What are you reading March 2012?
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I've just started Nightwood (Djuna Barnes). I'm also reading, off-and-on these past couple months, Letourneau's Used Auto Parts (Carolyn Chute) and The Corn Maiden (Joyce Carol Oates).
Oh, yeah, and last night at B&N I just got my copy of Kim Harrison's latest "Rachel Morgan" installment, A Perfect Blood.
I'm a little ways into Intuition and finding it has everything I like: science, medicine, lots of competent women characters, schemers, academia and art. Unfortunately it also has lots of animal experimentation that is quite cringeworthy.
I just read Big Girls Bounce received through a Member Giveaway by author Lulu Dean. A nice collection of essays/short stories and while there is the recurring theme of the challenges of a "Big Girl" (and maybe a few too many references to women eating lot of donuts), the stories have a universality to them that I think could appeal to many women, and a few men, too. Best wishes to this aspiring author.
I've just completed Wideacre by Phillipa Gregory. It rates among the worst books I have ever read. It made me feel sordid and unclean just reading Why I persevered to the end I don't know – maybe just to see how appalling it could be. I'm glad I came to Gregory's later works first. Shun this one!
Oh, and I'm re-reading Middlemarch. One of favourite books ever, even though I studied it as an under-graduate.
Never been much of a Phillipa Gregory fan; I thought The Constant Princess was engaging enough if you didn't know any history. But the reviews on LT overall for Wideacre by offended readers have been so universally awful that I'm tempted to see if the library has it just to see how bad it truly is.
Thanks for info about Intuition. Am looking at The Cookbook Collector, which I read not long ago and trying to remember what it's about. Oh, yah, two sisters, kind of emotional opposites, supposedly inspired by or reminsicent of Sense and Sensibility. Felt that using 9/11 as a kind of pivot point to the plot was a little strained.
I remember feeling my age reading this one; I really am no longer that interested in reading about young women and their romance problems. Any other women of a certain age finding that true?
#9> Much as I am often tempted by poor reviews to see just how bad something is for myself, Wildacre is one I may choose to skip. :)
#8> Nice to see you again, livrecache!
I have about 100 pages left of Intuition, it's on my Nook so it's my gym book. I try to hold myself back from reading it outside the gym because I don't want it to end. How did she manage to get so many sides of an issue into one story? On paper I've started Death Comes to Pemberley and am thinking she's got the continuation of Pride and Prejudice just right. They're just preparing for the ball now, so death has not come. I wonder if I'll like it as much once it becomes a mystery. And speaking of mysteries, my audio book is Wit's End. I think I like Karen Joy Fowler's historical fiction better than her more modern stuff, but I'll reserve judgement for a while longer.
Just finished The Vampire Tapestry on my Kindle. I downloaded as a result of the discussion (Citizenjoyce and marietherese) on last month's thread. Excellent, though among vampire novels Octavia Butler's Fledgling is still my Number One.
Which reminds me that I've got Butler's Dawn shortlisted in a TBR pile.
>7: I have to laugh at your comments about Wideacre. Someone gave it to me a few years ago when I was sick and I would read a bit and then doze off and when I woke I thought I had just dreamed such a bad book. But I, too, kept reading. I kept thinking "there has to be something redeeming here". WRONG, totally wrong.
I finished Intuition. I couldn't stop myself. I wonder if Allegra Goodman was trying to say anything about the Anita Hill - Clarence Thomas trial. I thought it was very well written covering the topic of scientific research from many different sides. My next Nook book is Twenty Years at Hull House by Jane Addams. It's about time I learned something about her.
I've been caught up in a very non-Girlybook for the last 3 weeks, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. It was a great read but heavy going in places. Now I'm ready for something lighter and so am catching up with Falco and Helena in Time to depart by Lindsey Davis. I'm not a great fan of mysteries, but I love the characters and Ancient Roman setting of this series.
>15: I too thought that The Boleyn inheritance was far and away the best of Gregory's Tudor novels.
@ 17, my hat's off to anyone who can read Neal Stephenson. I tried Anathema and 400 pages in nothing had happened. I'm pushing 60, and I just don't have that kind of time anymore.
#18 - oh, I just bought The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks the other day. Won't get to it for a while, but I'm looking forward to it.
I really liked The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, too. Very thought-provoking!
>19, 22: I actually loved Anathem, because the characters and the worldbuilding, especially life in the concent, really grabbed me. I can understand not wanting to keep going if you weren't hooked after 400 pages, nohrt4me2; you gave it a good chance! Cryptonomicon was not as compelling overall, although I did enjoy the different storylines and learned a lot about the Pacific theatre of WWII that I hadn't known. luciente, I read the Baroque trilogy first, and after a couple of false starts, really enjoyed it too. I will probably reread that at some point in the future, but I'm not sure I'll ever go back to Crypto.
Oh, I liked Cryptonomicon very much! I've got Anathem and the Baroque Cycle, but the size is all a bit terrifying.
Back to girly books... Finished All That I Am, and thought it was excellent, about a period of time which seems to be sadly unknown/forgotten. And very well written.
Moving on to Kate Grenville's The Lieutenant, which I'm also finding a great read.
I finished Death Comes to Pemberley and found it very pleasant. Obviously P. D. James found both Mrs. Bennett and her favorite daughter Lydia far from amusing characters. She pretty well dislikes them. I liked the extension of the Pride and Prejudice story line, but didn't like the epilogue which I thought tied up too many loose ends unnecessarily. I especially liked the small ways James found to demonstrate a woman's use of power and the way she showed how power and morality accrued to the luck of being a first born son. Next up is Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss which looks like a beautiful picture book of their story.
Since this group is for readers of books by or about women, I'm going to mention my latest read, The Preservationist, by David Maine. Yes, it's written by a man, but he writes some great female characters. The novel is a retelling of Noah's ark, and Noah's daughter-in-laws are the strong, wise characters who save the day. Noah's wife has her moments too.
Other Joyce, I love that kind of book. It sounds kind of like The Red Tent.
>26 Does anyone who's read Pride and Prejudice like Mrs. Bennett or Lydia?
I just started Death Comes to Pemberley today. I didn't care for the prologue either. For the first 2/3 of it, I was saying to myself, "I've already read this prologue three times—when it was a novel and named Pride and Prejudice." I was just plain relieved when James finally began to throw in some original material. Not nearly enough of it, though, at least for the first 50 pages or so. Unless someone is going to be murdered with the silver or a flower vase or a branch from one of the perfect trees on the estate, I really didn't require so much tedious detail.
But now at last a couple of characters have begun to behave suspiciously, and someone may or may not have been murdered, and the book's now behaving like a proper mystery. I can't summon any interest in the upcoming ball, but I eagerly await a corpse.
#29 - the book flap says he lives in Pakistan, but he's lived all over. From the picture on the back cover, he looks like a bit of a wild man.
#30> I can't summon any interest in the upcoming ball, but I eagerly await a corpse.
LOL! I do have the book on Mt TBR, I am hoping to get around to it at some stage. (Hm, although at the moment, I've got a sneaking suspicion it's on loan to a workmate...)
I don't think of Death Comes to Pemberley as a mystery exactly. There is a mystery and there are unexpected twists and turns, but to me the historical part was what was interesting. Regarding the fact that no-one likes Mrs Bennett or Lydia, I've read some reviews that find them endearing, lively and humorous. I'm not one of those people, I thought maybe I was just being grouchy so I was glad James seemed to share my opinion.
I can't quite say I *like* Mrs. Bennett, but I've always felt pretty much like this -- poor lady was the only one with any thought and care for the future of herself and her brood, even if her methods were rather, um, obnoxious and transparent. :)
I never quite got the desperation of the Bennett's situation. Elizabeth kind of makes it clear in Death Comes to Pemberley that she was going to find someone with money, and as long as she didn't get sidelined by a charming scoundrel like Wickham I think she would have worked something out. The beautiful, perfect, sweet Jane wouldn't have been devious enough to devise herself a good marriage, but she was the perfect woman. Someone would have fallen for her, and I think Elizabeth would have helped her find someone acceptable. Flighty, flirty Lydia, well, now she was pretty much doomed without help - or time to grow out of her flightiness, which James doesn't seem to think she would do. The serious, piano playing sister probably would have got herself a dull, serious man. And they all would have been stuck with mom. However, Phoenix, I know what you mean. Every lump I feel is cancer, every time I'm late with a bill I'm sure I'm going to end up on the corner with a broken shopping cart, and my children, omigod - what will become of them?
By the way, love the idea of the giant Colin Firth portrait in his bathroom.
Not sure anybody can like Mrs. Bennett or Lydia, but Austen places the ultimate blame for the family's misadventures squarely on Mr. Bennett's failings. He hides out in his study and squanders his daughters' inheritance, such as it is, on his own creature comforts, and regrets Jane's and Lizzy's absences largely b/c he views them as a personal shield between him and the rest of the mob.
I think one of the interesting aspects of the book is that it was assumed, even 200 years ago, that both parents must take a hand in raising children, and that fathers were particularly important to their daughters' lives.
I'm loving this P&P conversation, although I don't have much to add. I've had the miniseries on in the background as I organize my rec room in the basement, and it's struck me yet again how frustrating MR. Bennet is ..... I think I dislike him more each time I meet him. Fun and personable, yes, but .....
Anyway, last night I grabbed the top book on my pile of oldest books, and so I'm reading The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler.
I'm reading Twenty Years at Hull House now, and Jane Addams makes it clear how much she adored her father, how moral he was, how intelligent, how well respected. Her mother, well, she had children. Father as king, Mr. Bennett fit right in with that.
> 26 Radioactive sounds like a great book. Adding it to my wishlist now.
Also loving the P&P conversation without much more to add, as you all have covered a lot of ground already. In terms of liking Mrs. Bennett, I have to agree that she's overbearing and ridiculous, which makes her unlikable as a person but it does also make her an amusing character. Can you imagine the book without her?
#14 Funny thing about Wideacre. I had it on my shelf as a TBR for years I think because i'd read something by Gregory that I liked. It is now in a box in the basement where books go that I can't quite seem to part with. In this case it was because I had actually paid for it and never felt compelled to read it. Thanks to the comments here I think I can now put it in the donation box in the garage without any qualms!
Today I was cleaning up a pile of books and Nora Ephron Collected fell into my lap and into my "currently reading" pile. It's a collection of her essays. The intro was excellent, a 1990 essay on celebrity was still relevant, and a 1972 piece on the politics of vaginas I'm happy to report, was mostly dated. Most of its value was as a historical document. Despite the efforts of Rick Santorum and his ilk, American society has made progress.
42, Nickelini, I always thought it would be interesting to start a "vagina library" for posterity. There was that time in the late 1960s/early 1970s when female anatomical language was used for shock value and attention getting.
I remember helping organize a woman's festival in college (would have been about 1975 maybe) and there was some push-pull between the women profs and we students about how graphic it was advisable to be. I suppose the last vestige of that is "The Vagina Monologues," which still shows up on college campuses periodically.
Ah, Senator Santorum. As if we Catholics didn't already look benighted and anti-woman enough ...
Ugh. Death Comes to Pemberley was sooooo disappointing. I was really tempted to quit, but I kept thinking it was bound to get better. My mistake. At least it was a library book and I didn't spend any money on it. But I disliked it so very much that I actually feel bad about A) all the hundreds of still hopeful people on the waiting list after me, and B) the fact that my library system bought quite a few copies of the book.
So I gave it a half-star rating and posted a negative review. And then I felt bad (probably because P. D. James looks so likeable in her jacket photo). Plenty of readers loved it. I swear I read a favorable review in the New York Times… Maybe it was just me…?
No. I just read all the 1-star reviews on Amazon. Now *there's* some writing I can recommend.
Finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but, as a former reporter, I really admired Skloot's careful research and willingness to be open to so many points of view.
I think this book is about the celebration of human imagination in so many forms, from the scientists who grew Henrietta's cells and developed important cures from them, to the healing session Gary Lacks performed to lift exorcise some of the grief from Henrietta's daughter, Deborah.
She also managed to do it all without canonizing or demonizing anyone. As a result, instead of coming away feeling that there were "good guys and bad guys" in the story, but that there are hitches and inequities in the realm of medical experimentation that should concern us all.
#46 I, too, was disappointed in Death comes to Pemberley. Although not a fan of P. D. James's books - it's not a genre I care for - I expect her writing to be good. I found the first section, P&P from the point of view of Meryton's population, quite interesting, the murder section confusing and a bit dull, and the trial part more interesting again but the whole seemed so out of character I wondered why she hadn't just written a separate novel rather than a sequel.
I finished Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss. It's a graphic biography that shows the beauty of science, the magic of discovery, the possibilities of love and the effect one couple can have on the world. I hadn't known that Marie Curie's daughter also won a Nobel Prize and that her granddaughter is also a scientist. Between Marie Curie and Jane Addams this is going to be a month of heroines for me.
Now I've started Wild Dogs by Helen Humhreys. The main character is an undereducated, well read woman who hold a succession of temp type jobs and has a succession of temp type boyfriends. The love of her life was her dog Hawk whom her boyfriend took to the fields and let loose so she has joined a pack of wild dogs and no longer recognizes her old owner. The (as yet unnamed) main character has a new love or has just lost a new love that she got from a small group of people whose dogs have also been given away or lost and become wild. It's an interesting premise, and so far I'm quite enjoying it.
people whose dogs have also been given away or lost and become wild
is this an actual thing that happens? I've never heard of it before. Interesting.
No. Well, dogs can become kind of wild when they run in packs, but I'm thinking this is kind of a symbolic side to the book. I don't really know yet.
I used to live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in a very remote area. Yes, there are wild dogs. Hunters often lose the dogs or abandon them after hunting season. Many of dogs die of disease, starvation, and exposure.
The ones who manage to make it into packs can be much more threatening than wolves, which rarely venture into human territory. Dogs, on the other hand, will come up to houses and pick through garbage and whatnot and can be quite fierce.
52 - 54 - Well, this is all really fascinating to me. I must read this book so I can get in on the discussion. I recently read Black Dogs by Ian McEwan, and there are some scary feral ex-Nazi dogs in it that got me thinking. At heart, I find dogs quite scary, and I guess that's why I'm interested.
For the record, I live in Canada and have never come across feral dogs. Although my daughter and I did see a coyote galumphing up our city street at 10PM one night last week.
I finished and loved Wild Dogs. The dogs are indeed a metaphor for people discarded by the ones they love and the benefits of banding together for survival. It's a wonderful book. I also finished Twenty Years at Hull House and would be willing to vote for Jane Addams for president today. She was a true citizen of the world and a social scientist who was always ready to alter her perceptions and plans depending on new information from the people she assisted. Now I've started another symbolic book, The Tiger's Wife and am liking it even more than I did the first time around. Alas, I'm worried that I may be the only one in my book club Friday who feels that way. I'm also going to start, on Nook, The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti, I think maybe Other Joyce I got the idea of the book from you.
I finished my February early-review copy of The Land of Decoration and I'll be posting a review in the next few days. It's really outstanding, told in a child's narrative voice (like Room) and dealing with a childhood lived in a fundamentalist sect (like Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, though without the lesbian coming-of-age sexuality). An additional similarity to Room is that Judith's bedroom is her "land of decoration" where she believes she can cause her miracles by arranging the toy houses and people she has made from litter, so in a way she is trapped in a "room" just like the mother and son in Room.
That looks good, CurrerBell. I'll have to see if my library has it.
59> It won't be out in here in the States until the beginning of April (according to the cover of my review copy) or at least until March 27 (according to Amazon).
ETA: I have the impression it's already out in the UK, although if it is, I have to assume they're using different printing plates or something, because my review copy had an awful lot of typos. That doesn't affect my rating in any way, of course, because that's to be expected of a pre-publication proof copy.
I've just started Silent in the Sanctuary, the second Lady Julia Grey mystery. Needed some fun fluff, and the first in this series was a delightful romp (if a bit more on the side of romance than mystery at times). Yay! Silly book!
I'm also going to start, on Nook, The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti, I think maybe Other Joyce I got the idea of the book from you.
Yep, that was me. I read it when I thought things were going to get better for women in the US. I wonder what she'd have to say about he most recent developments.
>64: I got that idea from you, too ... and have the book on my shelves. REALLY need to read it.
I've just started The Purity Myth and it is wonderful. Right off the bat she says that there's something wrong with the idea that a moral girl is thought to be a girl who doesn't have sex rather than a girl who is moral. Whether a girl is considered good or bad is based solely on her sexuality not on her personhood. Maybe we need to send this book to all congress people and those running for office. It's not this crazy in Canada, is it Other Joyce?
No, it's not! Thank god. But I'm always afraid of it seeping over the border.
Things do seem to do that, don't they?
I finished my second read of The Tiger's Wife, and I can't see why people hate it so. I guess I'll find out tomorrow. In the morning I'll start Friendly Fallout by Ann Ronald which I gather is a combination of factual history of atomic testing in Nevada with its effects on "downwinders" and fictional accounts of people involved in the testing. There are so many hawks in US politics these days, I think atomic testing will get me just as scared as The Purity Myth is. Now, why would I want that?
I didn't *hate* The Tiger's Wife, I think I was just really disappointed in it.
Still enjoying my romp with Lady Julia Grey.
I liked The Tiger's Wife, but it took me a while to get into it. At first I thought it was kind of slow.
I finished (three-and-a-half stars) Margaret Atwood's I'm Starved for You on my Kindle. I'm pretty sure it's only available in eBook format. I bought it directly from the Kindle Store, but you can get it in various eFormats from Byliner and you can get a free Kindle-for-PC player, though it does require registering for an Amazon account.
Currently reading (Kindle) Mornings in Jenin and just starting (treeware) Adulthood Rites, the second volume of Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy.
I so loved Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy. After that she became, it seemed to me, fatalistic and depressing so that I could take her just a bit at a time. Of course, people would say that the Xenogenesis trilogy show the same ideas, that life involves almost complete compromise of one's basic ideals, but I guess the storyline made it less depressing - at least to me.
I finished The Purity Myth and am tempted to put copies in fundamentalist churches the way bibles are placed in motel rooms. What an excellent discussion of the continuing sexualization of women and girls. Now on to another book, probably also recommended by Other Joyce: The Beauty Bias: the Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law by Deborah L. Rhode. There are so many advantages to this gym I joined - Planet Fitness. Not only is it only $10 a month. Not only am I getting a little fitter and hopefully pushing that dementia thing further away. I have captive time in which I'm forced to read so I can read some of the books I've been putting aside in favor of novels. Life is working out well right now.
I read Swimming by Nicola Keegan, which seems to have had mixed reviews on here. I enjoyed it though. The prose is almost but not quite stream of consciousness in places, and sometimes the literary tricks didn't quite work for me, but overall I enjoyed the narrative voice and the portrait of a troubled young woman who strives for excellent in the pool to escape from family troubles. Although she achieves glory, this is almost glossed over as the real story is of Pip's inner journey, and the novel charts her fall in as much detail as her rise. I think several reviewers wanted the book to end on a high note, but I felt it needed to continue as it did and tell the whole story.
After reading a couple of non-fiction books, I was really up for a novel. I picked up one that's been on my shelves for ages: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
74 - OtherJoyce, sorry, that one wasn't me. I'm not familiar with it, but definitely interested in exploring it.
I'm still reading Accidental Tourist...on a ski vacation and too tired to read more than two pages at a time.
Oh, a ski vacation. Too fun.
I loved The Accidental Tourist. I loved, and count as one of my all time favorite books, Snowflower and the Secret Fan.
I just finished Lord of Misrule and can't imagine it as a prize winner of any sort. It kept me listening to find out what happened but didn't seem profound or moving in any way. Stories that contain female masochism don't do much for me.
My next audiobook is Feminism and Future of Women(14 Lectures on 7 Compact Discs (The Modern Scholar) by Professor Estelle B. Freedman. I loved the last Modern Scholar series I listened to about Chinese economics, I hope this will be as good, though I see it gets only 3 stars on LT.
I just finished "dancer with bruised knees' by Lynne McFall and it was an amazing read! Now starting on 'taming the beast' by Emily Maguire, so far this one seems to be pretty good as well!
>79: thanks for the Snow Flower endorsement, Joyce. It's languished on my shelves for far too long. I'm enjoying it so far.
There's so much to love there, lindsacl. I hope it works for you.
I finished Friendly Fallout 1953 about above ground atomic testing in Nevada in the 1950's and the spread of radiation. Very interesting what people will do in the name of patriotism. Now I need some fiction, so I've started Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York by one of my favorite authors, Marge Piercy.
I was a big Marge Piercy fan back in the 70s and 80s, and haven't read anything by her in years. Thanks for reminding me about her.
I agree, Rebecca, I read her a long time ago, but she seems to have gone right on writing in spite of my lack of notice. I'm glad I found her again.
I read Snow Flower recently and I was much more intrigued by the background than I was by the actual story, but I did enjoy reading it.
> 74 Glad to hear that things are going so well for you! :)
I'm not reading much of anything lately (too much work), but I'm glad to live vicariously through you all :) The more people are recommending and talking about The Purity Myth, the more I am thinking I might want to read it after all.
Do it, sweetiegherkin. The Purity Myth is a quick read in which Valenti expresses herself brilliantly.
A quick bit of information from The Beauty Bias - 90% of formerly obese people who have lost weight say they would rather go blind than gain the weight back. Is that frightening or what?
Reading Mudwoman by JCO. I'm 100 pages into it, the jury's still out on it.
90> Oooh, I just got that last night. Maybe I'll get started right away, since I just finished the new Ally Carter "Gallagher Girls" book on my Kindle.
>87, I'll add it to the list but who knows when I'll get to it. My TBR pile is always growing much faster than I have time to read.
>88, that is pretty scary.
I finished and reviewed Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York and have to say, it was rather depressing. In the last half of the 19th century women were fighting for freedom, political, sexual, financial, personal, and people like Anthony Comstock - a pre incarnation of Rick Perry- were fighting to keep them quiet, chaste and obedient. Sound familiar? How can we still be fighting these same battles? I'm about half way through Venus Envy and think this is the last book I'll be reading by Rita Mae Brown. The mother in the book is the queen bitch of the world, her brother's wife is the princess bitch of the world. Her father, sweet man, is just too weak to stand up to her mother;s evil machinations. Her brother, gorgeous guy that he is, has been so damaged by his mother that he can't stand up to his evil wife's machinations. He's an alcoholic who damages property and lives, but he's oh so lovable. Brown may be a lesbian, but I don't think she has much respect for women. And she does go on with her southern democrat anti-tax ranting.
I've started Egalia's Daughters: A Satire of the Sexes by Gerd Bratenberg which is set in a fictional country in which women, or rather wim, rule and men, or rather menwim, stay at home with the children. It's interesting and was probably quite shocking when it was written in 1977.
Speaking of Rita Mae Brown, I reread part of Rubyfruit Jungle for the first time in decades, and found it more mean-spirited than funny. Odd how your perspective changes. Even more odd how Brown could ever have been part of the Redstockings.
I'm sure Egalia's Daughters still has the power to shock. I mean, "peeho"? PEEHO?!
Having quite the girly books month!
Finished The Beekeeper's Apprentice and it was a good romp. Then onto P.D. James' Death Comes to Pemberley which was certainly no Jane Austen in sparkling wit (although a good cheeky opening), and was surprisingly plodding.
Now I'm reading Natasha, a biography of Natalie Wood by Suzanne Finstad, with Essential Dykes to Watch Out For as silly reading.
>94, Yeah, peeho. I wonder what the word is in Norwegian and if it was as perfectly descriptive. Feminist writing in the 70's and 80's was pretty exceptional.
I'm in the middle of, and very much enjoying, To the is-land by Janet Frame. I've only read her novels before so it is interesting to read her autobiography and see how her life informed her fiction.
I just read the birth scene in Egalia's Daughters. Oh my! As a former labor and delivery nurse I love to read birth scenes and am disappointed with most. No matter how screwed up society is in Egalia, they know how to birth - mother lead, music, absolute quiet except for whatever the mother wants to express, she pulls the baby onto her chest. Perfect, perfect - except for the 3 day bender that follows.
I'm just starting Elizabeth Taylor's fourth novel, A Wreath of Roses. She's one of my favorite authors, and it's been a while since I read one of her books, so just reading the first few pages put me in a good mood!
And that the mother hands the baby entirely over to the "menwim," CitizenJoyce. That proverb everyone repeats about child rearing in Egalia-- "the menwim gives the child to the wim and the wim gives it back"-- I assume it's a play on some common Norwegian saying?
Elizabeth Taylor's Angel is one of my favorite books of all time. It's been a few years-- maybe time for a re-read.
>102 So where's a good Noregian when you need one? I do imagine a bit has been lost in translation.
I finished Venus Envy and agree, Sistersapphist, that mean spirited is the right term for it. I did enjoy the chapter on Greek gods and goddesses, though it was rather embarrassing to read it on the elliptical at the gym. Aside from the fact that Juno comes off as the queen bitch of the heavens, the rest was quite engaging. Now I'm about to start Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart. I keep hearing good things about it.
Sakerfalcon, hm, I hadn't thought of that, but you're right. So far, though Egalia's Daughters is set in one land in one time, but there are overlaps in the adventuring women of The Female Man and the seawom of Egalia. I know there was a male love robot in Female Man, but I can't remember if women needed men to reproduce. They certainly do in Egalia, and that makes for the basis of the gender divisions and discrimination. I do have a little problem with Egalia's women working shirtless, would work for small breasted women, but not for those of us who have a few pounds of weight to carry around on our chests.
Just started reading Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan -- which was just long listed for the Orange Prize for fiction. I'm enjoying it thus far...
Just finished, at long last, Mornings in Jenin, motivated in part by the fact that the annual Playgrounds for Palestine dinner is tomorrow night. I gave it four-and-a-half rather than five only because, as a literary matter, I thought the switches in narrative viewpoints, although sometimes justified, also were sometimes unnecessary, and unnecessary switches can cause a little bit of reader confusion. And I do want to do a reread of A Girl Made of Dust, which isn't terribly long.
I'm also planning a badly needed reread of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit in preparation for reading Winterson's new memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?.
But first off, for sinful pleasures I've got Stacia Kane's most recent, Sacrificial Magic, on my Kindle.
Starting Singled Out: How Two Million British Women Survived without Men after the First World War, which matches well with the book currently on my Nook for reading at the gym--Maisie Dobbs.
#109 - oh, I just ordered that from the Book Depository. Sounds interesting.
Moving through Great House; was utterly hooked on the first "All Rise" segment (who knew a desk could be so fascinating!?), but not sure about whether the disjointed narrative (gradually coming together now) is an effective story-telling technique or just an affected way of making the novel seem more "creative" than it really is.
But I'm reserving judgment until the end.
Begs comparisons with Annie Proulx's Accordion Crimes, which followed the lives of various owners of an accordion, but was told in a more chronologically.
I have just a few more pages of Egalia's Daughters left, but I had to stop and share this description of the annual Menstruation Games:
At the front were two big, dark red banners, symbolizing menstrual blood, then came the musicians - a band composed of twenty pregnant wim playing a victory march, followed by a troop of fifteen more wim waving blood towels of various colours, throwing them up into the air and catching them, juggling with them -- at least five at once -- in time with the music. At the tail end came the menwim, with children in their arms or holding them by the hand. When the pregnant brass-players had finished their march, the menwim began singing the 'Hymn to the Life-force', which was about the pregnant daughters of the motherland.
Now, Egalia is not an egalitarian state, and the menwim are oppressed, but damn, the wim know how to celebrate being wim!
I am almost finished the book the Bitchographies by Vivienne Vuitton and I will be completely honest, my girlfriend suggested that I pick up a book to which I really wasn't too interested due to the overwhelming life I lead! Well, I saw the cover, the title and I couldn't resist . Once I read the introduction I was hooked! It is a great read full of wit, humour with a healthy dose of cattiness. Be warned this isn't for anyone that gets offended quickly or easily! I love how she puts an advisory warning on some chapters. I am having problems putting this book down and must have re-read several chapters over and over again specifically: Wtf facebook, Dating Redefined, The Melted Barbie and Get a Clue, I clearly don't like you.
This book is such an easy read... It's entertaining and I am really hoping that there is a sequel in the works! I am loving it and can now proclaim that I am a Vuitton Junkie
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