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Book a Week in 2014 - BW6


Robin M
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Which makes me wonder, as a very slight detour... How many of you are writers as well as readers? I have written a few essay/article type pieces, two of which were published in an organization's newsletter years ago. It's on my bucket list to write a novel.

Raising my hand here, lol.

 

My career was technical writing & editing for a dozen years or so (pre-kids & when my dc were very young). Also, in college, I wrote for & was editor of the newspaper.

 

In my tech writing days, I worked mainly for the telecom companies (before the big bust of telecom), writing everything from highly technical manuals for field technicians to user manuals (like the user guide that comes in the box with your cellphone) to the assorted little warning papers that come in the boxes with your electronic products.

 

So, I've been published thousands of times (though without any name recognition as you don't get to put the author's name on a user guide ;) )! I know you all will be clamoring for my autograph on your user manuals now. :tongue_smilie: :lol: I loved, loved, loved doing this job even though the writing was actually my least favorite part; I really loved editing & all the other work such as beta testing, working with engineering, working with the printing companies, working with translators, etc....

 

Here's my little PSA on behalf of technical writers everywhere: Read your user manuals! Real people worked on them & wrote them. :)

 

I've never had the least interest in writing a novel or creative type pieces. However, with the rise & popularity of mass consumption fiction (Twilight, Fifty Shades, etc...), I keep thinking I should throw a novel together & put it out there. Surely I couldn't do worse....

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Which makes me wonder, as a very slight detour... How many of you are writers as well as readers? I have written a few essay/article type pieces, two of which were published in an organization's newsletter years ago. It's on my bucket list to write a novel.

Poet. Individual poems published in magazines. Chapbook self published.

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What a fantastic discussion. I feel a little like Angel in that you guys are really smart! I feel a little out of my league to speak up but am so thankful to be able to "listen" in on such intellectual discussion!

 

I was traveling last week and read Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott. It's her journal of her first grandson's first year of life. I really loved it as I do all of Lamott's books that I've read (I have not read any of her fiction). I find her funny, wise, and irreverent. And, I love her. So many things she says just resonate so deep within my soul.

 

I'm also in the midst of reading Astray by Emma Donoghue. It's a collection of short stories based on true stories from the late 1800's-early 1900's. They are well written and I am enjoying them immensely.

 

I've completed 8 books so far this year. :-)

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What a fantastic discussion. I feel a little like Angel in that you guys are really smart! I feel a little out of my league to speak up but am so thankful to be able to "listen" in on such intellectual discussion!)

There are no right or wrong answers here just the beauty and fact of your own individual experience and perspective.

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I found a few lists with some searching.

 

The 10 best… books about war

 

Five Best: Books About War

 

43 Books About War Every Man Should Read (This is from the Art of Manliness site thus the title.)

 

The greatest war novels of all time

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

Thank you.  Quite a lot here, and it's interesting to see how greatly the lists vary.

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I was traveling last week and read Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott. It's her journal of her first grandson's first year of life. I really loved it as I do all of Lamott's books that I've read (I have not read any of her fiction). I find her funny, wise, and irreverent. And, I love her. So many things she says just resonate so deep within my soul.

 

 

You're kidding me.  ANNE LAMOTT HAS A GRANDSON?!!!

 

Holy moly!!  It can't possibly have been more than a few years... OK, maybe ten years... since I read her newly published Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son's First Year...

 

Oy.  It goes fast.

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You're kidding me.  ANNE LAMOTT HAS A GRANDSON?!!!

 

Holy moly!!  It can't possibly have been more than a few years... OK, maybe ten years... since I read her newly published Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son's First Year...

 

Oy.  It goes fast.

 

She does. He was born when her son was only 19.

 

I loved Operating Instructions. :-)

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So funny that you mention this book today!  It is the Nook Daily Deal for $1.99.  I downloaded it just before popping over here.  Great minds think alike :D

 

Ohhhh. Thank you. I'm so glad you mentioned this.

 

As you all know, I'm not much of an ebook reader. Just downloaded the Nook software & bought this ebook because I figure that will be the cheapest I will find it since my library doesn't carry it.

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What a fantastic discussion. I feel a little like Angel in that you guys are really smart! I feel a little out of my league to speak up but am so thankful to be able to "listen" in on such intellectual discussion!

 

Me three.

 

I don't even know what I would consider to be the definition of feminism. I can say that when I was younger, I don't think I ever really thought about it one way or the other -- just reaping the benefits of those who went before me, paving the way.... If you're using feminism in regard to equality, I guess I never assumed that I was anything but equal, pursued & did what I wanted, etc... (& therefore didn't really give it any thought). With age comes (some) wisdom, I suppose, in that I can now appreciate those who have come before (women & men) who paved the way well enough that I didn't even have to think about it. If you're using feminism as a definition of the experience of being female, again, I don't think that's anything I've ever pondered too deeply. Maybe I'm more of an "it is what it is" type of personality, which doesn't lead me to pondering things like this often. :huh:  (Don't know if that's a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing. LOL.) And, I'm sure there are many more definitions & iterations of the word 'feminism' (perhaps Shukriyya has a poetic definition for us?) that haven't even entered my consciousness.

 

I do know that I still have much to learn. And to be grateful for.

 

Wonderful discussion, friends. You are opening my eyes & teaching me a lot. Thank you.

 

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Well, I'm chiming in to say that I'm following the conversation, but I don't really have anything to add. :D I have a very negative view of the term feminism, due to how and where I was raised. I haven't read any of these authors that you all are mentioning. I loved Anna Karenina and agree with whoever said there are so many themes to that book and I didn't consider that a "female" book, either. Enjoying the conversation...carry on!

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Asia:

 

Istanbul: City of a 100 Names by Alex Webb: I was very eager to see this after reading Orhan Pamuk's book on Istanbul.... but I was very disappointed. Only a few of the photos gave me any more sense of place and culture than I already had.. and the text was just a small excerpt from Pamuk's book...

Ah, good to know since I've read Pamuk previously & plan to read him again someday....

Consequences by Penelope Lively: What a gem of a book. It, lightly, covers three generations of women in a family, and, with it, a range of British history... but the ripples of the past through to the present and on to the future is what really stayed with me. Story, prose, and themes all beautifully woven together.

 

The Tain translated by Ciaran Carson: I am embarrassed to admit that this was my first time reading this. I knew the *stories*, but never read the complete original (just excerpts and retellings).

Will have to look into the Lively book.

 

I've never even heard of The Tain....

Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig: I'm not sure why I keep reading these. I don't actually *like* them (and the modern sections irritate me enormously)... the names change, but they are really the same book over and over again... and they aren't G-rated (the first one was the worst, I had to skip large sections of that one). ....maybe it is that when I pick up the newest one I already know what I'm getting... and they require absolutely nothing from me as a reader (except that I *not* bring any thought to the process.)

I had these on my want-to-read list for a couple of years. They sounded fun. I finally read the first one last year (or was it two years ago?). Uh. Not nearly as fun or as good as I expected. Haven't read any of the others, if that says anything. LOL. I have to laugh that you say you read them even though you don't actually *like* them. :lol: (I agree, though, that sometimes mindless fluff is a good thing.)

January wrap-up:

 

53 books

 

Japan:

I bit off far more than I could chew! I am only halfway through Tale of Geni and Tale of the Heike and not even at the halfway mark for the Kokinshu and World of the Shining Prince... but I am having so much fun! ...though I dislike Gengi (the character not the book) far more intensely this time around...

 

Other than those, I've read 5 Japanese books (including a Murakami!): Tales of Ise, Old Capital, Ryokan (poems), Kafka on the Shore, and Japanese Painting.

 

Centuries Challenge:

 

2 12th century works: Layla and Majnun and The Tain

 

 

Countries Challenge:

 

18: Argentina, Austria, China, England, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, US

 

 

 

...I've read one play for my Shakespearean Apocrypha challenge, one for my Z to A Challenge (and it wasn't even the Zizek I'm still chipping away at!), and 5 inspirational books

Eliana, I know you read at the speed of light. But, I have to ask... do you *ever* sleep??? :huh: :laugh: (Just had to rib you a little... ;) )

 

Love your countries list! :hurray: So inspiring! I wanna keep up!!!!

 

I don't think books specifically about women's experiences is any more a pigeonhole than any other book. Military fiction, frex, tends to be almost exclusively from a male view... and Murakami's view is *very* much a male view. There's nothing wrong with than, but there is something wrong with a cultural assumption that a male view is 'neutral' and female view is specific... (not implying you are saying that! Just riffing off of you...)

 

Lessing doesn't work for me. At all. I tolerated a non-fiction work last year, but she leaves me completely cold. ymmv :)

I don't like pigeonhole fiction like military fiction either (& I do consider it to be pigeonhole lit). But, to me, Murakami (even though his is very much a male viewpoint) is someone who transcends the pigeonholing & is a universal writer (vs. writing to a subset/subgenre).

 

And, I agree that it is a wrong cultural assumption. Otoh, the reality of the world is that most of Earth's societies at this point are patriarchal & not matriarchal.

 

Hmmm about Lessing. The other suggestions at book club were the Ken Follett middle ages one (can't remember the name, but I read & disliked it years ago) & then one about child soldiers from Somalia (which others in the group nixed).

:grouphug: I wish I could have lit a candle for you, to light your way home. I'm glad to hear you are out of the fog. Grief is such an intense process.

I agree, Robin. I still send positive thoughts your way, knowing you are surely still going through a rough time. Wishing you peace even amidst the grief.

 

The only LeGuin I have loved (and I love it with a passionate intensity) is Lavinia (which, in a sideways way) sort of connects to our Inferno readalong... Stacia, I think you might love this one too. It does such interesting things.

Will have to look for that one, esp. as I've never read LeGuin.

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Don't get me wrong!  I wasn't being ugly or pouting  :laugh: I'm always afraid I'll say the wrong thing, and I've certainly never been a debater.  I'm very passionate about reading but not in any of the literary norm kind of ways.  

 

It's time you learned then. :) It's good for you and this is a safe place. You're not getting marked so you can "flake" and change your mind whenever or say you have run out of vocab so will have to stop arguing. I'm sure we'll all know the feeling.

 

 

I'm going to say I think everyone should take one Women's Studies class. We read for the insight into the other, and unless you were brought up by a women's studies professor, insight into the other is what you'll get. Don't take more than one though. :p

 

 

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At the very least, everyone should read the Wiki pages on first, second and third wave feminism. The superiority thing is exclusively the domain of the hardcore (nutty) second wave feminists, as far as I know, and gotta love the media for promoting that as the only thing every called feminism.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-wave_feminism

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-wave_feminism

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-wave_feminism


It annoys me when I hear women say they are NOT feminists. They certainly have the right to self identify however they like, but it looks like a lack of understanding of the term, a deliberate choice not to be informed and a humility based superiority over other women. The only way religion prevent a woman being a feminist, as far as I can tell, is if they think feminism *is* for now and eternally, the crazy men haters or if they are opposed to gay/lesbian/trans/other rights. (The acronym has gotten too long and I can't remember it.  :p)

 

My less than mannerly rant is now over.

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I usually go through and like everyone's post as I read the thread, otherwise end up reading the whole thread multiple times.  Just pretend I liked everyone of your comments because I think at this point, the system will get upset with me.  You guys are on fire today. 

 

That's it... We all just need to write a book! :)

Which makes me wonder, as a very slight detour... How many of you are writers as well as readers? I have written a few essay/article type pieces, two of which were published in an organization's newsletter years ago. It's on my bucket list to write a novel.

Waving my hand. I am a writer.  I'm working on owning that statement, rather than saying Writer in progress or aspiring writer.  I write, therefore I am a writer.    Unpublished at this point and in the learning stage of the craft. Have 5 first drafts that all need lots of work. 

 

I have mixed feelings about Penman - she has done some real research, and some of her characterizations are delightful (her King John in Here Be Dragons frex in some ways felt as if he'd walked straight out of my head (I spend way too much time wandering around that period of English history as a kid)... but if I stop and think about any aspect of it for too long, the tendency to portray history as personal story - iow the result of the personal lives of the most powerful players - bothers me immensely... so, as fiction they can be fun (though more for those who enjoy the romance genre, again, especially Here Be Dragons)... and it isn't that her facts are wrong, but the emphasis is misleading.

 

...though when you finish Dragons, you might well want to go on to the nest two in the (loose) trilogy... though I warn you that you'll want to spit every time you hear Edward I mentioned if you do!  (I'd avoid her most recent books... and her RIII gives him an absolutely blinding halo... but When Christ and Saints Slept is an interesting version of the Stephen and Matilda conflict...

 

The Mandelbaum is my favorite to study from - I'll try to find the discussions from the high school board about translations... at one point I posted excerpts and got feedback from Ester Maria...


****************

 

My image is clinging to a rock as the tidal waves wash over me... I just have to hold on and trust that the intensity will lessen, that I'll be able to swim back to shore eventually.. or get back in my boat and keep sailing...

 

:grouphug:  I wish I could have lit a candle for you, to light your way home.  I'm glad to hear you are out of the fog.  Grief is such an intense process.

Re the bolded - that's the best part of historical fiction for me is the personalization of their stories which makes it more palatable.  Straight history is so dry to me.  I learn so much more and end up looking up information and following rabbit trails through these type of stories.   I have the whole trilogy plus When Christ and Saints slept. Maybe I'll get to all of them this year.

 

**

Wow, just wow!  That provokes such a vivid image in my head. So powerful.  Yes, it brought tears to my eyes but also made me want to sit down and start writing.  Thank you dear heart.  I'm out of the fog, but at the cranky part of the process.

 

Yes to the bolded above!  I have enough family drama IRL to deal with; I have no interest in getting all worked up over fictional  relationship drama.  

 

And I will gladly sign on to the Atwood fan list.  I've loved both of her books that I've read: The Handmaid's Tale and The Penelopiad.  I think The Blind Assassin is around here somewhere, too.  Regarding The Handmaid's Tale, it remains one of the most powerful, terrifying books I've ever read.  Can't say more than that without getting all religious and political, but yeah, it resonated.

 

So funny that you mention this book today!  It is the Nook Daily Deal for $1.99.  I downloaded it just before popping over here.  Great minds think alike :D

:iagree:

 

I loved this book! I have two others by her on my shelf that I need to pick up soon. She does such a great job turning historical figures into living, breathing characters (and even made me feel sympathy for King John!).

I finished a read aloud last night : One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, by Geraldine McCaughrean. My girls loved the stories, especially the original Alladin. We are also working through a collection of original Welsh fairy tales (the mood of the stories reminds me a lot of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell). I think next I will read them Little Women. :)

So happy to hear that!

 


I had something more typed up but decided to delete it.  I think I'm not cut out for the discussion parts of this.  I'm obviously not smart enough.  I'm going to crawl back into my little cubby here, kind of like Punxsutawney Phil (there is no way that little rodent saw his shadow!!).  I'll crawl out later to let you know when I finish Divergent.  And I'll back away slowly from the educated discussions now, so as not to show my ignorance or offend.   :unsure: 

No, no, no.    I had some very eloquent thoughts this morning when first saw your comment, but of course its all gone.  There is no I'm right, you are wrong, this is how it is, when it comes to any kind of discourse on this thread.  There are people out there who insist they are right, no matter the facts.  It brings to mind a political discussion in which the other person is in your face, poking your chest or waving his finger, saying this is how it is and if you don't agree, you are wrong. Which is why I don't discuss politics and walk away from people like that.  Your opinions, your thoughts and ideas all matter, especially to me. You see I'm a lot like you.  Sometimes I don't know how to put things into words or explain my feelings about a story and I'm in awe of the gals here who are so eloquent.  Every single person here makes me want to try just a little bit harder, to step out of my comfort zone and express how I think.   You clearly aren't an ignorant person nor has any of your words ever been offensive.   We all perceive our reads, interpret stories in different way.  I love hearing the different things our BAWer take away from the same stories.   And I don't want anybody to feel they can't express their thoughts because they feel dumb in comparison to anyone else.   Alright. Stepping of my soap box now.  It was so much more eloquent this morning, believe me.  Too bad I didn't write it down.  :laugh:

 

 

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It's time you learned then. :) It's good for you and this is a safe place. You're not getting marked so you can "flake" and change your mind whenever or say you have run out of vocab so will have to stop arguing. I'm sure we'll all know the feeling.

 

 

You sound like my dh!  I really am NOT good at debating.  I am so passionate about things, however, when I get passionate I usually lose all sense.  I can't form two coherent sentences together because I'm so caught up in emotion.  Therefore I come across harsh and offensive or a bumbling idiot  :rolleyes:  And here it is, worst of all, dh says I take everything personally, whether it is meant to be or not.  :blush: So when I'm "debating" with someone and we disagree, I automatically think they don't like me.  

 

So now you know all my dirty little secrets :leaving:    

 

 

Re the bolded - that's the best part of historical fiction for me is the personalization of their stories which makes it more palatable.  Straight history is so dry to me.  I learn so much more and end up looking up information and following rabbit trails through these type of stories.   I have the whole trilogy plus When Christ and Saints slept. Maybe I'll get to all of them this year.

 

 

 

No, no, no.    I had some very eloquent thoughts this morning when first saw your comment, but of course its all gone.  There is no I'm right, you are wrong, this is how it is, when it comes to any kind of discourse on this thread.  There are people out there who insist they are right, no matter the facts.  It brings to mind a political discussion in which the other person is in your face, poking your chest or waving his finger, saying this is how it is and if you don't agree, you are wrong. Which is why I don't discuss politics and walk away from people like that.  Your opinions, your thoughts and ideas all matter, especially to me. You see I'm a lot like you.  Sometimes I don't know how to put things into words or explain my feelings about a story and I'm in awe of the gals here who are so eloquent.  Every single person here makes me want to try just a little bit harder, to step out of my comfort zone and express how I think.   You clearly aren't an ignorant person nor has any of your words ever been offensive.   We all perceive our reads, interpret stories in different way.  I love hearing the different things our BAWer take away from the same stories.   And I don't want anybody to feel they can't express their thoughts because they feel dumb in comparison to anyone else.   Alright. Stepping of my soap box now.  It was so much more eloquent this morning, believe me.  Too bad I didn't write it down.  :laugh:

 

The bolded is me exactly!  I think I've learned more history from reading historical fiction than I ever learned in high school.

 

Thank you, Robin.  I will try to step out of my comfort zone...though I really like it here. In my little zone. Like Rosie said, it's safe.  That is my personality.  Dh calls me an ostrich  :laugh:

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I disagree. In the most general terms yes, 'people are people' and want the sublime-basics, but from there the paths of women and men diverge as a wilderness of subtlety. Or to bring it into the personal realm what informs the vision, dream and poetics of my own aspirations towards awakening is very different from that of the men in my life.

 

And I will briefly don my iconoclastic frock (to use Rosie's wonderful word) and say that my version of feminism has little to do with either superiority or equality.

 

Well, as Rosie says above "I have run out of vocab" so will have to stop here.  I am not sure we disagree so much as are not speaking quite the same language. But I can't articulate my thoughts well and don't want to get myself to a place I can't get out of.   :blush: ;)   

 

 

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Poet. Individual poems published in magazines. Chapbook self published.

 

I was a poet for a brief period of time over 15 years ago. I think it was a phase in my life when I had small children and a dh who was out to sea a lot. I needed some kind of intellectual exercise, which is how I tend to approach poetry. Kind of like decoding life.

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Wow, that's quite a combination to be doing at the same time!  If it were me, the one would surely affect my understanding of the other!

 

 

Well, I wouldn't really say I'm reading them at the same time. I just took a quick break from Cloud Atlas so I could read King Lear.

 

 

Female authors - I started going through my books from last year and counting to see how many female authors were there. When I got to 28 I just said Okay, so I read plenty of books written by women and stopped counting. I don't read a lot of romance or chick-lit either. Last year I read Akhmatova, Atwood, Austen, Muriel Barbery, SWB and Judy Blume to my kids, etc. 

 

I guess it's just nice to know that I'm not only reading books written by dead white men, and I avoid that without even really trying. 

 

My list so far:

 

8. King Lear William Shakespeare

7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J. K. Rowling

6. Lancelot: The Knight of the Cart Chretien de Troyes

5. Education of a Wandering Man Louis L'Amour

4. Yvain: The Knight of the Lion Chretien de Troyes

3. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami

2. The Taming of the Shrew William Shakespeare

1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Stieg Larsson

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I only made it through one book last week - "A Red Herring without Mustard", another Alan Bradley book. I was starting to feel a little bit badly for reading only these books right now (kind of like how I feel  after gorging on a giant bag of bbq potato chips), but I'm also slogging through an anthology for an ENG 102 class - so that's where my "better" stuff is.

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I'm also in the midst of reading Astray by Emma Donoghue. It's a collection of short stories based on true stories from the late 1800's-early 1900's. They are well written and I am enjoying them immensely.

 

I've completed 8 books so far this year. :-)

 

I read  Astray last year.  I loved it!   It made my Top 10 list for the year.

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Enjoying the discussion.  Unfortunately, the word feminist only invokes images of the men-hating variety.  I agree with Rosie in that I need to be more educated, but from the little I have read, it just really isn't something that interests me.  (I did read the links she provided.  I still don't get it.   :huh: )  That might qualify me for being kicked out of womanhood, but there it is.

 

 

 

Right now I'm suffering from to-many-books syndrome.   :willy_nilly:   I think I have about six books I want to read right this minute, and I can't settle down to a one of them.  *sigh*  What a dilemma.

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I've been reading, but have been too busy to post.  After 1Q84, taking things easy for a couple of weeks seemed like a good idea.  I enjoyed The Good Knight (Sarah Woodbury) and then read another from my "light reading list" The Woman (David Bishop) which had enough unexpected twists and turns to hold my interest.  This week, I've started another novel by Neal Stephenson, Reamde.  Day three of February, and I've hit my $ limit on books.  :rolleyes:

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Enjoying the discussion.  Unfortunately, the word feminist only invokes images of the men-hating variety.  I agree with Rosie in that I need to be more educated, but from the little I have read, it just really isn't something that interests me.  (I did read the links she provided.  I still don't get it.   :huh: )  That might qualify me for being kicked out of womanhood, but there it is.

 

 

 

Right now I'm suffering from to-many-books syndrome.   :willy_nilly:   I think I have about six books I want to read right this minute, and I can't settle down to a one of them.  *sigh*  What a dilemma.

 

I think more like you.  My exposure to feminism was during the more radical militant feminist wave and all men were dogs if you didn't agree with them.  Turned me off big time. I prefer to think for myself and I just can't identify with the feminism movement because it didn't in my eyes raise up women, but showed them in a bad light.  Yes some good things came out of it,  however....

 

You still see some of that in all the commercials these days in which white men are portrayed as stupid.  I don't think I've seen one single commercial in years where a man had any brains.  Again it goes back to the hot political think and speak as I do and agree with me or else.  I'll join you in being kicked out of womanhood because that's just not me.  And now back to books, folks!

 

 

Check out The Italian bookstore - Le Terrae. Books about italy, Italian literature, culture, history and art.

 

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Although I plan to read all of Rosie's links, here's an even more succinct version of the different types of feminism:

 

http://civilliberty.about.com/od/gendersexuality/g/Feminism-Definition.htm

 

I love the quote it starts with:  "Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings."  At its most basic, that's it.

 

If you read further... I'm not a third wave feminist, nor a radical feminist.  I doubt most of the women on this thread are.  When Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought for suffrage, that was pure feminism... that women should have the same basic citizenship rights as a man.  The Gloria Steinem "women need a man like a fish needs a bicycle" feminism?  Not so much, although those were the same women who said women should earn the same as men for the same work.  My bottom line is that women should have the same opportunities men do, and should have the ability to be their own person, chart their own destiny, and make choices for their lives. 

 

Now, are we there yet?  In the western world, one could argue that for the most part, yes we are.  95% at least.  There's still a gender pay gap, some would say reproductive rights are still hindered, etc.  But in the West, women can own property, earn college degrees, travel unaccompanied, all the basic freedoms.  We've come a long way, baby.

 

But two things to keep in mind... one, many women remember a time when it was not that easy, and fear that without vigilance, freedoms can be revoked.  I don't fear that specifically in regard to women's rights, but I think most can agree that there are examples of citizens giving up basic freedoms without really realizing the consequences.  And the second thing... there are countries all over the world where women have little to no basic freedom, and live in fear for their very lives should they leave the house unchaperoned. 

 

So yes... I am a feminist.  :)  And apparently I'm on my soapbox about it.  :blushing:  I hope no one takes this as criticism or derision, I just wanted to explain where I land on the issue and why, like Rosie said, it's frustrating to hear women say they aren't feminists. 

 

Now, back to your regularly scheduled book discussion!  :D

 

 

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One thing we can all agree on - I am Woman!

 

I've had this song running through my head all day and just had to share.  I loved singing it at the tops of my lungs in the car way back then.

 

It won't embed so here's the link

 

 

Here are the lyrics for those who don't remember Helen Ready

 

 

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again

CHORUS
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
'cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul

CHORUS

I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong

FADE
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman

 

 

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I think more like you.  My exposure to feminism was during the more radical militant feminist wave and all men were dogs if you didn't agree with them.  Turned me off big time. I prefer to think for myself and I just can't identify with the feminism movement because it didn't in my eyes raise up women, but showed them in a bad light.  Yes some good things came out of it,  however....

 

You still see some of that in all the commercials these days in which white men are portrayed as stupid.  I don't think I've seen one single commercial in years where a man had any brains.  Again it goes back to the hot political think and speak as I do and agree with me or else.  I'll join you in being kicked out of womanhood because that's just not me.  And now back to books, folks!

 

 

Check out The Italian bookstore - Le Terrae. Books about italy, Italian literature, culture, history and art.

 

 

It's not just commercials.  Television programming, in general, and especially sitcoms and comedies, portray not only white men, but all men as being stupid.  Not only that, but more and more portray adults as that way, and it's the children who come in to save the day.   :huh:  :confused:  :mad:   That irritates me to no end.   :glare:

 

Thanks for the link!  I have several of those on my tbr list, and can see a few more to add.   :D

 

Although I plan to read all of Rosie's links, here's an even more succinct version of the different types of feminism:

 

http://civilliberty.about.com/od/gendersexuality/g/Feminism-Definition.htm

 

I love the quote it starts with:  "Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings."  At its most basic, that's it.

 

If you read further... I'm not a third wave feminist, nor a radical feminist.  I doubt most of the women on this thread are.  When Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought for suffrage, that was pure feminism... that women should have the same basic citizenship rights as a man.  The Gloria Steinem "women need a man like a fish needs a bicycle" feminism?  Not so much, although those were the same women who said women should earn the same as men for the same work.  My bottom line is that women should have the same opportunities men do, and should have the ability to be their own person, chart their own destiny, and make choices for their lives. 

 

Now, are we there yet?  In the western world, one could argue that for the most part, yes we are.  95% at least.  There's still a gender pay gap, some would say reproductive rights are still hindered, etc.  But in the West, women can own property, earn college degrees, travel unaccompanied, all the basic freedoms.  We've come a long way, baby.

 

But two things to keep in mind... one, many women remember a time when it was not that easy, and fear that without vigilance, freedoms can be revoked.  I don't fear that specifically in regard to women's rights, but I think most can agree that there are examples of citizens giving up basic freedoms without really realizing the consequences.  And the second thing... there are countries all over the world where women have little to no basic freedom, and live in fear for their very lives should they leave the house unchaperoned. 

 

So yes... I am a feminist.  :)  And apparently I'm on my soapbox about it.  :blushing:  I hope no one takes this as criticism or derision, I just wanted to explain where I land on the issue and why, like Rosie said, it's frustrating to hear women say they aren't feminists. 

 

Now, back to your regularly scheduled book discussion!  :D

 

Thank you, SunnyDays for the link and your thoughts.  I guess, if I were to use the word feminism to mean only that I believe men and women should have the same basic civil rights, then, yes, I would be a feminist.  When you start telling me that I have to hate men, and manliness, you've lost me (obviously not you, SunnyDays, but the general you).  I love men, especially MY man.   :lol:   I love how my femininity complements and strengthens my dh's masculinity, and vice versa.  Angel, maybe that is what you mean by completing each other?  Can I stand on my own?  Yes.  Can he stand on his own?  Yes.  Do we stand 1,000 times better together?  Absolutely.  I think that is where the breakdown happens.  Believing that men and woman have the same rights and freedoms is completely different from the mentality that women can do anything men can do, only better, and not only that, but you don't even need a man.  I think that is a relational issue, and does not have anything to do with rights and freedoms.

 

 

Stacia, I've started The Devotion of Suspect X (30 pages in), and so far I'm liking it.  It is going to be interesting to see how they decide to handle the crime, and how the investigation goes forward.  Also, I'm not too far into If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, but I have been really enjoying it.  I'm so glad I have it on my Kindle, because I have been highlighting whole chunks of it.  Gah!

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Robin, love it!  That song was a little before my time, but I remember hearing it a fair amount when I was younger.

 

Michele, I completely agree... I think the standard view of feminism in mass culture and media is the bra burning, protesting, yelling women who insist men are the enemy.  And that's the wrong view if you're looking at how average American women feel, I think.

 

And I agree with both of you that media makes men/dads look like idiots.  I watched a few episodes of Good Luck Charlie on Disney... at first glance it was cute and wholesome.  Then I realized that not only was Dad an idiot, but mom was conniving and scheming, oldest brother barely had a brain in his head, etc.  That's just one example.  I prefer to be around people who can actually form coherent thoughts, male or female!!  ;)

 

Anyway... I have spent too much time online today and haven't read anything.  Still working on The Goldfinch.  :D

 

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I just finished a book by a new to me author. Jacqueline Carey appears to write several popular series and has a relatively new series called Agent of Hel, as in the Norse goddess. I read the first one "Dark Currents" and enjoyed it. For those of you who read paranormals it was sort of Kevin Hearne meets Kim Harrison in the nicest possible way. The story takes place in a small Michigan resort town which I loved because I grew up in one. I spent a lot of time wondering about werewolves in my childhood woods and magical creatures all around. The clues lead me to believe this "town" is near South Haven for others with MI connections. The book also mentions Blue Moon ice cream which I am now craving. It was a good page turning read with no dragging bits. I am already on the wait list for the next one! :)

 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-currents-jacqueline-carey/1110865402?ean=9780451414830

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I love the quote it starts with:  "Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings."  At its most basic, that's it.

 

 

Well, for me, that is it.

 

With its logical corollary: Since women are fully human, they deserve the full range of choice and the full sovereignty to make their own choices that any other human deserves.

 

 

 

 

That's all, folks.

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I don't have much to say about feminism. It all confused me back the early eighties with the ERA stuff. My church actively fought against it, but I never could understand their reasoning which was based of fear of the "terrible" things that would happen as a result. I never could understand why one human being would *want* to treat another human being of any kind like a an inferior species.  I've always tried to treat most people I meet as deserving of equal consideration, unless they have done something heinous that disqualifies them.  I try not to assume anything about someone till I get to know more about them.

 

As a woman, I do understand the fear of being dominated even though I've lead a fairly uneventful life. I think that is what most prejudice and anger of any people feeds off of, even though I feel many of the fears  are deliberately manufactured in order to control. Domination systems are ubiquitous. If all the ______ are not in charge, who is?  "Eat or be eaten."   Social evolution tends to be a violent struggle. What we need is a world of vegetarians, metaphorically speaking.

 

 

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I finished The Magic Apple Tree and it did not disappoint.  I went to order Howard's End is on the Landing for my Kindle only to be denied! It's only in print.  I'll have to wait.  Maybe I should read Howard's End first ...

 

Book Reviews

 

1. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers

2. A To Z with C.S. Lewis by Louis A Markos

3. Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

4. Perelandra by C.S. Lewis

5. The Magic Apple Tree by Susan Hill

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In mathematics we begin by defining our terms.  If only real life were so simple...

 

I have found the sometimes I (we) label myself (ourselves) or others as something, but that the label takes on different meanings across cultures, ages and time.  When we begin a discussion of what we mean by the label--or hopefully get beyond some simple generalities--we build bridges.  For example, as homeschoolers we have far more in common with each other despite political, religious or cultural differences.  This BaW thread has brought a group of us together who might not otherwise hang out were we to judge each other by our reading.

 

My own reading at the moment requires a mental shift into another time period, that of Elizabethan England.  Author Ian Mortimer notes in his preface that it is hard for the modern mind to understand the delights of animal baiting which was a popular form of entertainment in 16th century England.  Yet we continue to read Shakespeare... 

 

A piece of trivia that gave me pause: In 1558, London was the sixth largest city in Europe with a population of about seventy thousand.  Mortimer lists the six most populous European cities at that time as Naples, Venice, Paris, Antwerp, Lisbon then London.  By 1603, London's population almost triples. There is no constancy in this world.  In 1603, the three most populous cities are Naples, Paris, and London. 

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I finished The Magic Apple Tree and it did not disappoint.  I went to order Howard's End is on the Landing for my Kindle only to be denied! It's only in print.  I'll have to wait.  Maybe I should read Howard's End first ...

 

Book Reviews

 

1. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers

2. A To Z with C.S. Lewis by Louis A Markos

3. Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

4. Perelandra by C.S. Lewis

5. The Magic Apple Tree by Susan Hill

 

I love E.M. Forster:  Howard's End, A Passage to India, A Room with a View, Where Angels Fear to Tread.  Wonderful books! 

 

 

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It's not just commercials.  Television programming, in general, and especially sitcoms and comedies, portray not only white men, but all men as being stupid.  Not only that, but more and more portray adults as that way, and it's the children who come in to save the day.   :huh:  :confused:  :mad:   That irritates me to no end.   :glare:

 

 

 

Thank you, SunnyDays for the link and your thoughts.  I guess, if I were to use the word feminism to mean only that I believe men and women should have the same basic civil rights, then, yes, I would be a feminist.  When you start telling me that I have to hate men, and manliness, you've lost me (obviously not you, SunnyDays, but the general you).  I love men, especially MY man.   :lol:   I love how my femininity complements and strengthens my dh's masculinity, and vice versa.  Angel, maybe that is what you mean by completing each other?  Can I stand on my own?  Yes.  Can he stand on his own?  Yes.  Do we stand 1,000 times better together?  Absolutely.  I think that is where the breakdown happens.  Believing that men and woman have the same rights and freedoms is completely different from the mentality that women can do anything men can do, only better, and not only that, but you don't even need a man.  I think that is a relational issue, and does not have anything to do with rights and freedoms.

 

 

Yes! Yes! and Yes!  to all of it!  :iagree:

 

Dh says I'm so anti-feminist that he is surprised that I'm a woman  :lol:   However, this would it explain it for me.  I would add only one caveat.  I believe that just because we have the freedom to do whatever a man does, it doesn't mean we should.  Kind of like the quote in Jurassic Park where Ian Malcolm says "Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn't stop to think if they should." (I use this quote for all kinds of things  ;) )  I believe that there are some areas of life that we women have no business being in.  Can/Could we do it, sure or maybe, but should we...nope.  

 

ETA:  I'm an only, AND of the 52 grandchildren I'm one of the youngest.  The baby.  I want people to take care of me LOL!  I have no problem with that, at all LOL!  And I never wanted to work, I just wanted to be a mom with like 10 children (missed that mark :) ) Maybe that will explain me a little!  

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