Monthly Archives: March 2009

tell me what to receive

I won a free book from Small Press Distribution for writing the worst poem referencing a mother (purposely). You can subject yourself to it here, if you want. I enjoy a lot of the badness in other categories. “Bruised and forsaken like the anemone,” for example. And the haiku with a unicorn in it. This language poem/drawing also gets points for enthusiasm.

But so now I get a free book from them, less than $30. Which is daunting because they distribute a lot of books and god forbid I choose less than the most awesome. There may be note-taking involved, with complex prioritization symbols. So if you have opinions about what I should get, or want to go poking around the site and get opinions, tell me about them and I’ll pass the book onto you after.

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recommendations from the internet

This post lists Alias Grace among three reasons for loving Atwood, while thanking her for canceling her participation in a literary festival in Dubai that refused to feature a novel with a gay shiekh in it–which she now is participating in, remotely, along with a panel on censorship. I’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale and I’ve never heard of Morning in the Burned House, so Alias Grace it is. Started it once. Liked it. Period piece.

The Master and Margarita, which I always want to put a second “the” in, is the favorite book of this person reading another book on a train platform in San Francisco, and was recommended by my former officemate. There’s a giant cat in it.

David Foster Wallace did an interview in 1993 referring to The Blindfold as “the best book [he’d] read recently.” I’ve read a Hustvedt book, What I Loved, before. A man’s adolescent son dies in it. I read it in two days and cried and cried.

I was reading a passingly positive comment about The Unconsoled in an interview somewhere on the internet, but I must’ve been following some URL wormhole because now I can’t find it. Stand informed, someone somewhere liked it. I have this one and one other before I’ve exhausted all the Ishiguro novels that currently exist. If you are going to read one, try Never Let Me Go or Remains of the Day.

Don Draper read Meditations in an Emergency in a bar and then sent it off to a mysterious person on Mad Men–which is on TV and not the internet, but oh well. I usually like him (O’Hara, but Draper too), although I’m not overly familiar.

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the cow book was short.

Just finished The Conversations of Cow. It was a charming way to spend an hour. I was expecting the paint-by-numbers fables on feminism and spirituality to be tedious, but in the middle of the Cow’s transformations, Suniti’s emotional turmoil, and the abstract sort of prettiness, they were comforting.

Onward to Jamestown, which wins with 3 votes. 1 apiece for The Road, Un Lun Dun, and We Who Are About To… . As per my request, everyone was mean to Neil Gaiman. Poll to follow, probably tomorrow.

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passing Cow

Just started Conversations of Cow. Suniti and Bhadravati go for pizza on pg. 23:

The pizzas arrive, and so does the manager.

‘Everything all right, sir?’

‘Yes, thank you, but I am not a “Sir”, I am a lesbian, and my friend is a cow.’

‘GET THAT COW OUT OF HERE!’

I draw myself up to my full height. (He’s still a foot taller.) ‘That cow is a citizen of planet earth. If you throw us out, I shall complain about you to the Human Rights Commision.’

But he’s thrusting his chest right into my face. Cow gets up. I slink past. He stands in the doorway yelling at us. I feel beaten.

Inside the van I discover that B has appropriated the pizzas. We eat them silently and return to the farm. We tell the cows what happened to us.

‘Oh,’ says Cowslip. ‘You said who you were. You must learn how to pass. Let me explain.’

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