June 9th, 2013

She Wears Hats

Book Review: Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Don’t judge a book by its cover, they say, but can one reliably judge by the title?  This book will either be about why good, respectable women have not made it into our history books, or why women who step out of character do make it into our history books.  Or, if the reader is lucky, both.    Choice C it is!

Ulrich’s prologue is titled “The Slogan,” and tells how this phrase began in Ulrich’s opening paragraph of a study of Puritan funeral services of well-behaved women – which is likely the first time those quiet women made history. Journalist Kay Mils used in in her 1995 informal history of American women. By 1996, it was on t-shirts, bumper stickers, and coffee mugs.   The slogan is popular with everyone from quilters to newspaper reporters to musicians.

Examples Across History and Geography...

ETA:  Blue Thread, by Ruth T Feldman, uses this slogan on the Dedication page!  I didn't know that when I picked up both books at the same time :)
She Wears Hats

Book Review: Blue Thread by Ruth Tenzer Feldman

Miriam wants to be a printer, just like her daddy. She has a book of printing fonts in her bedroom, and imagines creating such lovely posters, menus, and bills that people line up at the door of her print shop door. Unfortunately for her, Daddy doesn’t believe that girls are able to do the work, and intends someday to leave the shop to Miriam’s younger cousin Albert. Mama doesn’t believe girls need an education. This fall, instead of going to school again as she wants, Miriam will leave Ohio to accompany her Mama to the marriage markets of New York.

Absolutely nothing is going Miriam’s way at all. Life is so, so unfair.  Suddenly,
Things Start to Change!
Flowerbook

The Wasp Factory, by Iain Banks

When I heard that Iain Banks had died this morning, I felt the best way to pay him tribute was to reread, and review, his first book.

Rating: 3.5/5
Publisher: Scribner
184 pages
Source: Border's Books and Music

Description: Meet Frank Cauldhame. Just sixteen, and unconventional to say the least:

Two years after I killed Blyth I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different and more fundamental reasons than I'd disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda, more of less on a whim.

That's my score to date. Three. I haven't killed anybody for years, and don't intend to ever again.

It was just a stage I was going through.
(From the back cover)

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