In Attenberg’s third novel, The Middlesteins, a Jewish family in Chicago is torn apart by the overeating of their 350-pound matriarch. Here she gives her favorite books featuring overweight protagonists.
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (Random House, $15). To me, this collection of linked stories about a difficult but loving woman and her neighbors in small-town coastal Maine is perfect — precisely written, emotionally correct, and a dream to read. Strout writes about obesity with immaculate wisdom: “The appetites of the body were private battles.” Read more…
Now, they always say not to judge a book by its cover…but in this case, we couldn’t help it. Here’s a collection of some of the cheesiest romance novels, from the most cliche titles to awkward cover art. While I’m a sucker for a juicy romance novel, some of these I just will not be able to take seriously. Read more…
My mom never read erotica (that I know of) when I was growing up, but on a recent trip home I spotted a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey in the back seat of her car.
“Mom, I can’t believe you’re reading that!” I screamed.
“I just read it for the sex,” she said, matter-of-factly.
Twilight fanfiction/S&M erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has struck a nerve not just with my mom but, with millions of woman around the world. The Fifty Shades phenomena has led to endless articles about women’s sex lives and how men should buy things that go thwack in sex shops. Apparently even Oprah likes to read the series in the bathtub? (I don’t need to know.) Keep reading »
“I’m not going to apologize for being female or human. But I will apologize to the party I’ve wronged. About a month ago, I posted this video on my Facebook page about being pro choice and why. There was this conversation that ensued in the comments about whether abortion should be legal. And this man who is a fan of ‘Wild’ and ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ said, well, I’m against abortion, but I do think it should be legal. And Cheryl, the thing about you is, you had an abortion but you regret it. And you’ve told us how that does stay with you and how many regrets you have about it. And I was like, uh, no I haven’t. I thought, I can’t let that stand. I said, actually, you’re mistaken. I do not regret it. I wish I hadn’t gotten pregnant. I don’t think it’s this great, exciting chapter of my life that I treasure. But I certainly think that having an abortion was the best thing I could have done in that situation. And I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever, nor am I scarred by the experience. I think it’s really important to assert that. Because the generation of women before us, they could do things like have an abortion or have sex in ways that are conceived as promiscuous, so long as they felt bad about it afterward or have been, like, oh, but what I was really looking for was love. When really it’s — a lot of times what I was really looking for was sex.”
–Cheryl Strayed on the balance between claiming responsibility for your actions and apologizing for yourself. This is just a snippet from an interview published in The Millions. I highly recommend reading the entire interview. At least twice. And if you haven’t already, I implore you to read Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl’s collection of Dear Sugar columns from The Rumpus. She is my inspiration/life hero at the moment. Amelia and I went to see her speak a couple of weeks ago and the best thing she said, which has been my mantra ever since, was: “True motherfuckerhood has to do with being humble.” [The Millions]
Finally, proof that getting really drunk on wine and gabbing about the world’s most personal shit with your girlfriends is actually a productive way to spend your time! First, my friend (and occasional Frisky contributor) Gillian Telling wrote a book called Dirty Girls about just how grimy women can be, using anecdotes from her own life and the lives of her friends (including yours truly), and now it’s being developed into a half-hour comedy for ABC! According to Deadline Hollywood, “The single-camera half-hour revolves around a group of female friends who reveal the dirty truth about the secret lives of women.” Because I’m slightly self-obsessed, my second thought — after “Holy crap, go Gillian!” — was, Oh my god, there’s maybe going to be a character on TV based on meeeeeeeeeeeeee! Fingers crossed “Dirty Girls” makes it all the way to the small screen, because, based on the book that inspired it and the hijinks therein, it’s bound to be hilarious. [Deadline Hollywood]
If there’s one thing we love more than boys, it’s books. So making sure our two life passions peacefully co-exist is hella important. Enter Judging A Book By It’s Lover: A Field Guide To The Hearts And Minds Of Readers Everywhere. Author Lauren Leto from the blog Texts From Last Night has all the must-know advice on how to impress that David Foster Wallace nut and whether its socially acceptable to date a man who read The Game on purpose. Whether you’re well-read or just looking for someone to hop in bed with, Judging needs to be on your shelf immediately. [$10.19, Amazon]