Recommends: Visiting New Mothers and Hospital Patients

I haven't been able to read or write much this week -- we're in the process of a lot of pre-surgery procedures that leave me horizontal for 24-hour chunks because of flurble-wurble-flobidty reasons that have to do with human spines basically being lazy.

But! I read this wonderful post by Kit Whitfield at Slactivist: How To Be A Good Friend to a New Mother. And while I've never been a new mother I have been and again will be a hospital patient, and I was struck by how perfect this advice is for visiting sick people in general: Be compassionate. Don't try to "look on the bright side" on their behalf. Don't minimize their experience or pull out the horror stories. Do listen and make courteous offers.

It's a great post and I recommend it wholly. :)

RECOMMENDS TIME! What have you been reading and/or writing?


DarcyPennell said...

Reading now: The Duke Ellington Reader, edited by Mark Tucker. Critical essays about, and interviews with, Ellington from throughout his career. Trigger warning: the first chapters are newspaper reviews of his earliest concerts and records. 80 years ago white music critics wrote about black performers using language that's hard to take today, even though the reviews were all very positive. It's a great book but some might want to skip those early reviews.

Just finished: A Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Memoir of Coates' childhood in Baltimore and his relationship with his father. Really good.

Waiting for my library hold: Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation by Elaine Pagels.

(Can you tell I like non-fiction?)

chris the cynic said...

This week I wrote a story fragment in which a thousand generation reign of Dragon Riders was ended by the rise of agriculture and civilization, a fact the narrator is not happy with. (The only way I could see a thousand generations of relative stability is if it involved hunter gatherers with almost zero technological development. Agriculture would, naturally, destroy that.)

I also wrote an interpretation of how Bella would react if her decision to involve herself with vampires had fatal consequences for people she knew.

I've not read much.

Unrelatedly, I did get a copy of Atlas Shrugged The Movie Part 1 (cost 99 cents), perhaps I can snark it in the future. Not sure if I'm up for it though.

Also I had a chance to talk to a psychologist for the first time in years, I'm somewhat hopeful that some good might come of it, but there are constraints that could make that unlikely. We'll see.

swanblood said...

I mentioned this in a comment before, but I was reading it again recently and can't recommend it enough: To Dream, Perchance to Soar by Ashlyn Nafina. It's a rare story that is actually written by someone who's otherkin, but, accessible as a metaphor for transgender people and others too.

Right now I'm in the middle of Mockingjay, and everyone knows the Hunger Games series so I guess that's not a big recommend... But I also recently finished The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson, that's a really lovely book about a fox who becomes a woman in historical Japan. It's a book written by a non-Japanese author about historical Japan that didn't make me (as a Japanese-American) want to throw the book across the room, so I recommend it for that reason alone.

Carolynn said...

I wrote an Easter post last week, Regina caeli, laetare about how I view the Easter story positively through a secular lens.

Recently, I have been rereading By Hook or By Crook, by David Crystal; I love histories of the English language, which make me feel like learning every language on the planet!

Cupcakedoll said...

I read Anne Bishop's latest. She remains in fine form writing the kind of thing she writes.

I also discovered, to my horror/hilarity a series that's basically Deathlands written like Left Behind. As in, the main character was a writer of politically charged fiction who, after the apocalypse, becomes the leader of the new civilization and enacts all his political ideas to great acclaim. He also sleeps with many women, is worshipped as a god by some of his followers, and the villains curse him admiringly every other line before he kills them. If I were to read the rest of the series I fully expect I'd find a female villain saying, "While I hate him for destroying my army, that night with him was the best sex I ever had."

I am not going to read the rest. I am amused and alarmed by the blatant, blatant Manly Sue-ing, and hope the author does not own lots of guns, just in case he someday hits his head and slips into his own fantasy. O_o

Alas, most of what I'm writing is homework. Though part of that homework is a paper proving that a They Might Be Giants song is actually a spiritual metaphor, and that's kind of fun. The assignment is to basically take something with no deeper meaning and write a paper arguing that it has a deeper meaning. Why this was assigned in a HISTORY class remains mysterious.

Dav said...

I found this article on whiteness in fantasy, particularly in Game of Thrones, interesting, especially in light of the discussion on casting for The Hunger Games.

Although I'm deducting points for using the word "shrill" to refer to people who are object to Tolkien's racial dynamics.

Will Wildman said...

That's an interesting article, Dav - I'm a bit confused by the way the author seems (to me) to start out by saying 'Here's how the evolution in fantasy racial representation might relate to real-world interactions' and then wraps that all up with 'So it's silly to criticise people for writing racist stuff when they're just reflecting the world around them'. It seemed like it began as analysis and ended up as apologetics.

Dav said...

Yes, the ending is weak-sauce. And I'm a little confused as to how he ascribes "conscientious" to Tolkien and Martin, as though that gives them a total pass for, you know, writing some stuff that is . . . kind of racist?

On the other other hand, I'm happy whenever I see the monolithic whiteness and/or reinforcement of racist tropes in fantasy being called out, especially with its recent rise in public profile.

Oh, oh, in other news:
I have a total internet crush on Ta-Nehisi Coates for this tweet alone:

That "If I were a black kid" bit reminds me of people who say "If I was a slave I woulda rebelled!" Fool, you woulda picked that cotton.

Applies across the board to every privileged person who has fantasies about how they'd handle being unprivileged.

DarcyPennell said...

"Applies across the board to every privileged person who has fantasies about how they'd handle being unprivileged."

Even worse are privileged people who have fantasies about how they would have helped unprivileged people, when they could be allies right now.

Rakka said...

I made a trip to Ireland and bought the Hunger Games to read on the flights and on the bus. Only I read it all the day I bought it. Now I want to read the rest, because hello, consequenses, they exist.

I also read Le Guin's Birthday of the World short story collection, and wondered if people from different backgrounds would react very differently to some of the worlds and stories than I do. It's one of those books that would be interesting to read in a mixed culture group for the discussions.

Sdfsdf said...

I have monster headphones.The monster beats headphones's concept is in the depths of my mind.I listen to music with monster diddybeats everyday life.

Post a Comment