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Because we haven't quite managed to work out a way for us to consume ALL the entertainment yet: to keep us from emerging haggard and zombie like after regular all night box set marathons, book splurges and music overload we've set up this monthly space where we can express our pure fannish glee at the fact that so many projects of awesome potential are continually being made. All of our past wants and desires can be found in the We Want It! tag.





text that says Ana's Section

As per usual, I want a lot of books:

cover of The Mighty Miss Malone


First there's Christopher Paul Curtis' The Mighty Miss Malone: I first saw it reviewed at Slatebreakers, and then Ana at The Book Smugglers sealed the deal. It sounds like a book I'd absolutely love.

cover of The Thief


I've been hearing good things about Megan Whalen Turner for ages, but Chachic's Queen's Thief Week is definitely to blame for the fact that I'm currently dying to read this series.

cover of The Wheels of Change


Wheels Of Change: How Women Rode The Bicycle To Freedom (With A Few Flat Tires Along The Way) by Sue Macy was on the Amelia Bloomer Project list, and it sounds sooo good.

cover of The Meanings of Beauty & The Beast


I discovered Jerry Griswold's The Meanings of "Beauty & The Beast": A Handbook via SurLaLune and immediately added it to my wishlist. I quite enjoyed his book on children's literature, Feeling Like a Kid, and this sounds every bit as interesting.

cover of The Woman in The Body


I'm so excited to one day read Emily Martin's The Woman In The Body: A Cultural Analysis Of Reproduction. There was a recap of her work in Carol Travis' The Mismeasure of Woman (which I absolutely loved, by the way) and it sounded fascinating.

cover of The Freedom Maze


There's been a lot of buzz about Delia Sherman's The Freedom Maze lately, and it does sound like an amazing book. I've never read Delia Sherman, but she has always seemed one of those authors I'll really love when I finally get to them.

cover of The Discovery of Jeanne Baret


Finally, I really want The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe by Glynis Ridley. Science! Cross-dressing! Sea adventures! What's not to love? Fyrefly is to blame for this one.




text that says Jodie's Section

Films



This month I am excited about all the films.

The Woman in Black



No joke, after I saw the stage version of 'The Woman in Black' I was convinced that if I closed my eyes the ghost would appear in my room. Then I read the book, which I thought would have less power to scare me, because I am usually terrible at visualising all the spooky surrounding stuff that ghost stories rely on to thrill their readers. Still I decided I would take sensible precautions and restricted my reading to daylight hours. That did not help.

It turns out 'The Woman in Black' is one of the few books that can really scare me. So any visual performance of the book is bound to freak me out all over again. The thing is, it such a good story, I just can't resist this film version. Daniel Radcliffe plays the lead and I've enjoyed his work outside of Harry Potter (so far he's picked really good roles). I'd guess I'll be cowering my way through this one soon.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits



Hurray, a stop action animation film based on the adorable, absurdist pirate books by Gideon Defoe. His pirates like ham, treasure and having luxurious beards. I'm just looking forward to a silly, sweet film here and to seeing the team behind Wallace and Gromit make a new project.

Coriolanus


Ralph Fiennes is the best of the Fiennes brothers and the thought of him doing a modern adaptation of Shakespeare sounds like intellectual porn to me.

The Lady



I don't know much about Aung San Suu Kyi, beyond the fact that she was under house arrest for 15 years and I'm hoping to learn more by seeing this film.

Of course this is a major film with an Asian actress about a foreign political situation, which means it's been deemed 'unsellable' for the cinemas near me. I mean 'The Iron Lady', which features a white, American actress and is about home politics, is showing several times a day at most cinemas, while 'The Lady' seems to be reserved for city cinemas. Draw your own conclusions about how cinemas view the people in my area. DVD it is, I guess.

Man on a Ledge



I know this looks a little cheesy, but it has brothers, a heist story, a dramatic gimmick and Jamie Bell.

A Monster in Paris



I love the look of the animation style of 'A Monster in Paris'. It's a monster redemption/hiding story, with a science element, set in a city associated with romance and it looks charming.

I'd better start saving the pennies.




text that says Renay's Section

Music



cover of Born to Die album featuring Lana Del Rey


Lana Del Rey - Born to Die — I had never heard of this artist until I heard her mentioned on Slate's Culture Gabfest as they discussed her performance on Saturday Night Live (which I have never really watched) which was apparently bad and resulted in the Internet going wild and giving her a hard time and a lot of criticism of her performance and, it seems, her persona. I did not look up the performance because, ack, embarrassment squick, but I liked the clip they played of her song Video Games. Ana I discussed the diversity of our music collections a few weeks ago, and I have been on the lookout for new female artists. Of course, I would like to explore the album more, but it will have to wait until I get paid. Curse you, dollars! Why are you so fleeting?

Books



cover of Reasonable Creatures featuring photo of Katha Pollitt


Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism by Katha Pollitt — To begin a theme, this week I went through Ana's feminism tag on things mean a lot. Ana reviewed this book in 2009. Here's what made me want to read it:

Let me tell you how I came to this book: I read somewhere that Pollitt was one of the main opponents of Carol Gilligan's theory of gender differences, and I suspected that if she opposed Gilligan, she was someone I would really, really like.


JFC someone get me my smelling salts, this is practically Ana calling Gilligan a hack. If you know how to decode Ana-Speak, that is, the lady who is super polite and even-handed at all times. I knew I immediately had to read this book.

cover of The Influencing Machine


The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone (author) and Josh Neufeld (illustrator) — Another book Ana recommended to me directly based on a conversation we had elsewhere about a subject I can't quite recall at this point (Ana, what was it?). I don't know much about the construction of the media I consume (except that the only news programs I used to watch were actually satire and not...news.... Ana reviewed this recently and it looks fascinating. She wanted me to read it so I put it on my birthday wish list for my mother, who needs guidelines when buying me things that aren't socks (although I hope I get this book and some socks).

cover of Virgin: The Untouched History


Virgin: The Untouched History by Hanne Blank — I found an upcoming book on with virginity as its premise and my first thought was, "didn't Ana reading something that examined virginity?" This is what started me on the feminism tag search. And I was right, review it she did, in June of 2009. After rereading, I immediately recognized the bit of this review that stuck around in memory to ping me:

One of the main points of this book is that attaching so much cultural meaning to a single sexual experience and defining it as an abrupt transition can actually have the effect of stripping it of its emotional meaning.


And lo, Ana is responsible for all my feminist reading desires for this month.

cover for After the Apocalypse


After the Apocalypse: Stories by Maureen F. McHugh — This review of the book by Charles Tan pinged me. I've never heard of the author before, and the last short story anthology dealing with the apocalypse I read introduced me to one of my favorite authors, Paolo Bacigalupi. If I can get my hands on a copy, this will be my first one-author anthology, and the praise was high in the aforementioned review, so I'm excited.

cover of Under the Never Sky


Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi — This is another book where if I end up buying it a hard copy I will have to send money and shipping to Jodie so she can get me the cover I like the best (or I guess I can ebook it and strip the fucking DRM so I can read it where I want). This keeps happening! U.K., why so excellent with book covers? I was alerted to this title by The Book Smugglers's review last month. And well, I love books without InstaLove. That's pretty much what sold me. Thea and I either REALLY agree on a book or we REALLY disagree, with fireworks. We'll see. :D

Date: 2012-02-10 12:26 pm (UTC)
nymeth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nymeth
ZOMG the Pirates movie sounds so fun :D Actually, I'm excited about all of those, and the only one I was already aware of was The Woman in Black *lives under a rock*

Renay, we were talking about your bigh secret blog project when I brought up The Influencing Machine - a lot of what Gladstone says relates to the complicated feelings you were having about it. This will all make sense once you read it, hopefully :P

Ha, I actually think of Carol Gilligan a bit more kindly these days (though I still think she's wrong, of course :P), partially thanks to Reading Women. I was very angry at her in my head for a very long time, because I was first exposed to her work in my teens and it put me off feminism at a time when it would have REALLY helped me. Of course, Gilligan herself isn't to blame for that - there's the teacher who presented difference feminism as the only thing there was, and there's my own lazy self, who didn't do enough research to have realised that feminism is not a monolith, and that anti-essentialism is actually a lot bigger than Gilligan's position. But still, I have all these feelings :P

Anyway, Katha Pollitt is really amazing, and so is Hanne Blank. I'm dying to get my hands on her new book, Straight, which is about the "surprisingly short history of heterosexuality". How awesome a subtitle is that?

Date: 2012-02-10 12:27 pm (UTC)
nymeth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nymeth
"Bigh"?! WTF :S Most bizarre typo ever :P

Date: 2012-02-10 02:38 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
I will just leave a perfectly innocent link to the first pirates book here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/225314.The_Pirates_In_an_Adventure_with_Scientists . I've read the first two and they are just silly, fun books (with bonus footnotes, often full of actual pirate knowledge) that are cool. I was so excited when the film was announced, because now more people will hopefully start talking about the books :D

Date: 2012-02-12 06:52 pm (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
Ah ha! NOW I remember. Hopefully I will get to read it while all those feelings are fresh in my mind. XD

And of course when I comment on you being ~super mean~ you come in to clarify that no, really, you're actually SUPER NICE and I am mischaracterizing you. ;) I love how you've done so much feminist reading! I've done what feels like ZERO. I don't even have opinions about Butler, although I do have opinions about my lit theory classes and the horrible way my classmates and professor discussed Halberstam (ugh, ugh, ugh). If I had been introduced to feminist theory by that class, I would have run screaming. :(

I saw that book when I searched for the author and it turns out my library has it! Cue jealousy!

Date: 2012-02-10 02:56 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
Lana del Ray! I really like her songs and her musical decisions sort of remind me of Amy Macdonald's first album. Their singing style seems to spring from different inspirations, at least they do to me, but they both seem informed by really cool, old styles of music, yet avoid being dominated by always fitting into a retro style. I am also avoiding the SNL performance, because, argh watching music artists fall apart on stage is not my idea of a good time.

And, is that a sea faring book I see in Ana's section? Adds to ever expanding list about the sea, pirates and women on board ships.

Do you think there is some kind of history of women on bicycle trend emerging lately? I keep seeing references to it everywhere since that recent Kate Beaton comic strip. It is a trend I would embrace.

Date: 2012-02-10 04:51 pm (UTC)
myfriendamy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] myfriendamy
I love Lana del Rey but yeah I saw the huge backlash and just didn't get it. I won't watch the performance either.

I hope to see The Woman in Black soon! I also heard Man on a Ledge was pretty good.

Date: 2012-02-10 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've never really listened to any of Lana Del Rey's songs, except for Video Games. I really like it though. I think the music, the lyrics and her image work extremely well to convey the sort of relationship dynamics she's singing about. She has this old-school sensuality to her (I know, it's fabricated--I don't know why anyone would care, art is all about artifice), but it doesn't make me go, "Wow, I want her." A lot of people who like her think she is sexy and alluring; and a lot of people who criticize her do so because she looks like a woman who was created by men for men. I think both are misguided. On the one hand, it's more than a little creepy to see people express their unexamined attraction to her, because it means they engage with her from a position of dominance. On the other hand, it is unfair that people hate her on allegedly feminist grounds. It's basically victim blaming. It makes even less sense when you consider they also criticize her for being the product of record label instead of "the real thing".

I do think the song and her persona convey a sort of submissive, personality-erasing sensuality, but it makes me sympathize with her instead of desiring her. It makes me wonder, who is the real person behind this mess? I haven't read enough about Lana Del Rey to know how self-aware she is, so it's hard to tell if she actually embodies that character, if she created the character herself, or if the character was imposed on her by her record label. But despite her or anyone else's intentions, the final product doesn't tell me, "Look, a sexy (i.e. vulnerable, submissive) woman for your enjoyment. Hot!" It conveys a much more nuanced reality to me.

That makes for good art, even if she happens not to be a good artist. Like I said, I don't know enough about her to know how incidental the things I like about her music are. But that doesn't lessen my enjoyment of Video Games.

Date: 2012-02-10 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Sorry, forgot to sign this comment. :P

Matheus

Date: 2012-02-11 05:43 am (UTC)
myfriendamy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] myfriendamy
This was fascinating to read because normally I feel like I wouldn't even think about these things, except that I did in this case. LOL. I just got her album this week and I actually just find the music really addictive, but I do find those sorts of qualities in it--vulnerability, fragility, the damaged girl, tbh. I mean, I knew Video Games was about a fucked up relationship she idealized but I didn't realize that would be such a consistent theme on the album. (I don't pay a lot of attention to music press obvs)

Anyway all that to say I don't know much about her as a person either, but I still find the music appealing even if my logical side is screaming against the POV in the songs and wondering if I should subject my own issues to a steady diet of it.

Date: 2012-02-11 02:24 pm (UTC)
bookgazing: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookgazing
As the idea of a damaged women is becoming a much bigger thing with main stream female singers (whereas a few years ago it was mostly confined to male performers who wrote sexy songs about fucked up women whose lives were often full of violence and sadness, like The Killers and The Fratellis - women they despied, killed, pitied, or were attracted to) I want to try to be more aware of how my personal aesthetic tastes may be intersecting with some disturbing lyric/public persona choices. When it was male singers mostly doing this I found it a lot easier to compartmentalise and disect, but with female singers I tend to let that kind of examination go a little more than I probably should.

Like Florence, love her and on stage she doesn't have any kind of artistic persona in between her performance, but last year I caught myself singing Kiss with a Fist, finally connected with the lyrics and...oh. Now, kind of like every time I hear The Killers, I try to be much more critical (while also enjoying the hell out of the music).

Date: 2012-02-15 04:19 am (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
Well, at this point I have the album and I agree with your assessment that her persona is meant to compliment her album. I think you may want to unpack the "art is all about artifice" bit, because of all the criticism I've read and heard is deliberately about the persona she's portraying. On the podcast where I was introduced to her, they talked specifically about how some of the most heated commentary (and misogyny) is coming from people who are basically upset at seeing the construction of her persona. They're facing the fact that now even music, which is extremely emotional for them, is manufactured.

I would point you toward my original introduction to Lana Del Rey, The Culture Gabfest, “Luck Be a Lady” Edition. The Lana Del Rey discussion starts at 22:50. They quote the article Screen Shot that appeared in the New Yorker.

I'm definitely no music critic and I have no ability to look at a persona and tell what, exactly, the artist wants me to take away from it. Even more so if the persona wasn't created by the artist in question, but all I can do there is assume and that's a thin line. I think there's more truth in what the Culture Gabfest argues, in that music is just like other things: from the mind of an individual to the mind of those who know how to produce and market. We have this inability to face this reality for music even though we have accepted it for other types of media. It's unfortunate.

Date: 2012-02-11 03:16 am (UTC)
chrisa511: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chrisa511
These posts are so bad for someone on a budget /o\ Renay, I can totally send you the Lana Del Rey album via email if you want? I'll just send it a track at a time…lemme know if you want me too! It's really good and I totally agree with Mathie's deconstruction of her!

Date: 2012-02-12 06:55 pm (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
Oh, I acquired it, but thank you! :)

Date: 2012-02-11 03:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] myreadingbooks.blogspot.com
Wow! I added lots of things to my wish list reading this post... Jerry Griswold's books are crazy expensive. :( Well, maybe not his older book so much on Book Depository...

Ana: um, I can't believe you haven't read Megan Whalen Turner! You have to!

Jodie: You showed me movies I have never even heard of. I am a bit behind on the movie scene.

Renay: You reposted books on my wish list, but the library doesn't have. :(

Date: 2012-02-14 05:57 pm (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
Welcome to my life with all sort of books I want to read. *g* ESPECIALLY nonfiction, although to be fair I guess I have been spoiled by having an academic library. Sob.

Date: 2012-02-14 07:17 pm (UTC)
nymeth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nymeth
Yeah, I was very lucky to find Griswold's Feeling like a Kid at my old uni's library - but now I don't have access to it anymore :(

And re: MWT, I can't believe it either. One day :P

Date: 2012-02-15 04:19 am (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
*mourns loss of academic library with you*

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Renay is a long time member of slash fandom and nerdfighteria who stumbled into book blogging by accident and decided she liked arguing with herself at length and in capslock — it was all downhill from there. more? » about.me icon twitter icon pinboard icon tumblr icon

Ana is a reader who’s been blogging about books since early 2007. After several abandoned career paths, she decided to become a librarian and currently works for a large public library system. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon last.fm icon

By day Jodie is one of those evil marketers you're always hearing about. In fact she’s an evil British marketer and probably the inspiration for the next Bond villain. more? » tumblr icon last.fm icon

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