Crisp leaves always make me wanna read a book. You too? We have so much in common already. So get your pea coat on and take a look in a book of Reading Rainbow with Autostraddle. But first … a handy guide to the icons you’ll see displayed with each NEW FALL BOOK:
See, our taste is pretty damn eclectic, so we’re hoping this key will help you easily locate your particular brand of literary awesome. Also, you’ll notice the book titles link out via our Amazon Associates Account, which means we’ll get five cents or so if you do buy via Autostraddle.
We’re hoping to switch our associate advertising over to the more independent-bookstore-friendly IndieBound, but first we must reach our minimum payout threshold on amazon and thus cash in. Keep that in mind if you’re gonna buy anything, little consumer bunnies!
This will help too:
The Others by Seba Al-Herz
A Gate At the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
Ash by Malinda Lo
Graph Out Loud by graphjam.com
Official Book Club Selection by Kathy Griffin
The Original of Laura by Vladmir Nabokov
The Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne
Girl Studies by Eileen Lipkin
My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman
Love Warriors by Davina Katolski
Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism by Nona Willis Aronowitz & Emma Bee Bernstein
Other Books to Look Out For & Calls for Submissions from Microcosm Press & SheDate.
Actual review of Shoplifting from American Apparel, by Tao Lin
by Seba Al-Herz
Seven Stories Press
I think this looks good for Autostraddle Book Club. Thoughts?
What: A total scandal/best-seller in Arabic, this ‘literary tour de force’ is the story of a nameless teenager at a girls’ school in the heavily Shi’ite Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive societies in the world who, like her classmates, has no contact with men outside her family. So what happens? SMOKING HOT LESBIAN AFFAIR. “When the glamorous Dai tries to seduce her, her feelings of guilt are overcome by an overwhelming desire for sexual and emotional intimacy. Dai introduces her to a secret world of lesbian parties, online flirtations, and hotel liaisons—a world in which the thrill of infatuation and the shame of obsession are deeply intertwined.”
by Lorrie Moore
September 1, 2009
What’s it About Though?: “Brittly witty and lurkingly dark, the portrait of a Midwest college town through the eyes of Tassie Keltjin, a student from the country whose mind has been lit up by learning but who spends nearly all this story out of class, as a nanny for a couple who have adopted a toddler.”
by Malinda Lo
Little, Brown Young Readers
by Kathy Griffin
by Vladimir Nabokov (with Dimitri Nabokov)
by David Byrne
by Elline Lipkin
by Lauren Bjorkman
by Dr. Davina Kotulski
From Feministing: “Emma ended her own life. It’s almost impossible for me conceive of someone that alive now being dead. But I have to believe that she needed release in some profound way that even her beautiful family and friends, that even her relationship to art and feminism, couldn’t provide. It’s not romantic. It’s unacceptable. It’s also a reminder that life is a fragile, fragile thing, a choice that we each make every single day. When Emma was alive, she made the choice fiercely and with her whole being. I thank her for the lesson.”
Get the book, y’hear? And we’ll start stalking Nona for an interview on what’s sure to be an epic book for our generation of eager feminist weirdos.
Other Fall Books To Look Out For:
Lawrence Hill Books: Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future, by Barbara J. Berg, Ph.D. September 1st, 2009.
Penguin:The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed, by Judy Shepard. September 3rd, 2009
Clies Press: In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales, edited by Mitzi Szereto. September 8th, 2009.
Simon and Schuster: Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves. by Crystal Renn with Marjorie Ingall. September 8th, 2009
Penguin Classics: The Yellow Wall-Paper, Herland, and Selected Writings, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Author), Denise D. Knight (Editor, Contributor). New edition & packaging & editing of the classic feminist writer’s work. September 29th 2009.
St. Martin’s Press: Cassette From My Ex: Stories and Soundtracks of Lost Loves, edited by Jason Bitner. October 27, 2009.
Audiobook! Parker Posey reading Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. Must-hear! November 15, 2009.
NYU Press: Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism, by Alison Piepmeier (Introduction by Andi Zeisler). November 19, 2009.
From Indie ‘zine & book publisher Microcosm, out now:
The Rainbow Connection: Richard Hunt: Gay Muppeteer by Jessica Max Stien: A heap of information about the life of Richard Hunt, a Muppet puppeteer who worked on Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and a myriad of other Henson projects.
My Brain Hurts #2: Liz Baillie crafts a Degrassi-style teenage soap opera about queer punks in New York City!
Calls for Submissions
Deadline Nov 1
“Hello friends, I am putting out a call for writing, art, comics, photographs, on the practical and philosophical aspects of gender, sexuality, bodies, and queerness. Personal experiences (good, bad, and other), philosophies, rants, funny stories, observations, interviews, dreams of the future. Ultimately, I want to put a zine out that is a positive fuck yeah for queerness, transgenderisms, bodies, sexualityies, and ultra wave inclusive feminism. A recognition that all oppressions are interconnected, and the time is now to share our stories and deconstruct the dead ends.”
Deadline September 30
SHEGROUP is a company made entirely up of members from the lesbian community. They are all passionate about who they are, what they stand for, and how they can contribute to the acceptance of the community. In an attempt to bring the lesbian community closer together, their first initiative is in launching an all lesbian dating site, SheDate, which asks you to share your coming out story to win $1,200 in SheAvenue prizes!
Because I actually read Shoplifting from American Apparel by Tao Lin I thought I could put it on its own page, like a real book review. Then, all alone on its own page, it took over the page. I am excited for the Autostraddle redesign when we can have more little things all over. That’s NEXT! –>
By Tao Lin
Actual Review of Shoplifting From American Apparel by Marie “Riese” Lyn Bernard
I just finished reading all 102 pages of Shoplifting from American Apparel by Tao Lin. Other books I’ve read by Tao Lin include his poetry you are a little bit happier than i am (which I reviewed on my blog Autowin) and the first 10-15 pages of his novel Eeeee Eee Eeee. I was at page 115 of his short story collection Bed, which I think is really good, when I got Shoplifting From American Apparel in the mail and decided to read it.
What happened in this book? The description in Shoplifting From American Apparel‘s press packet avoids nailing down plot points. Instead, it names settings (Atlantic City, NYC, Gainsville, Florida and the post-post-modern “location” of Gmail Chat) and specific locations (‘VIP rooms in hip Clubs,’ the NYU Library, central booking in Chinatown); identifies themes (the “unidirectional nature of time rendering everything beautiful and sad,” “class, culture and the arts”) and attitudes (‘funny, journalistic, ‘existentially-minded’); and quotes Tao Lin’s own evaluation of the book as, “2 parts shoplifting arrest, 5 parts vague relationship issues.” It’s about a guy named ‘Sam’ who is clearly ‘Tao Lin.’
I’m gonna talk about myself (Riese) right now for a second
Once I was ‘arguing’ with Autostradle COO Brooke about the “added value” of publishing a “Lady Gaga-Related Dress of Guns Conspiracy Theory” short story that I’d written in collaboration with Internicaine Katrina Casino, Intern Hot Laura and Intern Emily Choo on Autostraddle as a ‘Daily Fix’ between the hours of 3 AM and 6 AM and then taking it down and somehow I chose to cite Tao Lin’s declaration on Bookslut that he was writing a novel called Statutory Rape starring Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning* as evidence of the ‘acceptability’ of using Real Celebs in short stories and the ‘added value’ of ‘internet stunts’ in general** and she told me I’m not allowed to cite Tao Lin anymore as evidence of why I should do anything. I let Alex read the Lady Gaga story in an early incarnation and she said it was really bad and had been funnier when I’d explained it to her on the phone. I told my therapist about the story and she asked me if I was stoned.
[** I also mentioned the works of Miranda July & Lydia Davis, who Brooke did not object to or seem interested in]
Brooke: You know what, I think you spend too long on everything anyhow.
Me: I know
Alex: This is like that style post where you said you were so bad at writing about fashion & you didn’t know how and then it was like, completely awesome.
Me: That’s because I copied down 100 adjectives from fashion magazines while I was getting a pedicure because I think the problem is I don’t know enough adjectives, I need to have more adjectives at the front of my brain ready to be utilized.
Brooke: How do you do that?
Me: I don’t know, a workbook or something
[I forget some stuff we said here]
Me: … and then I read all these other book reviews online, which are mostly ‘negative’, and thought about how good all these book reviewers are, and how I’m jealous of their goodness and wished they worked for me, and how I think I am a ‘good writer’ but am bad at reviewing
Brooke: All the reviews are negative?
Me: Well I mean, ‘mostly’, like not negative but like, skeptical, anyhow I don’t think he cares, that’s not the point, I mean I think that’s what pisses critics off, that he genuinely believes all publicity is good publicity, he’s like really honest or something, or unashamed, like he’s fucking with you, which as you know is something I love like haha literary critics I made you read a 110 page book about thoughts I had in my head where nothing really ‘happens’ or haha I made you sit through a reading where I read “Tonight we ate a whale” over & over 40,000 times*, you know, like it’s a commentary on culture [I point at the three Andy Warhol posters on the wall in the living room], like Andy Warhol photocopied a bunch of soup cans and people bought it, Andy Warhol changed the world, like a commentary on pop culture, and Tao Lin is making a commentary on hipster culture/cyberculture, which I am obsessed with and therefore always impressed by his stunts/actions and then the books as secondary material**
[*exaggeration/misrepresentation to make Tao Lin seem ‘cooler’, in truth he read “the next night we ate whale” only 4,000 times]
[** His short story book, which’s more traditional format-wise, is amazingly solid however and I imagine critically ‘positively’ received. My ex-girlfriend also likes his short stories and she’s very tough to please, she only likes Elif Bautman and James Joyce.]
Brooke: But how successful can he be if doesn’t make any money, didn’t you say he had to sell his drawings on ebay?
Me: I thought that was cool that he did that
Brooke: I know you did, we can’t talk about this
Me: Well, he’s only 25 and he’s published four books, he’s really smart, and really good I think he makes money maybe he’s not ‘good a money management’* but you know, he started his own publishing house, MuuMuu House. He owns that. And has a ‘sponsorship deal’ with Hipster Runoff.**
[* I don’t know why I said this]
[**I don’t remember where I got this info from or if it was true or what it means]
… and has a lot of interns
Brooke: So do you
Alex: Well, I know you think he’s like part of this ‘movement,’ and you can argue with me like about Rothko [nobody puts Rothko in a corner so i can’t transcribe the rest]…
Me: All I’ve written so far is, “my girlfriend would hate this book.”
Alex: Yeah, I think Tao Lin is a smartass asshole prick!
Me: I think you would read four pages and throw it against the wall and yell something
Alex: Yeah, I would
Brooke: Well did you like it?
Me: Of course I loved every minute of it, because I am also a young hipster-ish overeducated ‘up-and-coming’ writer — like, not one-tenth as successful as Tao Lin at all but anyhow — anyhow like Tao Lin I’m also a lonely, ostensibly socially awkward, internet-addled semi-hipster living in New York City with a college degree from a ‘good school’ but ‘unstable employment situations’ who thinks more than everyone else thinks and feels detached from social situations and feels the internet is weird and should be made fun of and I also have suffered from serious depression and less-serious alienation despite the fact that the circumstances of my life have not been ridiculously depressing and also for some reason I think other people want to hear all the thoughts from my head on twitter so it was like reading my thoughts but by a much better writer, I underlined a lot of things, I felt it had a lot of insights, for me it was like porn. Shoplifting From American Apparel was like porn for my ‘feelings’ & my little baby mind
Brooke: You should write that then, write what you just said to us
‘Everyone’ ‘should’ read Shoplifting from American Apparel, it’s short and tasty like a snack