Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Currently reading

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce. This book was both fascinating and disturbing. I wonder how those inside the Christian patriarchy movement would evaluate the book. It's definitely not boosterism, but it's also not a simplistic denunciation either.

The Weaker Vessel: Woman's Lot in Seventeenth-Century England by Antonia Fraser. A great read. Each chapter is self-contained and can be read by itself.

Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman. The movie Duchess is entertaining but I think the book is better--because it's real life, not Hollywood's simplified version of the Duchess of Devonshire. And if you're in the mood for a good documentary about one of her peers, Marie Antoinette, watch Marie Antoinette: A Film by David Grubin. Who knew that political cartoons played such a central role in the downfall of Marie Antoinette & Louis XVI?

Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America by Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-gooden. Just started the book, no comments yet.

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez and Kristin Ohlson. Haven't got to this one yet...

Permission to Mother: Going Beyond the Standard-of-Care to Nurture Our Children by Denise Punger. Dr. Punger kindly sent me a copy for my lending library and I've been enjoying re-reading it. (I purchased the e-book a few years ago).

And a shout-out to a few other books that I've enjoyed in the recent past:

The Food of Love: The Easier Way to Breastfeed Your Baby by Kate Evans. Love love love her cartoons and drawings and writing. As long as you keep in mind that it's written by a mum for moms, not as a technical breastfeeding advice book (although it does have great technical information), you will love it. It will make you laugh and cry and laugh again.

Who's Your Mama?: The Unsung Voices of Women and Mothers edited by Yvonne Bynoe. Mothers from all walks of life talk about what it's like. The stories were definitely picked for their diversity and their distance from mainstream mothering experiences.


  1. I just wrote about Michelle Duggar being pregnant with her 19th (!) child. She is a member of the Quiverfull religion (?). I would love to read the history of this movement. Thanks for the book recommendations.

  2. I'd be interested to read more of your thoughts when you finish the Quiverfull book. I saw it advertised on another site and was interested in it (the site I was looking at was a "formerly Quiverfull" site/blog. Apparently there are several sites like that...


  3. That Quiverfull book looks very interesting. I wish my library had these sorts of books to check out. I loved the Kabul Beauty School book--it only took me one evening to read it, but it was one of those books you always keep in the back of your mind and think back about from time to time, know what I mean?

  4. Only 2 of these were from my local library--the rest were ILLs.

  5. I've just been reading Writing Motherhood by Lisa Carrigues and am finding it be a very accessible and interesting book about how to write about motherhood experiences. It's making me feel very motivated (amnd making it seem fun and doable) to do some actual writing about motherhood. I'd love to hear what you think of it, should you choose to read it.

  6. I've been wanting to read Quiverfull for a while - this reminds me to check the library! I'm curious whether you're reading it because of, or are aware of, the UC movement related to Quiverfull. A friend in religious studies forwarded me this link: I'm curious to know if you've encountered any of these moms in UC communities. To me, it seemed like a clear way that the cult-y aspects of some UCers can be incorporated into actual cult (or cult-like) movements.

    (BTW, I forwarded him back a link to your thesis so he could see that there's more sides to UC.)

  7. publichealthdoula--I never came across any women who explicitly said they were affiliated with any kind of Quiverfull movement, but then again I wasn't asking that question specifically. I gave Carol Balizet's book "Born in Zion" a lengthy footnote. I didn't include her book in my mention of the various strains of UC thought--and perhaps I should have--but instead wrote a long footnote explaining the basis of her ideas and mentioning that they don't seem very prevalent in contemporary online conversations about UC. This is something I'd like to delve into more deeply for my book revision. Not just Quiverfull, but the intersection of religion & UC in general.

    And that article, and all the other ones related to it, is a huge case of blog telephone. That mother's case has been used to demonize UC, to demonize midwifery, to support UC (since she survived a condition that has a 50% fatality rate even in hospitals), etc. And so much of it is hearsay--someone reading a blog about it, writing an article on another blog, then another blogger or journalist writing their article based on the earlier blogs...and on it goes. Anyway more later, need to go.


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