Articles on this Page
- 03/03/14--16:00: _Celebrate World Rea...
- 03/04/14--07:45: _Women’s History Mon...
- 03/04/14--13:45: _Retro Reads March S...
- 03/05/14--07:00: _Science Fiction Wed...
- 03/05/14--09:46: _Edward Swift: The L...
- 03/05/14--09:53: _Ten Novels Set in C...
- 03/06/14--07:00: _Celebrating Pioneer...
- 03/06/14--22:00: _Friday Tweetstakes:...
- 03/07/14--13:00: _Girl Power: 15 Fict...
- 03/09/14--21:01: _Go Bragh! 11 Crime ...
- 03/10/14--06:00: _Military Monday: Me...
- 03/10/14--06:33: _Fans of Center Stag...
- 03/10/14--11:00: _Five Stories for Purim
- 03/10/14--14:15: _Spring Break Beach ...
- 03/11/14--07:13: _February Retro Read...
- 03/11/14--10:49: _Knitters Unite! A...
- 03/11/14--12:15: _Great Moments in Cr...
- 03/12/14--07:30: _Science Fiction Wed...
- 03/13/14--15:00: _The Luck of the Rea...
- 03/14/14--08:00: _Crime Writers for W...
- 03/03/14--16:00: Celebrate World Read Aloud Day on March 5, 2014
- 03/04/14--07:45: Women’s History Month: #WomenOnWomen
- 03/04/14--13:45: Retro Reads March Selection: Whistle for the Crows by Dorothy Eden
- 03/05/14--07:00: Science Fiction Wednesday: Women in Science Fiction
- 03/05/14--09:46: Edward Swift: The Lone Star
- 03/05/14--09:53: Ten Novels Set in Charming Barcelona
- 03/06/14--07:00: Celebrating Pioneering Crime Writers for Women’s History Month
- 03/06/14--22:00: Friday Tweetstakes: Body Slam by Rex Burns
- 03/07/14--13:00: Girl Power: 15 Fictional Characters to Inspire Young Readers
- 03/09/14--21:01: Go Bragh! 11 Crime Novels for Ireland Enthusiasts
- 03/10/14--06:00: Military Monday: Meet Shake Davis
- 03/10/14--06:33: Fans of Center Stage Will Love Ballerina
- 03/10/14--11:00: Five Stories for Purim
- 03/10/14--14:15: Spring Break Beach Reads
- 03/11/14--07:13: February Retro Reads Roundup
- 03/11/14--10:49: Knitters Unite! A Brief History of Craftivism
- 03/11/14--12:15: Great Moments in Craftivism [Infographic]
- 03/12/14--07:30: Science Fiction Wednesday: Alfred Hitchcock Day
- 03/13/14--15:00: The Luck of the Reader: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
- 03/14/14--08:00: Crime Writers for Women’s History Month: VIDEO
Join the Global Literacy Movement by participating in World Read Aloud Day on March 5! Every year on the first Wednesday in March, LitWorld’s advocacy campaign for the human right of literacy calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories.
World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show that the right to read and write belongs to all people. The campaign motivates children, teens, and adults to celebrate the power of words—especially those that are shared from one person to another—and continues to build a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.
LitWorld and Skype in the Classroom have an official partnership for World Read Aloud Day, featuring connections between wonderful guest readers and classrooms around the world.
By raising our voices together on this day, we show the world’s children that we support their future; that they have the right to read, to write, and to share the words to change the world.
Check out LitWorld’s activity kits for resources, including read-aloud tips, certificates, reading challenges, and more!
Beryl Markham’s classic, engrossing memoir—a triumph of the pioneer spirit and an adventure-charged chronicle of a life lived to the fullest.
Marleneby Marlene Dietrich
A fascinating self-portrait of one of the greatest entertainers of Hollywood’s golden age.
Raquelaby Ruth Gruber
A fascinating look at the early years of Israel’s statehood experienced through the life of a pioneering nurse.
Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck
Pearl S. Buck’s remarkable account of the life of Tzu Hsi, the magnetic and fierce-minded woman from humble origins who became China’s last empress.
Marilynby Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem’s insightful and uniquely sensitive account of Hollywood’s brightest star from the Golden Age.
The Will to Create as a Woman: Virginia Woolf by Ruth Gruber
Gruber’s groundbreaking study of the work and legacy of Virginia Woolf—an enduring feminist analysis pairing two of the twentieth century’s most extraordinary writers.
To the Barricades: The Anarchist Life of Emma Goldmanby Alix Kates Shulman
The story of Emma Goldman, written by a leader of America’s second wave of feminism.
Diane Arbus: A Biography by Patricia Bosworth
The Woman Who Could Not Forget: Iris Chang Before and Beyond The Rape of Nanking by Richard Rhodes and Ying-Ying Chang
Happy March! Winter is slowly loosening its grip and the days are getting slightly longer. Spring looms on the horizon, and it seems that things have gotten, well, a lot greener. That’s right—we’re talking about Saint Patrick’s Day. And though it’s true that these days, most celebrate the holiday by donning green garments and drinking copious amounts of beer, we think the best way to toast all things Irish is by (you guessed it!) picking up a good book.
So in honor of the season, we have a Retro Read that is sure to get you in the spirit. In , Dorothy Eden expertly spins a suspenseful and romantic tale set against the backdrop of an austere Irish castle. When Cathleen Lamb sets out for Dublin to record the history of the mystery-shrouded O’Riordan family, she gets a lot more than she bargained for. She encounters a host of suspicious ephemera—including a darkly passionate suitor who is plotting to control the O’Riordans. But can he protect Cathleen from a past that threatens to ruin her future? Atmospheric and evocative, Eden’s novel offers a bit of romantic suspense with a decidedly Irish twist.
Check back throughout the month for updates from our Retro Readers on this month’s pick and find us on Goodreads in the Retro Readers Group. Or, sign up for our romance newsletter and we’ll send you a monthly roundup of everything romance at Open Road, including Retro Reads updates and info on new releases, bonus content, giveaways, special offers, and more.
Interested in downloading a review copy of Whistle for the Crows? Request one here on NetGalley.
In honor of Women's History Month, we are celebrating powerful voices in science fiction.
“I got a letter that said, ‘We would like to invite you to give the Andrew Lang Lecture,’ and then the kicker came: ‘You would be the first woman to give the lecture,’ ” a surprised Jane Yolen says in this new video featuring female science fiction and fantasy authors. In celebration of Women’s History Month, Yolen joins other prominent authors in the field, such as Ellen Datlow, Elizabeth Hand, Kate Elliott, and N. K. Jemisin, to speak about being women writers, writing female characters, and the role models they look up to.
Edward Swift grew up in the small and humble swampland of Camp Ruby, Texas. His childhood, while difficult, provided him with infinite inspiration for his novels. As a child, Swift recalls his classmates fleeing at the very sight of him. It wasn’t, however, due to the fact that he liked to do ballet in his yard in a green woolen skirt, or because he was terribly poor. It was all thanks to his distinctive family. Swift told Austin Chronicle reporter Clay Smith that his family left him nothing to talk about “except Aunt Coleta’s diatribes on gypsies, the grave of the Mexican baby, and Grandfather urinating on the Christmas tree.”
Swift’s unique family may have hindered his ability to make friends, but it gave him the incredible gift of storytelling. We are thrilled to debut seven of Swift’s acclaimed novels as ebooks for the very first time:
The new librarian in the tiny town of Splendora, Texas, has a big secret. In Edward Swift’s provocative, hilarious first novel, a small town is turned upside down by a new arrival—and a shocking return.
A wide-eyed redhead finds her true calling as a Christian evangelist in a broken-down town in Southwest Texas.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Isaac Overstreet goes looking for a bride and finds Elizabeth “Bessie” Treadway standing in the middle of the Sabine River. Leaving her sisters without explanation, carrying her three pet cranes, Bessie slips into Isaac’s boat and returns with him to Camp Ruby—a tiny backwoods East Texas community too humble to be called a real town. Swift brings us a fable for our time—a wondrous tale of family and community, rich in color and imagination and suffused with everyday magic.
The hilarious chronicle of the McAlister clan, a collection of bickering Southern eccentrics whose family history is a parade of missteps, mishaps, and certifiable insanity.
A misfit collection of wannabes, has-beens, and never-weres, the Christopher Park Regulars gather frequently in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Here they share their hopes, dreams, and memories (and in the case of the abnormally obsessed C.C. Wake, an irrational fear of earthquakes), as they wait to become famous.
Edward Swift indulges readers with a novel unlike anything they have read before, an epic voyage through the outrageous history, real and imagined, of Miss Clarissa Spellbinder. It is a journey that may entail a certain suspension of disbelief—but afterward, the world will look very different.
The Antiquarian by Julián Sánchez
In this gripping historical thriller, the search for a mysterious and powerful object hidden in the heart of Barcelona leads to ambition, desire, love—and murder.
An American in Barcelona: Dr. Pearson, the Man Who Brought Light to Catalonia by Xavier Moret
An inspirational novel of the real-life engineer whose ambitious project to build an electrical grid in Catalonia changed Barcelona forever.
A Barcelona Heiress by Sergio Vila-Sanjuán
A fascinating look into the elegant and turbulent Barcelona of the 1920s, and a historical detective novel—based on real events and characters—that unravels an intricate web of political intrigue and chronicles the end of a dazzling era.
Things That Happen to You in Barcelona When You’re Thirty by Llucia Ramis
On the morning after celebrating her thirtieth birthday in Barcelona, a journalist wakes up to a hangover—and a magician in her bed—and wonders if she’s too old to be living as though she were still twenty years old. In this witty and sharply observed portrait of a generation, lost thirtysomethings grapple with and avoid the responsibilities of adulthood.
Barcelona Skyline by David C. Hall
Elso Bari runs a restaurant in Chicago and moonlights as a private investigator. His debt to a powerful organization obliges him to look into the suspicious death of one of its employees, a man with ties to international art trafficking. The trail leads Elso to Barcelona, where he becomes entangled in the hunt for a female contract killer who uses sex as a weapon—and is too smart to be tracked down by just anybody.
The Street of the Three Beds by Roser Caminals-Heath
In the shady backstreets of late nineteenth-century Barcelona, where nothing is quite what it seems, a prosperous heir’s carefree life is turned upside down when he investigates the mysterious disappearance of his working-class mistress.
Wendolin Kramer by Laura Fernández
Wendolin Kramer is not just any girl. She’s Wondergirl—or so she thinks. She keeps an outfit, complete with a cape, in her wardrobe and waits for Kirk Cameron to answer her letters. Almost thirty years old, she lives with her domineering mother, her henpecked father, and her depressed pink pooch, Earl, in a tiny apartment in post-Olympic Barcelona, running a detective agency from her bedroom.
More Than a Team: A Father, a Son, and Barça by Vicenç Villatoro
The modern-day odyssey of a father and son who are held together by a single thread: Football Club Barcelona.
The Obedient Assassin by John P. Davidson
A dark and riveting tale that reimagines the life and mission of the Spanish nationalist enlisted to murder Leon Trotsky. Based on a chapter of world history and ten years of research, the story of real-life reluctant soldier and killer Ramón Mercader—the obedient assassin—unfolds in this exciting thriller.
You Have to Tell by José Sanclemente
When an influential journalist is brutally murdered in his Barcelona home, the investigation reveals the chilling consequences of the current social media explosion—and a plan that some would go to any lengths to conceal.
Although we think every month should be devoted to celebrating kick-ass women crime writers, March is officially Women’s History Month, so we’re officially devoting ourselves to reading everything we can from these pioneers.
The list of smart, well-written, and fearless mysteries and thrillers by women writers goes on forever, so we’ve done our best to compile a short list of sixteen authors well worth your attention this month. Dorothy L. Sayers, Ruth Rendell, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Mary Roberts Rinehart—these writers are icons in their field, and their works are vital for any serious mystery reader.
Check out the infographic below, or better yet, visit our interactive page to learn more about these women and their works.
Enter for a chance to win a copy of Body Slam by Rex Burns as part of our weekly Friday Tweetstakes.
To learn more about ebook news and deals, follow @OpenRoadMedia.
About the Book:.
Targeted by thugs, a wrestling impresario reaches out to an old friend
When Otto Lidke got a tryout in pro football, he hired a lawyer friend named Jim Raiford to handle his contract. The negotiations were bungled, forcing both men into a career change. Trying to start a pro wrestling circuit in Denver, Lidke runs afoul of the national federation, which does everything it can—legal and otherwise—to stamp out his new venture. When shady business practices escalate into threats on his life, Lidke calls on Raiford, now a private investigator, to dig up some dirt on the men who are trying to put him out of business.
But instead he gets Raiford’s daughter, Julie—a whip-smart sleuth looking to prove she’s every bit as savvy as her father. As Julie and her dad dig into the vicious world of small-time wrestling, they find that though the fights may be fixed, the danger is all too real.
Learn more about the book and watch a video about Rex Burns on the author's page here.
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Celebrate Women’s History Month this March with empowering girl characters from fifteen picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels. Follow the inspirational adventures of these young powerhouses as they display unwavering courage in the face of adversity through many different historical periods.
Are you looking to get into Irish crime fiction? Well, as luck (of the Irish) would have it, now is probably the best time to start. Irish crime fiction has been experiencing an unprecedented boom in recent years. Prominent Irish writers across genres are trying their hands at crime fiction, and many authors previously unknown outside of Ireland are receiving international acclaim. Why the trend, and why the Irish? Is it the fall of the Celtic Tiger? The richness of Ireland’s history coming through in the narrative voice? Or maybe everyone’s wising up to the Emerald Isle being more than drinking and leprechauns? Below are eleven Irish crime titles to help you decide for yourself.
At the age of sixty-two, Chief Inspector Roberts has a daughter who hates him, a wife who cheats, and a steadily emptying bank account. But on London’s dark streets, Roberts and his gleefully brutal partner, Detective Sergeant Brant, are a force to be reckoned with. Together, they look for every police officer’s dream: the White Arrest, a high-profile success that makes up for all their past failures. In The White Trilogy, Ken Bruen details their chases of bizarre and dangerous criminals in hopes of clearing their slates.
One night, in a farmhouse brothel near the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, a pimp takes one of the women for a ride. The car explodes, and in the morning there is nothing left but the pimp’s charred body and a set of footprints in the snow. For Police Inspector Celcius Daly, these footprints are the key, but where did the woman go? Where did she come from? What can be asked in the borderlands between North and South, life and death?
The Westies: Inside New York’s Irish Mobby T. J. English
Written from Mickey Featherstone’s testimony against his gang, The Westies takes an inside look into the mid-1970s heyday of New York’s Irish mob. Author T. J. English paints a fascinating portrait of Jimmy Coonan, charismatic sociopathic leader, and Mickey Featherstone, tortured Vietnam veteran, as together they make sure Hell’s Kitchen is worthy of its name.
The first of Susan Dunlap’s Kiernan O’Shaughnessy Mysteries, Pious Deception introduces the quick-witted Kiernan who, with her experience as a medical examiner, starts a PI service for medically suspicious deaths, where she picks her own cases and charges exorbitant fees. Her latest client? The Roman Catholic Church. A young priest was found hanged, and hoping to avoid scandal, they had bypassed the police to ask for Kiernan’s discretion. But the more secrets she uncovers, the harder it is to keep quiet. After all, if the Spirit moves. . .
Brigit has finally realized her childhood dream of donning the habit, but the plan was to devote her life to God, not her death. When Brigit’s body is found swarming with poisonous water moccasins, ex-FBI investigator Gregor Demarkian is puzzled by two things: Water moccasins are not native to upstate New York, and Brigit died of hemlock poisoning, not the snakes’ venom. In Jane Haddam’s A Great Day for the Deadly, Demarkian will attempt his own miracle by finding justice for the young nun.
Jimmy Dolan is about to learn just how ugly New York politics can get in Thomas Kelly’s The Racket. Jimmy, the mayor’s right-hand man, should have known better than to fight Frankie Keefe. But after hearing one too many cracks about crushing Jimmy’s father in the union election, Jimmy had shoved both the teamster president and his own career to the floor. However, when Jimmy’s father is murdered, it’s time to get back in the campaign game to crush Keefe, but even after years in city hall, Jimmy may not be prepared for this.
Part of Stephen Solomita’s Stanley Moodrow crime series, Forced Entry follows Moodrow into a Jackson Heights housing scheme, where Marek Najowski, a slumlord and a player, teams up with Irish drug kingpin Marty Blanks to buy three sleepy apartment buildings and intimidate its rent-controlled tenants into leaving. But Moodrow, ex-NYPD-turned-PI, isn’t looking to negotiate prices and, as Marek and Marty will learn, doesn’t believe in leaving violence to the criminals.
Once a ruthless hit man and executioner for the IRA, Jack Higgins’ Martin Fallon is haunted by a mistake that led to the explosion of a school bus full of children. But when the sadistic Meehan brothers threaten him, Fallon must agree to one last hit. It isn’t clean; there’s a witness: a priest named Father De Costa. In A Prayer for the Dying, everyone wants the Father dead, but Fallon is determined to protect him, if only for that bit of forgiveness for the blood on his hands.
The first painting to ever move Ben Contini was a Modigliani portrait of a reclining nude woman. Though it scandalized his mother, it inspired Ben to become an artist. Only when his mother dies does Ben realize why Modigliani upset her so much: She had one hidden in her attic. With the help of a mysterious attendee at his mother’s funeral, Ben discovers the painting’s connection to the art thieves of Nazi Germany. Goodbye Again by Joseph Hone details the nude’s strange journey to the Contini attic and the men who would kill to cover her up.
A few years after his father dies on the beat from a stab wound to the throat, Brian Thomas O’Malley Jr. graduates from the police academy. As he rises quickly through the ranks of the NYPD, O’Malley discovers a massive cover-up that may be better left buried, especially when he is raising a family of his own. He resolves to cope with the fallout. . .until a fresh crime brings the plot full circle. In Law and Order, author Dorothy Uhnak poses the question, will the son have to pay for the sins of the father?
Julie is finding success as a reporter when her husband files for divorce and she is sexually assaulted. Forever changed, she decides to uncover her history by searching in Ireland, the last known location of her father. But danger stalks Julie across the Atlantic, where she is caught up in IRA tensions and strange intersections of her past and present. Forget soul-searching—she may have to focus on getting out of Ireland alive in Dorothy Salisbury Davis’s final novel in her Julie Hayes mystery series.
For more on these books, check out the Shake Davis series.
Remember Jody Sawyer? How about Eva, Maureen, and Charlie? Back in Y2K, they were among the most popular faces of the dance world, thanks to the film Center Stage, a cult classic for dancers and fans of all stripes.
A decade passed, and we met Nina and Lily, who duked it out in Black Swan as we cringed at the deadly competition they faced.
But before Center Stage and Black Swan, there was Ballerina: Edward Stewart’s acclaimed novel that follows two young women into the cutthroat world of professional dance.
Now, for the first time, this classic novel is available as an ebook, bringing it to a new generation of readers around the world.
Publishers Weekly called Ballerina“the quintessential ballet novel, long overdue . . . Fun, bitchy, gossipy, and, finally, dead serious in its understanding of what being in ballet is all about.”
It’s not everyday that Publishers Weekly calls a book “bitchy.” But in the case of Ballerina, it’s apt; this is a story about two teenage dancers and one chance to make it.
Stephanie Lang and Christine Avery meet in ballet school. Although they share the same dream—to become great dancers—they could not be more different. Ballet is in Stephanie’s blood; her mother, Anna, is a former dancer who lives to see her daughter achieve the fame she herself never attained. Christine has lived a sheltered life, secure in the love of her family. (But her privileged upbringing conceals a devastating secret.)
Stewart’s story is so en pointe (forgive the pun) that the Boston Globe wrote, “Ballerina bears the same relationship to the world of dance as The Godfather does to the Mafia.” That’s no small thing.
From the thrill and terror of auditions through years of meticulous training to landing a coveted spot in a professional company, Stephanie and Christine relentlessly pursue their ambitions. As they give their all to dance, they become inseparable—until they are torn apart by their passion for the same man, a brilliant Russian dancer whose seductive, mercurial temperament will have unforeseen consequences for them all. (Doesn’t it remind you of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s role as Russian defector and ladies’ man in the 1977 film The Turning Point?)
If you like stories about dancers, read Ballerina. (And watch all of the aforementioned films if you haven’t seen them, and tell us about your other favorite books and movies about dancers in the comments!)
As children gear up for Purim and choose costumes, make sure to include books in their fun too! These stories educate young readers on the history of the holiday, and celebrate the fun traditions such as baking hamantaschen and making noise with groggers!
Sammy Spider’s First Purim by Sylvia A. Rouss
When Sammy Spider sees Josh cutting out fabric for a costume and spies Mrs. Shapiro baking hamantaschen, he wants to help Josh get ready for Purim. Instead, he gets stuck inside a grogger! How will he escape? Make your own grogger and make some noise with Sammy Spider!
Purim is a topsy-turvy time, even on the farm. The animals decide to stage a Purim play, and Chicken assigns the parts. Blushing Duck is Queen Esther, Silly Horse is Ahashuerus, and Bearded Goat is Mordechai. But when they try to transform Shy Little Sheep into mean-looking Haman, something unexpected happens!
The Purim story has never been more fun! This lavishly rhyming tale is a wonderful read-aloud book, and its color-coded dialogue is perfect for Reader’s Theater performances.
It seems Naomi’s mother has forgotten her birthday, but delivering Purim treats to the neighbors brings Naomi something special.
In the fifth installment of this popular holiday series, preschoolers dress up and act out the story of Purim, make groggers (noise makers) and hamantaschen (three-cornered cookies), and deliver shalach manot (Purim treats).
Visit the Kar-Ben blog for more crafts and activities perfect for the home or classroom.
With an especially long winter in the rearview mirror (hopefully), many travelers are taking to the friendly skies this month in search of a sandy spot where they can thaw out. Spring Break season has come once again, and whether you’re staying home to wait for warmer weather or tacking miles onto your frequent flier account, we’ve got a few suggestions for perfectly light beach reads to get you in a vacation state of mind—and what’s more convenient than traveling with your ereader?
The perfect antidote to the winter blues, this story of a fateful meeting of a single father and a beautiful—but lonely—blonde, is set against a seaside backdrop. But will her secrets prove too large for the fledgling romance?
Famous author Hermione Beldame has no idea that her summer in the Hamptons is going to change her life forever. After divorces, affairs, and failed relationships, she’s about to discover an erotic longing she’s never known, thanks to a mysterious journalist named George.
When Susan is left a beach house by the death of an older man, a rivalry begins with his son, David. David assumes that Susan is a vulture, after his father’s money, and Susan cannot stand him. But when they are stranded in the house by a storm, the two come to terms with a much different, more amorous, reality.
There’s nothing better than a sizzling short read on the beach. This bundle of three tales from Cosmopolitan, the authority on all things sexy, is the perfect option for short and sweet (and sultry) stories, sure to keep you turning the page.
April’s pilgrimage to romantic Venice is off to a rocky start when she arrives and suddenly has nowhere to stay. Enter Hayden, April’s biggest high school crush, now coincidentally a diplomat there. She quickly falls for him as he shows her around the city—but is he too good to be true?
There are two types of people in this world: those who lament February’s arrival, and romantics. Cupid’s month brings an onslaught of candy hearts, spontaneous affection, and general warmth in the otherwise frigid (ahem, more snow?) air.
So, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s season, we thought, than with a Retro Reads pick filled with passion, suspense, and life-changing love? The obvious choice, Marilyn French’s The Bleeding Heart, sounded like the perfect blend of drama, romance, and passion, and elicited lively conversation from our Retro Readers.
Julie reflected on the original time of publication (1980) and its effect on the book’s discussion of gender—especially how the perceived roles shape the trajectory of the relationship between Dolores and Victor. Lila reacted similarly to the book’s intensity, noting that it forced her to “think and feel deeply,” and calling the novel “enlightening.”
For March, we’re getting into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit with a romantic suspense pick, Whistle for the Crows by Dorothy Eden. Set against the austere backdrop of an old Irish castle, this tale is a perfect mix of dark thrills and irresistible romance.
Check out our Retro Reads Goodreads group to see these reviews, related videos, and our ongoing discussion.
Want to become a Retro Reader? Learn more about the programhere.
Did you know that American women have used their knitting, crafting, and sewing skills to make political statements for over two hundred years? “Craftivism” continues to be a unique way for creative people to take a stand. We salute these crafters’ accomplishments in honor of Women’s History Month!
Revolutionary War: Women use “spinning bees” as a place to gather and exchange political ideas while knitting and sewing. The Daughters of Liberty organization holds knitting contests to encourage fellow American women to boycott British textiles and make their own instead.
World War II: American women knit helmet liners for soldiers. A war effort poster encourages women to “Remember Pearl Harbor, Purl Harder.”
1960s: Canadian group Voice of Women for Peace protests the war by knitting camouflage baby clothes and sending them to Vietnam.
1990s: Artists like Magda Sayeg and Bill Davenport of Houston popularize crocheted sculpture in the South, inspiring a new era of “yarn bombing” and “yarn graffiti.” The male-dominated street-art scene gets a feminist makeover as yarn bombing sweeps the nation.
2002: The War on Terror ignites anti-capitalist sentiment among some knitters. The Revolutionary Knitting Circle of Canada stages a “knit-in” to protest during the G8 Summit. Activist Cat Mazza leads a five-year project in which crafters from around the world contribute to a knitted petition against Nike’s labor practices.
2003: Writer Betsy Greer coins the term craftivism. Her definition: “Craftivism is a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper & your quest for justice more infinite.”
2006: Yarn bombing goes global, most famously when Danish knitter Marianne Jørgensen protests the Iraq War by displaying a tank covered in a pink knitted cozy.
2014: Climate-change activists turn to knitting to make a statement. Australia’s Knitting Nanas and Iowa City’s 100 Grannies for a Livable Future are just two of the groups staging knit-ins for environmental causes.
Want to learn more? Download these ebooks on crafting communities & activism.
According to Stephen Rebello, author ofAlfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, "Hitchcock made his most career-redefining film Psycho in part out of frustration when the suave, more traditionally Hitchcockian suspense thriller he was scheduled to make starring Audrey Hepburn and Laurence Harvey fell apart after months of expensive script preparation, casting, location scouting and costume and set design."
Ready for more little-known facts about the iconic filmmaker? Head over to Neatorama for Rebello's "Five Things You Didn't Know About Alfred Hitchcock," or check out Psychology Today's "Showering with Psychos." And the book reviewing community hasn't missed out on the celebration: Good Choice Reading, Nymfaux, Bookworm1858, Gotham Gal, and One Day at a Time have all marked the day with reviews and re-reviews. Everything's coming up Hitchcock!
Stephen Rebello is a screenwriter, journalist, and the author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, which has been bought by Paramount Pictures and The Montecito Picture Company for production as a dramatic feature film. Get more Hitchcock news from Rebello on Twitter at @HitchandPsycho and Facebook.
Which Hitchcock film will you be watching tonight?
From picture books to young adult novels, there’s something for everyone to enjoy reading this St. Patrick’s Day. Encounter mythological heroes and modern-day Irish teens in characters and stories that span centuries. We hope you’ll feel lucky this St. Paddy’s with so many choices!
Blast to the Past:
The Green Hero by Bernard Evslin: Journey to the mythological past and meet Finn McCool, the greatest Irish folk hero of all time. Learn about McCool’s early years, when he fights off bad luck, falls in love, and exercises his gift of Celtic wit in this middle-grade read.
Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola: Delve into a beautifully illustrated history of Saint Patrick for young readers. Discover how he lands in Ireland and is captured by bandits, and watch as his dreams lead him down a new spiritual path.
Fin M’Coul, the Giant of Knockmany Hill by Tomie dePaola: In this ALA Notable Children’s Book, Fin M’Coul’s cunning wife saves him from the most feared giant in Ireland. Enjoy this colorful picture book and unearth the legend of Fin, his wife Oonagh, and the dreaded Cucullin.
The Blue-Eyed Son Trilogy—Mick, Blood Relations, and Dog Eat Dog—by Chris Lynch: Enter the world of fifteen-year-old Mick, an Irish American living in Boston who must grapple with racism, an alcoholic brother, and loyalty to his Irish community. The second book continues to address issues of violence and bigotry, while the final installment explores revenge and dog-fighting. This young adult series is gritty, yet full of hope.
When Love Comes to Town by Tom Lennon: Take a trip to Dublin to witness Neil Byrne’s coming-of-age story, in which he summons the courage to express his true self. A popular rugby player at school, Neil struggles with revealing and embracing his sexuality.
“I don’t get to sit here today and talk to you about what I do if it weren’t for a lot of female writers who came before me who decided that they were not going to shut up.” —Laura LippmanIn this new video celebrating Women’s Mystery Month, Lippman joins other trailblazing female mystery authors, such as Susan Isaacs, Ruth Rendell, and Susan Dunlap, in speaking about their experiences breaking ground in a boys’ club.