What I’m reading.

So many obscene comments, so little time

There’s a new Bachelorette in town, and she means business. Please read my recap of Jillian’s adventures with her harem. I really do enjoy being able to snark on the show, but I want to get serious for a moment. It is hard for me to recap this stuff, especially on a day like today when the California Supreme Court California citizens and the support of the Supreme Court decided that same-sex couples are also second-class citizens. Whereas a show like The Bachelorette can carelessly use marriage as a ploy for a reality show. Where Jillian can decide on who she will marry based on trivial matters like what a guy puts on their hot dog and who can win a silly car chase set up by producers. Whereas many of my loved ones cannot marry the person they have chosen to devote their lives to for decades because of hate, ignorance and privilege. Thanks, reality television, for the slap in the face.

In other news, here are some other books I’ve read lately.

I love office culture, have been a longtime fan of the cartoon Dilbert, and would love a certain sitcom if it weren’t for an irritating Steve Carrell. Then We Came to the End book mesmerized me and made me feel part of the office culture described. The interesting part about Then We Came to the End is that it is written in first person collective narrative, which at first is challenging to get used to. Eventually I did get used to it, but I felt like at times it actually distanced me from the characters because no one truly had their own perspective. Highly recommended nonetheless.

Daniel Clowes is a graphic novel god. He continually amazes to wow me. This collection of his Eightball short works seriesĀ  includes the genius Art School Confidential, which was later a mediocre movie. I recently went to a film screening where he appeared, and he shared that most of his earlier work is based on characters in Berkeley and he did most of his writing at Cafe Roma on College Ave in Berkeley, for you East Bay dwellers, which excited me. I wrote much of the early entries of this blog at that cafe. If you haven’t read Ghost World, it’s particularly awesome. And the movie adaptation is fucking incredible. Enid is my personal hero. Often I will ask people if they’ve seen the movie and squirm until they say, “you remind me of Enid” and I say “I WAS HOPING YOU’D SAY THAT!”

I couldn’t really call myself a horror/sci-fi fan until I read Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend. I haven’t seen the most recent Will Smith movie adaptation and I don’t plan to. I Am Legend is short but totally captures the point and is so well read. And legitimately scary- usually I am not scared by books. Well, I take that back- clearly Christopher Pike books used to freak me out.

I’m weird and read about a gazillion books at one time, so the other ones I am working on are American Wife, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, World War Z, and Scar Tissue.

What I’m reading

Or rather, what I have read. It’s true, I also read age-appropriate books!

Scarlett Thomas, The End of Mr. Y. Read this for my book club. Zoinks, there was a lot going on! Apparently it is dubbed “chick lit for geeks”. Whatever. This had its flaws but it really was a page turner. It is about a grad student in English lit and thought experiments who finds her way into the Troposhpere, which is the physical manifestation of everyone’s collective unconscious. Yea, also includes some quantum physics, time travel, religion, and secret government wartime weapons. Yes, quite ambitious.

Motley Crue, The Dirt. Pretty badly written, but fascinating and trashy. If you have the fascination and obsession with 80s metal that I do. I cannot believe how much drugs these guys consumed and can live to tell about it. And how their record company encouraged it. The drugs helped them write good albums. [Example: Theater of Pain was written sober. And it sucks. However, Dr. Feelgood, also written sober, is awesome.] Also, Nikki Sixx is my husband.

Junot Diaz, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I’m mixed on this one, despite everyone going gaga over it. [I mean, the Pulitzer Prize are about as legit to me as the Grammy Awards.] It is written from different characters perspectives, which I usually love, but the only one I really cared about was Oscar, and that was less than half the book. He was such a tragic figure and epic nerd, and I loved him for that. Even no one else did. Basically, I’m the white female version of Oscar.

Chuck Klosterman IS MY GOD. His nonfiction pop culture essays make me cry they are so clever. When I heard he was going to give fiction a try, I was dubious. However, in Downtown Owl, he does several things awesome (A) this book is from multiple character’s perspectives (B) he used High-Fidelity-esque lists and charts and (C) He gives a great depicition of a small midwestern town in the 1980s. However, the ending was a bit unexpected and perhaps a bit too extreme for the previous tone of the book. But the way he uses “translations” of what characters really mean what they are saying and their different backstories is really brilliant. Oh Chuck, why can’t I have your career?

what I am reading

I’m no longer updating my personal blog due to time, but something I did on there was talk a lot about what I’m reading. I’m going to do that here because something tells me you all enjoy this thing called reading. Here are the “adult” books I’ve read lately.

Rapture Ready takes a look at the billion dollar industry of Christian pop culture. Interesting for both the religious aspect and the consumer aspect. The author is a cynical Jew, so on the outset he already has some incredulousity about it.

I tend to enjoy the more bleak, complicated characters than simple happy endings. Chase is a troubled guy who gets roped into working with his childhood friends as they work as call-girls in Vegas. Although the main character felt detached and not sure if that was the point or it was a literary fault. Good narrative, not much plot progression. He was totally going for a Bret Easton Ellis vibe but definitely fell short.

Loved loved Prep, so was excited to read this one. Although I feel like it was marketed as chick lit, but it’s not really. Hanna is a character similar to Lee, who has a very realistic portrayal of depression and not relating to people, and although that is more realistic (uh, for me) at some point her self-absorption and poor-me attitude got kind of old. Of course, her happy ending was tied into finding a man.

I am a vegan (uh, most of the time) and love reading animal rights theories, and this ties it into gender issues and the exploitationj of women;s sexuality. More of an academic read, but interesting theories. It’s from the early eighties so I wish the author would do a follow up based on more modern times.

Currently reading: The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, American Wife, Downtown Owl, and When We Came to the End.