Dec 26 2011

Blamer starts something

Breaking news: blamer Cootie Twoshoes has started a blamer book club at Goodreads. I can but endorse such an endeavor.

Apparently what you do is, you go here, create a Goodreads account, and then get jiggy with it. Feminist literary critique is practically a lost art. I urge anyone who reads stuff to give it a try.


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  1. squiggy

    I’m a member of Goodreads but how do I join Blamer’s book group?

  2. Tagmata

    When I viewed the group’s page, there was a “Join” button under the main heading and picture. It looked as though this only appears when logged in, but this is my first time using the site, so I may be mistaken.

  3. Twisty

    This is what Cootie says:

    “It’s set up like just about all social media. Once you’re an official goodreads user, go back to the above linked page and ‘Join Group’.”

  4. tinfoil hattie

    I am completely happy with this new development, Thank you, Cootie!

  5. Lovepug

    How does the average Blamer feel about this site in terms of privacy, etc? I got off the Facebook train after a very short stint due to their abysmal privacy stance. I’m a bit of a stickler for that. I was on Linkedin for about a month and they still send me emails.

    I just want to make sure joining Goodreads won’t be the internet equivalent of feeding a stray cat.

  6. buttercup

    Lovepug, you can make it completely anon if you like. Just set it up to a dedicated inbox on yahoo or something. You don’t have to use your real name. (my real name is not “buttercupia”. Shocking, I know)

  7. Twisty

    It seems likely that, like all other social media, the members of Goodreads (for example, us) are the product, not the customers. So of course you will be violated, as are all sentient beings who are commodified, sold, and exploited. It’s just a matter of degree.

    It further boils down to: is a feminist book club worth the inconvenience of setting up a bogus Yahoo email account? I don’t know.

    I’m thinking I’m going to finally have to read an Octavia Butler novel just to see why she keeps popping up on all these feminist reading lists.

  8. Lovepug

    Thanks for clarifying. I do have a bogus yahoo account for just such an occasion. Tradeoff seems well worth it in this case.

    Thanks to cootie for getting the ball rolling.

  9. Twisty

    Ha, I can’t figure out how to post this to the book club, so I’ll just go ahead and do it here and let the torrent of explainers wash over me:

    1. Is this Octavia Butler Kindred novel the one we’re supposed to be reading?

    2. I have read to Location 25 of 3636 of Kindred on my iPad, where I encountered the line “Then Kevin [the protagonist’s dude] was standing over me, his hands on my face turning my head toward him.”

    I have to say, there are many, many irksome dudely behaviors that make me furious, but in these hetero relationships when they forcibly turn your head towards them it is just about the most infuriating thing ever. If the lead character is going to be one of those straight girls who thinks nothing of it when her dude shoves her chin around while she lies helpless in a hospital bed, we might have a problem!

  10. Sarah

    I have to say, there are many, many irksome dudely behaviors that make me furious, but in these hetero relationships when they forcibly turn your head towards them it is just about the most infuriating thing ever. If the lead character is going to be one of those straight girls who thinks nothing of it when her dude shoves her chin around while she lies helpless in a hospital bed, we might have a problem!

    Not yet read Octavia Butler and given the current state of my reading list it would probably be a while before I get to her. But that excerpt sounds exactly like the hospital scene at the end of the first “Twilight” novel, and that author insisted that her heroine was feminist. (Obviously she has a poor understanding of feminism.)

  11. tinfoil hattie

    Aaaah, remembering the days when I wished Nigel were a “romantic” dude, the type who would turn my face to his so he could kiss me.

    Again: Thank you for ruining my life.

  12. Twisty

    Well you know it actually happened to me once, about 872 years ago when I was pretending to be a straight girl. I dated this ghastly lawyer in a suit for about six minutes. When he did that chin-pull move I was all “Holy shit, what does he think this is, Gone With the Wind?” Ech, I shudder still. I came out not long after.

  13. buttercup

    That would indeed be atypical for Butler. I would assume further developments but it’s been a long time since I read that one.

  14. Cootie Twoshoes

    Yippee!! Have radfem book club, will blame!

    With goodreads you can do book sharing a few different ways. A couple I’m familiar with are 1. simply read and review books, any goodreads friends will get your updates, usually by email (so we’ll all have to be friends!), or 2. post books on the group bookshelf, then start a discussion thread about a particular book or issue with a book.

    I don’t know if folks are keen on doing a traditional book club with assigned reading sort of thing, or if we just want to share bits and pieces as we go along, like Twisty’s example above. Yes! Kevin is a total TOOL! I had forgotten about that, but at least in some ways, I think Butler did this intentionally to contrast antebellum sexism with 1970s sexism. I hope that’s the case, ’cause, damn, I love Octavia.

    And, quixote, young adult fiction is totally rad, too! I just finished The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. It is for younger readers but still compelling enough for adult enjoyment.

  15. cin17

    “Kindred” is a novel about a modern day black woman who time travels to the slave-era south. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but I recall the female protagonists as strong characters. It can be a rough read, violent and disturbing, and probably deserving of a trigger warning. Butler has a strong and singular voice; she was a wonderful writer. I was saddened to learn that she had passed at the young (to me) age of 58.

  16. quixote

    My vote is for “share bits and pieces.” But, actually, there’s no reason why we can’t do both: a given reading for those who want to participate, and dabbling for those who dabble.

    And thanks for the reassurance re “young adult,” cootie! Arrested development is definitely me in all senses except the age-on-drivers-licence kind.

  17. AoT

    Butler is one of the best Sci Fi authors I’ve ever read. The parables series is incredible. I don’t know how I haven’t read Kindred yet.

    And I think all of her books probably need a trigger warning, they can be rather intense.

  18. Ron Sullivan

    Twisty: Nah. Read it. It makes sense there. IIRC, he’s turning her head the way a Mae West* jacket keeps your head above water. That book… Holy shit.

    Trust me on this. Butler will break your heart but she won’t betray you.

    *Yeah, see? Even so.

  19. quixote

    I have a confession to make. I’ve stayed away from all the FaceTwitBuzzGroup stuff because I have conscientious objections to having no legal rights against a megacorp holding my info. Which means I have no practice and don’t know the etiquette. I want to get info and updates from the group on my Goodreads page, not necessarily in my email. I was going to “friend” everyone in the group, but then I thought that might be a spammy sort of thing to do. I’ve set my preferences to get general updates, but it doesn’t look like that gives me messages about what people are up to. Or maybe it does? Anyway, could a kind soul give me some pointers about the usual Goodreads procedure for staying current with some, if not all, the back and forth without overwhelming anyone’s system?

  20. cin17

    I’m not a social media whiz, but I set mine up for email notification. If it gets to be too much, it can be changed to homepage notification only. Then I bought two books and joined two other groups. Not sure yet if this Goodreads thing will be a book lover’s paradise or just another contrivance for buying more books to add to the infinite reading list.

    Cootie Twoshoes, are all members allowed to add books? I’d like to add one that isn’t radfem but has an interesting take on gender.

  21. Cootie Twoshoes

    Quixote, I think if you have even general updates, you’ll receive an email of your friends’ recent activity and reviews. You can adjust how often you get a digest of updates. I’m not sure what other options are there besides email. Maybe an RSS feed? Or, like cin17 suggested, the homepage notification.

    Also, my take is that it wouldn’t be spammy to friend everyone in the group. I’m not a social media playah, but what I like about goodreads is that it is very much about the books.

    Cin17, all members are allowed to do just about anything. I will only act as a moderator to keep trolls away, and current settings give full permissions to members.

  22. Snails

    Jill – re Octavia Butler: Bloodchild (and other stories) is fantastic, if you are at all a fan of short stories.

  23. Sarah

    YAYAYAY! I have been wanting to start a feminist book club for ages, I joined! Now if only there were a way to incorporate snacks…

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