Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Salon ~ more books?


I've been taking part in Dewey's 24-hour Readathon, which started (for me) at 8:00 a.m. yesterday.  I ran out of steam and slept the last two hours this morning, as well as about an hour and a half in the middle when I dozed off.  I read one book and, if I hadn't spent so much time playing with the mini-challenges, I'd have finished it.  (I'm near the end, so I'll read the rest this morning before I sleep.)


It's not my fault the closest used book store is going out of business.  Though my goal is to clear my shelves by giving away books, I've been bringing some home, as well.  I bought some last week at 50% off, and again this week at 70% off — and the prices were already low, low, low used-book prices.  Okay, I'll brag a little and say I have given away more than I've replaced.  That ought to count for something.  Now to show you the bookstore booty, seven books for less than eight dollars.

The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship ~ by Jeffrey Zaslow, 2009
This book is a tribute to female friendships, the story of eleven girls and the ten women they became.  As children, they formed a special bond, growing up in the small town of Ames, Iowa.  As young women, they moved to eight different states, yet managed to maintain an extraordinary friendship that would carry them through college and careers, marriage and motherhood, dating and divorce, the death of a child, and the mysterious death of the eleventh member of their group.  The girls, now in their forties, have a lifetime of memories in common, some evocative of their generation and some that will resonate with any woman who has ever had a friend.  Close female relationships can shape every aspect of women's lives their sense of themselves, their choice of men, their need for validation, their relationships with their mothers, their dreams for their daughters and reveals how such friendships thrive, rewarding those who have committed to them.
After I brought these books home, I picked up the book I'd been reading (The Age of Grief by Jane Smiley) and noticed that the author "teaches at Iowa State University and lives in Ames, Iowa." I hadn't noticed "Ames" until then.  An interesting coincidence.

The Mother-Daughter Book Club ~ by Shireen Dodson, 1997
This is the story of a group of mothers and their daughters, and how their relationships were strengthened and changed by starting a monthly reading club.  But it is also a practical step-by-step guide — filled with stories, anecdotes, and reading lists — that will inspire parents to start reading clubs of their own.  It's about mothers and daughters, girls and women, and how reading and talking enriches our relationships with one another.
America's Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines ~ by Gail Collins, 2003, history
Gail Collins shows how women lived, what they cared about, and how they felt about marriage, sex, and work.  She begins with the lost colony of Roanoke and the early southern "tobacco brides" who came looking for a husband and sometimes — thanks to the stupendously high mortality rate — wound up marrying their way through three or four.  Spanning wars, the pioneering days, the fight for suffrage, the Depression, the era of Rosie the Riveter, the civil rights movement, and the feminist rebellion of the 1970s, Collins describes the way women's lives were altered by dress fashions, medical advances, rules of hygiene, social theories about sex and courtship, and the ever-changing attitudes toward education, work, and politics.  While keeping her eye on the big picture, Collins still notes that corsets and uncomfortable shoes mattered a lot, too.
The Book of Beginnings: The Story of Genesis and Job ~ by Steve Stephens, 1998, fiction
This artistic interpretation of the Book of Genesis follows the stories of Man, Woman, the Walker, the Land Baron, the Merchant, the Princess, the Schemer, the Dreamer, and other familiar biblical characters recast in simple, yet elegant, storybook prose.  Similar to Walter Wangerin's bestselling The Book of God, this book breathes new life into familiar Bible stories and characters.
Beyond Our Selves ~ by Catherine Marshall, 1961, religion
I read this book in the early 1960s, shortly after it was first published.  Now I want to see if it's still as meaningful to me now as it was then.  This week, I ran across this quote online:  "While Catherine Marshall is not on record as a universalist, she strongly hints at the idea in her book Beyond Our Selves in which she quotes Hannah Whitall Smith."  I'll look for any indications as I read the book again.
The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith ~ by Marcus J. Borg, 2003, religion
Here's another one I've already read, taught from repeatedly, and written about many times on this blog.  I want to give it to someone (who may read this and wonder if it's for her), and it was so very, very inexpensive — as well as clean and unmarked — that I really had to buy it.  You understand, don't you?  And besides, when I give it away, I'll be "cleaning off my shelves" as I intended to do this spring.  (Can you see my wicked grin?)
The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant ~ by John Dominic Crossan, 1991, history
This book reveals the true Jesus who he was, what he did, what he said.  It opens with "The Gospel of Jesus," Crossan's studied determination of Jesus' actual words and actions stripped of any subsequent additions and placed in a capsule account of his life story.  The Jesus who emerges is a savvy and courageous Jewish Mediterranean peasant, a radical social revolutionary, with a rhapsodic vision of economic, political, and religious egalitarianism and a social program for creating it.

I took part in the very first Earth Day in 1970, my youngest grandchild was born on Earth Day in 2000 (happy birthday, Cady!), and I really like this famous Earth Day poster from 1971.

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Alyce said...

It is so difficult passing up good inexpensive books! You've got some great finds there, and that is quite the coincidence with the Ames books.

Helen's Book Blog said...

The book about the 40 year friendship sounds really good. I hope it's uplifting