I don't normally like to 'review' things. Who gives a fuck about my opinion, right? However I have read a bunch of awesome stuff recently that I want to share with the world. And by "world" I mean the four or five people that read this blog. So, yeah, let's not call this a 'review' post but like... a 'recommendation' post. Or something.
#1 Coloring Outside the Lines by Aimee Cooper
This is Aimee's memoir of her time in the LA punk scene of the early 80s. She wasn't in a band or famous or anything, but she was part of TC (The Connected). TC was a group of punk kids that formed a pseudo-family and all lived together (If you've seen the movie Suburbia, apparently TR (The Rejected) were based on TC). The book takes place in a period of around eighteen months and is a great read if you're into that era of punk. Or just punk in general. It was bizarre reading her talk about hanging out with famous punk bands so nonchalantly. Like at one point she has a dinner party with Black Flag and bemoans Henry Rollins' lack of manners. I imagine a dinner party with current Henry Rollins would be a lot more enjoyable than the miserable bastard he was back then.
I have been chatting to Aimee via e-mail since reading her book and she's wicked lovely so go buy a copy right now!
#2 Molotov Hearts by Chris Eng
Another book about punk rock. This time not a memoir but a fictional story inspired by Chris Eng's life as a punk kid. It follows the story of high school student Jenn McNabb as she gets involved in her town's punk scene, much to the chagrin of her uptight mother. It was especially interesting to read this story in contrast to Coloring Outside the Lines because it is essentially about a group of punk kids that form a pseudo-family and all live together... Except it takes place in Canada, and in 2012 rather than 1982. It goes to show that even 30 years after punk supposedly died, it didn't really. And I don't think it ever will (but that is another rant for another post).
This is Chris' first novel which he self published (which in itself is pretty fucking punk). Details of how to purchase a copy can be found on his website hoodieripper.com. Those of you that own a copy of Paper & Ink zine may remember his awesome short story 'Questioningly' which I featured in the inaugural issue (and also features one of the characters from Molotov Hearts). And if you don't own a copy of Paper & Ink, why the fuck not?!?
#3 Dear You: Letters to Lost Friends (A Compilation Zine) edited by Janell Hoong
This is one of my favourite zines that I have ever read. It is such a simple yet fantastic idea; A compilation of letters that people have written to long lost friends. The letters all differ greatly from one another but are each as moving and special in their own ways. Content aside, the design and layout of the zine is absolutely beautiful.
As soon as I began reading it I knew exactly who I would want to write a letter to. It turned out that I was in luck as there was a call for submissions for a second volume. I wrote my letter before I'd even finished reading the zine. Volume 2 went into print at the beginning of this month so I will soon find out whether or not my letter made the cut. I am not too sure if there are any copies of Volume 1 left, but Volume 2 can be purchased from Janell's Etsy store.