This is one of the posts that I stupidly published early then unpublished, & now I’m publishing again. Sorry. I’m adding some new stuff to it, though, to keep it from being a complete waste.
On the reading front, I haven’t finished any more prose for this week. 1 book is about what I can handle (if the book is short) for every 7 days or so. I did read Call of the Wild and gave it my first negative review, which is located at the bottom of this page for those of you who didn’t read it the first time I stupidly hit publish.
Last week, I got super motivated & decided to check out some local indie bookstores & comic book shops. I went to Antigone Books, which is about the only bookstore people recommend in Tucson.
It had this really wonderful atmosphere & even seemed up-to-date on certain recent releases… but its website says that it has a distinctly feminine focus. I wasn’t sure what that really meant (does it mean that they promote female authors, or bra-burning, or man-bashing?) There are a lot of different levels of feminism & not all of them bother me, so I thought I’d check it out. My first impression was pretty good. Most of the other indie bookstores are tiny & cave-like as if avid readers are somehow akin to vampires who hate the sun & prefer to hang out in coffins late at night. Also, they have REALLY poor selections in their YA sections. Antigone, though, was well-lit with comfy chairs for people to come & hang out in (one of the most important things for someone sitting down to do hours of research) and a decent, although small, YA section.
I also really liked this drawing on the bathroom wall:
All bathroom reading comedy aside, the first disappointment I ran into was that I tended to disagree with all of the staff recommendations. I thought they were sort of cliche & lazy & juvenile.
EXAMPLE: Staff member Melissa wrote the following about Twilight: “This is the best love story I have ever read.”
I’m flabbergasted. I can cope with people saying that Twilight is entertaining or even an interesting addition to vampire mythology (vampires that twinkle in the sun… okay, I guess). But REALLY? I haven’t read very many love stories, but I’d have to say that Twilight is one of the WORST love stories I’ve ever not-quite finished (and never will). Also, shouldn’t a book store with a distinctly feminist focus encourage teenage girls to avoid losing their entire sense of self to a relationship with a man? Just saying…
Antigone’s other recommendations were similarly annoying. However, I wasn’t ready to give up on them just yet. I walked around for a bit, checking out their fiction, local authors, and finally graphic novels sections. It was there amidst Watchmen & The Swamp Thing that it happened. The truely grotesque side of Feminism showed its ugly head in a ridiculously GRAPHIC graphic novel about a young girl struggling with sexual orientation. I really didn’t need to see comic strips showing that stuff. Under no circumstances is it necessary to display such offensive artwork – and at the front of the store no less… and in a section which is frequented more by teenage boys than by lesbian feminists.
Angigone is OUT! ARRR!
None of the other local book stores even came close to meeting my standards, so if anyone is hoping to bump into me around town, Borders is probably a good place to start looking. However, you may also have a chance of running into me at Charlie’s Comics, which is unfortunately quite the drive for me, but well-worth it. Luckily, the cozy, wonderful comic book shop kept my trip from being a complete waste of time. I met Charlie who recommended 12 $1.00 special edition thingys that give you the 1st chapters of graphic novels in the hopes that you’ll get hooked and buy the whole thing. Thus far, I’ve read 5 of the ones he recommended, & loved 3, liked 1, & wanted to indulge myself with the last one because it had superb characters & an interesting premise, but it was just a bit too gruesome.
I highly recommend Charlie’s Comics to anyone even a little interested in this geeky hobby. In spite of the fact that the store was scheduled to close 15 minutes after I walked in, Charlie took the time to ask about my likes & dislikes so that he could better direct me to material I’d enjoy reading. Because of my love of reading prose, all of the stories he recommended were character-driven & high concept. The 3 I will definitely invest in & buy the complete versions of are Y: The Last Man, Identity Crisis, and Ex Machina. I was particularly impressed by how emotionally engaged I was while reading the latter two.
The rest of this post is the stuff that I’ve published twice now. It’s also the book review for the week, so if any of you get the urge to dig into a Jack London anytime soon, you should probably read my review.
I read The Call of the Wild and I HATED it. It’s one of those books that I feel like I should lie about & say that I loved just to seem more literary… but I can’t. It was ridiculously violent & made me feel like a horrible pet owner even though Annabelle is better cared for (not to mention more loved) than plenty of children in this world. I recommend that no one read it. I think there must have been something seriously wrong with Jack London. I remember reading one of his short stories in high school, & the main character definitely ended up eating his dog in it. I was traumatized enough that it still bothers me a decade later. That’s close to how Call of the Wild makes me feel. I don’t think I’ll be traumatized for life this time, but seriously, don’t read it. Books with nonhuman protagonists are weird enough to begin with… this one just… just… I don’t have words for how big of a waste of time reading it was for me.
For those of you who are wondering how I’m getting along with 1984, I’m about a third of the way finished, & still loving it. I probably won’t finish it in time for next week’s review, so I’m also reading A Wind in the Door, which is the sequel to Madeleine L’engle’s A Wrikle in Time – a book that had a huge impact on my love for SciFi/Fantasy when I read it in 4th or 5th grade. *sigh* Yes. I’m reading another Middle Grade book that I should have read LONG ago, but a teacher’s summer seems like the perfect time to get caught up on such things.