A cartoon from The Food of Love
Heloise & Abelard: A New Biography by James Burge. A gripping read so far. Here's the description from Publishers Weekly:
The romance of Héloïse and Abelard remains one of the greatest love stories of all time—one of forbidden love; the eventual lifelong separation of the lovers, cloistered in a monastery and convent; and the vengeful castration of Abelard by Héloïse's uncle. More tantalizingly, we know of the affair only from eight surviving letters between the couple. But British Sunday Independent columnist Burge draws on 113 recently translated letters that have been attributed to the lovers. Based on all of these letters, Burge analyzes the feelings and states of mind of the correspondents, and he can be a bit pedantic at times. But who can fail to be moved by the passion expressed in the letters? "Even during the celebration of the Mass," Héloïse famously wrote, "when our prayers should be purest, lewd visions of the pleasures we shared take... a hold on my unhappy soul...." Burge relates Abelard's theological struggles with the medieval Church, especially with the powerful Cistercian leader Bernard of Clairvaux. Unlike in previous biographies, Héloïse emerges as a leader, too, in her role as abbess of the Paraclete, which she developed into a substantial institution. A complex woman, she sought a unified sense of self that would incorporate both her sexuality and her religious faith. Readers new to this medieval drama will be drawn to this vivid account.Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. I never knew dead bodies could be so interesting!
Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks. Really fascinating, and each chapter can be read independently of the others. I have perfect pitch (also called absolute pitch) and I enjoyed reading up more about this variation (abnormality?) of the human brain.
Dio's waking up and wants to nurse--so that's all I have time to list for now!