Friday Reads: How to Read Three Books at Once

cropped-20170710_2243091.jpg

Image: Detail shot of a pencil bag with the words “So many books, so little time.”

A wild RECURRING POST appears! (Hint: Use FOLLOW, it’s super effective)

Bailey Poland, author of Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online, does a weekly #fridayreads on Twitter, and I love following it. She RTs dozens of really interesting-sounding books every week, which is good for my reading horizons but bad for my TBR list, bookshelves, and wallet. (Full disclosure: I have not yet read Poland’s book.)

So, in the spirit of creating More Content, I’d like to start a weekly Friday Reads post of my own. Now that I’ve moved Tuesday Reviews Day to every-other-week, it’s much easier to stay ahead of schedule on reviews, but it makes it a bit harder to share what I’m reading with you in real time. I do have the Goodreads widget in the left rail, but this will give me a chance to expand on that a little more, without making you wait weeks for a full review.

Continue reading

Tuesday Reviews Day: Bitch Planet, Vol. 1 by KellySue Deconnick and Valentine De Landro

Last week’s taste of comics made me want to dive into them even more, so I’ve added several to my TBR list, though it’s not clear when I’ll get around to purchasing them, let alone reading them. I did get one off my list for Christmas though, and predictably tore through it in a sitting. I seriously cannot wait for the next volume.

I’m a little late to the Bitch Planet party, mainly because I am nothing if not impatient. Like the ladies at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, I prefer to wait for collections to come out and binge them all at once. So, finally, I’m on the train, and I can tell you with certainty I am never getting off it.

Note: This book contains graphic violence, strong language, and frequent nudity, and this review will feature images from the comic. While these topics do not personally offend me, I understand that some people may be uncomfortable with them. Please use your discretion and consider your limits before reading this review or this comic.

#

Continue reading

(Mladen Antonov, AFP/Getty Images)

A Long Day Without You, My Friends

I’m sure none of you are strangers to the news of what happened last week in Charleston, SC.

(New Yorker)

The New Yorker’s memorial cover art. (New Yorker)

What you may not know, I’m honestly not sure if I’ve mentioned this on my blog before, is that I’m from South Carolina. I’m not from Charleston, but it’s a city that is near and dear to my heart, a city that I know quite well. I love it. I love its streets that flood in the rain, its markets that bustle with artisans and locals and tourists alike. I love its people. I love the way the trees hang over the roads and I love the sound of horses pulling carriages through the city. It is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. It is the only place I would pack up and move to with no hesitation whatsoever.

Last week’s act of terrorism — because we need to be honest with ourselves, that’s what this was — devastated our state. And to be honest, I’m still not quite sure how to even articulate my emotions. I’ve erased and rewritten these paragraphs several times already, even thought about not posting at all. Because what words do I have that haven’t been made empty from the repeating?

(Dan Xeller)

A man holds a sweetgrass rose. Woven sweetgrass is one of the oldest African arts in the country, and many in Charleston and the Lowcountry still practice it. (Dan Xeller)

But that, I have decided, is not the point.

The point is that as a white person, as a white feminist, I cannot sit idly by and allow moments like these to pass unaddressed, unresolved, into the pages of our history books. Yesterday I finally found the words for a Facebook post that was probably a bit too long for the medium, but I think it fits well here:

I’ve got a few more things to say about the Charleston shooting, things that I think, as a feminist, and specifically a white feminist, I really need to say.

First of all, the Confederate flag needs to go. I am not going to argue this point or attempt to justify my reasoning because, quite truthfully, I feel if this needs to be explained to you, you are part of the problem. I do not think my opinion on this has more weight because I am white than it would if I were not; I do think that as a white person, my silence on this matter would be tantamount to acceptance, and I refuse to allow people to think I condone or promote the things this flag represents. If you would like to argue this point, here are my real feelings: The battle flag that we and other states fly, that hang from trucks and are printed on shirts, is no different to me than the Nazi swastika, which was a symbol of good fortune that was taken and perverted into something disgusting and evil, a symbol of hatred and violence. I’m sure there are people alive with ancestors who were Nazi soldiers, just like I’m sure you maybe have ancestors who fought for the Confederacy. But I will assume what type of person you are when you fly that, just like I will judge the hell out of a man wearing jack boots.

Second, it has been reported that Roof told his victims he “had to do this, because you rape our women” and assorted other ridiculous assertions. Let me make this clear:

We are not YOUR women. We are not HIS women. We are our own women, and we will speak for ourselves.

And finally, this was not about religion. Stop undermining the real issue here by insinuating that’s what this was about. This was about the culmination of years of hatred and poison poured into a man’s head by people who told him he was owed something, who told him he deserved sex and success and whatever else simply because he had white skin and male genitals, who told him that those things were being taken from him by people who were not as wonderful as he is. This was about racism, hatred, entitlement, and white privilege. And until we as white people recognize that privilege and start teaching ourselves and our children better, as Dr Seuss says, unless someone like me cares a whole awful lot, it’s not going to get better. It’s not.

I’m not doing this to argue. I’m doing this because I cannot stay silent about these issues and expect them to simply go away.

(Mladen Antonov, AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters in Columbia, SC call for the removal of the Confederate flag. (Mladen Antonov, AFP/Getty Images)

This week has been hard. But hopefully we open our eyes and move forward together into a future with real freedom, real equality, and real hope. I think we’re all ready for that.

Comments are open and welcome but will be moderated. Please be respectful, even in disagreement. Personal attacks and insults are not welcome, and users posting such comments will be permanently banned from further commenting. This is a one-strike policy.