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Reading Women Challenge 2018 > Shirley's reading women challenge

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message 1: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments So I haven't read anything for about 9 months after getting behind on a diploma and having other aspects of life get in the way.
Now I've finished that and I'm joining this challenge late but hoping I may be able to catch up.
My first book for this is The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York which I used for true crime.
It's about the birth of forensic toxology and was great. Reads like a novel


message 2: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments My second book for the challenge is Brave for memoir in another country. This is such a interesting read, when I got to the end I knew that some people would hate this.
She's very angry with good reason and I don't think it's often you get to see such raw rage from women , she also doesn't pull any punches or soften the blow for any man reading the book at the end when telling them plus everyone else to do better. There is no "not all men" stuff to make them feel better and gently prod them into being an ally when they get the time.
She can seem condescending at points almost but I don't think this is intentionally, rather her defences being up.
To finish up my waffling I read Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear... and Why recently and rose is a perfect example of what that book was talking about. This is her taking her narrative back and I really respect her for that. Anyhow, good to be back and chat books again


message 3: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Just finished The Stone Angel for the Canadian author prompt and this is damn good.
Hagar isn't that easy to like a lot of the time but she is a perfectly drawn well rounded character!
I know this because I've met so many people like her when I worked with the elderly.
The pain they hold, the snide comments, how they treat their relatives, the accusations all of this rang true.
This book made me go through every emotion and as I said at the beginning, I may not always like Hagar but I emphasise with her and see her as a person.


message 4: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 250 comments Congratulations on your accomplishment, and nice to see you back reading such a bunch of interesting books!

I just started The Stone Angel--I love it so far, and am glad to hear your thoughts. I agree about how real Hagar is--she is just the way I remember my grandmother, and I am getting old enough to understand her ways!

Look forward to hearing about your other picks ...


message 5: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Kathleen wrote: "Congratulations on your accomplishment, and nice to see you back reading such a bunch of interesting books!

I just started The Stone Angel--I love it so far, and am glad to hear you..."


Thanks Kathleen, it's good to be able to read again and not feel guilty!
my grandparents didn't last long but this book took me right back to working with the elderly.
I think we need more books like this, just people being people. I'm now finding it hard to decide what to read next now though. Total book hangover in a good way


message 6: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Just read This One Summer for the graphic novel prompt. This is a good book for young people and the only reason I gave it only 3 stars was because it wasn't to my taste personally. It deals with a lot of issues in a low key meandering way.
Just one of those times when you missed the window for it being a great read for myself but would happily recommend to others.


message 7: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments So I read A Wrinkle in Time which could go on this challenge but I have a different book in mind so I'll keep this in reserve in case of my reading slowing down
But I just read Daughter of Fortune for a book in translation. This was great, it's a big romp across various countries with great characters.
The only bad things I can say about it are its not the house of the spirits which is one of my favourite books ever and the ending is a bit abrupt. This didn't bother me so much but I really wanted to stay in the world a bit longer.
Allende has a wonderful descriptive style as usual and made me very hungry. I want to eat all the food in her books.


message 8: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 250 comments I enjoyed Daughter of Fortune too, Shirley--though I agree it isn't the masterpiece that House of Spirits is. Another good one, in case you haven't read it, is her The Japanese Lover. I don't think there's quite as much food in that one. :-)


message 9: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Kathleen wrote: "I enjoyed Daughter of Fortune too, Shirley--though I agree it isn't the masterpiece that House of Spirits is. Another good one, in case you haven't read it, is her [book:The Japanese Lover|25152052..."

I do own it actually so will get on it at some point! She was one of those authors where I read one book and was so impressed with it that if I saw a book by her in a charity shop I'd just pick it up straight away


message 10: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments I just finished The Middleman and Other Stories for short stories prompt and it just wasn't to my taste. I found myself slogging through it even though nothing was technically wrong. The writing is good but I was missing the emotional connection.
Everything was so sad but I didn't really care in this book, I just wanted each story to be over.
Even though they are different in what they cover I couldn't help thinking about how I hadn't felt this way about Difficult Women that was also a hard sad book but I felt more involved with everything.
There just wasn't a close connection for me.


message 11: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Just finished listening to Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower and this is good.
So much of this is relatable but she adds so much to understanding with experiences that aren't mine.
And damn if she didn't talk well about men who take on board feminist narrative but don't hold up when it comes down to how they emotionally act with the women in their life. I was just nodding along. A great read.


message 12: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Spinsters for the travelling prompt. A short fun read that I really enjoyed


message 13: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Look for the poetry prompt. I can see why this won awards


message 14: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Salvage the Bones fir book in the south prompt, this is quite an intense book with so much inside.
The relationship between the siblings in wonderfully drawn and at points I didn't know if I could carry on but I also knew I couldn't stop reading it.
It's worth it, I can easily see why this won awards. I may push her other book further up my reading list.


message 15: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales I just finished this and it could go into several of the prompts. Russian, short stories but I'm putting it in based on a fairytale. This is my kind of short stories, slightly dark and weird and based on folklore.
I need to say the translation was great and several times I just read it going that's a wonderful sentence.
I'm really glad I'm trying for more work in translation and heard about this book.


message 16: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey (korrick) | 2004 comments Shirley wrote: "There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales I just finished this and it could go into several of the prompts. Russian, short stories but I'm put..."

I'm glad to hear that went well, Shirley, as I have two of the author's books on hand that I haven't gotten around to yet.


message 17: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Shirley wrote: "There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales I just finished this and it could go into several of the prompts. Russian, short stories but I'm put..."

I'm going to be looking out for more stuff by her now. I hope you enjoy.


message 18: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments I don't know where to post about this but the reading women are doing stuff this month to celebrate their birthday.
Prizes and challenges, a readathon on YouTube etc. I thought others might be interested


message 19: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Just finished Hollow Heartb for the indie publisher but this could also be for translation.
This was wonderful in a dark and dreamy way. I want to use the term haunting but considering the content that feels kinda trite.
I wish goodreads did half stars as this was a 4 1/2 star book, very nearly perfect.


message 20: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Finished The Obelisk Gate for the fantasy prompt and I'm loving this author. It's the second in her broken earth trilogy and it's so interesting. Completely different setting from other fantasy books and the characters are dynamic, not perfect people who you root for anyway.


message 21: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments I've read a few books for this challenge I haven't posted yet. Starting with brick lane by Monica Ali. Ill be honest this was a bit of a slog to read but it is perfectly done. The books writing gets brighter as the protagonists world expands but for a lot of the book I was bored stiffless and nearly didn't finish it. For prompt 8


message 22: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments I read the unwomanly face of war for 7 and I can't recommend this book enough! It's just lots of interviews of soviet women and their role in Second World War. At first it feels a bit repetitive but for me about half way through I got hit by emotions and couldn't put it down. The author uses a similar style of writing throughout and yet the individual voices come through. I also appreciated that when she is inserted into the interviews that it didn't seem obnoxious but added to humanising these voices. Such as an old lady offering her dumplings that are a speciality of Siberia and telling her you can't buy them anywhere. I can't recommend this enough


message 23: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments Oroonoko by aphra behn for 14 a classic. This is a book you can just talk about for days on end. It's just so interesting


message 24: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 123 comments So this is my 17th book for this challenge. Binti for challenge 24. Afro futerism is a genre I've been meaning to read for ages. I loved this short book and is exactly why reading diversely is great and Lionel shriver is wrong.
I can't really say why I liked this book so much without spoiling the ending for you so ill just have to say please give it a try. I read it within an hour.


message 25: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 250 comments Shirley wrote: "I read the unwomanly face of war for 7 and I can't recommend this book enough! It's just lots of interviews of soviet women and their role in Second World War. At first it feels a bit repetitive bu..."

Oh, I had to add that one. Thanks, Shirley!


message 26: by Laurie (new)

Laurie I liked Binti too and for me, I liked that she was a strong-willed young woman who is following her dream of education even though it is against her family's wishes. The end made me want to go read the next one right away, but I haven't read it yet.


message 27: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 183 comments Shirley wrote: "So this is my 17th book for this challenge. Binti for challenge 24. Afro futerism is a genre I've been meaning to read for ages. I loved this short book and is exactly why reading diversely is grea..."

Sold! and scifi and afro-futurism aren't really my thing either, but that's the power of friends' bookish enthusiasm.


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