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January 23rd, 2006

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09:11 pm
This one goes out to the readers (boldmoves and spygrl1, I'm particularly looking in your direction):

So about the only real upside to my job at this point is that it gives me many, many hours of virtually uninterrupted reading time. I've put away more books (and more really good books) in the past two months than I did in the previous ten (and if pressed, I'll provide a list and bullet reviews). My concern is this: I'm about 15 pages into Philip Roth's The Plot Against America. And I'm DIGGING it. Here's the thing: I'm quite aware of the accusations of misogyny against Roth, and, well, I feel guilty about enjoying his stuff. So here's my question: what's my penance? What/who do I read next? Zadie Smith? Marilynne Robinson? Help a brother out!

(5 points | Discuss)


Date:January 24th, 2006 12:55 pm (UTC)
how about just do something nice for a lady?
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
Literary penance -- I love the concept!

If I really wanted to punish you, I would tell you to read Slammerkin. I'm not sure why I read that thorough waste of a novel, and I'm not sure if its suckage will ever be completely rinsed from my mind.

But to counter Roth, why not read a good female author? Some of my recent favorites are:

What Was She Thinking? by Zoe Heller
The Book of Salt by Monique Truong
Runaway by Alice Munro (just about anything by Alice Munro, really)
The Missing World by Margot Livesay

Maybe A Working Girl Can't Win and other poems by Deborah Garrison would be a particularly apt counterweight ...

[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC)
Oooh, and how about Third Girl From the Left by Martha Southgate? How about Alias, Grace by Margaret Atwood? (I would also accept The Blind Assassin)
[User Picture]
Date:February 1st, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
I ended up buying The Red Tent by Anita Diamant on the recommendation of a pair of (female) Borders employees. I looked for Munro but they didn't have her novel and I'm not, currently, terribly thrilled by short stories, but that's me.

The good news is that after I'm done with Tent, I'm going back to Roth (most likely for Portnoy's Complaint), which means I'll need something after that...

Here's the thing: Plot Against America was absolutely soulshredding (in the best possible way). I'm actually going to do Julie and Julia first just because I can't conceive of doing something with any weight to it after Plot. People of Earth, go read it now.
[User Picture]
Date:March 15th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)
Julie and Julia is a non-taxing, quick read. A good palate cleanser. Very sorbet.

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