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review 2018-10-24 03:04
The Little Book of Feminist Saints
The Little Book of Feminist Saints - Manjitt Thapp,Julia Pierpont

This book is truly a treasure and an inspiration. The biographies are thoughtful, engaging and often surprising; the illustrations are simply stunning. I loved the form of a book of saints— I would especially like a leather-bound volume of this with a silk ribbon bookmark like my catholic school days—and even more, I loved having a grown-up picture book. There was a terrific balance between the well-known and lesser known women, with so many important, overlooked achievements. This is a book I read on my ipad in order to appreciate the illustrations, (and because I received a review copy from NetGalley -—Thank You!) but I wouldn't hesitate to buy a stack of these to give as gifts. Christmas is coming.

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review 2018-09-13 14:50
The Little Book of Feminist Saints - Manjitt Thapp,Julia Pierpont
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A nice book recognizing some amazing women throughout history. 

Each woman is declared a saint of a specific field (color, dreamers, the independent, programmers, etc.) as well as given a feast day. Women's birth years and places are given and a brief blurb, which tells about their lives, the impact they had, and some little known facts about them. 

Also, each woman has a beautiful portrait by Manjit Thapp. I loved the color and details used.

While this list is mostly white women, there are also many women of color as well as trans women and women who are differently abled. This list was compiled by having people nominate various women so there is a wide variety, but yes, the majority are still straight white women. 

The thing I really liked about this book was that there were so many women I had never heard of. There are plenty of women you would expect to see in a list of this sort (Gloria Steinem, Sandra Day O'Connor, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart), but it was also very interesting to learn about some women who are not as well known or taught about in school. 

At the end of the book is a page where you can add your own feminist saint, which was a very nice touch.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It had a unique set up and I really liked the illustrations and learning about women I have sadly never heard of. Thanks to this book, I now have a slightly better understanding of their lives and can go on to research them further. Great idea for a book.
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review 2018-03-07 01:39
The Little Book of Feminist Saints
The Little Book of Feminist Saints - Manjitt Thapp,Julia Pierpont

This is a fantastic book for anyone who wants to learn about some of history's fabulous women. The timing of this is perfect for Women's History Month. The only think "wrong" with this is there were so many great women to pick from. How do you narrow it down? 
There are some absences in this one. However, that is countered with women who the average person has heard of (Yayoi Kusama, Forugh Farrrokhzad, Maria Montessori, and The Mirabal Sisters anyone?). Then, of course, the NAMES (Oprah, Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai ) that everyone has (*should*) have heard of.
I liked the portrait and the little details about each women. I think back at history and mourn what has been lost to time (deliberate actions and accidental), Sappho's poetry or Hypatia's writings.
This is an excellent starter for someone with an interest in learning something new that they otherwise would have never known. This is appropriate for kids and adults.

eARC courtesy of Random House and NetGalley.
Published on March 6, 2018

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review 2015-10-09 13:03
Unnecessary and excessive use of explicit "dirty talk" diminished the book's quality for me. The point could have been made without it.
Among the Ten Thousand Things: A Novel - Julia Pierpont

Among the ten thousand things, Julia Pierpont, author, Hillary Huber, narrator

When the book began, I was stunned by the extent of filthy language and graphic sexual descriptions used. I almost stopped listening, but instead, I decided to look up some of the reviews to see if there was a warning about language or if the book had been received well, so far. There were no warnings, and the reviews seemed to indicate that the book was a worthwhile read, so I soldiered on. Perhaps without the crude language, I would have been able to appreciate the book more, but in the end, I still believe the trashy vocabulary diminished the literary quality of the novel and was way of the top.

The story is about the Shanleys, a family that was coming apart at the seams because of a husband’s serial infidelity. When Jack’s spurned lover sent a box of erotic emails to his home, with his wife Deb’s name scrawled across the top, the emails, unfortunately, fell into the hands of 11-year old Kay and 15-year old Simon before she got to it. Utter chaos developed. Deb was totally surprised and shocked by the content, and Jack tried, unsuccessfully, to explain the whole mess away without the appropriate seriousness. Now that the children were aware of his behavior, which was previously known to his wife, the situation was far worse than it was when his “sin” was originally uncovered.

As the marriage began to disintegrate, the author explored the thoughts and responses of each of them. Deb Shanley, 41-years old, was completely thrown and wanted to run away. Jack Shanley, 55-years old was totally off balance and couldn’t believe the way his life was falling apart. He begged Deb to forgive him, but she was no longer in a forgiving mood. Kay was too young to understand what the emails meant, but she knew enough to know that they did not have a good message. She was sad and confused. Simon understood too well; he was angry and became disrespectful. I was left with this thought, what kind of a person would send a box of smut to a home, knowing full well that it might get into the hands of children? I don’t believe the question was thoroughly examined; it felt glossed over.

The main part of the story takes place over a few days, after which the author summarizes the rest of their lives, very quickly, and when it ends, the New York condo is being sold, Jack is no longer in the picture, and the children are independent. The book was a disappointment. It was difficult to take it too seriously because of the crude language. I think the story would have been more interesting and less distracting, if the author had simply concentrated on showing how infidelity and a lack of judgment could cause the dissolution of a marriage and harm the children irrevocably. The characters, rather than the dirty sex talk, should have been better developed. The betrayal affected all of them with devastating consequences.

I found Deb’s holier than thou reaction a bit disingenuous. When she had dated Jack, he had been married. She broke up his marriage. Why then would she expect a man who had already been disloyal once, to remain loyal to her? Her rush to judgment and her complete disappointment in him seemed extreme since not only did she steal another woman’s husband, but she became pregnant, and that pregnancy worked as a further inducement for him to leave his wife. She behaved as if she was the only injured party and pretty much ignored the needs of the children. On the spur of the moment, leaving Jack behind, she decided to go to their country cabin, a place that had been unoccupied for some time. They owned it with Jack’s friend Gary, and he came up and stayed with them. Why was that appropriate to her? Meanwhile, Jack could not believe that she had left. He didn’t seem to really understand the gravity of the situation.

I thought it was incongruous for a woman who stole another woman’s husband to be shocked when someone steals hers. Both Deb and Jack defied the rules and didn’t think there would be consequences. Deb was headstrong and exhibited the same kind of poor judgment as Jack did. She tended to act without thinking first. They were both self serving, immature and irresponsible.
I did not feel that the conclusion was well drawn. It left a lot of unanswered questions about more than a decade of intervening years. Deb’s relationship with Eli was sloughed over; Jack’s illness was not explained well, Simon’s future seemed up in the air and I was not sure what Kay was going to do with the rest of her life. It felt like the incident tore the family asunder and they could not be put back together again, ever. The book seemed to imply that a mistake could, irreversibly, take on a life of its own.

The crude use of terms to describe the husband’s emails with his lover, were over the top. Perhaps in print form, it would not so objectionable because you can simply turn the page, but in an audio, you are assaulted, forced to listen to it, without any warning. I was left wondering why so many authors were lately finding it necessary to include lurid details of sex which neither enhance nor enrich their novels. There are many novels out there that hint at the same behavior without assailing the reader with it. At the end of the book I began to wonder if novels would not soon need a rating system in the same way that movies do.
The narrator read clearly but the voices of both of the male main characters and both of the female main characters seemed to be the same, regardless of the age of the character, so it became hard to differentiate between Kay and Deb and Jack and Simon. I was never sure which one was speaking. In addition, as the thoughts of each character were bared, it sometimes felt as if the story was jumping all over the place without an appropriate segueway.

If you must read it, I strongly recommend the printed version of the book. so you can skip pages.

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review 2015-07-26 05:19
Among the Ten Thousand Things
Among the Ten Thousand Things: A Novel - Julia Pierpont

I picked this book from NetGalley because it was for fans of Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Franzen, Lorrie Moore and Curtis Sittenfeld, and I am a fan of all of them. Despite how much I love them, though, they can occasionally tip the scales with a too-precious, self-consious style. This book has received some interesting reviews – but on Goodreads I was surprised to see that it had only about a 3-star rating. I think this is because it is another of those love it or hate it kinds of books. Which will be odd then, when I say that I am on the fence about this one. I actually finished it over a week ago, but I wanted to think about what I wrote. In fairness, given the amount of books I read, if I am still thinking about it a week after I finished, it must have really moved me.


So I am going to be quick, because I am on vacation and I have a pile of books to read and listen to. I was confused and torn about the weirdness in the book’s structure. You will read in many reviews that the author puts the ending in the middle of the book, and she does, pretty much. At first I thought it was kind of cool, and then I thought it was a too-precious device, and then I was glad she did it because I was tense during some of the later parts. There are, I thought, several shoes left waiting to drop in this, and some obvious thoughts I would have liked to have had spoken aloud. For one thing, I am always amazed, in real life and in books, when a person has an affair with a married person, convinces them to leave their spouse, and then is stunned when they cheat again on them. Has this concept not occurred to them? There was not a lot mentioned along this vein, so I was left mulling the irony to myself. Then again, maybe the author thought this was obvious enough. I felt, at times, traumatized by this book, and for some things I needed a closure that I never got. But honestly, it was so beautifully written and filled with heartache that I was left more than a little bit in awe of this debut novel.

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