Judging Books By Their Cover

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.

Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.

Groucho Marx

I lost 20 lbs over the holidays!  No, not in body weight–in books that usually weigh down my suitcase like bricks.  Big thanks to my sister Santa who dropped a Kindle Fire HD into my stocking right before our family trip!  Here are the best of the bunch from the 11 books I read in 11 days, a virtual world tour highlighting the universal thread of joys and pain that binds all women through generations and cultures.  And as for that adage “Never judge a book by it’s cover?”  I never say never.  Enjoy!

The comfort of sisterhood in China through reversals of fortune,

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Snow_flower_and_the_secret_fan by Lisa See

To get me in the mood for Carnival next month,

The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich

Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich

If Anne Boleyn could have written her story herself,

The Kiss of the Concubine by Judith Arnopp

Anne Boleyn the kiss of the concubine by Judith Arnopp

Because women are often misunderstood and conveniently dismissed as crazy, The Reign of Madness by Lynn Cullen tells the tale of a Spanish (spare) princess who is packed off to marry a self-absorbed duke in cold Austria. Did she once dream of living happily ever after?

Reign of Madness by Lynn Cullen

This one made me cry a few times as I followed the trail of Italian immigrants from a tiny hilltop town to their American dream and the glitz of NYC.  How true it is that an orphan finds many parents,  that love for work, friends and family can sustain you through the worst of times, that life is not only about what you make of it, but more so the strength to survive what is taken away from you.

 The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Shoemakers Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your book recommendation here.

I wish you the Happiest of New Possibilities in 2014!


Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me


Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mountain
    Jan 10, 2014 @ 08:21:15

    A very thoughtful gift from sister Santa 🙂

    My most recent read was “Simple Dreams” A Musical Memoir by Linda Ronstadt. My absolute favorite female vocalist. Whether she is belting out “Back In The USA” or gently but powerfully singing a sad love song like “Shattered”, which always brings a tear to my eye, I hear an amazing talent. Sadly she is now dealing with Parkinson’s and unable to continue singing. Such a determined woman throughout her life and so strong now. Her childhood horse stories, made me smile and laugh. A fun concept, judging a book by its cover. If I were to choose one of these books to read only by its cover it would be “The Shoemakers Wife”. That was my first thought when I saw the cover. I guess it is the artistic aspect that caught my eye.

    Many Happy travels to you in 2014, Sharky! And many beautiful photos for us to enjoy as you share what you discover along the way.



    • Sharon Birke
      Jan 14, 2014 @ 11:45:09

      I love learning how other people deal with their own demons through biographies. Thanks for the lead, Mountain, and much joy and beauty ahead for all!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: