Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's Summer! Let's Read! (Okay...We're Breathing! Let's Read!)

 



   Soo...it being that most marvelous time of year, SUMMER, what are your plans? Mine, being Momma and Writer, are going to be the same as my plans for spring, fall, and winter (minus the hot cocoa and quilts, and with a few sandy-beach reading spots thrown in). Somehow, tho, it does seem that I have more time for reading through the summer, probably because my idea of dinner in the summer is salad, not stew; ergo, I'm only cooking for about 15 minutes instead of 45.
   Anyway, here you are, my summer reading list. I have not read all (most!) of these, so I can't guarantee they're worth the time, but the ones I have read, I'll let you know. ;) ***All of the photos and info found here are via Goodreads. Know Goodreads? You DON'T?!? Check it out today!!! http://www.goodreads.com

Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
   
Discover the Celtic Circle of Belonging John O'Donohue, poet, philosopher, and scholar, guides you through the spiritual landscape of the Irish imagination. In Anam Cara, Gaelic for "soul friend," the ancient teachings, stories, and blessings of Celtic wisdom provide such profound insights on the universal themes of friendship, solitude, love, and death.



The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American RomanticismThe Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism
Elizabeth, Mary, and Sophia Peabody were in many ways our American Brontes. The story of these remarkable sisters — and their central role in shaping the thinking of their day — has never before been fully told. Twenty years in the making, Megan Marshall's monumental biograpy brings the era of creative ferment known as American Romanticism to new life. Elizabeth, the oldest sister, was a mind-on-fire thinker. A powerful influence on the great writers of the era — Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau among them — she also published some of their earliest works. It was Elizabeth who prodded these newly minted Transcendentalists away from Emerson's individualism and toward a greater connection to others. Mary was a determined and passionate reformer who finally found her soul mate in the great educator Horace Mann. The frail Sophia was a painter who won the admiration of the preeminent society artists of the day. She married Nathaniel Hawthorne — but not before Hawthorne threw the delicate dynamics among the sisters into disarray. Marshall focuses on the moment when the Peabody sisters made their indelible mark on history. Her unprecedented research into these lives uncovered thousands of letters never read before as well as other previously unmined original sources. The Peabody Sisters casts new light on a legendary American era. Its publication is destined to become an event in American biography. This book is highly recommended for students and reading groups interested in American history, American literature, and women's studies. It is a wonderful look into 19th-century life
 

Saffron and Brimstone: Strange Stories

Saffron and Brimstone: Strange Stories
  
Widely praised and widely read, Elizabeth Hand is regarded as one of America's leading literary fantasists. This new collection (an expansion of the limited-release Bibliomancy, which won the World Fantasy Award in 2005) showcases a wildly inventive author at the height of her powers. Included in this collection are "The Least Trumps," in which a lonely women reaches out to the world through symbols, tattooing, and the Tarot, and "Pavane for a Prince of the Air," where neo-pagan rituals bring a recently departed soul to something very different than eternal rest. Written in the author's characteristic poetic prose and rich with the details of traumatic lives that are luminously transformed, Saffron and Brimstone is a worthy addition to an outstanding career.

Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness
Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness
by
  
There are more crows now than ever. Their abundance is both an indicator of ecological imbalance and a generous opportunity to connect with the animal world. CROW PLANET reminds us that we do not need to head to faraway places to encounter "nature." Rather, even in the suburbs and cities where we live we are surrounded by wild life such as crows, and through observing them we can enhance our appreciation of the world's natural order. CROW PLANET richly weaves Haupt's own "crow stories" as well as scientific and scholarly research and the history and mythology of crows, culminating in a book that is sure to make readers see the world around them in a very different way
 

Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey

Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey
by
  
More than a quarter of a million Americans crossed the continental United States between 1840 and 1870, going west in one of the greatest migrations of modern times. The frontiersmen have become an integral part of our history and folklore, but the Westering experiences of American women are equally central to an accurate picture of what life was like on the frontier.
Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al Madinah and Meccah: Volume 1Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al Madinah and Meccah
***This review is by Goodreads user Torben. Thanx Torben!
 
Burton is one of the great characters of the Victorian age. Brave and adventurous like many of his contemporaries but with a personal attitude that was very different from the hypocritical and puritanical attitude commonplace in Victorian society.

This book tells of how Burton made the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, in disguise. A thoroughly dangerous undertaking as any Non-Muslims entering the holy cities would likely have been killed if discovered. Burton tells his story with an eye for detail and a great sense of humour. His descriptions of the characters, savoury and unsavoury, he meets on the way are excellent. He very much comes across as an intelligent man with a great thirst for knowledge. If you are interested in Islam, Arab life or Burton himself then I couldn't recommend this book enough.


Forbidden Journeys: Fairy Tales and Fantasies by Victorian Women WritersForbidden Journeys: Fairy Tales and Fantasies by Victorian Women Writers
by
  
As these eleven dark and wild stories demonstrate, fairy tales by Victorian women constitute a distinct literary tradition, one startlingly subversive of the society that fostered it. From Anne Thackeray Ritchie's adaptations of "The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood" to Christina Rossetti's unsettling antifantasies in Speaking Likenesses, these are breathtaking acts of imaginative freedom, by turns amusing, charming, and disturbing. Besides their social and historical implications, they are extraordinary stories, full of strange delights for readers of any age. *** My planned degree is in Nineteenth Century Literature and Women's Studies. This book looks like fun!
 
Mirror, Mirror: Forty Folk Tales for Mothers and Daughters to ShareMirror, Mirror: Forty Folk Tales for Mothers and Daughters to Share
  
With more than 200 books to her name, popular storyteller Yolen (editor of Favorite Folktales Around the World) can be forgiven for one that doesn't quite measure up. The subtitle notwithstanding, this collection compiled with her grown daughter, with whom she has co-authored two children's books, is more apt to resonate with women than kids, for whom the authors' commentaries on parental expectations, sex and abuse, which are sprinkled with references to psychology and feminist texts, will be too didactic. Impatient teens who want to read a story only once may also balk at the structure. Each section highlights several variations of either a particular tale -- including ones about Persephone, Rapunzel and Snow White -- or a theme -- such as caring daughters, mothers-in-law or bad seeds. On the other hand, mothers of all ages will welcome the opportunity to get reacquainted with mother-daughter folk stories like the French "Diamonds and Toads" (also known as "The Fairy") about just rewards, as well as ones from Bengal, Nigeria and Armenia that are less familiar in the West. Some stories are unnerving, like "Daughter, My Little Bread", an Indian tale about a newlywed who kills her mother and then is killed by her husband, while the Lebanese tale of self-sacrifice, "The Mother", is heart-warming in the best sense. There's no denying the pleasure of a well-told tale, or in this case forty of them, although mothers may need to do some extra work to spark conversation about them.
 
 



The Kitchen DaughterThe Kitchen Daughter
by
  
After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.

A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them.



The DovekeepersThe Dovekeepers
  
Blends mythology, magic, archaeology and women. Traces four women, their path to the Masada massacre. In 70 CE, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on a mountain in the Judean desert, Masada. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived.

Four bold, resourceful, and sensuous women come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the horrifically brutal murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her twin grandsons, rendered mute by their own witness. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman, who finds passion with another soldier. Shirah is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The four lives intersect in the desperate days of the siege, as the Romans draw near. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets — about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love. ***I don't know how many times I've read this book. It doesn't matter. I love this book. I will read it again this summer. And probably again.
 
Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who WriteFruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write
by
  
Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!  **One of my favorite "about writing" books ever!



The Ordinary PrincessThe Ordinary Princess
  
Along with Wit, Charm, Health, and Courage, Princess Amy of Phantasmorania receives a special fairy christening gift: Ordinariness. Unlike her six beautiful sisters, she has brown hair and freckles, and would rather have adventures than play the harp, embroider tapestries . . . or become a Queen. When her royal parents try to marry her off, Amy runs away and, because she's so ordinary, easily becomes the fourteenth assistant kitchen maid at a neighboring palace. And there . . . much to everyone's surprise . . . she meets a prince just as ordinary (and special) as she is! ***Because I refuse to grow up. LOVE this book!!


 

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