Thursday, August 18, 2016

Birthday Books 2016

For the past several years, I have posted about the books I got as Christmas presents. This year, since my lovely wife found a number of interesting books for me, I figured I would do a birthday post as well.

I previously borrowed a copy from the library and read a play and some early poems. You can read that review here. I greatly enjoyed Auden, and hoped to get a copy of my own. My wife obviously knows me well, as she found a lovely hardback edition.

2.     Within the Plantation Household: Black & White Women of the Old South by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese

This was a random used book find by my wife. I wasn’t particularly familiar with this work, but did a little research. While some of the conclusions are considered a bit dated, it was an important work in examining (from primary sources) the lives of women in the Antebellum South. In particular, Fox-Genovese is credited with exploding the myth that Southern women leaned abolitionist, instead showing how dependent Southern women were on forced labor to maintain their idealized lifestyles. This promises to be an interesting one.

I realized when my wife gave me this that it has been far too long since I read any Ogden Nash. His brilliant and wicked sense of humor never gets old. (See, for example, this one with a Christmas theme.) Stand by for a review of this one as my next poetry selection.

4. 100 Classic Hikes in Oregon and Eastern Oregon

These are from my in-laws, who got them for me after learning that the kids and I plan to visit eastern Oregon next August, to see (we hope) the solar eclipse. As with the National Parks books they got me a couple of years ago, these look fantastic, with plenty of ideas that I will, no doubt, use.

As usual, check back from time to time, as I plan to link the reviews as a read them.


  1. Ooh, #2 looks good! I'm going to have to search that one out. :)

  2. Huh. I had never heard the theory that Southern women were abolitionist. I would think their dependence on slavery would have been a bit obvious.

    1. It was kind of on the theory that Southern women disliked the Patriarchy in Southern society, and identified with fellow victims. It was a theory within some feminist circles. (And no, I didn't know that until I looked up this book to see when it was written and what the consensus was on its accuracy.)

    2. That is odd. Realizing that it was fiction, I still remember when I was a kid and we got to the part in the Elsie Dinsmore books where it talked about the fact that Elsie had never dressed herself in her life (being at the time supposedly around 18 years old). I was dumb-struck by that and it seemed ridiculous to a 9-10 year old who took great pride in dressing herself, and her younger brother. I still coveted Elsie's great wealth, but that was when I began to see the down side of the antebellum world of wealth as far as the whites were concerned. Who wants to be dependent on someone else to dress them while still in perfectly good health? No thanks. That's just weird! And, from an adult perspective - it's so sad for the servants/slaves that are thus necessary. :-/