Inbox/Outbox: November 15, 2014

Last week I finished The West Wing, and this week I am filling the Josh-and-Donna-shaped hole in my heart with ALL THE BOOKS. It’s been a good seven days for reading, possibly the last quiet week before the holiday mania hits, and I’m excited to hear about what you’ve been putting into your brain too.

Inbox (Books Acquired)

i am not a slutI Am Not a Slut by Leora Tanenbaum (Harper Perennial, February 2015) – Tanenbaum’s Slut!: Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation, was formative reading for me as a young woman, so I’m thrilled to see her tackling the particular challenges of femaleness and sexual identity in the digital age. What are girls to do when the same culture that encourages them to express their sexuality calls them sluts for doing just that? It’s a big, important question, and Tanenbaum is up to the task of exploring it.

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews – Here is what I know about this book: a few of my fellow Rioters absolutely adored it, and it was nominated for the Giller Prize (Canada’s biggest literary award) this year. The buzz around it has been building for a while, and I picked it up this week in hopes of diving in before too much chatter ruins the mystery.

Outbox (Books Finished)

yes pleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler — Imagine spending seven and a half hours listening to your wisest, funniest, gutsiest friend, who is generally awesome but knows how to acknowledge it when she screws up, and you’ve got the basic experience of listening to Poehler read her new memoir. The stories here are honest and inspiring, and Poehler holds nothing back. We get her struggles and her successes, her fears and her failures, and plenty funny stuff to help the Real Talk go down smooth.

I was so excited for this book to come out, but I was also so worried that it wouldn’t live up to my hopes, and I am pleased to report that it exceeded all expectations and then some. Poehler reflects on family, work, marriage, feminism, motherhood, time travel, and things we learn from doing drugs, and you can just feel the authenticity of her voice and the genuineness of her desire to not just share what she’s learned but to make her readers’/listeners’/fans’ lives better as well. Heartily recommended in any format (the print edition is gorrrrrgeous).

In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)

bonobo and atheistThe Bonobo and the Atheist by Frans de Waal — A friend recommended this last year during one of those rambling late-night conversations we sometimes have about science and religion and life, the universe, and everything (you know the ones I mean), and I’ve finally gotten around to starting it. Renowned primatologist de Waal synthesizes findings from decades of research to answer the question: if morality isn’t handed down from a higher power, where does it come from? This is a fascinating read so far–I’m about 1/4 of the way through it–and I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with de Waal and his bonobos.

 

That wraps it up for me. What have you been into this week?

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