Books Feed

Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty

Dorothy Day; The World Will Be Saved By Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of Dorothy DayDorothy Day; The World Will Be Saved By Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of Dorothy Day by Kate Hennessy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A beautiful book, beautifully written, in which one of Dorothy Day's grand-daughters tries to save her from hagiography by giving an intimate account of the woman, particularly focused on her relationship with her daughter Tamar and her many grandchildren. The later chapters focus a great deal on mother-daughter relationships. You will not go away from this book with a deeper understanding of Day's thought, but with a richer understanding of how complex her life was, how she approached life as a writer, and how difficult the Catholic Worker was.

View all my reviews


Grounds of Natural Philosophy

Grounds Of Natural PhilosophyGrounds Of Natural Philosophy by Margaret Cavendish
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I first read this book almost twenty years ago when I was teaching at course at the University of Oklahoma An Exploration of the History of Women in Philosophy. Each year senior grad students could apply to teach a course of their own design, and my final year of grad teaching I was accepted to teach this course I created. One of my goals in teaching such a course was compelling my own research into female philosophers so that I might enrich my own understanding in order to develop better courses for the future that would include the voices of women, something I believe I've been better about in my subsequent teaching.

I encountered Margaret Cavendish first in an excerpt in Margaret Atherton's Women in Early Modern Philosophy (a textbook for my course) and was able to discover that this major work of hers had been republished. I read it at the time with much interest, in particular noting the ways that her materialism anticipated the physicalisms I was drawn to, as it was reductive. I felt she had some affinities with process thought.

In re-reading this time around, I didn't encounter anything really new that jumped out to me, but it was good to refresh my acquaintance with this work, as Cavendish is someone I reference in my intro course.

View all my reviews

The Member of the Wedding

The Member of the WeddingThe Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What I admired most about this novel was the way McCullers evoked a setting. You are drawn into the small world she creates for her characters in this story of adolescent angst at small town living. The characters, the scene, the atmosphere, the inner moods, all are richly developed. And while not much happens plot-wise, what does unfolds carefully and with more attention to emotion than detailed events.

I was left puzzling over how this compares and contrast to To Till a Mockingbird as story of a white girl growing up in a small town in the segregated South. This is probably the more realistic sort of story.

Another interesting sub-theme is the exploration of gender non-conformity, which I wasn't expecting in the novel.

View all my reviews