Flashback Friday: Bonnets At Dawn Podcast (2017 to Present)

Books have a way of bringing us together and creating conversations that will hopefully reveal our common humanity.

The literary podcast, Bonnets At Dawn, premiered in 2017. When the original episodes focused on the works, lives, and fandoms of Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen, later seasons expanded to other women writers from the 19th and 20th centuries who deserve equal time in the limelight.

Bonnets At Dawn is one of my favorite podcasts. I appreciate the intelligent conversations and the approach that is fan-based with an academic angle.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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RIP Tina Turner

The strongest of us have very often, been forced down to the deepest of depths before rising to the surface triumphantly.

Tina Turner passed away yesterday at the age of 83. If you were to look up the definition of a survivor in the dictionary, the image you may see is a picture of the late musician. Born into poverty, she shot to fame as the front woman of the most popular bands of the 1960s and 1970s.

But Turner’s life when the cameras were not rolling was not all sunshine and roses. Her late ex-husband, Ike Turner, abused his wife and tried to control her. She would finally break free in the late 1970s and would have a second career as a solo artist that is legendary in its own right.

On stage, she was a dynamo who outperformed younger artists who looked to her as an inspiration.

Though she was just one person, her struggles are a reminder that there is a light in the darkness, if you are willing to fight for that light.

RIP Tina Turner. May your spirit live on and encourage us all to fight for what we want.

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Glamour: Women, History, Feminism Book Review

There is a perception when it comes to women and fashion. We are nothing more than empty-headed clothes horses who love nothing more than spending our husband’s or father’s money.

Carol Dyhouse‘s 2010 book, Glamour: Women, History, Feminism explores the dynamic between women, fashion, and our changing roles in society during the 20th century. Basing the narrative on an assortment of sources, she explains how the various components of women’s clothing can be representative of our struggles for independence and personhood on our own terms.

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I enjoyed this book. I am not exactly one to follow the latest trends, I am more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of person. What I found interesting was the fact that as the decades wore on, the clothes became representative of the slow walk toward equality.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Glamour: Women, History, Feminism is available wherever books are sold.

Throwback Thursday: Up (2009)

Childhood dreams have a way of staying with us long after our youth has disappeared into the rearview mirror.

In the 2009 Disney/Pixar film Up, Carl Fredricksen (the late Ed Asner) is 87 years old and mourning his late wife. He is also still enamored with his childhood idol, Charles Muntz (the late Christopher Plummer).

When a young scout, Russell (Jordan Nagai) enters his life, they go on an unexpected journey to South America and the fictional Paradise Falls, a location that Carl dreamed of as a young boy.

If I were to create a list of Pixar films, Up would be close to the top. It’s a story of change and realizing that the ideas that populated our youth may be more fantasy than reality.

My only gripe (which is very common) is that the only female with any decent amount of screen time is Ellie, Carl’s wife. It is the one black mark on an otherwise brilliant cinematic creation.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Republican Fuckery XXI: MTG’s Former Drag Queen Boyfriend, the Debt Ceiling, and Target Forced to Remove Pride Month Clothing

If you were to look up the definition of hypocrisy in the dictionary these days, you would likely see the Republicans and the chaos they have created.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Marjorie Taylor Greene‘s new boyfriend is a former drag queen. It has also been said that her marriage is on the rocks. I don’t give a shit who she goes home to. What I do care about is that as usual, it is do as I say, but not as I do.

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Meanwhile, as we get closer to June 1st, the debt ceiling has yet to be resolved. The problem is that while Nero (the right) is fiddling, the country and the world are on the brink of burning. Given the current worldwide political turmoil, the last thing we need is a repeat of The Great Depression. We all know where that led to.

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Whatever the final deal is, it should not be upon the backs of the less financially fortunate. The 1% does not need another megayacht or a penthouse in a foreign city that they only visit twice a year. What they need to do is pay their fair share in taxes.

What many on the other side of the aisle like to forget is that under the former guy, our national deficit rose dramatically. Moreover, in recent history, Democratic Presidents have paid the bills while Republican Presidents added to the bills.

Speaking of June 1st, Pride Month starts next week. Seeing an opportunity to expand their customer base, many large retailers are selling clothing and other items. But due to the hateful reactions of some consumers, Target has removed some of its merchandise from the sales floor. If these people don’t like what Target (or any other store) is selling, they have the right to shop elsewhere. What they don’t have the right to do is destroy private property and threaten staff.

Just another day in America.

P.S. Today is the anniversary of the mass shooting at Uvalde. I wish that we didn’t have to commemorate this day, but we have to.

After I Do: A Novel Book Review

When we say ‘I do”, the hope is that this will be the one and only time we walk down the aisle. But that is not always the case.

After I Do: A Novel, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, was published in 2014. Lauren met her husband, Ryan, in college. After 11 years together and six years of marriage, their relationship is falling apart. The only solution is to separate for a year. Nothing is off limits, except for contacting one another.

Though her friends and family are being supportive, this is a path that Lauren has to walk by herself. Along the way, she starts to question her ideas about marital life and if it is worth it to try again with Ryan.

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This book is amazing. I felt everything that Lauren was going through. Despite everything, she still loved her husband. It was just a matter of working through the kinks and hoping that there would be some sort of reconciliation between them.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

After I Do: A Novel is available wherever books are sold.

Jane Austen Oscars

Hello readers! You are about to witness the virtual Jane Austen Oscars awards ceremony. The winners have been selected by a well-qualified committee, which consists of the owner of this blog and her friend Molly. The committee does not have the funds to support the cash prizes, so they are forcing the losers to pay […]

Jane Austen Oscars

The NAACP’s Warning About Florida Should Not Be Ignored

When someone shows us their true colors (especially in politics), we had best believe them.

On Saturday, the NAACP issued a travel warning for Black Americans going to Florida due to the “freedom” legislation put into place by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Republicans.

The warning is as follows:

“Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.” 

“Let me be clear – failing to teach an accurate representation of the horrors and inequalities that Black Americans have faced and continue to face is a disservice to students and a dereliction of duty to all,” said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson. “Under the leadership of Governor Desantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon. He should know that democracy will prevail because its defenders are prepared to stand up and fight. We’re not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation.”

This man wants to be President in 2024. We have two choices at this point. We can either be silent and watch everything we have fought for nearly 300 years slip away. Or we can tell this man and those who think like him where they can go.

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