Posts Tagged ‘Lindbergh’

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A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master, Rachel Held Evans
I love Rachel’s blog and enjoyed her first book, Evolving in Monkey Town, so was prepared to like this one. And I did. She digs into conflicting verses and ideas about womanhood in the Bible, from levitical purity laws to the nebulous concepts of “modesty” and “submission,” and the idealized Proverbs 31 woman. Some of her activities felt more like stunts, but this was mostly a thoughtful exploration of what the Bible says (and doesn’t say) about being a woman. I applaud Rachel’s brave stand against those who would silence women, in the church and out of it.

Hemingway’s Girl, Erika Robuck
This novel brilliantly evokes the hardships and beauty of life in Depression-era Key West. Mariella Bennet – fiery, beautiful and stubborn – works odd jobs and occasionally gambles to provide for her mother and sisters after her father’s death. When she is hired as Ernest Hemingway’s maid, she glimpses a new, unsettling world of parties and power, finding herself drawn to the rowdy, larger-than-life writer. Mariella is a wonderful character – her complicated relationship with her mother, and her struggles with desire and love, felt real. I also loved Gavin, the steady, quiet World War I veteran who captures Mariella’s heart.

Still Life, Louise Penny
Jane Neal, artist and retired schoolteacher, is killed by an arrow in the woods near her home in Quebec. It’s hunting season, but it wasn’t an accident. Inspector Armand Gamache comes to Jane’s village of Three Pines to investigate her death. This is a quiet mystery, but I enjoyed watching Gamache untangle the threads, and spending time with the quirky cast of village characters. The slower pace allows for some wonderful insights into human nature. This is the first in a series; I’ll be reading more Gamache stories. (Recommended by Becca and Jessica.)

The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, Daniel Stashower
We recently saw Spielberg’s brilliant film Lincoln, so I was primed for this exploration of a plan to murder him before he even took office. Allan Pinkerton, founder of the famous detective agency, deployed his agents in Baltimore to thwart the plotters (by any means necessary). He and the other men (bodyguards, advisers, friends) who surrounded Lincoln on his pre-inaugural journey get plenty of play. Colorful characters, simmering political tension and lots of background information on the beginnings of the Civil War. Fascinating. To review for Shelf Awareness (out Jan. 29).

Shepherds Abiding, Jan Karon
I love this Mitford Christmas story, with many beloved, familiar characters, and (as always) real insight into Father Tim’s daily life and struggles. I particularly love the way Hope Winchester, owner of Happy Endings bookstore, steps out in faith and embraces a new beginning. Sweet but not precious, this book always makes me cry several times. And this quote from Marcus Aurelius, shared by Father Tim, has been in my head for days: “The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.”

Thirst, Mary Oliver
It took me a while to come around to Oliver’s work, but this collection is my favorite yet. A few familiar gems (“Messenger”) and many new favorites (“Walking Home from Oak-Head,” “Praying,” “The Place I Want to Get Back To”). Her poems about faith are particularly fascinating, and her poems about grief are so moving. I’ve been savoring these words before bed, and will carry them in my heart.

The Aviator’s Wife, Melanie Benjamin
Anne Morrow was a shy, bookish ambassador’s daughter, until Charles Lindbergh chose her for his wife and changed her life forever. This novel traces the arc of their marriage, including their son’s kidnapping and death, Charles’ anti-Semitic views in the 1930s and his later work with the military and civilian air industries. Anne was a rich, complicated character: pioneering aviatrix, grieving mother, neglected wife and (finally) brave woman and writer. A gorgeous, heartbreaking story. To review for Shelf Awareness (out Jan. 15).

What are you reading lately?

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