Telling Her Stories Memoirs reviews

Story Circle Network is sponsoring Telling Her Stories Memoir Challenge, which is to read 4 memoirs written by women between January and April, 2009.
After reading each book, I will be posting a 4-sentence book review.  Here is my tentative list for the project:
1. Dwellings by Linda Hogan
2. Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster
3. Hiking Alone by Mary Beath
4. Walking Nature Home by Susan Tweit
Dwellings by Linda Hogan - posted on January 31, 2009
Dwellings is a book about feathers, bats, wolves, water that is lyrical, easy to access and easy to read. Although I find Hogan's elitist premise that Native People have access to a special connection to the land, I hope that we, her larger audience, are also capable of developing this profound connection to honor our Mother. I enjoy following her as she cares for injured raptors, researches wolves and drinks fresh rain from boulders. With just one line from the book: "our work is our altar", I know this is a worthy piece of writing.
Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster - posted on March 10, 2009

Pretty in Plaid should be read in private, or at least, not on a crowded airplane, or at least, not when sitting at the window seat where access to an aisle to roll in is limited. Somehow the rest of the passengers don't get how funny Jen Lancaster is, when you are splitting a gut while they are too aware that it is still before 8:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning in most American time-zones. Regardless, this memoir of illicit Girl Scout badges, horrific prom decorations, immoral sorority pranks, and intimidating work-place moments is worth the evil glares. Despite the author's insistence that her success lies in solidarity with her readers, I am enthralled with her insights because she is nothing like me.


Hiking Alone: Trails Out, Trails Home by Mary Beath - posted on April 7, 2009

Mary Beath's Hiking Alone: Trails Out, Trails Home is a gift to the world and to the women--and those who love the women--who heed the call of the wild. Though I have hiked thousands of miles alone, I admire Beath's courage in tackling ground I haven't dared cross. Her bold published words reveal a private world of her father's failed ambitions to be a writer, her own struggles in relationships, her tight rope performances dancing between art and science, and her infatuation with her instructor during a wilderness-based vision quest. Beath's prose is like a poem or painting that illuminates the ordinary into pure magic.