Posts Tagged ‘amazon’
Can you believe it’s the last day of February? I know there are literally fewer days in this month, but it always seems to zoom by, more than other months. Maybe it’s the beginnings of spring coming back and my eagerness for more spring. Fall is my favorite, really, but that baby-green color that the brand new leaves are? And the first signs—the magnolias, the crocuses, the daffodils? I love that so much.
Aside from it being a quick month, I traveled a lot. Which meant I did have some good time on airplanes and transit to read, but that I was usually using it for other things (like going over my notes for workshops). I’m learning that I can’t really multi-task effectively when I travel. I tend to think of the verb “to travel” as something I do in the background, and other things happen at the same time, but really when “I am traveling,” that’s sometimes all I can actively do.
(I know touring artists have said this kind of thing all the time, but it’s still interesting to discover for myself.)
So, this month, I read:
Choke by Chuck Palahniuk. I picked up a few books by him because his work has been recommended many times over the years, and I thought it’d be an engaging, somewhat light read. This was the one I started with (though I did read Fight Club a while ago, after an ex of mine said it was her favorite book). I can’t say I liked it. At one point I tweeted, “I’m not supposed to like this main character, right?” I didn’t, but I understand he’s supposed to be an anti-hero. I guess I didn’t even like him enough for the anti-hero to work, I wasn’t that sympathetic to his stories and I didn’t like his level of manipulation. I don’t know if I’ll pick up another by Palahniuk. If I do, which do you recommend?
Then, because the first one was such an easy and fun read last month, I picked up Allegiant by Veronica Roth. Unfortunately, I thought it was the second book in the series, but it was actually the third, and because it’d been about a month since I read the first one (and it was light breezy skimmy reading for me, not deep attention), I was a little lost at the beginning but just went with it. I didn’t even realize until about halfway through the book that it was building up to The Big Reveal of the series. A variety of folks who saw I was reading this series recommended to stop with the second one, because the third was so bad; I didn’t think it was bad exactly, and the twist was somewhat interesting, though of course the science is not sound at all. “Because genes!” is not good. I kinda blew the wad with reading the third one second, so I probably won’t go back to the second one. Still, it was a fun read.
I picked up Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marsha Pessl because I read Night Film last month and loved it, but it was what stumped me. I was totally on a fiction roll until I started this one, and then it was just a liiiiiittle too dense and just a little too smarty-pants for me, and I put it down and stopped. I didn’t finish it, though someday when my attention span is a little better, I’d like to try it again.
After an absence, I picked up Switch by Astrid Knowles again, which I’d seen some smart quotes from on Tumblr I think and figured it might be a promising BDSM novel. Uh, not really. Thin and trite and not very good writing and not very hot. Still, it’s written from a submissive girl’s perspective, with a lot of dominant worship, so I like that part. Enough to finish the book, though not really enough for it to have made an impression.
I’m constantly in search of really good power dynamic writings, so I picked up two. The first was Protocols: A Variety of Views (Power Exchange Books Resource Series) by Robert Rubel, which was a disappointment. It’s a collection of essays from a variety of well known M/s and D/s folks, many of whom have excellent credentials and have been instrumental in the leather communities for a long time. I suspect that they as people are amazing, and that they have lots of great ideas that I would love love love to learn from, but they didn’t translate very well to these short essays. A number of the essays started with, “What is BDSM?” which could be useful if you’re writing an entire book about BDSM, but these are short essays on protocol specifically, so I suspect the average reader already has some knowledge. I would’ve loved more advanced ideas and less beginner, and more editing so that the writing wasn’t quite so clunky.
Along with Protocols, I finally picked up Erotic Slavehood by Christina Abernathy, which is actually two books together: Miss Abernathy’s Concise Slave Training Manual and Training With Miss Abernathy. The first, the slave training manual, is quite good. It is a bit elementary, a beginner-to-intermediate level, but I really liked the writing style, the knowledge, and the smarts of Miss Abernathy, and I don’t say that about very many d/s books. The second half of the book is a training guide with exercises, suggested readings, journal prompts meditations, and all kinds of things for a submissive/slave/s-type to explore. I loved it! I wish I’d read it before Submissive Playground, though perhaps it’s good because it could have been influential. I highly recommend it to s-types, and I promptly passed it off to rife to work through.
The Journey from Abandonment to Healing: Turn the End of a Relationship into the Beginning of a New Life by Susan Anderson … I don’t have much to say about this. I am still grieving, and on any given day somewhere from 10 to 70 percent of me is in some sort of despair process. I assume it’s temporary, I trust it will keep evolving, but it’s been hard lately. So I am trying to learn about the grief process, to lean on the teachings and helpers who have done this kind of thing before, and not just dwell in my own heartbreak hotel.
Sexy Sailors: Gay Erotic Stories edited by Neil Plakcy was so much more than I expected. Not just better (though yes, better writing than many of the other books I’d read this month) but also more engaging, more interesting, more fascinating. I’m not really into sailors or boats, but there’s a whole language associated with it, and in addition to the language, an entire men’s culture that is quite curious to glimpse into. And, I really liked all the cock-centric dirty parts. I don’t read much gay boy smut, but I think I should change that. I fucking love Cleis Press—any time I pick up an erotica anthology by them, it never fails to have high quality writing, dirty scenes, thoughtful characters, and so much sensual, smokin’ hot language (which is exactly why I pick up erotica instead of watch some dirty scene). It’s so good for sex geeks like me.
Last but not least, The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau. I was hoping this had business advice in it, but it reads much more like The Four Hour Workweek, which is useful for motivation but not so much for detailed infrastructure implementation, which is the phase I’m currently in. I’m looking to make some business decisions and studies in the near future, so I took a shot in the dark and started here. Not so much. But I’ll keep shooting—I have some other ideas.
If you have any book recommendations, I would love to know them! What have you read lately that’s been amazing? What do you think I’d love?
A couple notes from around the blog world that you may be interested in. Have a lovely weekend, all. More updates here are in progress.
BUTCH Voices Conference Requests Blog Links
BUTCH Voices folks are gearing up for the second bi-annual national conference in August, and they are looking to put a list of queer bloggers in their program, “open to all our Masculine of Center and Queer allies much like the conference“.
To have your blog listed, DM or @-reply their Twitter account, @BUTCHVoices with your linkand contact information and they will be in touch with you.
Madison Young Launches “Perversions of Lesbian Lust”
Here’s a shot from one of the first galleries, featuring Bettina Doll:
I suspect you’ll hear more from me about Perversions in the future.
Review of Boi Meets Girl on Amazon
I wrote a review of Boi Meets Girl: Brett & Melanie on Amazon for Tony Comstock & Comstock films. I caught a screening of that film at the LGBT Center a few months ago and it was fantastic, as was the Q&A with Tony after. I highly recommend it if you’re a queer porn collector. It’s real and fun and hot, and the interviews with Brett & Melanie are so familiar. It almost felt exposing, but I think that meant that it was incredible effective.
Taormino’s new anthology Take Me There: Transgender & Genderqueer Erotica
In mainstream media, the erotic identities, sex lives, and fantasies of transgender and genderqueer people are often oversimplified, sensationalized, or invisible. Take Me There is an erotica collection unlike any other that celebrates the pleasure, heat, and diversity of transgender and genderqueer sexualities. The power of seeing and being seen is a central theme in the anthology; it’s not simply about passing or not passing (an idea often explored with transgender characters), but about being acknowledged and desired in a sexual context.
The book takes you from San Francisco to Israel, from heartache to lust, from stranger sex to a 10 year anniversary, from ballet shoes to butt plug bondage tables, from fumbling teenagers to leatherclad bears, from MTF and FTM—and in between and beyond.
There is an incredible line-up of writers who have contributed to this anthology, including Kate Bornstein, S. Bear Bergman, Ivan Coyote, Patrick Califia, Julia Serano, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Toni Amato, and many more. I’m really thrilled to have one of my stories included in here. More details on the book are available on Tristan Taormino’s tumblr.
If you’d like to support this book, the best thing you can do is to pre-order it on Amazon. Amazon bases its in stock copies on the amount of pre-orders, so it would significantly help to make it widely available if you can spare the $11 on the pre-order copy.
Lesbian Sex Mafia kicks off Leather Pride Week with Laura Antoniou Tonight
At the LGBT Center, 8pm. She’s teaching Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want:
“Often, when we try to tell our partners what we like or want, those words are filtered through things like expectations, projection, fear, shame and verbal shortcuts. Play a little card game with Laura and push your flirting talents up a notch! Expand your creativity and verbal skills beyond “I like flogging” or “anything you want” through an interactive game and exercise. Learn how creative communication and courageous risk-taking can make your relationship and play more intimate, satisfying and fun. Say what you mean, and mean what you say – and make it seductive.”
Where: LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave)
When: Friday, June 17, 2011; 8:00-10:00PM (Leather Pride weekend)
Cost: $5/LSM members, $10/Non members
Laura Antoniou is the author of the well known Marketplace series of erotic novels. As a presenter, panelist, and keynote speaker, Laura has appeared at dozens of conferences over more than twenty years, both entertaining and delivering an occasional verbal indictment. She has also appeared at colleges and universities, including NYU, Rutgers, Columbia and the University of Washington. Laura lives in Queens, NY with her wife Karen, and happily serves as boy to Kim Attica. Friends have called her all sorts of names. Current favorites being “Renaissance Perv” by Midori, “Good Boy!” by Kim and of course, “best thing that ever happened to me” by Karen.