I seem to have read more than I thought this year! Thanks to my Goodreads page that I’ve been faithfully updating since Song of Solomon, I realized that there were books I’d missed in my previous Teresa’s Bookshelf post. I realized, too, that a statement I made on Twitter and Facebook wasn’t true. Of the seven books I’ve read so far in 2010, I have, in fact, read ONE by a man. This wasn’t a conscious choice or anything, but I was pleased to note that most of the books I felt compelled to read this year, most of the books I thought would be worth reading, were written by fellow owners of vaginas. That hasn’t always been the case, and it filled me with much pride. In any case, here are the books I missed telling you about in my previous post, including the one by the penis-owner:
BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS by Kurt Vonnegut
After The Sparrow, I wanted to continue on my sci-fi novel kick. My friend, Jean, who isn’t really the biggest sci-fi fan recommended this book to me saying it was awesome and totally “up [my] alley,” so I gave it a whirl. What an intense, weird, hilarious, awesome, brutal, manic-depressive, testosterone-fuelled, craze-fest this novel is! I loved the directness and forcefulness of the prose. I loved the sense of humor. And the concept – a guy thinks that a sci-fi author’s book is a direct message to him from the Creator of the Universe telling him that he’s the only one with free will in the world and everyone else is a robot – is phenomenal. Dwayne Hoover is wonderful in his dysfunction, and Kilgore Trout, the sci-fi author, is an amazingly honest character. Waiting for them to meet as you know they will is as exciting as waiting for two cars that you see speeding toward the same intersection to crash. I’m lucky that the token penis owner that I read this year was the wonderfully crazy Kurt Vonnegut.
What puzzles me is why Jean gave this to me having been reminded of it by a portion of the novel I’m working on. Hmm…
CHICKS DIG TIME LORDS: A Celebration of Doctor Who By the Women Who Love It – Edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea
I had an awesome experience on the subway as I read this book when a woman noticed the cover and said “I have a friend in there!” Turns out, her friend was author Cat Valente, and this girl (Veronica? Victoria? It was a “V” name, and we sadly didn’t exchange info or anything) was a huge Doctor Who fan. We ended up talking about fandom all the way to the end of the line, which was where we both were going, and it was really nice! It was nice to be able to talk to a complete stranger about something that, on the surface, seems incredibly silly, but means more to you than you even realize. Chicks Dig Time Lords is the first non-fiction book I read this year and has to do with women in Doctor Who fandom! I am so glad this book exists. Each of the essays about Doctor Who – by academics, fans, sci-fi writers, etc – analyzed a different aspect of fandom from a feminine perspective. From treatment at conventions to representation on Doctor Who itself, to involvement in fandom via fanfic or cosplay, they all reveal very personal connections to fandom, sometimes criticizing aspects of it, but more often than not celebrating its existence and celebrating the fact that women have always played a role in fandom, even if it hasn’t always been acknowledged specifically. Our numbers are growing every day, and books like this are a way for us to all come together, look each other in the eye and say, “I knew I wasn’t the only one!”
In the next Teresa’s Bookshelf post, you’ll get the skinny on the book I just finished yesterday, My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult.
Currently Reading: Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins