500 Great Books By Women: A Reader's Guide, is a wide-ranging and
articulate guide to books by women authors from around the world and throughout
history. This unique resource is co-authored by Erica Bauermeister, who has
taught at the University of Washington and Antioch University; Holly Smith, the
manager of an independent bookstore for over ten years; and Jesse Larsen, a
working-class artist and writer now living in Vermont. Joining them are thirty
other lovers of words -- from engineers to teachers to mothers to artists --
women writing about books that touched their lives. Each 200-250 word annotation
is written to give the reader a sense of the book's style and content. The
annotations are organized by theme with seven cross-reference indexes. From the
13th century novel/diary of Lady Nijo to contemporary works by Toni Morrison,
Nadine Gordimer, Isabelle Allende and Diane Ackerman, 500 Great Books By
Women offers a world of reading to all.
The Bloomsbury Review
[E]clectic but thorough...500 Great Books by Women will be a
resource for teachers, educators, and book clubs, but it is also for anyone who
loves great books.
Meets the needs of the browser as well as the special-interest
reader...the recommendations are inviting and the freshest picks sound truly
New Orleans Times
This lively and entertaining annotated book list would be a perfect gift
for any book group member.
The Los Angeles Times
Even avid readers may be astonished at the breadth of works presented by
Bauermeister, Smith and Larsen...A sense of celebration comes through in the
light, swift prose.
Although this work is a welcome addition to the numerous bibliographies
pertaining to women, it is not without flaws. First, the compilers' decision to
include only in-print works results in a distorted picture of good books by
women. Only 51 of the titles included were published before 1900, while more
than half were published between 1980 and 1993. Because the status of being in
print is ever-changing, it would have been better to list works based on their
merits and let users rely on their libraries for copies of out-of-print works.
Secondly, the compilers themselves note that they make no claim to
objectivity, and this seems particularly evident in their nonfiction
selections, which appear to have been chosen with a bias toward works about
women or women's issues.
Kathryn Cullen-Dupont,coauthor of Women's Suffrage in America
Imagine an unhurried afternoon spent browsing among the best possible
selection of books by and about women. Imagine further that you're with friends
who take the time to browse along with you, occasionally murmur over a prized
find, 'you must read this' or 'I loved this book because...' Then buy this book,
fix yourself a cup of tea, and enjoy.
Mothers will find a hopeful antidote to depression, eating disorders, self-destructive behavior and other problems facing adolescent girls. Most important, The Mother-Daughter Book Club shows that reading, learning and spending time together helps girls build self-esteem.
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