Lez Liberty Lit: Anything Can Be A Beach Read

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Hi and welcome to this week’s Lez Liberty Lit!

It’s hard to stop reading books you don’t even like. At the Cut, Katie Heaney writes about why it is for her:

“For me, I think, not quitting books has more to do with guilt than grit. I have always felt that I owe it to books (my longest and greatest love) to hear them out, especially when it’s one recommended by someone whose opinion I value. I also feel that if I don’t finish a book, I will somehow get in trouble (?) with someone (??). I’m competitive with myself, and if I read 62 books last year, I want to read at least 63 this year.”

At Nylon, U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith discusses holding an apolitical role in a political time, official poetry business, poetry as a way to get at something real and more.

“Sayaka Murata’s brilliant Convenience Store Woman can be read as a meditation on the world of personal branding. The book is Murata’s first to be translated into English (she’s written 10 novels). It has been seen as a Gothic romance between a “misfit and a store” and as a fictionalized account of how young people in Japan are increasingly giving up on sex, to name just two readings. It’s a sign of excellent literature to be able to effortlessly hold up multiple interpretations at once. Murata’s book is no exception: It’s all of these things while also rendering an artful grotesque of modern personal branding,” writes Nishant Batsha on Convenience Store Woman at the Millions.

“‘It is a feminist act to preserve stuff that women have done and written,’ said Elizabeth Denlinger, a curator of the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle at the New York Public Library.” At the Paris Review, read more about women in the rare books trade.

The Millions’ second half of 2018 book preview is here!

Tarot and psychotherapy can go together.

Anything can be a beach read.

At the Millions, Anelise Chen discusses bodily preoccupation, grasping the physical through the intellectual, form versus content and more.

Read these race and culture books this summer. Read these 11 new books by women this summer. Read these books to reclaim your time. Read some of the best books of 2018 so far. Read these new books in July.


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Carolyn Yates is the NSFW Consultant, and was formerly the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor, for Autostraddle.com. Her writing has appeared in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She recently moved to Los Angeles from Montreal. Find her on twitter.

Carolyn has written 871 articles for us.

3 Comments

  1. I watch a lot of booktube and I’m always surprised to see how hard it is for so many people to DNF a book. I like to think I give books a pretty fair chance, but my TBR is so long and life is so short so if I’m just not enjoying something I am fine casting it to the side (although I will reconsider if I read a review that makes me think I should give it another shot)

    • I’m doing a Goodreads challenge this year and even though I’ve blown past my goal already (lol turns out I read more than I thought), there’s something about deleting a book rather than marking it finished that makes my type-A personality cringe.

      Which is a silly reason, but earlier this year it paid off. I absolutely would have stopped reading “Shadowlands” by Peter Straub except I wanted to mark it as finished, and then all of the digressions and stories within stories and interminable philosophical dialogue from the first half came together in an ending that blew my face off. So ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  2. Not only do I always finish a book, but often I’ll read something I didn’t like a second time to make sure I was right the first time. I also hate getting rid of books, even the ones I didn’t like.

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