Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Floating Woman Poems by Leonard Orr

A Floating Woman Poems by Leonard Orr floats into the consciousness and takes up residence. I felt drawn to the poems and their lyricism. The romance of forbidden love and the despair of lost love woven into Orr's poems allows for an emotional journey that feels at once voyeuristic and universal. As I savored these poems over a few weeks, I looked forward each day to that day's poems to be read and after reading them hesitantly put the book aside to await the next day's reading. At times, Orr's poems feel symbolic of a larger message about the world and our place in it with a reverence for the interconnection we all share that shows how our actions affect one another even when we pretend they don't. A Floating Woman speaks to being inside all of us that longs to float into freedom...


Friday, March 18, 2016

Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics by Bell Hooks

Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics by Bell Hooks approaches feminism from a perspective of inclusiveness as indicated by the title. Hooks explores the idea that everyone benefits from the pursuit of equal rights for women. Interspersed in her essays is the idea that feminist leaders are sometimes guilty of playing into the patriarchy's hands by pitting those who should be joining together against one another. She explores the use of racism and classism, sometimes unconscious, as instrumental in keeping feminism from making the strides it could make. Hooks points out that when equality comes to our society everyone benefits in a stronger community filled with productive citizens working together for the betterment of all. She goes on to explore how the upper and even middle classes use inequality to exploit others for their own benefit often while not even seeing how the very lives they live are built on the services of other people. Hooks explores inequality and its relationship to feminism with passion, intelligence, and integrity to the point of making me examine how I live my life in relationship to those around me.


Monday, March 7, 2016

All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani

I was excited to read All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani based on reading some of her earlier work. That said, I'm always a little hesitant to read work that assigns fictional possibilities for the events in real people's lives, so I felt a little uncertain about reading All the Stars in the Heavens. It's nice to imagine what might have been the circumstances of a situation, but fantasy never changes reality. Trigiani's writing immersed me and allowed me to suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy the story in spite of the moments when I felt uncomfortable with the portrayals of real people. All the Stars in the Heavens inspired me to research the historical people the characters were based on because at the end of the day All the Stars in the Heavens felt both too real and too much like a fantasy all at once. All the Stars in the Heavens is a well written, fictional account of a historical event that also manages to examine the mores of a period of time shining light on many social issues that resonate even today.