Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

Partners in Crime BookBlast for PISTOLS AND PETTICOATS by Erika Janik with GIVEAWAY!

978-080703938-0

A lively exploration of the struggles faced by women in law enforcement and mystery fiction for the past 175 years

In 1910, Alice Wells took the oath to join the all-male Los Angeles Police Department. She wore no uniform, carried no weapon, and kept her badge stuffed in her pocketbook. She wasn’t the first or only policewoman, but she became the movement’s most visible voice.

Police work from its very beginning was considered a male domain, far too dangerous and rough for a respectable woman to even contemplate doing, much less take on as a profession. A policewoman worked outside the home, walking dangerous city streets late at night to confront burglars, drunks, scam artists, and prostitutes. To solve crimes, she observed, collected evidence, and used reason and logic—traits typically associated with men. And most controversially of all, she had a purpose separate from her husband, children, and home. Women who donned the badge faced harassment and discrimination. It would take more than seventy years for women to enter the force as full-fledged officers.

Yet within the covers of popular fiction, women not only wrote mysteries but also created female characters that handily solved crimes. Smart, independent, and courageous, these nineteenth- and early twentieth-century female sleuths (including a healthy number created by male writers) set the stage for Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski, Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta, and Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, as well as TV detectives such asPrime Suspect’s Jane Tennison and Law and Order’s Olivia Benson. The authors were not amateurs dabbling in detection but professional writers who helped define the genre and competed with men, often to greater success.

Pistols and Petticoats tells the story of women’s very early place in crime fiction and their public crusade to transform policing. Whether real or fictional, investigating women were nearly always at odds with society. Most women refused to let that stop them, paving the way to a modern professional life for women on the force and in popular culture.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, NonFiction, History
Published by: Beacon Press
Publication Date: February 28th 2017 (1st Published April 26th 2016)
Number of Pages: 248
ISBN: 0807039381 (ISBN13: 9780807039380)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Author Bio:

authorErika Janik is an award-winning writer, historian, and the executive producer of Wisconsin Life on Wisconsin Public Radio. She’s the author of five previous books, including Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Catch Up With Our Ms. Janik On: Website 🔗,Goodreads 🔗, Wisconsin Public Radio 🔗, &Twitter 🔗!

Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Erika Janik and Beacon. There will be 5 winners of one (1) print copy of Pistols and Petticoats by Erika Janik. The giveaway begins on March 3rd and runs through March 8th, 2017. The giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.

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A Call to Mercy by Mother Teresa; Edited by Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC

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I received a copy of Mother Teresa’s writings, A Call to Mercy, from Blogging for Books. This book was published to coincide with our recent Year of Mercy in the Catholic Church, and also with Mother Teresa’s canonization.

The book is organized to highlight the seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy. It is full of quotes from her writings. Questions for reflection and prayer are added for the reader.

It is the kind of book that you can pick up at any time and read a portion of. I found it inspiring and moving.

Now I know that there are some folks out there who have an issue with Mother Teresa and her work. I, personally, find her both humbling and inspirational.

You can find A Call to Mercy online at Amazon or at an indie bookstore near you.

Thank you for my review copy!

(above image via Amazon)
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REVIEW: DEFIANT by Alvin Townley

Last month, my friends at St. Martin’s sent me a copy of Alvin Townley’s DEFIANT, which is subtitled The POWs Who Survived Vietnam’s Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned.  All I can say is – WOW.

I was a little kid when the Vietnam War was happening. I remember it used to be on the news at night and I was terrified, so I would go up to my parents’ room and watch “I Love Lucy” on their black and white instead. My cousin had an ID bracelet she wore with the name of a young man on it – a POW. I was in second grade and I remember being both fascinated and scared by this. How could someone be “missing”? Were they dead or not? What must that be like for their family? For years I’d ask her when I saw her if they had found that young man. They never did.

In DEFIANT Alvin Townley tells the store of the “Alcatraz 11” – eleven men held, tortured, and survivors of the most notorious and harsh captivity recorded during the Vietnam War. Held at the Alcatraz block at the Hanoi Hilton, these men were separated out due to their leadership ability, their strong mental toughness, and their will to survive. They endured an amazing amount of torture and horrific conditions, and after years, returned home to America. Sadly, one additional soldier in their group died in captivity. DEFIANT tells the story of these men and their experiences, but it also tells of their wives and families at home and the battle they waged to keep their husband’s stories front and center, to keep them in the public eye, and to fight with the government to get them home safely.

Personally, I could not put DEFIANT down. I started reading it and suddenly it was 2 am and I was still reading. I read the whole book in one night (which I don’t really recommend because it’s over 400 pages) and I cried so hard at the end when the men came home that my sobbing woke up my husband.

My friends at St. Martin’s recommended this book to me since I really enjoyed The Astronaut Wives’ Club by Lily Koppel. I would recommend to those who enjoyed that book, or who enjoy reading non-fiction about the Vietnam War.

You can see this book on Amazon where I am an Associate:

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Review: ON HEAVEN AND EARTH by Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) and Abraham Skorka

Through Blogging for Books, I received a review copy of ON HEAVEN AND EARTH, which is subtitled Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the 21st Century. This is a bit of a misnomer since the entire book is a conversation between Pope Francis (before he was Pope and was an Archbishop in Argentina) and Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka. The book is divided into short chapters which cover their conversations about a wide variety of topics and how they are viewed in the Catholic and Jewish faiths: God, family, sexuality, world issues, euthanasia, etc. It is easy to read and a great book to pick up if you only have a short time to read, as you can cover a chapter or two easily. I felt like I was sitting in a room, listening to these two men discuss the issues. Their conversations were insightful and intellectual, yet respectful and open.

Highly recommended if you enjoy reading and learning about religion or, if you are Catholic or Jewish, want to better understand your own faith!

See it on Amazon where I am an Associate:

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Quick Review: A Miracle Under the Christmas Tree by Jennifer Basye Sander

Another Net Galley find, this collection of true short stories focuses on the meaning of Christmas. Some of these stories were quite touching and inspiring. Some were better written than others. Each could be read in a short space of time. It was the perfect “quick read before I nod off” choice for this time of year!

Thanks, Net Galley and Harlequin Non-fiction, for my copy!

See this book on Amazon where I am an Associate:

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Review: “One Good Deed” by Erin McHugh (releasing 9.1.12)

I recently downloaded “One Good Deed: 365 Days of Trying to Be Just a Little Bit Better” by Erin McHugh through Net Galley. This book, which stemmed from Erin’s “good deed blog”, chronicles her attempt to do one good deed each day for a year. I found it a fun, positive read: often light-hearted, sometimes heart-tugging.

Erin McHugh is the type of writer that you feel is your friend after you’ve read her. She is a New Yorker, an author, a bookseller, a former Catholic, a gay rights activist, and has a large host of family and friends whom she writes about. Following Erin through her days made me feel that I knew her. You could sense her passion for helping others, her love of books, her devotion to her family, and her true New Yorker spirit. I just loved to pick up this book every day or so and read a few entries. Erin was making her world a little bit better, and it was inspiring!

Thank you, Net Galley and Abrams Image, for my copy!

This book releases in September, but you can preorder it on Amazon where I am an Associate:

 

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Quick Review: January First by Michael Schofield (Releasing in August)

Through Net Galley I received an ARC download of this novel, whose full title is: “January First: A Child’s Descent into Madness and her Father’s Struggle to Save Her”. I had heard about this book – I think on NPR – and was intrigued to read this true story.

January Schofield is a brilliant and precocious young girl with a vivid imaginary life. As January develops, however, her creativity and genius is occluded by what is finally diagnosed, at age six, as childhood schizophrenia. January’s case is marked by severe violence and almost constant hallucinations. Her doctors struggle to understand her and to find medications that will effectively treat her, while her family struggles to keep her (and her little brother) safe.

I found this novel to be an incredibly compelling read. I started it one evening and read through until 2 AM in order to finish it. I think one of the things that drew me to this book was how incredibly human the parents were. You could just feel how they were struggling and how they were willing to do whatever they could for their child (actually children), even if it meant living apart. Their painful journey is described in detail through the father’s voice.

You can pre-order on Amazon! Thanks, Net Galley and Crown Publishers for my copy!

See this book on Amazon where I am an Associate:

 

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