Two Most Interesting Books (From Women’s Review of Books, January/February 2012)

This morning, self decided to bite the bullet and discontinue her decades-long subscription to the New York Times Book Review.  Why?  Because she plans to do a whole lot of traveling from now on, and she won’t have time to properly appreciate the weekly mailings.

Of all the regular contributors to NYTBR, self thinks she will miss Liesl Schillinger the most.  Here’s a link to her website, wordbirds.

Since they charged her in December 2011 for a full year, her subscription doesn’t actually end until December 2012.  In the meantime, she can ponder her decision a bit more.  It’s entirely possible that self will relent and call them back to re-instate her.

This morning, self perused the latest issue of the Women’s Review of Books.  Self absolutely loves this publication. Here are two books whose reviews led her to want to read them.  Both are nonfiction:

  • Reimagining Equality:  Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home, by Anita Hill (Beacon Press), reviewed by Renée Loth, former editorial page editor at the Boston Globe

“Hill writes movingly of the messy, complicated reality of her family’s history, which included violence, unplanned pregnancies, illiteracy, and debt.  Hill’s grandparents were prominent members of their Arkansas community, founders of the area’s Baptist church, and in 1895, proud owners of an eighty-acre farm.  But they lost the property to a series of bad loans and then fled to Oklahoma, their three-year-old daughter —  Hill’s mother —  in tow, to escape a threatened lynching.”

  • The Female King of Colonial Nigeria:  Ahebi Ugbabe, by Nwanda Achebe (Indiana University Press), reviewed by E. Frances White, who teaches in NYU’s Department of History and Cultural Studies

” …  Ahebi helped the British infiltrate the northern Igbo heartland by guiding them through roadways established for regional trade.  As part of imposing colonial rule on the Igbo, the British removed the traditional rulers …  who governed much of Igboland, and replaced them with warrant chiefs —  that is, chiefs who were given a warrant to rule for the British.  In recognition of Ahebi’s loyalty, and sexual connections she established for them, the British made her a warrant chief —  an unusual appointment for a woman.  She eventually became king of Nsukka …  Achebe narrates this story without making value judgments.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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