Daily Archives: January 7, 2015

America’s Women And When Everything Changed Book Reviews

Gail Collins is an extraordinary writer. There are many books on the history of American women, but there are none that are as readable or enjoyable as America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines and When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. Both were written by Ms. Collins.

History can often be perceived as dull, dusty and boring. We all have stories of the textbooks we had to use in college and how impossibly difficult it was to read because the material just put us to sleep. Thankfully and joyfully, Ms. Collins books are not the staid and boring textbooks we had to read in college.

While both books are rather large and not a quick read, they are an easy read.  Between both books, she starts with the women who braved the uncertainty of the new world in the 16th and 17th centuries and ends with the gains that American women have achieved in the past few years.  Looking back, it’s easy to see the how far we have come.

I recommend both.

 

 

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What Goes Around Comes Around

New year, same old story.

Earlier this week, the Palestinians pushed to join the International Criminal Court, in order to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes.

One of the countries that voted for the Palestinians was France. Yesterday, gunmen stormed into the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a French Satirical magazine. Witnesses claim that they were militant Muslims. 12 people in total are now dead.

While my heart breaks for the families of the victims, I have to say it. What goes around comes around.

Europe has been known in the last few years for becoming multicultural. Multiculturalism is a wonderful thing, however, it must be balanced by respect for the law and respect for the traditions of the country and it’s citizens.

When one puts their head in the sand when it comes to terrorism (like Europe has) this is what they get.

What goes around comes around.

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Begin By Looking To The End

Regular readers of my blog know that one of my hobbies is Muy Thai Kickboxing. I’ve been taking classes at my local dojo for nearly 2 years and I’ve been pretty happy there.

After class, the instructors will give a a short talk encouraging the students to continue with the program.

This week’s talk is about beginning something by looking to the end.

In layman’s terms, when we start something, always have the end goal in mind.

I think it makes perfect sense. When something is new, whether it is a job, a relationship or just a new situation, mistakes be made and there will be challenges that have to be overcome. Were going to stumble when starting something new, that’s only natural. But that doesn’t mean that we lose sight of our end goal.  It could be starting a new job and having an end goal staying at  the job for years, or starting a new relationship and working to make that relationship last  or surviving a new situation that has come up.

I am a writer. Like any writer, my goal is to see my work published and earn a living through my work. Ask any writer and they will tell you that their hard drive is full of half started stories and their email is full of rejection letters from editors. Even if the piece I start doesn’t go any where and sits half written on my hard drive (as most of my stories do), but that’s fine. Stephen King and Danielle Steel did not write best selling books overnight. It takes time, we have to learn our craft and keep pushing ourselves to write.

I encourage everyone of you to keep going and keep the end goal in mind. No matter, keep that goal always in the back of your mind and you will reach it, someday.

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She Wolves And The Warrior Queens Book Reviews

Women, we have been told, are supposed to be meek, mild and subservient to the men in their lives. But what happens when a woman becomes a ruler in her own right?

Elizabeth I Of England was not the first woman to lead the English people. But she is one of the most well known queens, especially of her period. Helen Castor’s 2012 book, She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth tells the stories of the Queens Of England who ruled before Elizabeth ascended to the throne. The profiles include Empress Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France and Margaret of Anjou.

I liked this book. Each of these women were brought to life in full color. They had different reasons for ruling. Some were the children of aristocrats and royalty, others married into the title and a third were women who led England until their underage sons and heirs to the throne were of an age to rule. My only criticism of this book is that the chapters about Lady Jane Grey and Mary Tudor seem a bit rushed, but other than that, I recommend this book.

In 1990, Antonia Fraser published The Warrior Queens: The Legends and the Lives of the Women Who Have Led Their Nations in War. The women whom she writes about come from different time periods and different parts of the globe. She starts the book with Boudicca and moving forward through time, the book ends with three modern female leaders: Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi and Margaret ThatcherI liked this book. It is a history book that is not meant to be simply written and read for academic purposes. It is immensely readable.  I especially recommend this book for young women who are looking for female role models who have stepped into positions of power.

I recommend both.

 

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism