How do you choose what books you want to read? When I’m not diving through my massive to-read pile, I find myself seeking out books with interesting covers first and then I read the book description. This is how I stumbled upon my last read, The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow. This fantasy novel wrapped me in a cocoon of alternate histories where witches are real and they are tired of being hunted. Magic and the suffrage movement become tightly tied together as Harrow tells the story of witches who will do anything to survive.
The Once and Future Witches tells the story of the three Eastwood sisters: James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna. It’s the late 1800s and the sisters are struggling. They haven’t seen each other in seven years when their father tore them apart and scattered them to different places. They have been feeling a tug in their bodies that something isn’t right. Their grandmother taught them the words, the ways, and the will to practice magic, but it always seemed small.
In 1893, magic and witches don’t exist. In the past before the burnings began, magic ran wild throughout the world, but man ruined it. They started burning the witches who opposed them and those that fit their idea of what a witch was. Today’s witching is smaller. It’s hidden in nursery rhymes and the charms that are done to keep the home tidy and appearance perfect. It’s not the witching of old. In this escape from the past, women have decided that it’s safer to seek power by fighting for the right to vote and joining the suffrage movement.
Juniper, Agnes, and Bella end up joining the suffrage movement in New Salem, but finding that it isn’t quite what they expected, they start looking for magic in the unexpected. The three start gathering the forgotten words and ways of witches hidden in the obvious places. Talking with other women, they discover that everyone has their own magic and start compiling their magic together. Magic and the women’s movement begin to converge leading to a witches’ movement that puts the women of New Salem at risk. The deeper they dive into magic, the more dangerous it becomes. Stalked across the city by those who want to destroy them, the sisters must forge new alliances, dig for old magic, and bind themselves closer together if they want to survive.
This book is also available in the following format:
It seems like it’s been going on forever (especially if you live in Iowa and have been inundated with politics since the very beginning with the first caucus) but the Presidential election is drawing to a close today. Now, after all the talk and debate, it’s time to exercise one of the basic principles of democracy – casting your vote for the candidate of your choice. It’s a right that we’ve struggled to provide to everyone in this country (most notably women and African Americans) and it’s a right that millions of people around the world still do not have. A lot of people have fought very hard for you to be able to vote today – don’t let their hard work be forgotten.
Of course, maybe you’ve already cast your vote – record numbers of people voted early this year, including here in Scott County. If you’ve already voted – good job! If you’re voting today but aren’t sure what your precinct is or where your polling place is located, visit the Scott County Auditor’s Precinct Search, a handy dandy search engine that will give you the info you need.
Now get out there and vote!
…but you don’t have to wait until then to get the job done.
The Fairmount Street library is a satellite voting location for the upcoming general election. This means that from today through November 1st you can walk in and cast your ballot early. You can avoid the November 4th hustle, and while you’re at it, enjoy the library for a bit. For a list of Scott county satellite voting times and locations, click here:
The Scott County Auditor’s office website has a sample ballot, a search engine to determine your polling place, and a section where they will tally the results.
You have 5 more days (Deadline Oct 25th) to register if you haven’t already.
Like shopping the day after Thanksgiving, some folks really get a kick out of being in the thick of things and pulling the curtain on the big day. And then there are some of us that would rather sleep. What do you think?
In just under two months it will be over. You can a) duck and cover until the smoke clears, or b) eagerly watch how these races are unfolding.
But, you don’t need a network talking head to monitor the gallons of ink and glowing pixels expended on the elections until November 5th…you can check on them yourself in mere seconds.
Zogby and Pollster are impartial data-gatherers with simple and interactive maps refreshed every time new numbers come in.
When the fated day comes, the library receives many calls about where to go to cast a ballot. The answer is found by typing in your address on the Scott County Auditor’s site.
Here are the local contacts for the McCain and Obama Campaigns:
McCain Eastern Iowa Victory Office
1880 E. 54th Street
Davenport, IA 52807
Contact: Amanda Sebastian
Scott County Obama HQ
901 E. Kimberly St
Davenport, IA 52807