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Archive for the ‘Misc.’ Category

2011 Favorites and Wrap-Up

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This year I read significantly less than last, which was both my first year blogging and keeping track. I gave very few 5-star ratings on Goodreads, maybe because I took more chances by straying from the “classics” and breaching new-to-me topics. I guess those risks didn’t quite pay off this year, though I will continue to take them in the future. Here’s the small list of books that got 5 stars from me this year:

Fiction:

Half of A Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins

The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters

Honorable mentions:

The Group, by Mary McCarthy

Wish Her Safe at Home, by Stephen Benatar

Novellas:

So Long a Letter, by Mariama Ba

Non-Fiction:

Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England, by Sharon Marcus

The Invention of Heterosexuality, by Jonathan Ned Katz

Honorable mentions:

Nymphomania: A History, by Carole Groneman

Biography:

The Sound of Wings: The Story of Amelia Earhart, by Mary S. Lovell

Essays:

Flat-Footed Truths: Telling Black Women’s Lives, by Patricia Bell-Scott and Juanita Johnson-Bailey

Honorable mentions:

Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class, edited by Michelle TeaΒ 

I bet you can spot a few of my favorite themes, particularly in my non-fiction reading πŸ™‚

And there you have it! As for 2012, The Year of Feminist Classics project that Amy, Ana, Iris and I hosted this year will be continued. We’re adding more hosts so that we will be better able to cover for each other when we’re busy (which is a lot, these days) and will be making the announcement about this year’s reading list soon.

So far I haven’t joined any challenges. I’m more interested in challenges this year than I was last, but honestly, I haven’t across any yet that particularly grab me. I might sign up for a few a little later down the road, but for now I’m still pretty happy leaving my reading plans wide open.

Thank you to everyone who’s commented here or inspired me to comment at your place. I’m so grateful for all the bloggy friends I’ve made and kept this year, and can’t wait to keep talking books with you all in 2012! Happy New Year’s Eve!!!


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Written by Emily Jane

December 31, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Posted in Misc., Uncategorized

A Few Fun Links

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Did you all hear this story on NPR? Next month, Sotheby’s auctioning house will be taking bids on a 4,000 word magazine created by a teenaged Charlotte Bronte and her siblings. It contains short stories, news items, and advertisements, and it’s so small that it fits in the palm of a hand and must be read with a magnifying glass!

In one of Charlotte’s stories β€” a “powerful evocation of madness, especially when you think this is coming from a 14-year-old girl,” Heaton says β€” a man imprisons his enemy in the attic. He goes mad with guilt and imagines his enemies setting fire to his bed curtains.

It’s a scene that prefigures the famous madwoman-in-the-attic and the bed burning from Jane Eyre, proving that this small manuscript might be more than just a curiosity. Heaton says, “There are clear links between this manuscript … and the later work.”

So cool.

In other news, my favorite comics character, T-Rex of Dinosaur Comics, read Pride and Prejudice the other day. Well, he saw one of the movies, anyway, and offers a very insightful interpretation of Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship.

Heehee πŸ™‚

Written by Emily Jane

December 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Emily Books: Something I Like a Whole Lot and Not Just Because its Called “Emily Books”, Although That Helps

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Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Emily Books. Promise!

It’s an independent e-book store run by two young women out of Brooklyn which offers yearly subscribers just one(!) exclusive e-book per month. It also functions as a kind of virtual book club as essays relating to each month’s pick are posted on their website throughout that month, and a literal book club as well for subscribers in New York who can make it to regular meet-ups. Subscribers don’t know in advance which books will become available, though a quick look through Emily Book’s tumblr and their first month’s pick, No More Nice Girls: Countercultural Essays by feminist music critic Ellen Willis, betrays their taste. Subscribers must be willing to take risks–some might consider this a disincentive, but it’s also pretty adventurous and gives readers access to books that they might never have read on their own, but really enjoyed.

I stand firmly on the physical dead-tree-book side of the line myself, though I don’t think that hard-book lovers and e-book readers constitute two mutually exclusive groups of people, either, and I agree with the women of Emily Books that e-books probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Emily Books isn’t about promoting e-reading though so much as they’re trying to build an independent business platform for selling e-books that doesn’t benefit just the corporate Big Guys like Google and Amazon (even when independent booksellers sell through them, they get a big cut). Personal preferences aside, I believe that this is a worthy goal and hope that others will take it on as well. Maybe they already have?

What do you think: all questions of cost aside (and it is expensive, I think), would you try a subscription to something like this? Does it spark your interest?

Written by Emily Jane

October 17, 2011 at 12:20 am

Posted in Misc.

Favorites of 2010 and Plans for 2011!

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So, I’m a bit behind in my blogging. I’ve been reading more rapidly than posting lately due to inconsistent internet access during the holidays but, like almost all the rest of you bloggers out there, I want to commemorate this last year of reading somehow before rushing more reviews. I’ve been considering the best way to do this, and greatly admiring other bloggers’ charts and stats and lists! I’m going to keep it simple, though, and just list my favorite reads of the year (rated 5 stars on Goodreads), in no particular order but categorized by graphic novels/serialized comics, fiction, autobiography, and non-fiction. I’ve read more genres than that this year, but all my favorite reads happen to fall into one of the four. I read a few of these before I started the blog in April, so in some cases there is no review to link to, but I will supply a link where possible.

Graphic novels/serialized comics:

Locas: The Maggie and Hopey Stories, by Jaime Hernandez

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, by Alison Bechdel

Fiction:

My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Emma, by Jane Austen

Fifth Business, by Robertson Davies

Cat’s Eye, by Margaret Atwood

Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood

Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Spark

Death Comes for the Archbishop, by Willa Cather

Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

Autobiography:

Black Boy, by Richard Wright

Non-fiction:

Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty, by Dorothy Roberts

The Library at Night, by Alberto Manguel

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution, by Sara Marcus

The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family, by Mary S. Lovell

Mostly I’ve been reading and collecting books from second hand or thrift stores exclusively, because I like to own (ahem, hoard) my books and it’s an inexpensive way for me to sustain the habit. Plus, I love the foraging itself. Since I live in New York City, my cheap book store options are pretty great, but what I see is what I get so I still end up with mostly Western authors, and mostly “classics” which, actually, seem underrepresented in this favorites list considering I’ve really enjoyed most of what I’ve read this year! I’m not going to change my main method of book acquisition too much, but I do plan to more actively seek out books from a more diverse number of countries in 2011. I’m not making many new years reading resolutions because I like to read at whim, but I am VERY excited about the Feminist Classics project I’ll be co-hosting this year with Amy, Ana, and Irisstarting tomorrow!!! This month we’re reading A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, by Mary Wollstonecraft, and So Long a Letter, by Mariama Ba. I haven’t signed up for any other challenges or anything yet, but I might reconsider joining a few at a later date.

I’m so glad I joined the blogosphere this year, it’s been such a blast connecting with you all, and I’ve found out about so many amazing books I hadn’t heard of before! Here’s to you, the new year, and all the wonderful books to come. Happy reading in 2011! πŸ™‚

Written by Emily Jane

January 1, 2011 at 12:29 am

Posted in Misc.