This week’s Top Ten Tuessday topic is actually Characters I’d Follow On Social Media but I just couldn’t make that one work for me this week, so I’ve switched it to:
A Genre I’d Like to Read More Of: Non-Fiction
The genre I read the least of, and would actually like to read a good bit more of, is non-fiction. I tend to go more for journal articles and websites when I get an interest in something factual, but I’d like to pick up more (or any at all, really) non-fiction books. Here’s six which I’m most interested in at the moment.
Women are standing up and #shoutingback. In a culture that’s driven by social media, for the first time women are using this online space (@EverydaySexism http://www.everydaysexism.com) to come together, share their stories and encourage a new generation to recognise the problems that women face. This book is a call to arms in a new wave of feminism and it proves sexism is endemic – socially, politically and economically. But women won’t stand for it. The Everyday Sexism Project is grounded in reality; packed with substance, validity and integrity it shows that women will no longer tolerate a society that ignores the dangers and endless effects of sexism.
In 2012 after being sexually harassed on London public transport Laura Bates, a young journalist, started a project called Everyday Sexism to collect stories for a piece she was writing on the issue. Astounded by the response she received and the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, she quickly realised that the situation was far worse than she’d initially thought. Enough was enough. From being leered at and wolf-whistled on the street, to aggravation in the work place and serious sexual assault, it was clear that sexism had been normalised. Bates decided it was time for change.
Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London—the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.
Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.
What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.
For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that “the Ripper” preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time—but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.
They said she was a tyrant. A murderer, and the most wicked woman in history.
She kicked her way into the male spaces of politics and demanded to be recognized as an equal and a leader. For her audacity, she was murdered by her son and reviled by history.
She was the sister, niece, wife, and mother of Emperors. She was an Empress in her own right, and she was a nuanced, fearless trail-blazer in the Roman world.
The story of Agrippina — the first Empress of Rome is the story of an empire at its bloody, extravagant, chaotic, ruthless height.
Step into the skin of your ancestors . . .
We know what life was like for Victoria and Albert, but what was it like for a commoner? How did it feel to cook with coal and wash with tea leaves? Drink beer for breakfast and clean your teeth with cuttlefish? Dress in whalebone and feed opium to the baby? Catch the omnibus to work and wash laundry while wearing a corset?
How To Be A Victorian is a new approach to history, a journey back in time more intimate, personal, and physical than anything before. It is one told from the inside out–how our forebears interacted with the practicalities of their world–and it’s a history of those things that make up the day-to-day reality of life, matters so small and seemingly mundane that people scarcely mention them in their diaries or letters. Moving through the rhythm of the day, from waking up to the sound of a knocker-upper man poking a stick at your window, to retiring for nocturnal activities, when the door finally closes on twenty-four hours of life, this astonishing guide illuminates the overlapping worlds of health, sex, fashion, food, school, work, and play.
A Study of the Women Characters of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot.
Medicine, in the early 1800s, was a brutal business. Operations were performed without anaesthesia while conventional treatment relied on leeches, cupping and toxic potions. It was said of one surgeon ‘His surgical acquirements were very small, his operations generally very badly performed and accompanied with much bungling, if not worse.’ It was lucky, for the doctor at least, that his deafness made him immune to his patients’ dying groans.
Into this milieu came John Elliotson, the dazzling new hope of the medical world. Charismatic and ambitious, Elliotson was determined to transform medicine from a medieval hodge-podge of archaic remedies into a practice informed by the latest science. In this aim he was backed by Thomas Wakley, founder of the new Lancet magazine, and a campaigner against corruption and malpractice.
Then, in the summer of 1837, a French visitor – the self-styled Baron Jules Denis Dupotet – arrived in London to promote an exotic new idea: mesmerism. It was a trend that would take the nation by storm but would ultimately split the two friends, and the medical world, asunder; throwing into sharp focus fundamental questions about the line between medicine and quackery, between science and superstition.