Flow : the cultural story of menstruation

From: Rosalia Millan
author: Stein, Elissa
Flow : the cultural story of menstruation

This book was such a brilliant idea, and the authors did a great job.  Flow tells the cultural history of the period and how women’s status and health care have changed over time. It’s written in a friendly, personable style to try and make a topic that makes many people uncomfortable a little bit friendlier. The book isn’t couched in a bunch of scientific jargon that most of us will never understand; everything is in language that is respectful and completely understandable.

There are lots of fun facts and a wonderful collection of advertising for feminine care products from the late 1800s to today. However it is absolutely terrifying to see how woman’s bodies have been mistreated over the years due to lack of scientific study and information.  While there is a lot of good explanation in this book regarding fertility and how a woman’s cycle really works, the most important thing I think anyone can take away from this book is to make sure that you are well informed about exactly what it is you are doing to your body when you make decisions regarding periods and fertility.

The Glass Castle

From Ellen Druda:

I’m almost done listening to The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls.   It’s the true  story of a young girl and her siblings growing up in a dysfunctional family.  The kids are plucky and smart, but they are defeated at every turn to improve themselves by their space-cadet mother and alcoholic father.   I’m groaning at the frustrations and cheering the small victories – you will, too!  I recommend this audiobook as a great story for the car.  The story really moves along and will work well for long trips or short commutes.

Thank God for Evolution

From Gina Scaglione:

I stayed up late last night again to read Thank God for Evolution by Michael Dowd. I highly recommend this book to anyone contemplating religion in any way. From the doubters to the highly religious, this book has something for everyone. It actually helped me to realize where I belong, which I had pretty much given up on prior to reading the book. Thank God for Michael Dowd:)

Full Catastrophe Living

From Gina Scaglione:

It’s been quite a while since my last review, and that’s because I just yesterday finally finished Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.  I began reading this book somewhere back at the end of July/beginning of August.  It was supposed to be my way of teaching myself to meditate.  Well, I have come to the conclusion that this is definitely not the way to do that.  I did, however, solve my sleep issues during the long and arduous reading of this book.  Please, save yourself the frustration and do not bother reading this 450-page snoozer.


From Rosalia Milan:
This book was extremely interesting. Steve Almond basically visits several factories that are owned and run by regional candy makers. The descriptions of the candy’s themselves and the people he meets are extremely honest and captivating. Many of the stories regarding his childhood and candy disputes between him and his brothers are very amusing. Unfortunately towards the end of the book when Almond starts to theorize on his reasons for taking this trip, he goes into a depressed state discussing his own depression in a way that makes the reader (or me at least) get annoyed with his whininess. I didn’t read this book to listen to someone whine about miserable they are. Fortunately it really doesn’t last long and it’s only towards the very end.

Spaghetti, Men, and Nancy Drew

From Rosalia Milan:

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci

In this autobiography the author talks about her loves and their connections to food. The first chapter, devoted to her first real boyfriend, felt extremely rushed, and I remember thinking uh oh this is going to kind of suck. But the second chapter, devoted to Giulia’s father (and extremely moving) had much better flow and things seriously improved from there. I love the recipes, which all seem relatively simple and easy to follow and can’t wait to try some of them out.

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, by Melanie Rehak

This book about the woman who created Nancy Drew really helps the reader appreciate how truly ahead of her time Nancy Drew actually was. It gives the history of the two woman behind Nancy Drew, Mildred Wirt Benson and Harriet Stratermyer Adams. Harriet was most likely the first female C.E.O. and Mildred was a female pilot, journalist and writer of not only tons of books for the syndicate besides Nancy Drews but several of her own series. Anyone who has ever picked up a Nancy Drew and loved it, will love this book, it really cements Nancy Drew as a feminist icon.

Art and Physics

From Ellen Druda:

Art & Physics, by Leonard Shlain

I heard about the author after his recent death on a BoingBoing blog post, and decided to give him a try.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Shlain spends most of the book supporting his thesis about artists expressing ideas about light, space, and time years before the physicists express the same ideas using science and math.  He takes us from the Greeks and Romans up through the 20th century, carefully paralleling the movements in painting and sculpture with the discoveries of Newton, Einstein, and beyond.  Because the author was so well versed in art, he was able to explain some of the more intangible ideas in physics in terms that were a bit easier to picture.  What does the world look like when you travel at the speed of light?  Now I know.

What I loved about this book was the way it stretched my mind trying to grasp the connections, and the theories about the collective mind Shlain puts forth at the end of the book.  A brave and brilliant work.

Mommy Guilt & Thousand Splendid Suns

From Gina Scaglione:

I recently finished Mommy Guilt by Julie Bort, Aviva Pflock and Devra Renner.  It was just the TLC I needed.  Prior to reading this self-help guide my middle name may as well have been Guilt.  However, after reading the quick read and completing the exercises I feel like a huge weight has been lifted.  There were even activities for my husband and I to complete together.  We realized that we do still have a lot in common.  This was a fabulous book:)

I stayed up last night until ten after one to finish A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.  It was well worth being exhausted today:)  Not only did I stay up reading it, I then dreamed about my “friends” Laila, Mariam and Tariq for the entire length of time I was sleeping:)  A must-read for anyone.