The Draig’s Woman

Lisa Dawn Wadler

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I love me a time slip novel, and this one has a hot Scot and a kick-ass heroine. Using her mad martial arts skilz, she rescues the hero from the bad guys, then helps him manage his money using her accounting knowlege. What’s not to like?

This book was pleasant and pleasantly forgettable. Oh, BTW, Draig is the name of his clan, and he is known as The Draig since he is head of the clan. Don’t know why the title is in all lower-case letters.

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The Paid Companion

Amanda Quick

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Elenora Lodge is in a fix. She is suddenly penniless and friendless. Her gentle upbringing has made her unsuited for work other than that of a paid companion. Unfortunately her intelligence and independence also make her unsuitable for that.

The Earl of St Merryn needs a woman. A woman to pose as his fiancee to draw off the mother/daughter pairs in society that will interfere with his determination to find his father’s killer.

The two were made for each other.

Murder on the Last Frontier

Cathy Pegau

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Warned that the Alaskan frontier is no place for a woman, Charlotte Brody comes to visit her brother Michael, a doctor, in Cordova. Cordova is a rough and ready place, but Charlotte, coming to forget her past, finds it a breath of fresh air. Her feminist views and independent actions soon pit her against her budding attraction to the law in the town, as she meddles in the investigation of the murder of a local prostitute.

I enjoyed the descriptions of the frontier town, and Charlotte’s clash with the local law and her staid brother rang true. I enjoy a strong heroine, and Cathy Pegau delivers.

 

Stand on Zanzibar

John Brunner

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I read this book for the first time many moons ago, and I bought a Kindle version to see how well it stood up to time. For the most part it did. I grew a little impatient with the length, but for the most part Brunner was fairly prescient about the way society was heading. We still aren’t there yet, thank God, but he’s pretty dead-on about where we are headed.

The book was more exciting when I was an impressionable 21-year old college student, but it still held my interest.

Lab Girl

Hope Jahren

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What a lovely book. It’s been a long time since I was so captured by a writer’s point of view that I couldn’t put a book down. It’s as achingly honest about her struggles with her desire to do science (although everyone knows that a woman in lab is nothing more that a distraction) as she is about her love for trees.

She reminds me of a career day I once attended where every speaker was a woman scientist. They were all hopeful and positive except one older woman, a physicist, who spoke about the difficulties a woman scientist would face working in a lab, the prejudice she would face, the discounting of her work by the male scientists, and how her achievement would be taken by the male scientists. She ate lunch alone, while we all clustered around the young women scientists. One of my deepest regrets is that I chose not to eat lunch with her. That was some fifty years ago, and Hope Jahren tells me that things haven’t changed that much. She does offer someĀ  hope, though, and shares her own experience maneuvering around the men in herĀ  chosen field, showing that it is possible for a woman to succeed.

In spite of bipolar disorder, Hope is quite successful in her field and has been for years. Her relationship with Bill, her lab partner, matches her personality so exactly that one wonders at her luck in finding a partner so yin to her yang. She has been fortunate in her ability to find the funding she needs to keep herself and him both employed.

I was amazed at how much time serious scientists have to spend on grant writing and trying to get funding so they can do the science they love. They are like freelance musicians, always looking for the next gig to pay the rent.

When she writes about trees, leaves, and seed, the writing comes alive. I kept turning the corners of the pages of the library edition I had borrowed until I gave in and bought a Kindle copy for myself.