Monday, June 13, 2005

Bikini Reads, part II

I am convinced that if I hadn’t lived during a time when various disorders hadn’t yet been popularized, I’d be diagnosed as ADD. I do seem to struggle with an attention deficit on a regular basis. Always have.

I’d meant to do the second part of my Bikini Reads shortly after posting part I. Naturally, I shelved it to a dusty corner in my brain and retrieved the idea only after glancing at prior posts today.

So, without further self-recrimination, here are my selections, part II.

Oh, a side-thought. I realize that the term “Bikini Reads” conjures images of lovely young girls frolicking, stretching themselves supine on beach blankets, turning themselves over and over beneath the hot sun as they chatter like sweet, oily birds in a garden of sand. Okay, I admit that’s overkill. Just having a bit of fun.

What I want to say is that these suggestions are for anyone who likes to read at the beach. I just didn’t want to call it “Books for the Beach,” because that’s such an overused term in marketing and book sections in newspapers.

So regardless of your gender or sexual preference, whether you wear a top and a bottom or just one of those skinny little bottom things,whether you enjoy gazing at bikinis or just the bottom halves, these books are for you, dear reader. Nothing much shakes this old girl’s boat.

Warrior Women
by Jeannine Davis-Kimball, Ph.D. with Mona Behan
At first glance, I thought this book would be one of those little volumes filled with anecdotal stories about women beating the crap out of historic male figures. Instead, it’s a delightful work that details Ms. Davis-Kimball’s archaeological experiences and theories. Fascinating stuff about the amazon warriors and the cut-the-breast-off motif, the hetairai of ancient Greece, and the goddess adored by headstrong women, Lilith. Requires patience on the part of the reader because the writer is methodical and detailed, but well worth the excursion.

Mr. Spaceman
by Robert Olen Butler
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Butler last year, and had never read a word he’d written. I picked up several of his books, and this one is a classic. Absolutely hilarious and profound, all at the same time. You’d never imagine being able to take an alien so seriously. A do-read.

The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd
If you haven’t read this, you should. One of the most beautifully written works of fiction in contemporary times. I see it as a Mother goddess sort of book, but then, my ancestry began with some serious pagans and I seem to have a preoccupation with them. Another do-read: a journey of the spirit of a young girl whose story goes several levels above her own and will touch yours if you let it.

The Confessions of Max Tivoli
by Andrew Sean Greer
Truth is, I hate this book. I thought it was boring, preposterous and silly. I mean, a guy recounts the moment of his own procreation, from the mindset of his mother? Did you think I’d just list books I like? Go read my personality post: I scored 58% of normal. So there you go.

Atlanta Blues
by Robert Lamb
You want a good mystery that moves quickly, develops characters soundly, and gives you something to think about after? This one’s a good read and is one of those hunker-down page-turners, if you’re a mystery lover. Pleasurable and entertaining.

by small press authors ( a generic recommendation)
Pick up any book of poetry by a small press author you either know or don’t know. I can think of half a dozen great ones, but I’ll leave the pleasure up to you. Point is: buy poetry books by independent presses. And if you really want to do a good thing, pressure your library to purchase poetry books by independent presses. Sigh. A girl can hope.

Now I have fulfilled my obligation to round out Bikini Reads. There will be no more of these beach themes for the rest of the year. I promise. Go forth and turn pages.


Patty said...

Thank you for the recommendations! A friend just lent me Warrior Women, and now I can't wait to dive in.

I have a chapbook coming out from a small press, and I appreciate the recommendation!

Kay Day said...

Patty, thanks so much for posting a note--I hope you enjoy Warrior Women as much as I did. I found it very balanced and also found it inspiring. I'm working on several poems that grew from what I learned in the book.

Congrats on your chapbook! Let me know when it's available so we can urge readers to get a copy.
Best regards, Kay Day

Patry Francis said...

I agree with you on Max Tivoli. I wanted to like it because I've enjoyed some of Greer's other stuff, but in the end just couldn't BELIEVE in it.

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