Browsing Archives for August 2011

Centuries of June

August 17th, 2011

Several months ago I received a letter in the mail asking me to review a book on my blog in exchange for a free copy of the same book.  How could I possibly refuse this offer?  I have ALWAYS thought that the people who read and review books for various publications have the BEST job in the world!  Excited to give this job a try albeit without any payment other than the book, I eagerly looked forward to receiving the tome.

But then the book arrived.

And suddenly I had a book that I HAD to read.  It was like having homework.  It made me feel like it was my DUTY to read this book.  MY RESPONSIBILITY.  The book became a chalky medicine tasting of turnips and sour gratin that I had to take.  I began to loathe the task.  It was a weight – an anvil anklet.  Those people who have to read books for a living have one of the WORST jobs in the world!

The book sat upon my nightstand staring at me day after day after day…

Oh JEEZUS!  I still have to read that DAMN BOOK!

SHIT!  I can’t read the latest Frank Schaeffer book, because I STILL HAVE TO READ THE STUPID BOOK FROM THE DUMB PUBLISHER!


This went on for weeks and weeks.

And then one day I capitulated.  I surrendered to my duty and started to read the book and guess what!  It wasn’t half bad for an anvil anklet.

I would never have read this book on my own.  For there is not a single garden, nor a genuine murder mystery nor a proper gloomy estate leering over collection of quirky characters with dark secrets to hide.  Where were the simple country folk growing tateys and sitting around a spry cottage making lashings of tea and sponge cake while decimating each other with a jaunty Scottish accent?  There was an absolute dearth of angry atheists muttering curses under their breaths towards the goon like behavior of the religious right and there were zero gay men re-doing a country inn on Cape Cod.

This was a book about the history of women in America.

As told to a man as he lay (possibly) dying on his bathroom floor.

And it was quite good reading.

I liked the stories of the women.  Each woman in the book represents a different time period in American history.  There are slave women and pirate women disguised as pirate men and women accused of witch craft and nouveau riche women in gold rush San Francisco.  Each woman’s story was very entertaining and I found myself utterly captivated by their various tales.  I didn’t so much like the regular flashbacks to what was happening to the guy on his bathroom floor.  It got to be confusing and I really just wanted to stay in New Orleans with the slave lady who figured out a fabulous way to rid herself of her irritating master, but overall -  it was a good book.

I couldn’t help but recommend it.

Even if it is my duty.

Centuries of June by Keith Donohue.

Sit down with some tateys and tea and read you it.