Spring has sprung, time to go outside and read in the grass!*
*It’s still 40 degrees here, I’m reading inside in my Snuggie from now until the end of time. Let’s get to it:
Inbox (Books Acquired)
Grunt by Mary Roach (June 7, W.W. Norton)— Mary Roach is doing for the armed forces what she did for NASA in Packing for Mars here: looking at the science behind what the job. How does exhaustion affect soldiers? How does diarrhea affect national security? What aquatic being is most dangerous to sailors (hint: not sharks)? Mary Roach is my very favorite writer of topical nonfiction, and I’m happy to get to her latest.
Outbox (Books Finished)
Sex Object by Jessica Valenti (Dey Street Books, June 7th) — Valenti’s memoir of her use of and by men (both strangers and not) and their affects on her blossoming feminism is not an easy read, and made me examine the more Puritanical and anti-feminist ideas I still have about sex, but didn’t know it. Readers’ reactions to this book will be an interesting barometer for their sex positivity.
In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)
The Four Books by Yan Lianke, translated by Carlos Rojas — A novel of life inside a “rehabilitation” work camp for intellectual prisoners during Mao’s Great Leap Forward (an economic program designed to increase China’s output to that of the UK, which ultimately led to the starvation of 15-20 million people). The Cultural Revolution in China gets lots of fictional air time, but I’ve never read a novel of the Great Leap Forward and I’m eager to get to this one (from one of China’s most often censored writers).