strong women

Aug 2, 2016

This is the story of a complicated woman entangled in the lives of a powerful family. Sarah survived World War II in Europe and she’s working her way home to Australia as a nurse onboard an ocean liner. One of her patients is Mrs. Bligh, the commanding matriarch of a wealthy Australian family.  Sarah charms her patient’s son and grandchildren, but when she stumbles on a buried family secret Mrs. Bligh is determined to get rid of her.  Instead of quietly getting out of the way, Sarah just gets on with her life, accepting a position as a nurse in a small town near the Bligh family estate. Mrs

Aug 18, 2018

Dear Ijeawele begins with a young, new mother's question: "How might I raise my daughter to be a feminist?" This slim book is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's letter of response, acting as an encouraging and thoughtful manifesto for feminism, in fifteen funny, compassionate, and observant suggestions for loving empowerment.


Oh, I love this book, this essay, this letter. So well articulated, Adichie's work is quick and easy to read and underline. 
I am in my twenties, and it's not that I am planning on raising a girl any time soon, but it is that I am continually raising myself as a female

Extant, The First Season

By Steven Spielberg
4
Rated by Megan C.
Nov 23, 2015

It’s been a month since I watched the first season of Extant, but it’s still with me. It’s that quiet place I go to when I’m zoning out. The set design offers a vision of a gentler, more organic future, where technology is less obtrusively integrated into our daily lives than perhaps it is now. It’s the silent actor that sets a tone of calm, but there are tensions, to be sure.  The introduction of a life-like android prototype into the functions of everyday life invites antagonism from many fronts, including a militant anti-technology group.


Space exploration has been privatized, but are

Garden of Lies

By Amanda Quick
4
Rated by Stefanie E.
Nov 22, 2015

Amanda Quick, a pen name for Jayne Ann Krentz, can be counted upon to write historical romances set in Victorian England, usually with a twist of mystery. They are all light, a little steamy, and feature strong female characters. In sum, they are guaranteed to take you away from reality making them perfect getaway reads. They are especially enjoyable on audio because of the narrators' English accents.


In her latest title, Garden of Lies, Ursula Kern, owner of a ladies secretarial agency, is called away from her current job by the death of one of the office girls. While deemed an accidental

Lilac Girls

By Martha Hall Kelly
4
Rated by Lisa J.
Apr 4, 2016

It's September 1939 and as Hitler invades Poland with his sight set on France, the paths of Caroline, Kasia and Herta are set on a course that will change their lives forever. Socialite Caroline Ferriday lives in New York City and volunteers at the French Consulate, helping French nationals visiting the United States. She also organizes aide for French orphanages. Kasia Kuzmerick is a Polish teenager who sees her way of life disappearing with the occupation of Hitler and she works as a courier for the resistance movement in Poland. Meanwhile, German physician, Herta Oberheuser, frustrated at

Feb 24, 2016

Kristin Armstrong, a contributing editor to Runner's World, is a delightful writer as well as a dedicated runner.


Her reflections are gathered into different themes that allow her to cover a lot of ground (ahem) - family, friendships, self-reflection and self-esteem, relationships, goals both short term and long. And she does it all with a lot of inspiring, kind words and a ready wit.


Generally I'm not much of a fan of inspirational or self-help type books. They often have far too little content and far too many pithy phrases. But Armstrong's strength is in her specificity and

The Atomic Weight of Love

By Elizabeth J. Church
4
Rated by Kari E.
Jan 22, 2017

The Atomic Weight of Love is an outstanding debut novel. Meridian Wallace puts her dreams of a Masters and PhD. on hold and follows her husband, Alden Whetstone, to Los Alamos, New Mexico where he helps develop the atomic bomb. Meridian’s unfinished scholarly work in ornithology leads her to question her life with Alden, who becomes more interested in his work and must lead a rather secretive life. Clay Griffin, a Vietnam veteran, changes the course of Meridian’s life when he teaches her the value of an equal relationship and following her own path. Meridian’s growing interest in women’s

The Boston Girl

By Anita Diamant
4
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Feb 3, 2017

The Boston Girl is told by 85-year-old Addie, who revisits her long life of memories during an interview given by one of her grandchildren.  It’s an incredibly intimate one-sided conversation that completely ensnares the reader.  This storytelling style made me feel as if Addie was my grandmother.  Like other special books with superb storytelling, The Boston Girl envelopes the reader inside a bubble.  While reading it, you feel like you are living the story and your real life is just an inconvenience that exists outside of the bubble. 


Addie Baum is both fiercely independent and

Apr 5, 2019

"Never underestimate the power of nerds."  Self proclaimed nerd Mallory O'Meara pours her heart and three years of her life into The Lady From The Black Lagoon,  a biography to uncover the lost legacy of Milicent Patrick.  


Sadly, but not surprisingly, I was unfamiliar with Milicent Patrick and her work.  I knew nothing of her time at Disney as an animator or her work at Universal Studios making monsters come to life for the big screen.  In reading this book I was struck by how hard it must have been to work in a male dominated field in which no matter how talented you are most of your male

True Grit

By Charles Portis
4
Rated by Helen H.
May 27, 2015

An instant best-seller when published in 1968, True Grit has also been made into film. Twice. These facts alone should recommend it, and I am here to back it up with a solid vote for a place on your nightstand.


Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross follows her slain father to Ft Smith, Arkansas to settle his affairs. While her mother expects her home, Mattie has other ideas. She hires a one-eyed, grizzled old US Marshal, Rooster Cogburn, to hunt down the killer and bring him to justice.


Against Mattie’s wishes, Texas Ranger LeBoeuf joins Rooster Cogburn in the manhunt, and the two try to leave

Widows

By Steve McQueen
5
Rated by Zachary C
Feb 15, 2019

To call Widows a heist film is reductive.  It revolves around a heist, but that doesn't do the film justice.


Veronica Rawlings, played by Viola Davis, has an adoring husband and seemingly loving marriage.  Her husband, Harry (Liam Neeson), is also a successful criminal, but when a job goes bad and he along with his entire crew are killed, a large number of puzzle pieces fall into the laps of those left behind.  Interconnected are the people Harry stole from and those he stole for.   Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell play the aging patriarch and future of the Chicago political dynasty Mulligan

Wild Rose

By Nicole Taylor
5
Rated by Zachary C
Nov 6, 2019

"3 chords and the truth"


That's what Rose-Lynn has tattooed across her forearm.  That's the answer to the question the other people born and raised in Glasgow ask her, "Why country music?"


Rose-Lynn has just gotten out of prison.  Headphones on, country playlist rolling, she immediately sets to getting her life plans back on track.  Her plan is pretty simple. You see, she has a goal, a dream, a purpose...to get to Nashville to fulfill her destiny as a country music superstar.  


Not everyone is completely onboard with her plan, like her mother, played by Julie Walters. She is expecting