Thursday, 10 May 2018

ReadingWomen - May 2018

This is my second ReadingWomen post. You can find out what inspired the series by Visiting This Link. The idea is to promote books authored by women and I have got another superb quintet to hopefully whet your literary tastebuds!

An appropriately timed article I spotted on LitHub a couple of days ago fits in perfectly with the ReadingWomen theme. If you want to discuss How To Suppress Women's Writing, LitHub has considerable food for thought.

Feel welcome to Comment your own suggestions, especially links to your own 5 stars reviews for the Around The Blogosphere choice. I love to see what everybody else is reading!

Inspirational biography

A biography or autobiography written by a woman and about a woman:

My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst

The Book Depository : from £3.81 (PB)
Wordery : from £5.59 (PB)
Waterstones : from £6.51 (PB)
Amazon : from £free (ebook)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

With insight and great wit, Emmeline's autobiography chronicles the beginnings of her interest in feminism through to her militant and controversial fight for women's right to vote. While Emmeline received a good education, attending an all-girls school and being, she rebelled against conventional women's roles. At the age of fourteen a meeting of women's rights activists sparked a lifelong passion in her to fight for women's freedom and she would later claim that it was on that day she became a suffragist.


5 star favourite

A book to which I awarded 5/5 stars

The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane

The Book Depository : from £14.99 (PB)
Wordery : from £12.73 (PB)
Waterstones : from £14.99 (PB)
Amazon : from £5.02 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

In this, a ground-breaking publication in the canon of non-Western women's literary history, Paulina Chiziane - the first woman from Mozambique ever to publish a novel - lifts the lid on her country's values and its hypocracies. After 20 years of marriage, Rami discovers that her husband has been living a double - or rather, a quintuple - life. After Tony is forced to marry the four other women - as well as an additional lover - according to polygamist custom, the rival lovers join together to declare their voices and demand their rights.


Dave's choice

My OH is almost a voracious a bookworm as me! He's also just as happy to read books written by women as by men which apparently is unusual for a man.

Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall

The Book Depository : from £8.50 (PB)
Wordery : from £8.49 (PB)
Waterstones : from £8.99 (PB)
Amazon : from £1.95 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Selina's mother wants to stay in Brooklyn and earn enough money to buy a brownstone row house, but her father dreams only of returning to his island home. Torn between a romantic nostalgia for the past and a driving ambition for the future, Selina also faces the everyday burdens of poverty and racism. Written by and about an African-American woman, this coming-of-age story unfolds during the Depression and World War II. Its setting — a close-knit community of immigrants from Barbados — is drawn from the author's own experience, as are the lilting accents and vivid idioms of the characters' speech. Paule Marshall's 1959 novel was among the first to portray the inner life of a young female African-American, as well as depicting the cross-cultural conflict between West Indians and American blacks. It remains a vibrant, compelling tale of self-discovery.


On my bookshelf

A book I've bought, swapped or been gifted and am eagerly awaiting reading

We And Me by Saskia de Coster

The Book Depository : from £11.87 (PB)
Wordery : from £11.21 (PB)
Waterstones : from £11.99 (PB)
Amazon : from £0.01 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

On a private estate near the top of a mountain lives the Vandersanden family. Neurotic, aristocratic Mieke grooms her carpets while keeping a close eye on her family and her neighbours. Her husband, the self-made man Stefaan, is building up a career in a pharmaceutical company which is threatened by scandal. Daughter Sarah, overprotected by her parents and curious for the real life, is finding her own path; like a contemporary Madame Bovary or an Anna Karenina, she longs for freedom and individuality. But will she find an escape from the claustrophobic family dramas and secrets that surround her?


Around the blogosphere

A 5/5 star review from another bookish blog

St Mark's Is Dead by Ada Calhoun

The Book Depository : from £12.99 (PB)
Wordery : from £11.43 (PB)
Waterstones : from £12.99 (PB)
Amazon : from £4.58 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

St. Marks Place in New York City has spawned countless artistic and political movements. Here Frank O'Hara caroused, Emma Goldman plotted, and the Velvet Underground wailed. But every generation of miscreant denizens believes that their era, and no other, marked the street's apex. This idiosyncratic work of reportage tells the many layered history of the street-from its beginnings as Colonial Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant's pear orchard to today's hipster playground-organized around those pivotal moments when critics declared "St. Marks is dead." In a narrative enriched by hundreds of interviews and dozens of rare images, St. Marks native Ada Calhoun profiles iconic characters from W. H. Auden to Abbie Hoffman, from Keith Haring to the Beastie Boys, among many others. She argues that St. Marks has variously been an elite address, an immigrants' haven, a mafia warzone, a hippie paradise, and a backdrop to the film Kids-but it has always been a place that outsiders call home. This idiosyncratic work offers a bold new perspective on gentrification, urban nostalgia, and the evolution of a community.


If you've read any of these, pop your thoughts and review links in the Comments. And your suggestions for other #ReadingWomen books are most welcome. Comment them too!

I plan to blog my #Reading Women post on the 10th of each month. Feel welcome to join in on any date! I've even made a badge to wear on your blog :-)




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