Some books on my nightstand





God’s Hotel by Victoria Sweet

San Francisco doctor and medical historian describes her years working at Laguna Honda Hospital, the last almshouse in the country. Through her studies of the medieval nun and physician Hildegard of Bingen, Sweet learns to look at her patients in a different and more organic way. Meanwhile, managed care, City politics, law suits, staff cuts, and a new hospital suddenly heavy on administration force their way into a system that has been relatively functional, if imperfect for years.

 Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen by Mary Sharratt

This historical novel featurning Hildegard of Bingen, the physician nun studied by Victoria Sweet in God’s Hotel also drew my interest.

Poems from the Women’s Movement, edited by Honor Moore

From Adrienne Rich, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and other well-known poets, to lesser-known poets published in local chapbooks, Moore has selected poetry that speaks the truths of women’s lives from the second wave of feminism in the 1960s, through the 1980s.

 Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Set in World War II, this is the story of two young women working for British special ops, one as a spy and one as a pilot. When their plane crashes in France, Julia, the spy, is quickly captured by the Gestapo and tortured. Meanwhile, Maddie, who Julia believes to have died, is being precariously protected by a French family involved with the resistance, whose oldest son is a collaborator, working with the local Gestapo. Suspenseful, moving, and with a shocking ending that invites ethical debate, this is a great book for teens and adults.

 Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

When fourteen-year-old June’s favorite uncle dies of AIDS, his partner Toby, who she’s never met, contacts her, and their mutual pity-party develops into sustaining relationship of its own, challenging June’s family to face their prejudices and jealousies.


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