Winter Reading

Some things I’ve been reading and obsessing over since mid-December that maybe you want to check out. (* indicates my dear friend Janet either recommended or lent me the book…I call it the Janet-Frishberg-curriculum-for-becoming-a-better-writer-and-human.)

Object of Beauty, Steve Martin (made me see the “art world” differently)
Bound, Antonya Nelson (after I read this mind-blowing piece on revision she wrote, I had to read her fiction)
Bluets, Maggie Nelson* (from Wave Books, so good it makes me want to write little prose pieces that I can compile into a slim obsessive volume)
Truth and Beauty*, Ann Patchett (about her friendship with Lucy Grealy)
Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy (Lucy’s memoir)
My Heart is an Idiot, Davy (hysterically funny essays)
Female Trouble: Stories, Antonya Nelson (compelling and character-driven)
Women, Chloe Caldwell* (a similar size to Bluets and a similar wonderfully transparent, up-front voice)

In progress:

Bad Feminist*, Roxane Gay (I’ve been recommending this to everyone I know)
Rome, Dorothea Lasky (her new books of poems with a polar bear on the cover!)
Monogamy Songs, Gregory Sherl (heartbreakingly sad; I’ve been reading it as I wait for the bike shuttle in downtown San Francisco to head back to the East Bay, and there’s something about the smell of the Bay and the dimming evening light that goes perfectly with these poems)
Lucky Us, Amy Bloom (Amy is one of my favorite fiction writers–I’ve re-read her other books multiple times, and am so glad she has something new out)

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Things Men Have Told Me About My Body: A Zine.

things men have told me about my body zineThe title of this brilliant zine that my friend Red Velvet just put out is pretty self-explanatory. Here’s an excerpt from the intro:

“Why does anyone feel like they can comment on bodies that don’t belong to them, particularly female bodies?

This is a zine about things that have been said to us: by friends, lovers, passerby, family, and strangers.

Some are funny, some are rude, some are simply puzzling.

Many are hurtful, and some are seriously upsetting.

things men have told me about my body zineAll are completely unnecessary.

Generally, the people telling you things about your body are people who are not used to having their bodies critiqued in turn. This is about power, and visibility.”

The zine features 30+ anonymous submissions of cat calls, drawings, prose, and more, all compiled, edited, stapled, and carefully laid out by Red Velvet. I’m super-proud to be included in this zine and hope more editions are forthcoming! If you want to buy it (a mere two doll hairs, people), head to her Etsy store.

The first photo above is me packing this zine to take to some feminist writer friends in Oregon.