- Women Writing the Weird, edited by Deb Hoag. I know I’m in this book and everything, but I thought it was pretty good! There are some stories that really stood out for me—Caroline M. Yoachim’s “Blood Willows,” Nancy A. Collins’s “Catfish Girl Blues,” Helen Burke’s “Safe As Houses,” J.S. Breukelaar’s “Lion Man,” Candy Caradoc’s “The Strawman”, and Sara Genges’s “Prayer for an Egg” are some but not all. Plus, did I mention I’m in this book? I tried to read my story like I was not the one who wrote it, but I am too full of myself for that; there was a lot of literal back-patting going on. I read this book in a cabin in the woods.
- Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi. This book is great, five stars, but the sequel’s been checked out of the Carnegie Library for weeks.
- Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood. I read this for class. It’s pretty good, but I think when you’ve already written probably the best dystopian novel ever, you should maybe quit while you’re ahead?
- Mystery and Manners, Flannery O’Connor. I read this on a bench in the Cathedral of Learning and sometimes laughed at Flannery’s quips (like the famous one about the university not stifling enough writers [obviously I had to go forth on the assumption that Flannery would not have had me stifled in order to laugh at said quip (this is a form of cognitive dissonance that is necessary to my well-being as I continue to approach the completion of my MFA)]) but mostly thought about how I don’t really think I’d want to hang out with her.
- Utopia, Thomas More. I read this for class. It was interesting! I think the main thing I will take away from this book is that in Thomas More’s fictional Utopia, everyone was pretty tolerant of one another’s religions, and in Thomas More’s real life, he regularly sentenced heretics to be burned alive!
- Washington Square, Henry James. I loved this book. I don’t want to sound like everyone who writes about books on the internet lately, but it was a pretty interesting companion piece to Season 2 of Downton Abbey. Because it’s all about, you know, money and marriage and how shitty rich women’s lives were back in the day. Plus—Mrs. Penniman is a great character for people who like to shout “Stop being such a dick!” out loud at books.
- Looking Backward 2000-1887, Edward Bellamy. Read for class. I just finished it this morning and I don’t have a lot to say about it. It’s the time travel novel for people who hate fun!, would be my one-sentence review.
Plus: back issues of the New Yorker whose content I have all but forgotten; One Story issues #155 & #156. Both fine; both pretty dude-centric; neither deserves scorn solely on the basis of my increasing inability to tolerate the dude-centric.