Friday, October 30, 2009

a happy distraction


No, I am not supposed to have anything to do with the blogging world this week. In fact, I am supposed to be avoiding the computer as much as possible. But dammit, when I heard about the Women Unbound reading challenge, it was just far too tempting. Last night when I first caught wind of it, I allowed myself to go look on-line and see if I could find a biography of one of my all-time favorite women. That satisfied my urge for that moment, and I was then able to get back to typing up today's EnviSci lecture. But then this morning, I had this wonderful, enthusiastic, and utterly contagious e-mail in my inbox from Eva, and I found myself completely powerless to resist...I simply had to go start pulling books from the shelves. (Okay, I'm such a dork...since I have an absolutely unconquerable list of things to do today, I timed myself. Yes, for real. I gave myself 1 minute to grab books for my reading list for this challenge. Which means, of course, the future will probably see me changing and adding to this list, but at least I got the fun of putting a list together. :D Hopefully, this post will get this out of my system, and I'll be able to concentrate on the things I'm supposed to be doing. Until Sunday, anyway, when I hopefully will be able to get back to bloggging and find out what you all have been up to this week.)

So here's what I've come up with for my tentative list:
*a biography of Rosalind Franklin, probably either Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox or Rosalind Franklin and DNA by Anne Sayre
*Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne (a book I stumbled across last night in my search for a Rosalind Franklin bio)
--and then these are the ones I grabbed this morning (meaning that they won't be breaking my book buying ban like the ones above will :D)
*Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture by Katha Pollitt (Will likely be my first read for the challenge as I currently have it out from the library. It's a collection of essays, and I want to thank Ana again for introducing me to it.)
*Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood by Naomi Wolf
From the back cover: In this provocative and highly personal book, bestselling author Naomi Wolf explores a subject that has long been taboo in our society: women's sexual coming-of-age. Promiscuities brazenly exposes the truths behind the conflicting messages directed at young women during and after the sexual revolution. Drawing on surprising examples from the ancient and recent past, along with vivid recollections of her own youth, Wolf show how our "liberated" culture still fears and distorts female passion. She also shares fascinating true stories that illustrate the fantasies and sometimes overwhelming realities women pass through on their way toward erotic and emotional discovery. A landmark book, Promiscuities is a call to women of all ages to reclaim and celebrate their sexuality.
*The Maternal is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood & Social Change edited by Shari MacDonald Strong (I've been wanting to read this one ever since Dewey's review. She loved it, and I just know I will, too.)
From the back cover: The saying is true: The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. And the world has never needed mothers more. World and national leaders can't agree on how to educate our children or empower us to feed our families, on how to join together as a global community or keep us safe. Fortunately, mothers--the most underestimated and unsung political group--hold the future in their arms and hands. Whether they're starting ambitious movements by taking on urgent matters that affect millions or speaking quietly within their homes and communities, the mothers in this collection are, like mothers everywhere, making a difference one person, one issue, one wrong-that-needs-righting at a time. For moms who are willing to fight the that good fight, The Maternal is Political is a comfort, an inspiration, fuel for the fire, and a roadmap to better future...for us and for all of our children.
*The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam
From the back cover: Born in a village deep in the Cambodian forest, Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery by her grandfather when she was twelve years old. For the next decade she was shuttled through the brothels that make up the sprawling sex trade of Southeast Asia. She suffered unspeakable acts of brutality and witnessed horrors that would haunt her for the rest of her life--until, in her early twenties, she managed to escape. Unable to forget the girls she left behind, Mam became a tenacious and brave leader in the fight against human trafficking, rescuing sex workers--some as young as five and six--offering them shelter, rehabilitation, healing, and love, and leading them into new life. Written in exquisite, spare, unflinching prose, The Road of Lost Innocence is a memoir that will leave you awestruck by the courage and strength of this extraordinary woman and will renew your faith in the power of an individual to bring about change.
*Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside by Katrina Firlik
From the back cover: Katrina Firlik is a neurosurgeon, one of only two hundred or so women among the alpha males who dominate this high-pressure, high-prestige profession. She is also a superbly gifted writer--witty, insightful, at once humane and refreshingly wry....
*Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino (Wasn't entirely sure if some fiction was "required" for the challenge, but this sounded like a great one to throw in.)
From the back cover: ...Natsuo Kirino, celebrated author of Out, seamlessly weaves together the stories of these women's struggles within the conventions and restrictions of Japanese society. At once a psychological investigation of the pressures facing Japanese women and a classic work of noir fiction, Grotesque is a brilliantly twisted novel of ambition, desire, beauty, cruelty, and identity by one of our most electrifying writers.
*Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World by Kathleen Ragan (Because, well, doesn't this book just sound utterly wonderful?!!)

Many, many thanks to the three incredible women hosting this challenge, Eva, Aarti, and Care!!!!!!

Okay, break over.

16 comments:

Care said...

AWESOME! I'll have to come back and read your list; just popping over cuz I saw you signed up. :)

Amanda said...

heheh, I love breaks during breaks. :D

I'll be signing up for this some time next week. Still trying to get ready for NaNo in the meantime...

Jean said...

Sounds like a challenge you might even add to the homeschooling pile, eh? Hope you have a superb weekend!! I'm heading back to the black bra purse now. I was slow getting moving this a.m. thanks to a blossoming cold.

3m.michelle said...

I'll probably sign up for this challenge as well, though I'll probably read more fiction than non-fiction for it. Grotesque sounds interesting!

Vivienne said...

Bad, bad, bad Debi. Now I am going to have to go and have a look and you know what that means. I will end up joining and I can't cope with the challenges I am already doing.

Eva said...

I LOVE your list! I've stolen several titles! And nope, fiction isn't required. ;)

Staci said...

This challenge sounds pretty intense. Your list is great and I so can't wait for the future reviews of them!!

Kailana said...

Great list! I plan to join it, too, but I haven't got that far yet...

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I am awestruck by yout choices! THis is a stunning l;ist of books and very challabging!
Mycg Good Luck, My Dear.

Our Halloween lunch was such fun and the Ladies all LOVED their little unique Pumpkins....!
Pictures will be forthcoming! It takes me a liyyle while the do everything I need to do with them...But just know, The Pumkins were a HUGE HIT!

Jason Gignac said...

Rosalind Franklin is a really interesting choice! That's one of those stories the world should know more about :). I've been thinking about putting an Ada Byron Lovelace biography on my list along the same lines :).

Nymeth said...

I love you list, Debi! I hope you'll love Pollitt as much as I do. And sigh, I perfectly remember Dewey's review of The Maternal is Political :(

Aarti said...

Great list! I'm excited to see what you decide to read. I feel like this challenge will open up a lot of interesting discussion :-)

writergal said...

I should add Promiscuities to my list. I liked The Beauty Myth. OH so many years ago.

alisonwonderland said...

That looks like a great list! I haven't read any of those (yet). :)

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