Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Last 5 Books

What are your last five books to show up in your house, from the library, from a friend, from the store, or wherever? How did they get to you and why?

1. The Original Scroll of On The Road...which my husband gave me for Valentine's Day prefacing it with "Just to remind you that I really like being married to a crazy person."

2. Norman Mailer's The Naked and The Dead- for the War Through the Generations Challenge (which is killing me, I've been so, so bogged down in From Here To Eternity--I need to seriously head down, power through it and move on with my reading life)

3. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos- from my husband, because it was on the bargain table and I had just finished and loved, loved Mr. Ives' Christmas.

4. The Duty of Delight, The Diaries of Dorothy Day...from my husband, who somehow knew I really wanted to read through this despite me never having told him.

5. Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones..which I bought after reading a synopsis on a site where you can get free books to review on you blog. This book sounded so fun, but was only available for free to Canadian I bought it.


  1. Literally the last five book that came in to my house came in a giant box of books from a new client I'm doing a piece on domestic vioelnce for. So, they're not really exciting, but, I'm just following directions here. The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help by Jackson Katz--Katz is a groundbreaker as far as I am concerned, in his taking the framework around violence against women and flipping it to focus where it needs to be: on why men abuse women, and more importantly, how MEN can work to stop it. DV is always viewed as a "women's issue," when, in fact, it's an issue of men's violence, existing in a male dominated society, so it's really a mostly men's issue, and all the solutions rest solely on the shoulders of men. Keeping it as a solely women's issue, will keep it from ever being solved. The Gender Knot by Allan G. Johnson; Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft--Another great man in the movement to stop violence against women, Bancroft is a very thoughtful therapist who has focused on treating abusive men. I've worked with him on a number of projects and he really gets this issue, especially batterers as parents. Domestic Violence in the Margins: Readings on Race,Class Gender and Culture edited by Natalie J. Sokoloff; I am a theory geek. I love rich, dense theory like those collected here. I love work that goes deep and gets specific like, "A Black Feminist Reflection on the Antiviolence Movement," and "Fighting Back: Abused South Asian Women's Strategies of Resistance." I read this stuff like I eat chocolate truffles, slowly and savoringly. When Love Goes Wrong: What to do When You Can't Get it Right; Srtategies for Women with Controlling Partners by Anne Jones and Susan Schecter--Schecter was one of the pioneers in the domestic violence movement and this book is one of the greats in the canon. She helped reframe the discourse on domestic violence as not just being about physical violence but the ways men systematically control women. Unfortunately she died too young from breast cancer. Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment of Battered Black Women by Beth Richie (author of the aforementioned chapter on the antiviolence movement)--This theory-rich book cuts right down to the basics and looks at gender identity development in African American communities and the terrible trap of violence. (Another great book on this is All God's Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence by Fox Butterfield).


  2. Hi
    Wandered here from Amy Welborn.
    1) Three Bowls. Life in a Buddhist zendo with recipes from the chef. We're middle-aged and experimenting with new ways of eating more healthily.
    2) One Bowl. Do you sense a trend? Same reason.
    3) That Frances Moore Lappe (and friend) book about choosing Courage (everyday courage, not the Catholic group). There was an excerpt in Ode magazine that piqued my interest.
    4) How We Garden Now. This is a delight! She teaches basic gardening skills through a menu of projects of various size and difficulty. I'm a long-time gardener, returning to it very seriously this year. I loved this.
    5) Less. It turned out to be about business management, rather than simplicity (read blurbs more carefully!) so I passed it on, mostly unread.

    I was reading "On Pilgrimage" at Adoration on Friday. I admire Day in many ways, but sometimes I think she's an ass- hmmm, just like the rest of us.

  3. Sal- thanks for posting! Those all sound great (if not woefully devoid of my great love, fiction).

    I should see if that gardening book is available at the library..I am in the middle of putting in our garden after not planting anything for a couple years (drought and waiting, hoping to move discouraged me). I am a totally inexperienced gardener and need all of the help I can get. I tried to pick drought resistant perennials mostly, but we're also trying to plant some strawberries and herbs.

    Yeah- I don't always know what to make of Ms. Day...but I think that might be truer of all of the modern faithful. Bl. Mother Teresa was reportedly not so warm fuzzy, either....But I think the Saints of longer ago, either were recounted with kid gloves, or that enough time has passed since they lived that the cult of them has forgotten the negative aspects of their personalities and solely retained the edifying ones. I was going to write that I think we moderns are more obsessed with the "full" story...but I actually don't know if that's true or not.

  4. Hi Shannon...long time no communicate, but that's not your fault.

    The last 5 books to cross m'threshold?

    Well, you might be disappointed:


    1) "Muscles, Bones and Skin"...Mosby's Crash Course series. It's sort of Kliff's notes for Med. students. Gives one a thrilling feeling that sort of thing exists, eh? Lol.

    2) Three "Star Wars Universe" novels brought for me from the library by my youngest son. He borrowed them for his Dad on his friend's father's loaning card on a town trip. I don't know what to do. I am touched to pieces, and overrun with a vague guilt. Must I read them?

    3)Lonely Planet; "Best of Krakow".'s our Easter Holiday weekend destination!