Thursday, September 30, 2021
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Sunday, September 26, 2021
We're headed off to have lunch with my dad soon and there's not much to report from here so I'll be brief today!Last Week I:
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Maiden Voyages: Magnificent Ocean Liners and the Women Who Traveled and Worked Aboard Them by Sian Evans
Maiden Voyages is a fascinating portrait of these women as they crossed the Atlantic. The ocean liner was a microcosm of contemporary society, divided by class: from the luxury of the upper deck, playground for the rich and famous, to the cramped conditions of steerage or third class travel. In first class you’ll meet A-listers like Marlene Dietrich, Wallis Simpson, and Josephine Baker; the second class carried a new generation of professional and independent women, like pioneering interior designer Sibyl Colefax. Down in steerage, you’ll follow the journey of émigré Maria Riffelmacher as she escapes poverty in Europe. Bustling between decks is a crew of female workers, including Violet “The Unsinkable Stewardess” Jessop, who survived the Titanic disaster.
Entertaining and informative, Maiden Voyages captures the golden age of ocean liners through the stories of the women whose transatlantic journeys changed the shape of society on both sides of the globe.
|Cunard's RMS Laconia|
The book is loaded with who's who of famous women of the area and we learn about how hard the liners worked to make these women feel comfortable and safe, outfitting the ships to feel more like hotels than ships. Those are the kinds of stories, of course, that make readers see a summary and decide to read a book. But it's the stories of the women in third class and the women who worked tirelessly on these ship, all in a bid for a better life, such as Violet Jessop who served as a stewardess, who really caught my attention.
|Violet Jessop, who survived the Titanic|
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
"I feel invisible, is what I mean. But I mean it in the deepest way. It is very hard to explain. And I cannot explain it except to say - oh, I don't know what to say! Truly, it is as if I do not exist, I guess is the closest thing I can say. I mean I do not exist in the world. It could be as simple as the fact that we had no mirrors in our house when I was growing up except for a very small one high above the bathroom sink. I really do not know what I mean, except to say that on some very fundamental level, I feel invisible in the world."
"A tulip stem inside me snapped. This is what I felt. It has stayed snapped, it never grew back. I began to write more truthfully after that."
"How is it that some people know how to do this [cross the lines in our world], and others, like me, still give off the faint smell of what we came from? I would like to know. I will never know. Catherine, with her own scent that she always wore. My point is that there is a cultural blank spot that never ever leaves, only it is not a spot, it is a huge blank canvas and it makes life very frightening."
Sunday, September 19, 2021
I got to work from home a couple of days this week. Since the big desk rearranging this summer, The Big Guy is now working in the room I used to work in and I had to move up to what I euphemistically call "my office." The beauty of that is that the table I set up on is positioned between two windows on the second floor and it felt a little bit like I was working in a tree house. I threw open windows, pulled a comfy chair up to the window for the cat to sleep in and thought I was going to really enjoy working from there 2-3 days a week going forward. And then my peer at work put in her notice and once she's gone, I'll have to be in the office full time. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.Last Week I:
Listened To: I finished The #1 Ladies' Detective Agency and I'm now about half way through Andrea Bartz's We Were Never Here, which is another of the Reese Witherspoon book club's recent picks.
Read: I finished Jodi Picoult's latest, Wish You Were Here, and started Colson Whitehead's new book, Harlem Shuffle. I'm not always good about reading the Author's Notes at the end of books, but reading Picoult's really gave me a greater appreciation why she'd written her story the way she did. I've only just started Whitehead's book and I'm already, once again, so impressed with his storytelling.
Thursday, September 16, 2021
As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.
Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they’re also building a new future—one neither of them could have anticipated.
With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery, certain to shock you with its final, heartbreaking turn.
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
- Adenrele Ojo does a fine job reading the book which will make you think you should pick up the audiobook if you want to read this one. Read on.
- Abrams includes biotech, genetics, espionage, medical, legal, and political elements and makes readers pay attention to the ways she weaves these elements together.
- Avery comes with a background that makes her feel more real, including a drug addict mother, a history of gambling, and a educational background that had her jumping from school to school.
- Once this book gets rolling, there's no stopping it - it feels like it's ready made to be an non-stop action movie.
- The good guys are practically wearing white, while the bad guys are in black. There's almost no grey here. I kept waiting for one of the good guys to turn out to be a bad guy but it never happened.
- I prefer authors to give us a sketch of their characters but not to dwell on them. Abrams gives readers every detail, often enhancing those descriptions as the book goes on.
- Avery's mother, Rita, is an addict and, we are given to infer, a sex worker. Abrams seems to a very little sympathy for either addicts or sex workers, painting Rita in the most negative of lights and never given the impression that either addicts or sex workers are victims.
- There are some pretty glaring points where Abrams has characters, particularly Avery, doing things that we've been led to believe they are too smart to do.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Last Week I:
Read: I raced through The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, which was a recent selection for Reese Witherspoon's book club.
Thursday, September 9, 2021
You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar
"I would love every single white person that I’ve ever worked with to read this book—and just white people in general. And white people who maybe think, “Well, is it really that bad? Is racism really that bad?”And supervisors, people who are in charge of people. I want them to read this book and be like, “I am never doing that again. I am now going to go to work and call Linda “Linda” and not “Black Linda.”"
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Monday, September 6, 2021
Last Week I:
Thursday, September 2, 2021
This is an impressive novel, particularly when you consider that it is Flanagan's debut. I felt like I knew these people. Of course, I especially enjoyed the references to places I'm familiar with, including the town I was born in. But living in Nebraska is not a prerequisite for enjoying this book; I highly recommend it.check out the full tour here. Purchase Links: University of Nebraska Press | Amazon | IndieBound