I’ve not done a reading update in a while. Partly this is because I have been reading books for which I now harbour a distinct and flavoursome resentment. But let me tell you of some of the books I have been finding engaging!
Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano: which I’d been wanting to read for years! A good primer on trans concerns in feminism as well as anti-femininity.
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner: is one of those books with a really confusing and engaging narratorial and temporal conceit. It’s about the death and burial of Addie, as told by her family in Mississippi. I was waiting all the way through for the racism, and it emerges towards the end, towards black people, and scathingly.
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: is rather amazing. It’s a lesbian novel set in Victorian England (but written recently), with so much plot it’ll trip you up and make your head spin. It’s about Sue, who plots to steal the fortune of Maud Lilly, but events twist and reverse and turn again. You must read it.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: has a very strong main character in the teenage Cassandra. She chronicles her first adventures in love and writing as her family struggles to scrape together a life in their crumbling castle home.
The High Cost of Living by Marge Piercy: I’m a great fan of Piercy’s from her Woman on the Edge of Time, so I was looking forward to this one. I didn’t like it as much, possibly because I didn’t live through its very 1970s sensibilities. It’s about a lesbian, Leslie, who is involved in a kind of love triangle with the straight teenage Honor and troubled gay man Bernie, all of whom are dreaming of a different world.
Presently I am reading Madness and Civilisation: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason by Michel Foucault and Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. Madness and Civilisation is a lot easier to read than anything else of Foucault’s I’ve read, so it is probably a good place to start if you want to get into Foucault. I am liking Midnight’s Children so much that I have been dragging it out for weeks – I don’t want it to end!! It’s about a young man born at the exact moment of India’s independence, and whose life is ever intertwined with his nation’s history. It is amazing.
Go on, tell us what you’ve been reading.