ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Members try to read 50 books in 2010. Anyone can participate. Keep track of your progress with your own thread.

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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby Lilien » 29 Nov 2010, 01:48

Yeah, Rad have some better things than that.

wildlx wrote:#53 Boring!


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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby wildlx » 29 Nov 2010, 02:31

Well, we seem to have different opinions on books ;-). Like Nurse Jo I stopped reading Radclyffe. My full opinion on that book can be found here.
A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion. “The Woman-Identified Woman” Radicalesbians (1970)
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby ElaineB » 30 Nov 2010, 02:04

:snigger: Well, Wildlx, I'm impressed you put that much effort into the review.

Jo, definitely give Spelling Mississippi another try. It could well be you have to be in the right mood. Yes, it does meander slowly, though things pick up once they meet. So you just have to relax into it. For me, I enjoyed parsing the writing techniques--the flashbacks, the viewpoints, how she juggled these so well. But there are any number of books (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek comes to mind) that I tried, and tried, and couldn't get into until one day the planets aligned or something and I thought the book was the best thing ever!

By the way, I just skimmed through Storms of Change. That will likely be my last Radclyffe.
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby ElaineB » 06 Dec 2010, 06:22

#54 Lost Daughters, by JM Redmann
5stars
She's done it again. Whew. This one was great. I love that in each book Micky also solves some important mystery in her own life. I was bawling at the end. And though I figured out what would happen, the details took me by surprise, yet they fit perfectly. Terrific.
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby ElaineB » 21 Dec 2010, 02:22

#55 The Creamsickle, by Rhiannon Argo
2+stars
Disclosure: I got this free from the Lambda Literary Foundation. I guess I made a big enough donation. It won a Lammy for debut novel. The writing is quite good and it would make an interesting companion piece to Stone Butch Blues. Set in today's San Francisco, it tells the story of three bois and the ice cream colored house of the title that they live in. It might be what SBB would have been if set today. On the other hand, it pales by comparison. It's almost like the author liked her characters too much to have anything really bad happen to them. While I learned a lot about boi/femme culture (yeah, butch/femme is alive and well, just queered), skate culture, and stripping, overall, nothing happens. There's no arc to the story. Most of the characters do not change from beginning to end. One does rather dramatically, but that's not the point of the story. There isn't really a point. And many scenes end abruptly and next thing you now Georgie, the narrator, is waking up with a hangover or a girl in her bed, or something and we've missed the details. It feels superficial, like skateboarding down a hill--you fly along and everything blurs. Maybe that's her point. She narrates in present tense with very long backstories in past tense--well enough written not to be info dumps, but still way too long.

This is one year in the life of a 22-year-old who drinks too much, takes drugs that don't seem to have any major consequences in her life, flits from job to job, loves to skate and fuck women and that's about it. I found myself quite frustrated and finally skipped to the end to see if I had anything to look forward to. Nope. (I did go back and read the rest.) If the story had been of the house, which had quite a storied history, that would have been one thing, but really it's just the place they crash and their attachment to it says more about their immaturity than about the iconography of the house. It seemed there were a lot of themes that could have been explored but weren't. The kids come from dysfunctional homes, which probably explains their lost state. But they made me cringe to think this is the generation that's going to take over for us. Part of what made SBB so good was that it took us across so many years and through so much. This is one year in the lives of these kids and my 22nd year wouldn't have been any more interesting. But this is fiction, so it should have been.

One reviewer implies you'd best be under 40 to appreciate this. So maybe that's my problem.
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby Baker » 21 Dec 2010, 07:40

In GG's phrase, I think you took one for the over-40's team, Elaine.
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby Athena » 22 Dec 2010, 10:09

ElaineB wrote:#54 Lost Daughters, by JM Redmann
5stars

So many forumites recommended her books, so I bought Death by the Riverside in August. But I probably won't be able to read it by the end of this year. :( There are two books I plan to finish this year and one of them has 560 pages.
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby ElaineB » 23 Dec 2010, 02:31

Well, I hope you like it after all we've been going on about it. And if you do like it, the rest are as good or almost as good. Tremendous consistency in these.

I've been working all year on one that's only 198 pages. Hope to get it done before the end of the year.
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby ElaineB » 27 Dec 2010, 04:20

#56 Nine Stories, by JD Salinger
2stars
I finished this just shy of one year since receiving it for Christmas. Nine stories, 198 pages. You'd think it'd go quicker. Supposedly a must read for learning writers. I finished each story with a big, "What the hell was that all about?" Reinforces my memory of disliking Catcher in the Rye. Yeah, he's a good writer, and many of these were in The New Yorker, so who am I to complain? Just goes to show you, one reader's opinion...
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Re: ElaineB's 50 Books in 52 Weeks

Postby FranW » 27 Dec 2010, 08:07

I thought Lost Daughters was very good indeed. I'd like to read more of Redmann's work. Lost Daughters worked much better for me than the McDermid books I've read.
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