Several extra-long commutes recently mean I’m getting through a lot of (short!) books. Here’s the latest roundup:
Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women, Sarah Bessey
Sarah is a wise, thoughtful blog-friend, and her first memoir is a clarion call for the equal participation of women in the work of God’s kingdom. There is a lot of blog content here, and not much “meaty” theology, but sound ideas and lovely metaphors. (I’m curious to read her new book, Out of Sorts.)
A Mind of Winter: Poems for a Snowy Season, ed. Robert Atwan
Winter is a tough season for me, but it has inspired some wonderful poetry. This collection contains gems from Frost, Dickinson, Whittier, Marge Piercy, Mary Oliver and more. Gorgeous and quiet. Found at The Bookstore in Lenox, MA.
Prudence, Gail Carriger
Lady Prudence Akeldama (“Rue” to her friends) embarks on a secret mission to India in her new dirigible, The Spotted Custard. Tea, espionage, werewolves and other supernatural creatures abound in this steampunk fantasy novel. Not my usual thing at all – which might be why I found it confusing at times – but witty, snarky and fun.
The Beautiful Possible, Amy Gottlieb
Sol Kerem is a serious rabbinical student, engaged to the beautiful, whip-smart Rosalie, when he meets Walter, a German Jewish refugee and agnostic. Their three lives become braided together in complicated ways. Sol and Rosalie raise their children and lead a suburban synagogue, while Walter explores art and mysticism. Luminous and thought-provoking, though the characters sometimes feel distant. To review for Shelf Awareness (out Feb. 16).
A Lady of Good Family, Jeanne Mackin
Beatrix Jones Farrand made a name for herself as a pioneering female landscape designer in the Gilded Age. But as a young woman, she also experienced heartbreak. Mackin takes us on a lushly described tour of Europe with Beatrix and her mother. I liked the premise, but it dragged a bit. Found at The Bookstore in Lenox.
Sapphire Blue, Kerstin Gier
As Gwyneth Shepherd adjusts to her new status as a time-traveler, things get even more confusing: whom can she trust? What is the “ultimate secret” that will be revealed? And does her handsome time-traveling partner, Gideon, really like her – or not? Gwyneth is funny and appealing, and I like watching her gain a bit of confidence in this book.
Window Left Open, Jennifer Grotz
I’d never heard of Grotz’s poetry, but am glad this collection came across my desk. Some lovely, vivid lines. I particularly liked “They Come the Way Flowers Do,” “Apricots,” “Poppies” and “Self-Portrait on the Street of an Unnamed Foreign City.” (Out Feb. 2.)
Julie of the Wolves, Jean Craighead George
Orphaned and unhappily married, Eskimo teenager Miyax (“Julie” to her pen pal) flees into the Alaskan tundra. She befriends a wolf pack and learns to survive on her own, but must decide whether to return to civilization. I read this as a child but had forgotten a lot of the details. An enthralling survival story. (For the Reading Together Family Exploration Book Club.)
Links (not affiliate links) are to my favorite local bookstore, Brookline Booksmith.
What are you reading?