This is a collection of Simpson’s five book series about Morgan le Fay, and each book is told from a different viewpoint. The narrators in book orderThis is a collection of Simpson’s five book series about Morgan le Fay, and each book is told from a different viewpoint. The narrators in book order are: a nurse of the young Morgan, a nun who is assigned to care for Morgan, a blacksmith who joins Morgan’s court, the bard Taliesin (yes, that one), and, finally, Morgan herself.
The book (and series) is part historical fiction, and in many ways a look at how people use narrative.
In each of the first four books, Morgan is seen in different ways. There are certain views that are held in common, but there are major differences in how they view Morgan. Importantly, as with all the best viewpoint stories, the narrators reveal far more about themselves then they intend to.
At times, considering how the action takes place outside the settings of the main Arthur action, the story at time can get frustrating, but there does seem to be something else that is happening. In part, Sampson is looking at the source of stories – not truth – but stories. This is drawn throughout much of this collected edition, but is most strongly evident in the last book of the sequence, “She” – the one book told by Morgan herself.
When you think about it, many stories are about press. Each generation, each writer even, has a reason to tell a well known story a certain way. It is no surprise that the novels most sympathetic to Morgan and her sisters were written largely after the rise of the feminist movement. In part, Sampson’s book is an acknowledgement that in terms of legends, truth is almost impossible to discover, and the more interesting thing is how stories develop and change. ...more
Recently, a friend posted an article to her Facebook. The article was about how daughters devote more time to caring forDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley
Recently, a friend posted an article to her Facebook. The article was about how daughters devote more time to caring for parents as opposed to sons. My comment on her post was how was this news. Because, who is supposed by that finding? Outliers aside, most daughters already knew the truth of that statement. In many ways, this is what the book is about.
If you haven’t heard about the Everyday Sexism project, then you need to get your head out of the sand. Bates started the project for women to vent, list, report,about the sexism in everyday life. The cases range from the truly horrifying – a woman being told by her parents that she asked for what happened to her – to the depressing everyday – catcalls when going to work. The ideas allow for women to know that they are not alone, to educate, and in regards to some stories provide hope or even solutions.
Bates’ book draws on some of the posts of the project but also contains reveling and recent statistics to add more perspective on the stated stories as well as her thoughts on harm and potential ways to deal with such issues. She also does address some of the claims made by various Men’s Rights Movements and addresses how sexism affects men, in particular how society views them as fathers and as fathers rights. This chapter is especially timely considering the rise in stay at home fathers or fathers providing childcare, who face criticism from both men and women.
The book itself is divided into various realms, with sections on work, politics, and media among others. Each chapter opens with a list of statistics, primary recent, all cited (if perhaps a little US and UK heavy) followed by some personal accounts, and then with analysis. The weakest chapter is the one about media, and this is mostly because of the work done by others. And considering that media is the most easily accessible, it really doesn’t have to go into depth. The best chapters include the work and politics, mostly because Bates links certain budget policies (cuts, really) to sexism, pointing out that some policies effect women more than men. The section about work is also compelling because it deals with pregnancy and children in terms of both men and women (in particular, pointing out that paternity leave is nil in many cases).
Bates connection of sexism and how it affects men is particularly well done, and in fact, is targeting such sexism despite the claims of Men’s Rights Movement to do so. She not only shows how the direct effects of presuming all women feel such and such away about children, but also how such a view presumes that fatherhood is nothing and that too is damaging.
While at times I found myself wishing there was some more connection or acknowledgement of other feminist work (for instance, there is mention of a banner reading “well-behaved women seldom make history” but no mention of Thacther herself), the book itself is immensely readable and thought provoking. ...more
I am so conflicted about this book. On the one hand, if you are a reader there is much to love here. There are little reviews or comments about booksI am so conflicted about this book. On the one hand, if you are a reader there is much to love here. There are little reviews or comments about books that start each chapter, there are discussions about tastes, there is a subtle (very) point about women's fiction just being fiction. There is even a charm to the writing. I basically read this in one sitting in about two hours.
And yet, the plot - loner meets baby and re-discovers life, is just so predictable and at times feels like emotional manipulation a la Hallmark movie. Honesty, there really isn't that much of a reason for the second half of the book which felt a bit too much in some areas (and this is a book that calls upon a large suspension of disbelief for one very key bit).
But it's not bad. I'm happy I read it, though I almost think it would have worked better as a collection of short stories as opposed to a novel....more
Yeah, I never heard of Spijkenisse either until I saw this book at a local bookstore. It is near Rotterdam, like right near Rotterdam. This book is aYeah, I never heard of Spijkenisse either until I saw this book at a local bookstore. It is near Rotterdam, like right near Rotterdam. This book is a history of the town's desire to re-invent, redraft, redesign, update - itself and to do that the town decides to do that, in part, by redesigning the library.
This book is about that library, which sounds pretty cool.
The design to build a new library ties into the desire to improve the lives of those living there, to encourage reading among other things. While the book is not a love story to book, it is an interesting book about a library that is a love building to books.
The book's pages are half folded in pages - you unfold them and you get more information about various things, such as the town's history - and this is at once a little annoying, but far more endearing.
This is an Endeavour Press re-release of a 1930s book. It is about Katherine Howard and her fall. It's pretty good for aDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley
This is an Endeavour Press re-release of a 1930s book. It is about Katherine Howard and her fall. It's pretty good for a 1930s book. Lindsay actually does a pretty fair job on the interested parties. You actually feel sorry for most of the actors, though some of Culpepper's past is glossed over (and Culpepper is pretty much un-redeemable). Enjoyable if with a slight dated feeling....more
I hadn't heard of Eleanor Perenyi before this book was selected by NYRB for its Feb. selection for the book of the month.
At a very young age, PerenyiI hadn't heard of Eleanor Perenyi before this book was selected by NYRB for its Feb. selection for the book of the month.
At a very young age, Perenyi made a Hungarian Baron and goes to live on his rather improvised estate. It is an unlikely marriage, but works until world wide events happen, in particular the outbreak of World War II.
The selling point of the book is Perenyi's tone which is gossipy and chatty. It also captures a place and time that are long gone....more
Every time there is a terrorist attack committed by someone who claims to be follower of Islam someone who claims to be Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
Every time there is a terrorist attack committed by someone who claims to be follower of Islam someone who claims to be a follower of Christianity wonders why Muslims condemn the terrorist.
Toorpaki’s book (written with the help of Katherine Holstein) should be required reading for such idiots.
Toorpaki is a squash player from Pakistan, from the area of Pakistan where the Taliban has a presence, so needless to say her abilities draw death threats from that group. But that isn’t the most compelling part of this book.
Toorpaki’s parts are a huge part of the book, and the reason why this book should be handed to idiots. Toorpaki’s father, Shams, is a man from a family of rank but he is not a traditional son. While he is a devout Muslim, he is not conservative in matters of religion. He believes in education for all his children, and more importantly, acknowledges his wife as his equal (if not ruler). In an arranged marriage, Shams, as Toorpaki notes, gives his wife the gift of finishing her education and even supporting her in manners that even Western men would balk at, even as he teaches. Toorpaki’s mother isn’t less remarkable, rising to a prominent educational position and facing death by a belief in educating girls. Additionally, both parents raise their children (two girls, three boys) to be contributing members of society, educating not just their girls, but their boys as well. Teaching among the many lessons that all people should be accorded respect and that we should never stop learning (or even teaching).
Toorpaki’s parents are what we should all be as human beings.
It is true that the book is partial hero worship to her parents, and it is hard not to see why. By her own admission, Toorpaki was not a traditional daughter. She was far more physical than her sister and a traditional school environment did not work for her. She wasn’t a problem child, at least not in the Western sense of the term. Her parents allow/encourage/accept her tomboyish personality by giving her boy clothes and a bicycle. She even takes up weight lifting prior to her discovery of squash.
And it is that “boyish” aspect of the story that transcends simply Pakistan and deals with gender issues the world over.
Look at Serena Williams, who has been called too manly and not a real woman simply because she is a physical powerhouse. Or the Olympic swimmers who were judged on their appearance as opposed to their medals. Toorpaki’s chronicle about reactions to her post weight lifting appearance as well as her squash ability deal with issues like these. Today in the liberated West, we want our women athletes to be feminine to look like Swimsuit Issue model beauty instead of the physical powerhouse beauties they are. Even Toorpaki’s harassment by her fellow male students is something that we still see in the West – anyone else see that story about a male fan making his way onto the hotel floor where the US Women’s Soccer Team was staying?
Of course, there is much about the Taliban and its impact upon Toorpaki when she becomes a target. This is even more powerful because Toorpaki drew unwanted attention when as a young girl, she assumed, for lack of a better word, a boy’s identity and name – Genghis Khan. The persecution by the Taliban is sadly just a contamination and speaks more for the need of support of people like Toorpaki’s parents then anything as well as highlighting the determination and bravery of the whole Toorpaki family. Furthermore, the struggle to get Toorpaki to safety also shows the strength of a community and community ties.
It’s true, to be fair, that at times there is a desire to mutter “get on with it” or the structure seems a bit loose, but the story is compelling told. While not chatty, it is far more than readable. This is also because Toorpaki includes her family in the telling. ...more