Be the first to see The Literate Housewife Review at its new home: http://literatehousewife.com/. I just activated the site and I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks.
This will be my last post here on WordPress.com. Please update your links and your feeds.
I am jumping, jumping for joy. I still have a lot of customizing I have to do and things I want to explore, but I couldn’t wait any longer.
I’ll be seeing you over at my new domain!
This really has been an exciting week for me. In addition to my book club was awarded the Book Club of the Month, the final details for my new blog design and move to literatehousewife.com are under way! I can’t tell you how happy I was to see the design that Kathy from Simply Amusing Designs developed for me. I wish I had made this change a long time ago. Right now I’m adding the finishing touches to all of my posts and my sidebars. I hope to have everything up before by Monday. Still, I can’t wait to give you a sneak peak:
I’ll let you know here as soon as my new domain is live. See you then.
Tags: Book Club of the Month, book clubs, Facebook, February book club pick, Loving Frank, Michael C. White, Nancy Horan, Soul Catcher
As I mentioned before, I joined the Book Clubs application on Facebook and started my own online book club ~ Historical Fiction Lovers. We started the club reading Loving Frank and seven of us completed the Reader’s Guide and Review form. There was some really good discussion, especially about Mamah and her choices. I found out that HFL was awarded the first Book Club of the Month award and I am SUPER ecstatic about it. Here is what was posted on the site about our book club:
A passion for novels blending history, literature and romance is what drives January’s Book Club of the Month: Historical Fiction Lovers. The group, created by Jennifer, is a good case study of how to run a successful online book club.
Jennifer, who juggles a career and a family, somehow finds time to blog (http://literatehousewife.wordpress.com), participate in reading challenges and run her group, Historical Fiction Lovers.
The group’s January selection is Loving Frank, a novel by Nancy Horan about a scandalous romance between the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mamah Cheney, a well-educated, independent and married Chicago woman. It’s not escapist fare.
As a leader, Jennifer sets a tone for the group by suggesting appropriate novels, and then discussing which novels will be read and when. She also organizes discussions in an easy-to-follow manner.
As a thank you, we will be sending Jennifer five books to distribute as she sees fit. Please let us know if you feel your group is ready for the spotlight in February!
Historical Fiction Lovers is one of more than 100 public Book Clubs and 20 private ones created by our members. There are clubs built around specific authors or book series, some are regional, but most concern categories of books such as mysteries, romance or classics.
We are especially grateful to Book Club leaders such as Jennifer who help drive discussions, select good books and invite their friends to take part. We encourage every member to contribute new topics or respond to comments or questions by other club members. Book Clubs is a community-based application and member participation is vital to a successful experience.
On top of the honor of winning, my group receives five copies of our chosen book for February, Soul Catcher by Michael White. I’m awarding a copy of this book to the five members other than Rusty Weston, the soul behind Book Clubs, and myself a copy of Soul Catcher.
Here’s a brief description of the novel from the HarperCollins website:
Augustus Cain is a damaged man haunted by a terrible skill: the ability to track people who don’t want to be found. Rosetta is a runaway slave who bears the scars, inside and out, of a life of servitude to a cruel and unforgiving master. Her flight is fueled by a passion and determination only a mother could feel, and she would rather die than let anyone drag her back to hell. In a dark, volatile time prior to the Civil War, fate has bound the hunted and hunter on a remarkable odyssey from Virginia to Boston and back again—an extraordinary test of character and will, mercy and compassion, that will change them both forever.
Tags: book giveaway winner, Clarence B. Jones, Obama inauguration, What Would Martin Say?
Thanks to everyone who shared their hopes and opinions about yesterday’s inauguration.
As promised, I added everyone’s name to the List Randomizer to determine who would win a free copy of What Would Martin Say? by Clarence B. Jones. The winner is:
Congratulations, Stacy! Please send me an email with your mailing address and I’ll send that book to you as soon as possible.
Tags: Barack Obama, Inauguration memories, Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Parade, watching history
On January 20, 1977, I was just over 5 years old. I was in kindergarten that year and what I remember was the parade. What I remember is sitting on the carpet in front of the TV in our first family home in Sparta, MI. I am not sure if I was watching the original telecast, but I could have been because I was the morning kindergarten class. It could have been a recast, though. At first I enjoyed watching President and Mrs. Carter walking down Pennsylvania Ave. Then, I got very bored of listening to all the talking and wished that I could watch something else. Today, I think Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Parade was perfect for him. He was and is a down to earth, good man. Although there had already been two presidents during my then short life, Jimmy Carter is the first I remember. Although my memories of him as president are dark due to the Iran Hostage Crisis that was to come, I am glad to have the memory of what it was like for a very young child to watch such a parade. Because I remember Jimmy Carter’s day, I know that Emma, my 6 year old kindergartner, will remember Barack Obama’s.
Emma is in school today and I am at work. She may get to watch the festivities at school, but just in case I’m DVRing it for later. I would love to sit and watch Obama’s parade with her. She will be a member of the first generation not to know an America without an African American president. For her and her classmates, race will not be something that will keep a man from becoming the President of the United States. When a man can become president, a man can do anything. I hope that we don’t have to wait for Emma to watch an inaugural parade with her oldest child before the same can be said of women.
Happy Inauguration Day! Please leave a comment to this post about your impressions of today’s inauguration. What did you think of the speech? The parade? What do you think was the most memorable moment? What did you children think? All comments about the inauguration left today will qualify to win a copy of Clarence B. Jones’ book, What Would Martin Say?
Tags: Barack, Barack Obama, book giveaway, book highlight, Clarence B. Jones, I Have a Dream, Obama inauguration, What Would Martin Say?
If ever there was a cause to celebrate Martin Luther King, it is today. As we are about to embark upon the first African America presidency, it is apparant just how far we’ve come as a nation.
“I Have a Dream” is one of my favorite American speeches. It never fails to give me chill bumps.
We know what MLK said, but wouldn’t it be interesting to know what he might say himself today? Clarence Jones, a close friend, asked himself that same question and has written a book entitled, What Would Martin Say? To give you a little more information about his book, here is some information I found on the HarperCollins website:
On April 4, 1968, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, depriving the world of one of the greatest moral authorities of the twentieth century. He was thirty-nine. King had achieved so much at such a young age that it is hard to believe that he has been gone longer than the brief time he spent on this earth. He spoke out not only on segregation and racism against African Americans, but about many other issues of the day, from police brutality and labor strikes to the Vietnam War. Given the current state of the world, we would all benefit from hearing Martin’s voice, if only he were alive today. . . .
If anyone would have insight into what Martin would say, it would be Clarence B. Jones, King’s personal lawyer and one of his closest principal advisers and confidants. Jones—now seventy-seven, has chosen the occasion of this somber anniversary to break his silence—removing the mythic distance of forty years’ time to reveal the flesh-and-blood man he knew as his friend, Martin. Jones ponders what the outspoken rights leader would say about the serious issues that bedevil contemporary America: Islamic terrorism and the war in Iraq, reparations for slavery, anti-Semitism, affirmative action, illegal immigration, and the vacuum of African American leadership. Delving deep into his memories of the man he worked closely beside, and with help from the King Institute at Stanford University and reams of formerly top-secret and now declassified FBI files, Jones offers the guidance and insight his friend and mentor would have provided for us in these troubled times.
Many Americans today know of Martin Luther King only from video clips and history books. As Jones so aptly reminds us, this legendary figure was also a warm human being full of life—and more relevant now than ever.
What Would Martin Say? Giveaway
In celebration of current events, The Literate Housewife Review is offering a copy of this book to one reader. Since tomorrow will probably be the first inauguration that my daughter Emma remembers, I’m going to write a post about my memories about my first inauguration – Jimmy Carter’s, which was also historic in its own way.
To enter this contest, leave a comment to that post by 11:59pm tomorrow. In your comments, please give your thoughts about Barak Obama’s inauguration. I will draw the winner from those comments at noon on January 21st. “Please enter me” comments will not be considered.
Good luck and Happy MLK and Inaugeration day, everyone!
Tags: Andrew Wyeth, artists and their lovers, Christina's World, Helga, Loving Frank, obituary
I was saddened to learn today that Andrew Wyeth has passed away. He has been one of my favorite artists ever since I wrote a paper about him my senior year of high school. I wasn’t one to be very interested in art at the time, but his work and his life opened my eyes to what beauty is and should be.
He is most well known for “Christina’s World,” but I loved most everything he did. I remembered being drawn to his Helga pictures. I found them to be captivating and I feel that they depict women as they are, not as how we are often objectified. They caused a scandal because Helga was not his wife. I am still not sure where I stand on the issue of artists finding so much inspiration from a woman who is not their wife. This theme came up most recently for me while reading Loving Frank. Human beings are flawed. While I don’t condone cheating on anyone, the world is big and forgiving enough to allow us to make something beautiful out of our mistakes. It would be a tragedy to throw away or hide something just because its origins may be morally otherwise offensive.
Thank you, Andrew Wyeth for sharing your vision with the world. It will always be a more beautiful place because you were here. I wish you warmth and love in the hereafter.
But, enough about books … Other things have words, too, right? Like … songs!If you’re anything like me, there are songs that you love because of their lyrics; writers you admire because their songs have depth, meaning, or just a sheer playfulness that has nothing to do with the tunes.
So, today’s question?
- What songs … either specific songs, or songs in general by a specific group or writer … have words that you love?
- And … do the tunes that go with the fantastic lyrics live up to them?
You don’t have to restrict yourself to modern songsters, either … anyone who wants to pick Gilbert & Sullivan, for example, is just fine with me. Lerner & Loewe? Steven Sondheim? Barenaked Ladies? Fountains of Wayne? The Beatles? Anyone at all…
What a wonderful topic! I can’t remember the last time I participated in BTT, but it’s been too long. I’m going to answer this as an evolution of sorts.
The first lyrics that was ever attributed to me was through a story I overheard my mother telling someone over the phone. Apparently while I was over at her mother’s house, I started signing:
We made love in my Chevy van
and that’s alright with me
My grandmother was sufficiently less than amused.
I have very fond memories of camping growing up. One particularly vivid memory is of my dad setting up the camper and we’re singing along with the radio:
Skyrockets in flight
After hearing this song again as an adult, I told my dad that I couldn’t believe that he sang that song with me. His response was great advice for me as a parent, “Jennifer, you didn’t know what it meant and we were having fun.” Yep, you can get too bent out of shape about things that don’t mean a darn thing.
There is one word that, when sung in an interesting, usually drawn out way, will virtually guarantee that I’ll love the song. That word, is:
When I think of that lyric (if you can actually call it that), the songs come to mind, and they are always on my iPod or MP3 player:
“Fire” by The Pointer Sisters
“The One I Love” by R.E.M.
“Firewoman” by The Cult
Running to Stand Still
The Joshua Tree is the definitive album of my youth. It came out during my junior year of high school and it was the first CD I ever bought. In fact, I have very strongly been considering getting a tattoo of the Joshua tree from the album art for almost two years now. It means that much to me. Over the past 20 years (yikes!), different songs have meant different things. In college, these lyrics stood out to me and they have ever since:
You’ve got to cry without weeping
Talk without speaking
Scream without raising your voice
I think those lyrics sum me up in a lot of ways – some good, some not so good. I’ve always seen the main character in my novel living through those lyrics in some way.
Tori Amos came into my life along with my own sexual awakening. The first time I heard the song “Precious Things,” I knew that I would never forget it:
I want to smash the faces of those beautiful boys, those Christian boys
So you can make me come, that doesn’t make you Jesus
Find the River
“Find the River” is my favorite R.E.M. song. Although it’s about how life leads to death, it calms and centers me. I want it played at my funeral and I would like the following lyric to be my epitaph:
I’ve got to leave to find my way
I love this song so much that I’ll leave you with a wonderful live version of the song followed by the complete lyrics.
Hey now, little speedyhead,
The read on the speedmeter says
You have to go to task in the city
Where people drown and people serve.
Dont be shy. your just deserve
Is only just light years to go.
Me, my thoughts are flower strewn
Ocean storm, bayberry moon.
I have got to leave to find my way.
Watch the road and memorize
This life that pass before my eyes.
Nothing is going my way.
The ocean is the rivers goal,
A need to leave the water knows
Were closer now than light years to go.
I have got to find the river,
Bergamot and vetiver
Run through my head and fall away.
Leave the road and memorize
This life that pass before my eyes.
Nothing is going my way.
Theres no one left to take the lead,
But I tell you and you can see
Were closer now than light years to go.
Pick up here and chase the ride.
The river empties to the tide.
Fall into the ocean.
The river to the ocean goes,
A fortune for the undertow.
None of this is going my way.
There is nothing left to throw
Of ginger, lemon, indigo,
Coriander stem and rose of hay.
Strength and courage overrides
The privileged and weary eyes
Of river poet search naivete.
Pick up here and chase the ride.
The river empties to the tide.
All of this is coming your way
Tags: Anne of Cleves, book review, Henry VIII, Historical Fiction, Katherine Howard, Margaret Campbell Barnes, My Lady of Cleves, Tudor fiction
My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves by Margaret Campbell Barnes
Anne of Cleves was the most unlikely of all of Henry VIII’s wives. She did not especially want to be queen, she was not physically beautiful, and she was rather forced upon him in order to produce an heir. Yet, along with Katherine of Aragon, she is a wife to which Henry should have cleaved to permanently. She is also my favorite. The first time I learned of her and found out that she was from a territory that is now the Netherlands, she had a special place in this Dutch heart of mine. Therefore, when I first heard of this novel on Reading Adventures, I new that I had to read it. I couldn’t have been more pleased when a wonderful co-worker of mine gave it to me for my birthday. Thank you, Poorna!
From the beginning, Barnes covers the known facts about the search for Henry’s fourth wife, Anne’s betrothal, her first regrettable moments with Henry, their short marriage, and swift divorce deftly. As much as I loved The Boleyn Inheritance, it is the author’s interpretation of those events that make this novel such a delight to read. For example, Barnes’ Anne did not want to leave her country, her family, or her people. This is just as well because her sister Amelia was prettier and was excited by the prospect of becoming queen. To her surprise, Hans Holbien, the artist sent to paint the portraits of the royal daughters of Cleves saw a beauty in her that most missed. The way this quality was painted is exactly what captured Henry’s eye. Unfortunately, Henry couldn’t see that when they met in person. The way in which the events surrounding their divorce played out in this novel was interesting and this view of Anne was endearing. I like to think of her in this way.
There was one lost opportunity in this novel. After Henry chooses Anne, we next find her on her journey to England. We do not experience how the news of Henry’s choice impacts Anne, her family, or the people she serves. We do not see her leave her home for the last time. We do not see how being overlooked by a king affected Amelia. As Anne’s life in England as it pertains to the throne are well known, it is precisely those missing details that would really grab and inspire my imagination. Certainly I can make up my own scenes, but I read historical fiction to have those undocumented moments come alive on the page. This was a minor drawback. It did not keep me from enjoying this novel at all. Still, the mild disappointment over what could have been, especially with an author so skilled, remains with me.
My Lady of Cleves is a novel I will always cherish. She was a strong woman who had to work hard to overcome her looks, which always felt like a shortcoming to her. I can’t quite place my finger on a specific passage, but Chapters 17 and 18 were beautiful in the way in which they depict the turning point in Anne’s life. What was accomplished there made the novel and solidified Anne’s place in my heart among Henry’s wives. She deserved the freedom and solitude that she found at Richmond. I’d wager that she was the only woman deeply involved with Henry who died happy and content with her life. I am glad that the author chose to bring Anne to the forefront. Historical figures do not have to be tyrants or tarts to be compelling. Sometimes a heroine with just a dash of fire when scorned is exactly what is needed to satisfy. This novel is a must for Tudor fans, but would be a delight for any reader.
To buy this book, click here.