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Bunny, is Jack Finney the guy who wrote "Time & Again"? I loved that book.
I believe so, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Thank god, sybarite! It seems that everyone I know loved The Time Traveler's Wife, and I seriously *hated* it. Like, almost as much as I hated I Am Charlotte Simmons (which is a lot).

I'm reading Sarah Waters' The Night Watch right now, and really enjoying it. And, then I'm going to read the rest of the books on the Man Booker shortlist. Has anyone read Desai's book yet?

I just renewed my library card (finally) because I gotta stop buying so many books, and went a little crazy requesting books. Like, I may get notices next week that, like, fifty books are being held for me.

I'm in a dyke book club (that I'm reading The Night Watch for). Any suggestions on what to read next? We've been reading all novels by dyke authors so far, but may branch out a little to "regular" books.
um, whilst I'm trying not to bristle at the use of "dyke", I would suggest Patricia Highsmith and Jeanette Winterson's work but I know there are BUSTies around with more expertise than me when it comes to lesbian literature.

Oh fuck it: "regular" fiction implies that anything written by "dyke authors" is irregular, does it not? posting on a feminist board would suggest that you don't choose your words carefully but certainly refrain from using some.
I am a feminist *and* a dyke. "Dyke" is how I identify. Many women-who-love-women don't identify with "lesbian" because of class/race implications. But, I shouldn't use the word that I identify with because it might make straight girls on the internet uncomfortable? I don't quite get the logic of that.

And, I was making a joke of "regular", hence the quotation marks.

well, one, you're assuming that I am straight. I don't like the word "dyke" and I don't like "rug muncher" and I don't like "poof" and I don't like a lot of words whether my gay friends do or not (and some do indentify with those words). Yeah, it makes me uncomfortable - not for anything to do with sexuality- but I don't think it's a nice word (I don't like the word "cunt" either, whether some feminists have reclaimed it or not). It's the same as using the "n" word, people of colour may use it because they identify with it but I still bristle at it's use - that's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.
Yeah, but: The Night Watch is not merely lesbian or dyke literature, but it can also be dyke or lesbian literature, no?

/my 2 cents

Patricia Highsmith is just great: evil murder mysteries and the Ripley stories.

Actually , I really disliked I am Charlotte Simmons too. I'm funny with the Tom Wolfe; I feel I shouldn't like his deal, but Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full drew me in despite myself. I got that Charlotte Simmons was satirical but it was still 'eh' for me.

*just looked and saw I cross-posted with superscience...*
Bunnyb--Yes, you're entitled to your opinion, and I'm entitled to tell you that you don't get to tell me what term I can use to DEFINE MYSELF on a feminist website. Not trying to fight with you, just trying to clarify my use of the word "dyke" and its signifigance in my personal lexicon. (p.s. Have you read the book Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio? I never liked the word "cunt" until I read that book. And, now I'm a confirmed "cunt" lovin' lady.)

Sybarite--you're absolutely right, The Night Watch isn't exclusively dyke literature. It's obviously got wide appeal. My point was that my book club has, up to now, read only books by dyke authors. We're now thinking of branching out into non-dyke authors as well.

I've read lots of Patricia Highsmith and Jeanette Winterson. Love them both. Thanks!

Yes, I have read the Muscio book.

"Dyke" is defined as a slang insult, a disparaging insult for lesbians, but if some are reclaiming the word and defining themselves as that then good for them. I don't have to like the word but I shouldn't have told you to refrain from using it; I hate the singling out of literature into one "pocket" when it's of wide appeal. Oh, and I define myself as a bitch.
Bunnyb--let's kiss and make up. (but, you should know, i've often been guilty of slipping in a little tongue).


I edited this post to make it longer and clearer. I hope no one responded while I was doing that! Sorry.

Hmm, as the resident bustie queer critic, I think that insisting all literature be 'universal' and refusing to acknowledge its subcultural importances is extremely problematic. In other words, there's nothing wrong with the concept of dyke lit. By including non-normative literatures in the category of the 'general' and refusing to give them special attention you don't make the category of the general more egalitarian or inclusive, you erase the specific. It's like refusing to call yourself a feminist or call special attention to women's issues because women are people too and we all ought to be humanists and make everything a matter of gender-free human rights: it would work fine if we didn't live within a sexist and homophobic dominant culture.

Make any sense, bunny? I have no intention of insulting you, I just want to help you understand where the queers (and other minorities looking for spaces or categories to work with the specificities of minoritarian experience) are coming from.

Of course, it's good to problematize the category, to ask what we mean by a dyke text or a dyke author, and to look outside of the obvious subcultural boxes when looking for new work to deal with. And what we mught call dyke lit, if we find the category useful, should not only be read by dykes. Just as I consider it important for me, a white person, to make sure I read and engage with work by people of color.

I also think that maybe when one is not immersed in queer context, certain words resonate more with their negative connotations than their positive ones. 'Dyke' carries very specific connotations to me, for example, and can often suggest discomfort with the identity category of 'lesbian' and even of 'woman'. One can be a bi dyke, a genderqueer dyke, etc. It's not usually my preferred identification, but I certainly wouldn't refuse it.

As for "dyke" readings, may I recommend Trumpet again? Your group will have lots of fun arguing about trans and the politics of passing, but it's a very gentle and beautiful book. Or if you don't want to open those particular cans of worms, I am spending a lot of time with Octavia Butler at the moment and any of her works would be great additions to a queer book group's list.
mj! Thanks. You're always so much more eloquent than I ever am.

I just reserved Trumpet at the library. Sounds like a good'un.
Yay! It's great to see you, supersci – I'd love to hear what's up with you in other more appropriate forums.

I'm so glad you reserved Trumpet – I hope you like it as much as I do. Jackie Kay's poetry is great too; she actually grew up in the suburb of Glasgow where I went to high school, which I never cease to find amazing.
I recently read The Night Watch and was underwhelmed. It felt like it meandered a lot to me and it felt, well, pointless.

I've just requested (and rec'd) several of Octavia Butler's books from the library. I've never read her work before, but am looking forward to it.

I don't get terribly excited over fiction generally, though.
just out of curiosity, can you clarify "Many women-who-love-women don't identify with "lesbian" because of class/race implications" for this clueless straight gal? just curious.

nice to see you, supersci! seems like it's been eons! where ya been hiding?
you too, maryjo! i too aplaud your eloquence.

(((bunny))) i admire how fearless you are, how you're never afraid to speak up. there have been many an ageist crack made in the lounge that makes me bristle, but i usually bite my tongue because i know - as the resident dinosaur - i'm in the minority 'round here. and because, well ... biting my tongue is my forte. wink.gif

trumpet's on my list too.

i'm lovin' neverwhere!
Now that's why I don't think I'm cut out for academia, maryjo. I never see the bigger picture smile.gif. Like mando I would like clarification too, I didn't know lesbian was a taboo word for some lesbians.

Trumpet may have to be bumped up my list, I've had a copy for ages.

(((mando))) biting my tongue is definitely not my forte! I always jump in feet first and seldom sit back, it's just my way. I'm glad you're enjoying the Gaiman, American Gods was fantastic.
(supersci! i thought you disappeared! i still have your bust mixtape swaparoo in my car wink.gif )
I'm personally okay with the term "lesbian", but I prefer "dyke" and "queer". The words "dyke" and "queer" denote some political context for me as well--as in, being inclusive of all non-heteronormative identities (i.e. trans, genderqueer, etc.).

However, I have worked with other queer people that actively eschew the term "lesbian". For them the term refers to a history that focuses exclusively on white, upper/middle class women, and does not include/embrace the histories of women of color or working class women. It's similar to the argument that feminism has not traditionally embraced non-white women.

Since I do not have a background in academia of womens' studies and queer theory, maybe someone who does (ahem, Maryjo) could also respond.

(catlady--i did disappear for a while, and also dropped the ball on the cd exchange--my computer died, my dad died, etc. sorry!)
and, now back to our regularly scheduled broadcast...

I think I mentioned yesterday that I'd gone a little crazy in requesting books from the library. Yeah. I just got a notification that five books are now in, in addition to the three I already have at home, and the, um, thirteen others that I also requested, but just aren't in yet. I may have to call off work and hole up for the next couple of months to get through this. My (book) eyes are always bigger than my (book) stomach.

But, exciting stuff!

The books I'm picking up today are:
The Sopranos by Alan Warner (someone here recommended this one)
Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy (I saw her on the Colbert Report a few days ago)
Join Me! by Danny Wallace (someone here recommended another of his books, The Yes Man, and I read about this one when I looked that one up)
The Secret River by Kate Grenville (on the shortlist for the Man Booker 2006)
Touchy Subjects by Emma Donague (I liked her book Stir Fry)
I have to confess to obsessively checking my status on a library waiting list... let's see, I was originally #95, now I'm only #46, which means I should get to read the new Dick Francis book... sometime in mid-December? Woo-hoo!!

Superscience, let me join in on the "nice to see you again!" (I'm the artist formerly known as JillieC.) - and I want to know who Crazyoldcatlady used to be - if you've been around long enough to remember the great mix tape swaps!

Danny Wallace's Yes Man has really got me looking at my own behavior and trying to say "yes" to more things instead of curling up on my couch and ignoring the world.

And I'm currently re-reading Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart series - alt-history/fantasy about a courtesan/spy. Lovely stuff, esp. if you're kinky.
superscience, I forgot to pucker up!

Warner's The Sopranos is a fantastic read, let me know what you think. I must reread it at some point as it's been a number of years but I too have bigger book eyes than tummy. Even for a weekend away, i overpacked books.
(Supersci- i meant the cd you sent *me* is still in my car. awesome mix, still!)

(and vesica, a dingo ate my username, so i've been around longer than it says, but i've always been cocl.... i haven't been here long enough for the tape swap, although i still proudly own a tape deck smile.gif )
Superscience, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad.

I found The Sopranos good but a little problematic on the representation of teenage girls, especially following Warner's Morvern Callar. I'm wondering where Warner gets his info from.

I'm currently reading Lionel Shriver's (We Need to Talk about Kevin) Double Fault, an earlier re-issue, and it is compulsive. It's about a seriously competitive relationship and I can't put it down (although I find myself chastising the female protagonist in my head).

And now I've seen the remake of All the King's Men I really want to read the book, and maybe a biography of Huey Long.

I also bought (on a recommendation elsewhere) a non-fiction book, Privilege, which I'm saving up. It's one guy's undercover investigation of immensely privileged kids at Harvard.
syb, it's an eerie insight into the minds of teenage girls, isn't it?
Ah...I didn't realize that the author of The Sopranos is the same guy that wrote Movern Callar (I haven't read that, but did see the movie. I love Samantha Morton, just as an aside).

I finished The Night Watch. I liked it, didn't love it, but got pretty into the story and the characters. My book club discusses it this Thursday, and I'm interested to hear what everyone thought. Then I read Valencia by Michelle Tea. It was a quick read. I alternately liked it, and was annoyed by it.

I brought both The Sopranos and Female Chauvinist Pigs with me today, so I can decide which one I feel like starting at lunch.

And, I got another notice from the library today that more books are in!
"Then I read Valencia by Michelle Tea. It was a quick read. I alternately liked it, and was annoyed by it."

this is entirely my reaction to michelle tea as well, superscience. i've read almost everything she's ever written. she's one of those sneaky writers that seems like a really bad writer but is in fact a really good one--or vice versa.

"morvern callar" the movie was pretty different than the book....i love samantha morton too but i read the book first and the movie left out a lot of things that changed the story entirely.
Sybarite, it's been years since I read All the King's Men but I thought it was incredible. Robert Penn Warren not only won the Pulitzer for it, but also won two Pulitzers for poetry and was the US's first poet laureate. I heart his work muchly.
I finished reading We Were the Mulvaneys over the weekend and I feel ... empty. It is a sad, depressing and pessimistic book. It deals with the breakdown of a family following the rape of the teenage daughter and it's so tragic, the happy and ideal family completely disintegrates and everyone becomes a victim. It ends on a relatively positive note years later but it's still bleak; thinking about it, all the books I've read of Joyce Carol Oates are bleak: they tackle dark issues and may attempt a happy ending but it's never very happy. I'm not sure whether I'm put off reading any more of her work ... I've wanted to read Blonde -a fictionalised account of Marilyn Monroe's life- for some time but at least I know that will be bleakish.
I love We Were the Mulvaneys, but you're right. I felt pretty empty after reading it, too. The Joyce Carol Oates book I really want to read is Rape: A Love Story, but I probably won't be able to get around to that until after I finish my thesis. In May. sad.gif

I just bought Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy and I think it's going to piss me off. I hear people raving about it all the time, but it strikes me as a very conservative book that's being marketed under the guise of feminism. I could be wrong, though.
faerietales, not that I would be encouraging you to procrastinate ... but Rape is a very quick and easy read (I read it in a day). It is not easy subject matter of course and is one of those that have given me that empty and hopeless feeling.
Faerietails - I just started reading Female Chauvinist Pigs yesterday, and I am absolutely loving it so far. I'll be really interested in discussing it with you when you read it.
Novelist William Styron dies at 81

i'm so sad.
sophie's choice was a masterpiece.
I had my book club last Thursday to discuss The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. The group consensus was that everyone liked it, liked the reverse-time device, liked the characters. And, actually, as we got into the discussion, I found myself liking it more than I thought I had initially.

The next book we chose is Trumpet by Jackie Kay (thanks, mj!).

And, outside the bookclub, I'm still reading Female Chauvinist Pigs--and still loving it. I just haven't had much time to read over the past week. Did you start it yet, fairietails?
I don't know how many other fans of fantasy & SF we have here - I am always on the lookout for a good writer, because there's so much CRAP out there. I'm in the middle of the 2nd book of a fantasy trilogy - The Fall of Ile Rien - by Martha Wells, who's one of my favorite authors. It's tied to two of her other books (written in the same "universe"), but up 'til now everything she's written has stood alone - really well done material, with particularly well-written female characters, which in combination will snag me every time. I was a little frustrated getting into the first book (The Wizard Hunters) because there were repeated references to past events, like there was a previous book that told those stories, but there wasn't (unless they were short stories - I know Wells has published several), but eventually I got past that and really got engrossed in the storyline. It's set in a culture which is basically equivalent to the early 20th century in technological development but uses magic pretty extensively (house wards for protection, healing, etc) - they're invaded from a parallel universe by a culture that uses magic only to attack, and get involved with a third culture that only knows of magic as a weapon used against them and presumes all magic-users are evil. Good stuff.
First a quick confession, I read both of The Dexter books by Jeff Lindsey in one week because I couldn't take the suspense. It got to be too much, Sunday could never come fast enough. However, I am findin that it hasn't ruined the show. They were good but I'm not encouraging anyone to spoil the plot for themselves. No, of course I would never do that. wink.gif

I just finished The Girls by Lori Lansens and loved it. It's a fictional tale told from the perspective of craniopagus or conjoined twins. It was one of those books I couldn't put down. You know it's a good book when the pages are covered in coffee and food stains right?

I'm sure I'm not the only 29 year old woman that still reads young adult literature right? right. Well I gotta say that I was blown away by the Philip Pullman trilogy 'His Dark Materials'. I know that the film version of the first book is in production. Please read the series before that movie comes out. You got at least a year.

Also, I love when this particular thread is busy with brilliant ladies and gents. You've helped me compile a quite long list of books to read and I am up to the challenge.
This is a fly-by, but had to come in and say I love decent SF... which as you say vesica is hard to find. For now, I'll recommend two scots: Iain M Banks and Ken McLeod. Both produce very (sometimes too) dense and convincing other worlds, usually in space and in the future. Banks in particular does good characters.

I have to say too that, um, I'm really not crazy about fantasy. I know a lot of SF fans who like both but for me personally there's a big and uncrossable distinction. If you do like both you may want to check out Julian May's trilogy (or maybe quartet?) which starts with The Many Coloured Land. The mister, also a SF snob, loved them.
Holy canneloni! MissRisk! How the heck are you?

I just requested The Girls from the library. Sounds up my alley.

The His Dark Materials trilogy is on my list. I have the first two books; I just need to move them up in the rotation.

I have to echo the sentiment of lovin', lovin', lovin' the good book discussions and suggestions that come from this thread. Right on, right on.
I'm fit as a fiddle and ready for love. How bout you SuperScience? Just recently unearthed an old mixtape from you and it's now back in my rotation. Good music to listen to while I read voraciously. I'm glad your still around!

A few more recommendations: Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy and anything by Anne-Marie MacDonald. Really liked Fall on Your Knees and The Way the Crow Flies.
ah wasabininja is in such good company liking Ann-Marie Macdonald smile.gif (I recently read FoYK and think TWtCF is next on my reading agenda). As for The Dud Avocado, I started reading it a year ago -I think- after recommendations in this thread but life took over, I really need to pick it up again as I was really enjoying it.

His Dark Materials trilogy is fantastic and I'm looking forward to the film adaptation. Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy is on my mammoth to-read list too.

I never considered myself into fantasy/SF and will admit I was a bit of a literary snob but the boy started me off a few years ago with David Eddings and I've become a Pratchett fan since. The SF not as much but I find pigeon-holing texts difficult: many can cross boundaries and what I may consider as SF, someone else may not and vice versa.

I finished reading Gaiman's Stardust over the weekend; it took me a little while to get into - it isn't American Gods - but I enjoyed it. It reminded me of a lot of fantasy and children's lit: LOTR meets Chronicles of Narnia in the land of fairytales.

I am now, at long last, reading ... Middlesex! So far, so good.
i just started female chauvinist pigs, and i gotta say, i'm disappointed. so far the main problem is that it's porrly organized; she skips from anecdote to history citing to randomness, and it takes away from her main argument.

as far as SF/Fantasy, i have a friend who got into Terry Goodkind via her husband, and she swears it's hot shit ("You know I don't read these kinds of books... but I can't put it down.") He was on the NYT Bestseller, so I'm curious if anyone else reads him?
Ah Middlesex, it's one of those books that are so good that you start getting very morose as the end draws near. I remember when I finished it and I couldn't get into another book for awhile. I think I felt that way when I finished The Kite Runner too.

bunnyb- Thanks for putting Garth Nix on the top of my list. That is exactly what I'm in the mood for. I am just beginning to get myself immersed in the fanasty/scifi genre. I did love Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and I've got Stardust sitting around here...somewhere.

Just close your eyes and imagine me at a desk literally covered in unread books. Big stacks are always falling on my head or feet. I have alot of time on my hands right now but it' still not enough.
I'm read a fair bit of sci-fi/SF ... David Eddings is fantastic, I really loved Stephen Donaldson's the mirror of her dreams and its sequel - and his sci-fi books are good too. Trudi Canavan writes brilliantly - the magician's guild trilogy is unputdownable (everyone who's read it loves it). Chris Wooding's braided path trilogy is brilliant (I loved the female characters) and Juliet E. McKenna writes decent stuff too. Oh, and John Wyndham - day of the triffids, midwich cuckoos and all that. Ian M. Banks again.

I'm currently reading Bram Stoker's Dracula and I can't believe it's taken me this long to get round to it. it might be because of the huge pile of books on the floor.
*Jumping back in after slight bust hiatus*

From lurking here I went a little bit crazy at the weekend and bought tons of books.I bought Rape- A love story, The Shadow of the Wind, The Name of the Rose, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Anansi Boys and Gender Trouble.

I read "Rape. A love story" in one sitting and it tore me up inside. I find her work so depressing (not the right word but I can't think of a better one right now) but brilliant. I'm definitely going to get onto We Were the Mulvaneys. Has anyone read The Tattoed Girl by her? I loved that book but it left me with the same heavy heart.

And I've just started Shadow of the Wind.

Did The Historian spur you into reading Dracula, mornington? It did me, not that I've actually got around to it yet....

Erm, I'm terrified of the idea of the "His Dark Materials" films, I don't really read much sci-fi, and I'd love to start up a feminist book group but I don't know enough feminists... and thats about it for now!

I get most of my book recommendations from this thread (thanks ladies!) and I'm always very very pleased. Someone here recommended the book The Cheese Monkeys, which I finished last night.. and I think my brain shorted a fuse after I read the last page.. guh?! Anyone else read it and ended up similarly perplexed?
nope, haven't started female chauvinist pigs yet. it might be a while before i can get to it. sad.gif
Hi all. I've hung around in this thread and on the boards before, but it's been a while. I have an almost-two-year-old and a home business, so my posting time is seriously sporadic. As is my reading time. (You may or may not remember, it took me MONTHS to get through Middlesex!)

I just wanted to pop in and echo the appreciation for all the wonderful discussion that happens in here - my book list is also well-informed by this thread.

Let's see, what have I read lately? For a while I was having a hard time finding anything I was "in the mood" for. I took a few different books out of the library, started them, and returned them after a couple of pages or chapters. (The first Harry Potter, The Historian, a couple of others I don't remember right now.) They're all still on my "to read" list for sure, I just couldn't figure out what I wanted to read RIGHT NOW. OK, so I'm fickle. smile.gif

Anyway, I finally settled on The Poisonwood Bible and I am loving it. I'm also reading Hayden Herrera's biography of Frida Kahlo, and I just bought House of Leaves, which I've been curious about for a long time. Anyone here have any insights or tips on reading THAT monstrosity???
punkerplus - I loved We Need To Talk About Kevin. I think someone else mentioned here that they were reading another book by her (Lionel Shriver). I read it and Vernon God Little around the same time, though, and was a little overwhelmed by the depressing subject matter.

sesame - I started House of Leaves last year, and I always-always-always finish books I start, but I couldn't make it through that one. It was really interesting, but just so dense with the whole other story happening in the footnotes. I've thought many times about picking it up again, but just haven't gotten motivated to do so yet. I'd be interested to hear what you think of it, if you read it.

I'm heading to the library after work to pick up David Rakoff's latest, Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never- Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems . It should be a quick read, so I'm going to squeeze that one in before I start Trumpet.

I looked for Dud Avocado, and our entire library system doesn't have it. What the bleep?

And, I echo wasabininja and bunnyb's love for Ann-Marie MacDonald. The Way The Crow Flies and Fall On Your Knees are just amazingly fantastic. And depressing. Right up my alley.
The Way the Crow Flies is definitely next on the list although I want to read some fantasy/children's lit too: I have the Garth Nix trilogy in my cascading pile, Eragon (a must before the film is out) and I think it's about time I reread HP and the Half Blood Prince.

sesame, The Poisonwood Bible I've been meaning to read for AGES and it's a positive that you're enjoying it after not getting into so many.

punkerplus, The Tattooed Girl was fantastic but with the obligatory Oates bleakness.

superscience, I remember finding it difficult to get a hold of The Dud Avocado but finally got a second-hand copy; I believe it was roseviolet who said it was a book she bought secondhand for all of her friends as it is so good so maybe worth investing in?

mornington, I forgot you were such an Eddings fan! He is fabulous and I even found that Feist paled in comparison (sacrilege to some fantasy lovers I know); the boy enjoyed the Trudi Canavan books, has read both Goodkind and Robin Jenkins (think he preferred the latter) as well as other fantasists and is now reading the Flashman series. I have a friend who is a huge fantasy/crime fan and I bought her Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking last week for a gift after someone's rec in here.

So ... dare I say it? I am enjoying Middlesex but not LOVING it, just started Book 3.
i'm not even going to start about anne-marie macdonald because the archives have on record bunnyb ribbing me for kind of talking about no one else.

my current bedtime reading is a book of classic short stories--ring lardner, stephen vincent benet, etc. the kind of stuff you have to read in highschool AP english, hah. i love it though. i also still haven't finished zola's "germinal"...i keep forgetting about it, then picking it up and reading like a third of it in one go, then forgetting about it again.

still meaning to read "god of small things".
mouse, you know I was kidding cos I heart your love for AMM as, otherwise, I may not have picked up one of the best books I've read ever.
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