Book Review – The History of Lesbian Hair by Mary Dugger…

Oh dear Ms. Duggar, this has to be one of the lousiest books that I have ever read! I was looking forward to reading this, as the blurb sings out loud and proud that this book was utterly fabulous and hilarious. The only thing that this book is is really, really shite.
I have never not finished a book and managed to finish this pile of festering dog turds. The author lets rip and belittles various groups of people. She says some terrible things and none of it is accurate or fair.
The book is horribly unfair and inaccurate in many situations. The cracks about Christian kids having to touch their dad’s penis for their birthday – really??? 

Child abuse is not fucking funny under ANY circumstances!!! She also fat shames, body shames and is generally nasty and viscous.
The thing that pissed me off the most is her comment about bisexual girls. She said that “Bisexuality is merely a road trip for straight girls.” What the F***? My bisexuality is no road trip for me. I am very settled with who I am and don’t feel like some judgmental woman who has no clue what and who I am and what I do has the right to break down my sexuality.
I’m only giving this book one star as a negative star rating is not available.   

Book Review – Past Mortems by Carla Valentine.

This book jumped out at me while I was committing the dangerous act of browsing Amazon for new books. I have had a fascination with pathology and it’s associated professions for a long time. Possibly well founded by my 15 years as a nurse.
So I took the leap and purchased this book and boy am I glad that I did!
A day in the life of Carla Valentine – curator, pathology technician and ‘death professional’ – is not your average day. She spent ten years training and working as an Anatomical Pathology Technologist : where the mortuary slab was her desk,and that day’s corpses her task list.
Past Mortems tells Carla’s story of those years, as well as investigating the body alongside our attitudes towards death – shedding light on what the living can learn from the dead and the toll the work can take on the living souls who carry it out. Fascinating and insightful, Past Mortems reveals the truth about what happens when the mortuary doors swing shut or the lid of the coffin closes.
It is really rather easy for me to review this book. I love, love, loved it!!! It was incredibly well written by a very well practised and highly intelligent woman. She reveals to us through her gift for writing as well as working with the dead, all the facts about having to work in the death industry. As an outsider, we do not see the intense pressure that these people have to work under. This book peels back layers, much like an APT gently moving the skin of the face and working to enter the skull to reveal the brain. By gradually doing this, Carla shows all of the facts behind the mystery surrounding the work that is done in mortuaries.
We learn from her, many of the fascinating aspects of her profession, from where she started out to where she is now. However, this book also shows just how brave Carla is as she shares with us some of the most painful moments of her life, revealing both her vulnerability and her strength.
I can’t praise this book enough, I really can’t. If you have even a passing interest in the death industry in any of its forms, I urge you to read this book!
A five out of five star read. Thank you Carla!

Book Review – Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the present day by Peter Ackroyd…

In Queer City Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way – through the story of its gay population. In Roman Londinium the city was dotted with lupanaria (‘wolf dens’ or public pleasure houses), fornices (brothels) and thermiae (hot baths). Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops, monks and missionaries. And so began an endless loop of permissiveness and censure.
Ackroydtakes us right into the hidden history of the city, from the notorious Normans to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth century.
The Second World War turned the role of the upside down, but in the sixties, “Lillie Law” still frequented all the haunts, from the coffee bars of Soho to the notorious Biograph – or Bio-Grope- cinema in Victoria. he seventies brought Gay Liberation and disco music, but then the horror of AIDS arrived, and the of Queer fortune turned yet again
Today we live in an era of her increasing openness and era cane and Queer London has become part of the new norm. Ackroyd tells us the story of how it got there, celebrating its diversity, thrills and energy on the one hand, but reminding us of its. Sry real terrors, dangers and risks on the other.
Peter Ackroyd has written a brilliantly well informed book about gar London from Roman times to the present day. He helps us to see just how very prevelant gay sex was in Roman times and that it went from the very top right the way down to the very bottom of society. To realise that the prevelance of Queer activity within London was as prevelant as it was is a real eye opener. You just never realised how much Queer life is interspaced with the life within the city that is considered as straight. Although I have never understood the desire that people have to rabidly stick labels on themselves. I’m as guilty as the next person. I’ve done it too. I came out as Bisexual a while back. One wonders why we all seem to have this desire to label. Anyway, back to discussing this awesome book. The book starts off with discussing the origins of the words gay and Queer. I absolutely love language and the origin of words and how they develop.
Sodomy was a well used term in the eleventh century but was used as an umbrella term that covers many expressions. Ackroyd has a very well researched subject matter and an excellently worded history for Queer culture throughout the ages. By the end of chapter one, you will never look at a radish the same way ever again!
You realise during chapter two that practices that would be viewed as abhorrent by the vast majority of society today where then freely done and not condemned.
The book moves through the ages extremely easily and shows that homosexuality bore little to no prejudice in Roman times, but as the years go by, it becomes very easy to track the rising patter of prejudice throughout the centuries.
We can see the changes, both negative and positive, and how they have shaped society right up to the present day.
A highly informative and very well written book. A five out of five star read.