Romance Quickies: “I Give You My Body…” and The Suffragette Scandal

“I Give You My Body . . .”: How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon Publisher/Year: Dell, 2016 Format: eBook Pages: 118 Source: Purchased What it is: Diana Gabaldon, the woman behind the Outlander series, gives a master class in writing sex scenes. She includes excerpts from her own novels and then breaks them down, analyzing the reasons whyContinue reading “Romance Quickies: “I Give You My Body…” and The Suffragette Scandal”

The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II

I first stumbled upon Svetlana Alexievich’s work about ten years ago, when I visited the library and randomly picked up a copy of her brilliant Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of Nuclear Disaster. Of course, Alexievich has been around much longer than that; Voices from Chernobyl was published 20 years ago, and she’s been chroniclingContinue reading “The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II”

My Soul Looks Back

Fresh out of college in the early 1970s, a naive and bright-eyed Jessica B. Harris began teaching French at Queens College in New York. A new wave of Black intelligentsia was forming, and though Harris was considered a little too young and bourgois for colleagues to fully embrace her, she did manage to develop aContinue reading “My Soul Looks Back”

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

Sherman Alexie’s mother, Lillian, died in 2015 at the age of 78. His relationship with her was always complicated, as was his grief over her death. This memoir, composed through 78 essays and 78 poems, teases out those complexities. Alexie and his three siblings were raised by two alcoholic parents; they would throw crazy partiesContinue reading “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

A century ago, radium was one of the most exciting wonders of modern times. Not only could it make things glow in the dark, it also had healing properties that could be used for medicinal purposes. Then America went to war, and the demand for radium products skyrocketed. In 1917, many young women from Newark,Continue reading “The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women”