Friday, 1 July 2016

Things I Read in June

Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
Joan Didion is a spectacular writer, and I doubt she's ever written anything that could make me question her writing gifts and skills and all that other good stuff. So, Play It As It Lays is spectacularly written and Joan is great at the writing thing, but. But. For me, this book was kind of like reading a Bret Easton Ellis book without the horrific yet numbing violence, in that these horrible things were happening to the characters except I didn't really care, because they were kind of awful anyway? But then again, this is a book about Hollywood, so actually I suspect that was the reaction I was supposed to have. Either way, this was fabulous to read because Didion is a fabulous writer, but I'm not sure I would want to read it again. 

The Dark Tower VII- The Dark Tower by Stephen King
I have already reviewed this, amazingly! It was wonderful to finish the series at last, and this might, might, just be the best book of the seven, except maybe for The Drawing of the Three. *ponders this issue for hours*.

A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin
I'm not going to say too much about A Game of Thrones because I have fully written a review of it, it's just on paper and hasn't gone digital yet cause I'm too lazy! Needless to say, I was enthralled and it's the book that started the reading rampage I'm now on because I literally couldn't stop reading it. NOW TO THE COMMENTS to talk about the end of Season 6, because OMG. OMGGGGG.

Bitch Planet by Deconnick and De Landro
I had a strained start with Bitch Planet. I got it in October last year and was so excited to read it, started it and was a bit... unimpressed. This month, I resolved to read it so I could at least pass it on to Bex when I saw her, but this time I could not get enough of it, and was desperately sad when I realised Volume 2 isn't out until October. Bitch Planet, I'm so sorry I didn't immediately grasp your genius, but I'm very happy to have you in my life now.

It's feminist-y, and comic-y, and basically everything I ever wanted in my life but didn't know I did til now. I fully get the non-conformist tattoo trend now, and damn I want to join that crowd of cool kids, I can't lie.

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
Another one I don't reeeeally want to talk about because I have a thing where I want to not only read all the Stephen King, but properly review it, too. Still, this was a portable little lovely, and even though I'm not sure now how I feel about it structurally, I still feel as though I was thoroughly entertained by it when I was reading, which is all you want, really. 

Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran
Ah, Caitlin. Light of my life, fire of my loins and all that other good stuff. Moranifesto is essentially a load of Moran's newspaper columns (Moranthology presumably being successful enough that they decided to print more of them) and there's a lot of good stuff in here. Politics, feminism, Lena Dunham, Bricklebunch Cumbersnatch, etc etc. I got a little twinge every time Moran mentioned Bowie because SHE LOVED HIM SO MUCH SHE MUST HAVE BEEN SO SAD WHEN HE DIED (etc) and I was pretty excited that I could recycle her interview with Lena Dunham that I had so lovingly kept because I just love them both so much, ok? 

Essentially, Moranifesto is everything you would expect from a Caitlin Moran book, and is exquisite in its very Caitlin-ness. I am a fan, as you might expect. (Special thanks to Katie for getting me this for my birthday!)

Letters to my Fanny by Cherry Healey
Ughhhhhh, this book. For background, I bought it because Frances mentioned that it existed the last time I saw her, I remembered that I kind of liked Cherry Healey because she did some good BBC3 Documentaries, and then WE COULDN'T FIND THIS BOOK ANYWHERE. Its lack of availability made us obsessed with finding it, and I held onto this obsession until I went book shopping with Bex where I did find it and then bought it.

I was soon to regret this purchase. I wanted Letters to my Fanny to be a lot of things- insightful, interesting, groundbreaking, open, honest, and so on- but even though it opens with an apology to Healey's parents because of its 'shocking' nature, it was actually pretty... tame. It's structured as a series of letters to Healey's body parts (starting with, yes, her fanny) and covers her life experiences and attempts to look at the wider world and maaaaan is it dull. This book can't decide if it wants to be a memoir or a series of essays, and it's about as cohesive as Healey's writing, which rambles on and goes off on tangents until I just didn't give any fucks anymore about anything she was saying. She has a real knack for making her life sound boring, and a real knack for trying to be insightful but actually falling far short of that goal.

Essentially this book was really disappointing, and by about 100 pages in I was pretty much hate-reading it. It didn't teach me anything new about myself or make me feel anything other than pretty annoyed and literally the best thing about it was that it was light enough to carry in my bag to work. That's literally its only advantage in the world. Read with caution, avoid if at all possible.


  1. Yay Moranifesto! I have yet to buy this for myself, but I have read chunks of it at work and it is excellent. I think it came out just about the time Bowie died, and I had the same sad reaction to the references. :(

    I hardly read anything last month! (5 books, which I realise is not "hardly anything" by the standards of your average person in the street but for me it is very poor. In my defence, though, I DID finish writing the first draft of my children's novel!

    And Game of Thrones! I need to catch up with the series while it's still on NowTV. I only saw a couple of seasons then never caught up, and when people got all annoyed last year about how it diverged from the book, I decided just to stick with the books. But now I've heard all sorts of intriguing things about the latest season, and GRRM is taking his jolly time over #6... yeah, changed my mind!

    1. It is 100% excellent, thank you for buying it for me! I couldn't deal with all the Bowie cause HOW SAD MUST CAITLIN HAVE BEEN?! So sad.

      Hahaha, 5 books is SO MANY BOOKS, Katie! Hooray for finishing your first draft though, so proud!!!

      Oh man, GoT is so good (please see my review of the first book that is basically like 'the book is good but I still like tv better' lolol) I literally can't cope with how good it is though

  2. I think there are a lot of comics where you have to read quite a lot to get into them and think they're great. The first volume is never long enough in my opinion.

    I have read one and a half GoT books but I haven't really got the motivation to read the rest as I kind of know what happens. ANd I don't like the fact that I have to read all the storylines about the people I don't care about :D They should do special editions with each character's stories compiled into one book.

    Onto the TV show, I wish they did longer seasons! I have only just got back to thinking, yeah, this is good, in the last few episodes and I'm all excited about it again now. But, bah, I have to wait another year. Then they'll meander around with the plot again for several episodes.

    1. That's probably about right, I dunno though dude, I just read the first, like, couple, and I feel like I wasn't into the artwork and the story and just ugh but I returned to it and loved it so much!

      OMG I would be so into those special editions! and the TV show should reorganise itself like that too! I am into this can we please make it happen? OMG dude, I think they're going to do that awful thing where they split the final season over 2 years, so next season (and the last one) is going to be even shorter than 10 episodes, SO FRUSTRATING!

  3. I almost bought Play It As It Lays the other day because it was on the staff recommends shelf at Foyles, but then I remembered that although I love me some Joan Didion, she's always kind of a downer, and I'm in need of uppers right now. Maybe I'll try Bitch Planet instead. Sounds fun.

    1. Funnily enough I did buy it from Foyles (at Waterloo) but I can't remember if it was on the recommendations shelf- probably because I think I just saw it and went 'JOOOOOOAN!' and it was mine lol. Bitch Planet is fun but makes me sort of angry in a feminist sense lolololol

  4. MORANIFESTO I need you in my life!!!