Saturday, June 20, 2015

Pride Month Book Report

Welcome to Pride Month! This past year, I read a number of non-fiction books about being gay, coming out, having gay fathers, or books of other various topics where the author happened to be gay. I'm hoping to do more collective book reports like this in the future (sometimes I'd rather discuss several exciting books at once rather than just my usual one/week). Without further ado, here is my Pride Month Book Report:

Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of a Borderline PersonalityGirl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of a Borderline Personality by Merri Lisa Johnson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First thoughts: this memoir is both interesting and confusing. I have little to no context for the subject matter, so I can only say that I both liked and got annoyed by the writing style. The story itself seemed to have a borderline personality. I wish I had more of a frame of reference to give a more informed opinion.

Where I read: over the span of three days, mostly while I was alone in my room.

Favorite quote(s):
"I will still believe the problem is outside me--a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people." (This sentiment is so relatable.)

Final thoughts: This book had a hopeful, bittersweet ending. I definitely want to check out more books dealing with borderline personality disorder, if only to expand that particular horizon.

Seriously... I'm KiddingSeriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

First/final thoughts: Sometimes I wish Ellen wasn't kidding in this book. Everything serious she hints at gets undermined by a joke. Everything. I can watch her show for one-liners--I want more out of a memoir. What makes it more frustrating is the fact that I'm pretty sure Ellen is an introspective person and I know she has stories that are more interesting than silly digressions or cracks at her time on American Idol. I was disappointed.

Fun Home: A Family TragicomicFun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First/final thoughts: As one of the few graphic novels I've read (not skimmed), Fun Home (short for Funeral Home, ha!) stands out as a complete story enhanced by the illustrations. I wanted to look at the story as much as I wanted to continue reading. Bechdel is a no-nonsense writer and I appreciated her honesty.

Recommended for: English majors, people figuring themselves/their relationships to others out, readers, visual learners, parents, and children.

Editor's Note: Now a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical and a Pulizter Prize Finalist!

Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter: Growing Up with a Gay DadConfessions of a Fairy's Daughter: Growing Up with a Gay Dad by Alison Wearing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First/final thoughts: I'm not generally big on memoirs (although you wouldn't guess that by this book report), but Wearing's prose/voice/writing style is so graceful and thoughtful, I couldn't help but be drawn in to her story. That the subject matter is interesting, fresh, real/personal, and important also helped. Wearing and I have little in common, but I could still relate to her story, which I think is a true measure of her talent.

View all my reviews

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