Sunday, March 2, 2008

TSS Week 4

I am at a crossroads with the Decameron. While the tales are interesting, I'm just not into reading a long book of various tales right now. I need a plot, a story with main characters to keep me going, and the storytellers just aren't doing it. I hate to put aside another My Year of Reading Dangerously title - making myself look like a wuss here - but I must. I am having a selfish period right now; having just completed my degree in literature, I just want to read what I want. I am having an adverse reaction to heavy "classics." So, that's that.

While I am continuing along with Fables volumes, I decided to try another critically acclaimed graphic novel, which led me to Blankets by Craig Thompson. I found it on Time's list of top graphic novels. It was 600 pages long but I finished it overnight. Fantastic. His descriptions of an intense fundamentalist Christian upbringing rang true with me, and the tale of young love is, at once, both sweet and realistic. Great read, I would definitely recommend it to graphic novel fans.

I finished another incredible book this week: Rosemary Daniell's Confessions of a {Female} Chauvinist. I haven't enjoyed a book of essays like this one in a very long time. Daniell writes about everything from being one of the only females working on an oil rig to her relationship with a renowned Southern poet who also happened to be an alcoholic and a narcissist. Daniell is an interesting breed of feminist - she quotes statistics on sex discrimination in employment, for example, but she also admits that she likes to wear pink clothing and high heels and date stereotypically macho men. She is a modern day Southern belle who has broken the unspoken rule among Southern women: "Do what you want, just don't tell." (I'm paraphrasing.)

Lastly, I finished French Women Don't Get Fat, and if you're interested in my thoughts, you can read them over at the Feminist Review.


Anonymous said...

The Daniell's sounds fascinating. I can't read short stories, but essays are another matter entirely - I Love them. I'm off to the library site now to see if these are available. Thanks for the suggestion.

stu said...

Don't feel bad about giving up on a Year of Reading Dangerously book. They are, after all, supposed to be difficult to get through. It's the main reason I didn't sign up. As for the french approach to food, my time with Hull uni's fencing team has meant I've run into a few french students, all of whom have managed some truly hilarious expressions when introduced to a British university's idea of food.

April Boland said...

TT - She's fab. I enjoyed it SO much.

Stu - I know, but I wanted to be up to the task! Oh well. I am still going to try and attempt the rest... I think...

Pour of Tor said...

I remember really enjoying the parts of "The Decameron" we read in my college seminar on the Continental Renaissance. We also read delightful parts of "The Heptameron," if I remember correctly, but certainly neither in its entirety. I really should return to reread/finish them one of these days, but I agree with you that sometimes books just choose the time when they will be read, and sometimes even a great book doesn't suit particular moments in your life (like those just following major educational milestones -- congrats!).

On another note, I also really liked "Blankets." Have you read "Carnet de Voyage"? It is a travel journal that Thompson wrote while attempting to flee a profound funk, and it deals in an interesting way with the problematic status of the tourist.