Thursday, January 26, 2017

Book Review: "Not Just Jane: Rediscovering Seven Amazing Women Who Transformed British Literature" by Shelley DeWees

I will say straight off of the bat that I've never been able to get into Jane Austen. I've tried. The horribleness of Mrs Bennett was enough to "nope" me out of there pretty quick. I always tell myself I should try again but then all the books on my TBR are like "choose me! choose me!" and I'm like "yeah, all of you get in the library requests. No Jane Austen right now."

So if, maybe, you find yourself thinking "I want a kinda obscure British woman author who SHOULDN'T be obscure and is kinda in the same time period and what have you" this book would be a great guide.


If you are all amped up on girl power right now, and want to keep the empowering women homefires burning this would be a great way to do so.

Here's some quick bullet points:

-I like Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a poet, but he's basically a turd as a human. When his daughter, Sara Coleridge who is one of the 7 featured ladies, was born while he was away canoodling with his mistress. What was sad about Sara is that she eventually becomes a drug addict like her very distant father.

-Dinah Mulock Craik was my favorite of the women profiled. Honestly, maybe because she was one of the few who still got a happy ending on her terms.

  - This will come as no surprise to people familiar with the time period but it was HARD getting divorces so a lot of times these ladies lived separate from their loutish husbands who still then had rights to their earnings from their publications

-The French Revolution factored into some of these ladies lives WAY more than I thought it would.

-Did you know that some people thought "female hysteria" was caused by the uterus wandering willy nilly thorough the women's body?



If you are or are not a Jane Austen fan, it doesn't matter. If you're looking for some talented ladies who put up with more than their share of garbage to do their chosen profession this will round out your TBR nicely. Recommended!

Friday, January 20, 2017

First Friday Four - Favorite TED talks so far (Technically third Friday Four, come on you guys know how this goes.)

Welcome to First Friday Four! It took me a longer time than most to get into TED talks but just in case you are behind the times like me, here's my four favorite TED talks!

This talk has made it's way through a lot of my family and we talk about it so much as to be nerdskis. Shout out to my city too!

Architecture and death together? Yes.

I have power posed in the bathroom at work, I will not lie. Also, wear your seatbelt! Hat tip to L/E guest poster and friend for the heads up on this. She reviewed Amy's book for All Lady July in 2016.

This TED talk made me happy cry several several times. The joy of wonder that books can bring you. Also I MUST got to the time travel store and the pirate supply store. MUST. #Randolph

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Review: "The Guineveres" by Sarah Domet

Four girls, all coincidentally named Guinevere, end up at a convent. They have each been left their by their parents for different reasons (which we find out later, which is good because I was going to be ANGRY if we did not get backstories). They all bond together immediately and spend their days talking about what their lives will be like once they are allowed to leave at 18 (or earlier, if any of their escape plans would go right.)

Their lives are pretty routine: class, mass, confession, some free time, chores, bad food, lights out. Then there are some new patients in the sick ward that changes the girls lives. This book gives you: teenage girl fights, big questions about love and God, the wonderfulness of great friendships, the general horror of being a teenager whose body is changing, and (IMHO) more than a few cases of undiagnosed mental illnesses.

Some reviewers criticize the girls for their "mindless drivel". I think that these girls who: have not much life experience (and what they have is not considered well balanced or "normal"), don't have any real safe relationships with adults where they can ask them personal questions, and have a lot of time to ruminate on things during hours of prayer and church services would talk pretty much exactly that way. Also, they are teenagers. Mostly they won't be discussing Shakespeare.

I thought this book was full of well fleshed out and realistic characters, believable scenarios, in an easy to follow narratives. I give this book a 3.5 stars out of 5. Tip of the hat to T from Traveling with T who a couple of months ago hosted a chat with the author and got this book on my radar.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Book Review: "Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe" by Mike Massimino

I kind of igured that if you ended up as an astronaut that was something that you decided at the age of like, 6 and then spent your whole life dedicated to getting to that goal. I think some people that is absolutley the case. Mike Massimino - "Mass" - was less like that. He had a fascination with space but then as he grew older fell into different interests until it was ignited in him again during college. What he couldn't have known was that the path that he was on (studying engineering and how humans interact with machines) was actually just what he needed to catch the interest of NASA. Which is not to say things were easy.

He was in good shape, good mental health, fit well personality wise that they were looking for but....bad eyes. And it's not like he's a pilot. He's a payload specialist. So in the years before LASIK he worked with doctors to correct his eyes in nonsurgical ways. Through practice and training he corrected his eyesight enough to get in the range of what NASA would accept. High stress!

I think that Mass loved the science, and being in space but the feeling that I get from the book is that he loved the family aspect of NASA the most. The camraderie and the team mentanlity really appealed to him and he needed to lean on that a few times with bumps in his perosnal life.

Also, if you're a Big Bang Theory fan you may recognize Mass as the American astronaut that Howard goes to space with. He started as a science advisor for the show and then they're

This was also a well timed read for me because I read it shortly after John Glenn's death and I needed a little space in my life.

A good, easy to read book that is less snark and more science than others that I have read by other astronauts. Though there is certainly room in my reading life for both types!

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books