Hey all! I was in the hospital for a week, then recovering with the bed curtains drawn and my phone off for another week. I am feeling MUCH better, with the help of kind friends and family, a whole bunch of pharmacological drugs, and, of course, books. Here were my hospital reads, keeping me amused in the long, long hours at the ward between art therapy and chair yoga:
S.E Diemer and Jennifer Diemer, several years ago, embarked on a very ambitious project---two short sapphic stories a week, with magic and myth and just a little glitter in. They have been collected in Project Unicorn, Volume 1 and Project Unicorn, Volume 2. Here there be monsters, ghosts, aliens, fairies, angels--such an amazing variety, with someone for everyone, and, mostly, happy endings. They were the hope and happiness I was reaching toward in recovery, and I'm always devouring their new works, but happy to return to their old ones.
My darling girlfriend carted all four volumes of the Rookie Yearbook across Prospect Park so I'd always have something bright, colorful, and inspiring to look at. A fan from all the way back to the days of Style Rookie, the Rookie Yearbooks, edited by Tavi Gevinson, are the collections I wish I'd had as a teen and preteen--the guides to beating your own drum in a marching band of amazing weirdos, artists, creators and activists. Not to mention the stickers (too precious to use), records, crowns, cut-outs--there is SO much material even I didn't get a chance to read it all!
As a longtime member of the Something Awful forums, I did, actually for real, know about Welcome to Night Vale before it broke the internet. I listened to ten episodes in a row and fell in love with the bizarre, dangerous, ultimately lovable universe full of government conspiracies, dangerous creatures, and a sweet love story. And by the way--I've met Dylan Marron (because NeoFuturists) and Jasika Nicole (because A-Camp), and they are the sweetest ever. The otherworldly atmosphere suited the strange world of the ward, and I adored the behind-the-scenes commentary on each episode, and the chance to read the scripts for the live shows. The scripts are collected in Mostly Void, Partially Stars and The Great Flowing Coils of the Universe.
Taking it all the way back to the late oughts, the Chicks with Sticks series, written by Elizabeth Lenhard, has the fashion--and the politics--of the late Oughts, but an energy and creativity that can satisfy even a modern YA reader. Planning a trip to Chicago after camp, I was so happy to read a series that brought it alive in quirky, artsy glory. Lovable, realistic characters, a ton of crafty porn, and ridiculous but fun experiences kept me smiling as I counted down the days towards home.