Since today is Book Lover’s Day, I thought I would share some of my favorite books with you.
The first book on my list is Me Talk Pretty One Day by the fabulous David Sedaris. This book made me laugh out loud. It made my laugh hysterically. It made me laugh until I cried.
I especially like the essay in which David’s French class is discussing Easter. (The name of this essay is “Jesus Shaves.”) I won’t spoil it for you (and my explanation can’t do it justice), but you MUST read it for yourself.
The next book is RE/Search #11: Pranks by V. Vale. (According to Wikipedia, “RE/Search Publications is an American magazine and book publisher, based in San Francisco, founded by its editors Andrea Juno and V. Vale in 1980.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RE/Search) This book is exquisite!
It’s a series of interviews with folks who have pulled colossal pranks. Some of these folks have been pulling pranks their whole lives. The pranks are really clever (not slapstick) and often make people question their assumptions and the things they take for granted about the world we live in. I think this book is all about making people think and question and feel.
My one critique of this book is that hardly any women are represented. Do women not pull pranks, are they difficult to find, or did the author of this book just not try hard enough?
The next book is a memoir, Sleeping with Cats by Marge Piercy. This book is so fantastic!
I love so much about Marge Piercy. I love the way she decided to remain childless because she knew she couldn’t sacrifice her writing and her time to be a good mother. I love the way that she knows she can be a difficult person. I love the way she is a true, strong feminist who wants equality for women, equality for people. I love the way she understands poverty, having grown up in it. I love that she gardens, grows food, barters her produce for food she cannot grow. I love that she uses the word “zine” throughout her book. I love her strength, her determination, her fortitude. I love that she loves cats, sex, and travel. I wish I could be her friend.
This book is the story of Piercy’s life, everything that’s happened to her woven around the core of the cats she has known and loved. She writes about her husbands too, her books, her friends, but at the center are her cats.
Piercy ends each chapter with one of her poems. My favorite is “The Weight” which concludes chapter seventeen.
This book is substantial. The writing is solid, engaging, challenging, but not difficult. I read with my new dictionary at my side, looking up the dozen or so words I didn’t know.
I think this is my new favorite book. I think I need to write Marge Piercy a fan letter.
Another favorite book is also autobiographical, A Working Stiff’s Manifesto: A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can’t Remember by Iain Levison.
I laughed until I cried reading this book. It is excellent, excellent, excellent.
The author chronicles many of the shit jobs he’s had since graduating from college. That’s right, he graduated from college, and he’s still reduces to working shit jobs. Any of us could find ourselves in his situation.
Another book dealing with labor issues is Sabotage in the American Workplace: Anecdotes of Dissatisfaction, Mischief, and Revenge by Martin Sprouse. This book is SO GOOD! I have read it twice and gotten a huge kick out of it both times.
It’s all about how people purposely messed things up at their jobs, mostly because they had been mistreated or had seen a wrong perpetrated against a fellow worker. These clever true stories are told in first-person accounts by the people who did the deeds.
The first novel on today’s list is The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker. I love the way this book validates all kinds of different relationships and doesn’t hold romantic/sexual love above all other kinds relationships. I buy used copies whenever I find them cheap so I can pass it out to people I like. It is a fantastic book and highly recommended.
The final book for today is Here Comes the Bride: Women, Weddings, and the Marriage Mystique by Jaclyn Geller. This book is awesome!
The author breaks down the institution of marriage and shows it for the oppressive institution it is. She does so by taking to task the wedding industry, critiquing every thing from buying the dress to getting the reception catered.
I don’t even know how to say how fantastic and important this book is. Please read it.
I hope these mini-book reviews inspire you to read a book today. I hope you enjoy whatever you read today as much as I enjoyed these books.