Dave McKean

Wednesday reading — all over the map

What I've been reading

I read A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson. They interviewed her briefly before a Royals game sometime last month and I was fascinated. This is a juvenile biography but not one of those rote paint-by-numbers ones; it's well-written and has a distinct voice. Mamie Johnson was the first and only woman to pitch in the Negro Leagues.

I read Augustus, which I really enjoyed. It's a novel about the Roman emperor of that name, but made up of (invented) letters, diaries, legal documents, etc. Up until nearly the end it's all other people writing about Augustus from their various perspectives.

I reread Night Train to Memphis, some extremely high-octane comfort reading for me. I finished it while taking a bubble bath, to give you some idea. I just love the Vicky Bliss books so much.

I read an actual paper copy of xkcd: volume 0, which I picked up at the thrift store. Pros: convenient paper format, similar to the comic strip collections I grew up with; no need to mouseover to read tooltips. Cons: very early xkcd strips turn out to be less consistently funny than I remembered them; I am not clever enough at codes to be able to decipher the codes which are the major bonus feature of the book.

I reread All Creatures Great and Small, or rather listened to the audiobook while I was working on other things. My mom got really into the James Herriot books when she was in college and she passed them along to me, except that then she remembered about the chapter about artificial insemination in The Lord God Made Them All and tore it out of her copy of the book. This was incredibly stupid, because a.) I had already read it, b.) I was already familiar with the birds and the bees, c.) I was not remotely titilated by bulls getting it on with artifical vaginas, which is pretty much the opposite of sexy in every way, d.) she tore pages out of a book, FFS. I still make fun of her for this. Meanwhile my aunt her sister still loves these books so much she says they are the only books she reads or intends to read, which I feel is taking things a bit far.

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  • Current Mood: worried worried
Bwahahaha. The Charlotte Mason method recommends tearing pages out of books or using a Sharpie to censor "objectionable" art (anything involving a nipple).
OMG! She's the one who wanted students to spend a lot of time gazing at artworks, right? Can you imagine trying to seriously contemplate a painting with sharpied nipples?
Yes, and in fairness, she wasn't in favor of censorship as far as I know, but this book recommended it highly, as well as foregoing Dickens, for example, because he wrote "ghost stories."

OT: I have a friend here who has two girls (4 and 8), and is pregnant with a boy due in a month or so, and her daughters don't even KNOW about penises. That's gonna be an interesting discovery when baby is born.