Julie’s Cimmerian Tales Book Club

This is Cimmerian Tales‘ first book post. Every Wednesday, one of our writers will share what she is reading.

This week, Julie shares her reads:

I just finished Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson. This novel came out about 10 years after cyberpunk really exploded, and it is heavily influenced by it (and, some say, it parodies cyberpunk). I found it to be engaging, fast-moving, and funny. I really enjoyed the character Y.T., a 15-year-old courier who, although at one point a hostage, never really needs rescuing. She’s a BAMF. (Side note: I read Stephenson’s The Diamond Age about a year ago. Despite its length, I think Snow Crash is a much tighter novel, and the agency it gives to its female co-protagonist is much more satisfying.)

I also recently read This is How You Lose Her, a collection of short stories by Junot Diaz. Most of these are autobiographical or semi-autobiographical. It was actually jolting to get about halfway into the collection and find a story written in a woman’s voice. You’ll feel like you know Diaz—swaggeringly self conscious, with baggage and Dominican machismo—almost too well. This is a painful collection to read, but the voice is strong and seductive—it makes a great study in voice.

I’m now reading How to Suppress Women’s Writing, by Joanna Russ. It covers a number of arguments that scholars and literary audiences have used over the years to question women’s writing. I’ll follow it up with a collection of her short stories and her definitive novel, The Female Man.

Other recent favorites: Dangerous Space by Kelley Eskridge. A collection of short stories that explores passion, gender, and sexuality. Read it! (You can check out the title story and others here.)

And for you audiophiles, I bought “Happy to You” by Miike Snow and it has wormed its way into my brain forever. Great electropop-y, rhythm-driven album. I also had the pleasure of seeing 1814 the rock opera at the D.C. Fringe Festival about a week ago. It’s a hilarious, tongue-incheek retelling of the War of 1812 through genres from heavy metal to screamo punk. And you can own the music, too: http://1814therockopera.com/.

Love or hate anything I read? Want to know more? Hit me up in the comments! And stay tuned for Audrey’s reads next week.