What I've been reading... - The Dainty Squid

What I've been reading...

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Five more books read since the last time I updated you all on my reading goal for the year which means... I surpassed my goal! Cue the confetti! I'm sitting at 32 books read so far this year.
What I've been reading...
I am not myself these days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell
The Education of a Very Young Madam by Ma-Ling Lee
Elf Girl by Rev Jen
Pulp by Charles Bukowski

As always - worst first, The Education of a Very Young Madam. There's no delicate way to say this but I hated this book. I literally hated it more than I've ever hated a book ever. The author was the most arrogant person I have ever read anything by. She bragged about sending thugs after her girls, trashed her employees for not being intelligent enough to do what she did and just generally had the most disgusting attitude. Aside from that, parts of the book felt a bit made up. I probably piqued your interest by ranting about how much I despised this book, huh? Well, that wasn't my intent. Stay far away from this book. There are tons of other books on the oldest profession in the world to read instead if you're interested.

American Salvage is a book of short stories by Bonnie Jo Campbell. It was pretty great. She's a very talented writer. I bought the book because I read somewhere that it was super gritty (just my taste!) and it delivered. The stories were raw and emotional. I'd be interested in checking out more of Bonnie Jo Campbell's writing.

Pulp wasn't what I was expected, especially after my recent Bukowski binge. Did I enjoy though? Heck yes!

Elf Girl did not disappoint. Reverend Jen is the bee's knees. I seriously love her. I highly recommend both Elf Girl and Live Nude Elf to everyone!! (Okay, "everyone" as in everyone who tends to enjoy the sort of things I read otherwise you're just going to be weirded out.)

My absolute favorite of the five books from this month was I am not myself these days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Josh works in advertising during the day and at night turns himself into Aqua, a 7 foot tall drag queen who maybe kinda-sorta has a drinking problem. His writing is down to earth and very humorous. I absolutely fell in love with him. It was the kind of book that I was bummed when it ended. I wish it could have been twice as long!

Does anyone have any other book recommendations about drag queens? I don't know why I never though to look before this book but I need more drag queen memoirs in my life. I briefly tried searching but wasn't finding exactly what I wanted.
Today two books I've reeeeeally been looking forward to come out (Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk and Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse Bering) are available so I'm heading to the book store to pick them up. I'm so excited to read them both.
xoxo

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33 thoughts

  1. So crazy, I just updates my favorite books of the year on my blog today, too! You must read the follow up book to I Am Not Myself These Days I read both of them this year and loved them!
    xx,
    Kate
    http://ummmnowwhat.blogspot.com/2013/10/some-of-my-favorite-2013-reads.html (in case you want to take a peak!)

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  2. How do you find time!? I hate myself for not reading constantly anymore. I always wanted to set myself a reading goal, but I just know that I would never make it.


    chloex
    www.bythelock.com

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  3. I love your recommendations - definitely going to check out Bukowski and the short stories :)
    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

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  4. I read the first page of Elf Girl and I'm already sold! :)

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  5. i really admire your effort to read so much! i am trying to make a point to read more. it used to be my favorite thing to do when i was a kid, i just dont know when i stopped reading for pleasure. thanks for the suggestions!

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  6. I have to say thanks!! I started reading your blog about a year ago and decided to challenge myself to read more as well! So far this year I've read 40 and counting! I also have to thank you for introducing us (me, my wife, my mom etc) to Mary Roach. I bought all of her books on thriftbooks.com and they're being passed around the family! Keep reading!!

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  7. I've read I Am Not Myself These Days and really enjoyed it. I'd recommend his book Candy Everybody Wants

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    1. I was definitely wondering about his other writing since I liked IANMTD, I'll check that out! Thanks! :)

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  8. hey, kayla! i was wondering if you have a goodreads account? i would love to follow you book reviews through there!

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  9. I LOVED I am not myself these days! I thought it was great! Josh and his partner, Brent, were on the Amazing Race last season and they're semi-famous as The Fabulous Beekman Boys. You can watch the first season on Netflix. I adore them, they're awesome! Josh wrote another book, The Bucolic Plague, about his life on a goat farm. Also great, but not like IANMTD.

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  10. I've never met anyone whose taste in literature mirrors my own quite like yours does. I too am anxiously awaiting Doomed and Perv!

    Right now I'm reading Our Lady of the Forest, by David Guterson. You might like that one.

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    1. It's always great to find people with similar reading tastes!! :)

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  11. Love! I have I Am Not Myself These Days on my bookshelf but haven't read it yet. Thanks for the push. :)

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  12. Chuck Paliniuk is such an amazing author, I'm sure his new book will be excellent. Unfortunately my husband accidentally broke my Kindle and the library is not in walking distance of my house so I have not been reading much lately, poo. :(

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  13. That drag queen memoir sounds great, and I will have to see if I can find it somewhere cheap so I can read it.

    I'm not sure if I recommended this book to you before or if you've already read it, but "Chicken" by David Henry Sterry sounds like your type of book. He composed "Johns, Marks, Tricks, and Chickenhawks: Professionals & Their Clients Writing about Each Other," which I remember you said you read. I have pretty much read everything by him, but "Chicken" was the first one. It's is about his time as a male prostitute who serviced women when he was 17 and broke. It's a unique perspective, and he's a really good writer. I'm also connected with him in several ways, and he's super nice (or so I am told).

    Also, have you read "Indecent" by Sarah Katherine Lewis? It's a sex worker memoir. It's not particularly unique, but I feel that her writing is more honest than most memoirs in this category. It seems that many people will either fully glamorize or knock-down the industry, and she varies inbetween.

    Also, anything written by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. Her writing isn't really my style, but I think she would be up your alley. She writes about being a gay sex worker in San Francisco. She also produces a lot of anthologies, and she is currently on a book tour (go see her if you have the chance! she's a great speaker.) I've also met her and went to one of her readings, and she's super nice and adorable. (Her writing is good, but I prefer listening to her than reading her work.)

    I hope I helped! Sorry this comment was so long!

    Naomi (anaomily.tumblr.com)

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    1. Yes! I have been meaning to pick up Chicken for so long. I love David Henry Sterry! Thanks for reminding me!

      I feel like I've read Indecent but I can't find it in any of my reviews but the cover is so familiar to me.

      Thank you so much!!! :D

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  14. I recommend the book "Painted Faces" by L.H.Cosway. It's an unconventional tale of love. I just started reading (am at 28%) and love the main characters, a normal girl and her drag queen neighbor/love interest. :))

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  15. I read I'm Not Myself These Days about 5 years ago and felt the exact same way you did! I was so sad when it ended, it was a great read.

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  16. you are amazing! i am shooting for reading 3-5 this year...and haven't finished one yet! WAY TO GO!

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  17. i love chuck palahniuk books. you should try reading basically any book by dave eggers if you haven't already. he is my favorite author. also! i e-mailed you about the giveaway, but i don't know if you got it. let me know! <3

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  18. You might be interested in reading Paul O'Grady's autobiography (it is a series of 3). He is a mainstream tv personality in the UK, but is most famous for his drag persona Lily Savage. Apparently it's full of pretty rough stories from his early days as a drag artist.

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  19. hey kaylah! do you have a goodreads account? love these posts!

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  20. I went to the Doomed release party last night! Chuck was amazing! So disturbing and funny all at the same time. I got a signed Damned and thought of you, since it was you who inspired me to read his works. Hope you get a copy soon! :)

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  21. The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp is great, about a drag queen in the ummm...40s? Shanteram, The Anatomist, Middlesex are great books too although not about drag gueens...

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  22. I absolutely LOVE "I am not myself these days". I read it 4 years ago but I remember it being so intriguing. I'm glad you felt the same!

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  23. Have you ever read any of Joe R. Lansdale's stuff? He is a great author, and I'm not sure if you've seen a movie called "Bubba Ho-Tep" starring the awesome Bruce Campbell, but that movie was based on a Joe R. Lansdale story. So check out his works! lol. I am reading "Lost Echoes" by him.

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  24. In my freshman year hardcore lit class (think, only reading books by serious old dead white dudes) I named I Am Not Myself These Days as my favorite book. Mwahaha. I have a signed book plate from him! It says "Any friend of Aqua is a friend of mine". I'm obsessed. I know he's one half of The Fabulous Beekman Boys, but I haven't caught the series yet.

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