Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Non fiction? On My book blog?

A friend of mine on the slowly dying (it's more goth now than it was in its heyday) LiveJournal writes a separate journal under the handle bookfrog. She's as snarky with her reviews as I am, although she generally only goes a paragraph or so.

One of the books she recommended a while back was Literary Hoaxes by the veddy British Melissa Katsoulis. (It's amusing to me, since they Americanized most of the English, but British/Canadianisms still pop up, such as referring to any indigenous tribe as "First Nations people". That, and an entire chapter is devoted to Australia, and books most American readers never heard of in the first place. Because seriously, who reads Australian literature voluntarily?

Now mind you, some of these I was familiar with before reading the book, such as the anti-Semitic pamphlet about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. I also seem to recall reading Go Ask Alice at some point, which is almost as silly as such anti-drug propaganda like Reefer Madness. (Just for the record, other than maybe a beer a month, I don't indulge in drugs. However, I'm also well aware that much of the anti-drug media out there makes William Randolph Hurst seem understated.)

Some of the more recent stuff, though, I can't figure out why the hell I don't recall knowing about. Like J. T. Leroy, the trans hooker with AIDS, who wrote books about it, and inspired Shirley Manson and Billy Corgan, and turned out to be some kind of alter ego of a middle aged housewife. Or   Anthony Godby Johnson, the boy dying of AIDS who befriended Armistead Maupin, but wound up being a fiction created by a middle aged housewife. (This was the basis for his novel The Night Listener, which was made into a Robin Williams movie.

And then there's Marlo Morgan, who more or less made up out of whole cloth a large tribe of Aborigines taking her on walkabout after watching Crocodile Dundee a few too many times. Um, yeah. And the worst part of that one is she didn't get caught until people in Australia actually read the book. Evidently the Americans and the British will swallow anything from Australia whole.

It's a fun, occasionally gossipy read. (The author is more subtle than British tabloids, but yes, there are moments of very dry and droll comments on either the hoaxers or the folks sucked in by the hoax.)

Next up in the TBR pile is either The Broken Blade by Kelly McCullough, The Rapture of the Nerds by Charles Stross, or These Children Who Come at You With Knives by Jim Knipfel. I also have two books on hold at the library that will soon be joining the TBR pile, both of which that are more in the spirit of the title of this blog. One of which said something about a demigod in a town ruled by Hel from the Norse mythology.