How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran was 95% a perfect and relatable description of what it means to be a woman, and it mostly did a good job of representing the variety of things that that can mean to different people. 5% of the time I felt like she was undermining women's role in history or could have explained things in a more inclusive way. It's been described as a crasser version of Tina Fey's Bossypants, which makes sense, but I think Tina Fey had a better story, and Caitlin Moran did a better job of articulating her story in the context of a growing understanding of feminism.
Labor Day by Joyce Maynard is pretty lovely. I put it on my list after hearing her speak at the TX Book Festival this time last year, and I almost took it off when I saw the movie and it seemed cheesy and over the top. The movie is actually a pretty faithful adaptation of the book with a lot of the lines coming directly from the text, but the book is a million times better because you get more of the emotions that might make someone decide to harbor a fugitive over Labor Day weekend.
The Witches by Roald Dahl is delightful. I've tentatively joined a Book/Movie Club where we read books that get turned into movies, and this is the first book. It's a quick read, and I was once again impressed at how Dahl can write dark stories (about witches trying to kill all the children of the world) in such a whimsical way. Have we discussed how great this quote is?
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
I'm giving up on Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II for the second time. The info is fascinating and totally new to me about how post-Civil War labor laws allowed white Southerners to refuse to hire African Americans, and then have them arrested for vagrancy and take advantage of their free labor as prisoners. Unfortunately, the book is terribly dense and, although it tries to follow the store of one family to provide a real-life example, I find it impossible. If anyone knows of another book on this subject, let me know.