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One of the goodreads migrants, trying out another reading log.

Currently reading

Les Misérables
Victor Hugo, Norman MacAfee, Lee Fahnestock

Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels

Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels - Sikivu Hutchinson Review to come.

Initial reaction: whoa.

Humors of the Fair

Humors of the Fair - Julian Hawthorne A short read - beautiful primarily because I was in the rare books room of the Chicago Public Library, which - if you haven't gone there - hie yourself to one of the most beautiful rooms in the city.

Full of the requisite racism and sexism of the era, and with an odd little aside for most of the middle portion of the book on a winsome young lady named Hildegarde, this book was useful for what I needed it for (despite Hawthorne's own claim that "a sustained effort has been made to divest its pages of anything that could be construed as useful information") and made for an enjoyable few hours.
Masculinities - Raewyn W. Connell I read a portion of this today for my Queer Theory class, and I've read much more of it back in 2010 in my intro to Gender Studies course. Connell does an excellent job deconstructing the cult of masculinity, the variances within it, and its stranglehold on much of (USian) culture. There are fascinating case studies in here, I recall, but I only read the theory portion this time around. Well worth the read.
When She Woke - Hillary Jordan This was a truly tremendous book. It's stuck with me in a pretty intense way in the month since I've read it. As others have said, it's not a perfect book; the last half, particularly, especially Hannah's insistence on her true love's true-ness (and his unacknowledged skeeziness!) were the rotten bit in an otherwise excellent story about self-determination and a terrifying possible future.
The Duke and I - Julia Quinn Vaguely disappointed by this book. It's been complimented in other reviews of Kleypas' work, and I did laugh out loud a few times; however, I fail to see the problem with not having children (love & validation can, indeed, be found elsewhere) and what's-her-names actions towards that end were fairly awful, manipulative, and lacked integrity. I would say I'm done with romance novels, but they're my comfort read, so I'll likely read the next one.
Possession - A.S. Byatt What a lovely book. I am not as intelligent as the author, though I have my own forays in to academia and postmodernism and such, and I was not able to read the long poetry with the attention that it deserved. The ending was...surprisingly pat, though satisfying, and worth the time spent.
My Name Is Mary Sutter - Robin Oliveira Too much silly romance, not enough character development. A quick read - finished it on the train and waiting for a haircut, and it was entertaining enough.

From There to Here: The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, from 1942 - 1972

From There to Here: The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, from 1942 - 1972 - Kathryn Lawlor An excellent overview of the period. A little dry and lacking focus on individuals (which happens to be my personal preference), but extremely helpful overall.

Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church

Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church - Thomas Reese S.J. Likely a good book in general, but it was profoundly unhelpful for my purposes. Reese managed to fill several hundred pages and mention women perhaps four times - quite a feat, given that women religious significantly outnumbered their male counterparts until the turn of the century, and Reese was attempting an historical perspective. Oh well.
Piggies - Audrey Wood I think I can count this one as read this year, despite its short length; it is one of the favorites of the child that I nanny, and we've read it countless times in the last few months. It's quality, too - this one I enjoy reading as well.
The Legend of the King (The Squire's Tales) - Gerald Morris I initially wanted to rate this one a 4/5, but...

It was the first thing I thought about this morning when I woke up. It's rare that a book sticks with me so strongly for more than a few hours, so that's high praise in and of itself.

In addition to that, this book made me cry twice. Twice! That is even rarer than the mental "catch".

For all that, and for a wonderful ending to a series that struck just the right note between mournful and lighthearted, and for a skilled remembrance of all the characters Morris has introduced in the last nine books...this was an ending fitting of the series.

As another reviewer said, though, I don't think I could read it again...at least not anytime soon.
Mandragola - Niccolo Machiavelli This book really brought out the worst in people.

The reactions to it today in my Political Theory class were repugnant. Rape apologism, victim-blaming, sexism, misogyny...

I hated this play, but I suppose it brought out some passionate responses in me - a silver lining.

Certainly connects to Machiavelli's views on how people should behave, and raises some interesting questions - what does it truly mean to be happy? Is ignorance bliss, in the case of a buffoon like Nicia? How has Lucrezia changed? (One student called her a 'harlot'. Perhaps we should burn her at the stake for exercising her agency in the only way possible.)

This review is a little incoherent because of how furious the class discussions made me. The "I know, it's horrendously sexist, ha-ha" reaction is not acceptable.