This was a quick read, but worth it. Kennedy depicts her descent into poverty as a series f poor decisions. It isn't a new concept, but one that often...moreThis was a quick read, but worth it. Kennedy depicts her descent into poverty as a series f poor decisions. It isn't a new concept, but one that often isn't given the credit it deserves. It is reminiscent of the early novel because of it's transformation into a love story of sorts. (less)
This book literally took me more than two years to read. A friend loaned it to me in February 2007. The essays are interesting, but often very dry and...moreThis book literally took me more than two years to read. A friend loaned it to me in February 2007. The essays are interesting, but often very dry and difficult to get through. I'm always a sucker for interpretations of the Catholic Worker and poverty, but I also tend to be heavily critical of them based on my own experiences.
I was hoping for more of Day's writings, but they were lacking. The essays focused on the Catholic Workers' non-violent movement particularly during World War II and the controversy which accompanies it. Again, the aspects of the Catholic Work I chose to embrace where their teachings on poverty and non-violence, but neither as the will of God, which for the tradition Catholic Worker is the basis for everything.
As I said it was a dry read, and not something that can be read before bed or on the metro which is why it took me so long. I wouldn't recommend this as a whole, but select essays. (less)
I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy Feminist literature, but it isn't the best. Several of the essays seem to draw on forever, but others are simpl...moreI enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy Feminist literature, but it isn't the best. Several of the essays seem to draw on forever, but others are simply incredible.
Perhaps my favorite essay, "Hooking Up with Healthy Sexuality: The Lessons Boys Learn (and Don't Learn) About Sexuality, and Why a Sex-Positive Rape Prevention Paradigm Can Benefit Everyone Involved...," was written by Brad Perry. I enjoy reading about rape, sex, and gender relations form a male perspective because I am bombarded with the female feminist perspective. Perry argues that he had unrealistic expectations of sex and "the game," which is of course the only way men can obtain sex. Perry explains that as he evolves as a person he develops a better understanding of sex and rape. He then moves onto abstinence only education, which was entertaining as always.
Another awesome essay, "The Not-Rape Epidemic...," written by Latoya Peterson. This essay expressed the dangers in our culture of the "non-rapes." These experiences permeate many people who recognize that it wasn't rape, and thus he/she is lucky, and should just deal with it. Peterson detailed experiences not only of her own, but of many of her friends. She goes onto say that in retrospect one can identify what had happened, but at the time he/she is just so thankful that it wasn't worse that reporting or even speaking about it aloud didn't register. Only until after it was too late for others did she personally think that she should have said something.(less)
I liked this book. My sister Katie suggested I read it. I often find it difficult just to sit and read books like this in one sitting. The book is div...moreI liked this book. My sister Katie suggested I read it. I often find it difficult just to sit and read books like this in one sitting. The book is divided by years, and then seemingly random facts in each year's chapter. I really like the sarcasm woven into the facts. Of course this book also reaffirmed by previous thoughts that I would have to die before I'm thirty, and at the very least by forty-five. Or I'll have to live beyond ninety. Young enough to matter or old enough to get away with anything. Either way the book is pretty good definitely something that could be read every morning or every evening. (less)
This is a collection of non-fiction pieces collected and edited by one, Ira Glass of This American Life. I really enjoyed some of these, and others I...moreThis is a collection of non-fiction pieces collected and edited by one, Ira Glass of This American Life. I really enjoyed some of these, and others I was less impressed with. I love the radio show and thought that these would be on the same level, but nothing is as wonderful as the original. I'm just going to go over the highlights: "Toxic Dreams: A California Town Finds Meaning in an Acid Pit," "Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg," "Tales of a Tyrant," and "My Republican Journey."
"Toxic Dreams: A California Town Finds Meaning in an Acid Pit," by Jack Hitt, is about the lawsuits files on behalf of the resident of a California town against several large companies. The story itself is incredible, and a tad strange. It is a good read though.
"Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg," by Malcolm Gladwell, is great; it is a spin on six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Essentially, Gladwell does a case study on one woman, Lois Weisberg and her ability to network. Gladwell argues that a person's ability to network is true what separates people for example a poor black man in a lower economic class will not be able to network for upward mobility in a poor neighborhood, but send him to university and her can network with people from a higher class...education matters less than who you know. I don't know if I entirely agree, but it was interesting anyway.
"Tales of a Tyrant," by Mark Bowden, is about Saddam Hussein. It is an interesting tale about life as Saddam; just normal life for him.
In "My Republican Journey," Dan Savage goes undercover to the dark side. However, he isn't undercover; he goes as a gay sex writer. He forces them to discuss the anti-gay stances of their party at their own convention. He does an selection of this on This American Life.(less)
Becoming Myself: Reflections on Growing Up Female is an interesting read. It is entertaining and uplifting with stories from famous and infamous women...moreBecoming Myself: Reflections on Growing Up Female is an interesting read. It is entertaining and uplifting with stories from famous and infamous women. These women talk of everything from first period to domestic violence. I disagree with some of the analysis these women give. Growing up female means something different and manifests in different ways. Recently, several of my friends and I were discussing when we figured out we were feminists. I always knew; I always knew that I was equal with boys. I also believe that growing up female has some great aspects. Girls get don't have to deal with the current definition of masculinity. We can cry in public, and we can punch someone in the face (not that I recommend doing that). Then again there are negative aspects as well. There is the culture of fear females are raised in that few males ever understand. Females are subjected to a conventional and rarely disputed ideal body image. I think the book loses some of it strength by the vastness of the essays. They cover so many topics, but still leave aspects of being female out. I also found the book to focus heavily on journalism and actresses, but if the author of the piece doesn't fall into one of those categories then you founded a non-profit.(less)
I really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to reading more by Schlosser. Also, I think it is important to note how much better the book is th...moreI really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to reading more by Schlosser. Also, I think it is important to note how much better the book is than the poor excuse for the film.
Schlosser does a good job of depicting the series of horrors associated with the fast food industry, and I'm not only taking about the disgusting ways the animals are slaughtered or the sci-fi ingredients added to the food produced. The aspects of the book the most compelling for me were about the workers and the corporations responsible for this potential new world order. The corporations treat their workers as expendable, and thus the companies they purchase ingredients can also abuse their workers. All of these abuses amount to an impressive amount of union busting.
I really enjoyed Schlosser's explanation for how fast food and transportation have shaped the United States. It is equally as interesting as the the way these corporations are influencing the rest of the world.
Schlosser address his critics in the epilogue, and the most interesting counter argument/criticism was his depiction of the Republican party. Schlosser defends his position and takes his critics to task. After all, they are rarely criticizing the content of the book, but just why he is saying them.(less)
David Gilmour depicts his life with his son after they decided the son could drop out of high school. Gilmour put restrictions on the arrangement requ...moreDavid Gilmour depicts his life with his son after they decided the son could drop out of high school. Gilmour put restrictions on the arrangement requiring his son to watch films with him, and stay away from alcohol and drugs.
I was excited about this at the beginning when I thought it was a father/son bonding experience over films, and those who know about my unhealthy relationship with Netflicks would understand my glee. However, the book started down a unfortunate path when Gilmour began depicting his son's relationships.
I expected more than a cute interpretation of failed relationships. I found the commentary on the films to be enjoyable and my Netflicks queue has seriously grown in size.(less)