Jo's Eclectic Holiday Picks
LETTERS TO CAMONDO, Edmund de Waal, Memoir/history, 2021, hardcover, $28.00
Ceramicist Artist Edmund De Waal's previous book, The Hare with Amber Eyes, traced his inheritance of wood and ivory carvings, hidden from the Nazis. His new book, Letters to Camondo, is a haunting sequence of imagined letters to the Count de Camondo – the owner of a Parisian palace filled with beautiful objects, turned into a museum and memorial for his son, killed in WWI. His fabulously wealthy ancestors acquired priceless art and tried to assimilate into French society, but the Nazis - and many of their countrymen - ravaged their collections, and his family. An entrancing, imaginative and, finally, tragic memoir.
BELIEVING, OUR THIRTY-YEAR JOURNEY TO END GENDER VIOLENCE, Anita Hill, nonfiction, hard cover, 2021, $30.00. October 11, 2021, marked the 30 year anniversary of Brandeis Professor Anita Hill’s testimony at the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Clarence Thomas, when she was 35 years old. Hill addresses violence and victimhood of all kinds, not just sexual harassment. “I view bullying, domestic violence in relationships, and even school shootings as relating to gender-based violence. I do this because victims and survivors for years have said that these behaviors are connected,” she said. Believing is about how we can and should change, as a society.
PLAIN BAD HEROINES, Emily Danforth, fiction, paperback, 2020, $17.99. A gothic/horror/comedy set at a cursed girls’ boarding school in Rhode Island, the story begins in 1902, then jumps ahead 100 years. A truly original and absorbing delight for the long winter nights ahead. The many illustrations by graphic artist Sara Lautman delight the eyes, as the tale enshrouds the reader.