Mom & Me & Mom
Book Review / February 23, 2017

Title: Mom & Me & Mom Series: Maya Angelou's Autobiographies, #7 Author: Maya Angelou Genre: Memoir Publisher: Random House Release Date: April 2nd, 2013 Format: Audiobook Pages: 201 Source: Library First Published: January 1st, 2013 The story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother. For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size belied her larger-than-life presence—a presence absent during much of Angelou’s early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to simply call “Lady,” revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them. Delving into one of her life’s most rich, rewarding,…

Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl
Book Review / September 11, 2016

Title: Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl Author: Carrie Brownstein Genre: Memoir Publisher: Riverhead Books Release Date: October 27th, 2015 Format: Hardback Pages: 244 Source: Library From a leader of feminist punk music at the dawn of the riot-grrrl era, a candid and deeply personal look at life in rock and roll.  Before Carrie Brownstein codeveloped and starred in the wildly popular TV comedy Portlandia, she was already an icon to young women for her role as a musician in the feminist punk band Sleater-Kinney. The band was a key part of the early riot- grrrl and indie rock scenes in the Pacific Northwest, known for their prodigious guitar shredding and their leftist lyrics against war, traditionalism, and gender roles. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is the deeply personal and revealing narrative of Brownstein’s life in music, from ardent fan to pioneering female guitarist to comedic performer and luminary in the independent rock world. Though Brownstein struggled against the music industry’s sexist double standards, by 2006 she was the only woman to earn a spot on Rolling Stonereaders’ list of the “25 Most Underrated Guitarists of All-Time.” This book intimately captures what it feels like to be a young woman in…

The Complete Persepolis
Book Review / September 3, 2016

Title: The Complete Persepolis Series: Persepolis, #1 & 2 Author: Marjane Satrapi Genre: Memoir Publisher: Pantheon Release Date: October 30th, 2007 Format: Trade Paperback Pages: 341 Source: Library Here, in one volume: Marjane Satrapi’s best-selling, internationally acclaimed memoir-in-comic-strips. Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming–both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up. Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom–Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon With The Complete Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi achieves what many before her have strived to do– but none have succeeded so…

How to Be a Woman
Book Review / June 25, 2016

Title: How to Be a Woman Author: Caitlin Moran Genre: Non Fiction- Feminism Publisher: Harper Release Date: July 17th, 2012 Format: eBook Pages: 322 Source: Owned Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven’t been burned as witches since 1727, life isn’t exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women’s lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.  (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon   Caitlin Moran is a woman I want to go out for tapas with. Not just drinks- we’ll end up partying and staying out too late, and I, by the end, will not have enjoyed myself (I tend to over-party and fall asleep in public places with enabler-types). But tapas and wine will mean an evening of lively conversation with an early bedtime. And I’m all about it. Because this woman is going to be one heck of a conversation partner– funny, self-deprecating, smart, and unafraid to tell…

Where in the World?
About Me / April 17, 2016

As you might have noticed, I was on a brief hiatus from updating my blog. Never fear! I did not abandon you, nor did I abandon my reading. I just returned from a 9-day vacation to the Caribbean islands where they had remarkably poor wireless when I had downtime, and fantastic wireless when I did not. C’est la vie. Don’t worry, I made good use of my time, as my photo evidence suggests. On my trip, I completed reading 4 books and I am in the middle of another two. Strangely, this is less than I expected. Silly ocean distracted me. Read: The Little Lady Agency, Red Rising, How To Be A Woman, Golden Son Currently Reading: Luke Skywalker Can’t Read: And Other Geeky Truths, All About Love The first book of my trip was a no brainer. Super fluffy chick-lit. Perfect for the beach. The next two books were for different book clubs. I traveled with my roommate, who also participates in the Our Shared Shelf book club, and we were both reading. It was great to have someone to talk to about How To Be A Woman while I was mid-reading it. Not having anyone to talk to about the Red Rising books was a challenge…

The Color Purple
Book Review / March 23, 2016

Title: The Color Purple Author: Alice Walker Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Pocket Release Date: April 1st, 2004 Format: Paperback Pages: 295 Source: Library First Published: 1982 The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon It’s amazing how coming into a situation blind can really improve your experience. I knew very little about The Color Purple when I picked it up. I knew it was a Pulitzer Prize Winning book, Alice Walker wrote it, it addresses many issues facing women and people of color in the 1930’s, and is…

My Life on the Road
Book Review / February 12, 2016

Title: My Life on the Road Author: Gloria Stienem Genre: Travel Publisher: Random House Release Date: October 27th, 2015 Format: eBook Pages: 276 Source: Owned Gloria Steinem—writer, activist, organizer, and one of the most inspiring leaders in the world—now tells a story she has never told before, a candid account of how her early years led her to live an on-the-road kind of life, traveling, listening to people, learning, and creating change. She reveals the story of her own growth in tandem with the growth of an ongoing movement for equality. This is the story at the heart of My Life on the Road. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon   Gloria Steinem’s most recent book, My Life on the Road, is a challenge to classify. Many call this book a memoir or an autobiography. However, it’s mostly a collection of events that Steinem happened to be around to experience, though not actively take part. So, it’s also a bit of a travelogue. But, not all these stories are Steinem’s experiences from traveling. Others, for lack of a firm grasp on genre just blanket this into feminism (is that a genre?) or even the most generic: non-fiction. It took me many more years to…

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