Saturday, November 5
I'm reading four really good books/magazines at once so I figured I would tell you all how great they are on my bloggy blog because I CAN. Click through for some wordy awesomeness.
1. Dear Diary by Lesley Arfin
Lesley Arfin is one of my favorite writers. She is fucking hilarious and has a really unique voice. If you've never read any of her work please go to her website right now and read everything on it until you laugh so hard you fall off your chair/couch/the Statue of Liberty/wherever else you're reading this post. My personal favorite is How To Be Punk because Arfin actually was a punk (not a loser poseur) and she totally gets that punks love old people and that the Dixie Chicks are so punk rock! Even though I've been a fangirl for a while now I just started reading Dear Diary (sshh don't tell her that). I suck, I know.
BUT ANYWAY, Dear Diary is an extension of her column for Vice Magazine where she made present day comments on her old diary entries. Arfin kept a diary since she was in middle school all the way through college and every entry is completely and totally teen girl angst/love/sadness/everything. She had a typical teenage experience but at the same time she definitely didn't. Arfin was a druggie (her adventures lead her to heroin) but is currently sober and completely sXe. Her teen years were just so god damn INTERESTING and because her diaries were so meticulous you actually almost live her life vicariously through them. Every crush, fight, break-up, rave, makeout session...it's total gold. So BUY IT. Also, did you know Lesley writes for Rookie? Yah! Also she follows me on Twitter/friends on Facebook so I guess this means I'm cool (I'm not).
2. The Better of McSweeney's Vol. 2 by Various Writers
I know what you're thinking and apparently it's a gallbladder. Anybody who knows me I <3 Dave Eggers / everything ever created from Mcsweeney's. My dad found me this baby in the hellpit that was the Borders closing sale and it's SO GOOD. I really love collections of short stories because novels + schoolwork don't work too well with me right now, especially when I am super sucked into a book and will LITERALLY avoid all schoolwork to read it. In fact, all of the works in this post allow me to just pick them up, read a bit, and then put them down without freaking out about what's going to happen next (except maybe Dear Diary).
I love Mcsweeney's because it's my kind of humor. It's biting and dry and witty. This book has some very twisted and quirky story lines. My favorite was "The Specialist" which is about a woman suffering from pains in her midriff that end up being a huge ice cave inside her body. A lot of the stories I've read just make me say "Whaaaat???" I'm not done the collection yet so there's much more to come but I can tell you right now that this is a fantastic collection. Buy it! I wonder if Vol. 1 is just as good? Oh who am I kidding, it's a McSweeney's collection, duh it's good.
3. The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
Sent to me in a wonderful feminist lit package from the wondergrrrl Marisa Meltzer, The Beauty Myth is a book about how the concept of beauty is, essentially, nonexistent. Yet this myth is currently holding women down in ways they could have never imagined. Will women ever reach equality with the male sex when there is this undeniable pressure to be beautiful? I said the other day to a few friends, "We live in a society where if a woman wears a short skirt, it doesn't mean she's simple wearing a short skirt. It means she's asking for it, she's a slut, she's going to get raped, she's desperate, she's blah blah blah." Men do not have this social construct swirling around them like women do. If a woman alters her appearance to be "pretty" or doesn't alter it at all, the universe WILL extract obnoxious meanings from it. That's what Naomi Wolf is talking about and it's very interesting. Breaking it down into Work, Religion, Culture, Sex, Violence, etc. Wolf examines the beauty myth inside and out through detailed research and I felt sick reading about court case after court case. It's great and important. Read it!
4. Apartamento Magazine Issue 7
I flipped through an issue of Apartamento one time in a book store and it always stuck with me. So I ordered the current issue and IT RULES. It's "an everyday life interiors magazine" and mainly focuses on, well, interiors. Apartamento might read as a simple interior design magazine but it's not! There's an article on house spirits, on ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arrangements), and an article about the perfect fast food burger. Not to mention the SICK house spreads of Kenny Scharf, Issey Miyake's MOM, and Bruce Benderson, and more beautiful houses/apartments I wish I could live in. I had never even heard of Bruce Benderson but his interview really stuck with me because I totally agreed with everything he had to say about popular design and hipster culture. His house is painted completely technicolor! I have to read his work, he seems awesome.
I would also say that Apartamento is the best looking magazine I have ever read. It's tiny and thick with beautiful film photos and colorful text. It's not minimalist either! Wooh! I'm just sucker for good design and when a magazine has beautiful design AND amazing content, I'm all over it. If you're interested in interior design or just people's houses and lifestyles in general, seriously buy Apartamento.
GOOD READS EVERYBODY!