So far, I think it is pretty good. I have read a few graphic novels, but I think I really enjoy the detail in this one. The diction is masterful, and...moreSo far, I think it is pretty good. I have read a few graphic novels, but I think I really enjoy the detail in this one. The diction is masterful, and the details are well crafted. I am a little less than halfway through, but overall, I think it will be great.
Over the last couple of semesters, I immersed myself in queer theory. Asking things like, what does queer mean. I think this graphic novel adds further depth to my question. Alison Bechdel re-tells her life story, but provides a greater mixing pot (or shall I say plot) than that. It is about many things, her dad, literature, self-reflection, historical events, coming-of-age, etc. etc. While I am still wrapping my head around it all... I think it was good. It was good. (less)
I just finished reading this book, in less than two days! I could go on and on about how great it was, but I will let the below email I just sent to t...moreI just finished reading this book, in less than two days! I could go on and on about how great it was, but I will let the below email I just sent to the editor (pretty much the first one I've ever sent to the author of a book I loved) speak for me.
Dear Rachel Pepper,
I just finished reading your book, Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children, in two sittings. Your book is amazing, I thank you for sitting down with so many mothers and listening to their stories. Let me be honest, I picked up your book at our public library during one of my routine searches for books on transgender lives, queer theory, etc.. I've found that the public library's very short list of resources does little to quench my need/desire to find books that help me come to understand my own identity as a transguy and remind me that I am not alone. So, needless to say, I was ecstatic to find yours in the "New Arrivals" section, undoubtedly the very first one to check it out as the pages and binding were still crisp, begging to be read.
Reading your book has given me a better sense of the things my own mother felt when she learned I was transgender, a better understanding of her reaction and the dilemma (though that word has much more deeper meaning) in letting one's child live the way they are happiest, and wishing for the child you think you had when you first hold them in your arms. Each story touched me in their own way; Dana Lane's story, especially, as I am recent friends with her son (what a small world!) and practically called him up at 3am in the morning to yell at him for not having told me about his mom's stardom, haha.
When I look back at my own transition story still in the making I have a new appreciation for my parents. I am better able to understand where they were/continue to be coming from, the fears my mother could have had, and a better understanding that although presenting male (urgh, there needs to be a better term/concept for that) with a short (though growing!) beard and deeper voice, that the female pronouns and old name she continues to call me by are less of a sign of resentment and anger, and more of a mother learning, slowly, and struggling with acceptance. One day, I hope she does realize that I am the person I've always been, and my outside now simply reflects that.
What I've taken a few paragraphs (and could go on and on for eons about) and hopefully not too much of your time to say is that I am really, really, really thankful for your book. I know that anyone who picks it up will be changed forever by hearing those stories and there are countless, countless transgender and gender variant self identified people, as well as their mothers, family members, and others they come into contact with, that are/will be eternally grateful for your book.
Thank you very much for your book. You're a hero. (less)
Nan Fink's "Stranger in the Midst" was fantastic. I've read a few books about converting to Judaism and this is the first one I found that had most of...moreNan Fink's "Stranger in the Midst" was fantastic. I've read a few books about converting to Judaism and this is the first one I found that had most of the book take place after the conversion. The conversion wasn't wrapped up with a bow and there was no happily ever-after. But, refreshingly, when is life ever like that? Nan Fink's book was an honest account of her life after conversion, how the religion evolved in her eyes, things she learned about herself, her family. It was refreshing to read.
There are a few parts in particular I thought were particularly interesting/well articulated. Here is one:
"Yet now the expectation of goodness as a convert felt confining, and I strained against it. I didn't want to be better than other Jews, the perfect Ruth. My jewish friends had the freedom to doubt and complain, rebel and reject. If chunks of religion were unacceptable to them, they cut them out. Why shouldn't that be my right? I was as Jewish as they were, so I should be able to deviate from the traditional path without guilt or censure." (Pg 200)
I feel like it speaks for itself/sparks thoughts all on its own.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and appreciated a far-too few trodden path of focusing on life after conversion.(less)
This is a book I've had the pleasure of listening to on long cross-country trips with my dad, on tape. While I do wish Bill (when you're done listenin...moreThis is a book I've had the pleasure of listening to on long cross-country trips with my dad, on tape. While I do wish Bill (when you're done listening to this book, it feels like you've been friends with him for years) had read it himself, I think you're able to hear his voice ring clearly throughout it anyway. Incredibly long, it is equally incredible in it's detail, and while at some points leaves you wishing he had left out all the names (and some details) of his elementary friends, the detail is beautiful. It gives a real glimpse into the lives we, the public, weren't really privy to see during his time in the white house. His charm shines through and, at the end, (and throughout, really), you wish you knew him personally. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak in person when he came to visit my university, and he was fantastic then, as well. At the end of the book, I wanted to write a letter to him, thanking him for writing the book, for his honesty in his shortcomings, and for the honorable way he has led his life. I haven't written it yet, but I really did enjoy it. Well played, Bill, well played. (less)
I really enjoyed reading this book. Some of the other comments I read were a bit negative, but I thought it was interesting how the author was able to...moreI really enjoyed reading this book. Some of the other comments I read were a bit negative, but I thought it was interesting how the author was able to make every journal entry as if Christine, the main character, was waking up for the first time in 10+ years every day. I couldn't but the book down and ended up finishing it in 3 days. It's an easy read, but I think the complexity of the story that unfolds throughout the book was impressive and left me wanting to email the author and ask for a second book.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers. (less)
I picked up this book on a whim, and the summary seemed interesting enough. Low and behold, this book has turned out to be one my favorites of the "se...moreI picked up this book on a whim, and the summary seemed interesting enough. Low and behold, this book has turned out to be one my favorites of the "season" (whatever that means, hahaha). It was witty, charming, and was able to break down the stories behind the man, and the farm, in a completely understandable way to a layman. I knew nothing about forensics- other than what I've seen on CSI: Miami and Law & Order: SVU, and was able to follow along with each move. The case by case details, the story behind Dr. Bass' own fascination surrounding death, and his personal story mixed in… it was a great read and left me wanting to take a forensics class with him myself. (less)
This is actually the first book I ever read about being transgender. I remember seeking it out in our library and being so self conscious about who wo...moreThis is actually the first book I ever read about being transgender. I remember seeking it out in our library and being so self conscious about who would see me and/also what they would think of my literature. I am so glad that I did not let my paranoia get the best of me. It set up my foundation and really inspired me to be who I was no matter what. Jamison Green is an amazing activist and I am more than glad he shared such a large part of himself with us. He has helped me become the visible man I am today.(less)
I went to the library to find books about trans people and their lives, and ran across this one in teen fiction. I got it without know what to expect....moreI went to the library to find books about trans people and their lives, and ran across this one in teen fiction. I got it without know what to expect. And it surprised me. I find this book softly sweet, in a strange kind of way. I don't typically read teen fiction books, but this… this was alright.
This book was a fantastic read- I never wanted to put it down! There are too many great things about it to list, but I would recommend it to anyone/ev...moreThis book was a fantastic read- I never wanted to put it down! There are too many great things about it to list, but I would recommend it to anyone/everyone. (less)