28 February 2002

Reads & Listens, February 2002


Emma by Jane Austen
If it were not for The Best Friend's love of Austen and her introducing me to BBC productions of Austen, I would probably never have re-read this book. You know what? It's a surprisingly contemporary and humorous little novel. Way better than I remember from high school.

Dreaming the Dark: Magic, Sex, and Politics by Starhawk
I felt rather obligated to read something by Starhawk after being told (rather hotly) that she was one of the most brilliant women ever born. Unfortunately, this book seemed dry and dated. I mean, I'm usually all for Witchcraft, environmentalism, and gender awareness, but this book left me wondering what was the big deal.

The Professor & the Madman by Simon Winchester
Another book I read based upon the opinions of others. Interesting story, certainly, but not a ripper.

The Cyberthief & the Samurai by Jeff Goodell
So very, very bad.

Amanda's Wedding by Jenny Colgan
Amanda is getting married and her friends vow to make sure the wedding will never take place. It sounds horrible, doesn't it? Actually, quite fluffy and rather fun.

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
So much better than the movie.

London Holiday by Richard Peck
Three middle-aged friends holiday together in London. A delightful story to give your spirits a little boost on a rainy day.

Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden by Diane Ackerman
Garden erotica for those of us who are appreciate the idea of gardening, but would rather read about them than dig one.

Talking to Addison by Jenny Colgan
Wonderfully amusing little read (especially the geeky bits).

Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin
I had to keep reminding myself that this was a novel, not an anthropology book. Amazing collection of stories, songs, myths, and more of people who "will be might have been."

The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo: Menstruation by Karen Houppert
Amusing and horrifying, it makes you seriously consider what the whole feminine hygiene industry must think about its consumers. Also, makes you think about how fucked up we are as a society that we can talk about sex quite casually, but Auntie Flo's strictly for darkened rooms and lowered voices.

A Natural History of Love by Diane Ackerman
Like all her other books, both educational and entertaining. Would make a wonderful Valentine.

The Pooh Perplex by Frederick C. Crews
Utterly ridiculous literary criticism of Winnie the Pooh. Perfect fun for English Literature students.

Bountiful Women: Large Women's Secrets for Living the Life They Desire by Bonnie Bernell
Both a celebration of voluptuousness and a practical guide for living as a woman of size (like how to ask for a seat belt extender without feeling ashamed).

The Bride of the Wind: The Life of Alma Mahler by Susanne Keegan
"And that is the story of Alma, / Who knew how to receive and to give. / The body that reached her embalma' / Was one that had known how to live." Now, there's a woman I'd love to have to dinner.

Under the Radar: How Red Hat Changed the Software Business & Took Microsoft by Surprise by Robert Young
A boring and badly written piece of propaganda. Ugh. I mean, I love the penguinistas, but dear god.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
I picked this up largely based upon my enjoyment of the "SantaLand Diaries" and was not disappointed. Caustically hilarious.