... Watch this Pitchfork documentary http://youtu.be/O0yrp3nsvAs and see it all come to life in a far more raw manner than Freedia's television show. An absolutely captivating individual. Freedia's gentle spirit, combined with her "no nonsense" ability to cuss you out with love is only one of the many seemingly contradicting parts of her life. He talks about being a sweet hearted choir director who loved(and needed the love of) his church, while at the same time his popularity as a booty shaking "sissy bounce"(his term) rapper was growing rapidly. Beautiful passages about the many times he was blessed with the reassurance that it was okay to be himself, are filtered through stories of friends who were not as lucky, and a harrowing recollection of Hurricane Katrina is juxtaposed with a peaceful display of how supportive and giving his family has been. Music fans will appreciate some perspective on the origins of the dance form many unwittingly credited Miley Cyrus with: twerking.
While not a groundbreaking literary work, Big Freedia's memoir of life and love and bounce in New Orleans was still a highly entertaining and endearing read....more
In 1892, Alice Mitchell was a heartbroken young woman. The woman she loved, Freda Ward, had broken off their engagement and was making it perfectly clIn 1892, Alice Mitchell was a heartbroken young woman. The woman she loved, Freda Ward, had broken off their engagement and was making it perfectly clear that she didn't want anything to do with her. Today, those sentences don't sound too remarkable. But in Victorian-era, post-Reconstruction, southern United States, however, there are serious issues with them. So much so, that they overshadowed Alice's next move, which was murdering her ex-fiance in cold blood, in the middle of a crowded Memphis street.
As much as I looked forward to reading it, I learned quickly on, that I'd severely underestimated this book. Much like another favorite of mine, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil , this story weaves seamlessly away from the scandal of the murder and into that of the people and climate of not only Memphis itself, but America as a whole. The idea that a young, white, woman from a middle-class family could commit such a heinous crime was one issue, but the idea that she could have not only loved another woman, but had the audacity to believe she could marry her, pose as a man, and build a home in the way that a man would, was what fueled the sensational headlines and led the defense attorneys to stand on an insanity plea. The book is sprinkled with bits of recreated pieces of primary source material, and stunning but simplistic art depicting the cast of interesting characters.
One gem of the book, was an unexpected journey into the racial climate of the environment, when Coe recounts a story of a lynching that takes place during the same time of Alice's imprisonment, and the concurrent timelines of Ida B. Wells' rise as a political activist that was hated and threatened merely for her ideas, while Alice stood trial for a murder that she actually committed, that the white men of their city did NOT want to see her hang for.
While Alice's choice to kill Freda in a fit of passion was outrageous, and much of the evidence does display a gross obsession, the book goes so far beyond that to showcase how the trial was so severely impacted by the same-sex aspect of the star-crossed love. I really enjoyed the book, and will definitely recommend it to someone who loves a good trial, great historical nonfiction, and a look at how far we've come in mental-health, gender expression, and sexuality....more
So let's say someone really liked a documentary they watched, and decided to write a150 page blog post about it. This is what Sex At First Sight seemeSo let's say someone really liked a documentary they watched, and decided to write a150 page blog post about it. This is what Sex At First Sight seemed to be for a few pages. The author's adoration of the studies of Dr. Freitas and others, seemed to overpower original thought, leaving most of it to seem as passive aggressive commentary instead.
"Don't you all know the college kids these days are all out there watching dirty movies, drinking giggle water, and bedding like floozies?!"
But at the heart of this book, and underneath his style, there really was a topic that we can't ignore. Casual sex isn't new, but the amount of threats and health concerns that abound as result are tripled these days. And no matter how liberal any of us protests to be, we do tend to agree that these days that casualness doesn't seem to be for anyone's good.
(Though, Mr Simmons, don't quote Thomas Jefferson and his thoughts on virtue. I'm not sure the slave owner with the multiple kids by one of his slaves would be my first choice for that topic.)
Make no mistake, Simmons' dissertation is unashamedly coming from a strong Christian viewpoint. He works very hard to have data and articles back up his theories as well. The largest issue with the book, if those things don't bother you, is really just his matter-of-factly tone, which I thought could be a major turnoff for the intended college-aged audience. The issue of the "hookup generation" reaches far beyond just college kids, and I started to feel like the ones I know, even the chaste, would begin to roll their eyes a bit, just at the generalizations.
Sex At First Sight is not a title that I could readily offer to many library patrons because of its heavy religious viewpoint, but I could definitely see it being a good read for the right one....more
I told myself that I would read a few more chapters before bed last night, and before I knew it, I was finishing the last chapter, with my breath caugI told myself that I would read a few more chapters before bed last night, and before I knew it, I was finishing the last chapter, with my breath caught in my chest.
Chris and Michelle Miller invite you into their home, their bedroom, their love story, as they very plainly lay out their four year journey into parenthood. Unexplained infertility, fibroids, and the constant roller coaster of treatments, are explained in his/hers alternating chapters with Michelle telling her take on things, followed by Chris explaining his.
The humor is light, as Michelle often dips into Walter Mitty/Ally McBeal-esque daydreams when the frustration becomes too much to bear, and Chris' mild(and sometimes not-so-mild) innuendos were also pretty funny.
Following along with the Millers, while their financial and social status did not compare to my own, was still like talking to a friend who "got it". Infertility is one of those life circumstances that puts us all on the same page. Fellow infertiles will see glimpses of their own journey, but also find themselves exposed to parts they may not have encountered, and some they will hope they never do.
While I wouldn't necessarily classify this book as a "guide", I would definitely recommend it as a good companion. There is a handy appendix that lists definitions and information, and Chris closes each of his chapters with a list of tips for keeping your sanity(and hope). If you're looking for an easy to digest dip into someone else's journey, this is a nice one to try.
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher.*...more
For a book that starts out in the middle of a vivid pornographic scene, Insatiable was far more relaxed and light of a tale than would be expected.
AsaFor a book that starts out in the middle of a vivid pornographic scene, Insatiable was far more relaxed and light of a tale than would be expected.
Asa Akira, prides herself on doing what she loves, and being unashamed about her sexual freedom. She jumps around tales from her years in the adult entertainment industry, as though they are basic descriptions of going to the grocery store, or walking the dog and not taking enemas to prepare for scenes, or arguing with her husband over how many men in the scene she will actually have sex with, and which ones are just filler cast.
Aside from some of her more politically incorrect slurs and slams, there's an innocence and sweetness to Akira, even under her vulgarities, that makes you wonder just why or how she ended up where she is, but she is very clear in the fact that she's where she is, because it's where she wants to be. She's a private school educated, granddaughter of a dignitary, two-parent household having, spoiled brat, who just happens to like getting paid to have sex. She makes no apologies for it. And in that, you have to raise the feminism flag.
However, as she recounts tales of joining a polyamorous relationship because it made her feel safe, or coming down from a rather intense crack cocaine binge, or the need for the love and attention she gets when "performing", it's hard not to see that maybe she's been lying to herself a bit, and that sex is just another of her addictions. It's equally hard not to wish she'd given some more thought to how or why she is the way she is, but then I guess that would have been the cliched book we're all used to.
Some interesting themes in this book include her description of the social acceptance hierarchy where there's "normal" people, who look down on porn stars, who look down on strippers, and the rise of female directors in adult entertainment. Some moments are laugh out loud funny, even if they are equally crass, such as her random haiku's. She does touch on sad things, but never seems to stay there long, which makes me as a reader think that she hasn't fully come to terms with those just yet. At least not enough to write about them yet.
For those wanting to take a look at the life of someone vastly different from their own, this is the perfect OMG AYFKM tale. ...more
Now I have to buy this book. So that I can highlight portions, and then buy another so that I can share it with people. Nia Vardalos is my spirit animalNow I have to buy this book. So that I can highlight portions, and then buy another so that I can share it with people. Nia Vardalos is my spirit animal, apparently.
The thing is,...I like Nora Ephron's writing. I like her way of looking at the world. I like the way she makes the thoughts I think in my thirties matThe thing is,...I like Nora Ephron's writing. I like her way of looking at the world. I like the way she makes the thoughts I think in my thirties match her thoughts in her sixties. What I learned that I did not like about this book, was how somewhere near the last portion, we took that bad turn at Albuquerque, and went to a very numbing place.
Filled with tidbits on parenting, food delivery, apartment love, etc., I Feel Bad About My Neck had many relatable and laugh out loud moments, though fans of her movies already know to expect that from her. Most special to me, was a portion of the book where she spoke beautifully about the love of reading, and what books can do for you, and sometimes even save you from. The last bit of the book, she gives to a jarring but again relatable look at aging and dying, which at the time of its writing, was meant in tribute to the passing of her own friend, but I guess for me listening to it in her own voice now that she herself has passed, was a bit hard to take. Getting past that, however, it was perfect. It may be pegged as essays on womanhood, but I think it was more about life in general.
What is the ultimate goal of an educator? Is it to prepare students for standardized tests, leveled groups, and administrative requirement? Is it to pWhat is the ultimate goal of an educator? Is it to prepare students for standardized tests, leveled groups, and administrative requirement? Is it to provide a welcome environment for open thought and experimentation? What are our internal questions regarding education, and how can we answer them through real world application?
These are some of the questions William Ayers tackles in this graphic novel. A veteran teacher, Ayers uses anecdotal bits to highlight ways in which he himself has faced, and in some cases fought for, these ideals and also those teachers or community members who have also changed the way that learning is broached. Examples include his own classrooms, those of his children, former students, and groundbreaking teachers throughout the country.
Topics go from the very abstract, "Is Productive Work Going On?", to the practical, "How can I design my classroom for productive learning?" Ayers has clear issues with the imposition of administration and standardized testing on the uniqueness and ability levels of children and teachers, but he does make it clear that he understands some of the reasoning, but wishes for more opportunity to reevaluate the methods.
Fans of Waiting for Superman, or other education reform pieces may like this short and sweet entry. The graphic format lends itself to the observations teachers make, the nuances of young children and teens, as well as the bits of humor found in everyday teaching....more
Laugh-out-loud funny. Seriously. Some of Jill's statements may make you clutch your pearls and think "no, you can't say that!"...but then you think, "bLaugh-out-loud funny. Seriously. Some of Jill's statements may make you clutch your pearls and think "no, you can't say that!"...but then you think, "but that shit is kinda accurate". LOL Hands-on aunts will feel a lot of these points hit home as well. Jill finds a way to touch on all those things the rest of us wonder about, but dare not say out loud. I mean, seriously, why IS Caillou bald? And where the hell ARE Max and Ruby's parents anyway? And NO, I don't like that 7 year old, jerk who was mean to my niece/daughter/godchild and I will not apologize for it! Jill's writing style and ability to take us on this honest journey was what made this a very fast and enjoyable read....more
I never watched Tiny and Toya. To be honest, I was a bit prejudiced. Comments or tabloid posts didn't necessarily sway me, but I was a bit tired of thI never watched Tiny and Toya. To be honest, I was a bit prejudiced. Comments or tabloid posts didn't necessarily sway me, but I was a bit tired of the reality shows that highlighted the almost-wives, wifey material, and opportunistic exes of celebs. That, and I've lost interest in most of what BET produces these days.
So, I just wasn't all that interested in seeing how life was like for the former singer/current fiance (at the time) of T.I., or the ex-wife of Lil Wayne. Neither life interested me in the least, and I just wasn't up to the real housewifey-ish drama.
I wonder if I had watched, would I be less inspired and profoundly touched by Ms. Carter's book. She had much, much more to say than what I expected to hear.
Antonia Carter may be known by some as the ex-wife of a famous rapper, but she's also a heroine. A survivor of family secrets, heartbreak and desperation. She's turned her life into something she can be proud of, and not only is it a story worth reading, but one worth sharing.
At a very young age, Toya was "collected" by an uncle and his wife who realized that drugs were keeping Toya's parents from actually taking care of her. She grew up longing for a relationship with her mother, and yet ashamed of her through the harsh words of neighbors and even some family. That embarrassment led to teenage rebellion, which also led to her being tossed from house to house within her family. Some aunts were too old to take care of an angry, disrespectful teen, while some cousins were simply uninterested. The few family members who wanted more for her, she rebelled even harder against.
Meanwhile, the place she would freely accept affection from, was boys. Their hugs and kisses made her feel worthwhile and acceptable. As Toya put it, she felt like if she was pretty and he was handsome, and they were popular all would be well. While she evaded actually going "too far" with most of the boys she dated, she finally fell head over heels in love with a boy she calls "Dream", who readers learn is her name for Wayne. Their romance was hot, heavy, and endearing but she makes reference to the fact that Dream was simply not ready for the family life she had in mind. Even less when she actually did become pregnant at age 14.
Through short vignettes into her life as a young and practically homeless mom to daughter Reginae, 18 year old wife of a young man whose career was taking him farther from the home she wanted so desperately to build, and overcoming her feelings of low self worth, Toya gives amazingly blunt and heartfelt advice. She discusses the relationship with her ex-husband, friends, and family members freely, with a tone of maturity and forgiveness.
Some of Toya's advice is said with an innocence that can be mistaken for naivete, but it is clear that she's nobody's fool anymore. The chapters cover everything from sex to faith, and she is careful to include every bit of herself that could be helpful to other girls and young women. Including her own daughter.
The book was published by Farrah Gray Publishing, which I feel could have done a much better job on the editing, as there were missing words and some minor misspellings. There were also some times where I couldn't figure out which aunt she was referring to, or what time period we had jumped into. Overall, it was a beautiful book that I will share with the young girls in my life....more