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20 August 2014 @ 11:05 pm
I'm on holiday in Virginia--we drove down Saturday--and I've been up to nothing much.

My life has plenty of News (yes, with a capital N) that unfortunately does not start with 'I got a new job', which is sad, but I don't feel like going into it because being on holiday is about escapism and relaxation.

Instead I shall put up the questions I got from the Book Meme, which I wrote up yesterday but wasn't able to post due to short and random Internet problems in the one instant I was inspired to post it. Here it is now!

1) The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore. [Reading the series for my friend; it’s one of his favourites. Very D&D oriented.]
2) Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. [Thought it was about time.]
3) To Quote a Queer edited by John Lessard. [Friend from queer book club had it. I’m usually fond of quote books, but this one is a bit meh. A few rare gems keep me going.]
4) The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. [Reading for QBC, which I’m going to miss, but still loving this little day-in-the-life book of a young and old woman on an island.] *Update since writing this yesterday: Finished this book today. It was a nice, fun, summery read.
5) Divergent by Veronica Roth. [My brother and mother have read it; I just picked it up the day before yesterday after finishing Rubyfruit.]
6) My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk. [Was a QBC book for a month I didn’t manage to go; either way I hadn’t finished the book as it’s male-driven historical fiction with lots of names and POVs, my three weaknesses. But I bought it and I’m stubborn and damn if I’m not going to finish it despite it being a wall of text.]
7) The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson. [Still slowly working through everything of hers. Perfect to read by the ocean.]
8) The most embarrassing thing I own, which is a copy of an unedited NaNoWriMo novel I wrote at 15. I’m thinking it would be hilarious to write it again 10 years later, at 25, to see how my writing has changed. Perhaps 35-year-old Kiwi would be willing to play along as well—who knows!
9) The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker J. Palmer. [Rev Sunflower handed it over to me shortly before she left, although she had been looking for a different Palmer book. Too preachy and wishy-washy for me in general, but again, a few gems to keep me going.]

The accomplishment is that it’s under 10! Barely, but still. (;

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown.

A few of us queer women at the queer book club decided that we wanted a women’s book club. We met up for the first time this month, with the Dykes to Watch Out For comic as our first subject of discussion. We decided once we had finished that our next book would be a classic: Rubyfruit.

It was a re-read from when I was a teenager. I noticed very different things with this reading—though to be fair I remember very little from my first reading. I think it was one of the first ever lesbian books I read and it started a long line of lesbian books in quick succession, so I think I’ll forgive myself.

Glad to be re-starting my lesbian book library. (I lent mine to a friend near the end of high school and she passed them on instead of giving them back, which broke my heart a bit, particularly since they all have my name in them. I was committed to those books!)

(Now the most recently finished book is The Summer Book but I had more to say about Rubyfruit anyway, it seems.)

One? Pah.

I only just started the ‘re-read’ tag on Goodreads so I’ll have to actually think back with this one. (The only books I have in the tag at the moment are Harry Potter books. Who’s surprised? Anyone, anyone? No need to be rude, now—I’ll have to go picking up those crickets one by one.)

I reread some children’s books at least once a year: Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss; The Contented Little Pussy Cat by Frances Ruth Keller (my mother’s old favourite; the cover has fallen off, as with the Seuss book, which was my childhood books and additionally contains my scribbles); Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (my father’s old favourite and quite a fun one to read dramatically); and Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (one I discovered but loved reading because I got to sing a song: I’ll love you forever, I’ll love you for always; as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be). I also read Rachel Carson’s The Sense of Wonder every year, which isn’t quite a children’s book but is about educating children and engaging their sense of wonder/curiosity; she meant to turn it into a children’s book but died before she could complete the project. I haven’t read it yet this year as I gave it to Rev Sunflower a while back to read. (She just returned it to the church this month, actually; she’s moving on to be the minister of another congregation.)

For non-children’s books… I’m going to re-read Tamora Pierce’s books again and am never against picking up one of her books from the Emelan series as it’s full of very inventive magic, strong world-building, diverse characters, and revolves around friendship and mentorship rather than romance or high ‘cackle cackle’ villainous drama.

I can’t think of anything substantial, actually—no books above YA, hah. I mostly re-read things for fandoms I’m in. I’m not much of a re-reader, particularly since at the moment my shelf for books I’ve read and decided to keep (not all that common) is not very accessible to short old me. That combined with how full my ‘to read’ shelf is means I don’t usually pick up books I’ve already read. I think that’s why I’m so delighted when book clubs get me re-reading an a book I’ve already read: I get to revisit it without guilt! Unread books will have no right to stare me down as I sit innocently reading! (Provided I’m capable of doing anything innocently; I’ll leave that up to you lot.)

Books that specifically spew the ‘isms’ and the ‘obia’ I try to avoid in most of my life; that is especially true for non-fiction books. I can deal with a character (or characters, or author) starting out in a place of ignorance and growing as much as they can. But for instance, a book intent on curing homosexuality while toting God-fearing, heterosexual, monogamous marriage and confirmation/assimilation into heteronormative, consumerist, capitalist, military norms as the One True Way? Not so much for me. I don’t think I could ever get into enough of a ‘what is this world?’ mood of absurdity to manage all that written in earnest. So no Tea-Partier books for me, alas. Who knows what secret gems I’m missing there.

Beyond that it’s mostly a case-by-case basis. POV (first, second, third, multi?), genre (don’t read many mysteries, for example, but would be willing to), topic…I’m willing to try most things if reading about the book snatches my interest. I will read almost anything that incorporates queer women in some way, which has got me in trouble before (*cough*Prairie Silence*cough*).

Though I am going to try to avoid my grandmother’s old romance novels for the rest of my life. I read one before I hit puberty and even as I was reading it I thought, “Gee, they just met, isn’t that a bit fast?” I kept reading and decided, after much consideration, that they were missing something; when the POV character realised soon after that she was pregnant I concluded that these silly adults needed to start paying attention in sex-ed. (It was my misguided understanding at the time that all people who had sex took comprehensive sex-ed courses. Another time I wish my childhood imagination had been correct.) My mother told me after I had finished reading the book that it was my grandmother’s old book. I made quite The Face and vowed that I would never read anything that ridiculous again, and that Grammie must be a silly person for liking books with women who have sex where it’s sandy with men who can’t wrap their willy.

If any of you are curious about pictures and reading spots, let me know!

Today I went swimming in the ocean. I came to the conclusion (as I do every year) that the ocean is wonderful and that swimsuits are a terrible torture. My mother said, "Your suit is just uncomfortable. Don't you have any good swim-suits?" "Yes!" I exclaimed, quite exasperated. "The one I was born in!"

I am not sunburned--hooray for small miracles. Helped my brother make chicken fajitas, shocking everyone. Any other news-that-isn't-news? I think half the ocean's salt is in my hair right now. Very exciting.

Back to doing pretty much fuck-all. Goodnight!

[Crossposted from dreamwidth.]
Current Location: Sandbridge, Virginia
Maggiemagnetic_pole on August 21st, 2014 11:30 am (UTC)
Beach vacation, lovely!

Do you know, I read Rubyfruit so quickly and so long ago I don't remember a single thing from it. (And the better half tells me there are many memorable parts, including something having to do with grapefruit.) Does that even count? :)

I'm totally curious about reading spots! M.
Kiwi Crocus: TWW || Constance || Speaking smile.cranky__crocus on August 21st, 2014 06:14 pm (UTC)
Lovely indeed!

There are certainly a number of memorable parts to Rubyfruit. Yes, the grapefruit bit was one of my favourites! This book didn't shy away from interesting kinks. I think having read it quickly and long ago should count--though perhaps I think that because up until this week I was the same. ;D

I will keep that in mind! May take pictures once I'm back home and have done my post-holiday tidying.
CaroRulescarorules on August 21st, 2014 12:26 pm (UTC)
Enjoy your vacation, you've had a tough ride lately, you deserve it.

Lol, the swimsuits I have are not uncomfy. I usually go with boyshort bottom and tank-top tops. And I agree not getting sunburn is always tricky for me too!
Kiwi Crocus: AoGG || Think scholarly thoughts.cranky__crocus on August 21st, 2014 06:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I've had moments of tough time while here as well--news of my car--and things will be tough again when I get home, but it's nice to have a little bit of a break.

I have swimsuits like that and still find them uncomfy. Other times I wear cut-offs and a sports bra, which is all right, but I still say nothing beats not wearing a suit at all! And that's the skinny of it. ;D
therealsnapetherealsnape on August 21st, 2014 05:45 pm (UTC)
I loved Rubyfruit Jungle, too. A great book, and truly a classic. Makes one overlook all those twee 'detectives' she wrote (not the kind of mystery you should give time to).
Kiwi Crocus: TWW || Constance || Reading.cranky__crocus on August 21st, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
I'm terribly pleased to have Rubyfruit now in the 'finished' and 're-read' book category, and more so that it was the second book we chose for our new queer women's book club. I can see myself re-reading it again in the future since it's so quick. And now, having read it again 10 years later, I can see that even though I can't remember much, reading it back then did impact my personal growth/philosophy.

Yes, I have ignored those 'detectives'. The only cat mystery I ever want to watch solved is either a) "where is the !@#$-ing cat?!" or b) "where is that thing the !@#$-cat took?!"

I live with 8 cats. I'm practically an expert in both.
lash_laruelash_larue on August 21st, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
I add to that, "what the hell is that %$##@**&%$" thing the cat threw up, and which one did it?"

Enjoy the beach, I share your car pain. Details may follow, because I love to spread the joy.

Kiwi Crocus: Rainbow || Dark umbrella.cranky__crocus on August 21st, 2014 09:47 pm (UTC)
Uuuuuugh yes, that is a constant question! The week before I left I stepped in cat puke two days in a row. Blergh.

Thanks. I enjoyed the beach yesterday. The problem for me is that I love the ocean but do not love (sandy) beaches. I'm hoping I'll have it in me to walk along the hard sand tomorrow and walk back home along the road, collecting plants that I can press and send in letters.

Fuck car troubles. Guess who's in the market for another used car? *Raises hand and smacks own head with it.*
minervas_eule: Minerva's Euleminervas_eule on August 23rd, 2014 09:50 am (UTC)
Oh, Virginia's beaches surely are just as great as the NC ones: never found the ocean more pleasant than there....
I am so sorry to hear about the car :-(

I can't believe how many books you read at the same time °o°
Kiwi Crocus: Rainbow || A to Z books.cranky__crocus on September 11th, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
Very late:

I've never been to a NC beach, but my brother has and while he enjoyed it, he prefers the VA beaches. (:

I am still sorry about the car as well. I finally have a replacement one--a month in the works and with much heartbreak--but I'll always miss my first car, heh.

Yes, I do read a ridiculous number of books at the same time. At the moment I'm reading seven but I just got an email from my library that another has come in for me so I'll pick that one up as well. But that one is a Young Adult fiction book so I'll probably just power right through it and return it. I tend to read fiction books faster than non-fiction, and I like having fiction books to escape into between my non-fiction reading.
?elsceetaria on August 23rd, 2014 06:39 pm (UTC)
I hope your vacation has been and continues to be lovely.

I have reread some of the Emelan books an excessive number of times, if such a thing were possible. Personally, I do not believe it is.

Was Dykes to Watch Out For good? It has been on my tbr list forever.

Oh, and I know the feeling of losing books to a friend when you loan them. It is always quite sad.
Kiwi Crocus: Hair || Rainbow French braid.cranky__crocus on September 11th, 2014 05:13 pm (UTC)
My vacation was as good as it could be, I think.

I'm not sure how many times I've reread the Emelan books, actually. I need to do it again, though, all in order and close enough together to link all the facts. I just read the first two Alanna books so I guess I'm actually on my way to a real Tammy re-read. But for the Tortall books it mostly means buying them first, so there are waits in-between.

I LOVE DtWOF. I think they're available through libraries, too, and it's easy to just sit down with them and read right through. They're applicable today as well. Sometimes I had to look and make sure that I was reading material from when I was a child and not referencing current-day political information.

'Quite sad' is the perfect understatement for the heartbreak of losing books of friends (particularly a lot of them/a whole section of one's library).