My very good friend Beth who has just moved back into town has an obsession with zombies. She is not only prepared for the Zombie apocalypse; she is looking forward to it. This makes her really easy to get presents for. Zombie Apocalypse survival kits, pretty much any functional item that has been covered in decomposing limbs, no problem.
Since Beth is also obsessed with books, I have made it a point for the past few years to get her books about Zombies. First was the Zombie Haiku Book. Then Zombies vs. Unicorns. The latest is Shakespeare, Undead.
Somewhere between Zombie Haiku and Zombie vs. Unicorns, Beth and I had made a deal. She would finally read Pride and Prejudice (which I enjoy, though I do like the Colin Firth movie better) and I would read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Both of us kept our convictions about which was better. I did come out with a larger appreciation for zombie stories though, whereas Beth’s opinion of classic literature (yawn) did not change. Read the rest of this entry
So, I went to Portland (Oregon) last weekend, and of course, as any trip to Portland requires, I went to Powell’s. For those of you who don’t know, Powell’s is an amazing new and used bookstore. It takes up a whole city block and is three and a half stories high. The rooms are color-coded and organized by section. The blue room has literature and poetry. The Gold room is science fiction and mysteries. The Rose room has a lot of stuff, but most notably children’s literature. The purple room has a lot of non-fiction- race and gender studies. Travel is in the orange room. Graphic novels are in the room with the cafe (brown).
I can’t go to Powell’s without buying too many books. I think once I went there and only bought one or two. Not this time though. My Powell’s and Portland withdrawal led me to purchase a whole stack even though I already own many books I have yet to read. Guess I just need to dedicate more time to reading.
Here’s the list of books I bought, in case you’re interested Read the rest of this entry
Some books rock the one-word title; others go for long and slightly absurd. I’m of course going to talk about the latter today.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is a Children’s novel published in 1967. It is the story of a brother and sister pair who run away from home and live temporarily in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts. They discover a mystery and set out to solve it by seeking out Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, an eccentric, rich old woman. Read the rest of this entry
A couple of years ago I took a gothic novel class. It was really fun, because you could tell it was a class the professor cared about and truly enjoyed. Because of this, the students were able to enjoy it as well. Our final project was to take at least two characters from at least two different novels we had read and make them interact. I wrote a short scene with a bunch of the women in the books.
In gothic literature, women are most often put into one of two categories; the angelic woman or the demonic woman. The angelic woman is innocent, dull, and needs men to think for her. She is easily victimized and if she does not meet ruin it is because of a man saving her.
The demonic woman does not submit to men. She is overbearing, often set on world domination and prone to violence. She is the reason that women must be tamed and cannot be trusted. She is often used as a case for denying women education.
The one exception to this rule is Mina Harper, from Dracula. She is smart and capable of reason and logical thought, but uses her knowledge to help her husband, so is neither the demonic or angelic archetype.
I thought it would be interesting to put a bunch of these very different women together at a woman’s lib meeting and see what happened. This is the result. Read the rest of this entry