FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Books and Beer (or Tea, Whatever Pickles Your Cucumber)

Hello my homogays, it’s lovely to see you this fine Friday. And it is a very, very fine Friday. I am super excited to host the Friday Open Thread, which is a thing we do every Friday wherein we talk to each other on the internet via the comments section on this website called Autostraddle.com, maybe you’ve heard of it? Home of vapid fluff? I’m especially excited re: the vapid fluff.

A lot happened for me this week. I got a new phone for $12 (yes, completely legally) due to the stars aligning. I went on vacation. I discovered that I needed to add sugar scrub to my v. v. masculine-of-center skin routine and I’ve acted accordingly. And, oh yeah, I got engaged.

this-sunset-beach

I managed to find a deserted beach (seriously, ZERO other people on it) that actually had a sunset over the water on the East Coast, which was a tall order and also completely accidental. Sometimes not planning works out well for me. But I will take credit for that proposal-win, even though it was happenstance.

Also, I read. I’ve been trying to read even more than normal lately, and to varying degrees of success. You see, I’m starting graduate school in the Fall — I’m going to be heading to The New School to get my MFA in Creative Writing, specifically fiction. And I’m super psyched that I’m going to be reading a ton of books, some of which I haven’t even heard of before. It’s a wide world of books out there. But it did occur to me that I’m not going to be able to choose what I read, really, for a few months or probably even a few years. So I’m trying to get to all the books I’ve been meaning to get to and anything that strikes my fancy. Basically, read ALL the books.

via something called Troll.me, I shit you not.

via something called Troll.me, I shit you not.

I just finished Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, highly recommend like whoa, A ++. And then I revisited an old favorite, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. And now? I have a great friend who works at Viking and she gave me My Educationby Susan Choi legit months ago just because she thought I’d love it. Well I’m ten pages in and already I love it. You know that tumblr, the one where people take pictures of the book they’re reading and the beer they’re drinking? We should do that. Except in this case I’m actually drinking tea, despite having a homebrew in the fridge calling to me.

my-education-and-tea

Please take note of the mildly gay Eleanor Roosevelt mug that is containing my oolong tea. My fiancée got it for me. Omg. I just typed fiancée. What a world we live in.

So hey, friends, enough about me. What did you do this week? Did you also get engaged, or did you snuggle with your cat or maybe you went to a beach also but not with your cat? Where are you going tonight? What are you doing this weekend? What are you drinking right now? Are you reading anything good? Feel like posting a picture of your book and your beverage of choice? Please let’s chat about the things. I am ready. Are you ready?


How To Post a Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo! This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL,” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code:

<img src=”http://imageurlgoeshere”>

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur.

*How To Post a Video In The Comments, Too:

1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

Avatar of Ali

Freelance writer and fiction author, Geekery Editor for Autostraddle.com and Fiction Editor for qu.ee/r Magazine. Keep up with her at her website.

Ali has written 253 articles for us.

187 Comments

  1. Thumb up 7

    Please log in to vote

    Last week someone asked me to report back on my feeldoe experience.

    As a person that does their best not to spend more than $5 dollars on things and as someone that never really cared for penetration beyond two average sized fingers,I’d just like to say that I do not regret my purchase and HALLELUJAH. I don’t know if it was the skin-to-skin or what but I have seen the promised land.

  2. Thumb up 5

    Please log in to vote

    Yay! I read mostly on my iPad now, so here’s a shot of my current library:

    Wally Lamb’s We Are Water was amaaaazing. And I also just finished She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb. Both stories feature strong female characters that, by the end, you feel like you’ve gone on their journey alongside them.

    The Alphabet Versus the Goddess is a great read for those of you interested in theories on how patriarchy has affected women in society, starting way back with the invention of the alphabet.

    • Thumb up 4

      Please log in to vote

      I just read “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” for the second time a month or two ago and holy god, it’s still wrenching and funny and just wonderful. I’ve never read any Wally Lamb but I really need to. And if you like Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild,” you mustmustmust pick up “Tiny Beautiful Things,” her collection of advice columns as Dear Sugar from the Rumpus. It’s life-changing. She is one of the wisest people alive, in my opinion, although I’m sure she’d contest that.

      • Thumb up 2

        Please log in to vote

        I love The Miseducation of Cameron Post and I second Lora’s rec for “Tiny Beautiful Things,” which I picked up after our own Vanessa said reading it was a prerequisite for life.

        • Thumb up 2

          Please log in to vote

          Yeah, it’s also like a prerequisite for thinking, “Oh, let me just read this advice column on my lunch break at work, for fun” and then ending up crying uncontrollably in a bathroom stall.

          Or so I’ve heard.

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      I just finished We Are Water last week! It was so good, it reminded me of those amazing knitting/clothing projects that I see sometimes and I’m just like “WHAT. How did all those pieces come together to make that thing how is this possible what is happening rn.” Because so many storylines and so much connection and just how. I haven’t read she’s come undone since I was in elementary school. And my hs english teacher sister used to useme as her test case for class books, but now I kind of want to reread.

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      What a great reading list! I have lots of comments about it.

      First, I can’t forget to mention Gone Girl! That book was epic! One of the best mysteries I’ve read. I would absolutely recommend it highly to everyone.

      I just adore The Miseducation of Cameron Post! It is one of the best lesbian books ever, especially in the young adult genre.

      I absolutely loved We Are Water! Very interesting, great characters, so well-written.

      You can almost never go wrong with Jodi Picoult.

      I’ve heard about Quiet a few times and I’ve been thinking about reading it. How is it?

      • Thumb up 1

        Please log in to vote

        Ahhh the book lover inside of me is bursting with book feels!

        I DEFINITELY have “Tiny Beautiful Things” Lora and Ali, and I second everything you guys have said about it. So good, and sweet, and awesome.

        I’m about 100 pages into “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and I can hardly put it down. It’s so gritty and real sometimes that it takes me right back to that stage in my own life…what a great addition to the YA category.

        Lauren, I agree with your Jodi Picoult assessment–I’ve read at least 8-10 of her books, and every single one was fabulous. Some of my favorites are “Nineteen Minutes”, “House Rules”, “Handle with Care”, and “Mercy”.

        Also, as you likely noticed, I’m really into nutrition books right now, so if y’all have any recs, I’d be down to hear them!

  3. Thumb up 5

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations, Ali! That’s so amazing :D

    My week has been pretty good, since I’m now finished all my final exams but one and it’s next week. I went for a run in the forest on this hot and beautiful day and I found my Nintendo DS, so today is great.

  4. Thumb up 4

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations to you and your fiance!

    I don’t normally post in these threads, but I feel the need to recommend one of the best fiction adventure novels I’ve read — “The Beach,” by Alex Garland, if you ever get a chance. It makes me look forward to that day in the distant-but-not-so-distant future (probs less than a year now) when I quit my job and get on a plane to somewhere in Southeast Asia.

    I’ve been reading a lot, since I basically get paid ridiculous amounts of money to sit around and do nothing … finished “Young Men and Fire” last week, currently reading “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage,” and “A Feast For Crows” is next up.

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      What on earth job do you have that pays you to read? This sounds like an ideal job.

      Y’all, I am gonna have sucha goodreads list after this open thread.

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      By Young Men and Fire, do you mean the one written by Norman McClean? I have one of his son’s books on wild fire, and I’ve desperately wanted to read some of Norman’s works. What did you think?

      (I feel like I should mention that I got into wild fire stories during the year I spent doing disaster response, conservation, and wild land fire fighting.)

      • Thumb up 2

        Please log in to vote

        Ali: I’m an oilfield geologist. So I don’t get paid to read, per se, I just get paid to sit around and not really do all that much. Sometimes I look at gamma ray data and rock samples. I actually hate it, for lots of reasons, but that’s another story.

        therealpotter: Yes, that’s the one. Which book by his son do you have? “Fire On The Mountain?” if so, definitely read it, it’s great. “Young Men and Fire” is a more poetic (rather than journalistic) approach to a tragedy fire, but they’re both good reads. The second half of YMAF is a little dry, but it’s worth reading – especially in the context of MacLean’s life and what firefighting was to him. Out of curiosity, when/where did you fight fire? I used to be on an engine crew in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington.

        • Thumb up 1

          Please log in to vote

          I studied geology – hated (so many aspects of) it so much, I never even made it in to the industry.

          Not really the point though, actually wanted to say you have great taste in books!

  5. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    I’ve been trying to walk my cat, but the weather has been so gorgeous that everyone lets their cats out now. I usually keep the poor little pooper inside if there are too many other cats around…He looks pretty fetch in his lime green halter though, I must say!

    Currently drinking Earl Grey at work and at home I’m reading My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki and loving it!

  6. Thumb up 4

    Please log in to vote

    i’m drinking yuzu tea and texting my long distance activity partner.

    the coolest thing i’ve done this week by far was seeing lana del rey live for the first time! (i’ve been listening to her for about 3 years now) my mom got me a really ticket which was super unexpected because she normally says i spend too much money on shows/go to them too often. i was planning to buy a cheaper ticket from someone on craigslist but the deal fell through at the last minute and my mom and i ended up circling around the venue looking for regular people whose friends couldn’t make it. that…didn’t work so we ended up buying from a scalper but it was a front row seat so i don’t really regret it.

    i also got a haircut and decided to get highlights for the first time in 10 years. they look decent.

  7. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations, Ali!

    Also, books! I can talk about this. I just finished The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and it was a-ma-zing. Now I’m reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (I try to only read books by female authors lately, but my grandma recommended the Book Thief and who can say no to a grandma, really?) because it was recommended to me by one of my coworkers from the independent, gender and sexuality specialized bookstore I work at (yes I work in paradise basically… now if only I actually made money doing so! cause unfortunately we’re poor so we work with volunteers only). It’s set in 19th century New Zealand and I’ve only read 50 pages so far but it looks really interesting. Also the cover is just really pretty.

    Also the other night I dreamed I was engaged to my girlfriend, but alas, in real life she’s an ocean away and I don’t have an empty beach to my disposal to romantically ask her to marry me.

  8. Thumb up 4

    Please log in to vote

    The titles are hard to make out, so they are:
    A Late Chrysanthemum: Twenty-one Stories from the Japanese
    Mr. Fox – Helen Oyeyemi
    So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away – Richard Brautigan
    Fairy Tales of Ireland

    And there’s gingerbread tea plus bonus Music I Am Listening To: Slowdive – Souvlaki.

  9. Thumb up 8

    Please log in to vote

    I finished re-reading the Harry Potter series this morning and I’m having ALL THE FEELS. ALL OF THEM. HAARRYYYYYYY.

    And now I have to scroll through my never ending to-read list and figure out what to pick up next. A nice, productive trip to the library is in my near future.

    • Thumb up 2

      Please log in to vote

      I was just considering redoing the same thing!
      We had the most incredible book launch for the last one here – imagine over 5 thousand people in a lit-up garden at midnight all chanting “Harry, Harry” as the band plays, and smoke billows out of a door opening onstage… Made this avid reader ecstatic!

    • Thumb up 3

      Please log in to vote

      LOLOLOLOLOL. I really like the language so far, though! I’ll try to finish it on the plane to A-Camp and then tell you all my feelings. Also I have so many feelings to discuss re: The Circle (background: Riese made me read The Circle you guys, except not because I would have obvi read it anyway). Like, it’s a terrible book. Terribly written, doesn’t earn ANY of it’s emotional moments. And yet I still recommend people read it because he’s SPOT ON with the tech culture in a way that’s kind of terrifying.

  10. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    Congrats, I am sure you gentle beings make a really cute couple.

    I am close to finishing Excluded, by Julia Serrano(excellent read thank you for the suggestion Autostraddle). Oh and LBC Pride is this weekend, I may go hang with some cute queer lady friends yay.

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      I’ve been reading Excluded, too, even though I’m in the middle of writing my thesis and it has nothing to do with it.

      Speaking of, the written portion is due in a few days, so currently I’m re-skimming Girl Zines by Alison Piepmeier and Lucy Lippard’s Pink Glass Swan to add more last-minute citations. Also, way too much Tumblr because I am bad at focusing.

  11. Thumb up 4

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations, Ali, that is lovely news.
    It is Saturday here already and a friend and I are going for a hike up the mountain, and it looks like it will be a beautiful clear day here.

    I don’t have a phone that takes photos but picture this:
    I’m reading “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See, and it is like everything I had hoped it would be. I have been trying to get it from the library for 8 months and recently got lucky. It is the retelling of the relationship between Laotong “friends” Lily and Snow Flower, when Lily is in her 80′s. It is an education into women’s lives in 18th C China. It is amazing, and it will get upsetting, I can tell.
    Also I’m drinking Fresh Up brand Apple and Nectarine juice – my favourite.

    • Thumb up 3

      Please log in to vote

      Oh my god, Snow Flower! I had to read it for class (for a course called Social Construction of Female Sexuality, so that’s quite telling for the kind of course it was, haha) and I loved it! It’s a beautiful story that gives you a very intimate insight in the lives of Chinese women in the 18th century. I should re-read this book some time, without the hurry that comes with quickly reading a book in one weekend.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          I have just finished Snow Flower and it was good portrayal of a lesbian relationship – full of challenges and drama and love. I’m gutted it has ended.

  12. Thumb up 7

    Please log in to vote

    Ok! So excited!

    A) Congrats on the engagement! So awesome.

    B) This is pretty much my first time commenting. Long time reader though, with a terrible penchant for forgetting passwords and usernames.

    C) I’m currently reading Americanah as well and loving it. Also reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, and it’s fantastic.

    D) My beer of choice right now is Stone IPA. They have quite a few varieties of IPAs, too! Obviously since it’s only 2:30 where I am, I’m not having a beer so I’m sitting in Panera having a diet pepsi. I feel like I’m cheating on diet coke.

    E) This weekend I’m moving in with my girlfriend of a little over a year and then on Monday I start a new job at an organization that I am so proud to be working for. I bought a pair of new grey converse yesterday and it’s making me endlessly happy.

    Happy Friday!

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      A) Thank you!

      B) Welcome! We’re glad your here! Check this link if you are bad at passwords (so am I).

      C) I want to read the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks so bad, but sometimes I get freaked out by remembering that all of us have insides? So I think maybe I’ll have to save this for when I have, like, a lot of emotional strength and mental time to devote to a book?

      D) Stone IPA is amazing. Stone is amazing in general, actually.

      E) CONGRATS ON ALL OF THESE THINGS!

      • Thumb up 1

        Please log in to vote

        That link to the apps for passwords is totally helpful. Right now I have a multistep complicated thing that requires a password to remember my other passwords so I’m psyched that there are far better options out there.

        To your C, yes the insides squeamishness is understandable. I’m about halfway through right now and the beginning has been the hardest part thus far in terms of potential squeamishness. As a nurse, I’m really not bothered by much, but my better half is and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t love the beginning of the book. But it’s a great read and so important in terms of biomedical ethics.

        Thanks for the congrats! Very excited for life events!

  13. Thumb up 5

    Please log in to vote

    Congrats Ali!!!!!! That is such awesome/exciting news :)
    I started My Education way back and never could finish it because, like Riese, I couldn’t really get past the protagonist. BUT BUT BUT I really enjoyed Jane Lynch’s memoir because I am a sucker for memoirs and I can’t say I hate Lynch in any way shape or form so it’s a great read.

    My week was a bit whatever, but I am super stoked now because my sister is in town (just turned 21, the little gem) and I am so so so SO happy I can spend the weekend with my best friend+favorite family member!:)

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      I had trouble reading all of My Education too. I recall skimming though some parts when I wasn’t interested in what was going on with any of the characters in the scene. And I skipped ahead to get to the sapphic parts.

      I am a huge sucker for memoirs too. I have a soft spot for celebrity memoirs especially, and Jane Lynch’s was one of the best! Awesome, hilarious, serious, moving. It had everything and was so entertaining.

  14. Thumb up 7

    Please log in to vote

    I just learned how to use the fancy coffee machine at work. I actively resisted learning before this because I never wanted to be able to grant someone’s request if they asked me to get them coffee. But then I realized that if I figured out how to make foamy steamed milk, I could put it in my coffee and add hot chocolate so that is what I did and IT IS SO GOOD. No regrets.

    I started reading Against Equality (the anthology one) this week and I find a lot of the essays really off putting. But in a good way, because it’s making me think about why I believe what I believe. It’s good.

  15. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations, I’m so happy for you!

    Haven’t read Americanah (yet!), but Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave one of my favourite Fresh Air interviews of this past year.

    Didn’t actually go to a beach this week, despite the fact I have been on an island for nearly a month (Manhattan, on a business trip, so not a nice island). Returned home last night, have been pretty ill ever since, with jetlag really not helping, but at least I didn’t get as sick on this business trip as I did on my last one, which was a business trip that I made *with the friend/coworker I’m in love with*, fbsdklfbkldsfnsd.

    Anyway, because timezones, I felt thoroughly justified in taking today off from work, so spent the day in pain, asleep, and/or reading books 5 and 6 of Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner series. (Having re-read the second book on one of the plane rides back, and that ending? OMG THE FEELS.) No fancy drink to report, but I did just now force myself to eat for the first time today, hopefully a wise decision.

    While it feels good to be home, I now kind of have to deal with the fact that I’ve been off-and-on ill for months and the doctors still don’t know what’s wrong and I have to go back to being poked and prodded and scanned and goodness know what else and I should probably tell more people what’s been going on because at the moment only the aforementioned friend/coworker really knows and she’s been doing a lot of covering for me and that’s totally unfair to her.

    Er. Wow. Uh, sorry for the oversharing?

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      I hope you feel better soon! It totally sucks not feeling well and having the doctors not be able to figure out what’s going on. I can totally relate to what you’re going through. Best wishes to you! <3

  16. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Congrats on your engagement!

    I’m reading the Blind Assasin until I can get my hands on a copy of MaddAddam. Does anyone know of books similar to Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake trilogy? I’m looking for some plot-driven yet nuanced feminist fiction. I would so appreciate suggestions!

  17. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    Let’s see…it’s been eventful! This week I found out I’m getting laid off (semi-excited for the change that will bring). I also laid on the floor while listening to Salena with my gf and we went through activities at ACamp and marked what we wanted to do. I also knitted a baby blanket, and had a picnic in my parking lot in the beautiful warm weather with two beautiful ladies and we drank wine and it was wonderful.

  18. Thumb up 6

    Please log in to vote

    I just finished my first year of a science PhD program, which means I haven’t read a book since last August. Last weekend I went to Barnes and Noble and looked for a book to read and got overwhelmed and ended up only buying a copy of Bitch Magazine, so I’ll be watching this thread closely for suggestions.

    Other than that, my roommates have all abandoned me for extended periods of time due to internships/vacations which means I need to learn how to operate our lawnmower like yesterday, and I’m currently having a lot of feelings about gender roles/the patriarchy because nobody ever taught me how to turn on a lawnmower and I feel like it’s something I should have learned how to do before age 23, but the thought of mowing my lawn tomorrow is mostly confusing.

  19. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    Ahhh that’s so exciting! Congratulations Ali!

    I had physical therapy this morning, now I’m hiding in my house because it’s ridiculously hot out. In fact my computer is making my room hotter… I should go read instead! I’m working my way through the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett, currently on Soul Music. And drinking lots of water. With ice cubes. Did I mention it’s hot?

    • Thumb up 2

      Please log in to vote

      My favorite sub-series in Discworld are the Witches, Samuel Vimes, and the ones about the con artist who fixed up the post system and minting system in Ankh-Morpork.

      Also, I recommend that you read the Tiffany Aching books. I think they’re my absolute favs.

        • Thumb up 2

          Please log in to vote

          Best discworld book of all, in my opinion, is Thief of Time. Could work quite well as a stand-alone read, but better if you’ve read the Death books first (Reaper Man and Soul Music are also excellent)

        • Thumb up 2

          Please log in to vote

          I accidentally skipped some Death books and read Thief of Time right after Mort, and I think it’s my favorite so far. Now I’m filling in the gap… I loved Reaper Man too.

  20. Thumb up 4

    Please log in to vote

    YESYESYES! Books! I’m sick and laying in the dark pretending to take a nap, so I won’t bother with a picture, but I just went to the library Wednesday and got an Emily Dickinson biography, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera, “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke, and Lorrie Moore’s new collection, “Bark.” Also, I bought Nathan Englander’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank” collection last weekend for my birthday and it’s pretty good so far.

    MORE IMPORTANTLY, I just finished Francine Prose’s “Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932″ and it was pretty amazing. It’s based off of this George Brassai photo of two lesbians (I hope this works, but if not just Google Brassai and lesbians)

    But it has the most complicated lesbian character ever, and it’s told in excerpts of memoirs and letters and a biography and essays and so it never gets boring; lots of POVs. I really liked it, although I feel like there’s a lot of grey area surrounding the lesbian main character; I felt like I knew her least of all the characters even though the whole story pretty much revolves around her and her actions. But I recommend it nonetheless.

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      I love What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank. The second story in the collection = hit me in the feels. I just kept yelling at the book, “no! You can’t DO that!”

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      I was just reading about “Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932″ last month in Oprah’s O Magazine book picks, and I was wondering if it was about lesbians (I guessed maybe so, but the description was too vague to tell for sure). Apparently my book gaydar is in full working order!

  21. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Congrats!

    Can you teach us how to embed gifs, because I need a gif for when you, your girlfriend, and your girlfriend’s roommate all realize that the three of you have officially synched up because you all stared your period THAT DAY. Asking for a friend.

  22. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Oh god, BOOKS. So I just reorganized the books my room day because I got a new set of (small) shelves. I have a lot I need to finish reading or start reading…

    Anyway, I’m actively working on Wool, by Hugh Howey and striving to finish up the second Songs of Ice & Fire book. I finished The Fault in Our Stars a couple nights ago. And I’m planning on starting Far From You by Tess Sharpe pretty soon. I’m also part way into The Door into Shawdow by Diane Duane, which is the second book of three about a fantasy world that’s very happily queer.

    …I’m just drinking water, but it’s out of my nalgene that’s covered in awesome stickers!

      • Thumb up 1

        Please log in to vote

        IT’S HER VERY FIRST SERIES EVER OMG.

        First book is The Door into Fire, the third is The Door into Sunset. She still hasn’t written the supposedly last book, which should be The Door into Starlight.

        I found them on Amazon for 1 cent plus $3.99 shipping. Ha!

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      What a coincidence! I’ve been planning on reading the second book (A Clash of Kings) this summer, and I’m probably going to start it next month. The first book was so big that it completely filled my Game of Thrones craving, and so intense that I felt a little depressed by the end, so I figured I needed at least six months before reading the next book. Game of Thrones fever is in the air!

      I absolutely loved The Fault In Our Stars! One of the best books ever! It filled my heart with its abundance of love and understanding about life, and left my crying many tears and feeling all the feelings. A work of literary art.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          I thought it was a good idea too. How did you do it?! Binging thousands of pages so quickly all about the same thing? After about a thousand pages over about two weeks, I felt satisfied with my Westeros fix and felt like I could use a break from it all. I also don’t want to rush through such a great series in a really short time and then be left waiting for forever for a new book. I also figure that it took George R.R. Martin about 15 years to write 5 books, so there’s meant to be some space between each installment.

          I don’t have cable, so I have not yet had the chance to watch the series, though it’s on my must-watch television list in the future after I heard it being raved about so much. It was reading about the show in Entertainment Weekly that actually got me interested in reading the books first.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          Well, part of it was procrastinating for a paper I had to write… but it was definitely not a good plan to read them that way. I started reading because I had watched the first season of the series and loved it and really wanted to know what happened next, and then I got addicted, and then I felt like I was trapped and I wasn’t even enjoying them anymore but for some reason I couldn’t stop until I finished the published books. I guess I desperately wanted to reach a point where the characters I liked would be able to have nice things? Ha.

  23. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    CONGRATULATIONS ALI I’m so excited for both of you! and i think we’re all excited for the amazing cocktails that will be served at your wedding.

    I’ve been totally slacking on reading but all the great books in this thread are reinvigorating me!

  24. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Congrats again Ali, that’s so exciting!
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is totally awesome right!?

    I am currently reading Slaughterhouse Five and prepping for finals next week.

    I hope everyone has an amazing time at camp! : )

  25. Thumb up 4

    Please log in to vote

    All of my books are in boxes bc I’m moving next week. 7 boxes. Only 7! I’m slacking. Or a good packer. Also there was a question about Sappho just now on Jeopardy and I felt all of the queer ladies on the East Coast go “YEAH!”

  26. Thumb up 10

    Please log in to vote

    CONGRATULATIONS, ALI! also, i am reading the desire map on my way to a-camp because i want to end the stigma around self-help by crying on airplanes as i draw out a plan to live my own dreams. but don’t quote me on that, because also i might just make it to the mountain and drink a lot of vodka and leave it on a rock.

    there is only one future. i’m gonna map that shit out so hard.

  27. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    I just finished Stephen King’s Firestarter, and am drinking Long Trail Summer Ale with my brother.
    In other news, I leave for Kenya on Sunday?!? I’m going with a class, and just… what? It seems like yesterday ago I was filling out the application for the class and thinking that the trip was forever away…

  28. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    I’m currently reafing Little Women (had to stop for a while though bc pms is a bitch and Beth is about to die so just nope), I am Livia, and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Also my cat had ONE kitten on Mother’s Day and then abandoned it for 2 days before deciding to love it again so that happened. I’d totes post pics of it, but I’m on my phone. She’s literally the cutest little muff ever!

    And congrats to you and your fiancee Ali!!!

  29. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations on the engagement!

    Today I had the day off of class because I am taking an off campus mayterm that goes longer than the on campus. It’s on a nature reserve and I’m teaching kiddos about macro invertebrates and plants and stuff, yay! So basically, we can take two random days off. I spent the morning writing an article in my favorite local coffee shop. It’s a proposed public transportation plan for my city and it may make a guest appearance in a green column for the local paper! Fingers crossed! Also yesterday I had dinner with both my best friend and my new lady friend and it went pretty swimmingly. Things are looking good with that critter.

    Have a lovely Saturday you pretty ladies!

  30. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    I am going to be a total bummer and complain about how I think I’m might need to replace my computer (it’s 3.5 years old and has a broken DC jack), which I totally can’t afford. This is not at all what I needed right now.

    To fit in with the theme of the thread, I just just started reading Love in the Time of Global Warming. It’s too soon to have an opinion on the book, although it seems to fit well with the wildfires, tornadoes, and late snowstorms happening recently.

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      I’m going to join in the complaining because I’m trying to watch Battlestar Galactica on Netflix but my 7-year-old computer won’t let me watch more than ten minute increments and it’s driving me CRAZY. But I also don’t wanna spend money because physical therapy is draining my savings and I can’t go back to work yet…

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          Thanks! At first I was sure it was helping, but after a couple of months it doesn’t seem to be doing much. Repetitive stress injuries are nasty like that… I actually went to see a chiropractor this week that a friend recommended, and my hand definitely feels different since then. So there is hope!

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that :( I hope you find a way to get better. Do you mind if I ask what the original problem is?

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          Thanks Mira! I hope you get better too! After years of reading whatever I could understand online and trying to synthesize it I think my problem was ultimately caused by sitting too much for like ten years. I think it’s all about having chronically tight hip flexors and tensor fasciae late which then led to all sorts of other problems including collapsed arches. I want to try trigger point therapy but I’ll have to drive 1.5 hrs to get to someone. I just want my healthy young body back again!

  31. Thumb up 7

    Please log in to vote

    I spent ALL DAY yesterday (Friday) at a meeting of international school librarians talking about books and it was ~*amazing*~! We run a special book award for the students, where we pick 20ish books in each category (picture fiction, graphic novel, elementary/middle/high school chapter books, English & Japanese) and then next year the students can read them and vote on their favorites. So yesterday we brought our recommendations in and debated which ones should go on the list.

    Two of my three nominations were accepted. All three were by woman authors and had girl main characters, and the one that didn’t make the cut (Holly Black’s Doll Bones,) was only because we couldn’t decide if it was elementary level or middle school. The two of mine that made it in were Karen Foxlee’s Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy and Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage.

    I didn’t have time to read it (and you have to have finished a book to recommend it), but one of my colleagues nominated Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and I am so excited to have some queer books on this list. It’s so important that our students see themselves reflected not just in the collection, but in this competition; it’s not an internationally prestigious award but the students know that we (their librarians) choose these books and I just want to tell all of the queer ones (especially, because they’re underserved by our collection) “IT’S OKAY. I LOVE YOU.”

    On Monday, it’s my job to take the official list and tweet at all of the authors and I’m so excited and I hope that they tweet me back because my kids LOVE that. They think it’s totally the greatest that I can talk to their favorite writers and that sometimes those writers talk to me back and answer their questions.

    In my own time, I’m currently reading Ellen Renner’s Castle of Shadowsand it’s probably the best written middle grade book I’ve ever read. It’s wonderful and the writing is poetic and beautiful without getting bogged down and I just can’t put it down because I need to know what happens to Princess Charlie.

    I have a lot of feelings about books.

  32. Thumb up 4

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations Ali!

    Gahh that’s so exciting I love when people get together and just love and wow and AHH!

    I can’t really share a picture because technology is hard and I think I’m dehydrated but I’m reading “The End of Eve” by Ariel Gore and it is fantastic (my grandma’s not doing so well and my family’s kinda yep so it helps a lot), and I’m trying to finish the sequel to I Hunt Killers but it’s kinda hard, also comics: Adventure Time, Fionna and Cake, Ms. Marvel, and Lumberjanes! I’ve recently found out how to get to the comic book store kinda sorta near me and I’m pretty much unstoppable at this point (and it’s like ten minutes from Barnes and Noble really everyone is so sick of me talking about these things all the time).

    My Monday was great(ish) cause I got to put up all my artwork I’ve done in art therapy for the past eight months and like talk about it and also I got lots of compliments about it which just yayy and my mom understood it and wasn’t scared of it like I thought she’d be and my art therapist wants to find a way for me to just paint some really big something I don’t even know but the fact that she believes in me so much is wow so just good times all around there. Wednesday was awesome in that I got all those books and made it to appointments and applied for a job and didn’t freak out when a homeless man kept hugging me even though I’m pretty much anxietysad filled energy and I also got a peanut butter smoothie. Yesterday kinda sucked because I was mean as shit because surprises flashbacks and heat I don’t like but my counselors said really kind things to me and I hugged my crush and it made her laugh, and I didn’t do bad things even though that’s what I usually do.
    And I’ve started letters for people I super care about and reading and writing and laughing and smling and even though things aren’t fantastic they kind of are and it’s all good in my hood I hope it is in yours too!

    (sorry you keep getting essays in my comments but sometimes I just get really excited)

  33. Thumb up 5

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations!!!!
    I’ve had an intense week. I paid my deposit and first month’s rent for my room in Seattle where I’m moving this summer. I passed the bisexual support group I’ve run for the last year to someone new who immediately turned the facebook page into a constant stream of feel good, cliche bullshit quotes and decided to split it into a “men’s” and “women’s” groups which is pretty awesome for the third of the members who are non-binary humans. I took my last EVER law school exam. Graduation is tomorrow and my parents are here visiting. As a result I spent most of the night explaining my reasons (as a vegan) for not eating, butter, milk, eggs, honey, and yogurt.
    Oh, I also shaved my head and pierced my septum. I look pretty rad.

  34. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Congrats on the engagement, Ali! That beach looks like the ideal place to get engaged.

    As for books, since I’m in grad school for international affairs, I’ve been reading non fiction and theory since last year. If there’s any recommendation for IA books you ever need, I gotcha. Now that I’m in summer I’ll look up some of the books y’all suggested in this open thread. Merci beaucoup!

  35. Thumb up 5

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations!! I did not get engaged this week sadly, but I did get a job! Progress! I am currently re-reading The Girl Who Played With Fire and drinking rum. I also dropped my room mate off at the airport today and only drove into oncoming traffic once! I’ve also been going to the book store to make eyes at a cute employee with an alternative lifestyle haircut and sneakily read Blue is the Warmest Colour.

    • Thumb up 3

      Please log in to vote

      What kind of rum are you drinking? I drank rum while reading Blue is the Warmest Color, specifically I drank the Kraken in hot chocolate. I found that they went well together.

  36. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    I finished reading A Song of Ice and Fire and, rather than wallowing in the wait for book 6, decided to…read another unfinished fantasy series. But I highly recommend it! Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss. Great storytelling, extremely complex world with fascinating mythology, three-dimensional characters. The protagonist makes you want to slap him sometimes and the books aren’t remotely queer, but otherwise really great.

    Currently drinking seltzer while waiting for dinner to cook, at which point there will be wine!

    And congrats, Ali!

  37. Thumb up 10

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations! My dog would like to give you and your fiancee a high five:

    I’m currently reading The Dark Tower (though really I’m stuck in the first book and watching The L Word instead). I’m also enjoying a delicious butterscotch root beer…and I may already be in my pajamas. It’s been that kind of week.

  38. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations Ali!

    My week hasn’t been nearly as exciting but I did get kissed on the lips by a parrot so that’s something I guess…

    Unfortunately the only thing I’ve been reading lately is the apartments for rent section of craigslist. Hopefully soon I’ll find a place that can fit me and all my books!

  39. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations!

    As for me — I turned 50 and am reading “The Snoring Bird” (a biography/memoir) by Bernd Heinrich. It’s pretty good so far. It’s on my Kindle so not much point taking a picture. He’s a better writer than commencement speaker, though (step-son graduated from college a couple of weekends ago).

  40. Thumb up 5

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations Ali!

    I’m currently reading the Sandman by Neil Gaiman, which actually belongs to my ex-girlfriend that I still share an apartment with! Why do lesbian breakups need to be so confusing? Ok, can I post a picture of my cat now?

  41. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulation on your engagement! That’s really exciting!!

    I finally ended my Friday evening class and have time to read the open thread, so that’s really nice. And here’s a photo of what I’m currently reading/drinking:

    The drink is a made-at-home version of my favorite milk tea (ice tea, milk, and molasses). It’s so good!

    I highly recommend the book, Annals of a Former World, for anyone interested in North American geology. I made it most of the way through the first book, Basin and Range, when I checked out the hardcover from the library 18 months ago, and loved the way the author described the terrain along I-80 through Nevada. I’m really excited to have my own copy to read through at my leisure. I finally purchased it this week intending to read more while spending the night alone in a hotel in a small desert town awaiting a job interview, but I forgot that thing where your have to charge your e-reader. The interview went well, I think, but watching Salt Lake basic cable somehow wasn’t quite as much fun. Remembering what TV commercials are like was certainly an experience, though.

  42. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    Currently reading a pretty weird book called The History of Danish Dreams, and also started on The Remains of the Day.
    My Friday night involved ‘hot corn tea’ at a Korean restaurant which was surprisingly tasty.

  43. Thumb up 8

    Please log in to vote

    Im so sad that I’m so late on this today. Work has been so hectic, it is making me EARN my way to Camp for the last week. I got pulled to be a superuser for our new electronic health record aka paperless (sort of) charts in the hospital. So far, it’s giving me a bit of a headache because there’s so many collapse and expand and click all the things and hit that refresh button 10000 times. I’m also a little sad I didn’t have time to make my other tank for my sort of show and tell thingy. So I’ll content myself with my Titanic. It was my very first Metal Earth. It took me like 6 hours to make, no I’m not kidding. I’ve been told it’s one of the hardest ones to make because it has such detail and it’s pretty amazing even if I kinda broke and fixed it in some places. LOL. It’s the only I have in a separate case also.

    PS I HOPE THIS WORKS!!!

  44. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Just finished The Lovely Bones last night, which, as far as novels go, isn’t the most lengthy, or, you know, the highest brow, but oh, hey, packs a mean feels punch to the gut.

    Tonight I’m keeping it lax with some Navajo tea and pursing reddit’s The Truth is Here forum since I’m not much interested in re-runs of Ghost Adventures, heh. Yeah. Preeeetty much ensuring I won’t be better any sleep tonight, whoo.

  45. Thumb up 5

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations on your engagement Ali!

    I am getting married to the most beautiful lady next week… Who would have thought?

    The book is Jane Austen’s Emma (really good actually, by the way), the drink is cider from a wine glass.

  46. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations Ali!

    I’m (re-)reading Bossypants and then I’m going to read To Catch A Cop which was written by a South African writer about how the corrupt national police commissioner and Interpol president, Jackie Selebi, was caught.

    I’m gonna go make a sandwich now!

  47. Thumb up 3

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations on your engagement!

    At the moment I’m reading How Beautiful the Ordinary – Twelve Stories of Identity, a book of short stories edited by Michael Cart. I only started it last night but so far I’m liking it because there seems to be a good variety of different identities represented and styles of stories.

    Other than reading, what else did I do this week? Oh yeah, I bought a house! Now I have 30 days to get packed and moved. Oops.

    • Thumb up 3

      Please log in to vote

      I love how it’s like, ooops! Just made a major life shift! It always feels like that, doesn’t it? Like, you’ve planned for it and wanted it and made it happen through effort and sweat, etc. And it still feels like, woops, I fell into this crazy huge change and I had no idea it was coming.

  48. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    Congrats on your engagement!!! Congrats on grad school! Congrats on your beach find! Congrats all ’round!

    I’m an undergrad and was inerested in an English Lit./creative writing degree after being totally disillusioned by the narcissistic and very androcentric art department. You wouldn’t beleive my astonishment when I found out that my school basically doesn’t offer Eng. degrees! What?! They do on paper, but there are no classes other than gen. Ed. Now I’m left choosing between the lesser of all sorts of evils, and either way I turn there’s no degree that seems to fit right. At least that’s the way it feels. And people are all like, oh well, it doesn’t really matter what degree you have. Um, if I’m spending lots of $ and putting lots of time and effort into it shouldn’t it be something I’m interested in and want?

    This week has been overall very good. I handed in my final final exam, made a new friend (I think) who is super cute, super kind, super positive, all of which I need in my life right now. All very good, but now that schools over I’m left with my thoughts about lots of heavy stuff and my psyche feels like it’s been running on a hamster wheel, going nowhere fast and burning itself out, which is totally reflected in this very downer post. Sorry but sometimes I feel like y’all are my only serious friends. In real life (my life anyway) people don’t want to hear about anyone’s difficulties. If your in a tough place your supposed to just keep it to yourself and pretend to be happy.

    Hmmm…beer sounds great right now, but I’ll probably stick to my green tea and I don’t know what to read next. I want to read some really great lesbo book that doesn’t involve murder, vampires, evil-hetero-home wrecking seductress lesbians, suicide, or psycho betrayals of any sort. Does such a book exist? Suggestions very welcomed!

    Oh, and I’ll just throw this out there just in case. I was trying to remember a short story I’d read years ago. I’m not totally sure but think it took place in Ireland. Two lesbo ladies living together on a farm (?) and then they had house guests, two other women who ended up doing it in the shed. There was a cat that kept making an appearance. It was very poetic with a touch of stream of concious. Author was a woman, I want to say from Dublin but I may be mixing her up with someone else. Does this ring a bell? The author was on my to read list because this story was written amazingly well.

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      The Miseducation of Cameron Post comes to mind — well rounded, queer character still alive at the end. Cha-Ching! is depressing and the protagonist is definitely self-sabotaging, but no vampires or murder or suicide for her. It always drives me crazy that queer characters can’t be alive at the end of their own stories. I love seeing books where they are.

      • Thumb up 0

        Please log in to vote

        I wanted to say Emma Donoghue too, but everything I’ve googled doesn’t seem to fit. It was in some queer anthology I had on one of my many readers and I can’t find it now. I’m still going to read some Donoghue though. Any suggestions on what to start with please let me know.

  49. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    Super fun night has been cancelled! I know we are discussing books and I now have a couple on my list ( like blind assassin and desire map) but marieke just got a girlfriend and kimmy makes me laugh.
    Richard: oh, you’re toasting your bagel
    Kimmy: I didn’t realise I was standing so close.

    On the upside, congrats Ali!!!!

  50. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations on the awesome beach engagement! I’m reading Children of God by May Doria Russell, which is…scifi with a theological bent I guess. I’m there for the aliens, the linguist character, the worldbuilding, and the women.

    This week I cried in front of my driving instructor because driving scares me and stresses me out and I have a lot of scary feelings about it. Also my little brother is thinking of dropping out of college and my parents are not taking it well and I have lots of complicated feelings about that too. This weekend I am going to my department’s graduation — it’ll be a year tomorrow that I graduated and I have ALL the feelings about that. But I also get to continue my research with my advisor despite having graduated and started working full time, which right now is kind of all I want in life, so I drink from the keg of glory! Also this weekend I am seeing a friend I have not seen in two years who I have a complicated relationship with. As you can guess, yet more complicated feelings! The title of my biography would be Lots of Complicated Feelings: the [My Name] Story.

  51. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations on your engagement! That’s so exciting and I wish you the very best. Two other couples I know just got engaged within the past week. It’s engagement season, isn’t it?

    My Friday was spectacular. Spent the majority of the day with my lady. Got some serious coursework done. Went to a friend’s birthday/housewarming whiskey tasting party. Slept like a rock…then overslept and missed part of my first shift for work and opened the store an hour late. OOF. So my weekend has been pretty great thus far with only the shame of being an unreliable worker to taint it.

  52. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    I missed this last night because I accidentally took a three hour nap on the couch and then woke up and ate naan and then went to sleep.

    Congrats Ali!

    I’m not reading anything right now which makes me sad. I used to read all the time! :(

    This weekend I am going dancing and getting a massage and packing for camp! Also I got my hair cut.

  53. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Congratulations on your engagement, Ali! What a gorgeous beach – the perfect place for a proposal.

    Also, your Open Thread title is totally awesome re: pickling your cucumbers. (Haha, I get the joke!)

    Right now I’m dipping into one of my favorite genres, celebrity memoirs, and reading “I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star” by Judy Greer. You know her – she’s the actress who’s been in everything. It’s a really fun book and a light, quick read that’s perfect for almost-summertime.

  54. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    Currently rereading Harry Potter and all of Discworld….
    I tore my ACL three weeks ago playing lax and I’m just about out of my mind by now. Waiting for surgery (hamstring autograft) so I can start rehabbing to get back to my team.
    I need so many more books, but I’m not really feeling philosophical right now. I get really depressed when I can’t work out, ( not joking, or belittling clinical depression, I’ve been diagnosed for years and just find that exercise helps me) and I need as much vapid fluff as possible.
    So if anyone has any book recs along the lines of Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman etc, I’d love them.

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      The Imaginarium Geographica series is good and sort of along those lines (sci-fi/ fantasy with a reallambchoresting concept, a mix of spookiness and snark, and a certain cozy Britishness). Although disclaimer I guess, I’ve only read the first one. Also Roald Dahl’s book of short stories for an adult audience, Skin, comes to mind- might be what you need if you’re in a fluffy state and don’t have the attention span for a novel. Also a woman murders her husband with a frozen lambchop and then cooks it and feeds it to the detective who comes to investigate, so basically irresistible.

  55. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    Sense and Sensibility on the go, third time. Love you Elena.

    Best thing that happened to me this week? I got to stroke a cat. Try not stroking a cat for more than six months and tell me it’s not akin to having a petite mort.

    Heavenly.

  56. Thumb up 2

    Please log in to vote

    I don’t have any educated bookish comment to add.

    Just:

    ***CONGRATULATIONS!!!!***

    I went to my first gay weddding yesterday and cried my little eyes out. I know I don’t know you Ali but I’m so so happy for you :D

  57. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    In the last 48 hours I’ve driven 12 hours total with my uncle (to and from my sister’s graduation), and most of that time was spent reading A Game of Thrones. So many characters (and I don’t just mean my family members).

    As for the beer, I discovered Left Hand’s Good Juju at the post-graduation dinner. It was awesome.

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.