Reading Roundup

Since our internet has been spotty and probably will be until Comcast comes to do something about it tomorrow, I’ve been reading a lot. Catching up on my reading, even, since I can’t work during the day like I normally would. And a note about Comcast, while we’re at it: I strongly dislike their stranglehold monopoly on high speed internet services on the Island. I’ve been using ATT for years, because I like having a direct connection to the NSA, and when I transferred my phone service down here, I assumed I could transfer the internet, too. Mais non. Only Comcast provides high speed internet here, and Comcast charges $70 a month for it. Which seems grossly unfair. The ATT technician who came to test the line yesterday agreed. I mean, maybe because he works for ATT. But I think it’s highly silly that in a city as well connected as San Francisco, we would have such trouble choosing an alternative provider of high speed intertubes access.

So books. Right now, I’m reading The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry and it’s really rather good. The book is broken up into a loose chronological order, and a series of interviews unfolds to tell the story of the porn industry, from the Nudie Cuties of the 1950s to today. Right now I’m reading about John Holmes and Wonderland Avenue. The book is very revealing, and also very sad. I sort of feel like it’s a chronicle of all these broken lives and sorrows, and it’s a little bit difficult to read sometimes. But good. I’m fascinated by porn, and I love reading about the roots of the industry. I just hope they have a second volume to discuss the history and explosion of the internet’s relationship to the porn industry.

I also just finished reading Carrie’s Story, which one of the housemates is now borrowing from me, and Safeword. The books have caused a bit of a stir around here because the author is a little older, not as active in the BDSM community as one might surmise from the books, and Carrie’s Story is set in San Francisco, although you don’t see too much of the City in the book. By the way, I would not advise reading either of these books on MUNI unless you are a very, very secure person. Which I am, sort of, but it made me a little edgy when the people around me kept peering at the book, realizing what I was reading, and then looking away again.

The books were an intriguing adventure into fantasyland. I have a hard time believing that a world like the one she describes actually exists, although the idea fascinates me. But I rather enjoyed the romp into a world of imagination, where the rules change and people change with them. Both books are extremely explicit and Safeword has quite the focus on anal sex, so if you’re not into that kind of thing I wouldn’t recommend them. But if you want Anne Roquelaire with a plot, and way sexier, you might want to consider picking these books up and taking a peek. I’m not sure I could ever reach the depths of surrender that Carrie does, but it’s nice to imagine, for a moment, that I could.

I also recently finished American Gods, which was quite a fun romp. I’ve read all the Sandman comics, but I hadn’t read any of Gaiman’s other work before, and I enjoyed his writing style, his characters, and his sense of plot. The concept of the book was also one close to my heart—that we’ve brought all these gods and traditions into the United States and then more or less forgotten them, leaving them to be set adrift in the New World. Our adoption, as a culture, of certain religious aspects of other cultures and not others, bothers me deeply. I feel like we suffer by not respecting the cultures we rob more, and that the gods suffer as well.

Loki appears to be stuck in the upstairs toilet again, by the sound of things. I’d better get on that.