Saturday, July 31, 2010

Full Frontal Feminism

Ok, so, even though this post is about a book, it is a little more politically charged than the other books I usually write about here. I try to save that for my other blog, but I just loved this book so much that I couldn't help myself.

I'm sure everyone has heard of feminism. It's hard to hide from. I love feminism. And I love the way Jessica Valenti looks at it in her book: Full Frontal Feminism. She discusses everything from the words that are used to describe women(like slut and the ever hated c word) and used to treat them as property instead of humans, to the way that rape has become so common, and almost expected, that people are not even surprised any more when it happens. She talks about the way that women are expected to remain pure, not lose their virginity, yet are at the same time expected to give it up to any man who wants it.

The book discusses many of the ways that are treated as subhuman property instead of equals in a way that is at once heartbreaking and humorous. If you are charged by the subject of feminism at all, I highly recommend you read this book.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Book Reviewish - First Contact

The past few days I've been reading this book called First Contact, by Evan Mandery. It is, to sum it up a bit, one of the most hilarious books I have ever read. I would be sitting in a coffee shop or the back table at a library and just start laughing out loud on nearly every single page.

In this book, aliens from the planet Rigel-Rigel have made "first contact" with Earth. They want to come and learn more about the people of Earth, what we are like, what our culture's like. So, they pick the USA, make contact with some people there, and come to visit the White House.

The primary character, Ralph, is sort of an atache to the president, and is responsible for basically running errands for the president. Throughout the novel, he falls in love, buys the president sandwiches (on his own dime) and, in some rather funny moments, tries to find the president the perfect pair of underpants.

The president is very skeptical of the fact that aliens from space have made contact with the USA. He does not believe that aliens exist. He is, however, convinced that the aliens that do not exist are Jewish and keep kosher. This, well, turns out to be false, and some pretty hilarious events ensue.

As you may know, I hate to give too much away when I read, so I will say this to end: if you only read one book this whole year, make it First Contact.