Sex, sexuality & gender archive at Stray Talk
an archive of my forays into fact and fiction

Archive: Sex, sexuality & gender

7th July, 2008
Speed reviews: part I
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Filed under: A-Z Reading Challenge, B, Book Blowout, C, Classics, D, English, GLBT interest, Historical, History, Lifestyle, Mystery, Religion, Romance, Science Fiction, Sex, sexuality & gender, Speed reviews, Swedish, To Be Read, Young Adult

Since I’m sick* and way behind on reviews, I’ve realised the only way to catch up is to make them speed reviews and post a whole batch at once.

The Age of Napoleon; Alistair Horne, eng, 235 British
Interesting, but a little choppily written, and also the author assumes you know certain things and never explains them, while others he explains over and over again.

Cold Comfort Farm; Stella Gibbons, eng, 253 British
Funny, though I accidentally didn’t read the preface, so I wasn’t 100 % how much of it was intentional (all of it, as it turns out, and as I suspected). Flora Poste is kind of annoying, but all right all the same.
For the TBR reading challenge and as part of the BBC Big Read.

Rebecca; Daphne du Maurier, eng, 410 British
A re-read, not as good as I remembered it, but still lovely. Maxim is both wonderful and creepy.

Med uppenbar känsla för stil; Stephan Mendel-Enk, swe, 128 Swedish
Interestingly written about men and what’s considered masculine. References Morrissey at some points, mostly in connection with a man who went berserk and killed people. Lovely… not!

Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East; Brian Whitaker, swe, 230 British
Interesting, scary and occasionally a little bit hopeful.

Ingen behöver veta; Christina Wahldén, swe, 139 Swedish
About male rape and how it does exist, but people find it hard to believe. Kind of a non-ending, but then I suppose that’s sadly the case in most instances of actual male rape also.

Ingen grekisk gud, precis; Katarian Kieri, swe, 217 Swedish
Kind of brilliant tale of a young girl who falls for a teacher. Kind of brilliant mostly because the main character is into Morrissey, but for other reasons also. I was a bit worried where it was going to end, but it’s kind of perfect, really.

Sandman: The Kindly Ones; Neil Gaiman et al., eng, 335 British
I wouldn’t say Sandman is Gaiman at his best, but I do like the stories and so also in this volume. Not my favourite, though.
For the TBR reading challenge.

Doctor Who: The Nightmare of Black Island; Mike Tucker, eng, 255 British
Scary monsters and kiddies with nightmares. I liked it, but not as much as other DW books.

Doctor Who: The Art of Destruction; Stephen Cole, eng, 256 British
Farming in Africa, golden statues and creepy aliens. Good, but not great. Doctor’s always nice, though.

Doctor Who: The Price of Paradise; Colin Brake, eng, 255 British
References Franz Ferdinand and other pop culture a time or two. Not the best of the DW books I’ve read—I don’t much care for Colin Brake’s style of writing it, though I can’t put my finger on the exact reason.

Tro, hopp och burnout; Johan Unenge, swe, 228 Swedish
YA story about a guy who’s really into cars and death metal, who ends up going on a confirmation camp. It’s a decent story, and I was happy to see it didn’t end up quite where I expected it would, but the writing style is very, very choppy and not at all my cup of tea.
For the A-Z reading challenge.

Vadå feminist; Lisa Gålmark, swe, 188 Swedish
Basic guide to feminism. I wasn’t too keen on the writing and didn’t like the book all that much. Mostly it made me a little annoyed with the author, though it did contain sections worth thinking about. It bothers me that there is no question mark in the title.
For the A-Z reading challenge.

Homofamiljer; Sara Stenholm & Cecilia Strömberg, swe, 312 Swedish
About rainbow families and different ways to get one. Interesting, especially the personal stories, but not fab.

*Just a cold, but a bad one. I hate colds. And I’ve run out of Kleenex, which means my nose is very, very sore from regular paper towels. Woe.

5th May, 2008
I Am America (And So Can You!); Stephen Colbert
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Filed under: A-Z Reading Challenge, B, English, Humour, Politics, Religion, Sex, sexuality & gender

I Am America (And So Can You!); Stephen Colbert I Am America (And So Can You!)
by Stephen Colbert

For the A-Z reading challenge.

iPod audiobook

First line: Hi, I’m Stephen Colbert and I am no fan of books.

Back cover blurb:
Realizing that it takes more than thirty minutes a night to fix everything that’s destroying America, Colbert bravely takes on the forces aligned to destroy our country — whether they be terrorists, environmentalists, or Kashi brand breakfast cereals. His various targets include nature (“I’ve never trusted the sea. What’s it hiding under there?”), the Hollywood Blacklist (“I would have named enough names to fill the Moscow phone book”), and atheists (“Imagine going through life completely duped into thinking that there’s no invisible, omniscient higher power guiding every action on Earth. It’s just so arbitrary!”). Colbert also provides helpful illustrations and charts (Things That Are Trying to Turn Me Gay) and a complete transcript of his infamous speech at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Dinner all of which add up to a book that is sure to be a bestseller and match the success of Colbert’s former Daily Show boss Jon Stewart’s America (The Book).

Thoughts: I recently decided that I really need to get fitter and as a step in the right direction, I’ve started going for walks with audiobooks on my iPod. I can’t listen to them unless I’m out for a walk (or, as time goes by, a run), which I’m hoping will be a bit like killing two birds with one stone—I get fitter and I get some reading done, all at the same time!

Works great so far. I Am America (And So Can You!) was the first book I picked. It’s just over three and a half hours long and I finished listening to it in three walks. Or, in other words: the plan worked! I wanted to go out walking so I’d get to hear the next part of the book, which I found really amusing (worthy of a B rating, actually).

Exercise and audiobooks really are the ideal combination. My only problem is that I can’t figure out how to count these in my book stats, as page counts are a vital part of them, and that doesn’t quite work with the spoken word. I’m sure I’ll figure something out at some point, though.

14th November, 2007
Phonephucker; Tanja Suhinina
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Filed under: B, Sex, sexuality & gender, Swedish

Phonephucker; Tanja Suhinina Phonephucker
by Tanja Suhinina

203 pages
Hydra förlag
ISBN: 978-91-976885-0-5

First line: Fan i helvetes jävelkuken!

Back cover blurb:
Tanja Suhinina tar dig in i den svettiga världen av telefonsex. Långt in. Som smart, ung, blivande psykolog filéar Tanja telefontorskarna på löpande band. I sin självupplevda debutroman skildrar hon hur kampen för det nattliga brödet kan ta sig många, vitt skilda, och humoristiska uttryck, men att det trots allt ändå är en människa i den andra luren.

Elin Jonssons fuktiga tuschpenna bidrar med illustrationer som suggestivt skildrar både det dråpliga och det chockerande, det burläska och det mondäna.

Thoughts: I liked this book. I really did. When I started reading it, I was just planning on reading one chapter before switching over to another book (and to continue reading this one at a later time). By the time I finally managed to put it down, I was a little more than half-way in. Clearly, Suhinina’s writing style is one that grabs me and amuses me. Another B rating, then, and well-deserved it is.

12th November, 2007
Faghag; Linda Leopold
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Filed under: F, GLBT interest, Sex, sexuality & gender, Swedish

Faghag; Linda Leopold Faghag
by Linda Leopold

263 pages
ISBN: 978-91-7389-318-3

First line: Året är 1985.

Back cover blurb:
“Man lär känna en och sen lär man känna en till. Sen upptäcker man att den tredje ocksÃ¥ är supertrevlig. Och sen börjar man liksom samla pÃ¥ dem.”

Faghag är en reportagebok om det speciella förhållandet mellan heterosexuella kvinnor och homosexuella män. Den utspelar sig i Berlin, New York, Göteborg, San Fransisco, Stockholm, Paris och Falun, på allt från sexklubbar till ålderdomshem, bland kvinnor som förenas i kärleken till bögar.
En del faghags föredrar att shoppa och dricka cocktails med sina gaybästisar, andra kämpar politiskt för dem. Några nöjer sig med att beundra bögarna på avstånd, likt de unga tjejerna i Faghagklubben som sitter hemma och skriver homoerotiska noveller.
Faghag handlar om symbiotisk vänskap, politisk kamp och en gemensam dröm om en värld bortom regnbågen.

Thoughts: I really did not like this book. It’s interesting, to be sure, and before I read it, I thought I’d like it a lot. But I don’t. I don’t know if it’s the language, or the author’s attitude, but we just didn’t click, this book and I. Well… except one part of one chapter, but that wasn’t enough to make me want to give it a better rating than an F.