Giveaway Winners and Recent Reading

First of all, I’d like to announce the winners of Elizabeth Gentry’s novel Housebound. And yes, I said “winners” because I decided to give away two copies. The first winner is Teresa, and the second is Stefanie! So congrats to both of you, and thanks to those of you who entered. I hope everyone gets a chance to read the book at some point. If the winners would email me with their mailing addresses at ofbooksandbikes at yahoo dot com, that would be great.

I’d also like to write about the latest Emily Books selection I read, Samantha Irby’s essay collection Meaty. Irby is the author of the blog Bitches Gotta Eat, which I hadn’t heard of before I read the book, but which has a lot of readers and a devoted following. Irby is also a comedian in Chicago. The essays in Meaty have a “bloggy” feel to them, which I don’t mean as a negative; I just mean that they are loose, funny, and informal. They are also very personally revealing and sexually explicit. They are not for everyone, for sure! But I liked their forthrightness, their energy, and their humor. I always admire writers who can reveal personal details about themselves and do it in a way that’s not irritatingly self-absorbed. These essays may be self-absorbed, but they are self-absorbed in the best possible way, which is to say that they are entertaining and may make you feel better about yourself. To say that Irby “reveals” personal details isn’t quite the right way to put it; it’s more like she revels in them, she throws them in your face and dares you to criticize her. She is her own worst critic, after all, so you can’t possibly do her any harm. Her topics include body image, dating and sex, race, food, money, mothers, health, and others. Her first essay is about turning 30, and is basically a long list of all her longings and failures. In another essay, she lists, in actual list format, all her physical imperfections. The overall effect, in spite of or because of the in-your-face tone and the foul language, is charming. She seems like she would make a great person to hang out with, if maybe not the best roommate.

As for the fiction I’ve been reading lately, I finished Javier Marias’s novel All Souls, and I’ll try to write about that later. This evening, I’m going to start Tinkers, by Paul Harding. And soon, I’ll pick up The Missing File by D.A. Mishani for my book group.

Have a good week everyone!

8 Comments

Filed under Books

8 responses to “Giveaway Winners and Recent Reading

  1. Now that book has a fun title and cover! Ok, I’m really itching to go hit “subscribe” over at Emily’s Books. Looking forward to your thoughts on the Marias’ book.

  2. Hooray about Housebound! Thank you so much–it looks like a great book, and I’m glad to get it. Will e-mail you shortly :)

  3. Now I’m going to have to go buy a lottery ticket! ;) Thank you!

    Meaty sounds like an interesting collection. Not sure I would like it so I will just enjoy it through you.

  4. In the aftermath of my personal essay course, I feel this is exactly the sort of book I should be reading, lol! It does sound like a lot of fun, and I do so admire people who can let it all hang out in amusing ways. Very interested in what you think of the Marias book. I read it a few years ago and found it difficult (not necessarily in a bad way) but very intriguing.

    • Oh, Irby lets it all hang out in very amusing ways. You can’t go wrong with her when that’s what you’re looking for! I found the Marias book difficult in some ways as well. Not difficult to understand, but it struck me as unusual and challenging.

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