Moslener’s book traces the purity movement in America from its earliest forms to how it is known today. While I found JDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
Moslener’s book traces the purity movement in America from its earliest forms to how it is known today. While I found Jessica Valenti’s book, The Purity Myth, to be more relevant, Moslener’s book is important because it is important to know history. To be frank, the history of the purity isn’t quite what you automatically would believe it to be. I found the section that detailed the connection to the suffrage movement to be the most interesting part. At times, the book does drag a bit, but it does provide a very interesting background to what seems to be a glossed over movement in the media. ...more
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I am not a huge H.G. Wells fan. I’m just not. I know I Disclaimer: I was given a free copy by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I am not a huge H.G. Wells fan. I’m just not. I know I should read more of his work, but well.
Anyway, I must admit that if Mondello does anymore live cast version of his books, I’m all in.
It’s true that this audio play version does change the story. It moves the story up to after the Second World War and makes Montgomery a German woman, but these changes work and also make the story more compelling even if the novel’s original coda is not present. The main thesis of the work is kept.
This version opens with a visit of a young woman to her ill father, Prendick, who relates the story. In terms of acting and/or dialogue, it is the framing device that is the weakest part of this presentation. When the audio moves into the full story, it really takes off. The change of Montgomery into a woman does not really change much of the action, though the romantic sub-plot is another weak point, and in many ways, she becomes the more interesting character for the change of gender. While she is used as a romantic foil, to a degree, for Prendick (whose last name is at times rather descriptive), her morals and decisions are realistic and far more human than most of the other characters.
All of the voice actors do an excellent job. The music is good. In short, this is a well done production. ...more
I am so glad I listened to Stewart's Virginia Historical Society's talk which convinced me to start reading his books.
They are awesome books about USI am so glad I listened to Stewart's Virginia Historical Society's talk which convinced me to start reading his books.
They are awesome books about US history. This one is about the writing of Constitution. Stewart details the major movers and shakers, and gives drafting the drama of an adventure story. It's a really good look at the major document....more
If you go to most art museums in the Western world, you can find at least one, if not more, paintings that depict a EurDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
If you go to most art museums in the Western world, you can find at least one, if not more, paintings that depict a European man’s view of the Eastern harem. While beautiful, these paintings will depict various women in various states of undress, usually lying around doing nothing besides looking pretty. Sometimes, there might be a painting that depicts a man alongside them, usually suggestive of post-coital glow or tied to 1001 Arabian Nights.
And that’s not even touching the movies.
Alev Lytle Croutier’s book about harems is far more interesting than those man fancy pieces. In part, this is because the author is able to draw on her family’s interactions with various people who were connected to harems. Croutier goes into, briefly, the beginnings of the harem tradition, and divide her book up into royal harem life, ordinary harem life, as well as looking at how art and film, in particular in the West, viewed the harem. Perhaps the books major flaw is the focus on Turkish harem, but considering the writer’s background this is not surprising.
The personal stories, for instance her meeting a eunuch, add a layer to the book as well as serving as a reminder that this lifestyle is not far removed from the present day. This is balanced though the use of historical harem women and the battles they fought, whether between themselves or with the men who control them.
It isn’t only the dispelling of myths that surround harem women that Croutier attends to; she also dispels myths about the eunuchs. Of particular interest is the division of eunuch jobs based on skin color (and I wish there had been some analysis of why there was such a division) but also what a eunuch’s life could be like. It is here that Croutier does bring in Chinese harem life in addition to Turkish.
There is also a wonderful bit about Lady Mary Montagu.
Nice little book about the Black Death and the effects, with most of the focus (understandably so) on England. Love the use of color in the page backgNice little book about the Black Death and the effects, with most of the focus (understandably so) on England. Love the use of color in the page backgrounds....more
This installment finds everyone’s favorite wine taster, Benjamin facing a family crisis. It’s a cozy mystery, so one caDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
This installment finds everyone’s favorite wine taster, Benjamin facing a family crisis. It’s a cozy mystery, so one can pretty much figure out how that ends before even opening the book.
However, the charm of this series rests not on the mystery but on the Cooker family and the scenery where the series takes place. This series is something that you enjoy not because it is on the level of Ruth Rendell, but because it is a pleasant hour that concerns wine and food, with a little mystery thrown in for good measure.
As a plus to this, the Cooker family is believable family in the sense that the family is clearly a close one without being too over repetitive in saying it is one. In other words, the Cooker family is a happy family in a way that does not defy belief. It is fun spending time with them, and they are the type of family that you might want to stay with will visiting France.
Virgile too is here as well, and while the trajectory of his story is some too cliché in this story, it really does not take away from the pleasant enjoyment that this series brings. ...more
This is a strange book, but strange in a good way. Salmonson takes the real life samurai Tomoe Gozen (a woman samurai wDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
This is a strange book, but strange in a good way. Salmonson takes the real life samurai Tomoe Gozen (a woman samurai who fought in the Genepi war) and creates a historical fantasy set in an alternate Japan.
The thing is, the book is meditation disguised as an adventure story. Gozen starts as a sworn samurai who is debating taking a deeper oath with three others, but then a battle occurs in which despite heroic deeds, Gozen loses her status, loses herself. In many ways, the sequence of the rest of the book is about a re-discovery of self in terms of Eastern belief. It is that quest, which is done in conjunction with various other adventures that is most engrossing as well as the look at what is a samurai, a wife, a lady, and who controls power. It is a thought provoking book.
Gozen comes to realizations about her place in the world though her adventures as well as in the mirroring of the past of those of that surround to her own. Salmonson combines Japanese folklore with Western fantasy elements to do so. The effect is beautiful.
The weakest part of the story is the love affair between Gozen and Tomiska. It is weak, not because of the lesbian relationship (which was beautifully referred to in the beginning of the book) but because the development of a two sided romance does not seem quite realistic. Gozen is too dispassionate. This could be playing on the idea of the dispassionate male hero that appears in several stories and films, but for some reason it falls flat here. Yet, when one considers when this book was first published, this relationship would have been far more different than it is seen today.
Lovenheim’s book details the experience of the Arndt family and friends as they survive underground in Berlin during th Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
Lovenheim’s book details the experience of the Arndt family and friends as they survive underground in Berlin during the Second World War. Underground does not mean living sewers or caves; it means existing in Berlin, being hidden by Germans. The not only details the survival of the group of Jews but those who hidden them, though the later life of the rescuers is not fully detailed.
Yet, the book is entertaining and interesting. It isn’t so much the Arndt’s that grab one’s attention but Charlotte Lewinsky (who becomes the mother-in-law of Erich Arndt). This woman sounds like she was totally fearless. Marvel at how she tricks German officers out of good meals in a time of rationing. Additionally, her daughter Ellen and Ruth Arndt commit various dangerous acts, and one wonders at their daring. It is the experience of the women that is more fascinating, even though they could more easily blend in than Erich Arndt and Bruno Gimpel.
Of those in hiding, Dr. Arndt comes across as the one the reader connects least with, and largely this is because the focus is on the children, most likely because they were alive to be interviewed but perhaps too because Arndt had a more stable hiding place than the rest of his family.
The book also deals lightly with the question of morality; the desire to do what is right versus what needs to be done to survive. This manifests not only in the stealing of food but also living arrangements and what to do with a rabid pro-Nazi co-worker. I particularly enjoyed the essays by various family members at the end of the book. ...more