-Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
Tag Archives: reading
Airhead, Meg Cabot
HATED this book. One of the most sexist narratives I’ve ever read, and from a woman, to boot.
Emerson Watts is comfortable in her own skin. She loves video games, medical documentaries, and hanging out with her equally nerdy best friend Christopher, whom she only wishes would see her as a girl instead of his asexual buddy. Until a bizarre accident makes her a participant in a brain transplant meant to save her life, in which she’s given the body – and forced to take over the identity – of a world-famous teen supermodel.
Leaving the sheer bloody ludicrousness of the plot aside, the message this book is sending – to teen girls no less – is that it’s not okay or enough to just have interests and be yourself and have nerdy interests (interests which in real life would make you totally hot to a lot of guys, something the book was conspicuously silent on – do you know how many guys would love a woman who plays video games? A LOT). You can’t *just* be smart and have hobbies and your own personality – you must ALSO have the body of a supermodel and a smile that turns virtually every guy who sees into jelly.
Because at the end of the day, why settle for being yourself? When you can be smart, nerdy, AND hot? Thus fulfilling every male fantasy ever??? Seriously if Cabot had created a female character with men in mind she couldn’t have done a better job. Em in this novel becomes the teenage epitome of Gillian Flynn’s accurately-sketched, terrible Cool Girl in Gone Girl. The representation of Male Desire and its supremacy in culture and in narrative.
I HATED this novel with every fiber of my literature-loving, chick-lit-loving, feminist body. Excuse me while I go read some Kafka, *anything,* to get this taste out of my mouth.
P.S. Emerson – or rather her body – expires when a TV falls on her. I’m not making this stuff up, folks.
P.P.S. The fact that there are two more books in this series makes me want to enlist The Bride (see Kill Bill if you haven’t seen it yet y’all) to track Cabot down and put the fear of woman into her so she never writes such a book again. I’ve read and liked/loved a lot of Cabot. This, is unworthy of her.
Cali of Inside the Book Reader takes stunning images of books – beautiful colors and construction.
I started my first Jo Nesbø, who is probably the greatest Nordic crime fiction writer alive now that Mankkell is no longer writing and Stieg Larsson is dead. Thus far it is very broody and suffused with a tone of depression that matches what the main character Harry Hole is experiencing, but the prose is slowly drawing me in, particularly this gem.
“A young woman in the front row stood up unbidden, but without offering a smile. She was very attractive. Attractive without trying, thought Harry. Thin, almost wispy hair hung lifelessly down both sides of her face, which was finely chiseled and pale and wore the same serious, weary features Harry had seen on other stunning women who had become so used to being observed that they had stopped liking or disliking it. Katrine Bratt was dressed in a blue suit that underlined her feminity, but the thick black tights below the hem of her skirt and her practical winter boots invalidated any possible suspicions that she was playing it. She let her eyes run over the gathering, as if she had risen to see them and not vice versa.”
–The Snowman, Jo Nesbø
Bring on the chills.
Volunteered at a shelter, then a long, good workout, now home, eating peaches, contemplating making some almond milk hot chocolate, and beginning a Ngaio Marsh mystery book, while the fan whirs in the background with the last promise of summer.
Life is heavy, sometimes, in its wholistic measure, so let it be light in the small things.
Mina Price, who goes by Paperpie on Tumblr, creates gorgeous, moody, dreamy illustrations, and has contributed illustrations for such high-profile works as the Eleanor and Park special edition (from which I will post soon). In the meantime though, enjoy the two below one-offs. The first was conceived as a kind of pro e-reader celebration.