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11th November 2005
We were pleased to see the following corrections to : The New York Times's
Wednesday story, which appears in this morning's edition:
"Because of an editing error, an article on Wednesday about rules for children and parents in restaurants and other businesses misstated the site of an incident in which a woman was asked to stop breast-feeding in a store in Chicago. It was not the Women and Children First bookstore but another business in the neighborhood. The article also misstated the bookstore's policy for children who break rules for story time. Parents are asked to take them away from the reading area; the children are not ejected."
9th November 2005
In case you were wondering...
The owners and staff of Women & Children First bookstore are quite distressed about an article that appeared in today’s (11/9/05) New York Times, which contains totally false claims about the store. The article, "At Center of a Clash, Rowdy Children in Coffee Shops,” by the Times’s Chicago Bureau Chief Jodi Wilgoren, portrays the store as an environment that is not welcoming to women with young children. :
The errors in this story are not only egregious in “the newspaper of record,” they are extremely damaging to us. We have spent 26 years carefully cultivating an atmosphere that supports women in all their life-choices; and the choice of our store’s name was specifically intended to indicate that wherever women go, children are likely to be with them, and that we meant ALL of them to feel welcome and well-nurtured in our store.
For the record, we would like to address the following factual errors in the story:
Ms. Wilgoren states as a fact that “When a retail clerk at the bookstore asked a woman to stop breast-feeding last spring, ‘the neighborhood set him straight real fast,’ said Mary Ann Smith, the area’s alderman.” The factual errors in that one sentence alone are:
• There was no male on staff who could have been the “him” in question.
• No woman has ever been asked not to breast-feed here. We have chairs in which women are welcome to sit while breast-feeding. We carry many books on how to breast-feed. We often sell them at conferences that promote breast-feeding. We are as pro-breast-feeding as a business can get.
• Our alderman, Mary Ann Smith, whom we spoke to this morning, did not set this imaginary “him” straight after this imaginary incident. She told us that, in fact, the main tone and content of her conversation with Ms. Wilgoren focused on how child-friendly she thinks our neighborhood is. When we read her the actual quote from the story, her response was, “Didn’t happen, didn’t happen, didn’t happen.”
Ms. Wilgoren also states as a fact that “many” Andersonville mothers are “skipping” our weekly Storytime, because of the rules: “children can be kicked out for standing, talking or sipping drinks.” The factual errors in this statement are that:
• Children are never “kicked out” of our Storytime. Our Storytime has several simple rules, which the children all recite at the beginning, and which we feel are the minimum necessary for avoiding chaos in a group that usually numbers 30-40 kids from 0-5. These rules are “We stay sitting on our bottoms; No eating; Use our ears to listen.” Parents are requested to turn off cellphones. When a baby is fussy or a child cannot sit still for the entire half-hour, it is suggested that the parent/nanny take them away from the Storytime area until the child has calmed down again, so as not to disrupt the experience for everyone else. We have been conducting Storytime with an enthusiastic, overflow crowd for almost 20 years according to these rules.
• Since our store is always packed at Storytime, we have no way of knowing how “many” mothers may be skipping Storytime because they feel our rules are too restrictive, but we wonder whether Ms. Wilgoren does, either.
Ms. Wilgoren unfortunately never contacted us for comment on her claims, so we had no chance to refute them before the story appeared. But we did welcome local news crews from CBS and WGN today, and of course wrote the New York Times requesting that they retract their comments.
We’d like to thank all our loyal customers and supporters who’ve called or written today to show support. Feel free to forward our statement to anyone who might be interested, and to contact the Times if you’d like to help correct their erroneous impression of the store.
With all best wishes,
The Staff at Women & Children First
16th September 2005
Did you know that there's a : new Anne Carson book
? "Decreation: Poetry
, Essays, Opera."
Did you know that Sarah Kramer
from "How It All Vegan"
and "The Garden of Vegan"
has a new one out, "La Dolce Vegan"
Did you know we have two sets of Willow and Tara and Miss Kitty Fantastico Together Forever action figures
for sale for 15$?
Did you know we have a new issue of Hip Mama
New Zadie Smith
, new "Best American Poetry 2005"
, new book called "Red Light: Superheroes, Saints and Sluts"
. Red Light is all about female icons, rewriting the traditional ones and claiming some new ones, and includes pieces called "Avatar in Pink: Thirteen Manifestations of Jayne Mansfield," "She Pouts Like Scarlett O'Hara," "Why I Want to Be Pam Grier," "Beyond Dis/Credit: Divine Brown," and "Yellow Rose of Texas." Yeah yeah yeah.
Also: we have a new, much larger, travel section. We have a new, growing larger, crafty section. We've moved the Culture (including Whedon stuff) and Lit Crit into the Women's Studies area. We have air conditioning.
Nina is right now ordering jewelry from the lovely : Deana Rose
, and I was just sitting at the computer doing whatever, and suddenly Deana called out to me "YOU'VE SEEN SERENITY???" She is a total Browncoat, is super excited about the movie, and she has an incredible necklace she's designed
THAT IS NAMED INARA
. It's so beautiful. SO beautiful. There's this huge stone on it that looks black but then you look closer and there are tons of blue and gold-ish sparkles. We'll eventually have one in the store for your eyes to fondle.
15th September 2005
wee free mens
I read and loved Terry Pratchett's "Wee Free Men." There's a jacket blurb from The Washington Post comparing the heroine, Tiffany, to a bunch of other heroines, including Meg from "A Wrinkle in Time." I had totally forgotten about her! She was such a big deal to me as a kid. I bet those books would be great to re-read. Anyway, Wee Free Men was loaned and recommended to me by a friend who for a while had that "I can't stop re-reading Harry Potter" problem. It's that kind of easy, gripping young adult fantasy. Only with witches, and tiny angry blue men (not Blue Men like Tobias Bluth, just blue men), and feminist elements. And erotic passages. Ok, no erotic passages. Eew. :
Did anyone see Betty Dodson at Early to Bed?
8th September 2005
Hey, Betty Dodson is coming to Chicago! Early to Bed is having her, and if you haven't been that store yet you need to go NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW. As far as I'm concerned, it is the ONLY sex toy shop in Chicago. She'll be there this Sunday, the 11th, from 7-9. She'll show her new film "Orgasmic Women: 13 Selfloving Divas," & then answer your questions. It's totally free, you have to be 18, and you can call Early to Bed or more info: 773/271-1219. :
Early to Bed:http://early2bed.com/
Gapers Block, which lists the event as well as the Windy City Rollers event where I will be witnessing kickass rolleraction:http://www.gapersblock.com/slowdown/archives/2005/09/11/
1st September 2005
How to explain what you missed if you weren't at Gurlesque Burlesque. It's not just sexy and funny and super political. It's also this space where for a couple of hours I'm not pissed off about beauty standards, because they've suddenly just expanded to include everyone. For me, all the fat women who get up on that stage are total heroes. It's hard to single out any acts in particular to talk about, but there were a few political ones that were fascinating. The Radical Cheerleaders did an incredible anti-marriage, anti-corporate act. Love it love it LOVE IT. I wish I had the full text of their anti-marriage thing, it was awesome. The Hellcat Hussies took on race issues, with women of color having all the power over some kneeling white ladies - there was a noose involved, and the song was The Big Payback, and I could kind of feel the audience freaking out around me. It was intense, and provocative, and what burlesque should be. There was also a sexy Snow White, sexy Red Riding Hood, the sexiest spider ever, an awesomely disturbed nurse, an incredible dance with birds, Nomy Lamm with her accordion belting Fat Bottom Girls, and lots of other completely incredible acts. You should go next time!!! If you were there, post comments about what I forgot. :
Speaking of Nomy Lamm, she came by and left an awesome note in her friend Inga Muscio's new book, telling you why you should read it. Check that out next time you're in.
I just finished Octavia Butler's "Fledgling," due out in October. The only other thing I've read by her is "Kindred." I liked "Fledgling," and I hope to see her speak about it on her tour. But it really disturbed me, too. A lot. I tried to take it to lunch one day and realized I couldn't read it and eat. It's about vampires, and the word "lapping" kept being used. Um. Eew. It's a non-violent, misunderstood vampire legend that she's created, and I just kept getting all disturbed by the word choices for the actual bloodsucking business. My issues, I guess. There were some other things that bothered me, but I'm looking forward to hearing her talk about the book, and of course talking to any store customers who read it.
Now I'm reading Trinie Dalton's collection of stories "Wide-Eyed." I've been intrigued by Dennis Cooper's "Little House on the Bowery" series, and finally picked this one up. I'm really, really, really into it. I thought my favorite story opening would be this:
"When my mom and aunt were single, we lived in this bachelorette condo. I loved choreographing dances to the records they'd bring home - Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, Juice Newton. My aunt had a Doobie Brother-ish boyfriend, Bob, who had the face of a clown without makeup: it was roseate and overly happy in an unreadable way."
Ok, that was totally going to be my fave, then a story started like this:
"My face is not exactly like two dogs humping, but it's just as fascinating and embarassing."
Anyway, I'm flying through these stories and they are even more compelling to me than playing Galaga. They feature videogames and cats and hummingbirds.
For the first time in a while, the W&CF CD player works! That is exciting. I would gladly trade it for consistently working A/C though.
22nd August 2005
Buffy scholars - bring it
Do you know a Chicago-area someone who has been published on Buffy in one of the books of critical essays on BtVS, or on Slayage? If you do, and if they'd be interested in possibly being part of a panel of presenters at the store, I'd love to hear from them at email@example.com. :
20th August 2005
A friend emailed me an incredible article by Barbara Ehrenreich called : Welcome to Cancerland: A Mammogram Leads to a Cult of Pink Kitsch.
"Finally there is nothing left to read but one of the free local weekly newspapers, where I find, buried deep in the classifieds, something even more unsettling than the growing prospect of major disease-a classified ad for a "breast cancer teddy bear" with a pink ribbon stitched to its chest.
Yes, atheists pray in their foxholes-in this case, with a yearning new to me and sharp as lust, for a clean and honorable death by shark bite, lightning strike, sniper fire, car crash. Let me be hacked to death by a madman, is my silent supplication-anything but suffocation by the pink sticky sentiment embodied in that bear and oozing from the walls of the changing room."
She's speaking here September 30 about her new book Bait and Switch
. I really liked Nickel and Dimed, but after reading this article, I'm officially a big fan and would be into hearing her speak about just about anything. Even awful things like football or fake meat or harem pants. I'm totally there.
19th August 2005
If you have one of them computery-type jobs, I know the perfect thing for you to do at work today. : You should vote in the Quills Awards.
Not much that's super exciting to me, looking at the lists. Of course I voted for Kelly Link and other faves in the pre-voting that determined the nominations, which we Booksense booksellers got to be part of. I don't think many surprising things ended up on there. I certainly would LOVE to hear Isabel Allende give a speech. I know she'd kill on the red carpet, too. Actually, a Jon Stewart speech would be awesome too. Go vote! Think about giving me an entertaining awards show to watch.
I don't know if you wanted to plan some sort of party or something for this, but I did finish the Earthsea Cycle. It was so beautiful and amazing and the last one is so recent that I wonder if there's any hope of her writing another. What if I decided to write it. Tenar, meet Willow. And also some Cylons. Everything that's in my head can just go into Earthsea. "WHY do all the dragons have kitten features and unicorn horns?" They just do, Ged. They just do.
Ok, Browncoats. When you come into the store, you know that Culture section next to Politics that you run right over to because that's where we keep the Buffy and Angel books, and Finding Serenity
? Well, there is a cup there now of free Serenity pins. Have at it. And back on the ground by the bulletin board there are a few nice promo sheets for the movie. If they go quickly, I'll get more.
I just spent a weekend in Detroit, got to hang out with some of my favorite friends, and went to the glorious John K King Books
. You can see the size of it in that photo. We went to the main one and the Ferndale branch, and I found great deals at both, including a 25 cent Ursula Le Guin YA novel. LOVE IT.
After lots of great book talk over the weekend with my Detroit girlfriends, I sent them the link to Bookslut
. I always assume everyone knows about it and reads it, but of course that's not true - I sometimes need reminders of the diff between "me" and "everyone." I told them that the blog is particularly addictive - updated constantly. Little did I know there would be lovely talk about W&CF in a recent blog entry about an article on feminist bookstores. Perfect time for me to be sending people to that site. Also, lucky for me, I generally trust Jessa's taste. The raves about A.L. Kennedy's "Paradise" and about Maureen McHugh's "Mothers and Other Monsters" are two huge reasons for that. The fact that I'll be hosting an event here the night of the Bookslut Maureen McHugh reading seriously hurts me. HURTS. But Tish will go and give me a full report, and the event here for Borrowed Body
by Valerie Mason-John
is going to be awesome.
The issue we got in today is the last issue of Angel Magazine
. You know I'm so mad.
10th August 2005
I should really be unpacking boxes of books right now, but I just (totally out of nowhere) thought about : Gurlesque Burlesque
and decided to look at the Sissy Butch Bros. website
to see if anything was going on. OHMYGOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! There's a show coming up on August 27! How did I not know?!?!?!?!
Of course, it's the weekend I'm gonna be out of town. I've been waiting a whole year for this. Arrrrgh.
You all should go. It's really the sexiest
and most inspiring
show I have ever seen. AMAZING!
5th August 2005
It's been brought to my attention that Tish and myself are increasingly boring to talk to about books. I agree. The only answer to "What are you reading?" is Ursula. Sorry. But she's so good. Once I finish up the Earthsea business (Tehanu is INCREDIBLE, by the way), I look forward to getting to the new Spike-centric Buffy novel, Spark and Burn. Also high on my list is the new Octavia Butler book, Fledgling, about a young girl who realizes she's a 53 year old vampire. And I think she's a black vampire too, and can maybe walk in the sun? I just skimmed the description quickly before knowing I needed it & writing off to the publisher for a reader's copy. :
Two things of interest from the new issue of my lover Entertainment Weekly: one, they talk about the new fall TV season as a particularly misogynist one. All these new police procedurals are outdoing each other in grisly-ness, and it's just a lotta creative, horrible, violence against women on your screen. Someone in the article speculates that the crackdown on sex stuff because of that Janet Jackson business means that the people making TV are turning to violence as a way to sneak in "sexy." Um. That is vile. I spent yesterday home sick lying on the couch watching Roseanne and Ellen and Grace Under Fire and loving the feminist elements of those shows. Sitcoms that don't hate me! I kind of forgot about those.
The other thing from EW was a Jim Jarmusch interview. He said he was thinking about how so many women actors over 35 are great but don't get good parts, and partly wrote Broken Flowers as a way to cast some of those women. He didn't say it like he did it as a favor to them, but like he would then GET to work with them. Love him. Cannot WAIT to see Broken Flowers this week.
4th August 2005
A grammar lesson
I'm not a spectacular grammarian, so today, when my coworkers were talking about lay/lie and how irksome they find incorrect usage, I had to admit that I never learned which was correct in what instance. They schooled me right then and there! I now know that before I lie down to sleep at night I will always first lay my cats across my pillows. :
3rd August 2005
Monday was INVENTORY. A day dreaded by the W&CF staff. Every year we spend a day tallying up the cost of every item in the store, which I guess is important for accounting reasons, but oh my god is it BORING. This year however, we got fancy and used these special inventory scanners that allowed us to not only get a dollar amount for the store, but we actually corrected our inventory. That means when you call for a book and I look at the computer and say, yeah, we've got a copy, I will actually be able to walk to the shelf and find the book there. Crazy, I know. The work was still monotonous, but it was nice to feel like we had accomplished something at the end of the day. We also had fantastic volunteers who made the day go by so much faster. :
For the past three months or so the listening station was out of order because the headphones had been pulled out of the socket. I just assumed that since the unit was screwed into the wall, I would have to unscrew the whole thing to re-attatch the headphones. I dreaded the thought of even trying to attempt this, so I just kept putting it off. Today I received the new listening station cds, and finally decided that I had to do something about the damn headphones. So I took a screwdriver to the unit and FAILED to accomplish anything. Then, by total accident, I realized that the front panel is removable and plugging in the headphones was super easy. Lame would be the word to describe me. At least the LS is working again, and you should stop by to take a listen. The selection is a completely bizarre mix of things, including Culture Club, Patti LaBelle, and Janis Joplin--how could you not be intrigued.
Pam and I are spending the weekend at Wizard World
. I am freaking out about meeting Andy Hallett, Mercedes McNab, John Cassaday, David Mack, Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Ross, Michael Gaydos and George Lowe. I will also be spending a good amount of time at the Browncoats table, looking at Buffy trading cards and action figures, and admiring art that I can't even imagine affording. Hottt!
28th July 2005
Best Summer Reading
The store is packed with tantalizing choices to take to the beach, to your summer-getaway, or to hole up with in some lovely air-conditioned space when the temperature and the ozone are soaring outside. We've just picked a few highlights to get a list started--but we want to hear what you're reading and would recommend to others, so by all means, feel free to add suggestions by clicking "Comment on this" below the list! And you can order any of our selections from our website (store pick-up incurs no mailing charges!) just by clicking on the book title. :
At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee ($9.95). If you experience palpitations when passing a yarn shop, or hear yourself muttering, “Just one more row,” you have a problem. At Knit’s End may not solve it—but it will keep you in stitches.
Lesbian Pulp Fiction, ed. By Katherine V. Forrest ($18.95). From smutty, sensational tales of innocent girls led astray to sensitive, realistic depictions of “life in the shadows,” this anthology cruises the golden age of lesbian paperback novels, 1950-1965.
Magic for Beginners, by Kelly Link ($24). One elegant sentence at a time, Link’s stories create familiar, spooky, sometimes funny worlds where cats are parented by witches, or a cheerleader hangs out with the Devil.
The Position, by Meg Wolitzer ($24). A wry novel about four adult siblings who’ve never quite recovered from having parents who were the Poster Couple for the 1970s sexual revolution.
Prep, by Curtis Sittenfeld ($21.95). Darkly comic, wince-producing novel about a Midwestern girl coming of age (or not) at an exclusive New England prep school.
Sleepaway: Writings on Summer Camp, ed. By Eric Simonoff ($14). Twenty diverse writers, including David Sedaris, Margaret Atwood, and Wendy McClure, celebrate and bemoan those childhood days in the woods.
, by Michael Cunningham ($25). Cunningham’s first new novel since The Hours
features a trio of related stories presided over by the prophetic figure of Walt Whitman.The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll
, by Jean Nathan ($15). Especially if you remember the weirdly perverse Lonely Doll
books from childhood, you need to read this mesmerizing account of author Dare Wright’s glamorous and bizarre life.Garlic and Sapphires
, by Ruth Reichl ($24.95). One of our most delicious food writers recalls her undercover adventures as food critic for The New York Times.The Writing on the Wall
, by Lynne Sharon Schwartz ($24). Schwartz’s newest is a deeply compelling story about how one New York woman experiences 9/11; her masterpiece Disturbances in the Field
—about another New York woman whose life is suddenly shaken by tragedy—has just been reissued in paperback ($14.95).
23rd July 2005
Harry Potter Release Potter
Last Friday we stayed open past midnight so that we could sell : "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
" to the waiting fans. Though I am a huge fan of the Potter books, I was leery of working way past midnight in a store jam-packed to the brim with overly tired children. I was pleasantly surprised by how well behaved everyone was, children and adults both. There were snacks which looked and tasted like Fritos, but were actually "Dragon Toe-Nails" and of course Butterbeer. The entire staff was in costume, including our owners who came as Madame Hooch, and Professor McGonagall. We had a Harry Potter Spelling Bee, Harry Potter Crossword Puzzle, an HP Trivia Contest. There was also a costume parade, judged by yours truely, which was a parade of cuteness. There was a lightning quick recap of book six, complete with audience participation, whenever a character was mentioned the audience had to shout a tag line. For instance when we said the name "Harry Potter" The audience would cry, "Oh my scar!" Finally, we counted down to midnight, the audience rushed the register, because so many people had pre-ordered the book, all they had to do was give us their card (which we distributed at the entrance) and pick up their book. Those, who hadn't pre-ordered had to wait in line, but we got through them in under a half an hour, and they were very patient. We closed at 12:45, and I was home by 1:15, I drew a bath, poured a glass of wine, and started "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."
21st July 2005
New today: a feminist magazine for teens called : Shameless,
out of Canada. Tagline: "For Girls Who Get It." Their 1st anniversary issue includes headlines "5 Reasons To Fall in Love With Comics," "Be Your Own Bike Mechanic," "Skate Like a Lady," and "Become a DJ From Scratch." Inside there's a Hot Fat Girl Revolution Manifesto, a column on Birth Control's Shady Past, story about "the Skirtboarders, Montreal's feisty all-female skate crew," the top 5 reasons sneakers beat stilettos, and much more. Finally! Yay Shameless!
Also the second issue of Spread
is in, with a lovely Michelle Tea cover photo. I can't wait to read her interview.
Wizards and Other Weiners
Maureen McHugh's collection of stories : Mothers and Other Monsters
is just awesome. A lot of the stories are about technology, and the things it might possibly change, and the things it doesn't change about how we relate to one another. Characters with Alzheimers appear in many of the stories. You know all those questions you have when someone's sickness makes them only partially them? Or a different them? And no one can tell you much about how this works? What better way to speculate than through fiction. I recommend this book. Relatable characters in altered worlds.
I finally got around to starting Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea Chronicles. I've only read the first one, "Wizard of Earthsea." It's impossible to hear Tish talk about these books and not want to read them. The first one was really good, and I look forward to getting to the next five. They were written as Young Adult books, so they move quickly. The thing that most convinced me to start them was Tish telling me that Ursula wrote the first 3 books in the late 60s, and wrote the next 3 decades later. In the meantime, she'd discovered feminism! It changed her, and of course it changed this world she'd created, so she had to add on to it. So exciting, I can't wait to get to those final three.
Also reading the new Serenity and Angel comics! Awesome. The Serenity comics are especially stomach-fluttering, I think just seeing the set of characters translated so well into a new medium is really exciting.
Speaking of comics, Wizard World is coming up soon. I've been really focused on Andy Hallett (Lorne from Angel), and how exciting it will be to meet him. But I just found out Margot Kidder will be there too! My roommate and I are big La Femme Nikita fans, and she was in an episode of that. We figured that could be one thing to compliment her on. Then last night I rented Brian De Palma's "Sisters," which she's in, and it's a totally creepy 70s horror film involving Siamese twins. It was interesting that the protagonist (played not by Margot, but by Jennifer Salt) was this reporter who was clearly a lefty feminist, with no love interest, who declared she wasn't going to marry anyone. And she wasn't proven wrong by the end of the film! God, imagine that. Yeah, you could argue that she was punished (it is a horror film), but just to see someone relatable like that onscreen was exciting to me. Ok - so we can talk to Margot about that movie. And just a while ago my friend emailed me that Margot was totally outspoken against the first Gulf War! And she totally does mental wellness work too. Cannot wait to meet this lady. She's so much more than Lois Lane.
Is there store stuff I should tell? We have enough volunteers for inventory. We love that. There's now a link on the left side of our homepage updated with the upcoming Young Feminist Group selections. Good and varied. And someone who was here for it should really post about the Harry Potter Party. I will say that I talked to someone yesterday who attended both the Borders & B&N parties (in Michigan, not around here) and all B&N had for kids was COLORING! Lameness! She said they obviously had a huge decorating budget, and everything looked pretty nice, but the kid she was with was just like "Let's go home. We can get it tomorrow." I wasn't here, but I think ours was pretty lively compared to that. I'll try to get Gwyn, Angelique, or Linda to post about it.
14th July 2005
Ok! To subscribe to Young Feminists Listserv go : here
, and click to the left on subscribe.
7th July 2005
I read : Warriors: Into the Wild
. It is the total fantasy life of my cats. They believe that it would be glamorous to run around the woods and be all lean and hungry but really they would be crying fat baby tears in about an hour. Or really, in about a second if they stepped in a mud puddle or heard a noise of any sort or smelled a smell. It's about a kittypet named Rusty who turns his back on the Twolegs who take care of him, and goes into the woods to live in a clan of warrior cats. I am completely into it. It made me all emotional, and I'll probably read at least a few more in the series
. There'd be parts where a battle didn't go so well, there were injuries or even casualties, and they'd all lower their heads and grieve together as a clan. My throat would get all tight and I felt like I was reading about the bravest heros ever. Just the fact that one is named Smallear chokes me up right now. OH MAN OH MAN OH MAN. Look what I just found - a petition I can sign for a Warriors movie.
1st July 2005
"Fifteen original tales of women who are or become warriors." : Women of War
looks awesome! Tanya Huff and Alexander Potter co-edit - here's
a short interview with Tanya, in which she names Joss Whedon as one of her favorite writers.
Another book that came in recently that caught my eye is The G-String Murders
, by Gypsy Rose Lee
. It's part of a series of pulps written by women that The Feminist Press
has been re-releasing. Everytime a new one comes in I can't believe I haven't read any of them yet. I am so going to get to them soon!
29th June 2005
A couple of weeks ago the Young Feminist group had a potluck, which included fancy brie cheese, a lentil salad, and these amazing baked stuffed peaches (yes, I'm totally trying to make you jealous) and we picked the discussion books for the next 6 months. The list is eclectic, and I'm excited about everything we'll be reading. The first book is The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which is so not at all like anything the group has read before. I mean just check out this : list
--lots of theory and political issue books. All of which I love to read, but who can process anything dense when it's 97 degrees outside?!?! So, I think Sisterhood will be perfect summer fare--fun to read and discuss. Plus I think a Young Feminist field trip to the movies is way overdue!
28th June 2005
Why am I back from vacation so FAST? :
First I read Queen of the Slayers by Nancy Holder. It picks up just where BtVS ended. I live in constant fear of spoiling someone who is working their way through the series now, so no details, but it was great. Until it got completely insane at the end. Still enjoyable, just some crazy business happened that I could not get on board with. UGH I wish I could say what happened because you'd think it was crazy too. But I cain't.
After that, Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno, which I liked a lot. It's a Chicago punk rock coming of age story. It made me laugh, and it made me glad I'm not a teenager anymore.
Neil Gaiman's Coraline scared me. The story involves people whose eyes are buttons, and I'm not so into that, and in the middle of the night I woke up and couldn't see my friend's eyes because it was too dark and it really freaked me out. The book only took me like an hour to read. You should read it too. But sleep by yourself, or take a flashlight to bed. That is the way to go.
The rest of my reading time was taken up by The Historian. Awesome. It made me obsessed with Vlad the Impaler, and I felt like he was in Jamaica which seems so unlike him, but it really felt true. Although we were swimming in the sparkling aqua Caribbean Sea, it felt like we were in The Black Sea. Dracula's creepy ass has that much power. The book had great maps and mysterious books and all this awesome history of Central Europe and train rides and castles and it was just totally fun. I really really enjoyed the low level creepiness of it.
I started Maureen McHugh's Mothers and Other Monsters on the way back, and I'm about halfway through it. Loving it. It makes me want to pick up some of her novels. And in the little review thingies at the front of the book she's compared to Ursula Le Guin which just makes me that much more excited to get to Ursula, and should make all you Ursula lovers want to read Maureen if you haven't.
Other random news:
New Sara Paretsky is in - love her for taking on Wal-Mart in this one.
New Michael Cunningham is in - super pretty cover, excited to read it.
We have a new magazine called Spread that's specifically for sex workers and their allies. Articles include a Carol Queen interview, "Sex Workers Take a Stand and the Stage at The International AIDS Conference in Bangkok," and "Black Tale: Women of Colour and the Porn Industry," and an article from France on Cabiria - they provide sex workers with legal, medical and social support, work with lawyers to support migrant sex workers, and they operate not only for but also with sex workers. Next ish will have a Michelle Tea interview.
Inga Muscio has a new book out - Cunt was the first title for our Young Feminist Discussion Group.
Ann raved this morning at staff meeting about Nancy Pearl's More Book Lust, which we'll try to get her to blog about soon. We got in the Librarian Action Figure for that event, with real Shushing action.
Sad news - Lambda Book Report won't be publishing anymore. I really love reading that magazine. I see queer stuff reviewed there that I just don't see covered anywhere else. They say it may be viable to continue it at some point in the future. I really hope so.
My co-worker Jen who has always had other lives apart from this bookstore one as actor, writer, costume designer, and other stuff I'm sure I don't even know about, is leaving this week after a bunch of years here. She's going to work with Blue Man Group, which is super cool and something she'll be great at. If you know her, come by & say hi this week!
17th June 2005
Did you know Michelle when she worked here? If so, maybe you're interested in : what her crazy ass is up to lately
I knew I was missing a book from my list! We get so much crazy CRAZY marketing stuff from big presses, like beach balls with a book's name on it and weird Chick Lit flip flops and all that kind of stuff that we don't want to throw away but nobody here really wants. Amid all of this plastic waste I got a package from the awesome Small Beer Press, with a Red Line of Death editing pencil to promote Kate Wilhelm's new book : Storyteller
, and a t-shirt that says "Euphoria: The Librarian's Tonic When Watchfulness Is Not Enough
." It's brown and blue, it's big enough, it has a girl in cat ears sleeping on meadow or forest floor, and it has all their books listed on the back. They also sent a deck of playing cards with illustrations from Kelly Link's new book Magic for Beginners. Um, amazing. Catskins and bunnies and everything good. Ok the whole purpose of this is not to brag that I now own this stuff, but to say that writing them a thank you email today, I realized that I left off one of the books I'm taking on vacaysh, Mothers and Other Monsters
. That's all. I didn't want that book to feel left out.