Wow, I had heard the audiobook version of this was good but I had NO IDEA. I can't wait to listen to the rest of this series. I have a feeling this isWow, I had heard the audiobook version of this was good but I had NO IDEA. I can't wait to listen to the rest of this series. I have a feeling this is going to land right behind Harry Potter on my list of alltime favorite audiobook series, the ones I could listen to again and again. Great story, full of adventure, awesome heroine. Tons of fun....more
This is the first book I've read by Traci Harding, and I definitely see more in my future. Gene of Isis is like a crazy combination of Indiana Jones,This is the first book I've read by Traci Harding, and I definitely see more in my future. Gene of Isis is like a crazy combination of Indiana Jones, the Da Vinci Code, Regency romance, and science lesson all blended up and packaged into an intergenerational, feminist adventure story. Mia is an archaeologist studying ancient languages who's invited to a dig sponsored by a mysterious billionaire. The stories of her ancestors, Ashlee - a young wife in Regency England - and Lillet - a priestess of an obscure French religious sect who lived in the Middle Ages - are told as Mia reads through their memoirs. It's obvious that the author did tons of research for this book which is overstuffed with obscure facts and ideas. I listened to the first book on audio but I think I'd opt for print for the rest of the series, because there is so much explanation. At times it gets repetitious, but at other times it's helpful because so many crazy concepts and ideas are introduced. If you like stories where everyday life and the supernatural combine, you will enjoy this book. Also, Albray the ghost knight is my new fictional-guy crush - he's adorable :)...more
This slim book by a French feminist author examines the origin and the effects of changing social norms and government policies surrounding parenting,This slim book by a French feminist author examines the origin and the effects of changing social norms and government policies surrounding parenting, and how they affect the well-being of mothers. The trend of "attachment" or "natural" parenting recently shone in the spotlight due to the Mother's Day Time Magazine cover featuring a toddler boy breastfeeding accompanied by the headline "Are You Mom Enough?" Badinter's book traces the origin of this trend to the 1960s - it was sparked by a reaction to scientific/positivist approaches toward childbirth and childrearing from feminists and eco-conscious activists, and to the founding of the La Leche League, which actually has its roots in ultra-conservative Catholic ideology - a fascinating fact I didn't know before.
However, as Badinter shows, the same natural parenting championed by feminists has now morphed into a cultural monster that causes us to put the child above all else, even above the health and well-being of the mother. Practicing natural or attachment parenting means that the mother is sequestered in the home for longer and longer periods of time.
While the author does a great job of tracing some of the origins of this trend, this book is by no means an exhaustive look at this phenomenon. Additionally, it is not of much use to researchers studying parenthood trends in the United States, as most of the statistics on parenthood in the book discuss European countries. However, this is fascinating as well, because Badinter uses the statistics to show that countries which still hold a more conservative view of the mother - such as Germany or Japan - also have the lowest birth rates, because women are choosing to not have children rather than accept such a restricted lifestyle. Countries with more liberal policies toward work leave for parents, like the Scandinavian countries, are experiencing higher birth rates.
Those who are interested in finding out how parenting is done in other countries, especially France, will find this book useful and enlightening. Badinter discusses the French parenting style at length, and it is unique among all the countries she covers. Feminist researchers will also want to pick up this quick read because it shows how "difference" feminism and conservative religious ideologies actually combined to create this culture of serving the child above all else....more
This romance is different than many both in the time period in which it's set (the 1870s) and because of its unusual hero. While Ian MacKenzie exhibitThis romance is different than many both in the time period in which it's set (the 1870s) and because of its unusual hero. While Ian MacKenzie exhibits many traditional romance alpha-male traits (growling, a large and muscular frame, bad temper, protectiveness) he also is "mad": while the author never specifically diagonses his "madness," he seems to have Asperger's Syndrome. Lord Ian prefers not to look in others' eyes, he has a precise memory for detail, and he can get lost in thought while gazing at specific objects or patterns. Beth Ackerley, a formerly down-on-her-luck lady's companion, receives an inheritance from the lady in question upon her death and finds herself thrust into high society. Caring little for social norms and her reputation, she immediately falls for Lord Ian, and while he claims he's incapable of love, by the end of the book, of course, he has fallen for Beth as well. Ian is just one of a roguish family of Scottish brothers who do whatever they want regardless of what society considers "appropriate" for the time. The brothers are all unique and each has his own romantic problems which readers will no doubt discover in the subsequent books. While there are many anachronisms in the book's dialogue, I was able to overlook them as I was also captivated by the unique and mysterious Lord Ian : ) If you're in search of a romance with a little murder mystery and characters that are not stereotypical you will enjoy this read....more
"Wench" is a historical novel that takes the reader into a unique setting and a precarious point in time. The place is Tawawa House, a resort in South"Wench" is a historical novel that takes the reader into a unique setting and a precarious point in time. The place is Tawawa House, a resort in Southern Ohio, and the time is the 1850s. The four main characters are slave women who travel to the resort every summer with their white masters. The story is told from the point of view of Lizzie, an educated slave who has a very ambivalent relationship with her master, Nathan Drayle.
The book begins one summer when the slaves at the resort are joined by Mawu, an mysterious woman from Louisiana who stirs up trouble at the resort with her talk of escaping to freedom. The southern Ohio setting is very important to the story, as the women are technically staying in the free North but are still required to fulfill their roles as slaves. Each of them gets to see and experience little tastes of freedom but they know at the end of the summer, they will each return to their Southern plantations and nothing will be different.
The second part of the book takes the reader back to the early days of Lizzie's complicated relationship with Drayle at their plantation. We learn why she has developed feelings of love for him but is also able to hate his role as her master at the same time.
Finally, the women and their masters return to Tawawa House the following summer to an atmosphere of unrest. The resort is starting to fall apart as less Northerners want to associate with the Southern guests and their slaves. Each of the women has important decisions to make as changes are beginning to sweep the region and the culture.
This book didn't have a single, sweeping plot that left me engrossed from start to finish, but I enjoyed immersing myself in the descriptions of the complicated characters and the tension-fraught setting in place and time. A great read for fans of the Civil War era and books dealing with the emotional legacy of slavery....more
I was first attracted to read this book because I had an almost identical idea for a book a couple of years ago (my exact thought was, "Like 'TwilightI was first attracted to read this book because I had an almost identical idea for a book a couple of years ago (my exact thought was, "Like 'Twilight,' but with past lives instead of vampires!"). So of course I had to read the book that used this idea. The main characters, Daniel and Sophia, have a relationship that stretches across centuries as each of their souls is reincarnated into new bodies and new lifetimes. Daniel is unique because he can remember each of his past lives, whereas his love, Sophia, like the rest of humanity, forgets each life as she is born anew.
We begin in the present day when Daniel and Lucy (Sophia's name in her current incarnation) are high school students. Through each of the chapters, Daniel retells stories from his past lives. He was the cause of Sophia's death in his very first life on Earth and has spent each subsequent incarnation trying to find her soul and make it up to her by loving and taking care of her. In their current lifetimes, an awkward run-in at a high school dance forces Lucy and Daniel apart until they are college students. As Daniel tries to find Lucy again, he learns that a malicious adversary from his past lives is also stalking her.
Some of the plot points and sentiments in the book are spot on. The section where Lucy travels to England to see the manor house from her recently-remembered past life is goosebump-inducing. The way that Brashares writes the voice of Daniel, an "old soul" who has been around for centuries inhabiting a young man's body, is also haunting, and the ideas surrounding reincarnation in the book are definitely food for thought.
For me however, the ending of the book definitely left something to be desired. Although Brashares avoided making the ending as cheesy as it could have possibly been - a relief - and the ending was consistent with the tone and themes of the rest of the book, it still felt very abrupt and left a major part of the plot unresolved. I can only hope that the author is planning to write a sequel! I want to know what happens to the couple next and I am sure I'm not alone....more
A romance novel with mathematicians in it? Quaker mathematicians? A hero who suffers a stroke during an early-morning duel and then is locked up in anA romance novel with mathematicians in it? Quaker mathematicians? A hero who suffers a stroke during an early-morning duel and then is locked up in an insane asylum because he suffers aphasia? A prim and proper nurse who helps him escape an arranged marriage because she loves him? Yes! Flowers from the Storm has all this and more. It's definitely not your stereotypical romance novel. I loved the details of the characters, the plot full of family arguments, intrigue and adventure; and the heroine's inner conflict between her religious ideals and her romantic feelings. Flowers From the Storm is a great read for people who aren't "into" romances, or for those who have read romances but find something lacking in plot and characterization. It really is the best of the genre that I have read in my "historical romances" binge of the past month. ...more
I had a ton of fun reading this book and rushed immediately to grab the sequel as soon as I was done. While "The Luxe" is probably not the most historI had a ton of fun reading this book and rushed immediately to grab the sequel as soon as I was done. While "The Luxe" is probably not the most historically accurate depiction of the late nineteenth century (I can't imagine how these wealthy young ladies would be so unsupervised and able to get up to so much mischief on their own!) Godberson captures the atmosphere of Gilded Age excess with her descriptions of old New York's buildings, clothing, gossip columns, and more little details that evoke the time period. I've never read "Gossip Girl," but it seems like these books are a historical cousin to that series....more
This is a favorite nonfiction book of mine. After hearing many versions of the song "Stagger Lee," I was definitely curious about what prompted so manThis is a favorite nonfiction book of mine. After hearing many versions of the song "Stagger Lee," I was definitely curious about what prompted so many artists to cover this song. This book provides the historical context behind the song and looks at the possible events that may have inspired song. For me, the descriptions of African-American culture in 19th-century St. Louis were eye-opening. Definitely a fun read for anyone interested in music and/or history. ...more