The Montague Bookmill, Montague, MA

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If I had an official list of my favorite bookstores in the world (hm, maybe I should have one), The Montague Bookmill would be on it. During last winter’s snowstorms there was a lot made of the Swedish word “hygge,” and while I still can’t point to a precise definition of this word, I know that the Bookmill has it.

I saw myself spending the whole day there, curled up in the stacks with a cup of hot coffee from the attached cafe, The Lady Killigrew, or perched on the sofa near one of the many bay windows, watching the Saw Mill River roar below. So that’s exactly what I did. All day.

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The Book Bower, Middletown, CT

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We’re moving again, which means I needed a nearby place to offload some books. I’ve moved about once a year since leaving home, and it seems like every time I pack up all my things I’ve gained an extra box or two of books. I’ve been wanting to check out the Book Bower in Middletown for a while, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity.

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New Feature: Used Bookstores of New England

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You can't find this on a Kindle – seriously.

You can’t find this on a Kindle – seriously.

Summer is here, and that means travel season. I obviously take a lot of trips, and one of my favorite things to do when I’m out of town is perch myself at a nice coffee shop or used bookstore – or, ideally, something that’s a hybrid between the two – and read.

I read voraciously growing up. I didn’t realize then that adolescence would be the last time in my life when I had unlimited time to curl up with a good book. As an adult, I’m lucky if I get through a book a month – and that’s more than many people . (According to the Pew Research Center, 24 percent of American adults haven’t read a book in the last year.)

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Hey, over here!

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Finally got around to posting a little bit about “Herland” on my other blog, De-Mystifying the Mystique.

Something Connecticuters might be interested to know: Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, and lived for 12 years in Norwich with her second husband. Her great-aunt on her father’s side was Harriet Beecher Stowe.

The more you know.

Now Reading: Herland

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herlandAnyone who’s met me for even five minutes knows I am a die-hard feminist. I also love science fiction, so as you might imagine feminist science fiction is one of my favorite things in the world.

When I say “feminist science fiction,” I’m not really talking about science fiction written by a woman or that puts a woman in the starring role. I’m talking about science fiction that explores deeper truths about what it means to be a woman in society, and combines that exploration with cybernetics, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, alternate universes or Utopian societies, as is the case with Herland.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s novel tells the story of three male explorers who wander into a society composed solely of women who reproduce by parthenogenesis. This unisex society is untainted by the gender stereotyping of the outside world, allowing the women to develop mentally, physically and emotionally as individuals.

I’ll have more thoughts when I finish it. Until then you can read my other reviews at De-Mystifying the Mystique.

Now Reading: The Dialectic of Sex

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Completing a Master’s in Public Affairs doesn’t leave much time for pleasure reading, especially if your favorite fare is feminist philosophy and political theory. Fortunately that’s over (the degree, not feminism), so in between working full-time and continuing to search for my dream job I should be able to scratch the surface of some hefty tomes.

Over winter break I was able to finish Andrea Dworkin’s “Intercourse.” Shulamith Firestone’s death last August sparked my interest in her “Dialectic of Sex,” so I’ve set it aside as my first reading assignment of the summer. Stay tuned.

Read more book reviews on my other blog, De-Mystifying the Mystique.