magpie's shiny things

shiny things in messy little piles

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Mama Makes Up Her Mind and Other Dangers of Southern Living — Bailey White

I was look­ing for some­thing more recent by White but she doesn’t seem to have done any­thing oth­er than a christ­masy book since her hey­day in the late 90’s. So I reread this because every­one needs to have an aunt who teach­es an alli­ga­tor to bel­low on com­mand and a moth­er who… well Ms. White is a force of nature but often that nature is most­ly with­out ref­er­ence to mod­ern mores and con­ven­tions. Con­tin­ue reading

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe — Fanny Flagg

(pub. 2002)
A mix of the con­tem­po­rary inter­views, in the moment sto­ry telling, and lit­tle bits from news­pa­pers make an inter­est­ing way of telling a story.
Much of the sto­ry is nar­rat­ed by Nin­ny Thread­goode — a woman who mar­ried in the to the Thread­goode fam­i­ly. She’s not exact­ly an unre­li­able nar­ra­tor but she has her own per­spec­tive on things. Oth­er parts of the book are told in the present tense as the action hap­pens over the course of the years. Con­tin­ue reading

Pachinko — Min Jin Lee

(pub. 2017)
The game of pachinko is lit­tle like pin­ball and lit­tle like a slot machine. You don’t need to know much more about the game oth­er than to under­stand that the machines are manip­u­lat­ed in much the same way the slot machines are pro­grammed. To favor the house at all times but to allow enough win­ning to make the thing addic­tive. There is always hope. Con­tin­ue reading

Women & Power: A Manifesto — Mary Beard

(pub. 2017)

Two essays pub­lished in the Lon­don Review of Books in 2014 and 2017
In the Pub­lic Voice of Women, Beard shows the depth and breadth of the prac­tice of the silenc­ing of women. She begins with the silenc­ing of Pene­lope by her son Telemachus in the Odyssey. When Pene­lope enters the hall to ask that the singer to lit­er­al­ly change his tune, her young son Telemachus tells his moth­er to be qui­et and go back up stairs, Con­tin­ue reading

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