What have I read this week?
Goblin Market, The Prince’s Progress, and Other Poems by Christina Georgina Rossetti
This is a collection of poetry.
Romantic, unrequited and sororal love; Virtue; death; nature/spring; female jealousy; God/religion
She sucked and sucked and sucked the more
Fruits which that unknown orchard bore;
She sucked until her lips were sore;
The prudent crocodile rose on his feet
And shed appropriate tears and wrung his hands.
Cousin Kate; Remember; Song (the first two and the fourth of that name); Sister Maude; The First Spring Day; L.E.L; Somewhere Or Other.
Overall I didn’t really like this collection – there were a lot of religious poems, and I’m not religious, so they left me cold. But she has some great turns of phrase, and a sly sense of humour in some of the poems. I wouldn’t read the whole collection again, but might well reread the ones I liked.
How To Destroy The Universe and 34 Other Really Interesting Uses of Physics by Paul Parsons
This is a non-fiction book about physics. It is written in a simple accessible style and covers topics such as earthquakes, hurricanes, how rollercoasters work and faster-than-light travel. I found it a little too basic for me, probably because I read a lot of science books – a lot of the information was already known to me. I would definitely recommend it to people who want to learn more about physics but don’t have much background knowledge. I definitely feel like I learned some stuff from it, so it was worth reading.
Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
This is a short book, collecting two lectures given by Beard in 2014 and 2017. I had not previously read or heard any of her work, although I was peripherally aware of her existence. The basic theme of both lectures was women and how they are excluded from (mostly political) power, the cultural tropes which perpetuate this, and some discussion of the history of that exclusion, tracing particularly from ancient Greek and Roman culture (Beard’s area of expertise). The second lecture also talks a lot about Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as a commentary on the nature of women in power.
Overall I found this book very interesting. It was thought-provoking. It’s also very short, about 100 pages, so it was a quick read.