Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Weeklies #1

I've been reading Rude Cactus for over five years. It's your basic personal blog. Chris talks about his kids, wife, books, politics and so on. He has two running features: Monday Haiku's and The Weeklies. The Haiku's are self-explanatory. The Weeklies are a list of, well, stuff, that has filled his week. Music, books, celebrity bru-ha-ha etc. I like The Weeklies so much that I've decided to make them a feature of my own blog. Thanks for the idea Chris. So, without further first Weeklies.

The weekly read: Annabel, by Kathleen Winter. First, a caveat: I've never been very good at writing book reviews. I don't think I much liked writing book reports as a child. I don't even like book clubs. I want to READ books, not talk about them! But, I can't very well blog about my weekly read without at least giving you a taste of what the book is about.

Annabel is the story a child, a set of parents, an adult friend and a playmate. Wayne is a hermaphrodite born in a small town in Labrador in, I think, the 70's. Wayne's father decides that he will be raised as a boy and with his mother, keeps his intersexuality a secret. Wayne knows he has to take pills and see doctors and that's about it, until a teacher (and neighbor) intercedes during a medical emergency.
Winter's writing is lyrical, with lengthy descriptions of the landscape which set the tone of the novel. Many readers love this type of writing Me? Not so much. I get bored. I prefer character and plot driven novels.

I was really excited to read Annabel because of the topic. Ever since taking a gender and science course during my women's studies undergrad, I've read everything I can find on intersexuality and transgender issues, and in particular, I find fictional accounts (or biographical accounts, but I've read less of them) of individuals outside of society's normative gender expectations fascinating.

I rated Annabel 3 starts on Goodreads. I  wanted to like it more than I did. Due to Winter's writing style I found myself skimming paragraphs about the harsh landscape, wishing she would just get on with the story already. I like characters, but wish they had been more flushed out. In the end, they felt mysterious, like Winter's was being vague on purpose.

The weekly film: Another Year, by Mike Leigh. If you've seen any of Leigh's other films, than you can surmise the tone of this movie. The acting was incredible, the tone was understated, the plot was slow. A year in the life of a happy mid-aged married couple as they interact with friends and family members who are significantly less content. The type of film that critics love. It was a good film to sit on the couch and knit to on a rainy day.

The weekly pretty thing: My custom made iPad cozy arrived!

 I ordered it on Etsy from Bellamela after a failed attempt at crocheting and felting my own. It's adorable and fits perfectly. I love it.

The weekly adorable: My Pumpkin in a gorgeous, silky smooth sweater knit by my cousin A.

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