Holiday Reading and/or Last Minute Gifts

I’ve been reading instead of blog writing this fall and I have several books for you to add to your list.  All of these would make great gifts as well.

First, Ken Follett’s book “A Column of Fire”  I almost didn’t read this.  I had my friend Carol’s copy for almost a year. Started it.  Then stopped.  When my friend Deborah told me she was reading it and couldn’t put it down, I tried again.  And I couldn’t put it down.  This is the third in a trilogy.  The first being “Pillars of the Earth”  which you should read too.  I read “Pillars of the Earth” while nursing my daughter.  She is now 28.  That was one of the best books I’ve ever read and I should read it again.  Both “A Column of Fire” and “Pillars of the Earth” are historical fiction.  Each taking place in different centuries.  “A Column of Fire” is in the 16th Century.  It takes place mostly  in Europe.  There are wars, spies, romance, intrigue, and rape. Not like “stranger in the alley rape”, more like in your home rape.  This is a great book.  I love all of the real historical characters and events peppered with fiction in a “Downton Abby” kind of soap opera retelling of the 1500’s.  This book also shows how much history repeats itself and that the human race never seems to learn or come to an agreed upon solution while destroying itself and the world around it with greed and power winning over compassion  and tolerance.

Next up, “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens.  This book was our Thanksgiving family book club book.  This book takes place on the Outer Banks of North Caroline in the 1940’s to 1960’s.  At times you’ll think this book is nothing but a teenaged romance triangle.  But, it is much more than that.  This book does a good job of portraying the “Jim Crow” south, southern poverty, empathy as well as prejudice, and rape.  Not “stranger in the alley rape”, more like rape in your own home. Subtle.  A contest to be won.  I liked the writing and the story of this book.  A survivor book.

Lastly, “My Notorious Life” by Kate Manning is a wonderful book.  Recommended to me by my friend Deborah.  This was a great story based on some true events.  This book takes place in the late 1800’s in New York City.  The protagonist, Axie, becomes an orphan at a young age.  She is taken in by a family of doctors, the women being a midwife.  Axie becomes a maid for the business and ends up being an assistant.  Her midwife mentor, not only delivers babies, but will abort them too.  Axie ends up using this knowledge and her compassion for women to make a successful, though illegal, career.  This is a fascinating book full of female suppression, male domination and rape.  Not “stranger in the alley rape”, more like rape in your own home.

Tis the season to wonder, if Jesus’ mother had not used that lame excuse “Virgin Mary” and instead had actually started the “Me Too” movement,  that women would be on a whole different  level at this stage of the game.

I don’t want you to leave this blog thinking that I’m on a man rampage.  All three of these books have compassionate men who are wonderful, loving, generous, kind and supporting, as the majority of men are.  I just want you to  be aware that the rape culture has been so prevalent in our history that I have read three books in a row  which have this theme thread through them.  And just the fact I feel the need to add this disclaimer paragraph because I don’t want to be mistaken for an angry, biased women says a lot too.  A lot that I can’t put it into words.

It’s time for compassion and tolerance to win.  Merry Everything and Happy Always.  Happy reading.

More great book selections can be found at Wild About Books.

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