Book Review: FIERCE: The History of Leopard Print

TITLE: FIERCE: The History of Leopard Print
BY: Jo Weldon
PUBLISHED BY: Harper Design, An Imprint of HarperCollinsPubishers
ISBN: 978-0-06-269295-5
Review copy provided by author

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

This book is dedicated to “the BIG Cats, the people they INSPIRE, and the people who work to preserve their lives and HABITATS.” But it’s intended for all you wild things out there who love to wear leopard print. It’s a historic study of the vivid, spotted fur of a beautiful beast whose strength and independent nature inspired women, who are usually the downtrodden, powerless members of society, to be strong and fearless too.

Being a livelong lover of leopard print myself, I have worn it in every way possible. My favorite loafers and sneakers are leopard print; so is a well-worn pair of high heels, along with one of my mock turtleneck tops, a short-sleeved blouse and a pair of stretch pants. Of course I have a leopard print nightgown, and a sleepshirt, as well as pajamas. I also have a leopard print bra, for which I have yet to find matching undies. I laugh to scorn the conventional notion that women over fifty shouldn’t wear leopard print. I’ve worn it more often since I turned fifty. I use it as an accessory, to set off my favorite clothes. I don’t think I’d have the nerve to wear head to toe leopard print, though certain celebrities, from Peg Bundy of “Married With Children” to Pat Benatar, who regularly performed in a leotard or catsuit, are not shy about doing so.
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Book review: Ruth’s Journey

“Ruth’s Journey: The Authorized Novel of Mammy from Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone with the Wind’”
By Donald McCaig
Published By: Atria Books, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4353-4
Review copy provided by publisher

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

From the man who gave us “Rhett Butler’s People”, a version of “Gone With The Wind” written from Rhett Butler’s point of view, the creative mind of Donald McCaig has given us a plausible backstory for the faithful Mammy, Scarlet O’Hara’s beloved black nurse, who raised her and her two sisters. She was also mammy to Scarlett’s mother Ellen Robillard and her two sisters. But she wasn’t always the big, black slave woman in charge of a white woman’s babies.
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Book Review: My Beloved World

My Beloved World
By Sonia Sotomayor
PUBLISHED BY: Borzoi Books, a division of Knopf/Random House, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-307-59488-4
Review copy provided by publisher

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

This has been one of the most refreshing reads I’ve had so far this year. And the year is just getting started! It’s not often that I get to read about one of my own making good. Justice Sotomayor is a Puerto Rican home girl from the Bronx, with a background similar to my own, but whose ambition and drive took her to the top of the legal profession, a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. The closest I got to the legal profession is typing form letters for lawyers at my civil service job. I could plead poverty, but the plain truth is that I just didn’t have the brains and gumption to qualify for all the grants and scholarships she got to attend both Princeton and Yale Law School. When I look at all she managed to accomplish during the same period that I was struggling to survive after graduating from high school, all I can do is shake my head and mutter “Damn, she’s good!”
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