Fever makes me nostalgic

What do you read when you have a cold?

when you feel rotten?

when you are hurting?

Do you turn to the comfortable arms,

of an old friend,

or do you try to escape,

with the new and the light.

Do you seek,

the literary equivalent of,

mac and cheese,

comfortable uncomplicated,

or the restorative power of,

chicken soup,

familiar and old-fashioned,


is spicy and decongestive,

your thing.

I’m interested, tell me.

Since the beginning of the year,

I have read nothing published before 1971,

it wasn’t intentional,

it worked out that way,


it is a good thing.

I find comfort in stories,

both set in,

and written in,

the past.

I particularly enjoy,

the 19 Th and,

early 20 Th century,


I’m not sure,


perhaps it has to do,


the notion of,


of idealism.

So, many changes,

taking place,

new ideas being expounded,

the betterment of mankind,

the forging of individual freedom,






We, today,

reap the benefits of,

and sometimes,

abuse the privileges,

of freedom of expression,

of the right to be who and what we are.

These rights were,


through cracks on the head,


and even,

loss of life.

The pioneers of,


of Asbestos,

of Selma.

There are more recent examples of course,



Tien an men square,


Brave people keep fighting for their rights.

I’m attached to the 19 th and early twentieth century,

probably for the same reason,

I long for card catalogues and courting,

I’m a silly romantic.

But, when I feel rotten or I have a cold,

I want to read about Anne,

or Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth.

Of girlhood in a simpler time,


of girlhood seeking to overcome,


and becoming emancipated,

freethinking women.

I want to read about Emma Goldman,

and the suffragettes.

They all in varying degrees restore,

my faith in the power and resilience,

of the human spirit.

When I’m sick, I get nostalgic,

especially for times,

I haven’t lived through.

Perhaps it is a middle aged thing,

combined with fever.

Don’t hold it against me.

Later girls,


The ones I carry in my head and heart

Weather = Nothing to complain about.

I’m still in a book slump.

Everything I have in my TBR pile is either too serious,

I’m not in a serious kind of a mood,

Or really,


 sort of boring,

 I guess.

So, I thought I would improvise and tell you all about about some of my favourite characters.

Also, if you share my point of view,

 or even better,


perhaps you can share.

OK ,

so off the top of my head:

Holden Caulfield in The Catcher In The Rye.

I know, I know,

 seems like an obvious choice,

 but, hey,

 I always liked him,

 he’s profoundly human in a warts and all, kind of a way.

 Misunderstood and smart ass a winning combination, 

so real .


Harriet, of  Harriet The Spy, again, very human,

 who couldn’t love an eight year old budding spy/writer?

 I read this book when I was well over thirty and I felt and fell  for Harriet,

although sometimes she was a bit of a dweeb,

 aren’t we all,


Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird,

 because he is what I would like to be like,

when I grow up.


 one of the most honourable characters in fiction.

Jo March of  Little Women,

 I love Jo,

 I love everything about Jo, including her name.

She is smart and good and selfless and yet,

sooo much fun, the original tomboy.

She has flaws, but, minor ,compared to her spunk.

Love that girl.

 I like to think today,

 Jo would grow up to be a kickass queer girl.

Sidney Carlton of  A Tale Of Two Cities,

 the man gives his life for the woman he loves.

You know I always thought Dickens’ books were too long,

 a case of being paid by the word.

A Tale Of Two Cities was  just the right lenght.

That character left quite an impression on a fifteen year old.

He really rises to the occasion.

Recently, I read Stone Butch Blues,

it left a big impression.

Jess, the main character is so strong.

She suffers and she perseveres.

A quietly determined and dignified character.

She gets kicked in the face and stands up,

 again and again.

She just wants to live her life.

Not attitude,

 just, the right to be.


For those of you who didn’t read it,

do yourself a favour and do.

Well, those are some of my favourites.

I’m sure I could add many more but, I’m tired.

Later girls


Jane Austen, I love her.

Yes, I know Jane Austen is not a lesbian.

 I suppose also that she is not considered terribly butch.

 I like many authors who could be considered butch in both senses of the word (macho and queer),

 think Hemingway, London and Sarah Schulman.

Deep inside of my romantic heart, I also have a yearning for girl stuff.

I don’t mean Shopaholic and stuff  (although Bridget Jones’s diary is hilarious), I mean classic female Lit.

Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is to me , a magical novel that I never tire of reading.

I discovered it when I was way past an  impressionable age and yet I read it, and I am twelve again. 

My favorite early female novelist is, Jane Austen.

A few years ago my mom and I decided that we would read all of Austen’s novels.

It was by no means a gargantuan task, there are only six Austen novels.

Pride and Prejudice,

Sense and Sensibility,


Mansfield Park,

Northanger Abbey,



The only one I had read was Pride and Prejudice when I was a teenager. I remember thinking it was O.K.

I flew through Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, I loved them.

I liked Mansfield Park. I had a lot of trouble with Emma, I found the heroine extremely annoying.

The one I liked the most was Persuasion, it seemed to me to be a mature woman’s Pride and Prejudice.

I couldn’t make it through Northanger Abbey.

 I can’t stand gothic.

I’ve tried, it just doesn’t work for me.

I don’t like vampires either.

I’m probably in a minority there, as both heterosexual women, as well as lesbians find vampires really sexy.

( One exception a story by Katherine V Forrest about a lesbian vampire on a space ship, that was really hot.)

Back to Austen. I love her work.

 Her novels seem to be about,    not much.

Women looking to marry, going to parties.

Yet,  Austen is an astute observer of her times and has a real eye for illuminating human nature.  

She wrote these novels in the 18 th century and they  are still fresh and insightfull today.

Austen is a quiet pleasure, sunday afternoon under a tree without a care in the world.

I had to learn about those kinds of pleasures before I could enjoy her.

So, for my recent 45 th birthday, I bought myself a copy of Northanger Abbey.

 This edition also includes: Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sandition. Little known or unpublished in her life time works.

My summer project is to read them. I’ll let  you know what I think.

I figure all those rabid Jane Austen fans can’t be wrong. Jane is no fad, she is a classic.

Later girls