Adventures in Reading July 6 — July 12, 2015

Photo property of Tin House

Photo property of Tin House

Tin House: Rejection (Vol. 16, #3) (Spring 2015). In this issue of Tin House, the authors deal with rejection, whether it’s a James Patterson whine-fest about how people should stop giving him shit, Ernest Hemingway bitching about a fellow writer, Paul Beatty’s black character going to the Supreme Court because he engaged in modern-day slavery, or Nancy Reisman’s character taking advantage of a doting older man before rejecting him. The poetry was not as strong and succinct as it has been in other issues, but most of the fiction and non-fiction were excellent, especially Liz Ziemska’s “The Mushroom Queen.” Overall, this is a good issue.

The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating by Kiera Van Gelder (2010). The author of this book, Kiera Van Gelder, was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) when she was in her early 30s, and this book documents her journey from initial diagnosis through therapy, counseling, and advocacy to when she’s finally at a more or less good place. It doesn’t have a neat little ending, and it doesn’t claim she’s cured. It’s as honest and hopeful as it can be, and I respect the author for telling her story. Caution: chapter 17 is a difficult chapter to read.

American Vampire, Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder and Stephen King and illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque (2010). This first volume introduces Skinner Sweet, a 1880s desperado turned first-ever American vampire. He’s crass, creepy, and has a hell of a sweet tooth, and he’s all about getting revenge and fucking shit up. He also takes the time to turn Pearl Jones, a sweet Midwesterner girl trying to turn Hollywood star – until she’s tricked into attending a vampire-only party that ends with her attacked and sucked almost bone dry. It’s an incredibly dumb story with really good art, and the plot and blocking is completely messed up, but I really enjoy it. It’s going to be a guilty pleasure of mine, I can tell.

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