The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, by Mona Eltahawy, for Sirens book group.
I wrote this book with enough rage to fuel a rocket. I knew I had to write it while I was still high on the glory of beating up a man who had sexually assaulted me. Who was this woman I had become, who looks men in the eye, seizing their gaze with my fury until their fear tells me they understand not to fuck with me? I wanted to figure her out. For years I had been shedding shame and gaining fury. For years I had been thumping away at patriarchy, like a piñata hanging tantalizingly just out of reach. It was stubborn, but my tenacity and ferocity became my ladder. this book is my instruction manual for smashing that piñata.
• What did you recently finish reading?
The Line Tender, by Kate Allen. This book, like The Thing About Jellyfish, understands how weird grief is, and how weird kids are. Lucy, the protagonist, does get some good advice about grief from the other characters, but her story doesn't get its weird bits trimmed off to make it a better illustration for the good advice. And none of the characters is there just to teach a lesson: we see Lucy working to make her drawings more lifelike, and we can see that Kate Allen has done that work for her characters.
The Line Tender reminded me of this quote, and now I want to reread The Once and Future King
The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.
― T.H. White, The Once and Future King
• What do you think you’ll read next?
The Outside, by Ada Hoffmann, for SF book group.
The Cold Millions, by Jess Walter, for Tawanda book group.
• What are you watching?
Mare of Easttown. I have a question that I don't think was answered in the show: