Review: Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky

There are so many amazing anthologies on badass women in history being published lately. I’ve read so many in the past year or two that I could make a whole post about them (and maybe I will!), but for now here’s my review for my absolute favorite one of all of them:

women in scienceWomen in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsky (Ten Speed Press, 128 pages)

Recommended for: Scientists or science lovers, teachers, young women and girls, all women and men, and boys (okay, so basically everyone).

“It’s made to believe / women are the same as men; / are you not convinced / daughters can also be heroic?” — Wang Zhenyi’s poetry

I love this book and am so glad it gets to live on my shelf. I wish I had a daughter or niece for the sole purpose of giving them a copy. Women in Science is an adorably illustrated short work showcasing 50 different women, in chronological order, who defied expectations and excelled in their fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine, physics, and many more.

The volume includes well-known names such as Jane Goodall, Marie Curie, and Ada Lovelace, but there are so many in here I’m sure many haven’t heard of, such as Wang Zhenyi, astronomer, poet, and mathematician, and Elizabeth Blackwell, a doctor who fought social injustice with medicine. She acknowledges how hard it was for these women to accomplish what they did and honors their drive and legacy in such a great way: by introducing them to kids who can look up to these women. WANG ZHENYI

Each features a beautiful, colorful illustration paired with a short bio and cute blurbs in the borders filled with tiny drawings of scientific tools. Geared for ages 10 and older, this is definitely an eye-catching book, and if I was young I certainly would have grabbed it off the shelf. There are even educational extras and infographics including lab tools, a timeline, statistics in stem, and a glossary. I learned so much! While I do wish there had been some non-cis women included, I found this to be my only complaint. Congratulations to Rachel Ignotofsky for creating a remarkable, feminist book to celebrate the achievements of women who can be role models for the next generation of female scientists, engineers, biologists, doctors, and more. We need more of these. I’d give this book 10 stars if I could.

You can buy and view her illustrations and prints on her Etsy shop. Buy the book from IndieBound here, or support your local bookstore! I received this book from Blogging For Books as part of their Book Review Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.

Advertisements

I’m an official book reviewer now!

Hello again fellow bookish friends.

It has been a while. A lot has happened. I can easily say I’m in a very different stage of my life now, but all that will have to be saved for another post because I have GREAT NEWS.

I’m an official book reviewer! I downplayed this for a while before realizing like, no, this is a big deal, and it’s super cool because it’s something I wanted for so long.

Where am I published? Two places currently. The amazing, locally-founded The Riveter Magazine and BookPage online. If you’re curious, check out my reviews below! Books I review for other outlets will not be featured here on my blog, but I’ll add them to my reviews list so you can still find them and check them out.

Happy reading!

 

 

 

get these October events on your calendar!

hello-october

Here’s a rundown of things to get on your radar for October.We’re in FULL SWING busy season, so yes, you’re going to have to choose when there’s two events on the same night!

Again, I know I’m not super consistent with posting the same events every time (if they’re monthly or recurring) but just shoot me a line to include what I missed! I’ve tried to be more inclusive by focusing on each bookstore and linking to all their upcoming events after featuring just one on here.

As always, in the “Events” tab above you’ll find the Rain Taxi official literary calendar and other resources to help with finding book readings  and lit events in the Twin Cities area.

  • Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival is on Saturday, October 15th!  You don’t want to miss one of the most important TC literary events of the year! 
    • Normally I write this post in chronological order, but this event is just TOO COOL to pass up. It’s 1) at the MN State Fairgrounds and 2) it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE. I hope to see you there!!
    • And there’s an Opening Night Party!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming 😉

  • Friday, October 7th: Dave Eggers will be chatting with guests and signing books at new Milkweed Books! Don’t miss checking out the new bookstore, if you haven’t already!
    • There’s also an event also on Tuesday, October 4th:Poets in Conversation with Milkweed Editions featuring Michael Bazzett, Patricia Kirkpatrick, Chris Santiago, and Jennifer Willoughby and that will be a conversation about the formation of poets and the supporting ecosystem here in Minnesota, with Milkweed Editions’ publisher, Daniel Slager.
    • Though they’re a powerhouse press, they’re still a baby bookstore, so a lot of events are hosted or run by Milkweed Editions! For a list of all events at Milkweed Books/Editions, check out their Facebook events here, or visit their website!
  • Thursday, October 6th: Poetry Happy Hour hosted by MN Book Awards and Friends of the St. Paul Library featuring Todd Boss, Heid Erdrich, Dobby Gibson, Ed Bok Lee, and Katrina Vandenberg.
  • Also Wednesday, October 12th: Nathan Hill reads from The Nix at Magers & Quinn Booksellers!
    • Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost presents The Secret History of Twin Peaks on Saturday, October 22!
    • There’s more great ones this month including authors Charlie Quimby, Karen Brennan presenting her new book Monsters (get in the Halloween spirit!), James P. Lenfestey, and many others! For a list of all events at Magers & Quinn Booksellers, check out their Facebook events here, or visit their website!
  • Monday, October 17th: Gary Dop and Amy Munson at Common Good Books! In undergrad, Amy Munson was my poetry professor and Gary Dob was my sister’s (though she turned out to be a better poet than me, I don’t think that has anything to do with our professors), so I’m a little biased but I think you should check them out. Amy Munson’s debut poetry volume Yes Thorn is now out from Tupelo Press!

And because this is literally only the first half of the month, but I’m already all our room, see below for other bookstores and their events pages, featuring authors such as Ben Percy, Caroline Burau, Cheri Register, Nick Flynn, and many others!

If you can, I encourage you to check one or two of these great events out and perhaps discover some new awesome reads along the way! Let me know in the comments if there are any others you’re excited about this month! 

review: Simply Calligraphy by Judy Detrick

Though I started this book before posting my summer reading goals, so it doesn’t count, it is a book I opted to review to go outside my normal genre of reading and explore a craft. I was not disappointed! This book is a great book for people who know nothing about calligraphy—like me—and want to learn more. Check it out!

9781607748564Simply Calligraphy by Judy Detrick (find it here!)

In high school, I was obsessed with my own handwriting. Journaling daily, I grew to perfect it and be able to change it at will, but I was always jealous of others’ handwriting and wanted to be able to make mine more beautiful. I never invested in calligraphy because by the time it drew my attention, Etsy was filled with people selling cute cards where—suddenly—calligraphy is a household skill it seemed, and I didn’t want to do something everyone else was doing. Were people simply blessed with this talent, or did they learn it somewhere? Who even knows. I may never try handlettering or calligraphy for profit, but at least now I can say that I tried learning it myself!

Simply Calligraphy is a beautiful, short book at first glance. It’s a good size and width for propping open with a few weights and being able to reference the pages while practicing lettering yourself. The book is paced nicely with simple exercises beginning with the most basic concepts and letters and gradually adding more advice to different ways and skills to practice. She uses technical terms to describe the strokes with illustrations on the opposite pages, and I was happy to find the book isn’t too technical for a true beginner to understand. A glossary of terms may have been helpful to reference, but yet it doesn’t seem that serious of a book. There is an index at the back, though, for being able to find the concepts you learned.

Some of the details she provides are lovely. I appreciated the simple history of how, for example, the capital forms of the letters developed over time in Italy, without going into depth at all. I also had no idea of the history of numerals, so I appreciated that bit of info as well, and am glad they are included! The illustrations also paired nicely with the simple text for each page and concept. Nothing is too hard to understand, especially with the examples.

One con I would point out is that this book is about learning and practicing only one simple form of calligraphy—as if the title wasn’t enough for me to realize that though! I expected a little more advanced concepts and perhaps other methods, and she briefly mentions them before the end. However, in the beginning Detrick does state that this is the form of calligraphy that has been passed down since the Italian Renaissance. It’s very much the beautiful script you would see in an old monastery, which I loved. She points out that this book is to be only a reference point for beginners and lists helpful resources in the back for supplies and further learning to those who desire it. Her bio indicates she is very knowledgeable about the subject and is the perfect person to write this book. 

In all, this book is as advertised—a beautiful, simple book for beginners to learn and practice the ages-old art of calligraphy. If you’re at all interested in learning even what makes calligraphy so unique, I would encourage you to take a look! I’ll definitely be referencing this in the future when I want to try my hand at making cards, etc. So watch out, pen pals! 😉 
I received this book free from Blogging For Books as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Blogging for Books review can be found here