The Week in Books: Sept 8-14
I would LOVE to get deep, deep, deep into the New 52 and why I hate it so much, but I seriously do not have the energy. For one thing, I have anemia. Five years of veganism, and I FINALLY end up low in all the stuff everyone said I was going to be low in. (Well, not protein, that I know of. Yet. They’re doing more blood work tomorrow.) For another, we found a cat wandering around the area all lost and sad yesterday, and we’ve spent the night worrying and the day trying to find her owners. Cross your fingers for her; she’s obviously a house cat and has a home. Please put tags on your cats, even if they are not supposed to be outside cats, because you never know when they might slip out.
So I’m exhausted. I fell asleep on the cold hard floor today and the cold kept me half-awake, so that was a failed nap. But I want this done. So, uh, I’ll probably do like two books and talk myself into going to bed. By falling face-down on the keyboard. I don’t even have a chair at my desk right now. I’m using the bumpy part of the filing cabinet to keep my back straightish. This is probably incredibly pathetic from the outside. It’s not feeling very suave from this end of things either.
ANYWAY, I read Batman & Robin: Born to Kill first, another New 52 book that MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE IF YOU WEREN’T A FAN BEFORE. I was going to get all serious and lit-major-y on DC’s ass but really, all of this New 52 mess can be summed up in one sentence: If this is truly supposed to be a reboot where new fans can jump in, DC has failed miserably. (Again, if you want to add a second.) Hubs and I read this one after the other and he was like “The New 52 is made to–? No, that makes no sense. You have to knows TONS of backstory to get this Damian Wayne stuff.” I AGREE. Unless another Bat-title is filling in EVERY SINGLE BLANK, no no no no no. And even then, so much for jumping in. Morons.
We also read Teen Titans: Games, which we both thought was a bit of a mess, and my husband was like “Who ARE all these Titans?” He was especially annoyed by the telekinetic kid, who he insisted was a girl for most of the book (I was confused too). It was a dense mess of a story that will probably be done as a much better DTV one day. One can hope. I mean, all the parts are there, but there was almost too much going on for the art. And apparently this one was like Wolfman/Perez’s last hurrah on the title, so the team wasn’t current with the actual line-up? Uh-huh.
Then, awesomely, my copy of MaddAddam not only came in, but I had time to read it a few days later. Boy, is it a fast read. Boy, is it good. Boy, will it make you annoyed that there’s not a NEXT book. Not just because it’s a fast read, but because all it really does is resolve the big question “What’s up with Zeb?” from the last book, leaving us with “…But what’s up with Adam?” by the end. (Not that you weren’t around doing that.) Actually, that’s not completely true. It also resolves what happens to everyone present-day, but so quickly, and from such a distance, that it feels like a bit of a cheat even when you know it isn’t. I love the way Atwood incorporates modern language as old-fashioned in these books; with each novel, we get more characters referring to phrases we use today in such a way that makes us feel like they had their day, which adds to the realism of the novel.
NOT ENOUGH CRAKE.
As I said before, I believe everything Oryx said about herself up to the point where Jimmy asks her to lie. But Crake…Crake remains a mystery. Why did he think the world was ready when it obviously wasn’t? Was his timetable pushed up so quickly that he was willing to put his people out there with the Painballers and, frankly, anyone who wasn’t Jimmy?
It makes no sense–except to Crake, except to Atwood. And now she needs to tell me. PLEASE TELL ME.
Finally, I finished the week with Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality by Hanne Blank, a book lent to me by a friend who really enjoyed it. NOW SHE MUST READ MARRIAGE: A HISTORY in exchange. Blank draws some of her stuff from Coontz, who is mentioned a few times in the book. Blank bookends the history with an examination of her own relationship: her partner has Klinefelter’s Syndrome, so is her relationship actually straight? Blank’s strength is when she’s keeping to the title; I felt the author spent too much time on her Coontz wrap-up on the history of marriage before she drew back to her working concept. But it’s a fascinating read, even just on the idea that something doesn’t really exist until it gets a name. Did you know that when “heterosexuality” came into the English language, it was used to mean what we think of as heterosexual now, but also that others used it to mean what we now think of as homosexuality? Talk about a word meaning its opposite! (I love you, “peruse.”) This and other interesting facts in this recommended book.
Hey look at me, I got through the week without falling asleep on the laptop keyboakdfsjkdfskjdkjldsjkldfskjlfd