Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Books by Women Meme

Just BOLD those you’ve read, ITALICIZE the ones you’ve been meaning to read and ??? the ones you have never heard of (or wish you had never heard of? Or the ones you wonder, "why is this book on this list?")

Alcott, Louisa May–Little Women
Allende, Isabel–The House of Spirits
Angelou, Maya–I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Atwood, Margaret–Cat’s Eye
Austen, Jane–Emma
Bambara, Toni Cade–Salt Eaters ??
Barnes, Djuna–Nightwood ??
de Beauvoir, Simone–The Second Sex
Blume, Judy–Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret
Burnett, Frances–The Secret Garden
Bronte, Charlotte–Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily–Wuthering Heights
Buck, Pearl S.–The Good Earth
Byatt, A.S.–Possession
Cather, Willa–My Antonia
Christie, Agatha–Murder on the Orient Express

Cisneros, Sandra–The House on Mango Street
Clinton, Hillary Rodham–Living History?????????
Cooper, Anna Julia–A Voice From the South??
Danticat, Edwidge–Breath, Eyes, Memory??
Davis, Angela–Women, Culture, and Politics??
Desai, Anita–Clear Light of Day??
Dickinson, Emily–Collected Poems
Duncan, Lois–I Know What You Did Last Summer??????????
DuMaurier, Daphne–Rebecca
Eliot, Geroge–Middlemarch

Emecheta, Buchi–Second Class Citizen
Erdrich, Louise–Tracks
Esquivel, Laura–Like Water for Chocolate
Flagg, Fannie–Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Friedan, Betty–The Feminine Mystique
Frank, Anne–Diary of a Young Girl
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins–The Yellow Wallpaper

Gordimer, Nadine–July’s People??
Grafton, Sue–S is for Silence
Hamilton, Edith–Mythology
Highsmith, Patricia–The Talented Mr. Ripley
Hooks, Bell–Bone Black??
Hurston, Zora Neale–Dust Tracks on the Road
Jacobs, Harriet–Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Jackson, Helen Hunt–Ramona
Jackson, Shirley–The Haunting of Hill House
Jong, Erica–Fear of Flying
Keene, Carolyn–The Nancy Drew Mysteries (any of them)
Kidd, Sue Monk–The Secret Life of Bees

Kincaid, Jamaica–Lucy
Kingsolver, Barbara–The Poisonwood Bible
Kingston, Maxine Hong–The Woman Warrior
Larsen, Nella–Passing??
L’Engle, Madeleine–A Wrinkle in Time
Le Guin, Ursula K.–The Left Hand of Darkness
Lee, Harper–To Kill a Mockingbird
Lessing, Doris–The Golden Notebook
Lively, Penelope–Moon Tiger
Lorde, Audre–The Cancer Journals??
Martin, Ann M.–The Babysitters Club Series?????????????
McCullers, Carson–The Member of the Wedding
McMillan, Terry–Disappearing Acts
Markandaya, Kamala–Nectar in a Sieve??
Marshall, Paule–Brown Girl, Brownstones??
Mitchell, Margaret–Gone with the Wind
Montgomery, Lucy–Anne of Green Gables

Morgan, Joan–When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost??
Morrison, Toni–Song of Solomon
Murasaki, Lady Shikibu–The Tale of Genji
Munro, Alice–Lives of Girls and Women
Murdoch, Iris–Severed Head
Naylor, Gloria–Mama Day
Niffenegger, Audrey–The Time Traveller’s Wife
Oates, Joyce Carol–We Were the Mulvaneys??
O’Connor, Flannery–A Good Man is Hard to Find
Piercy, Marge–Woman on the Edge of Time??
Picoult, Jodi–My Sister’s Keeper
Plath, Sylvia–The Bell Jar
Porter, Katharine Anne–Ship of Fools
Proulx, E. Annie–The Shipping News
Rand, Ayn–The Fountainhead

Ray, Rachel–365: No Repeats???????????
Rhys, Jean–Wide Sargasso Sea
Robinson, Marilynne–Housekeeping??
Rocha, Sharon–For Laci??
Sebold, Alice–The Lovely Bones
Shelley, Mary–Frankenstein
Smith, Betty–A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Smith, Zadie–White Teeth
Spark, Muriel–The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Spyri, Johanna–Heidi

Strout, Elizabeth–Amy and Isabelle??
Steel, Danielle–The House
Tan, Amy–The Joy Luck Club
Tannen, Deborah–You’re Wearing That??
Ulrich, Laurel–A Midwife’s Tale
Urquhart, Jane–Away??
Walker, Alice–The Temple of My Familiar
Welty, Eudora–One Writer’s Beginnings
Wharton, Edith–Age of Innocence
Wilder, Laura Ingalls–Little House in the Big Woods

Wollstonecraft, Mary–A Vindication of the Rights of Women
Woolf, Virginia–A Room of One’s Own

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I'm trying to remember why exactly I was so eager to acquire employment. Oh, right, the dwindling bank balance... If only work didn't interfere so much with my life--it's really quite vexing. And despite working in the same building--within winking distance--of my dear husband, the time we have together has shrunk to car rides and sleep. Perhaps because of this I find myself growing even more affectionate towards him (ah, absence), although I think it also has something to do with reading the much-maligned Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.

Yes, I was a scoffer too, but the book's got merit! Even Odious agreed that there was something to it, though he complained about the generalization. Unfortunately such books require a certain degree of generalization, and in this case John Gray, PhD, has gotten pretty close to the mark. His analogy of Martians and Venusians quickly ceases to amuse, but there is much within this book that I found helpful and enlightening. It gave me a little window into the male psyche (don't worry, guys, just a little one!) that has been tremendously freeing. Because I understand his reactions and intentions better, I can stop worrying about whether or not he's okay and just enjoy the fact that I have a fantastic husband who does laundry and dishes without being asked as long as he's allowed to play computer games!

I think the most interesting thing to me was the realization that relationships got difficult right around the time the word "relationship" started to mean something. Marriage as a friendship and partnership is a wonderful development for which I am truly grateful, yet it carries a myriad of problems. Men and women now seem to rely on each other for everything, which can be trying because of our differences. Communities and families have changed so that a husband and wife are expected to provide support of all kinds for each other, and sometimes it doesn't work out so well because we don't understand each other. While appreciating "relationships", we need also to seek out other supports as well as learning more about the differences between men and women. So, if you can get past the shame of carrying this book up to the counter of Barnes and Noble or your local library, I do recommend it--the guy's got some decent ideas.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

My dear husband has just gotten me hooked on a YA fantasy series: Midnighters, by Scott Westerfeld. After mentioning that the books were quite enjoyable, he left the first one lying temptingly on the coffee table, where I picked it up in innocence this morning. Now I'm blogging instead of starting the second one, because there's no way I can finish before going to work in 45 minutes. But maybe I should try... Nope, I'll be good and save it for my lunch break--oh yeah, that's a great idea.

The series is based on a concept that reminds me of various other books and movies--nothing terrifically groundbreaking. But Westerfeld's style is gripping and fast-paced, with Nancy Drew-like short chapters ending in cliffhangers so that it's nearly impossible to stop reading, even when you have to drive your husband to work in five minutes. It's the story of a handful of teenagers in Bixby, OK, where every day lasts twenty-five hours. At midnight there's a secret hour that most people don't know exists, which these kids use for exploring and learning more about the history of the town and the other creatures that inhabit the darkness. Four of the kids have specific talents, but the new girl seems to be an anomaly when she first arrives in town. The first book, The Secret Hour, introduces the kids and builds up to the discovery of Jessica's talent, while the second, Touching Darkness, goes further into the mystery of the darkling creatures. I can't wait to immerse myself in it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I've been told my last post was a little odd--apparently I should stick to books and keep musings like that for my journal. Ah well.

Fortunately I have several books to mention--I've read some good stuff lately. Last night I finished Richard Wright's Native Son, which perhaps I shouldn't categorize as "good stuff"; however, I read it in two days. I hated it, first off: the story was grim and depressing and the main character unbelievably awful; and yet I found it strangely compelling. At the beginning I expected it to be one of those books I'd have to force myself to read a few pages of each day, spurring myself on with competitive thoughts of crossing it off my list, but instead I was drawn in, reading great chunks at a time in a disturbing eagerness to learn what might happen next. Odious said he put it down in disgust at the first gruesome occurence; perhaps I'm more bloodthirsty than he! Whatever the reason, I found Bigger Thomas's story an interesting one. I was going to say his descent into madness, or corruption, was interesting, but since his entire life was one of corruption and degradation, the crimes he committed were almost an ascent. Through the guidance of Mr. Max he became aware of himself and his reasons for doing things, and though that certainly didn't help him much, the story is effective in a way I wouldn't have supposed.

Now, the other book I was going to discuss is too different to include in the same post, so I'll return to it later. Thanks to the weirdness of our new work schedule, I'll be spending a lot of time in the Lake Oswego Public Library, which has excellent computers, so posting may be more frequent.

Before I go, however, here's a joke I read this morning, courtesy of Elle Jay, who got it from someone else. I just love jokes like this.

A neutron walks into a bar. The barkeeper says, "For you, no charge!"