Biography fans, you won’t want to miss “Jefferson’s Daughters” by Catherine Kerrison, the tale of a future president and his three eldest (living) daughters.
When her mother died in 1782, 11-year-old Martha became her father’s greatest support and confidante, so she accompanied Jefferson, along with his slave, James Hemings, to Paris on assignment. When Jefferson called for his second daughter, Maria, to come to Paris some years later, she arrived with the slave Sally Hemings, the half-sister of Jefferson’s late wife.
When the entourage returned to the U.S. two years hence, Martha was a witty 16-year-old. Maria was just 11. Sally Hemings was 17—and pregnant with her master’s daughter.
What happened to that girl-child … well, you’ll have to read it to believe it.
That’s What She Said
News flash: “Men Aren’t the Enemy.”
That’s the first thing Joanne Lipman wants you to know in “That’s What She Said.” Issues with the gender gap—whether in work or wages—are not men’s “fault.” It’s just that women have discussed those issues amongst themselves for generations, but “what we don’t do is talk to men about it.” It’s time, she suggests, to fix that.
In an atmosphere where #metoo is a thing and EOE seems like a call of urgency, this might be the timeliest book you read.
The Grumpy Gardener
If you’ve got other things on your mind, green things, specifically, then you’ll want to read “The Grumpy Gardener” by Steve Bender. Filled with ideas, warnings, lists and grumps on greenery, this book was written by someone in a lower growing zone but can absolutely be applied by any gardener in this later-spring area.
Send your child to college with a plant he can’t kill and a love of vegetables. Here, find a list of the five most awful plants; reasons why you don’t want a cottonwood or weeping willow in your yard; and why you should never move next door to someone who adores bamboo—all perfect advice for anyone whose thumb is not quite green.