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Jan Corson’s “Temperature” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks and Books: February 24, 2021

Jan Corson’s “Temperature” Quilt

One of the projects in our Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild this past year was to make Temperature quilt during the year, starting in January 2020.

Jan Corson sent me pics of her finished Temperature Quilt the other day. And it is quite interesting and engaging.

Jan and I have been exploring methods and patterns in Jacquie Gering’s book WALK, which uses one’s walking foot to quilt. Jan used the information in the book to quilt her Temperature quilt.

The big “reveal” of several ongoing challenges will occur later this month in the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild meeting. So pics of these challenge projects will be on the Mt. Battie Facebook page some time after the reveal.

WALK: Quilting With Your Walking Foot

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Turkey Tracks: February 8, 2021

WALK: Quilting With Your Walking Foot

There are some quilts I make that just don’t want to go on the longarm. A longarm machine quilts side to side, so any kind of long diagonal line, or, even, a straight line that runs down the length of the quilt, would not work well with my machine’s 18-inch throat.

Jacquie Gering’s book WALK comes to the rescue of how to quilt with your walking foot.

Debbie of her A Quilter’s Table blog recommended this book, and you can see her work with this kind of walking foot quilting in so many of the quilts in her gallery.

What I learned immediately is how to figure out exactly where the needle is when the walking foot is installed—so that it is easy to make clear, precise lines AND to echo curves. Some of the quilting designs are just…amazing.

If you read this blog at all you know that I love learning curves—especially quilty learning curves. So, you will not be surprised to learn that I’m going to quilt “My Pips” with curves made with my walking foot.

Written by louisaenright

February 8, 2021 at 9:02 am

RBG: A Life Lived Fully

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Turkey Tracks: September 28, 2020

RBG: A Life Lived Fully

I grew up and married in the days before Ruth Bader Ginsberg began to change the American culture with regard to discrimination of all kinds. I could give you lots of examples of where I was not only “lesser than” the men who formed relationships in my life, but under their thumbs, which meant I was considerably less free than these men were.

Now I’m 75, and I am having a really hard time believing that we have returned to a time where much of what was changed can be made to revert. And, that a solitary white woman who thinks she has the right “truth” might be the fulcrum that makes this reversion possible.

We are all now faced with the power of a minority of white male politicians to change our lives in ways many of us cannot imagine. In the end, I do not think they will be successful, but the burning question is how far away “the end” lies.

Here’s a screenshot of a poem that might have been read at RBG’s funeral service and that holds something different: the power of love to change a culture in ways that are healthy for all human beings.

RBG will be powerfully missed and is powerfully loved by so many people in this country—precisely because she understood the power of love.

Written by louisaenright

September 28, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Curtis Sittenfeld’s Deliciously Wicked and Interesting Books

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Books: August 8, 2020

Curtis Sittenfeld’s Deliciously Wicked and Interesting Books

I totally enjoyed Curtis Sittenfeld’s novel AMERICAN WIFE, which writes an imaginary “history” of Laura Bush and her life with “W.” I’m sure I blogged about it here some years ago.

I just finished listening to RODHAM where Sittenfeld reimagines an alternate life for Hillary Clinton—one in which she does not marry Bill Clinton. The New York Times reviewer liked it, but noted that the novel covers much of Clinton’s life that others have detailed and that Clinton herself has covered in her memoirs. Since I have not read any of this material, I was not bored with the book. On the contrary, I really enjoyed it. Sittenfeld is capable of a deliciously wicked sense of humor. She flays out Bill Clinton repeatedly and holds up Trump for outlandishly funny mocking.

I’ve read SISTERLAND and enjoyed it, but it didn’t really stick with me the way these books on American presidents’ wives has.

I’ve put her ELIGIBLE into my Audible feed. This novel is a rewrite on PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. It should be fun.

There are other Sittenfeld novels as well…

Written by louisaenright

August 8, 2020 at 9:54 am

Books, Documentaries: Michelle Obama’s Memoir, BECOMING

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Books, Documentaries: June 18, 2020

I woke up this morning to the news that yet another young African-American man/boy was found dead—hanging from a tree in California with a rope around his neck.

This news follows news of the past few days that three white policemen in Atlanta found an African American man passed out drunk in a car in a fast-food chain line. They wound up tormenting him, chasing him, shooting him in the back, and not calling for medical help while one stood on his shoulders while he died. When the officers were charged, other Atlanta police called in sick to protest.

Later today, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration did not follow the law when they tried to get rid of the DACA cohort. Trump, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, responded with images of shotgun blasts in people’s faces: “These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives.”

These events are just from the past few days. And I didn’t even cover John Bolton’s book which details even more corruption and lawlessness that the GOP has chosen to ignore and/or facilitate.

I am so exhausted and so sad. I don’t recognize this country any more. The past 3 1/2 years have been hell on earth as EVERYTHING I hold sacred—truth, honor, integrity, service to others, faithfulness—has been…debauched and disappeared.

I, for some reason, about a week ago started listening to Michelle Obama’s memoir BECOMING, and as painfully hard as it to hear in places, I have really enjoyed living in her mind for a bit of time. For one thing, the memoir pulls together her history, the history of her part in Obama’s campaign, and her/their time at the White House. I’m still listening, but I’ve heard enough to think that this book is one that is meant for this moment in time.

I highly recommend it.

Michelle Obama’s Memoir, BECOMING

Written by louisaenright

June 18, 2020 at 6:03 pm

Books: The Scent Keeper, Erica Bauermeister

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Date

The Scent Keeper

Erica Bauermeister

I really enjoyed this book.

It’s lyrical, magical, evocative—altogether a nice read.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/erica-bauermeister/the-scent-keeper/

Written by louisaenright

May 7, 2020 at 12:33 pm

Turkey Tracks: I LOVE BRAIDING SWEETGRASS

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Turkey Tracks:  March 10, 2020

I LOVE BRAIDING SWEETGRASS

 

See that pencil in the fold of this book?

I know that when I get a pencil and start underlining and writing in the text margins that I’ve gotten hold of a book that is making me think, is creating strong emotions, and is engaging me in deeper ways.

BRAIDED SWEETGRASS is that kind of book, and I highly recommend it to you.

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a professor of botany AND a native American.  In this book, she is calling us to think about a blending of the “objective” dictates of western botany science with the native American view that we humans are part of a complex interrelated world of being.  Western botany describes and labels, but Kimmerer, with her enchanting stories, argues that this practice misses the song that plants sing to the world.

Kimmerer’s arguments, told by comparing cultural stories and her lived experiences which are imbued with native American culture, demonstrate how the stories cultures form create and sustain how we act in the world.  Western botany, with its taxonomies, creates “things” that can be owned and controlled, while native American stories place people within the web of all that exists.  With the latter sensibility comes responsibility for the web and a demand for gratitude for all its riches so freely given to us.

I finally understand why native Americans did not seek to own land, but to share it in ways that support both the land and the people who live on it and all that the land supports.  Kimmerer illustrates this principal of strength in shared community with real-world botanical examples.

Today, as humans face how our misuse of the land and its riches has created global warming and terrible poverty for many, maybe it’s time to step back and at least think about the songs other life forms are singing.

Kimmerer’s writing in no way turns its back on science.  In lyrical, beautiful prose she takes modern botany and uses it as a springboard to create a much deeper understanding of how various plants’ relationship to the world relates to her own life experiences and to the specific history of her people.  She asks “why” goldenrod and purple asters bloom together in the fall—and answers in scientific terms that also shows these plants interrelationships with other life forms at this particular season.

I am fascinated with this book.  And, grateful to Kimmerer for her life, her science, and for her writing.

 

PS:  there is an earlier book, GATHERING MOSS, and yes, I will be getting hold of that one as well.

Written by louisaenright

March 10, 2020 at 8:12 am

Turkey Tracks: Celebrating Spring Snow Drops

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Turkey Tracks:   March 9, 2020

Celebrating Spring Snow Drops

The Snow Drops are here—at least in some warm, sunny places.

I have not seem mine yet up here on the hill, but Lion Jerry Stone has some, which gives us all joy.

He celebrated with this message and picture.

Thanks Jerry!

****

February 29, 2020

Fine friends & friendly foe,

Nothing more excites me as March crawls closer to introduce Maine to spring than the precious, plucky snowdrops along the front cellar wall at Bette’s & my modest Camden home. Few things in life attempt “gilding the lily”, for they are themselves already perfect. And so, annually, snowdrops revive my restless soul & poetic pursuit. Enjoy my early spring welcome with picture & poetry.

This Leap Year spring arrives on March 19th.

Blessings to all who hope & dream!

Jerry Stone

 

 

Oh, Brave Snowdrops Now Here!

by Jerry Stone, 2.29.20

 

Oh, gentle & glad surprise!

Oh, now-exposed, perennial plant pals.

Oh, slender & slim, at-risk snowdrops.

Oh, cute cotton swabs just before green flap & flower.

Oh, feeble friends, sneaking up this hardest early hour

In February’s frosty earth this Leap Year Day.

Among snow & stone & lazy tannic leaf you lay.

Oh, surprising bloom, Heaven-sent & hope-filled!

You signal mild winter’s end & salute spring’s slow start.

Oh, modest firstborn, oh, feeble firstling, “lily gild”,

By example, I’m also here, vulnerable but humble in heart.

 

Written by louisaenright

March 9, 2020 at 9:13 am

Documentaries: RBG

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Documentaries:  October 9, 2018

RBG

I watched the other night on Netflix the movie RBG—a documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

As a young woman, newly married and busy with babies, I kind of slept through the time when RBG was working to change laws that discriminated against minorities of many kinds, including men whose wives died leaving them with an infant to raise but who didn’t qualify for federal aid in the way a woman would.  She fought for women to be able to control their own bodies.  She fought for women to receive equal pay with men.  She fought for military women to have the same housing allowances that military men received.    She fought…to educate men blind to the inequalities they supported in a democracy.  She fought to put in place legally what the constitution decreed.  She appeared before the Supreme Court many times, defending these principles.

In 1993, President Clinton nominated her for the Supremes.  She had a 90+ approval vote from the Senate, which included, for instance, Orrin Hatch’s vote.

It’s a fascinating story—one women should see, of course.  But also men.  RBG’s history is American history.

Like her or dislike her, she is an amazing woman.  When I compare her character to Donald Trump’s or Brett Kavanaugh’s, I despair.  Trump uses courts to bully people, and Kavanaugh has never actually tried a case in a courtroom.

Now, the court, which has acquired a partisan majority that is backed by only a minority of the American population, is rolling back a lot of what RBG accomplished for minorities—much of which, I would argue, too many people are taking for granted until they discover what they, personally, have just lost.

So, RBG is reduced to being a dissenting voice on the court.  She is no longer a path setter as we roll ourselves backwards to the place where the wealthy control the levels of power in our country.  RBG can do no more than try to hold firm in her convictions about what is ethical, moral, and just in a democratic society.

This movie is important. There is a docudrama about RBG coming out at Christmas time, but this one is solid.  Take some time to watch it, ok?  It’s available on Netflix, Amazon, and UTube.

Written by louisaenright

October 9, 2018 at 10:05 am

Books: Elizabeth Kostova’s THE SHADOW LAND

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Books:  August 14, 2018

Elizabeth Kostova’s THE SHADOW LAND

 

LOVED Kostova’s THE SHADOW LAND, which is set in Bulgaria–a country the American author loves.

The story takes place in a very fraught period in the country, where corruption and racism/antisemitism run rampant.  Violence, of course, comes with intolerance at the behest of power.  But what is encouraging is the human determination to not be smashed in the process.

An old mystery is unraveled as the plot unfolds–and the core of that mystery is eerie reading in our present American moment of Trumpism and Russian interference in our 2016 election, our democracy, and our society.

The novel is beautifully written.  I downloaded the audio version and listened while I sewed.  I’ve put Kostova’s earlier novel, THE HISTORIAN, on hold and look forward to listening to it.

Here is a review–with which I have to say I do not really agree.  We are in an age of speed, and this novel is not about speeding through the plot to get to the reveal.

https://www.npr.org/2017/04/16/522778257/a-strange-odyssey-through-bulgaria-in-shadow-land

 

Written by louisaenright

August 14, 2018 at 3:29 pm