Passing the Bechdel test

Thank you to everyone for their patience and forbearance with Charlie and Captain. We had a vegetarian feast, Prosecco and a clothes swap. (We’ve still got a bundle so I’ll bring them next time if Ebb is okay with that?) Ethnography in Manhattan’s elite was a good topic but there seemed to be reservations about the author’s presentation.

Whose is the pink plate? It’s safe but lonely.Alison Bechdel: Fun Home

The group selected Alison Bechdel’s memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. It has been a while since we’ve done a graphic novel. I heard a review of the Broadway run of its musical adaptation and was intrigued by the source. (Alison Bechdel came up with the Bechdel rule.)

A close second was Tina Fey’s Bossypants; also a memoir. It’s stunningly funny on the page and her audiobook recording is enchanting (the kind of listen that makes you want to extend your drive to Gateshead when you’d only planned to go to St Neots). It could have been a contender for best title from bookclub but we went another way.

The other options were

  • The Alphabet by David Sacks – the story behind the alphabet from A to Z, across 40 centuries. That makes it sound dull which is unfair. David Crystal/Simon Singh readability. (With pictures.)
  • The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W.E Bowman. This was recently picked on Radio 4’s A Good Read by Emma Kennedy where it was compared to Three Men In A Boat or Catch 22: old favourites. (Picture plates with fantastical moustaches.)
  • From Me to You: Love Poems from U.A Fanthorpe and R.V. Bailey. I was drawn to this collection after coming across Atlas in a magazine. (Smattering of drawings.)
  • The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy which I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read. This article nudged me into buying it and it’s sat on my shelf untouched. However, I picked it up after the last full-stop and lost 20 minutes with a daft grin on my face. (Just text: supply your own pictures.)

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