I just signed up for a bookish pen pal in this event being hosted by Stormy at Book.Blog.Bake and I’m super excited! Who doesn’t like getting real mail?! Far too uncommon these days. Throw in the chance to talk about all things bookish and I’m in! Sign-ups close on August 1st for this months! Continue reading
Title: The Mirrored World
Author: Debra Dean
Source: from publisher for TLC book tour
Review Summary: I had mixed feelings about this one, which was beautifully written and conveyed the essence of events very well but never made me feel engaged in the plot.
This book was inspired by the life of Xenia, patron saint of St. Petersburg, but is told from the perspective of her (imaginary, I think) cousin. We watch as Xenia falls madly in love and her complete devastation following her husbands death. As Xenia finds solace in giving her belongings for the poor and slowly transforms into a pauper revered as a “holy fool”, her cousin must decide whether Xenia needs saving from herself or just support in her choices. Her cousins life is also deeply impacted by Xenia’s transformation which helps her find love in the most unlikely of places. Continue reading
Editor: Erin McKean
Fun Fact: Dictionaries didn’t used to be objective and included information beyond definitions. For example, Webster’s 1806 edition stated that the earth was created in 4004BC.
Review Summary: This collection included some really funny essays and some that are only going to be enjoyable if you love collecting obscure words.
Verbatim: The Language Quarterly is a periodical that accepts reader submitted essays on all things related to the English language. The book is a collection of some of editor Erin McKean’s favorite essays from her time as editor of the periodical. Topics range from word origins to grammar to pop culture jargon. Authors also express a variety of opinions, from a willingness to embrace changes to the English language to essays lambasting particular developments the author hates. Continue reading
Title: The Virgin Cure
Author: Ami McKay
Source: from publisher for TLC book tour
Review Summary: This was well written, with such attention to historical detail I felt it could actually have happened but I just didn’t feel a connection to the main character.
Moth is a young girl living in the slums of lower Manhattan until her own mother sells her as a servant. When she tries to escape and finds her mother gone, few options are left to her. Moth is forced choose between returning to the abusive woman who bought her; returning to her old life; or living a life of comparative luxury as a prostitute. With the help of a caring, female doctor named Dr. Sadie, Moth must decide what is most important to her and what she’s willing to sacrifice to survive. Continue reading
Title: Leonardo’s Foot: How 10 Toes, 52 Bones, and 66 Muscles Shaped the Human World
Author: Carol Ann Rinzler
Source: from publisher for review
Fun Fact: Koala’s have two opposable thumbs on each of their hands and one on each of their feet
Review Summary: The author’s conversational style was both a strength (funny! approachable!) and a weakness (oh the rambling).
The goodreads description of Leonardo’s Foot claims that it will “[stretch] back to the fossil record and forward to recent discoveries in evolutionary science to demonstrate that it was our feet rather than our brains that first distinguished us from other species”. In reality, I found it be far more playful and less goal oriented. This book covers everything from evolution to foot fetishes to famous people with foot-related illnesses.
Title: The Ascent of Woman
Author: Melanie Phillips
Review Summary: Initially the tone was too dry and the information was repetitive throughout, but the action picked up enough at the end to add some excitement to this thoughtful analysis of the women’s rights movement.
I picked up this somewhat obscure book (only obtained through my school library by special request) for the goodreads group I’ve been most involved with lately, The Perks of Being a Bookworm. Only after I started reading did I realize that it might be hard to find in the US because it’s actually a history of the women’s rights movement in Britain. Just learning what happened in this period of turmoil was interesting (and helped me get some references I completely missed the first time around during an audiobook “re-read” of Caitlan Moran’s How to be a Woman). The book’s real strength, however, was in the focus on issues that divided the women’s rights movement as some are still relevant today. Continue reading