Zoë Stagg

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Let us not look back on the current tally of the Year of Reading Women, let us look forward — in a Spring Cleaned and organized fashion. I put the virtual nightstand stack, spread out over three apps, into my GoodReads (join me there if you’re so inclined!) It was inspired mostly by this amazing collection of books about Americans in Paris that I didn’t want to lose.
It’s not enough to bring my 2014 total to 25, but I have no doubt I can add another row to my wishlist just by virtue of existing in the world. More to the point, in this vernal period of gathering inspiration, LET’S GET ON THIS.
Suggestions and reviews welcome.

Let us not look back on the current tally of the Year of Reading Women, let us look forward — in a Spring Cleaned and organized fashion. I put the virtual nightstand stack, spread out over three apps, into my GoodReads (join me there if you’re so inclined!) It was inspired mostly by this amazing collection of books about Americans in Paris that I didn’t want to lose.

It’s not enough to bring my 2014 total to 25, but I have no doubt I can add another row to my wishlist just by virtue of existing in the world. More to the point, in this vernal period of gathering inspiration, LET’S GET ON THIS.

Suggestions and reviews welcome.

To the Victor…

As a normal, I HATE surprises. Spoilers therefore, are the salve that allow the world to enjoy works of multi-media storytelling without the attendant ANXIETY that comes with not knowing what’s going to happen.

I have never avoided them heretofore. Though…

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I might be willing to allow there are certain few exceptions to the “Tell me what happens” rule. I’m still struggling through The Goldfinch — it’s uncomfortable and in need of rationing to accommodate my delicate constitution, but I don’t want to know. I want to find out in my own time.

This allowance is especially tricky in a world where people can enjoy TV years after the fact. GAH. Even GIFs of Friday Night Lights needs must be avoided. (Though I’ve heard, SPOILER, that it doesn’t hold up as well after the first season.) But not even vintage, if you’re contemporary but time-shifted? Twitter is awful on Friday morning because your new Scandal is being well-scandalized.

That’s the trade-off. Live in a world where you can know absolutely anything without leaving bed, and you have to put in a whole day’s work not to know.

Voice of “A” Generation…

I’m afraid that I abhor grime too much to have ever had a life of artistic adventure; there is no bohemian sensibility in these veins.

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That’s what struck me the most about this collection of essays — the omnipresent squalor. It was like a character, the on-going descriptions of sublet claptrap filth.

Which is not to say that I didn’t like it. I devoured it in two days, reminded that I’d wanted to by this Medium post on the cost of writing. Creating.

Emily Gould is a fascinating character to a slice of demographic, a totemic voice pioneering the onset of Generation Share. And since no one in said demographic doesn’t know the story of the epic book deal and supposed fall of Rome that happened afterward, curiosity is understandable.

It’s definitely worth a read. There’s a Pulp Fiction aspect to the chronology, dipping in and out of her 20s, jobs, beds, and affairs. I can’t say that I understand the selection of the last essay for an ending, but I probably didn’t spend enough time considering it off the grid, in a cabin upstate.

I dug the careful word choice, the rawness that wasn’t dully focused navelward, and as Book #2 in the 25 Book Challenge of Women Authors, it makes a strong argument for the value of memoirs considered from every stage of life.

Book 1.3333333…

I read one, with pages and chapters and everything!

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Okay, not pages, swipes — but I’m outpacing last year’s #1 by at least three months, so LOOK OUT — somebody’s going to get blistering swiper-finger burn.

The first one I finished was not the first one I started, and for that there needs to be a condition named. See, I WANT to know how it ends. I even like the book and the characters. It’s just… I can only visit it in very small doses, when I’m really in the mood, and then only every few weeks or so. I’m contemplating spoiling it, just so I can sort of steel myself…

Maybe my judicious pacing is okay. And maybe I am a giant wimp (which could very well be the name of the “condition.”)

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In the meantime, keeping with the Year of the Woman theme, I read Ophira Eisenberg’s Screw Everyone over a few days of WiFi outage.* I don’t think that’s a prerequisite, though it does help motivate the reading choice. There’s a vibrancy and a pulse to reading nonsense on your various timelines — an immediacy and a sense of interaction, that especially when you spend the day in the company of other languages (both Deutsch and Babbleish) — is enthralling.

But provided you’re in the headspace, books are slowly becoming a way to get there (again), too.

Especially since, to date, a book has never linked me to a BuzzFeed quiz.

*Perfectly entertaining, unapologetic, with a sort of LiveJournal-feel, if that makes any sense.

Little Miss Bookworm…

I got asked whether the 25 Book Challenge was on this year — and since last year my “25” was more like “10,” I’m going to defer to Toni who already has her site fired up. I’m definitely in, and feeling confident that this year’s life rhythm will be more conducive to page turning.

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So confident, that I’m getting all thematic. There’s a #readwomen2014 movement underway — and though it’s not novel (blog, bookmarked) — it’s an incentive to seek out titles that aren’t included in the 88 percent of reviews of male-penned titles in the New York Review of Books. Especially since I’ve started out on the right track.

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I’m not going to shun all male writers, I’m just not going to count them toward my total. Challenge, on.

Maybe women who read women are the ones who are dangerous.

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