How Do You Make Death Appealing? [Review: ‘The Anatomical Venus’]

Here is a fun fact: I used to work at haunted houses. This stems not necessarily from my desire to scare other people (though that is fun), but because, like all proto-goths and many Neoromantics, I have a fondness for the macabre. There’s something breathtaking in death (literally, ha ha ha), and there’s been a long human tradition extending even beyond the black and white film female victims in Hammer Horror films to trying to find something beautiful about death. When I first saw “The Anatomical Venus” on the shelves in my store, I got really excited because it combined two things that I enjoy–that is, wax models of dead people with exposed organs and books talking about the history of science–and I asked for it for my birthday. Lo and behold, here it is, featuring one of the pretty, flayed Venuses on its cover.

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Better for Younger Horror Fans: ‘Slasher Girls & Monster Boys’

It’s probably no secret to anyone who’s been reading this blog for a while (or who knows me in real life) that I enjoy horror, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that, though it’s a YA book, I picked up “Slasher Girls & Monster Boys” (ed. April Genevieve Tucholke).

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‘to them/you must be kindest’ (Rupi Kaur’s ‘milk and honey’)

Books of poetry, in my experience, don’t usually make the top of the “Best Sellers” list, so when one does–and stays there–there must be a significant cultural need for those poems. I picked up “milk and honey” after skimming through it at work, and I’m glad I did.

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I Started Recommending This Before I Finished Reading It: Sophia Amoruso’s ‘#Girlboss’

Admittedly, I don’t have as much free time now as I did while substitute teaching at high schools–which means that I frequently start books and a long period of time passes by before I’m able to actually finish them. That said, even the beginning of “#Girlboss” was enough to get me recommending it to other people (friends, customers, etc) before I finished the book.

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I Don’t Know Why I Got Another Book on Writing: A Review of ‘Story Genius’

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I’ve been sitting on this review for a while since I’ve been sitting on this book for a while. It’s the last book I don’t have packed up and ready to move, and I’m sorry to say that it won’t be joining me at my next place.

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KonMari, Decluttering, and Some Thoreau-isms

There are very few people in the world who do not have too much stuff. Generally, people accumulate as they exist and it’s easier to gain more things than it is to get rid of them. All my life, I’ve had tendencies towards hoarding–afraid to let go of things thinking that if I got rid of a sweater my mother gave me for Christmas that something terrible would happen–which is why I got “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

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Old Sci-Fi Novels, Part 2: ‘The Fate of the Phoenix’

The last time I wrote about an old sci-fi novel (in fact, a Star Trek novel, to be specific), it was Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath’s “The Price of the Phoenix,” a wondeful, campy (and wonderfully campy) new adventure about our old friends Kirk and Spock as they faced a new adversary. The reason for reviewing that book? To set the stage for the review of its sequel, “The Fate of the Phoenix.”

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