Monday, May 31, 2010

summer reading

I have mentioned before that I'm only reading women authors this year. Actually, my Year of Women Authors was supposed to start in January 09 (it was a rare New Years' Resolution), but at the time I was in the middle of a half-dozen books by dude authors. So I finished those up and commenced in June of last year. Just yesterday I was looking around the house for something to read, and found I was fresh out of new stuff by women, so I picked up one of my abandoned books by male authors. "The Art Thief" by Mansplainy Mansplainerson is what I picked up, and it's like reading an Art History 101 lecture, only without pictures. Criminy. Have I mentioned that I've been teaching Art History 101 since the mid-90s? Yeah, I don't need a lecture on van Eyck's Arnolfini portrait, which by the way is no longer called the Marriage Contract. Just, FYI. 30 pages in and I'm already skipping entire pages. Coincidentally, The Rejectionist, over at Tiger Beatdown, just posted about ManFiction and how tedious it is. For example:

"What’s a manfiction book, exactly? It is indeed, almost but not entirely exclusively, a book by a man; but it is a particular kind of book by a particular kind of man, a Real Man, a virile, manly man, who gallops around on horses in between penning great works."

Go, read the whole thing.

Now, just as I finished THAT, what appears in my google reader but this little gem:

Hot Summer Reads from 12 Literary Stars

Let's do a Guerrilla Girls style breakdown:

all 12 literary stars appear to be white, though one has a Hispanic name**
4 of them are female
10 recommended books by men
1 of the books by women was about getting your baby to sleep through the night
so! only ONE of the books recommended was a narrative work by a woman about something besides traditional lady-business*

In conclusion, well, you know: it's all about the white people. I note with interest that Mother Jones is supposed to be a progressive publication.

*I kind of want to give the one narrative book by a woman bonus points for being about teen Latinas, but then again it's a book by a nice white lady sociologist about teen Latinas, so, you know, that could go either way, right?

**Vendela Vida, whose wikipedia entry mentions her husband, a pretentious author whose name rhymes with Wave Weggers (whose first big deal famous bestseller book was so loathesomely self-absorbed I couldn't finish it) almost immediately, and then constantly, throughout her bio.

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