Happy Mother’s Day to all the geeky moms passing down science fiction and cosplay creativity to the next generation! There’s one mom in particular I want to spotlight today: Mine. Debbie Farber is the mother of not one, but two Geekette writers, and she is the most voracious reader I know. According to Goodreads, she has read 688 books, but I know she’s read way more than that. Often, when my friends visit her house, they leave with books. She’s always reading and recommending these great little books that everyone loves. One of the coolest things about my mom is that people (total strangers) often “like” and comment on her reviews. She writes really accurate, descriptive, and fair reviews of everything she reads, and shares her opinions with family and friends. I’d like to share some of the books she loves with Daily Geekette readers.
Here are a handful of reviews of books she’s recently recommended to me:
Harvest of Rubies by Tessa Afshar- Harvest of Rubies offers a beautifully written piece of historic fiction set in Persia 446-424 BC. The story begins wth Sarah, a young Jewish girl living in Persepolis. She lives with her scribe father, a widower, who takes no notice of his young daughter. Sarah’s Aunt Leah tries to teach her the womanly ways of keeping house, sewing and cooking, but Sarah has no talent for the work. Sarah wants nothing but to get her father’s approval, so she works very hard to teach herself to read and to write. In her success she attracts not only her father’s attention, but the attention of the King’s cupbearer, her cousin Nehemiah. Her father begins teaching her more languages and she becomes proficient. Sarah becomes a scribe herself and one day her cousin comes to her to offer the position of head scribe to Queen Damaspia. She very excitedly accepts the position, thinking that this will be her life, but her very religious Jewish cousin later tellls her that this job is not what God has planned for her. Her life takes a drastic turn when she foils a conspiracy against the queen. The queen feels indebted to her, so, as thanks she gives Sarah an aristocratic husband, Darius. Sarah comes from humble beginnings with no knowledge of being a wife to an aristocrat. Their relationship takes many turns and the story involves friendships, hardship and more intrigues.
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: and Other Lessons from a Crematory is Caitlin Doughty’s true account of her experiences in the death industry. When she was an early college graduate, Caitlin began her interest in the career as a retort operator in the Westwind Cremation and Burial where she was first hired. As a young woman she faced many challenges, some because she was a young female and some just because it’s a tough business, but she wanted to be there in a capacity to learn. Caitlin shares some really great stories with the reader, a few are funny, a few really tragic, and then at times philosophical. She has a view point she wishes to get across to the reader. It’s an important message, because it seems like for years here in America at least the public just follows what has been accepted and told is the norm instead of following any real traditions. We’re completely separated from our dead until they have been embalmed or cremated, when in our early history our loved ones were seen off from home and buried naturally, but now we fear death which is inevitable. She would like to see us get back to a time when people didn’t fear death, but knew it was a part of life. I highly recommend this book for all the reason I mentioned above and because it really made me think, which was I think Caitlin Doughty’s true intent.
Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente- Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente was a really great retelling of the Snow White story. Sometimes you wonder why authors bother when they really don’t make the story their own, but Valente did that then some. This Snow White is set in the old west. Her father Mr. H, obtains a Crow woman from her family using nefarious means just so he can have her to himself. Gun That Sings dies in child birth leaving her half breed daughter in a cold cruel world. Mr. H spoils his daughter, but withholds love and affection. He allows the staff to belief she is his ward not his daughter. Then one day dear old dad brings home a new wife, who is truly a witch. Snow White is a very different character from the past. She grows to be a strong woman who slings a gun, rides a horse, hunts, mines for rubies and loves to gamble and drink whiskey. Despite the differences, the original is still in there, still teaching and giving valued lessons.
I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day! Go get some good reads!