Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
- Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling: I’ve come back to these books for the fourth time this year, an impulse I get occasionally when I’ve read too many books that I don’t like. I know what to expect, and I know that the audio versions narrated by Jim Dale will be entertaining and fun.
- Myron Bolitar series, Harlan Coben: It was a glorious day when I convinced my best friend to read these books, which feature sports agent Myron Bolitar and his best friend Windsor Lock-Horne III. If quoting books about best friends with your best friend isn’t light and fun, I don’t know what is.
- Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie: Here’s a secret: I really enjoy romance novels. I don’t read many of them because while I’d rather read lesbian romance novels, they are too often, uh, miserable. So occasionally I’ll listen to romance fans and pick up a heterosexual romance. This Crusie novel reads like a smart romantic comedy film and it made me really happy. (Bonus for featuring an old dog who doesn’t die!)
- Emma by Jane Austen: I didn’t expect Emma to be my favorite Austen novel, so it managed to surprise me when I giggled all through the book and had a really fun time.
- Fool by Christopher Moore: I really enjoy humorous footnotes and reinterpretations of literary characters, and Fool goes above and beyond in delivering them.
- The Godfather by Mario Puzo: You should really listen to the full cast audio book version of this. It’s like listening to the movie on the radio.
- Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson: So. Much. Fun.
- Land’s End: A Walk In Provincetown by Michael Cunningham: I lived and worked in Provincetown for a summer, and reading Cunningham’s little memoir about the town is almost like being there.
Total Books Read: 20
# of pages read: 818
# of hours listened: 140 hours 45 minutes
- Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler (audio): Based on the blurb, I didn’t think this book was going to be for me, but I went out on a limb and tried it anyway. I should have listened to my instincts.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (audio): Part of my re-listening/comfort reading adventures.
- Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meister (audio): I didn’t care for this novel, which features the ghost of Dorothy Parker, but I was inspired to add some of Parker’s work to my TBR list.
- 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill (audio): I do have a soft spot for Joe Hill. A very strong short story collection, featuring several stories that I found brilliant.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (audio): I have to say that on my third read of the Harry Potter series, I’ve realized I’m not really a fan of books 1-5. Well, maybe with the exception of the Prisoner of Azkaban.
- The Body by Stephen King (audio): Glad to finally be able to say I’ve read this novella!
- Strangers In Paradise (Vol. 1) by Terry Moore: My first read during the read-a-thon. I really, really disliked it.
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (audio): I finished the audio book during the read-a-thon and, I’m sorry to say, I may be the only person who didn’t love it.
- A Jew In Communist Prague: Loss of Innocence by Vittorio Giardino
- A Jew In Communist Prague: Adolescence by Vittorio Giardino
- Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King (audio): I really adore Stephen King.
- The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King (audio)
- The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America’s Newfound Sovereignty by William Hogeland (audio): Too frequently I forget that a book isn’t going to be interesting just because it has an interesting title.
- American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men by David McConnell: It’s kind of sad to realize how many disappointing books I read in April. I had high hopes for American Honor Killings…
- Prisons Will Not Protect You edited by Ryan Conrad: This is THE book to carry around with you if you want strangers to start weird conversations with you.
- Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright (audio): Woah boy. I’d recommend this to anyone who is even vaguely interested in what Scientology is and how it started.
- We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch (audio): That’s right, I listened to a book about genocide on audio. The writing is “holy smokes this is good” good.
- Odysseus: A Life by Charles Rowan Beye (audio): Note to self: books that use the word “hilarious” in the verb are to be considered un-hilarious until proven otherwise.
- Acolytes by Nikki Giovanni: I read poetry now, that’s new.
[image via Boston Magazine]
Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
- S/He by Minnie Bruce Pratt: I remember where I bought it (used bookstore), where I read it for the first time (while “working” in Provincetown on the Cape), and not only is this book a piece of my heart, it inspired the highlight of my book blogging life (an email from Pratt herself in response to a letter posted on this blog).
- Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg: The novel version of Idgie (as opposed to the movie version which is very different indeed) makes her one of my top five characters of all time. Or maybe just top five fictional crushes, no one can be sure.
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: I’m not a religious person, but when I read this book shortly after my mother passed away in 2003, I found true comfort in Sebold’s portrayal of heaven.
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: I read this book in 10th grade, when I was an overly self-conscious teenager who was too afraid to raise my hand in class because it would draw too much attention. It was also the first book I read as a teenager that was about teenagers and felt realistic.
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison: Not to date myself or anything, but I got this book through one of those book-a-month book clubs that come via the USPS. I can vividly remember reading the book and closing it frequently to sigh over the beauty of the writing. I ended up writing my senior thesis on three of Toni Morrison’s books.
- Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison: I don’t remember what inspired me to borrow this book from the library as a high school student, but Allison’s depection of poverty and her over-worked, rural poor mother resonated deeply with me.
- Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin: Goodwin’s Pulitzer-Prize wining masterpiece was gifted to me in 2008, and I lugged that huge book around for weeks. It was the gateway book to my future obsession with reading books about presidents.
- Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: The only book I remember reading in high school that featured a gay character. I had the quote “And in that moment, they were infinite” in my AIM profile for months.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: Feminist sci-fi for a budding feminist? I can’t think of a novel that more directly influenced the early stages of my feminism. I went to the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in support of reproductive rights, inspired by Atwood to do my part to keep The Handmaid’s Tale from happening in real life.
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: I picked this book up as part of my on-again/off-again quest to read “good” literature, and I fell in love with The Count of Monte Cristo. I know I read it in the fall of 2001, because I went to see the movie in the theather when it was released in January 2002. I was incredibly disappointed to find that The Three Musketeers wasn’t nearly as engaging as The Count of Monte Cristo.
Runners-Up: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: I loved it so much I tried to keep the library copy I had borrowed AND I watched the movie version replayed on the Disney channel everytime it was on, which was pretty much four times a day for three months; Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding: I talked in Bridget Jones’ abbreviations for months. I thought I was really cool.
I’m a little later with this summary of my 2012 reading than I would have liked, but later is better than never I guess. I kind of geek out here a bit (although I did keep out some of my numbers, you’re welcome) but I am always fascinated by what type of books a year’s events can encourage me to read.
Total Books Read in 2012: 165
- Fiction read: 107 or 65%
- Non-Fiction read: 58 or 35%
- Total pages read: 17,204
- Total hours listened: 1,410 hours and 30 minutes OR about 59 days
Total number of books read borrowed from the library: 115 or 70%
Total number of books read that were published in 2012: 61
Longest audio book: 54 hours, Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson III by Robert A. Caro
Longest print or ebook: 683, The Shining by Stephen King
# of LGBTQ books read: 37 (22%)
Favorite memoir: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
Favorite queer theory: How to Be Gay by David M. Halperin
Favorite accessible queer theory: Gaga Feminism by Jack Halberstam
Favorite young adult novel: The Difference Between You and Me by Madeline George
# of Stephen King novels read: 11
Best on audio: Dolores Claiborne, narrated with a pitch-perfect Maine accent by Frances Sternahagen
# of books featuring Presidents read: 18
Favorite non-fiction books about Presidents: Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson IV by Robert A. Caro; The Presidents’ Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy
Favorite novel featuring a president: 11/22/63
- Novel published before 2012: Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall
- Novel published in 2012: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
- Short story collection: What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander
- Historical fiction: Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
- Non-political biography: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss
- About the Supreme Court: The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin
- Classic read in 2012: The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
Most disappointing sequel: Wild Thing by Josh Bazell, the follow-up to Beat the Reaper
Most disappointing reread: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Book featuring the most over-the-top hatred for Microsoft: Year Zero by Rob Reid
Book featuring the most over-the-top love for Microsoft: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Novel I should have read sooner: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Novel I should have avoiding longer: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Best book written by an MSNBC personality: Drift by Rachel Maddow
- Surprisingly fun, out-of-my-comfort-zone read: Always Something There to Remind Me
- Worst Godfather sequel: The Family Corleone
- Most disturbing: American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
- Should be made into a movie because it would be my favorite rom-com: Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
- Book that made me the most nostalgic for fifth grade: Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman
- Best classic horror: Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
- Author I keep trying even though I haven’t liked one of their books: Val McDermid
- Drop Shot (Myron Bolitar #2) by Harlan Coben (audio)
- The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits (audio)
- Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (audio)
- The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy by David Nasaw (audio)
- The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin (audio)
- The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George
- Say Nice Things About Detroit by Scott Lasser (audio)
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (audio)
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (audio)
- The Passage of Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson #4) by Robert A. Caro (audio)
- These Things Happen by Richard Kramer
- The Heart Has Its Reasons: Young Adult Literature with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content, 1969-2004 by Michael Cart and Christine Jenkins
- Master of the Senate (The Years of Lyndon Johnson #3) by Robert A. Caro (audio)
- Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court by Jeff Sheshol (audio)
- Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie (audio)
- Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein (audio)
- Dancing In the Streets: A Novel of Collective Joy by Barbara Ehrenreich (audio)
- Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (audio)
- Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris by David King (audio)
- Twilight of the Elites: America after Meritocracy by Christopher Hayes (audio)
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (audio)
- Heart of Darkness by Joesph Conrad (audio)
- Love, In Theory by E.J. Levy
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (audio)
- Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti (ebook)
- But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist by Margaux Motin
- Seconds Away (Mickey Bolitar, #2) by Harlan Coben
- You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon (audio)
- Diary by Chuck Palahniuk (audio)
- Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin (audio)
- Pray the Gay Away: The Extraordinary Life of Bible Belt Gays by Bernadette C. Barton (ebook)
- The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid (audio)
- How to Be Gay by David M. Halperin
- Astray by Emma Donoghue (audio)
- Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America by Jonathan Kozol
- Prayers for Rain (Kenzie & Gennaro, #5) by Dennis Lehane (audio)
- The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge by T.J. English (audio)
- Moonlight Mile (Kenzie & Gennaro, #6) by Dennis Lehane (ebook)
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (audio)
- Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart (audio)
- Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman (audio)
- Deal Breaker (Myron Bolitar #1) by Harlan Coben (audio)
- The Last Nude by Ellis Avery (audio)
- Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (ebook)
- The Tommyknockers by Stephen King (audio)
- Before the Rain by Luisita López Torregrosa
- Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn (audio)
- Criminal by Karin Slaughter
- Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss (audio)
- The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (audio)
- How to Be Good by Nick Hornby (audio)
- The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman (ebook)
- Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King (audio)
- A Place of Execution by Val McDermid (audio)
- Apt Pupil by Stephen King (audio)
- Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick (audio)
- Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (audio)
- The Shining by Stephen King (ebook)
- I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (audio)
- The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares by Joyce Carol Oates (audio)
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (audio)
- A Drink Before the War (Kenzie & Gennaro, #1) by Dennis Lehane (audio)
- Darkness Take My Hand (Kenzie & Gennaro, #2) by Dennis Lehane (audio)
- ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King (audio)
- The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman (audio)
- Dare Me by Megan Abbott (audio)
- Starting From Here by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
- Sacred (Kenzie & Gennaro, #3) by Dennis Lehane (audio)
- Year Zero by Rob Reid (audio)
- Gone Baby Gone (Kenzie & Gennaro, #4) by Dennis Lehane (audio)
- Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson (audio)
- Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton
- The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (audio)
- Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon (audio)
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (audio)
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (ebook)
- The Stand by Stephen King (audio)
- Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (audio)
- Drawn With the Sword: Reflections on the American Civil War by James M. McPherson (ebook)
- As Texas Goes…: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda by Gail Collins (audio)
- Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression by Morris Dickstein (audio)
- Gaga Feminism by J. Jack Halberstam (ebook)
- Christine by Stephen King (audio)
- City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago by Gary Krist (audio)
- The Dark Half by Stephen King (audio)
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney (audio)
- About a Boy by Nick Hornby (audio)
- The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson (audio)
- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
- Oklahoma City by Andrew Gumbel and Roger G. Charles (audio)
- The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard (audio)
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
- Angel’s Tip (Ellie Hatcher #2) by Alafair Burke
- Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
- Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel (audio)
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (audio)
- Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage edited by Ryan Conrad
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (ebook)
- Mind-Blowing Sex: A Woman’s Guide by Diana Cage (ebook)
- Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
- Britten and Brülightly by Hannah Berry
- The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar
- The Might Have Been by Joesph M. Schuster
- Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (audio)
- Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson (ebook)
- Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 by Max Hastings (audio)
- The Infernals by John Connolly (audio)
- The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
- Care To Make Love In That Gross Little Space Between Cars?: A Believer Book of Advice edited by Eric Spitznagel (audio)
- Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
- Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York by Richard Zacks (audio)
- The Harder She Comes: Butch Femme Erotica by D.L. King
- The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith by Matthew Bowman (audio)
- Dead Connection (Ellie Hatcher #1) by Alafair Burke (audio)
- Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall
- The Family Corleone by Edward Falco (audio)
- The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler (audio)
- The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century by Scott Miller (audio)
- This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust (audio)
- The Forever War by Dexter Filkins (audio)
- Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho (ebook)
- It by Stephen King (audio)
- Taft 2012 by Jason Heller
- Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (ebook)
- The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy (audio)
- The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon
- Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story by Chuck Klosterman (audio)
- Stay Close by Harlan Coben (audio):
- The New Topping Book by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy (ebook)
- I’m Not Crazy, Just Bipolar by Wendy K. Williamson (ebook)
- Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner by Julie A. Fast, John Preston (ebook)
- Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison (audio)
- Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow (audio)
- The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
- The Good Father by Noah Hawley (audio)
- By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho
- Pity the Billionaire: The Unexpected Resurgence of the American Right by Thomas Frank (audio)
- Wild Thing by Josh Bazell (ebook)
- Well With My Soul by Gregory Allen
- Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life by Samhita Mukhopadhyay (ebook)
- Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell
- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
- Broken (Georgia Series #2) by Karin Slaughter (audio)
- What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories by Nathan Englander (audio)
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (audio)
- Out of Sync by Lance Bass
- Fallen (Georgia Series #3) by Karin Slaughter
- Enemies: A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner (audio)
- Death Comes to Pemberly by PD James (audio)
- The Comedy Is Finished by Donald E. Westlake (audio)
- Best Lesbian Erotica 2012 edited by Kathleen Warnock
- Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder (audio)
- 11/22/63 by Stephen King (ebook)
- Cover Her Face by PD James
- The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, etc. by Jonathan Lethen (audio)
- Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell (audio)
- The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (audio)
- A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown by Julia Scheeres (audio)
- The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898 by Evan Thomas (audio)
- Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay (audio)
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman (audio)
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010
Filed under Lists, Year End
Virtual Advent is hosted by Marg and Kelly, and is one of my favorite events in book blogger land.
Here’s the thing: I love Christmas. I love kitchy decorations and hot cocoa and stocking hung by the fireplace and wrapping presents. I love ridiculous Christmas songs and I love Christmas episodes of my favorite TV shows and I absolutely love Christmas movies…just maybe not the most Oscar-worthy ones.
My Christmas celebrations are very secular and focused on friends and family and good cheer. So today I’m going to share a few of my favorite, often silly, Christmas movies.
Cover of Scrooged
What it is: A retelling of A Christmas Carol and, dare I say it, Billy Murray’s finest work.
Why I love it: There are muppets!
Favorite moment: The sing-a-long at the end. “Put a Little Love In Your Heart” is always (mostly happily) stuck in my head for days everytime I watch Scrooged. It’s so happy.
White Christmas (1954)
Cropped screenshot of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye from the trailer for the film White Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)What it is:
What it is: A musical of the highest order.
Why I love it: Bing Crosby. Rosemary Clooney. MUSIC! WAR HEROES!
Favorite moment: A tie between the tear-inspiring moment when they honor the General and when I inspired tears among my co-watchers when I inform them that Vera-Ellen was suffering from the late stages of anorexia and wears high-necked clothes throughout the film to cover her neck. You’re welcome.
Bad Santa (2003)
What it is: Ridiculous.
Why I love it: I saw this movie in the theater when it was opened and I absolutely hated it. I thought it was gross and offensive. And then I went and saw it again with a different friend and I finally “got” the humor…and then I went back and saw it in the theater again.
Favorite moment: “Should I fix you some sandwiches?”
Smoky Mountain Christmas (1986)
What it is: So a Dolly Parton-like character who happens to be played by Dolly Parton needs to get out of the spotlight so she goes and finds seven children to adopt. Also she falls in love with a man named Mountain Dan.
Why I love it: Dolly Parton. Lee Majors. Christmas joy.
Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)
What it is: No one loves Kevin, and he gets to spend Christmas eating pizza in limousines and befriending homeless ladies and torturing thieves.
Why I love it: I had a ritual of watching Home Alone 2 every summer vacation (mostly because it was one of the few VHS tapes I owned) and I kind of know all the words to the whole movie. Also, this (fast-forward to 1:08):
Favorite moment: Home Alone 2 is basically a long ad for the Talkboy, and if you were born in the 1980s in the United States and didn’t ask your parents for one, it’s like I don’t even know you.
Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: An adopted family of ghosts? Yes, please.
- Horns by Joe Hill: You know when you wake up and suddenly you have horns growing out of your head and people can’t stop telling you terrible secrets? Rough AND incredibly entertaining.
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: A terrifying house and super smart, witty characters. I want to reread this book all the time.
- The Crucible by Arthur Miller: I read this in high school around Halloween and then we went to Salem, MA, to visit the museums focusing on the witch trials. The play is now and forever linked to Halloween fun for me.
- Nocturnes by John Connolly: Scary Short Stories for Adults
- Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell: The (original) illustrations are scarier than most of the stories. I used to read these by flashlight under the covers of my bed.
- Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill: Blackwater is pretty much the scariest.
- Zombies vs Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier: Light hearted fun with unicorns. I have no complaints.
- Danse Macabre by Stephen King: King’s look at horror movies and novels and radio. If there’s anything I love more than horror movies and novels and radio, it’s critical analysis of those things.
- Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson: OoooOOooo she can’t remember things when she wakes up and her husband may be fucking with her on purpose! OoooOOoooOO
Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. I will entirely admit that I narrowed down today’s list based on the projection of how
loudly I would squeal excited I would be if one of the authors had a new book coming out.
Top Ten Favorite LGBTQ Authors
- Patrick Califia: The first Califia book I read was Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex,which I borrowed on a whim from my college library. It ended up changing the way I see myself, the way I think about sex, and the way I identify with the LGBT community. Later on I read Sex Changes: Transgender Politics, a book that I still use as my go-to recommendation for anyone interested in learning more about transgender folks. There’s even an essay in Sex Changes where Califia analyzes Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues in relation to Minnie Bruce Pratt’s S/He(the book I love most ever) and I pretty much had a brain explosion because of the awesomeness. And in case you doubt me, I just counted my bookshelf and it turns out I own fifteen Califia books, including a couple first editions. He’s kind of a big deal.
- Jack Halberstam: Female Masculinity is one of the most important non-fiction LGBT books ever published. Every time I read a book by Halberstam I know I am going to have capital-t Thoughts and actually have to use my brain and it makes me so very happy.
- Zoe Whittall: I’ve written about how much I loved Holding Still For As Long As Possible and Bottle Rocket Hearts. What I like most about Whittall is that she doesn’t write about Issues, she writes about people. I feel like I know all of her characters, that they could be friends of mine, and after reading dozens of novels with LGBTQ characters that were all about the Issues instead of the actual people those Issues affect, nothing is more welcome.
- Patrick Ryan: His YA novel Gemini Bites, about twins (a boy and a girl) who fall for the same maybe-vampire, was the most original novel I read in 2011. His other YA novel, In Mike We Trust, surprised me by avoiding usual coming-out tropes. It sometimes feels that all YA novels featuring LGBTQ characters follow the same plot (oh no I might be gay! OH NO I MIGHT BE GAY! Fight/homophobic attack/outing followed by careful tolerance by others) and Ryan’s novels stand out for avoiding that plot.
- Leslie Feinberg: Stone Butch Blues: A Novel should be (and in some places is) required reading. If you are afraid you might be a robot, try reading this book: if you don’t tear up even a little, you are indeed a robot. I also highly recommend Transgender Warriors : Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman, a great look at the complexities of gender throughout history.
- Dorothy Allison: You’ve probably know her for her award-winning novel Bastard Out of Carolina: A Novel, an examination of class and violence and strength. I’m also a big fan of her non-fiction work Skin: Talking About Sex, Class And Literature.
- Emma Donnoghue: I appreciate any author who can write sweet romance novels like Landing, a non-fiction examination of love between women in literature, and a mainstream work like Room. I’m always excited to see what direction she’s going to take next.
- Sarah Waters: I don’t love every Waters book the way some people do, but I do appreciate that she is a literary author pretty much writing literary lesbian romance novels. I’m glad she’s around.
- Michelle Tea: I felt Valencia changing me while I was reading it.
- Helen Boyd: There aren’t a lot of non-exploitative books by cis partners of trans folks, so Boyd’s books seemed like a special gift to me when I found them.
Bloggers’ Alliance of Non-Fiction Devotees (BAND) is a project to “advocate non-fiction as a non-chore,” and is a joint effort with Amy, Anastasia, Ash, Joy, Kim, Kit, and myself. Any and everyone is welcome (and encouraged) to participate!
This month Ash asked What are your favorite nonfiction anthologies?
I have a confession: essay anthologies are a bit of a weakness of mine. I may be troubled by the lack of quality fiction featuring complex queer characters (particularly ones that aren’t coming out stories or about hate crimes), but there are many essay collections that give voice to the complexity and variety of queer folks and their experiences. I’ve decided to list a few of my favorites, all pulled from my shelves.
Baby, Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl Writing edited by Michelle Tea (2007)
Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation edited by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman (2010)
Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie (2000) I bought this book entirely because there is a quote from
The Femme Mystique edited by Leslea Newman (1995)
Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity edited by Chloe Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri (2002): It sounds like hyperbole when I say that this book changed my life, but I promise it’s completely true. My favorite is the essay “Quantum Femme” by Elizabeth Ruth.
Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme edited by Ivan Coyote and Zena Sharman (2011)
Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity edited by Matilda Bernstein Sycamore (2006)
What are your favorite essay anthologies?