Hello again, dear readers! After a very full two+ weeks, I am happy to be back. Summer life is full swing here, things on our farm are crazy – it’s that time of year – and every day seems full to overflowing. Strawberry season is slipping by far too quickly for my liking and after an epic two hours of picking yesterday – 137 quarts brought home last night, even though some of us didn’t pick the whole time – we now have an entire freezer dedicated to strawberries. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when we work together. 🙂
The weather has been beautiful, dry and relatively cool. The current building-type project – the installation of more solar panels – is finally underway, meaning that there are now a bunch of batteries in our basement and a large trench through our farm driveway. 🙂
All in all, the first stretch of summer has been good. Overwhelming and very busy, but good. I am so grateful for the fact that I get to live in this beautiful little corner of the world.
As you most likely know, I love reading biographies etc. and my current (and constant) interest in feminism (and the leading feminists of the 50s, 60s, 70s etc.) has certainly influenced this small selection of books. And on that note, let’s jump into my non-fiction summer reading list.
Although she would later singlehandedly create a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, Julia Child was not always a master chef. Indeed, when she first arrived in France in 1948 with her husband, Paul, who was to work for the USIS, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever with her newfound passion for cooking and teaching.
A revolutionary woman for her time and an enormously creative writer, Emily Hahn broke all of the rules of the nineteen-twenties. Hahn kept on fighting against the stereotype of female docility that characterized the Victorian Era and was an advocate for the environment until her death at age ninety-two.
In the first biography of Kennedy, Sherie M. Randolph traces the life and political influence of this strikingly bold and controversial radical activist. Making use of an extensive and previously uncollected archive, Randolph demonstrates profound connections within the histories of the new left, civil rights, Black Power, and feminism, showing that black feminism was pivotal in shaping postwar U.S. liberation movements.
Landmark, groundbreaking, classic—these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of “the problem that has no name”: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women’s confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home.
Writing in a time when the average woman first married in her teens and 60 percent of women students dropped out of college to marry, Betty Friedan captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation and showed women how they could reclaim their lives. Part social chronicle, part manifesto, The Feminine Mystique is filled with fascinating anecdotes and interviews as well as insights that continue to inspire.
In this spiritual, moving autobiography, Wilma Mankiller, former Chief of the Cherokee Nation and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, tells of her own history while also honoring and recounting the history of the Cherokees. Mankiller’s life unfolds against the backdrop of the dawning of the American Indian civil rights struggle, and her book becomes a quest to reclaim and preserve the great Native American values that form the foundation of our nation.
The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of a multibillion-dollar startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyers.
In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.
For years, Holmes had been misleading investors, FDA officials, and her own employees. When Carreyrou, working at The Wall Street Journal, got a tip from a former Theranos employee and started asking questions, both Carreyrou and the Journal were threatened with lawsuits. Undaunted, the newspaper ran the first of dozens of Theranos articles in late 2015. By early 2017, the company’s value was zero and Holmes faced potential legal action from the government and her investors. Here is the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a disturbing cautionary tale set amid the bold promises and gold-rush frenzy of Silicon Valley.
What are you reading right now? Do you have any non-fiction books on your summer TBR?