Saturday, December 29, 2007

Books Added To My Library Recently (December)

Pushed, Jennifer Block: any woman who has given birth or is contemplating giving birth must read this book! A real eye-opener. Expect some discussion on this one! First heard of this amazing book here, and just had to get it. It's along the same lines as Overtreated (Susan Brownlee), but is mainly focused on women and medicalized childbirth.

The Almond, Nedjma: erotica written by a Muslim woman under a pseudonym

Sweet Ruin, Cathi Hanauer

Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich: expect some discussion on this book at some point.

A Cook's Tour, Anthony Bourdain


Well, I think this might become a semi-regular feature on the blog. So, stay tuned!
Here is the post that started it all.

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New post up at MotherVerse and another at Moms Speak Up about Mothering Magazine and the Maryland Vaccine Situation.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Recovering

Argggg....recovering from the holidays, specifically Christmas. I don't know. This year Christmas seemed more exhaustive than last.

Will be back to writing shortly...

In the meantime, check these things out:

Just Out: Mom Writer's Lit Mag Winter 07 Issue

A Writing Year is coming to a close, sadly.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Finished Lady Chatterley's Lover, After Thoughts

Lady Chatterley's Lover
D. H. Lawrence
PENGUIN BOOKS
Paperback
314 Pages


Finished Lady Chatterley's Lover sometime early Saturday. That's right, finished in just three days. I am always so moved by this book, yet so very disappointed by the time I get to the end, simply and precisely because it ends. I always feel as if I am never truly done with the book.

Lawrence may have been a prick and whatever else, but goddamn it, he wrote well! You could say that about most any author with a few substitutions-Plath, for instance. She may have been 'suicidal' and 'depressive'-or more likely, a woman well before her time-but goddamn, she could write!

Virginia Woolf? Same thing.
Thomas Hardy? Indeed.

And the writers of our time? There are some who fit the bill.

Lawrence makes the statement- in nearly all his books, actually-of how This is a time of crisis, or words to that effect.

Isn't every age in some crisis? Doesn't every generation have a 'time of crisis'? Of upheaval, restlessness, unsettling action? We are never without crises.

We are now, here in the 21st century, in a time of crises. Every decade has been proclaimed as a 'time of crisis'.

On another thought: Somebody PLEASE make a decent movie of Lady Chatterley's Lover! It is common knowledge that when you see a movie after reading the book it inspired, mostly the movie hardly lives up to the book. There are a few exceptions: Howard's End was a great movie. The Remains of the Day-great. Sense and Sensibility was a great movie. Cold Mountain-of course. All of these lived up to the book for me. Lady Chatterley, in all its movie versions, did not.

So, Anthony Minghella, James Ivory, Lasse Hallstrom, would any of you care to make Lady Chatterley's Lover? It would be much appreciated.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Spreading Christmas Cheer In The 21st Century

Coming out of the coffee shop, Mocha Latte in Mama's hand, banana bread in the Girl's hand, getting on our way-slowly, slowly-

Two men passed us by, said 'Merry Christmas!' and kept on walking. It seemed so ominous-I thought: yeah okay, aren't You full of Christmas cheer. Then I turned around and there was a mysterious bag with poinsettias all over it, tucked in the sled we'd been toting around. Upon inspection, I found it to be filled with chocolates and some crazy crafty-with-a-'K' snowman decoration.

Now, perhaps these men were just in the spirit of Christmas, perhaps they were of the church, good Samaritans, whatever. But, I found it almost intrusive that these people would do such a thing. More so that it was two men gifting a woman and child. Christmas cheer, good chocolate, or not, I still found it intrusive.

You just can't trust anything these days.

Needless to say, the bag got 'lost' along the way. It's a bit sad that it has come to this: there can't be good cheer, even at Christmastime without suspicion.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Reading Lady Chatterley's Lover


This is by far one of my favorite books. I come back to it time and again. Neither of the movies made (the one with Sean Bean and the French version) do the book any justice whatsoever.

I started it the other day after I finished watching the French version. I just had to. I wanted the real thing. Again...it's the language-gorgeous!-that holds me. Also, the intricacies of the mental and physical lives we lead-I love how that particular aspect plays out in the book. More to come....

The Omnivore's Dilemma is temporarily back on the shelf.....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mothering Magazine Takes Note

Mothering Magazine picked up my Parents post at their site under 'What People Are Saying About Mothering' : 'Why I Have A Love/Hate Relationship With Parents Magazine'.

Thanks for taking note!

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Link On Sidebar

Perhaps you have noticed there is a new link on the sidebar-underneath the 'About Me' section-called Reviews and Services . That's right, I am now open to product/book reviews as well as offering manuscript preparation.

I encourage you to check it out if you've not done so already.

Any questions? Have something you'd like to see reviewed here? Check out the link, email me, or leave a comment.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

New Posts Up At Moms Speak Up and MotherVerse

New posts at Moms Speak Up, including rants about Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Parent's Magazine and Jesus. Also, new sites and recalls.

Over at MotherVerse, language crafted in a particular poem moves me to awe.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Keeping Up On The Recalls

I keep up with the recalls, mostly. I scour the net on occasion and subscribe to the recall feeds (much easier than scouring, really).

According to the U. S. Safety Product Commission, there have been a rash of recalls concerning children's clothes with drawstrings on them. They apparently cause a strangulation/entrapment hazard.

First of all, why are there drawstrings on children's clothes? Oh, but wait...These look as if they are made for children around 7-10, maybe? Perhaps they should just go ahead and recall all the adult clothes with drawstrings on them too.

I'd be more concerned if there were drawstrings on infants and toddlers clothing. Or if they contained lead.

I mean, can we not discern between what really isn't safe and what is?

Another recall concerns a children's wooden storage shelf that tipped over onto a child and caused its death after he pulled on it.

It could be shoddy manufacturing ( after all, it was made in China), but could it be a possiblity that directions were not followed and it was not entirely put together properly?

Some of the recalls today seem so extreme to me. Would you recall coffee because somebody got severely burned? Oh wait! They did! They did! I can't believe it! Well, the coffee mug. Just wait till the coffee cools down a bit.

I don't know, while there are real, legitimate recalls, it seems there is an equal amount where it seems as if companies are just covering their asses for the people who can't figure out how to put something together or that the coffee is, you know, HOT.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

November Post Round-Up

This poem from Literary Mama will rock you with language.

Love and Tea Co. has added some new teas and other items to their menu. Yum!

There's a new blog on The Toxic Toys Front.

This caught me by surprise, and this made me laugh towards the end...sort of-via IzzyMom. I mean, don't you find a little (dark) humor in this-

Personally, I think buying Dolce & Gabbana for children is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard and any parent who raises the bar to that level for the rest of us should be publicly flogged with a D&G belt — in the middle of a Walmart!

YouTube joins the ranks of MySpace and Facebook in banning "inappropriate material", via League of Maternal Justice.

In that same line, this post from Moms Speak Up just lays it all out, particularly with this statement:
One type of video is meant for men’s amusement and pleasure and the other isn’t.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Finishing A Woman In Berlin by Anonymous

A Woman In Berlin
Anonymous (2006)
Softcover $14.95
PICADOR
261 pages


I finished it about a week ago, and I still cannot get parts of it out of my head. Images that stick to your brain like maggots. Disgusting image, yes? Well, an apt one I think, considering no image in the book was very pretty.

The book itself was written quite well. I somehow thought it would be worded differently. How? I don't know. Perhaps more staccato than it was. It definitely was real and in the moment, written feverishly in a feverish time.
This woman makes amazing commentary on the state of humankind. She talked about insects that eat their own young at some point in the book, comparing it to how we (civilization) are treating our own kind-we are eating our own kind, and care nothing of it. Paraphrasing.

What intrigued me most about this and the woman who wrote it was the fact that she wrote only this and nothing else. Towards the end of the book, she says something to the effect of-I'm done writing.

I kept thinking you won't find any of this in the history books. You just won't. The dirt, the slime, what went on after the war, the things women had to do to stay alive. Another thing I thought of was this is probably no different than Afghanistan or Iraq or (insert any country in which our troops have invaded).

I am glad to have read it, to have seen a different perspective of what went on, but won't be reading this again for a long time. It was exhausting to read of so much destruction.

This Cake Has Beets In It.......

That's right, this cake has real beets in it. And it tastes delicious.
This came from a little experiment with Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld, recently reviewed on Mother Talk.

I confess, I didn't make it entirely from scratch. It's a mix. Just cooked and mashed the beets up, and threw them in the mix. Still, delicious and quite unexpected.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Mother Talk Review: The Daring Book For Girls


My daughter isn't old enough for this book yet, but as I was browsing through it, I found a bunch of things I did as a kid-God's Eyes, all those hand clap games, jump rope rhymes, friendship bracelets. Who could forget Bloody Mary and the old Light as A Feather, Stiff as a Board trick-a requirement for any sleepover?

One thing in particular I found interesting-the Explorers section. All of the women listed (except for Amelia Earhart, of course), lived to be nearly 100 years old. Amazing.
Perhaps we all need to get out of the house a bit more and explore?

There were a few things that irked me a bit-Every daring girl should know the constellations-at least the basic ones. There wasn't anything on the planets and solar system. I realize it's impossible to include everything daring, the result would be too unwieldy, both in weight and information. Another thing-there's an Arts and Literature badge in the back of the book, but I found the Literature side to be a bit scant-to my mind anyway. Shakespeare was included in The Dangerous Book For Boys, why not Sappho for The Daring Book For Girls?

However, I was glad to see sections on 'How to Change a Tire' (something every girl should know), ' Queens of the Ancient World' and 'Knots and Stitches'.

Overall, this is a book that is packed with great stuff to do that doesn't require texting anyone on your cell phone or downloading anything off the net. This will stay in the hands of girls everywhere and be passed on down the line.