This is a touch-and-feel book. Most of these don't have a narrative (eg That's not my truck). This one attempts a story line, following Dog through hi...moreThis is a touch-and-feel book. Most of these don't have a narrative (eg That's not my truck). This one attempts a story line, following Dog through his day. This story probably the most inane story I've read to date. The plot is boring, and what's more you don't really empathise with Dog.
Beyond that this book introduces a word which I don't think X-man needs to know - bored!(less)
This book was given as a gift for re-subscribing to ABA.
Like most things ABA this book is definately left-leaning with regard the parenting style it s...moreThis book was given as a gift for re-subscribing to ABA.
Like most things ABA this book is definately left-leaning with regard the parenting style it supports. Homebirth and co-sleeping are portrayed as the norm. As a centre-left parent myself I can see the advantages in this style of parenting, and think that certain aspects should become more widely accepted (eg midwifes should be able to get insurance to conduct midwife assisted homebirths).
The author used quotes from "normal parents" to complement the theory she was providing. A couple of points on these quotes. Firstly some of the quotes included scientific claims that I don't think can be backed up (and certainly there were no references to the studies) - I thought it was low including these in the quotes, because I don't think the editors would have allowed them to be included in the main body of text. Secondly all the "normal parents" were women - not one Dad amoungst them. This reflected a lack of respect for Dads throughout the book expecting that Dads 1. would not be reading the book, 2. did not play an large role in parenting unless prompted by mum and 3. would be playing the bread-winning role. I suppose I am hyper-sensitive about this issue...
There were some potentially useful activity ideas for toddlers that I might go back and reference.
I ate up a huge number of these sort of books during the K's pregnancy - I used them to gain insight into what to expect with a young one around. These were really useful and I would recommend the same path for any future Mum or Dad. However I think that I'm now over these types of books. I'm pretty happy going with the flow - and I have playgroups to witness older kids behaviour and parents to chat to. (less)
**spoiler alert** If I had to summarise I's say "didn't live up to expectations". A good judge of a book is how you feel towards the end - and this on...more**spoiler alert** If I had to summarise I's say "didn't live up to expectations". A good judge of a book is how you feel towards the end - and this one I was thinking "don't put it down now, or you'll never bother to pick it up again".
My wife brought it home from the library and said "I thought you might like this". A quick review of the covers and discovered it was "allegedly humourous writing from Scientific American". My first thoughts were "I enjoy reading Scientific American, although New Scientist is better" and secondly "humourous scientific writing is usually pretty good!".
It was only much later that I thought "in all the Scientific Americans I have read I don't recall the "Anti Gravity column these articles come from!" A quick check of the magazine to discover that it fits within the Opinion section - which I have to say I usually flick over pretty quickly to get to the meaty stuff.
This was apparently the best of this column over a period of 10 years. The articles were apparently arranged into general topics eg "Wild and Wacky", "In Sickness and in Health", etc. This meant that you were jumping around in time a fair bit, which you usually didn't notice until there was reference to a world event that you knew, followed in the next article by one 5 years earlier.
I agree with a previous reviewer that it was particularly American. I can get American humour (too much US TV I'm afraid) - but the references to obscure US D-grade celebrities, TV shows and sports stars did miss the mark for me on numerous occasions.
Like all of these books based on accumulated work (eg blogs, magazine articles, etc) I would recommend having a read of the work on which it is based: Anti Gravity
It is a quick read, and there are some genuinely humourous bits (but nothing laugh out loud) - so not a complete waste of time!(less)
One niggling irritation throughout the book is the use of geographic terms when Klein was referring to levels of dev...moreA decade on this book feels dated.
One niggling irritation throughout the book is the use of geographic terms when Klein was referring to levels of development. She consistently uses the word North to describe developed countries, and the term South to describe developing countries. You'll note that almost all of the areas she was referring to: South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, some of Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Nigeria, Myanmar/Burma, Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua are in the Northern Hemisphere. I agree there is no fantastic term for this idea - each has its own connotations, but the geographic one grates particularly for me.
In general it felt like it needed a good edit - dropping 100 pages from the final book wouldn't have hurt. I felt the overwhelming focus on a very small number of high-profile brands (Nike, Shell, McDonalds) hurt the broader aims of this book.
The rise of this book really is reflective of the branding and corporate globalisation this book is rallying against. HarperCollins/Random House (the publisher of the book) is owned by News Corporation - the second-largest media company in the world (behind the Disney Corporation, which gets a caning in this book). The NoLogo and Naomi Klein herself have become brands - with products, websites, and influence on popular culture - all of it aimed at making money for an 'evil transnational corporation'!(less)
**spoiler alert** This book showed to me how much expectation can influence your view of a book.
My initial impression was suprise at how easy it was t...more**spoiler alert** This book showed to me how much expectation can influence your view of a book.
My initial impression was suprise at how easy it was to read, I was really expecting that I would struggle with the language given it was first published in 1719.
My next expectation quashed was that Robinson Crusoe would be a likable character. However I never really found him a truely likable character because of his acceptance of slavery (even after being a slave himself), inability to see that maybe the sea wasn't for him (after an early shipwreck, followed by being captured by pirates) - and later his presistent cultural and religious imperialism. I was expecting him to be on a noble quest when shipwrecked (exploring like James Cook, or collecting scientific samples like Charles Darwin) - instead he is starting an illicit slave importation business!
I love castaway stories - particularly the details of how they managed to obtain survive without many of life's essentials. So the early part of his time on the island was enjoyable - how he managed to get items of use of the ship, how he created his shelter, etc. Later I found Daniel Defoe skipped over lots of this interesting detail - basically reducing it to "I wanted a canoe, I spent 2 years carving one out of a tree, then I attached a mast and sail".
Then he found God - while I understand it would be critical for him to have a reason to go on - I hadn't realised just how religious this book would be. The author going on and on about Providence had me counting the pages 'till the end of the book - never a good sign.
The story of how Robinson Crusoe got off the island was very exciting (and stopped me counting pages!) - but I thought that the period after his return to civilisation was anti-climatic and the adventure in the Pyrenees tacked on and unnecessary.
Overall I think that if I read this book in 1719 when it had no cultural influence and hype (and I had the 1719 English cultural mindset) I would have really enjoyed this book. But my high expectations, and modern point of view mean only 2 stars from me.(less)
I’m a fan of the James Bond movies – but have never ventured into the novels. It was with some trepidation that I decided to read Casino Royale – woul...moreI’m a fan of the James Bond movies – but have never ventured into the novels. It was with some trepidation that I decided to read Casino Royale – would reading the novels ruin my enjoyment of the movies?
My view of this book was coloured by seeing the 2006 movie, directed by Martin Campbell starring Daniel Craig, which I quite enjoyed. Generally I have found that most movies-of-the-novel are not nearly as good as the original novel. An 1 ½ hour movie just seems to stuggle to include all of the plot of a full-sized novel, and the movies end up being slightly longer versions of the back flap – which always makes storylines seem ridiculous (e.g. Power of One and I’m told Lord of the Rings). Casino Royale deviates from this generalisation – the movie crams in more plot than the relatively short (213 page) book includes.
Something I felt the movie was missing was an adequate explanation of the rules of the card game (Poker in the movie, Baccarat in the book). This card game forms the heart of the story – and knowing the rules puts you in a much better position to understand the odds, bluffing and psychology that apparently makes gambling interesting. And this from someone who doesn’t enjoy gambling or understand any cardgame except 500.
In all I much prefer the movie, although the book still gets 4 stars. The movie has more plot twists and turns, a gadget or two (although not nearly as many as in the Pierce Brosnan days), a more international feel (including Ugandan rebels was genius), and the blatant and offensive misogyny of the book is toned down to an acceptable level. (less)
I never really got into Dr Seuss as a child... Having read such amazing books like If I Ran the Zoo I was wondering why. I think I've worked it out......moreI never really got into Dr Seuss as a child... Having read such amazing books like If I Ran the Zoo I was wondering why. I think I've worked it out... Me and Mum would have started with Seuss' most famous works - this one and The Cat in the Hat - and I think both of these are just OK, nothing fantastic. Don't get me wrong the rhyme, rhythm and illustrations are all there (like all Seuss) so it's not BAD just not fantastic.
I dislike the lack of continuing plot, how long it is, and the stupid 'vintage' T-shirts people insist on wearing featuring the fish.
Other reviewers have pointed out the advantages of 2 page stories (able to pick it up and finish it pretty much anywhere, etc) - which I suspect I'll come to love when X-man gets to that age. But I'll still be hanging out for when he can handle the Yellow-backed books.(less)
I'm also reading Dr. Seuss Goes to War The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel. His treatment of the Japanese prior and during World War II really shocked me, given his political cartoons were published in a left-leaning PM newspaper - and the man himself even at the time was pointing out the human rights of "People of Colour" and Jews. This book forms his mea culpa - you'll note the dedication to "My Great Friend, Mitsugi Nakamura of Kyoto, Japan".(less)
This book is certainly blatant propaganda for environmentalism.
But is it wrong?
Simple messages are picked up by children more easily, and environmenta...moreThis book is certainly blatant propaganda for environmentalism.
But is it wrong?
Simple messages are picked up by children more easily, and environmentalism is a key message we need to teach our kids. This book is also a book of its time - in the early 1970s the green movement was still very black and white.
But reading it I can't stop thinking about the irony of his anti-big-business message. Here is a man, like the Once-ler who started with an idea (Beginner Books or Thneeds) and convinced the world that it needed it. Both were incredibly successful in selling the idea to world. The difference comes in the ending: the Once-ler was destroyed by his short-sighted use of a limited resource, while Dr Seuss shows what a true successful capitalist would really do (either 1. hide the shameful aspects in the third world, or 2. actually develop sustainable business practices). Just imagine the massive forest of Truffula Trees required to produce the more than 200 million books Dr Seuss has sold to date.
I suppose the story about the triple-bottom-line success of a modern business just wouldn't make a good Dr Seuss book!