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Showing posts from April, 2016

Weekend reads and reading this weekend...

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This weekend I'm reading The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell, a charming novel about the only living descendant of the Brontës.

Samantha, in her 20s, is at Oxford to study postmodern literature when she gets sucked into exploring her family's famous past. Sam is snarky and funny, and I'm having a little vicarious escape imagining myself studying at Oxford. (This book also has me pondering genre and publishing trends; I'm curious as to why this book isn't considered New Adult since it seems to have all the hallmarks of the genre. Anyway...)

I'm off to New York City tomorrow to meet up with my brother, who is there for a few days for work. We're hoping to get to a few toddler-friendly sites there -- maybe the zoo and the Brooklyn Children's Museum -- and I'm sure we'll work one literary stop in as well. If you have any recommendations for kid-friendly stops and/or great restaurants, let me know!

What are you reading this weekend?

Book Review: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

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Title:Sleeping Giants
Author: Sylvain Neuvel

First line: It was my eleventh birthday.

Review: I tend to manage about one sci-fi-ish novel a year; I'd been so desperately excited for this one and was thrilled when I landed a review copy.

In the end, this wasn't the oh-my-god-whaaaat?! story I'd hoped for, but it was an entertaining, light sci-fi/speculative-ish read that was quick, easy, and fun to consume over the weekend.

The premise is pretty simple: a young girl discovers a giant metal hand buried in the earth, and eleven years later, finds herself the head of the scientific team charged with unlocking the secrets of this massive, mysterious artifact. Unsurprisingly, figuring it out is more than just quiet research in a lab, and the search for answers spans the planet and causes international drama.

The story unfolds through "found documents" -- interview transcripts, articles, communiques, that kind of thing -- and through this we learn not just about the stran…

Book Review: The Jane and Bertha in Me by Rita Maria Martinez

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Title:The Jane and Bertha in Me
Author: Rita Maria Martinez

First line: If I could, I’d save you., from "Letter to Bertha"

Review: In my ongoing (but entirely accidental) Year of Eyre, this collection of poetry fits perfectly. It has a fierce, unapologetic, and wildly imaginative nature, mixing feminist critique and pop culture with an unabashed love for Charlotte Bronte and her classic novel.

In this book, Martinez evokes the multitudes of Janes and Berthas that exist now: Janes that are heroines and Janes that are doormats; Berthas who are misunderstood and Berthas who need major therapy and meds. Undoubtedly, one can find a Jane or Bertha in this collection that echoes the woman one sees in the novel; the others will challenge and provoke (and undoubtedly polarize), and it's this edgy, reckless collage of personalities that I found most enjoyable.

There are more than 35 poems, divided into three sections. Some take on the "legacy" of beloved authors, like in …

Weekend reads and sunny days...

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It is supposed to be 80 degrees today. Bring. It. On.

I'm heavy in the throes of a book hangover, having just finished Lindsay Faye's deliciously delightful Jane Steele. So good. I'll be squeeing about it soon. (You might not be able to get me to shut up about it, frankly...!)

This weekend, I'm continuing my accidental Year of Jane Eyre with The Jane and Bertha in Me, a volume of poetry by Rita Maria Martinez that explores the women of Jane Eyre. Very fun so far, especially the snarky, anti-Rochester ones.

In addition to reading, I'm hoping to get a little writing in. For Mother's Day, my wife got me a life coach, so I'm going to have some help developing a regular, sustaining writing practice. I'm so excited and grateful, and have been returning to my regular tarot readings, too, to help me center myself. (I'm honored that Carolyn of Rosemary and Reading Glasses offered her Poetry Concierge services, and she provided a poetry recommendation to hel…

Book Review: Clarina Nichols by Diane Eickhoff

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Title:Clarina Nichols
Author: Diane Eickhoff

First line: On the morning of July 18, 1868, a train carrying the most famous man in American pulled into the frontier town of Manhattan, Kansas.

Review: Earlier in March, I finished Eva Flynn's fabulous historical novel, The Renegade Queen, about Victoria Woodhull, a woman I knew only as the first woman to run for president. (She was so much more! Someday I'll get to that review!)

Following that read was this Young Adult biography about Clarina Nichols, a figure totally unfamiliar to me --a smart, forward-thinking woman in the early 19th century who fought for abolition, suffrage, and freedom for all families. Somehow, Susan B. Anthony has become the figure most familiar to all of us for her transformative work, but women like Nichols were just as important in progressing the causes of freedom and justice.

Needless to say, Nichols, and this book, would have been exactly the kind of thing I would have gulped up in middle school.

Born i…

Wordless Wednesday, April 6

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It's Wordless Wednesday, and I'm cheating with both words and multiple pictures.

Even worse, one photo (top one) is from Tuesday.

!!!! (Sorry, but I had to share the food porn.)

All three photos represent my mood these days: books, emotional eating, wisdom from the oracles, and bright bling to cheer me up.

It's sunny and snowy here in Boston, but promises to be something like 60 tomorrow. I'm supposed to be on vacation tomorrow and Friday, but it looks like I'll have to work.

Blargh.

How's your Wednesday?

Weekend reads and ....

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I'm juggling a few books this weekend, trying to find the right fit: there's the sci fi speculative Sleeping Giants; The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt, a favorite author on a favorite historical figure; and a YA non-fiction book about an early suffrage campaigner, Clarina Nichols (a nice follow up to my read about Victoria Woodhull!).

Stranger weather in Boston: 70ish and violently windy today, with a chance of snow this weekend. Lots of running around so I will have to work to find time to read -- and I need to, as I've been reading more this week than I have in a while, and it feels fab. I even kicked out a review without angsting over it, so victory!

What are you reading this weekend?