A Review of "Men Keep Mancommending Big Books to Me and My Response Is Perfect" By Jessica-Michéle Live-Strong

***Please be aware that the review you might be about to read if you don't get distracted by something else is fiction; the reviewer is fictional, the book being reviewed is fictional. In some instances, the purported author of one of these fictional books is fictional, and in other instances the purported author is a real person, but while the quotes attributed to that real person are probably true in a philosophical or moral sense, that should not be construed by readers as words that were literally spoken by the individuals being mocked in the Forthcoming series.***

Additional note, for clarification: the asterisks that frame the above notice are not some sort of white nationalist or alt-right code, like when the fashies would type a person's name inside of three sets of parentheses to signal to other fashies that the individual being named was Jewish; I'm just using them to get your attention and to separate the disclaimer from the main body of the satirical review that follows . . .

Posted by: Landry

Men Keep Mancommending Big Books to Me and My Response Is Perfect
By Jessica-Michéle Live-Strong
79 pages


For such a long time now, too long if you ask me, men have dominated books. Little did I know they also dominated the discussion and recommendation of books! But that’s exactly Jessica-Michéle Live-Strong’s point in her new book, which is about to be published by our very own Malarkey Books, which is it’s true dominated by men, and it’s called Men Keep Mancommending Big Books to Me and My Response Is Perfect and if you ask me that title is perfect. Mancommending. It’s funny because it’s like she combined the word “man” with the word “recommend” and made a new funny word and I hadn’t seen that before even though it’s apparently ridiculously common.

Jessica-Michéle Live-Strong really digs into the psychological of the situation: “Every time I see a man walking around with a thick book I know what’s really going on. On a superficial level, he’s obviously trying to show off how smart and thoughtful he is: Look at me, I’m reading Dostoevsky! Um, meh. But what’s really going on is he’s using his big book as a substitute for a little dick. It’s worse than a gun complex. More than seven hundred women are killed with a gun every year, just related to domestic abuse, but do you know how many women have books recommended to them every day? The fans of William T. Vollmann are the worst. You know the type. They eat dried cranberries, wear size 34 jeans, and can’t watch a movie if they miss the previews. I had a boyfriend just like that. Total prick. Loved Big Books. Worshipped Vollmann. Was always mancommending Big Books to me and I could never get through them. The cynical among you will say I’m trashing long novels written by men because it’s a way to latch on to t-shirt feminism and use it as an excuse not to have to read the Big and often Boring books that smart people, which I obviously aspire to be, usually read, but the truth is I just don’t want to fluff the dick egos of serious authors.”

Hey serious authors, hey big shot male authors, wakeup call: truth is a dick and Jessica-Michéle Live-Strong is slapping you in the face with it. “Hey guys,” she says, “time to get over yourselves. Nobody’s fooled. Your five-hundred-page tomes won’t compensate for your five-inch Samuel Johnson. Franzen? More like Blandzen. Haven’t read him. David Foster Wallace? I’d rather be locked in a room with Dov Charney and Donald Trump than even touch Infinite Jest. Marcel Proust? Never read him. Everything the reader needs to know about Proust can be summarized in one sentence: I’ve never read him, haven’t even tried, and I’m doing fine.”

It’s not like she’s only attacking male writers because I think that would be sexist but she also goes after some ladies, like Jesse Crispin whom I have to admit I don’t really know who that is but my boss told me who she is and he’s a dude so that’s totally mansplaining. Am I using that word right? She says, “I thought I liked Jessa Crispin, until I read part of an interview she did, in support of Why I’m Not a Feminist, where she said feminists actually do have to read Andrea Dworkin, which cinched it: Crispin’s a sellout, which is a shame because her book is really skinny.”

All and all at the end of the day Men Keep Mancommending Big Books to Me and My Response Is Perfect is a quick read and an important one which it takes on the serious phenomena of mancommending and refudiates it straight on. Women shouldn’t have to experience the misogyny of having men recommend books to them. This is the twenty-first century people! (Shouldn’t it be twentieth, though, since this is 2017? Remember to ask AG later, Landry, and don’t leave this part in.) We should all be feminists because the future is female and this is what a feminist looks like and rest assured because it looks like the future of books is skinny as a Dior model. This is an important issue and Jessica-Michéle Live-Strong spoke up about it so she did her part because by failing to speak out against mancommendation we are normalizing mancommendation because I’m definitely against it and I really recommend this book!

My rating: A+!

Dumbass disclaimer: I shouldn’t have to say that the above review is fictional, that I’m using it as a vehicle to make fun of something, a political figure, society, Simon & Schuster, but the above review is fictional and I’m using it as a vehicle to make fun of something, a political figure, society, Simon & Schuster. While it should be taken seriously, it should not be taken as factual. It should maybe make you think, lead you to some deeper understanding of the world, or at least make you snort against your will in awkward laughter, but please understand that it’s fictional. The book that my fictional intern is describing is fucking fictional. Given the state of the publishing industry and the fading line between reality and parody, I can’t reasonably expect readers to make the distinction between what’s real and what’s tongue-in-cheek, and while it would make part of me happy to know that there’s someone gullible enough to believe the books I’m pretending are forthcoming are real, most of me would just be sad. I’m sad enough already.

©Alan Good 2017