Not really reading fiction atm. And all the books I've bought recently are Christmas presents so I don't want to list them here. So have some links to other people's stuff.
- hatam_soferet manages to make a drain disaster hilarious: A cautionary tale of leaves and drains
- melannen is doing a really awesome December Days series, and I'm particularly enamoured with Notes on Birth Control and Childrearing for Fantasy Writers. It's very readable and a really great counter collapsing all of history before 1960 into a generic ye olden days when gender roles were exactly like the mid-twentieth century American middle-class ideal.
- major_clanger explains the non-controversy over the first British astronaut.
- A DW friend (who is welcome to identify themself if they like) PM'd me to point out a fascinating snippet of history: How to be Jewish – in 1846 London, by dichroic. I'm actually distantly related to Judith Cohen Montefiore, or at least she appears in family trees with (much less wealthy!) ancestors of mine, I can't remember the exact details but my mother could probably tell you. So it's especially cool that Project Gutenberg has her Jewish version of Mrs Beeton's Book. Well, actually JCM got there first, it seems.
- And I saw on Facebook a link to Goodbye Sotah by artist Jacqueline Nicholls. Sotah is the tractate of the Talmud which discusses the Torah laws about a wife accused of adultery; I've studied it some for the reason mentioned in the post, that it's one of the main origins for the laws about women's headcovering and modesty generally. I really like Nicholls' respectful yet willing to challenge take on what is one of the more nakedly misogynist bits of Jewish scripture, and I'm also fascinated by her take on the midrash that bringing a married couple together is like splitting the Red Sea. I've always simply read that as 'as miraculous as the splitting' but Nicholls points out that it's not just any miracle, it's a miracle of division:
being together has separation and distance at the heart of relationship.