It's been a minute. Hey y'all, let's bookpost.
G. Bruce Boyer — True Style: The History & Principles of Classic Menswear
For whatever reason, I thought this was going to be a structured and comprehensive overview, but instead it's a wandering and loosely connected essay collection. But it was entertaining and mildly enlightening, so it's probably a better book than the one I was expecting.
Insert something here about the complications of coming to some kind of arrangement with "menswear" when one does not in any way consider oneself a “““man.””” I've needed to buy a respectable suit for years now, and I'm having a bastard of a time orienting myself. Most of the practical writing on the subject is coming from such a distant place that it's almost impossible for me to make use of it?? IDK, I'm at multiple disadvantages here and it's frustrating. My parents and relatives don't know how to dress, so I couldn't learn any of this from them, and since I'm an inconvenient size/shape (have literally never encountered a correctly fitting long-sleeve woven shirt), I'm gonna have to get something custom, which is a staggering expense and a ridiculously steep learning curve. If I'm going to invest all that money and effort, the result had better be something that I 💖fucking love,💖 and my Grumpiness About Masculinity is going to make that standard rather tougher to meet. BLEAH.
Good thing I live on the west coast and work in tech, huh? My habitat's aggressive informality gives me a bit of extra time to figure this all out. But I can already feel the next wedding or funeral breathing down my neck.
...This isn't really a book review, is it? I guess they never are.
Tamora Pierce — Protector of the Small: First Test, Page, Squire, and Lady Knight
Mar 20 (book 1) through Apr. 22 (book 4)
It turns out that Ruth and I both grew up with Tamora Pierce novels! But since she's a bit younger than me, she had a wider selection at that age when they're the best thing ever. So I read and loved the original Lioness quartet and The Immortals, but by the time this series came out, I was in high school and it was Very Important to not be reading books about 11-year-olds. You know the drill.
Anyway, I liked these a lot as an adult, and if I'd had them as a preteen I'd have been fucking apeshit over them. They're great! Ruth was right about them being much better than the prior two series; those were important and wonderful, but this is just a lot better crafted and more cohesive. An excellent heroic coming-of-age tale.
Raina Telgemeier — Smile (comics)
I've had a copy of this since forever, but never got around to reading it. It's good! It was Telgemeier's first major project, so it lacks some of the confidence and poise of her later work, but her voice and her art are already unmistakable.
Also, I'd almost forgotten this, but I'd read about half of this book before, when it was serialized in black and white on Girlamatic. What a weird time in comics history! And now, this week, Telgemeier is (checks) seven out of ten slots on the NYT paperback graphic books bestsellers. Good job, RT. (And also, as someone who attended a rural public school district, lemme take this chance to remind everyone to never underestimate the Scholastic book fair.)