Thursday, May 17, 2018

Silent Night

Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce by Stanley Weintraub
2002
Weight: 6.4 oz
Method of Disposal: Lending Library


This was an interesting and unbelievable story from World War I that I've heard about a handful of times, but I never really understood.  This book definitely cleared up any questions I had, but I did feel like there came a point where I wondered when the book would end and how it was possible the author had so much to say about one single day.  It might have been a better magazine article--at least for me as a reader--though I appreciated all the research and hard work the author put into it.  I loved the pictures, cartoons, and first-hand accounts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Genie

Genie: A Scientific Tragedy by Russ Rymer
1994
Weight: 7 oz
Method of Disposal: Lending Library


This book was depressing on so many different levels.  This poor girl (now woman) seems to have spent her whole life being used for someone else's greater good.  At some point the scientists in this book were no longer able to be in contact with Genie, and the author was not, so maybe things started to improve for her, but it did not sound like it.  It seemed like her future would be very bleak indeed. 

How this poor child could be pulled from one of the worst abusive situations the world had seen and then end up abused in her foster placements is beyond me.  There was so much media attention and, even with the world watching, they could not keep her safe.  It is devastating and just shows the world for what it is.  Somewhere there is some person who has experienced such little joy in their lives.  They have been to hell and back and hell and back and hell again.  Their life is unrelenting, and it has nothing to do with who they are or the choices they made.  At that same time there are countless other people growing up at the same time with all the opportunities and all the joy and also not always based on their choices--though they have likely been lucky enough to make a ton more decisions and have been faced with many more choices than Genie ever got the chance to.

If you are looking for hope, redemption, someone beating the odds, people doing the right things for the right reasons, then do not look here.  This book is not that.  This is not to say that there weren't people who loved Genie or helped her.  There were but, ultimately, as a whole, it would seem that she was failed terribly.

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Body Parts Shop: Stories

The Body Parts Shop: Stories by Lynda Schor
2005
Weight: 6.6 oz
Method of Disposal: Donating



So...holy shit...I do not think I can put this is the tiny neighborhood lending library with the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Henke's young adult books about dogs, and every day housewive's mystery/romance novels.  I read the first two stories, and I thought, "this person is a genius."  I loved how the stories were arranged.  Fictional facts, real facts, blurbs, one story streaming through it all.  She was blunt, direct, and had some seriously beautiful sentences.  The third story, "Coming of Age," I thought, "what is this all about?  She's losing me, but I still appreciate how different she is from everyone else I have read recently."

As the stories went on the overt obsession with sex, penises, cum, rape, force, and violence actually started to wear on me a lot.  This is highly unusual because I like sex more than the average bear, and I like to be disturbed when reading fiction.  I also find myself writing stories with their own assortment of shocking scenes, but in this collection it just got to be too much.  It started to feel like the art was too reliant on the shock value.  It started to drag on and on. 

There were still moments where I was almost re-captivated, but the stories would always lose me before they ended.  There were stories I thought would be fantastic with a little more editing.  I think Lynda has what it takes, but I think she needs a little more polish.  Or, it was just not my cup of tea and it might be yours.  The title is perfect.  I love the drawings and diagrams.  It was risky.  It was fun.  It was also gross.  It was also sticky, thick, awkward, and sickening like a man ejaculating in your hair when you thought he was aiming for your mouth because he has an obsession with hair--yeah, that is one of the scenes you will find in this book, but the woman finds it exciting.  I am not that woman.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Timequake

Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut
1998
Weight: 8.8 oz
Method of Disposal: Lending Library


Okay.  After my previous post ranting and raving about how truly awesome and amazing and easy to read Kurt Vonnegut is and has always been, I read Timequake.  Soooooo.....not so great.  There were still many witty Vonnegut moments, snippets that made me laugh out loud, and, yes, even things I might consider tattooing on my body but, overall, not so great. 

Also, after recently talking about some of the delightful feminism I found in a couple of his other books, I was not feeling it so much in this one.  Not that he was overwhelmingly kind to men or women.  I was about done with all the penis jokes and imagery about halfway through the book.  While he is known for being blunt and fun and, so I do not fault him for this or think he does not have every right to do so, I was going to vomit if I had to hear anymore about anyone ejaculating in someone's birth canal--particularly in the instance of rape, which was clearly described as such but never called rape. 

I guess my advice to you is that you should read this if you love Vonnegut and are not too squeamish or "square" as they say, but it is absolutely not the first Vonnegut book I would recommend you pick up.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Sirens of Titan

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
1998
Weight: 9.6 oz
Method of Disposal: Lending Library



Did I mention I love Kurt Vonnegut?  He nailed it every single time.  I love the way he thought and makes us think.  Timeless can sound trite but, in his case, it is just the truth.  I am grateful,all the time, that he was so prolific.  This book includes a large mastiff, space travel, and a drum roll that sounds like,

"Rented a tent, a tent, a tent;
Rented a tent, a tent
Rented a tent!
Rented a tent!
Rented a , rented a tent!"

I suggest you read it and everything else Vonnegut wrote.