One last thing, I am doing a book challenge on GoodReads for 2016. I challenged myself to read 52 books in 2016; one book a week. So far, I’ve finished two books and read one full book. They are:
1) Carrie Brownstein’s Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. This book was great. As a longtime fan of Sleater-Kinney, of Carrie as a music writer, then as a comedian on Portlandia, it was nice to read her story. She’s prolific but usually pretty closed-off. It was interesting to hear her story in her words and it’s VERY her. She was a linguistics major in college and there are a lot of ten buck words in this book. I listened to the audiobook mostly at work or while driving so unfortunately I didn’t take the time to look up the meaning of “parsimonious” until now (very unwilling to spend money). I’m glad she wrote it and I hope she continues to write about whatever the hell she feels like writing about. I’ll read it whether it’s non-fiction or fiction.
2) I also read Ronda Rousey’s memoir My Fight / Your Fight. I’m a Johnny-come-lately Rousey fan. I’d been sort of paying attention to her career over the last year or so and was growing more and more interested in her life. I found out about her Holly Holms fight the day of it and impulsively ordered it hoping to see the champ kick some of her trademark booty. Not so. Instead, we watched her get kicked in the jaw and nearly knocked out. Incredible. That night, I bought her memoir and have been reading it on and off since. Bossypants it’s not. It’s not trying to be. The weird thing about this memoir is that sometimes when I was reading it, I felt like I was reading an overly-detailed and unedited diary entry (like what you read here haha) but then when I was reiterating it to Kristyn, I found that I had learned a lot more about Rousey and her work ethic than I realized. For all her bravado (a necessary evil), she’s someone to be admired for her conviction and total dedication to her craft. I don’t know what’s coming next for Rousey but I’m a fan and will be following. I think Dana White of the UFC said that he wishes she’d waited to write her memoirs. I do too. It ends triumphantly with her as the undefeated victor and her predictions are that she’ll go out that way, too. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I guess I’ll just have to read the followup memoir in 2020.
3) In 2014 and 2015, I read a column by Michelle Tea on xoJane called “Getting Pregnant with Michelle Tea.” I also read Beth Ditto’s memoir that was co-written by Tea. In everything of hers that I’ve read, I liked her and also sort of found some of her thoughts off-putting. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book. She’s queer, feminist, and seems like a million people I’ve known in my life so I identified with her. I gave it a chance and loved it. I laughed a lot reading this book. I admired her plucky self-deprecation. Kristyn just started reading this book and she is not impressed so far. She feels like it’s just Tea bragging about how awesome she is and learning nothing about her life along the way. That’s not how I read the book at all. I think Tea was giving examples of times that she did and did not learn her lesson. The book is packaged as an advice book and therefore sometimes “lessons” are given but they feel rushed and take away from Tea’s natural storytelling. This book made me want to read more by Tea and I will soon.
I’m also reading these three books:
1) Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle for a class last year. It blew me away. I leant it to my father to read but he wasn’t that into it. I tried to force him to finish but I don’t know if he did or not. Probably he did. I’m excited to read this book because I also saw a snippet of the classic movie and bought it. I won’t watch it until I read this book though.
2) I also started Shirley Jackson’s Life Among the Savages. This is her first memoir about her life with her husband and kids. So far, it’s so funny and well-written. I am really excited about this one.
3) Obviously, I’m always a sucker for a good memoir. Although I’m not a Sonic Youth fan, I’m a fan of Kim Gordon’s. Sonic Youth was the first band I went to see on my own with my friends (and my one friend’s aunt). This was in maybe 1995 and they played at the Academy Ballroom in NYC with Helium. I just checked and it was 1995 to highlight the release of their Washing Machine album. I’ll get into that story another time but since then I’ve been interested in Kim. Her memoir is so weird and funny. I’m listening to it through Audible and her self-narration is really flat but draws you in. It’s like she’s mumbling and tripping over her words. She’s like someone’s benevolent, cool (in the best sense of the word) Mom who is like “Look, I don’t know why people liked what we did but they did.” I started this in 2015 and will finish it this year. I think I’m going to cheat my 2016 goal by finishing the books I started and didn’t finish in 2015. So what?