Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tranny - Laura Jane Grace with Dan Ozzi

The subtitle of this book is as arresting as the title and cover: Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. It's the autobiography of Laura Jane Grace, the founder of the band Against Me! It's a well written, fast read that chronicles the author's life, including childhood, the formation of the band, all that's comprised in having a band these days, starting out in the punk scene and risking the label "sellout" if one is successful, and of course the gender dysphoria that the author experienced through all of this.

Random rambly thoughts:

The cool cover looks kind of like a 'zine, which after reading the book I can only assume is intentional. Like I said, the writing is solid and I couldn't put the book down - I read it in the course of several hours after getting it from the library. I am not super familiar with the band Against Me! or their music, but reading about how they came to exist and the general trials and tribulations of being a punk band in the late 20th/early 21st century was interesting to me, someone who is older than the author and who once had ambitions to be in just such a band, but much closer to when punk got its start. Frankly, after reading this book, I am fairly glad that my lack of talent prevented this from ever happening - the tightrope walk of being constantly called a sellout if you experience any success would suck. Do people really buy tickets to shows just to flip off the band as some sort of protest statement?? Yeesh.

In any case, I enjoyed this book and hope there are more from the author, as she's obviously a talented person and writer.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Humans - Matt Haig (Spoilers)

Hi Readers! I managed to read a book! Hooray! :) If you're still reading my blog, thank you! please stick around :)

So this book was a recommendation, and to be honest, I was looking for something written in what I like to call the "common vernacular" - as opposed to, say, Jane Austen, and I took a chance on this book, hoping it would spur more reading.

The good news is, I do feel more like reading these days, so that's good!

The bad news is, this book wasn't a new fave.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad book or anything; and it truly fit the bill of being a fast read that was indeed written in the common vernacular.

However, it was a letdown in many other ways. It reminded me way too much of "The Time-Travellers Wife," a book that advertised a really interesting premise and then quickly became a book that was really about infertility. The supernatural elements didn't need to ever exist; the author could have just written a book about someone struggling with infertility, as the time traveling parts of the book were actually silly in the overall context of the book. And so it is with this book, which is supposedly a book about an alien coming to Earth but in reality is a cliched ode to a specific woman and their teenage son. I have no problem with a writer doing this - Judd Apatow, for one, has made a huge career while mainly writing movies that are nothing but love letters to his wife and kids - but I was honestly looking for a book about aliens, not a family drama. I feel like there are 10000000000 books that are family dramas and not even a fraction as many books that might be about aliens, so it was disappointing when the "alien" aspect is quickly overtaken by the other stuff. So it wasn't an awful book or anything, it just wasn't what I was hoping for when I read the description and assumed a book that was supposed to be about an alien coming to Earth and trying to fit in as a human, and instead I got a book about a dysfunctional Earth family, and how much the father figure suddenly decides that he LOOOOOOOVES his dysfunctional family and needs to try harder, like so many other books. Sigh.

I don't mean to be a downer, but I was hoping for more from my first read in a while. Luckily I have an enormous TBR pile to draw books from, now that I am more inclined to read. Let's hope I can get some momentum!