Goodbye, October

October was a really good month for us and most of it was due to Adam's LGBT reading event, The Literary Others. It was the best introduction to LGBT literature we could have hoped for. We got a list of books we can't wait to read. (Who doesn't love a good list?) We revisited some old favorites (Death in Venice and Angels in America). We discovered two excellent writers (Isherwood and Baldwin) and organized our first giveaway. We met great people and found some awesome new-to-us blogs. Oh yes, and we read and reviewed these books:

We'd like to thank Adam for organizing this event. We knew it was going to be great, but it really exceeded all our expectations. Towards the middle of this month, this event also took on a personal significance for one of us. So, Adam, thank you!

In different news, our tumblr project, Reader Shaming, took off nicely, thanks to Book Riot. Make sure to visit it and see all the new submissions and send your own. It warms our hearts to see how much we have in common with other readers. (We also may or may not have a happy dance routine for every submission, but the less said about that the better.)

Sample from Reader Shaming

So do we, and that's pretty much what we plan to do this November.

Review: The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault

I normally wouldn't discuss philosophy books here - and Foucault's histories are philosophy, regardless of their titles - but I read this one for The Literary Others event and I had to have something to show for it. But since we're talking of three volumes here, and we can assume both my time and your patience to be finite, I am just going to briefly outline some of the main ideas in this work and then say a little something about the style and readability of each volume, in case you decide to read them.

First, of all The History of Sexuality was supposed to be a six-volume work, but Foucault died with only three volumes published and a fourth almost completed (it hasn't been published to this day). His initial plan seems to have been to show that sexuality is socially and historically determined and tied up with power dynamics, in volume 1, and then write the history of modern sexuality from the 17th century onwards. But then this plan changed to comparing sexuality in the Greek and Roman antiquity with sexuality in the Christian tradition, as a better way to illustrate his point. He only got to work on one side of this comparison: in volumes 2 and 3 he explored the role of sex in the Greek and Roman antiquity, highlighting some elements that seem very familiar to the Christian culture as we know it, but that had very different functions in their historical context. So what are the three ideas that I took away from these books?