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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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22 12, 2012

Review: No Excuses by Gloria Feldt

By | December 22nd, 2012|Categories: Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Self-Help, Social Sciences, Women's Studies|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Rating:

9781580053884Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Be prepared for an ultra-feminist perspective in No Excuses: Nine Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power by Gloria Feldt. If you don’t mind her bashing conservative politics, the misogynist misnomers and her acerbic personal opinion, you’ll still find plenty of information on the innovative techniques and strategies that women can use to change the way they think about power.

I was looking for the book to discuss ways women can reset their perspective to become more assertive in the workplace and in their personal lives. This book does explain best strategies for women to break barriers, overcome boundaries and take their rightful place in male dominated society. But be prepared for a feminist history regarding why women are afraid of power and why the author clearly hates conservative (read: Republican) values as America’s “unwanted agenda.”

I expected

27 06, 2012

Review: Your Daughter Needs a Hero by Maria C. Furlough

By | June 27th, 2012|Categories: Nonfiction, Parenting & Family, Women's Studies|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Jessa Larsen

What motivates teenage girls? What tempts them into one situation versus another? What pushes their emotional buttons? More importantly, what can parents do to make a difference in their lives? Maria Furlough herself fought with self-esteem and self-image issues as a teenager. She uses a mix of personal experiences and her years counseling teenage girls in her youth ministry to help show parents what their teenage daughters are going thru and how to help them in such a tough period in their life.

Furlough explains, in her own personal opinion, how fad diets, the media, and pornography can influence a teen girl’s body image. She guides parents, in the way she sees most useful, on how to counteract pressures and influences from mainstream society. Furlough gives advice on how she prefers to build self-esteem and self-image in teenage

28 04, 2012

Review: MWF Seeks BFF by Rachel Bertsche

By | April 28th, 2012|Categories: Health, Mind, & Body, Humor, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Relationships, Social Sciences, Women's Studies|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Ann Liu

If Carrie Bradshaw, from Sex and the City, and Mr. Big left New York with her three girlfriends behind, what would she do without them? MWF Seeking BFF is a true story of Rachel Bertsche, a writer herself, who moves to Chicago with her husband, on the search for new friends.

MWF Seeking BFF, or Married White Female Seeking Best Friend Forever, is Rachel’s personal memoir of her yearlong search for a best friend. She dissects the friendship element and shares a lot of research toward understanding the psychological makeup of friends. According to Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist, the size of the brain determines the number of relationships we can maintain. The human brain can maintain 150 relationships. After calculating her social network of friends, families, and acquaintances, Rachel came up short 20 people. She decided to fill

11 04, 2012

Review: The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow

By | April 11th, 2012|Categories: Nonfiction, Parenting & Family, Social Sciences, Women's Studies|Tags: , , |7 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Joanne Reynolds

The Magic Room is located at Becker’s Bridal in Fowler, Michigan. Shelley Becker, the third generation owner, created this room for brides to enter, wearing the gown they have chosen for their bridal day. There is a pedestal in the middle and the entire room is surrounded by mirrors for the bride to view herself from all angles.

Becker’s Bridal has been open for business since 1934. Fowler is a middle-class community with a population of 1,100. Becker’s Bridal houses anywhere from 2,500 gowns in it’s small shop, a former bank. The Magic Room was once the bank vault.

Shelley Becker spends six days a week, and up to 12 hours a day, working in her shop. She was “initiated” into the business at the age of 14. She has seen countless brides and mothers come through the doors

20 02, 2012

Review: A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead

By | February 20th, 2012|Categories: Historical, Nonfiction, Social Sciences, Women's Studies|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Colleen Turner

On January 24th, 1943, 230 women boarded a train in France, bound for the unknown. They ranged in age from fifteen to over sixty and encompassed positions in society from school girls to furriers to farmers’ wives to doctors and chemists. Most, on the surface, seemed to have little in common. What united them was much deeper and much more binding.

These women found themselves imprisoned together for their various resistance acts against the German invaders that had taken over France upon their occupation on June 14th, 1940. And all would have to cling together as strongly as possible in order to survive what lay ahead of them at the end of their train ride: the death and work camps of Auschwitz, Birkenau and Ravensbruck. Their united strength, intelligence and determination to live and tell others of the

1 11, 2011

Review: Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen

By | November 1st, 2011|Categories: Historical, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Women's Studies|Tags: , , , , , |13 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic

Across Many Mountains, by Yangzom Brauen, is every bit the epic journey that the cover promises it to be; the reader walks through the life of three generations of Tibetan women, from the age of six through adulthood. In doing so, the reader is able to recognize the different worlds that each of these women are raised in, and the effect that it has on their view of life itself. This approach would give a beautiful representation of any culture, but it is especially striking to experience the Tibetan culture that few of us are truly familiar with.

Not only does Brauen walk us through the lives of her grandmother, mother, and herself, but she is also walking her readers through the history of nearly 90 years of daily life in Tibet and the devastating effects of

19 08, 2011

Review: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

By | August 19th, 2011|Categories: Biographies, Historical, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality, Women's Studies|Tags: , , , , , |8 Comments

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Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic

Imagine that a new government immediately takes over your state and informs you that women are no longer to work, attend formal education, be seen in public without a head to toe covering and a related male chaperone, and must not communicate with any male outside of their own families. I am not sure that our own experiences and culture would even allow our brains to begin to rightly imagine such a dramatic change in lifestyle, but The Dressmaker of Khair Khana portrays a true story of women from Kabul, Afghanistan who experienced just that. Overnight, their lives change from a largely westernized lifestyle to one of seclusion from society. Many families were, therefore, left without providers for the family, as widows were not permitted to work and many young men had to leave their families in

7 08, 2011

Review: The Literary Ladies Guide to the Writing Life by Nava Atlas

By | August 7th, 2011|Categories: Nonfiction, Reference, Women's Studies|Tags: , |10 Comments

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Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic

Do you, or someone you know, love to write, but find yourself discouraged and overwhelmed by the busyness of daily life and frustrated by not knowing how to start or which step to take next? Would you be comforted to know that Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and many others faced many of the same obstacles that you do? Would you like to know how such female literary giants dealt with obstacles to their writing life?

The Literary Ladies’ Guide to the Writing Life by Nava Atlas brings together twelve such giants and pulls from their journals, letters, and articles pieces that showcase how they handled writing challenges and what advice they had for other young or aspiring writers in the areas of “Becoming a Writer”, “Developing a Voice”, “Conquering Inner Demons”, “The Writing Mother”, “Rejection