A picture from Independence Day, which I didn't write a post about

A picture from Independence Day, which I didn’t write a post about

I borrowed this idea from Desiree because I haven’t posted anything real in a while and I feel guilty about it.

A few things have happened recently! Not a whole lot. I had a birthday at the end of May (why I’m telling you about this in almost-August, I don’t know). I am 24 years old now, and while this makes no sense at all, I feel no different being 24 than I did 23, even though 23 was a really difficult year for me and 24 has been not-miserable. I was so happy to turn 24 and tell 23 to kiss my ass.

My mom got a Barnes and Noble membership, so I’ve been reading and buying books. Not including all of the used books I bought for my birthday, too. Meg Cabot’s Royal Wedding came out in June, and she really hasn’t changed much, HRH Princess Mia, but I won’t lie, I still loved reading this newest Princess Diaries book as much as I loved reading the others as a tween and a teen.

In addition to that, and rereading Ken Follett’s Kingsbridge books, I read a book last weekend called Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes. I was excited to read it, but very quickly I started calling it Broken Book because it was bad. I gave it two stars on Goodreads. (ALSO: When people who live in/near Detroit read books set in Detroit and think “Where are all the Black people?” you have a problem)

A few weeks ago Arthur Chu wrote this post for Thought Catalog (which, I really kind of hate TC but Arthur Chu wrote it and I quite like him and his writing) about one of my favorite shows, Dollhouse, Joss Whedon, and Hollywood. I appreciate that Arthur Chu, who is also a fan of Dollhouse and a fan of Joss Whedon, is okay with acknowledging that the show isn’t without its problems. To criticize something that people like can throw fandoms into an uproar (but Dollhouse was cancelled in 2009, so people may look around and say “What fandom?” at this point, I suppose). Not that Joss Whedon doesn’t ever get negative backlash; the response to Avengers: Age of Ultron from early May is still clear in my mind. The post by Chu makes many good points, but among those is My Fave is Problematic And It’s Okay to Know That And Still Like It.

(And yes, I re-watched all of Dollhouse after reading, just for the sake of it. Boooyd! #NotOverIt)

Then there was this piece, “How Not to Be Elizabeth Gilbert,” published by the Boston Review. It’s about travel writing but also about not being “an obnoxious white lady in brown places.” The piece says a lot about travel writing, things I agree with. Not only are successful travel writers typically male, but a potentially dangerous trait of the travel writing genre is that one’s self is the center of attention, and the location (however exotic, however beautiful, however whatever) is just the backdrop.

(It also reminds me of that time my 11th-grade English teacher was reading Eat, Pray, Love, and loving it, and would most likely be that obnoxious white lady in brown places)

IGGPPC is having their second annual summer camp in August! It’s not real sleepaway camp, which I never did, but I participated in some of the activities last year, like the care package swap and some Google Hangouts-based events! It’s a lot of fun!

Also, in spite of being a shiksa, I love reading the pieces at Tablet Mag, and they’ve done a few pieces this summer about summer camp. I liked reading about all the things Marjorie Ingalls’s daughters learned at camp, as well as this piece about how her experiences at camp shaped Margot Kohn’s positive relationship with her body.

Common Room had Potter Week, which is likely a good thing. Harry Potter was one of my early fandoms, but I couldn’t for the life of me think of anything to write along Potter-inspired lines. I like Hadas’s post about crackpot theories (because who doesn’t love a good crackpot theory?). Who doesn’t love a good fan theory, period?

What have you read lately? How is life treating you?

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