I read Relish, by Lucy Knisley, which is an adorable graphic coming-of-age memoir that's centered around food and travel. I loved how she showed her parents' parallel interests post-divorce: both parents are extremely food-oriented, and both are world travelers, but they prefer to experience food and the world very differently, which in turn allows Lucy a broader range of experience. And I loved her philosophy about food, which lines up quite neatly with mine about books: like what you like, and make no excuses for your taste. ALSO. Each chapter ends with a related recipe (huevos rancheros! pasta carbonara! sushi!), and MAN OH MAN, if Knisley wrote an entire cookbook in this format, I'd buy it in a hot second. Love.
I also read Stephanie Kate Strohm's Confederates Don't Wear Couture, which, like its predecessor, is funny and light and chock-full of cool historical facts. While the rom-com angle wasn't as strong as in the first book—I never find it as satisfying when characters have gotten together and then conflict is introduced purely to Create Tension—it's still an entertaining, fun romp, and I very much hope for more. (Yay for more Dev Ravipati in this one, though I do admit that I was completely thrown when he used the word 'tranny'. Use of the word—in that specific situation, especially—would be in keeping with his personality, though, as he tends to not be remotely interested in political correctness, etc. See: his response to Libby's surprise about his lack of qualms re: the murky ethical questions that surround Civil War reenactments.) Bonus points for all of the info about historical reenactments (cultural as well as mechanical), for the suggestions for further reading, and for discussing the problematic aspects of celebrating and glorifying certain parts of history without ever completely taking sides on the issue.
The College of Charleston, a public university, provided copies of Ms. Bechdel’s memoir to incoming students for the 2013-14 academic year, as part of its annual College Reads! program that tries to encourage campus-wide discussion around a single book each year. The books are not required reading.
But one state representative, Garry Smith, told South Carolina newspapers this winter that he had received a complaint about “Fun Home” from a constituent whose daughter was a freshman at the college. Mr. Smith contacted the college to ask about other options for College Reads!, and said he was told there were none. Mr. Smith then proposed cutting $52,000 – roughly equivalent to the cost of the reading program, he said – from the college’s $20 million appropriation from the state. The budget cut is now moving through the legislature; South Carolina news media coverage indicates some sizable political support for the cut.
As historian Clare Wright tours the country to promote her book about the women of the Eureka Stockade, she often notices "the dick table" - a display at the front of a bookshop of books by and about men, including some about Eureka.
She has been known to move her book from the Australian history shelves to sit with them.
"Retail sabotage," she calls it. "How are you going to know what these books left out unless you're offered the alternative?"
While I understand both the philosophy and the intent here, speaking as a former bookseller who used to witness authors engaging in similar shenanigans on a semi-regular basis, that is SO obnoxious. Like, why not ask the manager to move it? Sure, that might feel pushy, but that way, the employees will A) not move it right back to the Australian History section where it "belongs" when the stealth migration is discovered, and B) ACTUALLY KNOW WHERE THE BOOK IS WHEN SOMEONE ASKS FOR IT.
Does she also move items around in the grocery store so that they are more to her liking? Does she rearrange the tables in restaurants, or her friends' bookshelves? What about library displays? WHERE DOES IT ALL END???
Okay, sorry. A good amount of this outrage clearly stems from My Stuff, but holy entitlement. (And entitlement couched in social justice, which is even more annoying.)