Superior Reads

A PLACE FOR READERS AND WRITERS

There were moments at the beginning of the book where I felt that more editing would have been helpful – a little too much book title dropping to establish Beach’s credentials as a bibliophile and set the historical stage, felt forced, but once I got into the story of Beach’s incredible feat – a woman in the 1920s who took on a publishing world largely run by men – I was encouraged to read to the end.

O’Farrell follows Agnes into the woods, into the field, and into the depths of her despair. Her writing is lyrical and layered, her characters are complex, and their relationships are complicated. There will be no easy passageway through this grief, and dear reader, you should be forewarned to have a tissue within reach, but you will be carried along by a mother’s love and a father’s remorse. “There will be no going back,” O’Farrell writes, “Time only runs in one direction.”

During a time when laws protecting a woman’s body autonomy are being threatened, reading Allende’s book reminds me that throughout history, women have exhibited great strength and resolve, and when banded together, are a force to be reckoned with.

WHEN WOMEN WERE DRAGONS is an evocative tale about gender, gender roles, and the politicization of history. Barnhill has written a cautionary tale about what happens when women are silenced and their human right to make their own choices is taken from them.

Reading SEVEN AUNTS, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for these women and the author’s commitment to truth telling. Drouillard writes with such integrity. I cared deeply about the aunties, and I didn’t want to leave them. Extraordinary women leading ordinary lives; they lived in a world that did not recognize their contributions, but the lessons of their lives changed the world for future generations.

There is a time in early adulthood when all you want to do is leave the familiar, boring, sheltered life of your parents and launch out into the world to make your own way. There is also a time, maybe when you realize that your childish dreams are just that, when you long to return …

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Bonnie Garmus has created characters that mock convention. Elizabeth Zott defies authority, not on principal, but on practicality. She sees the world through safety goggles while her male counterparts just wish she’d put on the rose-colored glasses, form-fitting Donna-Reed dress, and sell the canned soup on Supper at Six. But everything in Elizabeth’s world boils down to science – including making her coffee at home with a Bunsen burner and turning her home kitchen into a lab. You’ll fall in love with her dog, Six-Thirty, one of the most astute and intelligent four-legged narrators in fiction today; Mad, her precocious daughter, who reads Nabokov at the age of five, and interrupts show and tell to ask her kindergarten teacher how she can join the Freedom Fighters in Nashville; and her friend and neighbor Harriet, whom after watching Elizabeth stand up to injustice, finds the courage to leave her alcoholic and abusive husband.

From the award-winning author of WHEN THE EMPEROR WAS DIVINE and THE BHUDDA IN THE ATTIC, comes a slim, powerhouse of a novel about loss of identity. In shifting points of view, Julie Otsuka gives us an intuitive look at what it means to lose someone you love to dementia. Brilliant, reflective, compressed, nuanced, empathetic, …

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