May, a month of playful weather pranks, toyed with us through its ever-shifting temperatures, swinging from the frigid clasp of the high 30s to the scorching embrace of the high 80’s, keeping us suspended in an eternal meteorological dance. Ah, layers, the indispensable companions of our New Hampshire existence, for we embrace them regardless of the whims of the weather gods. And so, amidst these climatic hot flashes, I found solace in the sanctuary of my den, where I diligently sorted, arranged, and filed months of paperwork accompanied by the symphony of my audiobooks.
In the rich tapestry of literature, I immerse myself in the hidden gems of history, embarking on a thrilling journey through time’s captivating labyrinth. The stories of remarkable individuals cast enchanting spells, drawing me deeper into their captivating tales. It’s a magical dance where the echoes of the past embrace my spirit, captivating me with the wonders of bygone eras. In the pages of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, a doorway opens, transporting me to an era brimming with intrigue. Brace yourself for an adventure like no other, as secrets and revelations unfold, igniting your imagination with a celestial fire.
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott is a fascinating look at the lives of four women who played significant roles in the Civil War. These women defied gender norms and societal expectations to fight for their beliefs and make a difference in a time of turmoil. It is important that their stories are told and their contributions recognized, as they demonstrate the strength and courage of women throughout history. The audiobook version is engaging and well-narrated. Karen White does an excellent job using differentiating voices; however, I still needed some help keeping track of the different characters and their individual stories as the narrative jumps back and forth between them. My struggles to remember who was who and what was happening detracted from my enjoyment of the book.
I appreciate the amount of research and detail that went into this book, and it is an important contribution to women’s history. It offers a unique perspective on the Civil War and sheds light on the often-overlooked contributions of women during this period. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy is 3.75 stars – rounding up to 4 stars. It is an important and worthwhile read/listen; I recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the Civil War and the role of women during this time.
American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China by Matthew Polly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
American Shaolin by Matthew Polly is a memoir that provides an intriguing glimpse into the author’s journey to China to study martial arts. Polly’s personal experiences and observations offer valuable insights into the cultural landscape of China in the late 1990s. Having been to China in 2008, reading American Shaolin and listening to the audiobook provided a unique perspective. It was fascinating to compare and contrast my own experiences with those described in the book, particularly given the significant changes and progress that China has made over the years. Reflecting on the historical context and considering China’s current standing in 2023 added an extra layer of reflection to the story.
The audiobook version, narrated by George Newbern, offers an immersive listening experience. Newbern’s narration is clear and engaging, effectively bringing Polly’s words to life. His tone and delivery capture the essence of the author’s journey, allowing listeners to connect with Polly’s challenges, triumphs, and personal growth. However, it’s important to note that the book was originally published in 2007, and the audiobook edition in 2018 does not alter the story’s historical context. While the audiobook enhances the storytelling experience, it does not provide an updated perspective on China’s current state.
Considering these factors, American Shaolin remains a valuable memoir that offers a window into a specific time period in China’s history. It is a testament to the author’s journey and the cultural landscape of that era. However, readers and listeners should approach it, understanding that it may not fully reflect China’s current status in the world.
May unleashed its whirlwind of tales upon me, leaving me entangled in a pile of unread books. The struggle is real between the seductive pages and the call of the great outdoors, where plants beckon for attention and tasks multiply like rabbits. Marie Benedict’s The Personal Librarian whispered promises of intrigue, but the chaos of spring gardening and outdoor chores conspired to keep me from its captivating grasp. Life is always finding a way to derail our literary pursuits!
I’ve become a master at sneaking in a chapter or two in the mornings, courtesy of the digital realm. Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? takes the stage as my faithful morning companion, jolting my mind awake in between morning puzzles and meditation.before the day’s exploits begin.
Ah, the pandemonium of spring cleaning! My neglected physical books, their covers taunting me, adding to my dusting. Yet, as I roam from room to room, closet to closet, organizing and decluttering, the whispered secrets of The Memoirs of Cleopatra on Audible fill my ears. The captivating narration weaves an enchanting web, transporting me to the enigmatic world of ancient Egypt, magically alleviating the tedium of mundane duties and infusing them with a touch of enchantment.
May’s literary adventures have reached their final page and I am way ahead of schedule in my Goodreads Reading Challenge which is also one reason I decided to listen to the 49 hours 51 minute audiobook epic.
I’ll leave this session in the Lit Lounge with the timeless wisdom of Oscar Wilde: ‘It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.’ May our reading choices shape us into the passionate book lovers we were always meant to be as we eagerly anticipate the literary wonders that June will unveil.