For Women’s History Month

It seems too hard for people in my area to commit to a book club, at least the standard kind that meets every month and everyone reads the same book. I’ve tried putting a few together to no avail. A friend of mine, Diana, suggested may be just advertising it for say a three month series or something similar. Taking that idea one step further I would like to do an every other month themed book club, more salon style. Everyone would read a book on the theme (not necessarily the same book) and get together over coffee and talk about it.

I’d like my first event to be in March for Women’s History Month and the theme would be Louisiana Women. Does this sound interesting? There are some great books out there about women from this state. People could read a biography of a single woman or one of the many books that collect Louisiana lives and tell us about who they read, why the chose that person, what resonated with them, and what does it mean to them to be a Louisiana Woman, etc. ( Men can join the salon as well)

I’ve been compiling a list of book, but I’m sure there are more out there. I just started looking yesterday.

Louisiana Women: There Lives and Times by Janet Allured and Judith F. Gentry
More than Petticoats: Remarkable Louisiana Women by Bonnye Stuart
Masterless Mistresses: The New Orleans Ursulines by Emily Clark
Louisiana Voyages: the Travel Writings of Catharine Cole by Martha R. Field (1st full-time newswoman in NOLA)
The Bone Lady by Mary Manheim (LSU forensics)
The Last Madam: Life in the New Orleans Underworld by Christine Wiltz
Marie Adrien Persac: Louisiana Artist by Marie Adrien Persac
Atchafalaya Houseboat: My Years in the Louisiana Swamp by Gwen Roland
Intimate Enemies:The Two Worlds of the Baroness De Pontalba – Christina Vella (built the Pontalba buildings)
Natalie Scott: A Magnificent Life by John W. Scott (founded Le Petit Community Theater)
Voodoo Queen: The Spirited Lives of Marie Laveau by Martha Ward
Clementine Hunter: American Folk Artist by James L. Wilson
Unveiling Kate Chopin by Emily Toth (writer)
Just Mahalia, Baby by Laurraine Goreau (singer)
Plenty Enough Suck to Go Around by Cheryl Wagner
On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker by A’Lelia Bundles
Called Out of Darkness by Anne Rice (writer)
Silk Stockings and Ballot Boxes: Women and Politics in New Orleans, 1920-1963 by Pamela Tyler
Leah Chase: Listen, I Say Like This by Carol Allen (chef)
Forgiving the Dead Man Walking: Only One Woman Can Tell the Entire Story by Debbie Morris and Gregg Lewis

added on 1/27/2010
Natalie Scott: A Magnificent Life by John Scott
Josephine Crawford: An Artist’s Vision by Louise C. Hoffman
Brothels, Depravity, and Abandoned Women: Illegal Sex in Antebellum New Orleans by Judith Kelleher Schafer
Women and New Orleans: A History by Mary Gehman and Nancy Reis
Washington Through a Purple Veil: Memoirs of a Southern Woman by Lindy Boggs
The Lost German Slave Girl by John Bailey (story of Sally Miller)
Cajun Women and Mardi Gras by Carolyn Ware
Lillian Hellman: A Life with Foxes and Scoundrels by Deborah Martinson
An Unfinished Woman: A Memoir by Lillian Hellman

I haven’t read any of these yet. I read a biography of Anne Rice a long time ago that is out of print, and I think I read something on Kate Chopin for school. I’ve heard Christina Vella speak about the Baroness and Mary Manheim read from her book. They both tell great stories.

I’d like to do a spin off event for kids sometime in the same week as the adult event. I know there is Ruby Bridges and Clementine Hunter, but are there any other children’s picture books about Louisiana Women?

Mark your Calendars: Sunday, March 7th, 2010 at Barnes & Noble in Mandeville.

Next, I need a date. Someone suggested Wednesday nights, but I think that might be a big church night around here. I don’t think weekends are good, except maybe Sunday afternoons? Next, I’d like to think of a theme for May. So if this works, we could launch the next topic then. Are there any significant dates or events in May?

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One Response

  1. That sounds awesome, and as long as you don’t meet on Monday-Wednesday (or before 7:30 on Thursday), I’m in. Or during the Superbowl, but even you would know better, right? 🙂

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