Jul. 24th, 2012

notthemarimba: Auntie Val from League of Gentlemen (Default)
The Trouble With Normal- Michael Warner
Oh book, I have complex feelings about you. The first part of the book talks about hierarchies of sexual shame and critiques marriage as the way the state controls sexuality, which I agree with, but he fails to recognize that as long as marriage DOES convey benefits unavailable to people who aren't married then there are going to be people (including queer people, and even queer people who may disagree with marriage as an institution) who want or even need to get married for various legal reasons.  Throughout the book he also indulges heavily in the assumption that anyone who's queer must live in San Francisco or New York City, which is one of my pet peeves. (Also he kept using the word "tranny" throughout the book, which made me whisper "how about no, dude" on the bus.)

The Yacoubian Building- Alaa Al Aswani
I bought this book in its original Arabic when I was in Egypt with the intention of reading it, but I'm lazy, so it was nice to be able to read it without having to reach for a dictionary every 30 seconds. It's a wonderfully crafted novel following the lives of the residents of a building in Cairo and touches on abortion, homosexuality, murder, religion, and corruption in Egypt.

Still, the Small Voice: Narrative, Personal Revelation, and the Mormon Folk Tradition- Tom Mould
This was okay, but the organization was a bit wonky, and it occasionally felt like he was going out of his way to make folklore seem boring. Also, needs moar Three Nephites stories.

The Laughing Corpse- Laurell K Hamilton
I'm just going to link to wrabbit's post on this, because she explains the ridiculousness and glory of Anita Blake far better than I ever could.

Secularisms- edited by Janet R Jakobsen and Ann Pelligrini
Worth reading for a few of the essays on Turkey and Laura Levitt's chapter on Jewish secularism, but overall a bit lackluster.

Multiply and Replenish: Mormon Essays on Sex and Family- edited by Brent Corcoran
I wish this book had some kind of overall organizing principle. It can't seem to decide whether it's a collection of candid essays by practicing Mormons about their thoughts on sex and family, or something with a much more academic bent. Lawrence Foster's essay on the history of Mormon theology of the family is great, as is Levi Peterson's awesomely titled "In Defense of a Mormon Erotica", while Rocky O'Donovan's "Brief History of Homosexuality in Mormonism" seems to be based largely on conjecture and indulges in the misconception that all wives in a polygynous marriage were at least "kind of" lesbian. (It's one of my least favorite misconceptions, for those keeping score at home, and he uses it to claim a queer Mormon history, but he could have done it by talking about, idk, actual queer Mormons.)

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notthemarimba: Auntie Val from League of Gentlemen (Default)
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