Monday, March 2, 2009

My Little Red Book edited by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff (a review & giveaway)

My Little Red Book edited by Rachel Kauder NalebuffWhen I started reading My Little Red Book, a collection of women’s stories about their first periods edited by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, I initially felt mildly disappointed because many of the stories seemed too short and, well, too ordinary somehow, not “literary” enough. And yet by the time I finished the book I felt moved to tears (and inspired to write about and reflect on my own experiences of menstruation). Covering some 90 years of women’s history (from 1916 to 2008) and including 92 essays and poems by women from all walks of life, the power of this anthology is not so much in the individual stories—although many of them are powerful in their own right—but rather in their collective impact. From funny to heart-rending, embarrassing to empowering, each of these stories illuminates what is, after all, a “momentous occasion” (as Nalebuff put it) in every woman’s life.

Highlights of this book for me were: “Hot Dog on a String, 1993” by Ellen Devine, who writes about witnessing something sacred as a child; “Ink Blots and Milk Spots, 1987,” an imaginative retelling of first blood by Krista Madsen; “The Simple Vase: Part I, 1997” and “The Simple Vase: Part II, 1997,” two versions of the same event written by mother and daughter Laura and Rebecca Wexler; “Blood Month, 1979” by Sandra Guy, who writes poignantly about growing up without her sister; and “Twelve-Step Program, 1946” by Marcia Nalebuff (the editor’s grandmother), a touching piece about a grandmother saying exactly the right thing.

Other reviewers have suggested this anthology is particularly good for preteens and mothers of preteens; while I wouldn’t disagree, I would add that My Little Red Book is likely to be of interest to all women.

Thank you to Hachette for sending me this book to review.
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My Little Red Book is on blog tour throughout the month of March. Visit these other blogs for reviews, giveaways, interviews and guest posts:

Marta’s MeanderingsAt Home with BooksB&b ex librisZensanityMarjolein ReviewsWrite for a ReaderCafe of DreamsBrimful CuriositiesWendy’s Minding SpotBook Bargains & PreviewsBookopolisWorducopiaMs. BookishBooks in Every RoomThe Epic RatReading with MonieThe Book Lady’s BlogCarol’s Notebook
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Would you like to win a copy of My Little Red Book? In honour of Women’s History Month, Hachette has generously offered to send five copies of the book to my readers. The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only (no P.O. boxes). I will accept entries until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Monday, March 30.

Since March is Women’s History Month, for one entry, leave a comment here and mention one of your favourite female historical figures. (If you want, you can also tell me why she’s one of your favourites).

For another five entries, become a follower of my blog or subscribe to my blog through Google Reader (or equivalent). If you are already a follower or subscriber, let me know and you will still get the five extra entries. (Please do not comment that you are a follower five times! I will tabulate each person’s entries separately.)

Please be sure to provide me with a way of getting in touch with you. Entries without a blog link or email address will be disqualified.

Best of luck and happy Women’s History Month!

62 comments:

  1. I saw a documentary about women and menstruation and it had me rolling on the floor laughing. What I thought would be an uncomfortable subject was in fact hilarious! I can't remember the name of it but this book reminds me of it.

    thereedfamily[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  2. Avis, I didn't think this book would interest me, but your reviewed has made me want to read it. I'm especially impressed that it inspired you to write and reflect on your own experiences!

    So, yes, I'd like to be entered in the drawing (and follow you in Google Reader).

    One of my favorite female historical figures? Eleanor Roosevelt!

    dawn [at] sheistoofondofbooks [dot] com

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  3. I would like to enter your draw. It sounds like a very interesting book.

    One of my favourite women was Georgia O'keefe. In her life, no matter what, she was always steadfastly devoted to her art and her independence before all else.

    Put me down for six entries.

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  4. Hey, already a follower.
    I have no clue about a favorite female historical figure. Eleanor Roosevelt.

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  5. I'm going to have to read this, I think, because I can't get my brain around the concept. Why would anyone want to write (or read) about this?

    Anyway, no need to enter me 'cause I've got a PO Box AND a TBR stack that's just too big. I'm trying to shrink it, with very very bad results. Very bad. It's a disgrace.

    So thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book, where hopefully you'll get lots of new friends who don't have my TBR problem.

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  6. Susanna Wesley - she was the mother of John and Charles Wesley, and of seven daughters who are often not mentioned, as daughters don't matter, you know. But Susanna educated and shaped John & Charles both, and John became the founder of my denomination, United Methodism, which is hugely focused on issues of social justice and open theology. Due, largely, to Susanna.

    Aerinblogs AT aol DOT com (but you knew that, didn't you?!!!)

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  7. +5 entries! I'm now following!

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  8. Favorite historical woman, huh? Mmm...this is kind of hard actually. I don't really have one. Joan of Arc is one I always think of for these type of questions.

    -Lauren
    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

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  9. I'm now following. :)

    -Lauren
    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

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  10. I saw this on LT and would love to win a copy! Favorite historical figure...I guess I don't really have one. There's not one person or time period that I've been drawn to.

    I also follow :)

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  11. I'm a follower^^ As for historical figure.. One I've learned about, and liked, was Juana La Loca. I felt so bad for her by the time I finished the book.
    Thanks! lpmccann(at)gmail.com

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  12. One of my favorite female historical figures is Mary Wallstone Craft. She was one of the early feminists who began to speak out on the rights of women.

    Also, I am a follower.

    Valorie
    morbidromantic@gmail.com

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  13. Rani Laxmi Bai (Jhansi ki Rani) is my fav historical women figures. She was in our Indian History Books. Its her courage and valour that makes us proud of our Indian Women so much. If you google her, you will find info on her.

    Pls count me in for this. Also i am subscribed to you with email keyomikothari@gmail.com

    thanks.

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  14. One of my favorite female historical figures would have to be Betty Friedan. The Feminine Mystique is just too awesome not to mention. :)
    And, also, I already follow you via Google Reader.

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  15. Pick just one favorite female historical figure? Jane Austen for writing novels great enough to be read still and to be made into so many different movies and TV series. It's impressive how much of an impact she still has on our culture!

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  16. Please enter me in this contest. Ever since I saw mention of this book in January, I've been dying to read it.
    A favorite female hero of mine is Elizabeth Stanton for her suffrage work.

    I have loyally been reading your blog for the last 3 months.

    aprilperlowski@yahoo.com

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  17. The first time I heard about this book, I rolled my eyes at the very idea. Then I saw mention of it again and it got me thinking. By the third time I read something about it, I'd decided I would definitely like to read it. And you're review has me convinced I should give it a try. So, please enter me!

    My favorite historical figure is Eleanor Roosevelt. Not very original, I know, but her strength and life story have always interested me.

    I am already a subscriber to your blog through Google Reader. :-)

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

    literaryfeline(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. I have always admired Amelia Earhart.

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

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  19. Wow - what an interesting premise for a book! Great review, Avis.

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  20. Hey there, new follower of your blog here! This sounds like a fabulous book, and I'm thrilled to find out that March is Women's History month. I would have to choose Margaret Atwood as one of my favourite female figures, although I'm not sure if she's classified as historical. She is brilliant and a Canadian pioneer for women's equality. Thanks for entering me in the draw. booksnakereviews[at]gmail[dot]com
    Happy Reading!

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  21. One of my favorite female historical figures is Bella Abzug! Read about this outspoken woman here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bella_Abzug

    I am a follower in google reader.

    savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

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  22. I'd love to be included in the drawing of this book.

    My favorite female figure would be Queen Esther. Yes, the one from the Bible. She seem to have the right amount of bravery and grace and intelligence. What's not to like?

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  23. I would love to win this book!

    A female historical figure I admire would be Anne Frank

    purplg8r@aol.com

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  24. One of my favorite historical figures is Catherine the Great...what an interesting lady!

    I'm also now a follower!

    Thanks for the contest,
    Cheers,
    julie.sherritt[at]gmail[dot]com

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  25. Ooh, count me in please! I've been trying to get my hands on this book for forever. :) One of my favorite female historical figures is Harriet Jacobs, she who hid for years and years in a tiny attic space in order to escape slavery.

    I'm following you now!

    stephxsu at gmail dot com

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  26. Favorite historical figure would be...lately, Harriet Tubman. :)

    I have your blog linked from mine, if that counts. That's how I check my favorite book blogs every few days. :)

    stephaniedekeyser (at) gmail dot com

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  27. No need to enter me. I blogged about your giveaway here:

    http://teddyrose.blogspot.com/2009/03/this-weeks-giveaways-galore.html

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  28. I think I'd enjoy this book!

    Favourite female historical figure?

    Anne Bolyn





    I'm now a follower!!

    Thanks

    nancyrobster@gmail.com

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  29. Eleanor Roosevelt

    I follow your blog on googlereader.

    kolists a/t gmail do/t com

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  30. Eleanor Roosevelt.
    I'm a follower.

    bball11kt@sbcglobal.net

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  31. Rosa Parks

    I'm a follower:)

    bridget3420(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  32. I wasn't sure I'd want to read this, but you've sold me on it. My favorite historical figure is Emily Dickinson. I'm also a follower and a subscriber!

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric
    diaryofaneccentric at hotmail dot com

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  33. I very much enjoyed reading the many stories in this book. Very worthwhile read and I would also recommend it for all women! Please don't enter me in your contest. Thanks for mentioning my review and giveaway at Brimful Curiosities

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  34. fave female historical figure is anne frank. she inpires me
    theodoragroger@yahoo.com

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  35. This book interests me to have in my home with 4 lovely daughters...2 of which their lovely monthly friend shall appear soon. ;)

    Favorite Historical Woman figure? Hmmm... I do not really have one but the one woman who does come to mind instantly is Esther. I just love the book of Esther - she shows such faith, courage and obedience all with elegance and grace.

    I now follow your blog via Google Reader.

    ibeeeg(at)gmail(dot)com

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  36. One of my favourite female historical figures would be Mary, Mother of Jesus.
    Please enter my name in your draw.
    Thanks!
    wandanamgreb AT gmail DOT com

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  37. I would say that Helen Keller is one of my favorite women from history - such perseverance and grace in such difficulty.

    I follow you in Google Reader!

    nnjmom at yahoo dot com

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  38. One of my favorite female historical figures would be Queen Esther for her bravery and courage up against such terrifying odds!

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  39. Favourite historical woman? Laura Secord.

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  40. My favorite historical figure: Lady Jane Grey. So much promise, and such tragic circumstances!

    teabird 17 @ yahoo dot com

    I follow you on Bloglines!

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  41. My favorite is the Bronte sisters. I know there are three of them but they are my favorite

    jenny.3.C@gmail.com

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  42. I've wanted to read this. Favorite historical woman? I like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

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  43. with 5 girls, I think I really need to win this book :)

    Esther is one of my favorite women in history!

    stampedwithgrace at cox dot net

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  44. My favourite female historical figures tend to have been royalty, whether it be queens, Egyptian royalty, Helen of Troy (not necc. royalty but you get the idea). Thanks for this contest!

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  45. My favourite female historical figures tend to have been royalty, whether it be queens, Egyptian royalty, Helen of Troy (not necc. royalty but you get the idea). Thanks for this contest!

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  46. One of my favorite historical figures comes from the music industry. Ella Fitzgerald was a path blazer and amazing singer in a time when crossing the color lines in music was hard to do. I love to listen to the numerous recordings of hers that I have and I can even sound like her when I sing standards.
    Please throw my name in your hat for this drawing.

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  47. I would love to win one of these! I am a follower and I am also posting about this on my blog! Probably a favorite woman from history for me would be Queen Elizbeth..the first one ;-)
    Thanks!
    castellanoamy@yahoo.com

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  48. Wow, great book. I have four girls! Two teenagers and two to follow! One of my two teenagers has started her friend but the other hasn't, soon I'm sure! But I think this would be a great read for us! I also just became a follower of you! Thanks!

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  49. I can't believe I haven't entered this..but if I did, I am sorry as I checked but may have missed my name...I think I said Rosa Parks but maybe that was elsewhere?

    I did want to congratulate you on your award for AT HOME WITH BOOKS Alyce...you deserve it..great blog!

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  50. I would have to say Virginia Wolfe or Sylvia Path.

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  51. my favorite female historical person would have to be Sally Ride, great accomplishments all to have it ended to early, Great review, Please enter me
    barbmccrea at hotmail.com

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  52. margaret thatcher (sp)...she's a very intelligent woman

    jdmimi at gmail dot com

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  53. I would like to enter my name in the giveaway. I know she wasn't a great woman in history, but to the females in my neighborhood, Rosie, was tops. Grocery stores were on every corner in our neighborhood, but Rosie was the only woman who owned and ran hers. The minute you walked into her store (once a month), you didn't have to utter a word. She looked at you, went to the back of store, and made sure you had a large paper bag, so none of the guys would know what you were carrying. Silly really, they always knew.

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  54. Elanor Roosevelt is one of my favorite women. She revamped the idea of a First Lady to show that she doesn't just have to pick out china for the White House, but rather be a full partner.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  55. Enter me in your giveaway please.

    One of my faves historical figures: Anne Boleyn (I enjoy reading about her a lot)

    I'm also following.
    Nely
    nelaine(dot)sanchez(at)gmail(dot)com

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  56. Ooops....forgot to leave my e-mail address.

    cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT com

    Thank you!!!

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  57. this sounds like such a good book. I'd love to read it!

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  58. I would love to read this book.

    I follow your blog.

    Vanessa
    gypsyrover21@yahoo.ca

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  59. Jacqueline Kennedy is my favourite.

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  60. Thank you to everyone who entered this giveaway! I will announced the winners in the next couple of days. Thank you, also, for sharing your favourite female historical figures with me, many of which I hadn't heard of before. Happy Women's History Month!

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