07 May 2006

April 2006 Books

While work was wrapping up, I took it easy and took my time with books. There's really no rush when it comes down to reading, right?

1) Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth
I picked this up at the used book store for under a buck. I read it well over a month ago, so forgive me for my short description. It was such a witty read. It had me laughing along within a handful of pages. It's sarcastically witty, jaded and bitter, and very amusing. I enjoyed Roth's style of writing and was thoroughly entertained with Portnoy's dialogue. I highly recommend this read, as long as you don't mind the commentary about his father's never ending battle with constipation, his mother's nagging and guilt inducing ways, and Portnoy's relationship with self pleasure.

2) The Secret Lives of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
This book was also picked up at the used book store down the street. It was a very easy and basic read, and I flew through it very quickly. I enjoyed it even though there was a sense that it was written for the masses. If you disregard that observation, it's a sweet and somewhat sad story about a young caucasian girl who befriends a strong group of Afro-American women by sheer coincidence. The power of the female bond and relationship, to sum it up. I read some reviews on Amazon.com and though most people give it high reviews, one Afro-American woman's review made perfect sense. If it was really down south back in 60's when racial tensions were high, this young white girl would probably not be hanging around a group of open armed Afro-American women. They probably wouldn't risk their safety by being in the public's eye, with a white girl in tow. And certainly, a young black man would not be driving around with this white girl without something terribly wrong to occur. I guess in that sense, the story is a tad unrealistic for that era.


3) Subversive Cross Stitch-33 Designs for Your Surly Side - Julie Jackson
I love Subversive Cross Stitch. Not only did coming across Julie Jackson's Subversive Cross Stitch website inspire me to learn how to cross stitch, she showed me that cross stitching craftwork is not just for grandmothers. All this time, I thought cross stitching was all about cutesy teddy bears and positively quirky sayings. It honestly never crossed my mind that you can do something wickedly cool and humourously offensive with this form of needlework. I ran across her website and even wrote her a quick email, thanking her for showing me that there is more to cross stitch than teddy bears and home-sweet-home type of sayings. If I didn't run into her site, I would not have found such a relaxing hobby. I ordered a pattern off her website, in support of what she does. Accidentally, she sent me her new book instead which she said I could keep as a gift! What a nice gal! The book is great - inspiring, amusing, humourous, and simply perfect for a beginner at sassy cross stitch. It has many sayings like "Babies Suck", "Happy Fucking Holidays", and "Homo Sweet Homo". And I have to say, I think the coolest thing about her book is that she honestly encourages you to go out and try something new on your own instead of following her patterns. I just love Subversive Cross Stitch! I'll post a pic of the pattern I ordered and will complete in the near future.

Favourite Book of April?
Subversive Cross Stitch by Julie Jackson!

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