Review: Are You My Mother?

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel


For many artists, the sophomore effort can be more difficult than the first. After all, you’ve had years and years to put together your first piece, but now you’ve got to do it again, hopefully better, in a shorter span of time. Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? is not a traditional sophomore effort, considering the long-running Dykes to Watch Out For, but it is Bechdel’s second graphic memoir after Fun Home, whose deserved accolades put her on the mainstream map. The fact that it seems to be a matched set with the first memoir—one for her father, one for her mother—invites further comparison.

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The Sunday Salon: 2012 in Review

It’s the last Sunday of the year, so you know what that means. Either I’m getting stingier or this year hasn’t been the best reading year for me—while last year’s year in review post was agonizing to curate, I did this year’s in a few hours. Hopefully, 2013 will ring in a higher batting average for my reading. But it’s not that I haven’t enjoyed my reading this year; I definitely have, especially my nonfiction reading—I mean, I discovered Tom Wolfe this year, so that is a definite plus. As ever, this list is culled from what I read in 2012, not what was released in 2012 (although I read more recent titles this year than in past years).
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The Literary Horizon: Are You My Mother?

Alright, kids, something had to give; while I like this feature, since it gives me feedback on stuff I have yet to read from you lovely people, it’s hard to sit down and pair them off, because with a reading list five hundred plus books long, I tend to forget specifics. So, compromise! From now on, the Literary Horizon will feature only one book, but link to more reviews. We good? Everybody good? Good. On to today’s selection!

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Review: The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel

Before I ever picked up Fun Home, I knew of Alison Bechdel’s long-running comic Dykes to Watch Out For. After all, it gave us the Bechdel Test; how could I not? But I never picked up any collections. These past two semesters, I’ve taken to working on homework and other stuff at the public library. The best tables to work on are in the midst of the fiction section, and, one day, while working, I looked up to see The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For on the shelf. I was a bit swamped then, and then it was checked out, but eventually, I got my hands on it, right in the middle of a reading slump. Which it promptly cured.

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The Sunday Salon: 2011 in Review

Merry Christmas, to those who celebrate it—but it’s also the last Sunday of the year, which means it’s time for my top ten list. As usual, these are my top reads of 2011, not the top published books of 2011. But I’ve also added my favorite film adaptation and my favorite audiobook of the year, since I’ve started really keeping those posts up. I was lucky enough to have a good handful of five star books, but that meant leaving off a lot of four and a half star books that I honestly loved off the list. I invite you to rifle through those categories to your right. And here’s 2010 in review and 2009 in review, if you’re so inclined. I think that’s all the housekeeping, so let’s get started.

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Review: Fun Home

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Towards the end of the summer, I discovered a new thrift store in my hometown, one that was part of a block of stores managed by a local church. It was enormous, although it didn’t yield up any new corner pieces for my bursting at the seams Tolkien collection. But it did have books, and I found a copy of Fun Home there for fifty cents. Finding a memoir that deals frankly with queer sexuality in a church thrift store was a funny juxtaposition to me, although, for all I know, that particular denomination is a-okay with queer folk. (Being Georgia, I sincerely doubt it.) So I essentially picked it up for a lark, but got so much more.

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