Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bourgeois Book Club

I Am Not Myself These Days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

After reading and enjoying Josh Kilmer-Purcell's The Bucolic Plague, I decided it would be fun to read his first memoir, I Am Not Myself These Days, which chronicle Josh's early days in New York City as fabulous drag queen Aqua (complete with goldfish-filled fake boobs) and his tumultuous relationship with an S&M escort with a crack addiction. Kilmer-Purcell's wit and verbal acumen is fully on display, but it is a much less enjoyable and satisfying than The Bucolic Plague. Part of this is just the nature of the story; a tale of addiction and abuse isn't, at heart, terribly uplifting. Part of it is stylistic: The Bucolic Plague was written in the past tense, while I Am Not Myself These Days is written in the present. That's a purely personal preference of mine, though.

More substantively, I just don't find Kilmer-Purcell particularly sympathetic. I just didn't feel I really understood why he was a drunk and in an abusive, co-dependent relationship. He talked vaguely about feeling repressed and scared as a gay youth in a small town, which is valid and heartwrenching, but I simply felt his real issues were glossed over. Perhaps he doesn't even really know himself. And, yes, some things are private, but if you're going to write a confessional memoir, part of the price is exhaustive self-examination and the willingness to bare all to both yourself and the reader. I don't think he really did that.

Also, Rex, the S&M escort with a crack addiction, is a cipher. It's hard to connect with him and his place in Josh's life when he's really a mystery. I suppose Rex is a cipher and a mystery to Josh, especially since their relationship was so tumultuous and not nearly as long as Josh's with his current partner Brent, who we get a much fuller picture of in The Bucolic Plague (and their reality show), and much greater insight into the workings of their relationship. This does take away some of the emotional punch, though.

I Am Not Myself These Days is not a bad book. Not at all. But I was rather disappointed in it.

Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley

A bunch of self-involved upper-class twits loll about a country house after WWI trying to be profound, but manage mostly to be profoundly awful. When they occasionally do hit upon something interesting or profound, it's almost always accidentally and roundly ignored. This isn't gut-busting funny, but a very arch, British wit. The fact that the society that it satirizes is going on a century dead ensures there's much we today won't get, but there's enough that's universal and incisive to make it understandable. It's a short, quick read that any person who has ever had to endure a party with way too many pseudo-intellectual jerks with nod along with.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ugly Americans

American pandas: lazy, monolingual fat-asses with bad coats. There's just no way could this be construed as a cultural/geopolitical metaphor. None at all.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I'm not shocked that there is a pug swim race, I'm shocked that pugs can swim! Mine just sank to the bottom, doggy-paddling furiously as they went down like the Titanic.

(Via Towleroad)

I Can Haz Hardcover?!

I've never had the pleasure of meeting a bookstore cat, but I hope to, someday.

(Via Bookninja)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Let Me Tell You About My Secret Identity

I'm totally with Bookslut on this one: non-pseudonymous pseudonyms have always baffled and vaguely enraged me. It's just... THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sunday, August 01, 2010