Wednesday, November 04, 2009

My Women Unbound Reading List (X10 or so)

<===click graphic for challenge home.

See yesterday's post for my acceptance of the challenge and my answers to the starting meme questions.

So upon deciding to accept this Women Unbound 'women's studies' reading challenge last night, I started pulling potential books off my shelves, both owned and borrowed, and combing through my bib slips for titles and authors of library books I know are in the system, especially those I've got bookmarks in and then I thought to check my ebook folder on my laptop. This is what developed after several hours of contemplation and shuffling of book piles taller than my arms are long. I couldn't narrow it down to eight. I didn't even try. Nor am I committing to limiting myself to what is on the list. Other things might come to mind or come into my life in the next twelve months. So this is just a selection to select from as whim and fancy take me. Though I may let my whim and fancy be influenced by suggestions or recommendation. Pardon me for not taking the time to italicize all these titles. I'd still be at it at dawn.


Women Who run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. [own]

The Heroine's Journey by Mareen Murdock [library]

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine by Sue Monk Kidd [own] (thanks to Bonnie Jacobs for pointing me to this one around two years ago. I had it checked out of the library repeatedly for over a year and then got my own copy. I've started it at least twice and maybe three times, reached the halfway point at least once. This is not the book's fault. I have had active bookmarks in a couple dozen NF books at a time since the mid 1980s when I started college. It's my style and I stopped fighting it. Besides, I learned that I have better retention of the material if I read a few pages or a chapter and then set it aside. My 'study' method is more like meditation than memorization or cramming of facts and concepts. And when a book has a bibliography I sift through it for titles carried by our library and make note of other interesting sounding ones for some dreamed of future when I can have access to any book I fancy. I bought this one in part for the bibliography Kidd included and so I would be free to mark in the margins.)

The Sweet Breathing of Plants: Women Writing on the Green World edited by Linda Hogan and Brenda Peterson [library]

She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse by Elizabeth A Johnson [own]

In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza [own]

Resurrecting Eve : Women of Faith Challenge the Fundamentalist agenda by Roberta Mary Pughe and Paula Anema Sohl [library] this is at the library at the moment. I've started it a couple times. I think one of the author's is local or at least an Oregonian. I remember thinking when I read the bio how close she was and how cool it would be to be able to chat with someone on these issues for which these two things were simultaneously true: that I would not have to stop every five words to define a term; and I could feel safe to admit what I really thought. I'm seldom, maybe never in the company of anyone for which both of those are true at once.

The Great Transformation: the beginning of our religious traditions by Karen Armstrong [library] I've read several of Armstrong's books and credit her with lighting my path out of the post fundamentalist funk I fell into shortly after my initial declaration of independence of body, mind and spirit.

Goddesses and the Divine Feminine : a Western religious history by Rosemary Radford Ruether [library]

The Maternal is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood & Social Change [own] I won this in a mini-challenge at the first read-a-thon.

Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall [own] this was among a box of 'green' reads I won at last April's read-a-thon

Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir by Susan E. Isaacs [own] this was a review copy for which I still owe a review so I suppose it should go to the top of the list.

Trespassers Will Be Baptized: The Unordained Memoir of a Preacher's Daughter by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock [own] ditto

Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare? by Robin P. Williams [library] I laughed when I saw this in the card catalog because just a few days before I'd been thinking that I needed to research Shakespeare controversies in order to give my characters, the interminably bantering and bickering Wilma and Julia, something to snipe at each other with.

Which reminds me, there are several Shakespeare plays that should probably go on this list. Hmm. Well, something to think about.


Rape: a Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates [library]

Dear Husband by Joyce Carol Oates [library]

Collector of Hearts by Joyce Carol Oates [library]

[OK just about anything by Joyce Carol Oates could be on this list and I missed all but a few since 1999 and before 1980 when I first discovered her]

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood [library]

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood [own]

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood [own]

[Again, consider anything by Margaret Atwood, including a reread of Handmaid's Tale, as under consideration. And while we're at it anything by Alice Munro, Anne Tyler, Elizabeth Berg, Alice Hoffman, Barbara Kingsolver, Doris Lessing, Marge Piercy, Edwidge Danticat, Alice Monroe, Tony Morrison, Maya Angelou ...just a few of the women story tellers whose stories illuminate women's place and purpose in society, their hopes and dreams broken or fulfilled, defining the very shape and boundaries of their soul. ]

Dawn Powell at Her Best [library] (this is an anthology of her work including two novels, eight stories and an autobiographical essay representing a revival of the work of an American novelist of the mid 20th century. I was introduced to Powell by Rory Gilmore btw)

Say You're One of Them by Uwen Akpan [The current Oprah book club seclection. I'm in queue at the library and it's almost my turn, meanwhile I do have the first of the stories in this book in PDF thanks to a free download from Oprah which I'm going to read by Monday so I can participate in the webinar with Oprah, the author and CNN's Anderson Cooper.]

While I'm at it, might as well add a couple by this year's Nobel Prize for Literature Herta Müller, a Romanian born woman writing on the theme of the dispossessed while living in a tyrannical regime with an unfree press. Maybe I can get some backbone of my own by contemplating that. Let's see, our library has two of her's:

The Appointment by Herta Müller

The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller


Middlemarch by George Elliot

Emma by Jane Austen

Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolfe

Pride and Predjudice by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Ethan Fromme by Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Heroic Measures by Jill Ciment [a fee download thanks to Oprah]

Following are fiction titles I own that tend to get neglected in favor of library due dates. Several of them I have even started and laid aside when a due date loomed.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

The Hero's Walk by Anita Rau Badami

Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkurst

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

The Fatigue Artist by Lynne Sharon Schwartz

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi

The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve

Testimony by Anita Shreve [another author whose work abounds with feminism themes which I need to catch up on]

Poison by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer [ditto]

Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons

Why Did I Ever by Mary Robison

Divided by Katie Waitman

The Mark of the Angel by Nancy Huston

The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis

You can follow my progress in these and other 2010 challenges in the Reading Challenges Portal.

2 tell me a story:

Bonnie Jacobs 11/05/2009 5:09 AM  

What a great list! Lots to choose from. I was delighted to see "THE DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER by Sue Monk Kidd" and was about to tell you I love the book when I saw my own name there. Ha! I'm glad you have your own copy now. Here's what I wrote about Sue Monk Kidd (and this book) in September:

I also wrote about "THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION by Karen Armstrong" in September:

"STONES FROM THE RIVER by Ursula Hegi" is a really good book, but you'd better start a list of people so you can keep them straight. Everybody in town is in that book!

"THE PILOT'S WIFE by Anita Shreve" is probably not great literature, but I was fascinated by how a woman would feel to discover what her pilot husband had been up to when he was across the ocean.

I hope you enjoy your Women Unbound books this year, no matter which ones you end up reading.

Bonnie Jacobs 11/05/2009 5:09 AM  
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