Have you been wondering what would be the perfect metaphor for being single in your forties? Well now, just in time for Valentine's Day, Lori Gottlieb and her godsend of a new book (Marry Him: a case for settling for Mr. Good Enough) have answered it: it's like irresponsibly drinking before driving, and then causing serious bodily harm to yourself or someone else in a horrific accident. No seriously:
Although Kathryn Stockett's novel, The Help, came out nearly a year ago, it remains to date on the New York Times Top 10 Bestselling Fiction list… Forty weeks of its shelf life in fact, it has spent jostling with other titles on the list, still sitting comfortably at No. 4 as of January 11th.
In this list-watching way, I waited patiently, patiently for my copy to move to number 1 on the library holds list. When I finally had the massive 444-page, hard bound copy in my hands, I grabbed a blanket, made cup after cup of tea and spent nearly two days on the couch plowing through Ms. Stockett's tale of black domestic servants in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s, and the white privileged woman who wants to write about them.
Grammarphiles of the world, rejoice! The fabulous Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl, profiled in the Buzz Issue Bitch List) has a new book out, just in time for the word nerd on your holiday shopping list!
One of the lesser-discussed hassles of identifying as feminist is that
people often think you'll be super-delighted to engage in some good
old-fashioned man bashing. Those men, you know? What's up with them
never being able to pick up their damn socks? And the belching? And
like I care about whether the Red Sox will ever be in the World Series
again. I should totally just get a dog—at least he'll be satisfied
licking his own balls, instead of whining that I never do. Amirite,
So it's important, every so often, to stress that feminism does not
equal female chauvinism. I was reminded of this when the review copy of
Undateable: 311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won't Be Dating or
Having Sex arrived at Bitch Media HQ.
Undateable does not bill itself as a feminist text. It's a dating
manual: As authors Ellen Rakieten and Anne Coyle write in
its introduction: "There's an unspoken list of things men say, wear, or
do that will pretty much guarantee that the girl you just took out to
dinner won't ever want to see you again."
So, basically, it's the real-life version of Liz Lemon's "dealbreakers"
book, only not funny, and also instead of urging the ladies to shut
down relationships for sensible (if insane) reasons—he's appeared on To
Catch a Predator, he's wearing a giant diamond "Open Marriage"
necklace—Undateable encourages them to be shallow, closed-minded, and
In Chris Lynch's 2005 young adult novel Inexcusable (2005 National Book Award Finalist – Young People's Literature, 2005 School Library Journal's Best Books, 2006 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults) is a disturbing tale of the effects of rape culture from the inside. In narrator Keir Sarafian, high school senior and football star, Lynch has created a sickeningly realistic embodiment of a teen rapist.
Irene Vilar's extraordinary and incendiary new memoir, Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict, is a potential launching pad for a discussion about abortion that is more personal than political. Having terminated fifteen pregnancies in sixteen years, Vilar turns her experiences into a reminder that the complexity of abortion extends beyond the scientific and political arenas.
Crime novelist and book reviewer Jessica Mann isn't going to take it anymore. In yesterday's Guardian she was quoted as saying that she will no longer review crime fiction that features "sadistic violence" against women. And guess what? That seems to eliminate a sizable chunk of the genre.
Oh, and it doesn't stop there. The New Yorker posted a piece on this topic as well yesterday, pointing out that the reaction to Mann's decision not to review books she finds offensive has pissed off a lot of people, most of them women who love themselves some misogynistic crime fiction.
Full disclosure: I have not actually read anything by YA fiction author Maggie Stiefvater. However, I was tipped off to her existence earlier this week while reading Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and was instantly charmed. Watch this video, in which Stievfater predicts which mythological creature will usurp the vampire in YA romance popularity: