This feature (for now in the custody of sarah.of.a.lesser.god) is our way of sharing those book titles, both fiction and nonfiction, that have been standouts in recent reading, and hopefully getting some from our readers in return. The focus is primarily, but not necessarily exclusively, on books concerning women and feminism, and/or written by female authors.
My Pick: The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker, published in 1983. This one is a sentimental favorite of mine that I am gearing up to re-read. It was the second book I read concerning world religions, way back as a junior in high school. It’s also the first book I read that looked at history, myth, and organized religion through the prism of how it affected gender constructs and relations. For example, a specific look at how the Inquisition treated women and accusations of witchcraft as well as a general overview of its history. And entries on how different cultures viewed menstrual blood, from ancient Chinese myth and the Left Hand Rite of Tantra to the Old Testament and Victorian England. There is comprehensive research on rape and prostitution, the cult of motherhood, asceticism, and even the symbolism of mermaids; individual women, both real and mythological, receive attention (the Virgin Mary, Queen Semiramis, Persephone, the Celtic goddess Arianhrod). It’s a fascinating window into millennia of the lore, beliefs, and history that have influenced the women of the world. I can’t wait to delve into the 1,100 page compendium yet again, so bring on Thanksgiving break!
So, having put in my two cents, what is everyone else reading and recommending these days?