That's the answer to the question, "What in the world has Freakmom been up to?" Reading. Borderline obsessive, in need of an intervention, reading. While I've missed my daily blog writing (okay, so I haven't been "daily" in months, I was at one time), blog reading, forum visiting, e-mailing and other internet activities, I've really been enjoying reading. Anywhere from one to three hours a day. So what does Freakmom read when she's obsessively got her nose in a book? Lots of stuff!
I've been reading for my class at Abigail Adams Academy. For January we are reading about George Washington. I found the book selected for the class to be, well fine. But the author, polar opposite from my beliefs. It was Being George Washington by Glenn Beck. I read it. You can't (in good conscience at least) criticize a book without reading it first. I have to say one thing for it, it got me more curious about Washington. So I did what any self-respecting feminist would do, sought out a book about his wife. I've been reading Martha Washington: An American Life by Patricia Brady. Now there's a book I can recommend. I am learning a lot about Mrs. Washington that I never knew. And seeing a side of George that a military history just doesn't go into.
I'm also on a women's literature kick. It started last summer when I drove to Michigan by myself and wanted some books to listen to in the car. I got some Edna Ferber. My all time favorite author. I listened to the Emma McChesney short stories (in three collections, Roast Beef Medium, Personality Plus and Emma McChesney and Co.). Those led to Fanny Herself and So Big.
Also while driving I listened to Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. I had never read it. It was fabulous! And written by a women.
Then looking for a copy of Joy Luck Club on my book shelves (I didn't find it, I'm currently searching book sales and thrift stores for it), I found my copy of Mankiller: A Chief and Her People the autobiography of Wilma Mankiller, former chief of the Cherokee Nation. I had never read it. So I did! Fabulous! Simply fabulous! Talk about a strong woman who went through some difficult times. And she told the history of the Cherokee people. Although we can't trace it on paper, due to divorces, remarriages, lost birth certificates and adoptions, my mom is half Cherokee. (Also half Choctaw, which we also can't prove. Her father was 100% Choctaw, brown as brown can be...his military paperwork lists his race as "white". The man wasn't white. Trust me. But you didn't claim to be Indian during World War I or II if you could claim to be white. I guess the military wasn't too picky then about details. He lied about his race. He lied about his age twice. First to enlist in WWI he said he was older than he was, then in WWII he claimed to be younger.)
But I digress. Great book, I highly recommend it. Mankiller had a quote in the book by Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple. I've never read any of her books, but I found myself searching through Amazon looking up titles. I found Anything We Love Can Be Saved, a collection of her essays about her activism. It was in at our library so I checked it out. And guess what? I loved it! Okay, I have to warn you, Alice Walker is a strong woman and tackles really difficult subjects. She could scare the Hail Marys of out of a lot people. It brought me back to my college days when my friends and I were taking Women's Studies classes and questioning "the man" a lot. I intend to read more by her. She is phenomenal! And I want dreadlocks now. Alas, my straight, limp and lifeless as can be hair will never form dreads. But golly are they beautiful!
Now I'm reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. Can you believe I've never read any Pearl Buck? I'm really enjoying it too.
And in between all this I've renewed my love affair with Donald Westlake and read all the Dortmunder novels. If you like comic crime novels, where the bad guys are really rather good and never quite get away with it but give you lots of laughs along the way, pick up a Dortmunder. Your librarian can show you them. I've also reread all of Carl Hiaasen's novels for adults and am working on his novels for kids. He writes environmental mysteries with lots of humor (and some really strange characters).
So as you can see, I've been busy. My library card has been getting quite a workout! But it leaves little time for blogging. Hope you have a wonderful New Year filled with good books!