I am also not reading these in a certain order and I hope Beth doesn’t mind. She’s been trying to get me to read this since it came out. Want to know how I know? I have Beth’s hard copy of this book; she loaned it to me ages ago and it’s just been in a stack of TBRs near my bed since then. So, I thought maybe I’d start with this one and then I could give it back to her when I see her next.
Welcome to Beth’s Pop Culture Homework Assignment: WITCHES!
Witches seem to be having a cultural moment right now (which is great), so this felt timely. It also felt timely because Beth and I are going to a good friend’s wedding this summer in England, and then while we’re in Ol’ Blighty we’re going to visit Pendle Hill, the site of a 1612 witch trial. (Well, really, THE 1612 Witch trial.) We gotta go pay our respects. This year there are five picks…because when I floated the idea of one short non-fiction piece and one set of selections of a historical text, Beth didn’t say no! (She also didn’t say yes, so I am expecting to receive some flack for this.) So, here we go!
1. Selections from the Malleus Maleficarum by discredited member of the clergy Heinrich Kramer
The Malleus Maleficarum is maybe the best known treatise on witches. It was written in the 15th century and provides legal and theological reasons to execute witches. It laid the ground work for a lot of terrible things that happened to a lot of people. I thought it would be nice to provide some context before diving into the next selection.
This is a brand new novel (out in February!) that’s also a debut novel AND is written by a Lancashire local! It is set during the Pendle Hill trials! It’s like the universe wanted us to have this homework assignment!
It’s about witches! It’s about sisters! It’s about women’s relationships! It’s a classic! I honestly can’t believe this book is as old as it is, but I also often can’t believe I’m as old as I am, so here we are, surprised by inexorable march of time.
So, this also came out this year, this past Tuesday, in fact. It was on my to-read list and as I was looking for a third novel, I got an email saying that this was coming out. You have to love that timing. It is about Hannah, a real witch who lives in Salem, Mass and who has to keep her real-deal magic a secret, because if she gets caught using it, she could lose it. I believe it also has an LGBTQIA relationship in it. I think it looks great and I really hope Beth loves it.
This clocks in at just over 100 pages and is a brief history of women healers. It discusses midwifery, witching, nursing and how traditionally feminine practices have been delegitimized and outlawed as a tactic of the patriarchy to control women. At least, that’s what I remember it being about? I read it while a family member was in the emergency room and we were waiting for test results, so my memories of the book aren’t maybe the best? So, I really look forward to hearing Beth’s thoughts on it and discussing it with her.
So, that’s it. There we go. I hope Beth enjoys these books! If you are reading along with Beth, leave a comment below or hit us up on twitter or the faceyb!
Since it is Memorial Day, it is officially summer! So, Beth and I will be assigning each other Pop Culture Homework Assignments this week! If you are new here, A Pop Culture Homework Assignment is summer reading that Beth and I assign each other. It is usually four books, themed, and designed for us to share something fun with each other (and you!). Also, I like to think it gets us out of our comfort zones, but that might just be justifying assigning Beth a bunch of non-fiction over the years.
So, Join us this summer on two themed 4-book challenges!
I did this last year and it was so fun that I wanted to do it again…and then life got in the way and I just realized that even though I’ve started reading I haven’t made any posts about it.
So, here’s this year’s Bingo Board. And this challenge is brought to you by Lit Celebrasian. If you haven’t visited their blog, you should. The team there hosts read alongs and twitter chats. They post regular features highlighting new releases by Asian authors.
Like last year, I can almost guarantee that I’ll be finishing my challenge well into the summer. Anyway, if you read this blog, you already know what I’m like.
This is, so far, very promising. Barely a few pages in and Montell has already quoted a linguist and is talking sociolinguistics. I look forward to seeing where this goes!
I got a review copy of this as an ARC from Edelweiss. It is due out at the end of May.
Ben and Arthur have a chance meeting at a post office and they hit it off before Ben disappears in the middle of a commotion caused by someone proposing to their girlfriend. They then go on this epic journey of trying to meet again, in a city of around 8 million people. Can they meet? Will it be as magical as they think it will be? Can they get it right? Should they even bother if Arthur is just a summer intern and is on his way back to Georgia in a couple of months?
Folks, this book was so earnest and touching that it actually physically hurt my cold, cold, cynical soul. Making it to the end of this book was a journey for me; I may be a different person now. A slightly less cynical person. Ladles and Jelly spoons, Friends and Enemies, the power of literature!
Seriously, though, this was a really fun, really touching story written from two different points of view. It is about being open and trying your best in relationships and about saying what you want and admitting when you’re wrong. It was well worth the read. I’ll even forgive it for getting enormously catchy pop tunes stuck in my head.
Once again, shout out to my local library for hooking me up with this audiobook!
So, book club is tonight and thankfully what I’m working on right now can be done with a book in the background…because I am no where near finished with it.
THIS BOOK IS TOO CUTE. It is melting my cold, cold heart. Also, it’s gotten Boy with Luv by BTS stuck in my head WHICH IS ALSO TOO CUTE. I like being a cynic, so I kinda of hate both the book and the song right now.
If I have to live in this twee hell full of adorable humans all googly eyed with love, so does everyone else.
I have this audiobook courtesy of one of my local libraries. Huzzah! This is the pick for this month’s teen book group at the local Barnes and Noble (that is attended entirely by adults, many of whom are either employees or former employees, so the discussions are excellent). The meeting is next week, so I have to get a wiggle on with this one. (Which is both exciting and annoying because I’m really into Pachinko right now.)
Lethal White is the fourth Cormoran Strike novel and it begins with Cormoran being visited by a mentally ill young man named Billy who tells him about a murder he believes he witnessed as a child. Before Strike can get into the specifics, Billy flees the office and sends Strike, and his partner Robin Ellacott, on a mission to satisfy his own need to make sure that Billy is okay and that no one is getting away with murder. The tale weaves in and out of London. It ends up at protests (it is set before the London Olympics) and in the Houses of Parliament. It reintroduces characters from Strike’s past. The mystery, in the end, felt a little forced. Or, maybe that Strike just can’t let some things go felt forces. I don’t know. I didn’t love this. In fact, now that it has tied up some story lines relating to Robin and her partner Matthew, I may be done with this book series. We’ll see. I do still very much like both Robin and Cormoran. If you really loved the previous books, I say give this one a go, but if you were only so-so on them, I’d say pick something up you are more interested in.