Friday, May 24, 2013

Books I've been reading




  If you enjoy reading real life stories, this book is for you. Jill Ker Conway put together the autobiographies of twenty-five American women whose lives have been remarkable.
   These life stories will stun you, make you laugh, cry and enchant you. I promise you that this book will energize you.
   These autobiographies transport you to different places in the United States in the nineteenth and the twentieth century.Going back in time and being in these women's shoes broadened my outlook and perspectives. I was inspired by their courage, resilience and passions. 
 Their words will entertain you and educate you. Above all, they will fuel your own passions and fill you with hope.
 Before each woman’s story Jill Ker Conway  wrote an essay on the historical context  and a biographical sketch. You will dive into the lives of writers, physicians, scientists, reformers, anthropologists, musicians, artists, and former slaves.
    Some of the women included in this anthology are Margaret Mead, Dorothy Reed Mendenhall, Margaret Floy Washburn, Harriet Ann Jacobs, Maya Angelou, Maxine Hong Kingston, Lucy Larcom, Margaret Bourke-White, Anne Walter Fearn, Margaret Sanger and many others.


 I've been somewhat obsessed with  Emily Dickinson's poetry lately. This is a book of essays on Emily Dickinson's poetry. It has an introduction by Harold Bloom. These essays analyze Dickinson's poems and provide interesting insights into her thoughts, perspectives and life experience. I found it riveting.






   
                                      This is an excellent selection of poems from all over the world. These vivid poems dig deep into the human soul, life and love while expressing an intimate connection to nature. Through metaphors and insightful reflections we are invited to view life as an intriguing journey of possibilities. I enjoyed reading and re-reading this selection and now I look forward to checking more of Roger Housden's poetry anthologies.
  Some of the poets included here are Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, David Whyte, Antonio Machado, Juan Ramon Jimenez, Rumi and many others. Some of these poems are intoxicating. I feel compelled to read them many times.

                                             


                   
 
               Edited by Catherine Bowman, Word of Mouth is an anthology that includes very different voices. Some of the stories narrated by these poems are shocking and will stay in your head. I am intrigued to read more work by some of these poets because their stories piqued my curiosity. (What I love about anthologies is that they introduce me to writers I've never read before).



I was going to add a list of books I'd like to read but this blog post is too long already. (Some of the books I'm planning to read were written by bloggers I follow). I will write this list on one of my next posts...
Are you planning to read anything in the near future? Would you like to recommend a book?
 Have a beautiful weekend.

22 comments:

  1. I just finished reading Edvard Munch: Behind the Scream, a biography by Sue Prideaux. I couldn't put it down.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Julia .. love the idea of Jill Kerr Conway's book - sounds so interesting and informative. I know very little about poetry and Emily Dickinson keeps popping up - even so far as having a Show garden at Chelsea this year ..

    Thanks for highlighting these 4 .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary, I think you will love reading Jill Kerr Conway's book...

      Delete
  3. These look like some good reads Julia! Have a wonderful weekend!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Keith. I'm enjoying them. Have fun.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for sharing these wonderful books, Julia, and for reminding me about Emily Dickinson. I haven't read any of her poetry for a while, but enjoyed it in the past. I'll look for the books on kindle. I notice too you've mentioned Rumi, he's another one of my favourites. Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sharon. It's good to know that you found something interesting on my blog. I love poetry too.

      Delete
  5. Wonderful book choices, Julia. An Anthology of American Women that will entertain and educate sounds perfect. I enjoy stories of real women who have achieved through overcoming the odds; I admire resilience and passion. I also like that Jill Kerr Conway added an historical context and biographical sketch to each story.

    Well, I think you already know I’m a big fan of Emily Dickinson. There can never be too many books about her, I say! I trust your excellent judgment that this book by Harold Bloom is riveting, so I must add it to my collection. The collection of poems from around the world, and the Word of Mouth anthology look very interesting as well. Thank you for sharing.

    As far as recommendations, if you’re a fan of Vincent Van Gogh, I’d recommend “Van Gogh: The Life” by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, authors who won a Pulitzer for their biography on the painter Jackson Pollack (haven’t read that one yet). This is a fabulously rich volume, full of Vincent’s paintings, drawings, and letters. The book introduces a new, intriguing, and well-researched theory that Van Gogh did not kill himself, but was accidently shot by vacationing teenagers to the town of Arles, the sons of well-heeled patrons (and basically punks) who tormented the reclusive Vincent and teased him by pointed a gun at him that accidently fired and fatally wounded Van Gogh. Fascinating research from physicians’ notes and other sources. If you haven’t already read it, I’d highly recommend this book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jersey. Your recommendations are always deeply appreciated. I LOVE Van Gogh. I've read a lot about his life and work, but I didn't know anything about that theory. I hope it is not true, but you sparked my interest. I'd like to read that book! He was such a sensitive, compassionate man...

      Delete
  6. I really like the book cover design to Risking Everything! Apples! It's certainly different!

    Thanks for the review and recommendations to these amazing collection of books!

    I'm still in the middle of The Bell Jar (been reading it for over a month now! I'm a totally a v-eeerrry slllooooow reader!!). The book is fab though! Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Old Kitty. Yes, I agree. It is an intriguing book cover. I like it, too. I'm glad you find it amazing. I should check the Bell Jar. Thanks.

      Delete
  7. I wrote my final paper for a Whitman/Dickinson class on "I heard a fly buzz when I died" by Emily Dickinson. She has been a long time favorite: her power to move readers and the influences that provided her with such a spirit have always intrigued me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I share the same fascination. Her poetry is powerful and beautiful.Thanks, Emily.

      Delete
  8. I love Jill Kerr Conway. I have learned so much from her. Great choice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love her writing too. I've also read her memoirs "The Road from Coorain" and "True North". The Road from Coorain was a great read. I read it two years ago; I should write about it on my blog. Thanks for commenting, JJ.

      Delete
  9. I also enjoy real life stories more than fictional ones. Thanks for recommendations. I will certainly check out some in future. Just ordered "Written By Herself"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Yun Yi. It is a book worth keeping. Bear in mind that fictional stories are, in many cases, real stories that have been fictionalized...

      Delete
  10. Those look like some great reads. Written by Herself in particular caught my attention.

    Right now, I'm reading Les Miserables, Tale of Two Cities (both unabridged) and L'Etranger by Albert Camus. So I'll probably be reading those three for a while. Especially now that I'm editing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. I'm very impressed, Misha. I love those books. I'd like to read Les Miserables. I watched it at the local theater a few days ago. I read The Stranger two years ago and never took the time to write the essay I wanted to write on it. I love Camus's style. I also read A Tale of Two Cities, but that was a long time ago.

      Delete
  11. Thank you for sharing these books with your readers; they sound extremely interesting and I will be sure to check them out. I'm always looking for a wide variety of genres to delve into! As a fellow reader I would love to recommend a fantastic book I read recently that opened my eyes to the world of Mormonism (a religion I knew very little about) and thoroughly entertained me with it’s lead character, Shake, who handles his rigid Mormon upbringing with courage, humor and the utmost sincerity. The book is called “Journey” by author Max Zimmer (http://maxzimmer.com/journey/). This novel is a compelling, and revealing look into the demands of the faith as Shake and his young friends take their first steps into adulthood. “Journey” is book 1 of 3 in the series and begins in 1956 when Shake hears a line of music on the radio of a cattle truck and discovers his dream to play jazz trumpet (obviously not a well thought of profession in his religious circle). The sense of emotion from Shake hearing a trumpet for the first time helps the reader to empathize completely with Shake’s need to experience the world! I really hope you will give this book a read and that it will move you, make you laugh, teach you something new and make you want to read it again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, thank so much for the recommendation. It is the kind of book that I would enjoy. It is about somebody who wants to pursue his dream against all odds. Wonderful...

      Delete

I appreciate each and every comment. Thank you.