I'm not a huge fan of how Maya Angelou reads her poetry in this audiobook. She sings and laughs and really emphasizes the sing-song rhymes in a lot ofI'm not a huge fan of how Maya Angelou reads her poetry in this audiobook. She sings and laughs and really emphasizes the sing-song rhymes in a lot of her poems, and I generally prefer subtlety. Her readings work for me sometimes, and the audiobook provides nice insight into the way she wanted her poetry to sound...but I kind of prefer my own readings of some of these (including the titular poem)....more
Better than I thought it would be. I liked the audiobook version much better than the print version...evidenced by the fact that I never finished theBetter than I thought it would be. I liked the audiobook version much better than the print version...evidenced by the fact that I never finished the non-audiobook version but I sat in my car after I arrived at my destination just to listen to the audiobook a little longer....more
Kind of predictable, and very self-consciously inhabiting a certain moment in time (which involves a lot of responding to current pop culture). WhichKind of predictable, and very self-consciously inhabiting a certain moment in time (which involves a lot of responding to current pop culture). Which is part of what makes it so fun to read, probably. It feels so much like a more logical, modern Harry Potter story. Told by an American. But still taking place in the UK....more
I keep noticing inconsistencies/errors in my MLIS professors' reference lists, which I think gives me the authority to declare myself Finished With ThI keep noticing inconsistencies/errors in my MLIS professors' reference lists, which I think gives me the authority to declare myself Finished With This Book.
I really really prefer MLA and Chicago and AP. Like, why you gotta be so different in-text and in your reference list, APA formatting? Why you gotta require title pages and abstracts instead of just letting people present their information immediately? What's the deal with not capitalizing article titles like they're titles?
I mean, all style guides are arbitrary, but the perverse decisions that this particular style guide makes to distinguish itself from others kind of get on my nerves. I can kind of attempt to justify these decisions in the context of the social science publications that use this style, but when I'm being forced to apply the style to my one-page summary of the week's reading, I can't help but resent the sillier nuances of the rules....more
Definitely better than the previous volume. I was still disoriented by some of the chronology (including how sometimes the dialogue bubbles seemed toDefinitely better than the previous volume. I was still disoriented by some of the chronology (including how sometimes the dialogue bubbles seemed to be out of order), but getting Jon's backstory/perspective was nice. And I like how the villains have an actually decent reason for their villainy. And that there was a little PSA about birth control in the middle. And the Sex Tips at the end. (My personal favorite: "Shower sex is great because you can fantasize that you're having sex out in the rain, but the rain is hot because these are the End Times.") Plus, the Brimpception.
All in all, definitely an improvement from the first volume....more
She's been to some cool author readings, and I guess the book has value for making me jealous of her New York publishing life...and for dNot horrible.
She's been to some cool author readings, and I guess the book has value for making me jealous of her New York publishing life...and for documenting what they say and what they look like at the time (according to Gavino's perception of them).
But her representations of authors are pretty far from what they actually look like. Like, the opposite of caricatures. Distinguishing features elided or misrepresented.
Maybe I'm just too bitter to truly appreciate other people's stories of love/success, but something about this collection struck me as a kind of braggMaybe I'm just too bitter to truly appreciate other people's stories of love/success, but something about this collection struck me as a kind of bragging, self-indulgent repetition the same basic story. Like a repeated humblebrag of, "Not only am I cool enough to have lived in New York City, but I'm clever enough to have left it and poetic enough to write about it in a way that is gracious enough to admit my faults. Also, I am a white woman who is happily married to a man who has helped me stay financially stable through all my missteps." (I realize not every author in this collection fits this description. I'm exaggerating because I am very bitterly none of these things.) Reading a bunch of stories about how people squandered their privileged New York opportunities and still managed to find success elsewhere got tiresome very quickly.
So many of these writers seemed to move to New York with a sense of entitlement, and in spite of their efforts to dramatize their struggles and their eventual break from the city, the fact that they are all published authors who have found success because of those struggles...makes it kind of seem disingenuous, like they sought out their troubles so they'd have something dramatic to write about. Many of them basically admit that that's what they did. Like, even Valerie Eagle, who had a hard life before New York City and faced some serious consequences due to the drug addiction she developed there, started out in the city with a stable home and job thanks to her aunt. Even stories like Eagle's, which somewhat diverged from type, struck me as repetitive because of this common narrative arc of naive-hope-met-with-harsh-reality-followed-by-success.
Maybe I can't help feeling like the authors all share Meghan Daum's perspective in "My Misspent Youth" (the actual essay, not the introductory part where she kind of hedges her sense of entitlement and acknowledges the fact that New York is excruciatingly expensive), where she writes "Self-entitlement is a quality that has gotten a bad name for itself and yet, in my opinion, it's one of the best things a student can get out of an education. Much of my success and happiness is a direct result of it."
So, okay, these are a bunch of entitled writers reflecting on their shared decision to leave New York...but maybe their entitlement is more of an asset than I'm willing to admit. They're all good writers, and they all have clever and insightful things to say. It's not their fault I kind of resent the uniting premise of the collection they're published in....more