Want some free books? Of course you do.

If you happen to be hanging out in Riverdale, MD, I can show you to a new place to get free books.


It’s not registered with the Little Free Library system, but it’s there, and it’s open 24/7.



It’s not “just” a question.

There’s this comic here on The Toast, which is all displayed in graphics, so it’s tricky to excerpt. In “What Would the Yellow Ranger Do?”, Shing Yin Khor shows us what it means to be asked “Where Are You From?” in various contexts. And then we get to this part:

My husband is a tall white man, of Italian, German and Irish ancestry.

No one asks where he’s from, and if they do, the conversation ends when he says “State College, Pennsylvania” or “Los Angeles.”

“It’s just a question. It’s harmless,” he says.

It’s a harmless question if you look sufficiently un-exotic compared to your surroundings that you can answer with “State College, Pennsylvania” and not get any more scrutiny.

If you live in a place where you’re the exotic one—regardless of how long you’ve actually lived there, even if your family’s been there since well before you were born—then you soon figure out just how loaded a question that is. If it is impossible to exist as a tall, blue-eyed American without being treated like a fucking zoo exhibit whenever you walk out the front door of your house in whatever far-flung locale you currently inhabit, then you come to realize that the “harmless” question is tied up with a lot of baggage, and some of those bags are filled with toxic waste.

(Now picture being treated like that in the country you call home.)


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Princeton Mom acts like this is a bad thing.

I’m sure this here is supposed to scare us into behaving like good little Stepford bots:

The controversial author criticized today’s women for “acting like such an entitled princess” and prioritizing careers ahead of their families. Men, Patton told the Fox hosts, must be appreciated and respected, perhaps with a drink at the end of a long work day or gratitude and kindness. After all, should a woman alienate her husband, she’ll spend the rest of her life searching for a suitable replacement.

“If you are in your mid-30s or older the idea that you’re going to find yourself another husband, almost impossible,” Patton predicted. “And if you don’t believe me ask your maiden aunt, she will tell you when she’s done feeding the cats.”

This is phrased as a dire warning, but to me it sounds more like reassurance. Let me translate:

Don’t worry if you find yourself shackled by a wedding ring to some egotistical, inconsiderate butt-nozzle: you can get out while you’re still young! Get out of that trap in your mid-30s, and you won’t have to deal with another King of the Castle calling you Wifey. Ever again. Go hang out with your favorite badass aunt, who will mix you a fabulous mojito while you stretch out in the easy chair and enjoy guilt-free kitty cuddles.

Someday, perhaps someone will prove to me how heterosexual marriage is the ultimate validation of a woman’s existence, while enjoying four-legged company is a mark of shame. So far, I am the opposite of convinced.

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Flaccid means easy because it’s the opposite of hard.

Having acquired a paperback copy in a book exchange at work well over a year ago, I am finally reading Everything is Illuminated. It seems to be the type of book that rewards you for being patient. At first I was internally debating whether to keep reading, as I wondered whether it was worth the trouble to keep dealing with Alexander the translator’s bizarrely overworked English as a narrative voice. This guy’s English isn’t really broken so much as shouting across the steps removed from the way native English speakers talk and the way this naïve Ukrainian guy uses our words. His sentences are remarkably well put-together for a guy who has apparently never ever heard an English-speaking person, including an actor in a syndicated TV show, talk. It’s a voice that forces the reader to put some work into understanding the story, which tested my patience at first but now I’m glad I stuck with it. Jonathan the American writer and his friend Alex the Ukrainian interpreter are very much worth the trouble.

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“We’ll say we knew her before she was cool.”

Meliana is about to become the new big name in the world of art.

"She might even draw us some pictures of our cats, if we ask nicely."

“She might even draw us some pictures of our cats, if we ask nicely.”


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The Silkworm: “Ack! My eyes!”

Having read and enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling, I bought The Silkworm on Thursday morning and finished reading it late last night. It’s an interesting book to read, as a writer, because it’s all about publishing industry politics. Owen Quine, the missing man whom Cormoran Strike is hired to track down, is a mostly unsuccessful novelist who has been way more trouble than he’s worth to everyone who has to work with him. The characters who come in to bend Strike’s ear about what may or may not have happened to Quine are either the missing man’s wife, Leonora, who hired Strike in the first place, or they’re involved in publishing, whether traditional or indie.

One of the characters under investigation is Quine’s mistress, a self-publishing writer named Kathryn Kent, and at first, I was a bit annoyed at Galbraith/Rowling for how she portrayed Kent. My attitude was basically: “That’s how you choose to portray a self-publisher? Really? Some of us write decent books and use appropriate grammar, you know!” But then I realized that The Silkworm was full of characters involved in publishing, and they’re all assholes. If I were a traditionally published author, I wouldn’t want to be represented as Owen Quine or Michael Fancourt. If I were a publisher, I wouldn’t want to be seen as Daniel Chard or Christian Fisher. I sure hope most literary agents aren’t nearly as unpleasant as Liz Tassel. The only character in the publishing world of The Silkworm who is both good at his job and a mostly decent person is the editor, Jerry Waldegrave, who is also a drunken train wreck. It’s like, nobody can be a part of the literary world for long without being either a shameless opportunist, a predator, an egotistical bigot, or a self-destructive mess. We go through all these unsympathetic characters, and then Strike and his assistant, Robin, take us for a sit-down with Kathryn Kent, and she seems like one of the least offensive of the lot.

Overall, I think what bugs me the most about the portrayal of Kathryn Kent is that the book shows us her blog posts word for word, with all their apostrophe abuse, random capitalization and cringe-inducing typos. Sure, there are plenty of people in the real world who do even worse than that and still manage to write books, but do we really need to see that from a writer who knows better? And a professional editor working for a major publishing house? When I buy a book to read, I expect it to be a refuge from sloppy typing, your/you’re confusion and apostrophes in plurals.

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Jane Doe Transfer Slated for Friday, Lawyer Says

Originally posted on newhavenbeat:



               From the within the walls of the holding cell at York Correctional Institute in Niantic, Jane Doe cannot see the faces of the hundreds of people that have sent her letters of support in the months since the Justice4Jane activist campaign launched with her transfer from Connecticut Department of Children and Family (DCF) custody to the adult female prison-a move DCF Commissioner Joette Katz says was prompted by an alleged history of “assaultive behavior”-where she has been in solitary confinement for 69 days.

                But if you ask Aaron Romano, the attorney representing her, the letters have provided morale support in a place-in an existence-where she has otherwise had none.

                “It’s been like nothing she’s ever seen before in her life,” Romano says of the 16-year old transgender youth, whose alleged history of abuse at the hands of DCF personnel, family members, and others, is chronicled in…

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#EndFathersDay: Trolls being trolls, or “black propaganda” designed to tear apart feminism?


Operation Lollipop. This does explain a fair amount of fuckery that I witnessed on Twitter. A tiny bit of that fuckery was directed at me in particular. It was easy enough at the time to see that the people in question were expressing views not representative of intersectional feminism, and generally failing at any type of feminism at all. But now I see where they really come from.

Originally posted on we hunted the mammoth:

Not actual feminist

Not actual feminist

You all got the memo about #EndFathersDay fiasco, right – the phony “feminist” hashtag, seeded and spread by 4chan trolls, that aroused so much consternation on Twitter the other day, and that took in so many who’re already given to thinking the worst about feminism?

It would be nice if we could just dismiss this whole thing as trolls being trolls – no harm, no foul. But there’s a bit more to it than that.

For one thing, the troll campaign worked. At least on some people: While feminist writers quickly rushed in to point out that the whole thing was an antifeminist hoax, more than a few in the right-wing media were taken in utterly.

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Land of the Dead, Home of the Wounded

It seems we’re averaging about 3 mass shootings a week here in the great US of A. If you’re planning to visit our country soon, maybe change your plans. We’re busy throwing a huge tantrum and we should not be allowed to have friends over until we clean up our act.


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Presented without comment:

Except for this: BWAAAAA-HAHAHAHAHA!


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