A few months ago the author Jonathan Franzen published his novel, Freedom, and among bookworms, it was like a new “Star Wars” movie being released or Angelina Jolie popping out another baby. Not only did President Obama make headlines for snagging an advanced copy to read on vacation, but Franzen made the prestigious New York Times book review not once, but twice, in a single week. That was all too much for author Jodi Picoult. “Is anyone shocked?” she tweeted, no doubt rolling her eyes. “Would love to see the Times write about authors who aren’t white male literary darlings.” Everyone weighed in with their opinion — sexism? sour grapes? — including here on The Frisky. The matter was settled, at least for moi, when the blog Slate.com did an old-fashioned author byline count of The New York Times Book Review. That publication does, in fact, review more books written by men than women.
For us lady writers at The Frisky, it was all pretty disheartening. (Kate may be the only one who has published a book thus far, but there are several of us on staff who go home and peck on our laptops some more.) Now there’s more “ugh”-ness to “ugh!” deep in our bellies: Author Tawni O’Dell penned an essay for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about her experiences navigating the publishing industry and book-reviewing culture as a female writer and they’re utterly fascinating.
I just have four words for you: “wood nymph” and “biker chick.” Keep reading »
We heard bits and pieces of Sterling’s Gold: Wit and Wisdom of an Ad Man by Roger Sterling, Jr. on the last season of “Mad Men.” We didn’t think we’d be able to read Roger’s book, especially since he couldn’t get any publishers to bite. But he’s quite the character and is known for his quips and quick-wit barbs, so we think Sterling’s Gold would provide insight into the ad world and business, in general, as well as a look into upper middle-class life in New York during the 1950s and 1960s. [$10.99, Amazon.com]
WIN THIS! We’re giving away two copies of Sterling’s Gold: Wit and Wisdom of an Ad Man by Roger Sterling, Jr., but you have to work if you want it. In the comments, tell us which is your favorite quip from Roger and why. Enter by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. We’ll pick our favorite responses and announce the winners Wednesday, Nov. 24. You must live in the U.S. or Canada to win. Good luck!
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I am a total nerd, which means that I am kind of obsessed with the trend of authors making trailers for their books. Check out this one for Shya Scanlon’s debut novel, Forecast. It’s the tale of a woman named Helen living in Seattle in the year 2212, when the weather is totally out of wack and the city is being run on the energy of negative human emotions. Sounds like just the book for people like myself who love dystopian novels like 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale. Keep reading »
What kind of crack was Amazon smoking when the retailer decided it was OK to sell the book The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child Lover’s Code of Conduct? Amazon was initially standing behind Philip R. Greaves II’s self-published Kindle e-reader title saying, “Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.” After internet-wide protest and the popular Twitter trending topic #BoycottAmazon, Amazon has removed the title from its website. I am completely against censorship, but good lord! Teaching someone how to be a pedophile is beyond an “objectionable criminal act” — it is abominable! Finally, how long before this Philip R. Greaves II is investigated for his crimes? [MSNBC] Keep reading »
In the ’60s and ’70s, there was an entire genre of literature seemingly built around frightened young innocents escaping the horrors of haunted, creepy old houses. Luckily, some genius soul has cataloged this literary trend in a site called Women Running From Houses, which compiles any and every book cover featuring a young woman running screeching from a house. Like this one, by author “Jane Lovesmith” (total pen name), called The Lock. “What was the haunting secret of the unopened crypt behind the old house on Gantry Hill?” it asks. Good question. Let’s not find out. [Women Running From Houses] Keep reading »
Do you know some reality stars from TV who look like they could use a real-life kick in the pants? A “desperate bachelorette” maybe? A “d-bag”? An “angry black bitch”? These are just a few of the stock characters you see over and over again on reality TV — excuse me, “reality TV.” Media critic Jennifer L. Pozner — who just happens to be my mentor and friend — has just published Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, which examines the past decade of “reality TV” and how its statements on race, gender and class just happen to echo cultural stereotypes. (For example, men and women of color were pretty much absent from “reality TV” until Flavor of Love — a “dating” show where women clean up after and perform sexual favors for the rapper Flavor Flav.) Keep reading »
Lord knows no one would make “Mad Men” into those Mr. Men kids’ books because they’d quickly have to explain alcoholism and why Mr. Draper is humping the secretary. But if it did happen, we bet “Mad Men” kids’ books would look just like this!
Check out more like this after the jump: Keep reading »
“The best sex is often with a grenade—because she’s so grateful … Chicks do dig guys with shaved legs. Maybe they’re into the Michael Phelps look … Before any chick gets into my bed I make her slide into a 200-degree Jacuzzi to sterilize any microbial bacteria that might endanger my health.”
—Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino shares nuggets of wisdom like these in his new book, Here’s the Situation: A Guide to Creeping on Chicks, Avoiding Grenades, and Getting in Your GTL on the Jersey Shore. I know I’ll be getting a copy for everyone I know. At least I’m glad to hear that he thinks about STDs? Though, I’m not sure a doctor would sign off on this hot tub theory. [NY Post] Keep reading »
Kelly Valen, author of The Twisted Sisterhood, has a bone to pick with women, particularly with the mob mentality that can evolve when a group of girls gets together.
She, like so many females, had a Bad Sorority Experience back in the day. A really bad one, in fact: After she lost her virginity to a fraternity pledge in what was then known as a “ledge party” — i.e., an unbeknownst-to-her public deflowering with all of his frat brothers looking on — her sisters turned against her, eventually blackballing her from the sorority house.
Decades later she ran into one of those same “sisters” at a Pet Smart one day, and was surprised to find her former sorority nemesis chasing her through the cat food aisle — “Kelly! Kelly! Is that you!?” — acting as if none of it had ever happened. Read more … Keep reading »