Book Review: The Kat Vespucci series

Unlike most fictional stories about an American’s experience abroad, the heroine of the Kat Vespucci series by Ingrid Anders doesn’t seek to “find herself” in other countries or to “save” the natives. Rather, wide-eyed, curious Kat is thrown blindly into new experiences with little or no previous knowledge that could distort her observation of history and culture through the eyes of locals.

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Book Review: “Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies, and Suicide” by Stephanie Schroeder

I have a crisis, scheme, idea or depression.. subway riders viewing my grotesque facial grimaces + head twisting staring me in the face in my 37th year. I prefer death, nothing less than the face of hate, the fate of hate, the stench of death. Live = Death

                                                 Life = Death

                     Death = Freedom

The first few pages of Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies & Suicide set the tone for the memoir’s raw, real look at the struggles Stephanie Schroeder, a self-defined “queer feminist dyke writer, mental health advocate, and activist for social and economic justice,” faced with depression, intimate partner violence, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, and three suicide attempts.

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Marilyn Monroe’s “Vibrations”

I read Marilyn Monroe’s autobiography My Story after finishing Fragments, the latest collection of her letters, notes, and poems released for the rabid consumption of Monroe fans.

As I finished the last page, I realized I have no idea what to think about the book. Everyone has their understanding of who Marilyn was based on her persona, her relationships, and her characters in films. Some believe she was secretly an intellectual, others think she was merely an attractive blonde who was used and abused by a variety of different (mostly famous) men, while still others admire her self-transformation from Norma Jean to the iconic platinum blonde sex symbol.

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Book Review: The Beauty Myth

I just finished reading The Beauty Myth for the first time. Wow. Wolf certainly did a lot of research in order to write this book, and I appreciate much of it. The chapters “Work,” “Culture” and “Sex” were especially interesting reads, as they cited statistics on beauty standards at work (and how women lose by either being “too beautiful” or not “beautiful” enough) and how “beauty pornography” is linking beauty with sexual attraction and performance in very wrong ways. Read More Book Review: The Beauty Myth

She Was Certainly Not Born This Way, Baby.

Lady Gaga’s immensely popular new album Born This Way is presumably her “manifesto” (a word Gaga has been throwing around of late) for inclusion, celebrating difference, and celebrating self.  Some reviewers have called this album a more authentic, “real” Lady Gaga than the personality she projected on her previous albums: as one who parties, drinks copiously, and gets involved in love triangles and “bad romance.” Read More She Was Certainly Not Born This Way, Baby.

“Read My Hips” and Fat-Positivity

A writer and blogger who writes primarily fat-positive personal essays, Kim Brittingham’s first novel Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting, and Live Large brings her refreshing tales of self-acceptance and fat-positive feminism to the world of memoirs. Read More “Read My Hips” and Fat-Positivity