Post three photos of just yourself and write a short caption beneath each about why you chose that photo.
Nominate seven women for the Fix Her Crown Award, women who lend a helping hand to the woman whose crown seems too heavy, who appreciate the sister who dares to be her own glorious self, who raise strong young women, who smile at the sister journeying alone and walk alongside her for a time, who stand with the sister whose crown has been knocked off her head time after time and women who shine as their own beautifully unique selves.
Link to the blogs of the seven nominees.
Here are three photos of me:
That’s enough about me. Here are the women, in random order, I nominate for the Fix Her Crown Award:
I enjoyed participating in February so I look forward
to blogging the four Tuesdays in March using these prompts.
It was tempting to list two books that readily came to
mind, but I decided to give today’s prompt some deeper thought. I reviewed the
list of books I’ve read and the two I chose to write about might not be selected
by anyone else doing Rae’s #TwoForTuesday challenge.
by Marzeeh Laleh Chini and Abnoos Mosleh-Shirazi
Few books I read in 2018 left an impression on me like
Climbing Over Grit, by Laleh Chini
and her son. It left me wondering how any women raised in Iran have the
strength, resolve, and grit to overcome the oppression that men inflict on
“I have been following Laleh Chini’s blog, “A Voice from Iran” for quite a
while, but I had somehow missed knowing that she was writing a book. When she
announced that her book, Climbing Over Grit, was available on
preorder, I immediately ordered it. Laleh has a gift for storytelling, so I
knew her book would be good.
“Little did I know that Laleh’s book was based on some experiences within
her own family! The book is written in first-person point-of-view, but I still
didn’t catch on that it was written in her mother’s voice until I came to a
page well into the book that said something like, “The second daughter was
named Laleh.” I gasped out loud! It was then that I couldn’t put the book down.
I finished reading it at 4:30 in the morning.
“I still cringe to think about some of Laleh’s family members being
subjected to arranged child marriage and the abuse that often goes along with
“Fortunately for her readers, Laleh got out of Iran at the age of 16 and
came to the United States. She now resides in Canada. The photographs and
Iranian folktales she shares in her blog have helped me get a picture of an
Iran I didn’t know existed.
“Climbing Over Grit is not a pleasant read, but I highly recommend
it to anyone wanting to know more about the child bride culture of Iran. Her
blog can be found at https://avoicefromiran.wordpress.com/.”
Taster, by V.S. Alexander
I’m sure somewhere in my study of history I knew that
tasters had to sample Adolph Hitler’s food before he ate it, but it wasn’t
something I’d given a lot of thought to until I read The Taster, by V.S. Alexander. What The Taster shines a bright light on is the fact that Hitler’s
tasters were all women because in his warped mind women were replaceable.
I’ve read The
Magdalene Girls and The Taster,
by V.S. Alexander and I am impatiently waiting to rise to the top of the
waitlist at the library for The Irishman’s
Daughter. Alexander is fast becoming one of my favorite historical fiction
“The Taster is the story of a young woman in need of a job and
living in Hitler’s Germany. The job she got was not a job she wanted. She was
selected to be a food and drink taster for Adolph Hitler. Hitler was mortified
of being poisoned, so all his food and drink had to be tasted in advance by a
replaceable woman. If a taster died, she could be replaced. Hitler, of course,
did not see himself as replaceable.”
The life of a food taster for Hitler was beyond
stressful, as we can only imagine. The tasters didn’t know from one meal,
snack, or reception to the next if that would be their last bit of food or
Some months I get lucky with the books I get to read. October was one of those. I was overwhelmed with library books for which I reached the top of the waitlist. Several books had to go back to the library unread, so those remain on my to be read list.
Climbing Over Grit, by Marzeeh Laleh Chini and Abnoos Mosleh-Shirazi
I have been following Laleh Chini’s blog, “A Voice from Iran” for quite a while, but I had somehow missed knowing that she was writing a book. When she announced that her book, Climbing Over Grit, was available on preorder, I immediately ordered it. Laleh has a gift for storytelling, so I knew her book would be good.
Little did I know that Laleh’s book was based on some experiences within her own family! The book is written in first-person point-of-view, but I still didn’t catch on that it was written in her mother’s voice until I came to a page well into the book that said something like, “The second daughter was named Laleh.” I gasped out loud! It was then that I couldn’t put the book down. I finished reading it at 4:30 in the morning.
I still cringe to think about some of Laleh’s family members being subjected to arranged child marriage and the abuse that often goes along with that practice.
Fortunately for her readers, Laleh got out of Iran at the age of 16 and came to the United States. She now resides in Canada. He photographs and Iranian folktales she shares in her blog have helped me get a picture of an Iran I didn’t know existed.
Climbing Over Grit is not a pleasant read, but I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about the child bride culture of Iran. Her blog can be found at https://avoicefromiran.wordpress.com/.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris
The main character in The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris, will haunt me for a long time. Ludwig “Lale” Sokolov was a Slovakian Jew taken to the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Nazis. He was not a trained tattooist, but he found he could do the work. Anything to stay alive. He had to tattoo the identification numbers on the forearms of the prisoners at Auschwitz and Birkenau for the last two to three years of World War II.
One particular female prisoner named Gita caught his eye, and they began a love story. The promise of being together forever with each other helped keep both of them alive throughout their awful ordeals.
This is a story of courage, love, and man’s inhumanity to man. It is an international bestseller and is based on a true story. His position of some level of trust affords Lale the opportunity to come in possession of some money and jewels that were taken from other Jews upon their arrival at the concentration camps. He used those items in exchange for food for his fellow prisoners.
The author interviewed Lale and his descendants in order to weave Lale and Gita’s story into this work of fiction. Their story of suffering, courage, and love will stay with me for a long time. Even those of you who don’t normally read historical fiction might find this novel appealing.
Sea Prayer, by Khaled Hosseini
My October 8, 2018 blog post, Words of Khaled Hosseini was about his new children’s book, Sea Prayer. I invite you to read that post in case you missed it earlier.
I will not go into the details of Sea Prayer today, since I explored the book’s theme in that earlier blog post. Although it is a book for juveniles, I highly recommend it to people of all ages – to anyone old enough to have an understanding of what a refugee is.
The Devil and Webster, by Jean Hanff Korelitz
I mention this book because the premise sounded promising. I tried two or three times to read it, but I just couldn’t get into it. I decided to list it today because it just might appeal to some of you. It is literary satire, so maybe I just don’t get the satire or didn’t read enough of it to catch on. The book has many five-star reviews. People seem to really like it or not like it at all. I read the first 25 percent of the book.
Lying in Wait, by Liz Nugent
After reading A.J. Finn’s recommendation for Liz Nugent’s Lying in Wait, I checked it out of the library. I had enjoyed Mr. Finn’s novel, The Woman in the Window, so his recommendation carried a lot of weight. I was not disappointed in this psychological thriller.
The first chapter of Lying in Wait is from the point-of-view of Lydia and opens with the following sentence: “My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.” That got my attention, so I kept reading.
Part I of the novel takes place in 1980. Each chapter was from the point-of-view of one of the characters, and the emphasis was on how Annie Doyle’s parents and sister responded to her unexpected disappearance. It is near the end of Part I when the reader finds out why Lydia’s husband killed Annie.
Part II follows each character as they continue to deal with the situation in 1985. You have Annie’s sister still demanding answers from the police over her missing sister, while Lydia and her son deal with the secret of Annie’s murder. To get into the details, I would have to reveal too much of the storyline, so I’ll leave it at that. Suffice it to say, there are some interesting interactions between some of the characters.
Part III jumps to 2016 to pull together all the loose ends, and the ending might surprise you.
As a rule, I don’t like novels in which chapters alternate between various characters’ points-of-view, but this format worked for Lying in Wait. I want to read more of Liz Nugent’s books. She has won many awards for her writing in her native Ireland and, apparently, has a cult-like following.
My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
This historical novel told from the point-of-view of Eliza Schuyler, wife of Alexander Hamilton is a long but enjoyable read. At 642 pages, it’s the longest book I’ve read in quite a while. I must say I learned some things about Alexander Hamilton, and I learned a great many things about his wife. I really knew nothing about her before reading the book.
That said, it is a work of historical fiction, so most of Eliza’s feelings and emotions throughout the book fall into the fiction category. I appreciated the authors’ extensive notes at the end of the book where they told what was true, what was fiction, and what was adjusted chronologically to make the book work. I also appreciated the fact that they included in the book that Eliza grew up on a plantation that had slaves in the state of New York. Many people are not aware that some people outside The South owned slaves in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
It’s about time the women who helped found our nation got a little credit.
Since my last blog post
I attended the memorial service for a true American hero, Seville Schofield Funk, Sr. He served in the United States Army’s 10th Mountain Division in Italy during World War II. In the line of service he sustained a broken ankle and went back into battle after a brief recovery. Later, he was shot in the left shoulder and returned to battle. Later, he was shot in the right shoulder and yet again returned to the front lines. I was honored to have known this unassuming man. When I go to my polling place to vote tomorrow, it will be because Mr. Funk and others like him have preserved my freedom to vote by their unselfish military service.
Until my next blog post
I hope you have a good book to read.
If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.
Thank you for reading my blog. You could have spent the last few minutes doing something else, but you chose to read my blog. I appreciate it! I welcome your comments.
Let’s continue the conversation.
Have you read any good books lately? Have you read any of the books I read last month? If so, what did you think of them?