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review 2017-08-30 17:52
Interesting book but perhaps needed a different approach.
Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work, and the Family from Slavery to the Present - Jacqueline Jones

With Labor Day coming up in the US this seemed like a good time to finally pick this up after seeing this on a list a year or two ago. The book looks at the role of black women in the US work force from slavery to the more recent day (this was first published in 1986 and that's the version I read). From the fields to domestic to work to entering the workforce to wartime to the more "modern" era this looks at black women and how their roles changed, how they worked, etc.

 

It's a huge, ambitious work and I think a review on Goodreads nails it well in that maybe this was too much for one volume. The initial chapters that focused in the colonial times through the Civil War were really interesting (especially when given the lack of source material due to time, the inability to read/write, etc.). But the post-Civil War chapters just sort of dragged and dragged. Sometimes it just felt the author was putting down fact after fact like a very dry textbook. It's an interesting topic but I'm not sure if the author's approach worked for me.

 

In some ways I found it was much easier to understand via other works. I was reminded of Isabel Wilkerson's 'The Warmth of Other Suns' which addresses the history of black people leaving the South to move North or West or even 'The Help' which has black domestic workers as a major part of the story. To be fair 'The Help' is a book of fiction that has many issues but I was reminded of that story when reading this. 

 

If this is a topic that interests you then by all means it's worth borrowing from the library or buying as a bargain book. But if it's something you don't know much about (which may be part of my problem) OR you have an interest in a particular time period Jones writes about then you may want to look at the book first before deciding to dive in. Would not be surprised to see this pop up in a class about black people, the history of labor and other related subjects.

 

It might be better to go for books that focus on more specific aspects/topics. I wholeheartedly recommend 'Warmth' although that book is not about black women specifically. Otherwise this wasn't a bad read (and maybe I should have gone for the updated version instead) but I didn't quite get what I had hoped out of this text. 

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review 2017-08-15 22:30
The Devil's Own Work by Alan Judd, narrated by Matt Godfrey
The Devil's Own Work - Alan Judd,Owen King

 

The Devil's Own Work is a beautifully written, subtly told Faustian tale, which the narrator performs perfectly.

 

A man relates the story of his friend, Edward, and how he became a famous and successful writer. A writer who, although he writes many words, ultimately has nothing of substance to say. Further along, we discover that Edward inherited a manuscript from a recently deceased author named Tyrell. With that manuscript he also seems to have inherited a beautiful, ageless woman named Eudoxy.

 

As the story unfolds, we learn more about the manuscript, (which only can be read one letter at a time, because to try to see an actual word results in the reader seeing gibberish.) It's when this manuscript falls into Edward's hands that he suddenly becomes successful. Is that because of the manuscript itself, or because of the mysterious Eudoxy? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

This novella length story is tight and slow to build. There isn't necessarily a denouement, but instead a growing realization of horror and what is truly involved. If you are a reader expecting a lot of action, this isn't the tale for you. However, if you have a love of language and precise storytelling, AND this premise sounds intriguing to you, I highly recommend you give The Devil's Own Work a try. It probably won't provoke any screams or shouts of terror from you, but I bet it will give you a bad case of the heebies-jeebies.

 

Highly recommended!

 

*This audiobook was provided free of charge by the narrator, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2017-08-14 01:57
A Way of Life: Zen Monastics at Work and at Play by Paul Davis
A Way of Life: Zen Monastics at Work and at Play - Paul Davis

I have to admit I have honestly never really thought that much about Buddhist Monks and Nuns and their way of life. Many people like myself just knew what we see on television. A bunch of people wearing long robes walking around praying. This book will open every ones eyes about the way of life of the buddhist Monks and Nuns. Paul Davis has done an amazing job with about 50 black and white photos in this book, we can now see the truth in their lives. The photos show an array of activities from playing kickball to washing dishes. There is a smile in just about every picture. There are quotes throughout the book as well. I was actually touched by some of the quotes. I feel just by looking through this book I have a new understanding of the lives of the Buddhist Monks and Nuns, at work and play. 

 

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-09 08:42
A Review of the Feminist Fantasy book, A Plague of Angels, by Sheri Tepper in 6 Quotes
A Plague of Angels - Sheri S. Tepper

 

My second Tepper read was succulently good! I wanted to savor the book, so I took my time with it. I am sharing my favorite parts of the book here like I do in most reviews. However, this time, I have chosen 6 quotes that sum up how I felt about the book.

 

Quote # 1

Sometimes, it was the way the author described an emotion, such as the horror that a character felt when the Witch took her mask off.

 

 

Quote # 2

Other times, it was how a character expressed a philosophical thought about gangers simplifying language to such an extreme that they started looking down at poetry and literature. The quote below reminded me of the restrictions being placed on characters in the novel 1984.

 

If you take out the different words that describe completely different things that are also the same, what are you left with? For instance, I think love when I read the word, red. I don’t think that when I come across scarlet because I associate it with scandal. Then there is crimson, which reminds me of blood.  

 

 

Quotes # 3 & 4

Then there were times when a character stated the truth in the simplest manner. The line is easy to miss with so much else that is going on. Yet, if you stop and think about it, there is depth in those words. Two particular examples that made me shudder are mentioned below:

 

 

 

Quote # 5

As were the times when a character who is still young and inexperienced said something profound. I went back and read this quote multiple times because it resonated with me. If you find it touching your heart too, you might want to check out my review of The Handmaid’s Tale.

 

 

Quote # 6

Finally, there were some parts that sparked something in me. While reading them, I thought I could base my next story on these lines. I find that the books that end up on my favorites’ shelf have that in common. I think that each line in those books could be hiding a story in itself.

 

 

I would very much love to read the second book in the series even though it would be lacking one of my favorite characters from this one. Care to join me for a buddy read?

 

Image

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text 2017-08-08 08:20
The Status of Project Frankenstein & Other Updates

 

Reading Goal

 

I have completed the goal that I set for myself this year on Goodreads. Really happy that I’m getting some reading done even with life being as crazy as it is.

 

 

Project Frankenstein

 

 

I have finished 11 out of the 14 books that I originally included in the post. My opinion about Frankenstein & Philosophy has yet to change!


    1. Parent Material: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    2. Others’ Take: The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein by Stephen Jones
    3. Historical Retakes: Anno Frankenstein by Jonathan Green
    4. Genre Spins: Steampunk: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by Zdenko Basic
    5. Young Adult Forays: Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters by Suzanne Weyn
    6. Sci-Fi Pastiche: Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz
    7. Philosophical Entree: Frankenstein and Philosophy by Nicholas Michaud
    8. Series Picker-Uppers: The Second Birth of Frankenstein by Will Hill
    9. PrequelsThis Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
    10. Precipitating Conditions: The Lady and Her Monsters by Roseanne Montillo
    11. Character Spotlight: My Frankenstein by Michael J. Lee
    12. Technological Difficulties: Frankenstein’s Cat by Emily Anthes
    13. Changed Perspectives: Frankenstein’s Monster by Susan Heyboer O’Keefe
    14. Graphic Detail: Monster Of Frankenstein by Dick Briefer, David Jacobs, Alicia Jo Rabins Edwards

 

Book Bingo

Besides this, I am also playing Book Bingo with my workmates. At the moment, I’m reading a book for the Female Protagonist shelf. My love for dinosaurs is no secret and this book is packed with facts and speculations equally, which makes it juicier. More on this in my review!

 

To see how I fared in the previous round, click here!

 

 

I am also a part of buddy reads going on here for Jane Yellowrock seriesMidnight Texas series, and sciency books on The Flat Book Society!

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