Archive for November, 2007

Copyright & Pleasure

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Because I am in library school, I am forced to read a number of really, really, really dreadful books. Unfortunately, the past two weeks were the kind of weeks where I have to read an ungodly multitude of them all at once. Things like: the truly uninteresting Digital Copyright (Jessica Litman), Code Version 2.0 & Free Culture (both Lawrence Lessig) and The Anarchist in the Library (Siva Vaidhyanathan). And, okay, I’m going to admit it. I liked Vaidhyanathan. I liked his book. I EVEN ENJOYED IT. I even couldn’t put it down. So shoot me.

In the midst of wonderful library theory, I also had the pleasure to read Jessica Abel’s La Perdida (which made me incredibly dubious about Latin American travel, which is sort of bad, because Latin American travel is my biggest dream ever), Abel’s Soundtrack: Short Stories, JM Coetzee’s Elizabeth Costello and (regrettably) the RLG Preservation Microfilming Handbook. Regrettable only because it’s long, and fairly outdated. I would not go so far as to recommend this book to anyone other than, well, me–for what it’s worth.

Regarding Coetzee: goddamn. That’s all.

Today at the Carnegie, I picked up Alice Munro’s Dance of the Happy Shades, which I am sure I will have nothing but glowing reviews of, and Jonathan Lethem’s You Don’t Love Me Yet, about which I am not so confident. I can go either way on Lethem. I adored Motherless Brooklyn, like, swore I would marry him in a heartbeat after finishing it, and then was mired in disappointment for WEEKS after I read Fortress of Solitude. What’s a girl to do?

How celebrities aggravate me

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Because I am a little ADD, this week I read not only Coal Miner’s Daughter, but also Sounds of Your Name by Nate Powell AND Alice Munro’s Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You. For the purposes of this entry, I will ignore the Munro book, because, as with most of her short stories, each of these was flawless. Two thumbs up.

Okay. I admit that Loretta Lynn’s book was, well, sort of questionable. It was insanely repetitive and a little silly. I don’t know that I would have even finished it if Loretta weren’t my country singin’ hero. So Loretta is a hillbilly from Kentucky (Pike County, I think), and her daddy was a coal miner, and he worked really hard, and she got married at 13, and had a baby at 14, and then a couple years later, became WORLD FAMOUS. Loretta’s story might be interesting to some people, but, being a 1/2 West Virginian myself, I am no stranger to these kinds of tales. My point: I’d rather sit and listen to my grandma talk about growing up in a shack on a mountain then read this book. My main problem with Loretta’s harping is that she is not remotely unique in her tale.

Or maybe I’m just jealous that I can’t sing.

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Nate Powell. Knows what’s up. Sounds of Your Name blew my mind. Nate Powell & Loretta Lynn need to get together so he can tell her to get over herself. Powell, in a series of fairly simple black & white frames, broke my heart. His art isn’t earth-shattering but his writing is wonderful. Teenage punks in and out of love, autistic little brothers, sad waitresses with sick dogs, rape–Powell’s got it covered. I wish I had read this at a younger age. I think I needed Sounds of Your Name when I was sixteen. If I could high-five Nate Powell, or kiss him on the lips, I would.