One of my personal reading goals I set when Covid-19 first started turning things upside down was to read more of the books on my own personal shelves, things I'd bought but not read yet. I wasn't counting on my reading mojo plummeting, and truthfully, as far as timing went, I might have chosen a bit more wisely than to read a book that begins with a cataclysmic event that will likely be a human extinction event in time.
Red Land Black Land is a historical exploration of ancient Egyptian civilizations that discusses religion, rulers, and artifacts, but also focuses on the daily lives and experiences of ancient Egyptians – peasants and pharaohs alike. Some of the topics I found most interesting centered on the smaller details of life, like how people viewed pets, how clothing was made, what foods were popular, and what people did in their spare time.
It Can’t Be Don’t, Nellie Bly is a short, but interesting chapter book about Nellie Bly, a journalist in 1888, when women were not considered journalists.
It's 1845 Haworth, West Yorkshire, England. This historical depiction shows a very bleak and distressing side to the famous Bronte sisters lives. Back when there were very few opportunities for women, it tells of the hardships Charlotte, Emily and Anne faced. It also includes the downfall of their brother Patrick, who they all called by his middle name Bramwell. His was a tortured soul that could not live up to his own expectations and took it out on his father.
The Daylight Gate was a whim I picked up that fit neatly into my October/Halloween/Witch reading theme, and that delighted me more than I expected. I read Winterson years ago for a post-structuralist college class and only remembered her fondly to feel smarter about myself. This time, I picked her up for the shiny cover and, yes, the promise of witches.
Sara Lapp, known in the Amish community as Spinster Sara and shunned because she studied to be a midwife, thinks she has been summoned to assist her best friend Abby during birth. But when Sara arrives, Abby is dead. Abby’s husband, “mad” Adam Zuckerman, tells Sara she must take the children and leave but she refuses. Obviously, the death of his wife has not changed his usual manner; ill-tempered, cold and totally indifferent to everyone’s feelings including those of his children.
Alice is only seven years old when she, her parents, and two brothers sail from London to the new world chasing her father’s dream of a better life. But the crossing is full of misery and death and when the ship finally arrives in Boston, Alice and her father are all that is left of their family. Without a backward glance or proper farewell to Alice, her father sells her into servitude to pay his debts and she becomes indentured until she reaches the age of eighteen. Luckily for Alice, the family to which she is now bound is a loving one. Over the years Mr. and Mrs.
The Bolter is a scandalous biography of Idina Sackville written by her great-granddaughter who is married to the finance minister of England. It begins in the flapper age and continues until World War II. Idina was a blue-eyed beauty, elegant and smart.
Willow Madison is a young woman of faith who knows well that life isn’t always perfect and that sometimes you have to dig deep to find the courage you need to do what must be done. During the war, she and her friends Copper and Audrey repeatedly fought off the Yankees to save their small town of Timber Creek from total destruction. Loss of life and property was great, but now the war is over and with God’s grace it is time to begin again, to try and rebuild.
This novel was found on Michael Crichton’s computer after his death. How convenient! Steven Spielberg has bought the film rights and I understand why. Every conceivable adventure that could happen to a pirate in the 1600’s of the Spanish Main does so- hurricanes, battles at sea, fortress attacks. There is even a “cracken”! Charles Hunter is a Harvard educated (what else?) privateer who preys on the hated Spanish for the crown in the Caribbean of 1665.