Moran More

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Caitlin Moran made a splash two years ago with her book of essays, How to Be A Woman. While better known in England than here in the States, her body of work so far will hopefully rectify that. How to Be a Woman goes roughly in chronological order, from Moran's burgeoning adolescence in Wolverhampton to contemplating her mortality […]

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Tough Broads II

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As winter closes in at the time of this writing, I highly recommend Nevada Barr and her Anna Pigeon mysteries for some gritty armchair adventure. Anna Pigeon is a National Park Services employee (she advances through the ranks as the series progresses) who tends to stumble on suspicious deaths in the great outdoors. Barr is a master of […]

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Epic Yarns in Teen Fiction

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Back in the day knitting used to be grandmas making ugly, itchy sweaters that never fit right and that you never EVER wanted to wear in public. Now, thanks to the DIY revolution, I'm getting some of my favorite patterns from teens and there are at least two video games featuring yarn (Kirby's Epic Yarn […]

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Dancing Through Books

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When I was young, I dreamed of being a ballerina. Not in a casual way-- was serious about it. (And by serious, I mean sort of a little bit obsessed.) And to this day, I will immediately grab any book that is a tiny bit about dance. Pointe shoe on the cover? Done. Street dancers mid leap? […]

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Tough Broads

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It is with great pleasure that I welcome a new author to the mystery genre: Minerva Koenig. In Nine Days, she creates truly memorable characters and a quick-turn-that-page story. Julia Kalas is staring down forty and is not a completely socially acceptable dress size. An expert house renovator and remodeler, she is now in the federal witness protection […]

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Ladies of Dagenham, Unite!

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Rita O'Grady (Sally Hawkins) is nothing out of the ordinary, working at the Ford factory and raising her children with her husband in their blue-collar suburb of London in 1968.  O'Grady works in the all-female section of the plant sewing seat covers, along with 146 other women. What starts out as a dispute over job designation grows into […]

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The Problem With Virtue

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Often when I read historical fiction, it seems that the 21st-Century world view is imported with the characters.  No more is this true than with the themes of sex and religion.  Fortunately, Marci Jefferson manages to avoid this pitfall in Girl on the Golden Coin. Young Frances Stuart, the protagonist, wishes only to make a good […]

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Hellenga and his Women

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I picked up The Confessions of Frances Godwin by Robert Hellenga not entirely sure what to expect, but I thought a book in which a woman has conversations with God had to be at least somewhat interesting. I liked it even more than I thought I would. Frances does indeed talk to God (and He answers her back, […]

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Beware a Dashing Man

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  England, 1961, is in a full post-colonial hangover. Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is sixteen and full of dreams of Paris and the wider world. She gets them for a brief time by becoming the girlfriend of an older man, David (Peter Sarsgaard). David is dashing, glamorous, good looking, and rich. How he gets his money is a bit unscrupulous, […]

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The Midwife of Venice and the Harem

Roberta Rich has written only two books so far, but I enjoyed both of them immensely. In The Midwife of Venice, Hannah Levi, a midwife of legendary skill and confined to the Jewish Ghetto, makes a decision to help a countess in natal distress. She takes along her "birthing spoons", a form of forceps, with her despite the […]

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