Sunday, August 25, 2013

James Patterson: wants to dine with Angelina Jolie, but only reads dudes

A while ago I excoriated Kevin Powers for his poor showing in the NYTBR column "By the Book." Today's column featured James Patterson. Awesome! After all, he's got a whole series about women - The Women's Murder Club series - so surely we can expect a peek into his reading list to be peppered with inspiring women, right?

Well, let's see how our buddy James did today. Remember, all we're doing is checking to see how many male versus female authors (filmmakers, poets, etc.) are mentioned in the responses to questions like "Whom do you consider the best thriller writers of all time" and "If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be?"

Okay. Counting, counting....ouch!  James, my man, you come in with 25 men and only 3 women - one of whom was Angelina Jolie, who you want to have "dinner" with. (Presumably the conversation would be literary? Or...not?) I'm even spotting you those references to Klee, Chagall and Peter Pan. At least you know slightly more ladies than good old Kevin Powers - 10.7% versus his rather more poor showing of, well, zero percent.

Look, I'm not trying to humiliate any of you guy writers. I mean, my own brother copped to a bias last time, but at least he vowed to be more mindful about his reading choices in the future. That's all I'm asking. Just...think for a minute.

I mean, what if your daughter wants to grow up to work with words? Wouldn't you like her to have a fair shake? I know I would. Speaking of which...

Yesterday, my baby girl started college. Here she is, all moved in to her freshman dorm, and flanked by her loving family. She's going to thrive - and woe to anyone who gets in her way. Littlefield women don't cotton to being told no. :)



Friday, August 9, 2013

My Dad - being smart on TV!

Here is my dad, the rock star law professor, talking about recent Supreme Court decisions.  So proud!!



By the way, I get asked a lot how I get my ideas, how I got interested in Japanese internment, etc.  The answer has at least something to do with growing up in a house where everyone practiced intellectual curiosity - and I'm grateful for that opportunity. Thanks Dad!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I Love You More Every Day, Jennifer Weiner

...and not just because you're a kick-ASS writer and always have been.

I just finished Weiner's latest, and I loved it (got me through a sad family loss, in fact), but that's not what this post is about. The truth is that I am a little shy about rhapsodizing about my favorite authors in venues where they actually might stumble on me fan-girling. I have a mash letter started, to a favorite author who managed to actually change the course of my life with her latest book last spring, but I doubt I'll ever send it - too stalkery somehow, too tongue-tied/abashed/I-feel-thirteen-and-awkward ish.

But we're not talking about writing today. And we're not talking about being brave even when the haters show their ugly, ugly faces, either, even though Weiner should be your hero too for her courage. (Fuck you, Andrew Goldman, as well as anyone who continues to answer every brave woman's demand for respect by implying they're too ugly to invite sexual interest.)  (Oops, sorry, got distracted.)

Today we are talking about Fashion. In what was probably a cheeky response to the recent furor, the NYT Styles section column "What I wore" - which usually features wealthy and stick-thin men and women describing their couture choices for swanning about town - featured Weiner talking about her fashion choices for a week. It may be the first time anyone featured in that column copped to wearing  anything purchased at Lands End or Old Navy. I practically fell out of my airport gate area chair at the conclusion...


"Woke up and threw on Marni peep-toe black leather bootees, Helmut Lang leather leggings, a Catherine Malandrino crocheted tank, a vintage Balmain scarf and my Chanel glazed-calfskin bag.
Ha! I actually wore my old faithful Lands’ End black one-piece, Eileen Fisher light-blue linen tunic and San Diego Hat Company hat for a walk on the beach, a dip in the bay, a swim in the pool, a trip to the post office, writing and then clamming on the beach: 35 clams!"