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a lovely mishmash of opinions interspersed with moments of clarity and vision by a vegan lesbian feminist mystery-loving, history-loving reader and writer.


Currently reading

The More I Owe You: A Novel
Michael Sledge
The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World without Losing Your Way
Hillary Rettig
Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire
Catriolina Mortimer-Sandilands, Bruce Erickson
Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America (Between Men--Between Women)
Lillian Faderman
The Healing Earth
Philip Sutton Chard
Revolt and Crisis in Greece: Between a Present Yet to Pass and a Future Still to Come
Dimitris Dalakoglou, Antonis Vradis

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis - Lydia Davis I don't know what this book is supposed to be: poetry, essays or fiction, or some combination, but the title suggests fiction.

I am far too tired to review this nicely, but I will say this book is a cure for insomnia. 731 pages long, I don't know how many "stories," and I found maybe seventy five pages of any interest.

I don't read to see how authors can use words; I don't read to revel in the perceived cleverness of an author; and I really don't like reading books that suggest fiction but seem, instead, to be a variety of things (see above). It throws me, and honestly, in this case, many of these first-person main characters don't interest me. How can they when all I know about them is a paragraph that comes across as introspection and worry? I read for entertainment, for escape, for knowledge, and I am very specific about this.

For some reason, also, the screeching heteronormativity in this book bugs me. Most of what I read is about straight people, and I generally don't have a problem with it. Maybe it's the story called "The Way it's Done," about two straight people having sex (a paragraph of how-to). Maybe it's the tone of the stories, that presume an audience (sometimes the narrator will say something like "you go to the store and there he is" [that is not an exact quote, but just a sample) and the assumption is that the readers will relate. Again, I'm not sure why this bothers me so much, but it's something I picked up on early in the book and something I struggled with throughout (so it's not that story "The Way it's Done" that caused this irritation, since that's near the end of the book.) I'd have to think more about it and I have no inclination to think about this book now that I have finally been freed from its tedious clutches.

(And also, please, it may not be cool for seasoned writers to use a thesaurus, but when the same word is used probably every four pages or so, pick another word! I am so tired of reading the word "certain" as in "certain things" or "a certain way." Ugh.)