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Kiwi Kiwanicus
23 February 2013 @ 02:46 am
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, a novel by Fannie Flagg, 1987.

My review of the book as a whole is here. This time around it isn’t too short; it just flowed on out. (:

I picked this book up at my congregation’s yard sale sometime in early autumn. I put off reading it for a bit, still afraid to touch something that had always held such power for me (the film has always been a favourite of mine), but eventually I did. It was the book I was reading when I flew down to Orlando to live in a fandom house for a week with some of my Potterhead friends.

I finished it while I was there and it hit me harder than I expected to. I seldom cry when I read books—I can think of maybe three times—but this was one of them. I felt so bonded with the characters through my years of watching the film and my slow time of reading the book.

It’s hilarious and heart-breaking and heart-warming all in one. I’ll definitely be back for a re-read or at least more scan-throughs in the future.

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Ah, damn, this book. Loved it to pieces. I’ll just have to try making the recipes at the back some day, too.
Kiwi Kiwanicus
10 February 2013 @ 02:31 am
The Lesbian Kama Sutra by Kat Harding.

My short review is here.

I enjoyed this book well enough. I wasn’t positively thrilled with all the facts and how all topics were dealt with, but I liked the span of topics and loved the illustrations; they’re why I purchased it in the first place (from a local independent queer-woman-owned erotic boutique of course :D ). There are certainly better ‘manuals’, so to say, to lesbianism out there, but this one had its merits.

I didn’t tag down any of the actual text, but I noted down some of the art I liked! Let’s see what Google will bring us. A flistie of mine recently-ish kept us all informed of the art she would be using to decorate her living space. I suppose this could be art I would consider for decorating my living space, along with (likely) portraits of the famous women I adore.

(The credits are taken straight from the book, so I have no idea of how strict the accuracy is.)

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This could equally be titled ‘Why Kiwi is a Perv’ and explains why my house would not be the best location for a social-conservative Republican to visit…
Kiwi Kiwanicus
09 February 2013 @ 07:21 pm
Reunion, a novella written by Fred Uhlman (introduction by Arthur Koestler) and published in 1971; published by William Collins Sons & Co Ltd in 1977. Another book rec'd by tetleythesecond.

A very short review is here. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, now, but I wanted to do one of these anyway.

I forget sometimes that my great-great-grandfather came fleeing from Germany so many years ago, that my grandfather’s father was born in London along the way. I have this odd way of thinking about that as my “American” side since the immigration was farther back than the English immigration (the latter of which makes me a half-first-generation American). In the idea of America being a “mixing pot” of cultures and heritages (including the ones that were already here, thank you) then that’s true. But my great-great-grandfather was a German-Jewish scientist and my great-great-grandmother was an educated German-Jewish woman; I doubt they would want me to forget their journey, either, or forget that they didn’t start out American but felt forced to find a new home: the Harowitz family that came here to protect themselves and their line (and Americanised their surname along the way). My mother discovered a while back where they came from but forgot; someday I would love to get that information back and visit.

My grandfather talks about being stationed in Germany (after the second world war; he was a few years too young to end up in that one) and what a blast he had meeting the German soldiers, learning German, exchanging jokes and stories, helping each other get on and off station to meet up with the willing gals nearby, playing basketball (apparently!). He says people have always asked him about it and how he could befriend Germans, and he’d say it always came off as a stupid question to him: not all Germans were Nazis (as I say, “this rectangle is not a square”); the group of them were all young and reckless and rowdy and a touch scared (when they admitted it); he still came from a German family (at least by his grandparents, who do tend to have cultural effects when they’re around to do so). I think the good friend he had in Germany was one he met at that time; later my grandfather, step-grandmother (though she’s been my Memere all my life), the German man, and his wife were all good friends.

I like to be reminded of all of that because I got so thoroughly fed up with how my history classes always dealt with Germany and German people. (Well, that was one thing among many I used to get fed up with when it came to my history classes.) For some reason when I was a child I loved to read stories based in WWII times. I didn’t retain facts because I’ve always been terrible with that in regards to history and I never read too many because people would look at me like I was a child of darkness. I think I liked how many of them covered the shades of grey in people (like living life one way but hiding Jews away in one’s home, or not doing so but not telling on others either) and what it might feel like to have such a conviction to live with little beyond that; what it must have been like for life to change so quickly from one I could comprehend to one I couldn’t.

That’s the sort of stuff I tend to think about when I read books like this.

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Kiwi Kiwanicus
Memories of My Childhood: Further Years at Mårbacka, an autobiography written by Selma Lagerlöf and translated by Velma Swanston Howard in 1934. A book rec'd by tetleythesecond.

No short review anywhere since the site I use (goodreads) doesn't have it up and I'm too lazy to add it myself.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I wish I had managed to get Memories of Mårbacka so I could have read the earlier memories as well, but I didn't feel any sort of confusion by starting with the 'further years'.

First of all, I love the book itself. 1934 and in beautiful shape: the binding, the simple cover, the divine thick pages, and (yes I'm going here despite the cliche) the smell. It feels nice to hold an old book--which meant I held it a lot. It was the book I held and read down at the pedestrian bridge in Providence when my friend, dressed as Superman-as-Clark-Kent, proposed to another good friend who was there to take a "house picture" (which we had completely contrived to surprise her). Some days when I was reading this book it was Just Too Hot, so I followed my dog's advice and plopped down on the tiled bathroom floor to read (he was very happy with the company as neither of us is too big and we don't have to compete much for space).

I loved the feel of the writing, too: the slightly changing voice through the years with more recognition of the world around (AKA, I guess, aging). I was careful to remember that these were not memories transcribed perfectly (I couldn't even do that, and my childhood was not so long ago) and that if each memory is made up of threads, Selma was free to weave them the way she desired to create the tapestry of her autobiography; how she and her memories would be read and remembered. Even so, I appreciated reading them--and self-indulgently drawing parallels or generally relating.

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Kiwi Kiwanicus
10 May 2012 @ 02:04 am
My 'review' is here.

Fun, wonderfully-creepy little book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I just tucked up in my bed for a few hours and read through it, all relaxed and peaceful.

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And that's all I have to say on Coraline for the moment! :D
Kiwi Kiwanicus
01 May 2012 @ 11:29 pm
(Including Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie and Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well and And I Still Rise and Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?)

My (one sentence) 'review'. Okay, so I updated my reading list with all the books I read in a mini-vacation and put them all up in one day. The reviews weren't too long.

I tagged this one, too, but I think it was more for the titles so I suppose I'll mostly just list those.

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I think for the most part that if I wanted to upload special lines, I'd end up putting all the poems up, and that doesn't seem quite fair. I'm sure many of them can already be found on the Internet, though, even if it would be better to at least borrow the book from the library. The collection is a quick read. I've read so many snippets of her poetry that it was nice to sit down and read an actual book of it!
Kiwi Kiwanicus
by Lynne Truss. My (pretty short and useless) Goodreads review is here.

I enjoyed this book for what it was: a humorous take on grammar to amuse grammar geeks. I didn't agree with all the points and occasionally rolled my eyes, but for the most part liked reading it!

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And that's all, folks! (And, uh, by 'folks' I mean 'me'.) I don't think it's a book I'd keep around for the grammar rules--many books have done that better--but it was a fun, entertaining read with some great oddball facts and a clear appreciation for punctuation. Grammar geeks unite!
Kiwi Kiwanicus
My (rather vague) review of the book here.

As is my (terrible) habit with books that I own--a habit I should probably kick--I dog-eared pages that were of special interest to me. I have a feeling that for this book that some of those pages were the hot hot hot ones at the end. Obvious spoilers.

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So, yes, I enjoyed the tale immensely, even when it felt slow and I wanted to bonk the MC on the head for being dense. The 'particular friendships' and the whole setting of it. I even came to find Jeanne's rambling thoughts endearing.

There will be more lesbian nun books for me to read soon, too! Got them at the same time but have been reading things in-between--mostly library books.
Kiwi Kiwanicus
30 April 2012 @ 09:58 pm
The journal is up!

Books have been read. Opinions have been formed (sort of--to the degree mine ever are).

Procrastination has happened with the creation of this journal.

The cleaning needs doing.

The passive is through...