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Well I am sure that many of you are aware that today is Winnie- the -Pooh Day, and I have enjoyed reading many posts about it. All things Pooh is ultimately a celebration of friendship, and there is not much more I can say about it that has not already been said…. just give someone you care about a big bear hug in honor of Pooh! : )

It is also Thesaurus Day, and, sticking with a book theme, we chose a few books with variations of “female” in the title.

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Thesaurus Day marks the birthday of Peter Mark Roget, the British lexicographer and doctor who first wrote Roget’s Thesaurus.

So the books we have read with variations of female in the title”

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Blurb:

This new collection by New York writer Jacob M. Appel features two brothers fighting over a collection of iron lungs, a elderly suburbanite campaigns for the right to sunbathe topless on her lawn, and a couple’s whose retirement home is accidentally delivered to the wrong address, where the current occupant refuses to return it. Each of the stories in The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street takes ordinary people to the brink of insanity—and, in one case, literally to the edge of the earth—forcing readers to grapple with the fine line that divides everyday life from the mad chaos always lurking in its shadows

My Review:

5 ***** stars

Another funny, disturbing, crazy compilation of short stories by Mr. Appel. His skill at fashioning a story never ceases to amaze and delight. Wow, he has one incredible imagination. I always enjoy his tales– they are a great way to end a day. I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Mr. Appel for sharing this with me.

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Blurb:

On her fortieth birthday, Madame Wu carries out a decision she has been planning for a long time: she tells her husband that after twenty-four years their physical life together is now over and she wishes him to take a second wife. The House of Wu, one of the oldest and most revered in China, is thrown into an uproar by her decision, but Madame Wu will not be dissuaded and arranges for a young country girl to come take her place in bed. Elegant and detached, Madame Wu orchestrates this change as she manages everything in the extended household of more than sixty relatives and servants. Alone in her own quarters, she relishes her freedom and reads books she has never been allowed to touch. When her son begins English lessons, she listens, and is soon learning from the foreigner, a free-thinking priest named Brother Andre, who will change her life. Few books raise so many questions about the nature and roles of men and women, about self-discipline and happiness.

5 ***** stars

My review:

 

>spoiler alert<

Very good, but sad. A book of striking contrasts, Madame Wu married for many years to a man in the traditional Chinese way, living in Victorian China, that she feels distant and in a sense, isolated from. The way of life does not do much for the feeling of intimacy with one’s spouse– all interactions are basically formal. She in a sense doesn’t feel a connection with her husband– oh, she honors, respects and is completely loyal to him, but she has a deep desire to learn, has a hunger for knowledge and in some senses, her husband just doesn’t “get it”. Madame Wu meets an American missionary who is the complete opposite of her husband. At first, she is kind of disgusted by him…. his ways are so much different to the traditional Chinese way of doing things; he is not as genteel, refined, he doesn’t care about the strictly defined class structure…. but she is intrigued by him to. He loves to learn as well, loves books, loves talking about them, and she looks forward to his visits. They never get romantically involved or anything, but she feels more connected to him than really anyone else in her life. When he dies, it is really sad. I cried. The only person that really ever understood her was gone. I adore Pearl Buck as ++an author and have many of her books. Her writing is always so thought provoking.

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Daisy’s Picks:

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Also, I thought you all might find this article interesting. From Time Magazine, about books becoming movies that should be on the TBR this year.

Time