Reading Diaries

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood, vintage books edition, cover artist unknown

WWAC writers and the world of prose


This month has been a blur. What did I read? What is my name? Instead of just talking about what we’ve been reading, I’d like to know about a book that was important to you but on reread, your feelings were different. Did you feel betrayed by the book not being what you remembered or feeling different? Was it still important to you, but in a new way?

War for the Oaks, Emma Bull, cover by Pamela Patrick, Ace Books, 1987Jamie

Only book I’ve had that happen to me with recently is War for the Oaks, and not so much betrayed by the book — I still love it. But its author, Emma Bull, and her connections to certain unfortunate racist and sexist things on the internet in accord with another author. Does that count?

I’m also reading the Living With The Dead trilogy — super quick easy summer reads. Picked them up as samples, went for the first book, and kept going. It’s a little problematic but just what I needed to get my mind off Ferguson. Snarky female narratrix.


Emma Bull was part of racefail, right? I think that definitely counts. Things like that can absolutely sour you on an author and her work, even you’ve decided to try to keep them separate.

What’s the Living With the Dead trilogy? Tell me more! Zombies?

Flip this Zombie (Living with the Dead, Book 2), Jesse Petersen, Orbit, 2011, Hachette Book GroupJamie

Right. And she’s close to W*ll Sh*tt*rly

Yep! Twenty something yuppie woman. Her husband, same age but not out of his adolescence yet. So the pressure is on her once he quits school. She’s paying out of pocket for marriage counseling (which doesn’t speak well of her job) even though they’re both ready to call it quits. These problems get put on the back burner when their counselor is late for their session. When they storm her office to call her out, they discover she, her assistant and the couple scheduled ahead of them are all shamblers. They have to work together to survive and since mundane considerations no longer matter, they fall back in love over the course of the first book. The second book, Flip This Zombie, has them working together to make the best of the sitch by going into business as zombie slayers.


That does sound like a fun read. I do love couples overcoming differences. They just satisfy me in some way, like a nice blanket and a cup of warm milk.

Pirate Cinema, Cory Doctorow, Tor Books, 2012Sarah

I’m currently working on Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow. I read Little Brother last year and this is giving me total deja vu. I mean, it’s good and I like it well enough and it’s interesting, but the protagonist and certain plot points are just really similar. I find myself spacing out a little while reading it, like you do with something you’ve read before.


Sarah, I’ve read both and know what you mean. I read Pirate Cinema first and liked it, then Little Brother felt deja vu, but Homeland was better than I expected. Not earth shattering, but better. It’s kind of how I felt reading the Dan Brown books. The first one was good because you didn’t know the formula.

Margaret Atwood Cover artist	Tad Aronowcz, design; Gail Geltner, collage (first edition, hardback), McLelland & Stewart, 1985Wendy

I went back to one of my highschool english class reads: The Handmaid’s Tale. It was memorable then, but I didn’t truly appreciate it until my recent re-read. Now I’m blown away, both by the story, and by the fact that there were so many serious topics in the book that we simply did not cover in class. What’s the point of having us read such a great book and not delve into the issues it raises? Brave New World is next.


That sounds fantastic, Wendy! I love both those books.


Megan Purdy

Megan Purdy

Publisher of all this. Megan was born in Toronto. She's still there. Philosopher, space vampire, heart of a killer.

One thought on “Reading Diaries

  1. Wendy, I just read The Handmaid’s Tale very recently and found it to be just as relevant today, too. Definitely would have appreciated that being part of our English Lit curriculum in high school!

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