Sunday, December 18, 2016

Review: Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz

Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped HistoryRad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! What an amazing book! In a year that the political landscape hasn't been particularly woman friendly, it makes me so happy to read a book like this which showcases A LOT of strong women! Although I consider myself pretty up to speed on great women in history, I was shocked at how much ground was covered in this book that was new to me. LOVE this book in every way!

The book itself is so beautiful - bright colors, beautiful illustrations by Miriam Klein Stahl and the wonderful writing by Kate Schatz! It all comes together for a fascinating, engaging read! The book is a work of art and so inspiring!

I cannot wait to share it with my own daughter so she can see how many ways women can impact the world! Such a wonderful book!

NOTE: received this book for free from the publisher for a honest review!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review: I Will Find You by Joanna Connors

I Will Find YouI Will Find You by Joanna Connors
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a haunting and affecting memoir. Joanna Connors' story is so compelling and moving. This one explores the writer's rape by a stranger in the 1980s and the aftermath of that event. The subject matter is definitely disturbing. It's not for everyone. The events that took place are described in detail which may be too much for some readers. After her rape, the author tries to push her feelings about this rape away, to pretend it was over and she was fine. But, it eventually floats up and just won't go away. And so this memoir outlines her re-visiting what happened to her as well as exploring the background of the man who raped her. She's, in essence, trying to make sense of it and how it impacted her life.

It's a really engaging read that I think gave me another perspective on trauma and how it plays out in our lives. After working with rape victims over the years, much of Joanna Connors' experience resonated with me. This is a really haunting book that can help you give you perspective and insight into the experience of a rape victim and the aftermath of their experience.

If the content isn't too disturbing for you, I think this is a really important book that will help a reader understand the impact of trauma on victims and their families.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Review: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The MothersThe Mothers by Brit Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such lovely book. I cannot recommend it more highly. It's probably my favorite book of 2016. It's beautifully written and the story is so well done. It almost felt as if it snuck up on me in some way - I was enjoying the story, loving the prose and then BOOM it's suddenly even more than all that. I was liking it but there came a point when it all came together for me and my strong like became an absolute LOVE! Such a beautiful, haunting story with characters that I don't think I'll ever forget. It's about so much ... friendship, faith, life within a church community, and girls without a mother. It's so good and a MUST read, in my opinion.

I thought the collective voice was an interesting choice. I'm not sure it completely worked for me but I did think it was really compelling. I've read some interviews with Brit Bennett and I was really impressed with all she said about this novel and it's scope. She made me like the novel even more! Her ability to put a feeling into words effectively is one of my favorite things about this novel. There were so many passages that I couldn't get out of my head or that just summed up my feelings so perfectly. She definitely has a way with words!

Please pick up this book ... it's so worth the read! Such a beautiful and thoughtful novel! I think it's a novel that most will enjoy and find something in.

Just to give you a sense of how beautiful her writing is ... here are just a few of my favorite passages ...

“Grief was not a line, carrying you infinitely further from loss. You never knew when you would be sling-shot backward into its grip.”

“Years later, she wondered if that was the point, if sometimes the glory was in rebuilding the broken thing, not the result but the process of trying."

"Suffering pain is what made you a woman. Most of the milestones in a woman’s life were accompanied by pain, like her first time having sex or birthing a child. For men, it was all orgasms and champagne."

Monday, December 12, 2016

Review: Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and MannersUnmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the idea of this book! I had always thought to myself how life in Victorian times didn't do much for me because of the potential for grossness that I figured life offered at the time. And this book helped give me example after example of just that! It's a funny yet interesting look at life in Victorian times - from clothing to medicine to bathing to other unmentionables ... this book covers it all. And in detail. Oneill really makes the subject matter interesting and compelling. The photos in the book are fantastic and really bring life to the book! If nothing else, this book reiterated to me that I'm extremely thankful to have been born in this time ... life in Victorian times was frankly gross and infuriating! Although we tend to love literature from the time, this dose of what life was really like opened my eyes in ways I couldn't have imagined!

I highly recommend this book, especially if you're a fan of the Victorian time period or history in general! This was a really funny look at a time that most of us think we already know ... but we really don't!