Every day should be women’s day…

I missed International Women’s Day–does that mean I can’t celebrate women until next year?

I loved the tone of this piece: International Women’s Day: 24 hours of the “Unique Female Perspective” » I Blame The Patriarchy.

It’s bizarre to set aside a certain amount of time to acknowledge women or blacks or any specific group of people, as if we are alien beings that are a struggle to comprehend.

I’m not going to link to any of them, but I don’t think nonprofits that work to advance women’s rights and improve their health and education should participate in this kind of thing. Every day should be women’s day.

Books Read: Quarter 1, 2014

These aren’t all the books I read over the last three months, just the ones that I found most interesting or thought-provoking. Click the covers for full reviews.

a2f1759c8e03d685935645a5367434d414f414156f122144f6c74d593741375851434d414f4141017e4f326f6df24597165526867434d414f41413aaa139642df922593166775967434d414f4141fa5209eccff6eff597070706741434d414f41414292b9960770b4a596f66446641434d414f41410988416433.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_e8daccf3956d70c596968686641434d414f41410399160876.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_The Circle cover

Run nonprofits like a business…

I just heard Dan Pallotta’s TED Talk and he strikes right at the heart of everything that has been bothering me about the nonprofit industry. If you work in nonprofit or want to, or you give money to charities, you have to check out what this guy is saying. It’s sense!

“Moreover, there is an unintentional cruelty at work in the demand for charities to be more effective. It is a bit of the blood-from-a-stone syndrome. How can charities become more effective overall if we won’t let them use the tools everyone else in the economic world uses as the fundamental basis for effectiveness? It is no blessing to throw a charity a million dollars to achieve a result and then tell it that it must apply the same set of seventeenth-century rules that have heretofore left it incapable of achieving the result in the first place. The demand for a crop won’t produce anything if you deny a man a plow. It doesn’t matter if we change what we’re measuring. If we don’t change the rules, charities will never be able to measure up.”

April is the cruelest month…

“April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.” — T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

April Fools' Day

April is both National Poetry Month and contains Tax Day. The Millions has some reading suggestions for this cruelest of all months.

New York Review Books Classics!

Received some lovely books in the mail today that I snagged in the recent New York Review of Books half-off sale. I love their paperback editions, but the reissues with the Edward Gorey covers are wonderful little gems: small hardcovers with the color-saturated illustrations printed right on the cover (no dustjacket). Love.

The books are The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, Men and Gods by Rex Warner, and The Other by Thomas Tryon.

War of the Worlds coverMen and Gods coverThe Other Cover

How many copies of The War of the Worlds are too many? Well, I only have two, so I don’t think I’m there yet.

War of the Worlds illustration

Check out more of Gorey’s wonderful illustrations at Brain Pickings.

Margaret Atwood’s guide to life…

I love Margaret Atwood, and I love that she isn’t afraid to say what she thinks, even if it might make men mad. Here’s a quote from Lesson #1 of A Margaret Atwood Guide to Life | Bustle, trying to answer the question why men feel threatened by women:

“I mean,” I said, “men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power.” “They’re afraid women will laugh at them,” he said. “Undercut their world view.” Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, “Why do women feel threatened by men?” “They’re afraid of being killed,” they said.

Le Guin’s hypothesis…

Ursula K. Le Guin on the false dichotomy between genre fiction and literary fiction and the endless, meaningless debate over which is better to read: Le Guin’s Hypothesis | Book View Cafe Blog.

If you’re one of those people who never reads genre fiction, you should read Ursula K. Le Guin. She is a better writer than almost anyone I can think of in either realm.