Tag Archives: Women’s Issues

In the Kingdom of Ice, The Princess and Curdie, Luckiest Girl Alive

I don’t tend to read a lot of non-fiction, but I’ve always been a sucker for stories about people trying not to freeze to death. In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Journey of the USS Jeannette was not only a suspenseful, exciting story, but it was exceptionally researched and suffused with narrative excellence. In 1879, the USS Jeannette headed off to the North Pole, captained by the capable and ambitious George Washington De Long. Their goal was to reach the North Pole…

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The Book of You by Claire Kendal

Synopsis: After a night she can’t remember that left her with bruises on her thighs, Clarissa can’t shake Rafe, whose unrelenting attentions gain added menace when she starts noticing the parallels to a rape trial she’s attending as a juror. Review: The Book of You had some strong and memorable elements, particularly Claire’s emotional and physical isolation as a result of Rafe’s stalking. Unfortunately, the secondary characters remained largely flat on the page, never serving as much more than an unwitting Greek chorus to Claire’s…

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Something Blue by Ann Hood

Synopsis: When Katherine leaves her fiancĂ© at the altar, she heads to New York City to crash with her ex-best friend, only to find a less-than-warm welcome from Lucy, who has man troubles of her own. Review: While the friendships in Something Blue were satisfyingly nuanced, I was left somewhat cold by the overall story. I loved visiting the New York City of the late 1980s/early 1990s, because some of the restaurants mentioned were places I went to when I moved to Manhattan in 1995.…

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The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan

Synopsis: Anais has never known a family, having spent her entire life in the foster system, and now it seems she’ll be trading the small bit of freedom she still has for a jail sentence. Review: The Panopticon‘s marketing copy would have you believe that it’s another dystopian YA story. If you write it off because you’re weary of the genre, then you’ll be missing out. Anais is one of the most alive characters I’ve ever experienced in a book. For all her vulgarity and…

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Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker

Synopsis: When an escort goes missing after a call with a john out on Long Island, the bodies of four other escorts are found on the beach, and the odd nature of the community seems to prevent a successful investigation. Review: Although Lost Girls doesn’t offer closure for the mystery at hand, the book is still a gripping, worthwhile read. Kolker delves into the personal history of the four confirmed victims, prostitutes whose bodies were found wrapped in burlap on a deserted stretch of beach…

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Maxed Out by Katrina Alcorn

Synopsis: Subtitled: American Moms on the Brink. Review: Where on earth to begin with my praise for Maxed Out? Katrina Alcorn‘s memoir/cultural analysis is an honest, well-researched, and absolutely necessary addition to the conversation about women in the workplace. The political is personal, and she astutely uses her own story of corporate burnout and panic attacks to highlight the ways in which corporate culture and expectations are at odds with what is best for families with children. Alcorn puts her arguments into a larger context,…

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Lie Still by Julia Heaberlin

Synopsis: When pregnant Emily and her lawman husband move from New York City to a small, wealthy Texas town, she finds herself enmeshed in mean girl culture and doesn’t take it seriously until the town’s queen bee goes missing–and a mysterious package hinting at her own dark past shows up on her doorstep. Review: Lie Still is your next read if you liked Gone Girl–and if you did, this is probably all I need to say. Lie Still hooked me from the very beginning with…

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Homeward Bound by Emily Matchar

Synopsis: Subtitled: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity. Review: Here’s what really gets me–we finally get to a point in history where most men acknowledge that women can have a voice in both their own lives and in the future of our country. And what happens? Women decide to take over the job of telling each other “yer doin’ it wrong.” Homeward Bound is yet another polemic against women who dare to decide that the corporate world is not for them. Leaving aside everything…

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The End of Men and The Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin

Synopsis: A sociological look at the transformation of gender roles in 21st century America and beyond. Review: While there was a lot of fascinating research in The End of Men, I couldn’t help but wonder what she was leaving out. I think her claims make for a media-ready argument, but she’s hardly described the totality of the world. People are way more complicated than she’s giving them credit for–particularly the working class types she patronizes by larding their dialogue with colloquialisms. I really don’t like…

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