Tag Archives: books

The Girl Without the Harry Potter Tattoo

If Cristin could be described in one word, it would be: enthusiast. If you were allowed to use more than one word, you might choose or combine from a long list that includes writer, bookseller, and sales rep. She has some opinions she would like to share with you. Please note the proper spelling of her first name.
Latest posts by Cristin (see all)

Dear Harry Potter Tattoo I No Longer Plan to Get,

Didn’t we almost have it all.

You were meant to be tiny but I had big plans for you: featured player in at least a dozen Instagram stories within week 1; avoiding for as long as possible the phone call to my dad where I’d retract 18-year-old Cristin’s promise to Never Get Another One; a life lived on my left forearm a respectful distance away from my (existing) Shel Silverstein tattoo. I can picture it perfectly even though I can’t picture you; I never decided between the stylized minimalist snitch, the classic lightning bolt scar/ glasses combo, the deathly hallows, the sorting hat, or any still-unmasked dark horse contestant that had yet to grace my Pinterest feed. I should thank my design indecision for your absence–I wavered right up to the pandemic quarantine, where I couldn’t have gotten a tattoo if I wanted it, even if I had decided on a design, even if J.K. Rowling hadn’t imploded, forfeiting her place on a ton of readers’ mental bookshelf of heroes and teaching me that permanent icon status doesn’t exist, at least not outside of Joan Didion. We can all still agree on Joan Didion, thank god. Somehow I still don’t see Later I Forgot or You Sit Down To Dinner and Life As You Know It Ends quote art taking over for Always or I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good on anyone’s tattoo power rankings any time soon.

We can likely expect a tattoo baby boom post-pandemic, both from all of the tattoos not gotten in quarantine (I still can’t believe that the women of this world were asked to deal with RBG’s death without immediate and abundant access to dissent collar tattoos) plus all the mulling-over time we’ve all had at home. There was newfound free time to devote to things like tattoo selection, and things like tattoo selection to allow us to think about permanence, if it even exists, without looking at the concept head-on and punching a one-way ticket to an existential crisis. After a year in a world that bares absolutely no resemblance to its predecessor, the one we thought was indelible and enduring and were categorically wrong about, I can’t think about permanence without feeling like I’m staring into the sun or holding my hand too close to the stove. I can only look at permanence sideways, through philosophical scrims like body art and Sharpies and bad credit histories.

I’m still working through my feelings on Rowling, hoping to talk myself into believing that the books are each of ours as much as they are hers, which would allow me to keep a pensieve’s worth of happy memories and associations that would be a fantastic consolation prize for Tattoos Never Gotten like yourself. Maybe there are places I can go for help, support groups filled with people who still have framed Woody Allen movie posters and who like the Weinstein seasons of Project Runway better than the recent iterations. Maybe in these groups I’ll come to grips with having lost something that I wanted to stay a permanent part of me, something much bigger than just the idea of a someday tattoo.

There’s no sign of you on me, and there won’t be, but I’m left with plenty of Potter inked on my insides, in my personal permanent collection. I’m also left with a vacancy in the spot you surrendered. Tell Frog & Toad they’ll be hearing from me.

Take care, and I’m sure I’ll see you on a BuzzFeed list soon.

SportsAlcohol.com Contributor In the Wild: Sara at Books Are Magic

There are contrarians, there are iconoclasts, and then there is SportsAlcohol.com co-founder Marisa. A contraiclast? Her favorite Springsteen album came out this century, so she is basically a controversy machine.

Also, she is totally not a dude!

If you’re a regular listener to our podcast, you’ll know Sara as SportsAlcohol.com’s voice of reason.

But did you know she’s also a brilliant writer? She is, and you should definitely buy her book of short stories, Better Times. And, if you want to do it in person, and perhaps say a friendly hello, you can do so at Books Are Magic in Brooklyn on Friday, August 31. There, she’ll be in conversation with Marie-Helene Bertino (of 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas fame), another amazing author we somehow haven’t coerced into appearing on our podcast yet. These are two forces to be reckoned with, so it’s going to be a good one! The event is free, but you should RSVP on the store’s Facebook page.

And while I’m plugging the books of our current, recent, and maybe-one-day-will-be contributors, our vampire-expert Maggie has a book out, too! (Sorry, Maggie, I should’ve done a post for your reading, too—I totally dropped the ball.) Her novel, The Last Best Story is influenced by whip-smart screwball comedies like His Girl Friday and The Libeled Lady. You know that’s your jam, so pick up the book!

King Kong Week!

SportsAlcohol.com cofounder Nathaniel moved to Brooklyn, as you do. His hobbies include cutting up rhubarb and laying down. His favorite things are the band Moon Hooch and custard from Shake Shack. Old ladies love his hair.

Hail the power of King Kong week on SportsAlcohol.com! If you’re looking for Kong coverage, we’ve got:

…a King Kong primer for the uninitiated.

…a list of all of Kong’s movie opponents.

…a look at Kong’s creator Merian C. Cooper and his connection with non-Kong protagonist Carl Denham.

…a rundown of the expanded Kong mythos in Joe DeVito’s Skull Island series.

…a tag-team review of Korean baseball-playing gorilla movie, Mr. Go.

…a tour of the many full-sized King Kongs throughout the years.

Kong: Pulp Fiction

SportsAlcohol.com cofounder Nathaniel moved to Brooklyn, as you do. His hobbies include cutting up rhubarb and laying down. His favorite things are the band Moon Hooch and custard from Shake Shack. Old ladies love his hair.

Friends, we’ve talked about the sequels and knock-offs of King Kong. And you can probably guess how excited we are to see Kong: Skull Island when it opens this weekend. But I’m here today to talk about a world of new King Kong stories you can read right now! I’m talking about the work of Joe Devito, Brad Strickland, and Will Murray chronicling the authorized history of “King Kong of Skull Island.” Continue reading Kong: Pulp Fiction

Reading in the #YesAllWomen Year and the Best Fiction of 2014

Sara is big into reading and writing fiction like it's her job, because it is. That doesn't mean she isn't real as it gets. She loves real stuff like polka dots, indie rock, and underground fight clubs. I may have made some of that up. I don't know her that well. You can tell she didn't just write this in the third person because if she had written it there would have been less suspect sentence construction.

This was a challenging year for many reasons. But it was also a year where many of us rose to those challenges, shaking off our complacency and examining our biases to become better cultural participants. Or at least more aware ones. Which is partly what made reading so exciting this year. Inspired by the still disappointing VIDA numbers, which track gender representation in print media and review outlets, 2014 became, for many, the year of reading women. At a time when the question of likability is still on everyone’s tongues, I was struck more than ever by the risks so many female authors are taking, which may be why so many of them made my final list. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good year for the men too, particularly those making their debuts with big sweeping books of America, as a place and a concept. But ultimately what made reading in 2014 such a pleasure was the sheer variety of stories begin told. So without further ado, here are my five best fiction books for the year:
Continue reading Reading in the #YesAllWomen Year and the Best Fiction of 2014