Amazing girl, not amazing editors. They really needed to step in and help give Malala not only a more refined voice, but also a more fluid structure t...moreAmazing girl, not amazing editors. They really needed to step in and help give Malala not only a more refined voice, but also a more fluid structure to the chapters.
Definitely still worth the read-very interesting to learn about her life and the complicated and superstitious culture she resides from. For example, because her father was not assassinated after his dissent, some believe he is a spy, and would then therefore be worthy of death. So basically, if you're not killed by the people who you are speaking out against, then the people you are speaking for will want to kill you-it is a seemingly a lose-lose atmosphere at times.
There is some great insight in here, along with a wonderful girl, but the rush-to-print job shines brightly with her publisher on this one.(less)
Overall a pretty good, informative, and entertaining book about a part of American history that is pretty much all but forgotten... and unknown.
The bo...moreOverall a pretty good, informative, and entertaining book about a part of American history that is pretty much all but forgotten... and unknown.
The book is more a series of short stories from different women that are somewhat interwoven together over their tenure in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Like a lot of short stories, you fail to really connect with any of the characters other than just finding out random bits of information that compose their daily lives over their interesting and puzzling pasts.
Add in random scientific information at the end of most chapters, and you begin to feel that the author had a difficult time finding the right structure to deliver all of her research. By not wanting to leave anything out, you are left with somewhat of a splattering of information gathered from interviews and other sources.
The book is well written, it's not dry or anything like a lot of history, but it lacks the professional polish that other historians are able to achieve. Reminded me of when you cook something for dinner only to realize with the final taste test that you're missing an ingredient, but you're just not sure which one.(less)
If you know some history about Mr. Beecher you'll probably be able to enjoy some of the sections and proverbs more than if you don't know anything abo...moreIf you know some history about Mr. Beecher you'll probably be able to enjoy some of the sections and proverbs more than if you don't know anything about him, but it's certainly not required.
Having read a biography about him, I would smirk anytime I noticed his big ego weighing down the page, or when he would take the occasional dig at Calvinism (which is probably more about rebelling against his father than anything else).
Some proverbs are little quips, but mostly they're quote worthy lines that will get you thinking.
The sections that seemed to be most distant from his own experience-where it was mostly his ego, the all-knowing Beecher-were the sections that I found least interesting. The parts that are more related to his own life experience, for instance with Religion, that's where this book's honesty and insight shines, and is where I subsequently noticed myself highlighting a lot more.
I also stumbled upon the line from Good Will Hunting (first proverb in the Liberty section), which oddly is a tiny bit different than what was used in the movie. It might just be the version of the book I was using though, as I snagged this one from Google's eBook public domain project: Google scans in the physical pages of books and their software converts them to text, so of course there are a few errors; nothing major though, it seems that only a few proverbs were slightly damaged.(less)
I'm conflicted about the idea of her writing a memoir.
As a judge, you're supposed to represent the law, and that is all; hence all of the matching bla...moreI'm conflicted about the idea of her writing a memoir.
As a judge, you're supposed to represent the law, and that is all; hence all of the matching black robes, and at one time, even wigs-you're not supposed to be a personality. So although I enjoyed the book and admire her deeply, it's a little disconcerting that she is able to justify the authoring of this book, a book that people only care about because she is a supreme court justice.
She is not an elected public servant, she did not run for office, she was offered this incredibly honourable position based on character and jurisprudence. When you accept the offer to serve on the court, you're supposed to humbly pass on any opportunities that are then bestowed on you because of this role. You have to sacrifice certain aspirations or avenues that may interest you in life, especially anything personal, because being a supreme court justice is a lifetime commitment that holds so much more value than a traditional job that ends in the evening.
Although she is not the first justice to author a book while still sitting on the court, I think she is aiding in setting a bad precedent for future justices of what acceptable behaviour is. She is obviously well aware of this fine line that she is walking as the book omits any specific philosophical perspective on law, and also stops 21 years ago, in 1992, just as she becomes a judge.
I saw her speak in person and found it interesting that she addressed this very issue without specifically being prompted about it. It was as if she felt like she needed to clarify the reasoning behind this book; perhaps she was conflicted internally about this project and wanted to provide the justification to others (and to herself), or perhaps I was just reading too much into an expanded answer.
Regardless, her reasoning for writing this now was that her family story is dying; quite literally, as some of characters in her life are well into their 80s and 90s, and even one who shared a story with her about her parents, a story of their love that she was completely unaware of until researching this project, died before the book went to print. Hearing that certainly elevated my level of respect for her, but there's still something about a supreme court justice accepting a seven figure book signing deal about herself that rubs me the wrong way.(less)