Friday, 10 August 2018

#ReadingWomen - August 2018

Welcome to ReadingWomen! 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 here to whet your literary appetites.

Feel welcome to Comment your own book suggestions, especially links to your own 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:

Where I Was From by Joan Didion


The Book Depository
Wordery
Waterstones (unavailable)
Amazon

A memoir of land, family and perseverance from one of the most influential writers in America.

In this moving and surprising book, Joan Didion reassesses parts of her life, her work, her history - and America's. Where I Was From, in Didion's words, "represents an exploration into my own confusions about the place and the way in which I grew up, misapprehensions and misunderstandings so much a part of who I became that I can still to this day confront them only obliquely."

The book is a haunting narrative of how her own family moved west with the frontier from the birth of her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother in Virginia in 1766 to the death of her mother on the edge of the Pacific in 2001; of how the wagon-train stories of hardship and abandonment and endurance created a culture in which survival would seem the sole virtue. Didion examines how the folly and recklessness in the very grain of the California settlement led to the California we know today - a state mortgaged first to the railroad, then to the aerospace industry, and overwhelmingly to the federal government.

Joan Didion's unerring sense of America and its spirit, her acute interpretation of its institutions and literature, and her incisive questioning of the stories it tells itself make this fiercely intelligent book a provocative and important tour de force from one of America's greatest writers.



5 star favourite

A book to which I awarded 5/5 stars

Resin by Ane Riel

The Book Depository
Wordery
   Waterstones
Amazon

Suspenseful and heart-breaking, Resin is the story of what can happen when you love someone too much – when your desire to keep them safe becomes the thing that could irrevocably harm them.

Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.

Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.

But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.

This way, Liv would be safe.



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.

Music And Silence by Rose Tremain

The Book Depository
Wordery
Waterstones
Amazon

In the year 1629, a young English lutenist named Peter Claire arrives at the Danish Court to join King Christian IV's Royal Orchestra. From the moment when he realises that the musicians perform in a freezing cellar underneath the royal apartments, Peter Claire understands that he's come to a place where the opposing states of light and dark, good and evil, are waging war to the death.

Designated the King's 'Angel' because of his good looks, he finds himself falling in love with the young woman who is the companion of the King's adulterous and estranged wife, Kirsten. With his loyalties fatally divided between duty and passion, how can Peter Claire find the path that will realise his hopes and save his soul?


On my bookshelf

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

Agrippina: Empress, Exile, Hustler, Whore 
by Emma Southon

The Book Depository (unavailable)
Wordery (unavailable)
Waterstones (unavailable)
Amazon

Agrippina the Younger held a unique position in the first Roman imperial family. As great niece of Tiberius, sister of Caligula, wife of Claudius and mother of Nero she stood at the centre of power in the Roman empire for three generations. Even in her own time, she was recognised as a woman of unparalleled power. From exile to being hailed empress, across three marriages and three widowhoods, her life, power and role were extraordinary in their scope and drama. Beautiful and intelligent, she is alternately a ruthless murderer and helpless victim, the most loving mother and the most powerful woman of the Roman empire. She is portrayed in ancient sources as using sex, motherhood, manipulation and violence to get her way, and single-minded in her pursuit of power for herself and her son. Agrippina’s life sheds light on the Julio-Claudian dynasty and Rome at its height - the chaos, blood and politics of it all - as well as the place of women in the Roman world.

This book follows Agrippina as a daughter, born to the expected heir to Augustus’s throne, who was then orphaned, as a sister to Caligula who raped his sisters and showered them with honours until they attempted rebellion against him and were exiled, as a seductive niece and then wife to Claudius who gave her access to near unlimited power, and then as a mother to Nero who adored her until he killed her. She was 44 when she died. It takes us from the camps of Germany during a mutiny, through senatorial political intrigue, assassination attempts and exile to a small island, to the heights of imperial power, thrones and golden cloaks and games and adoration. We will see Agrippina found her own city (Cologne), live up to and then flaunt the greatest ideals of Roman femininity and motherhood, and explore the absolute limits of female power in Rome. The biography of Agrippina is also the biography of the first Roman imperial family - the Julio-Claudians, and of the empire itself.


Around the blogosphere

A 5/5 star review from another bookish blog

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky:
Stories by Lesley Nneka Arimah


The Book Depository
Wordery
Waterstones
Amazon

In "Who Will Greet You at Home," a National Magazine Award finalist for The New Yorker, A woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair, with unsettling results. In "Wild," a disastrous night out shifts a teenager and her Nigerian cousin onto uneasy common ground. In "The Future Looks Good," three generations of women are haunted by the ghosts of war, while in "Light," a father struggles to protect and empower the daughter he loves. And in the title story, in a world ravaged by flood and riven by class, experts have discovered how to "fix the equation of a person" - with rippling, unforeseen repercussions.

Evocative, playful, subversive, and incredibly human, What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky heralds the arrival of a prodigious talent with a remarkable career ahead of her.


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.

I blog my #Reading Women posts 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 :-)




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

6 comments:

  1. Most of the books I read are by women. That’s not intentional, though. I just read whatever looks good. What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky is on my TBR list. It sounds like my kind of book.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought I read more women too, but BookSirens did an analysis of my Goodreads reviews the other days and there's actually fractionally more male authors there

      Delete
  2. All of those are new to me but a couple of them look interesting. I read mostly pnr and I think for the most part all the books I read are written by women.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think there would be more women authors in that genre

      Delete
  3. I'm so curious about Resin especially with nobody giving anything away about the plot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so different that I wouldn't want to risk inadvertently spoiling any part of the plot

      Delete