This is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey..

Half The Sky – Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

I loved this book. It is a harsh but hopeful look at violence against women and what can be done to help. Topics covered are sex trafficking, maternal death, education, microfinance, rape as a terror tactic, etc. Stories are told of how women have overcome these obstacles. What type of aid programs work and which don’t?

The book ends with Four Steps You Can Take in the Next Ten Minutes. I found out that I’m already doing two.

1. Go to or and open an account.

I’ve done this already. I invested $100 in kiva. I pick people looking for small loans in developing countries. I give $25 to each of four people. Other people also give to make up the total amount needed for each loan. As the money is repaid I send out $25 loans to new people. I’ve been able to help multiple people for a small investment.

2. Sponsor a girl or a woman through Plan International, Women for Women International, World Vision, or American Jewish World Service.

I already did this one too. I’m on my third year of sponsorship through Women for Women. For $30 a month I sponsor a woman in Bosnia. She attends vocational classes and classes on health care and the law so she learns what her rights are. We write letters to each other. I just got one yesterday in which I got yelled at for not writing enough! Our letters must be crossing in the mail.

Don’t read this book if you don’t want to be inspired to do something to help other women. This isn’t a book that you can read and then not think about again.

Still Life With Elephant by Judy Reene Singer – Somehow I ended up with a few “male vets are scumbags” books this week. This is the first one. A woman finds out that her veterinarian husband has had an affair and has gotten the woman pregnant. As she tries to recover she gets involved in rescuing elephants that have been injured by hunters in Africa.

This book was a light read. The main character has the habit of mishearing people which got annoying to read really quickly.

The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux – Three women who spent an afternoon together on their 21st birthday reunite for their 40th. The book tells the story of how their lives have changed for better and worse. Towards the end there is a spell cast that lets them redo three weeks of their life and decide at the end if they want their old life or their new one. The magic part of this book comes out of nowhere. Very deus ex machina.

The Wilder Sisters by Jo-Ann Mapson – Two sisters return to their parents’ ranch to work out their personal problems. This book is ok but it is very slow moving. There is a weird homophobic section in the middle involving a gay rodeo that serves no purpose but to be offensive. This is the second of the vets are scumbag books since one of the sisters in is love with an alcoholic vet.

The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry – A therapist who just had a client commit suicide starts to care for her father who is in the last stages of Parkinson’s disease. She is trying to deal with her feelings of failure and gets involved with a witness to the suicide.

This book was interesting and had twists and turns to keep you guessing.

The One That I Want by Allison Winn Scott- Tilly loved high school. She married her high school sweetheart and became the guidance counselor at her alma mater. She has no desire to ever leave her hometown. Then an old friend who is now a psychic gives her the gift of “clarity”. Suddenly she can see her future and it is everything she dreads.

I’d never want to know the future. I wouldn’t want to know if relationships are going to break up or people are unexpectedly going to die. This book was good although Tilly is whiny. I don’t understand people who don’t want to move on from high school. I hate going back to my hometown and having dinner in a restaurant where people I hardly remember come up and talk to me. It is so awkward. So I didn’t have much sympathy for her.


Captivated by Maria Elkins. Shown at the National Quilting Association show this week.