Things I Read That I Love #35: Proper Nouns

HELLO and welcome to the 35th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can read them too and we can all know more about Gloria Allred and Dustin Diamond! This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.

The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.

Anorexia Killed My Grandma (July 2012), by Claire Glass for Alternet – It’s so terrifying what we carry around as women, what we learn about our worth from the women who raise us and define us.

Why They All Want Gloria Allred (July 2012), by Sheelah Kolhatkar for Bloomberg Businessweek “Gloria Allred believes there’s an epidemic of sexual harassment and discrimination against women in companies across America.”

Paris Review Interview of Haruki Murakami: The Art of Fiction No. 182 (Summer 2004) by John Wray for The Paris Review – “When I make up the characters in my books, I like to observe the real people in my life. I don’t like to talk much; I like to listen to other people’s stories. I don’t decide what kind of people they are; I just try to think about what they feel, where they are going. I gather some factors from him, some factors from her. I don’t know if this is “realistic” or “unrealistic,” but for me, my characters are more real than real people. In those six or seven months that I’m writing, those people are inside me. It’s a kind of cosmos.”

“Is He Coming? Is He? Oh God I think He Is” (August 2012), by Sean Flynn for GQ – Set aside some time for this one about the shooting in Norway, it’s hard and heavy. There’s also a bit  about the lesbian couple I wrote about at the time.

What Happens To Children Nobody Wants? (May 1997), Text by Marilyn Johnson, Reporting by Jen M.R. Doman, pictures by Mary Ellen Mark — this was sort of a strange thing to read — it’s about an elderly blind woman who adopts a lot of children with developmental disabilities.

The Politics of Killing (December 2008), by Patrick Doyle and Natsha Gardner for 5280“Fifteen years after the Chuck E. Cheese massacre in Aurora, the shooter is still on death row. Nathan Dunlap’s only hope that his life might be spared is Colorado Governor Bill Ritter.”

The Search for Nadia (November 1979), by Bob Ottum for Sports Illustrated – I have a secret obsession with women’s gymnastics, I don’t really even know how to begin talking about it. For this piece the author tracks down Nadia Comaneci in Romania, the gymnast who basically changed the entire sport. I’m not a big fan of Bela Karolyi and how he treats his charges, but he’s portrayed really favorably here, obviously.

Nickeled and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America (January 1999), by Barbara Ehrenreich for Harper’s – Obviously this project eventually became an entire book, which I haven’t read, which is weird ’cause it’s totally the kind of book I’d think I had already read. But this article was a good temporary substitute.

R.L Stine Has Been Giving Us Goosebumps For 20 Years (July 2012), by Jen Doll for The Atlantic“If you’re an adult of a certain age in America, of course you know the name R.L. Stine, you know it like a delicious shiver down your spine, and of course you’ve heard of Goosebumps and Stine’s teen horror series, Fear Street.”

11 Most Scandalous Saved by the Bell Revelations in Screech’s Autobiography, by Sam Greenspan for 11 Points – I was brought back to this classic book review this week when one of our writers was struggling to consider reviewing a book she didn’t like too much.

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Marie Lyn Bernard, aka Riese, is an award-winning writer, blogger, journalist, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in the midwest, lost her mind in New York City and is currently making it work in California. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better, The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image and The Hazards of Being Female," "Dirty Girls," and "The Best American Erotica of 2007," magazines including Nylon, Marie Claire, GO, Curve, Interlude, and CollegeBound, and all over the web including, Jezebel, Queerty, Emily Books and OurChart (RIP). She was the recapper for The L Word Online and host of Showtime’s Lezberado and her personal blog has earned many dubious honors including Best Personal Blog 2008. Riese has spoken about blogging, community-building, feminism, cyberculture and sexuality at places like BlogHer, Yale, New York University, The University of Chicago and The Museum of Sex. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Interlochen Arts Academy and The Olive Garden's week-long training intensive; she enjoys eating foods, having big ideas, reading books & talking to her stuffed dog, Tinkerbell. Also, she's Jewish. Follow her smokin’ hot adventures on twitter. Contact: riese[at]

Riese has written 2896 articles for us.


  1. Yay! I look forward to these posts. About Nickel and Dimed, I haven’t read it but I’ve heard that it focuses a little too much on the middle class experience (I could be wrong though, I haven’t read it). BUT, a book I read and loved is called Without a Net: The female experience of growing up working class. It’s a collection of essays and Michelle Tea is the editor as well as a contributor. There are also some other queer contributors, whose names I forget. I really enjoyed it.

  2. Claire Glass’ article was really touching. But I think it’s strange that she makes this point of stressing that she doesn’t have an ‘eating disorder’ (whatever in the fuck that term is supposed to mean now. gaah words make me so uncomfortable). As if she feels it’s something you ‘have’ or ‘don’t have’, no in between. Like she talks herself about her own eating practices and while they seem far from detrimental to her own health or whatever, there’s still the unhealthy attitude. I mean how could there not be, growing up with that atmosphere. Hell, growing up as female – but I shan’t delve into those territories. It is admirable though, her acknowledgement of what’s wrong, hopes for her children etc. Could have gone a lot worse, this is reassuring.

    The welfare reform article was also very interesting. From where do you pick your articles to read that are from
    decade-old magazine issues?

  3. I read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle last summer on the bus back and forth from a temp job I had downtown. It was not my first Murakami novel, Kafka on the Shore was, luckily. Had it been Wind-Up Bird, I am not so sure I would be as big of Murakami fan as I am today, However, after finishing it up, I did read on the book’s wiki page that in the American version, a couple of chapters were left out unintentionally in the translation.

    This year 1Q84 is on my summer reading list, I just started and am only 7 or 8 chapters in but am already deeply entwined with the 2 protagonists.

    Over the years, I have grown to like his brand of surrealist existentialism, and after reading one his novels, I tend to feel like I just got sucked and infinitely stretched into a vacuum and when you are finally spit out, all of a sudden you can talk to cats and “Johnnie Walker” a real person standing in your room.

    I think Hard Boiled may be my next Murakami novel after reading this interview.

  4. I read the Norway terrorist attack one yesterday. I couldn’t stop reading it. It was so sad, so disturbing, and I just couldn’t stop. Like I was duty bound to know what happened. Thank you Riese. That article is heavy but I feel like we have to know about these things when they happen.

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