Some of the stories in this book are full of unfortunate clichés and plot developments that are painfully predictable. I kept having to look at the shSome of the stories in this book are full of unfortunate clichés and plot developments that are painfully predictable. I kept having to look at the shiny Nobel Prize on the cover and ask myself what all the fuss was about. So many stories featured a passionate, intelligent woman discontent with her predictable, dependable husband. From almost the opening sentence the reader can guess where that set up leads: She has an affair! She finds liberation in shedding her matronly duties! She has sex on a train or in a trailer with a random stranger because, of course, that's what intelligent women do to find themselves. Deep stuff.
Oh, and let's not forget the poor, oppressed, mousy housewife with the bullying, domineering, husband. We have to give that trope some page space because, feminism. To drive the point home, Munro gives her a much smarter, more progressive sister who doesn't like to clean house and loves to argue with her husband. Despite the subtle, understated writing style, the content hits the poor reader over the head with garish, inhumane caricatures.
Not to mention, every single character, as far as I could tell, was white. Surely there are some people of color in Canada? I struggled to understand how this white-washed world was an accurate depiction of "just life," as Munro puts it.
Notwithstanding the tired clichés, predictable plots, and bewilderingly white depiction of Canada, the stories did get better as the book went on. "Train" was actually quite good, and the autobiographical stories were, as touted, the best in the book.
But a Nobel Prize? Surely there is something better out there that deserves the honor....more
Can the original Sherlock Holmes possibly have been improved? That is the question I have been asking myself ever since finishing this fantastic novelCan the original Sherlock Holmes possibly have been improved? That is the question I have been asking myself ever since finishing this fantastic novel. Without a doubt, The Beekeeper's Apprentice is every bit the equal of the original series. Laurie King captured Sherlock Holmes' character and time, and her feminist heroine, Mary Russell, imbues the stories with depth, color, and richness. Now I can not even imagine a Sherlock without Russell. So much is missing without her.
If you love and crave more of Sherlock Holmes in your life, this book is absolutely for you....more
This book calmed my fear about homeschooling. Like most parents who consider the idea for the first time, I found myself drawn to the many benefits ofThis book calmed my fear about homeschooling. Like most parents who consider the idea for the first time, I found myself drawn to the many benefits of this decision but scared of the "s" word, socialization. This book addressed all of my fears and put them to rest. I did not finish the book because it became repetitive and belabored points that did not need proving (in my opinion). For example, there was a chapter in there on why bullying is socially detrimental to children. As a person who was bullied as a child myself, no one needs to prove this to me in a book.
But I would definitely recommend this book to any and every parent who hears God's call to homeschool and yet still fears social consequences. ...more
This book knocked my socks off. I will be rereading it regularly. I have never encountered such a thoughtful, faithful, simple explanation of how to aThis book knocked my socks off. I will be rereading it regularly. I have never encountered such a thoughtful, faithful, simple explanation of how to actively rest in God's peace while parenting and teaching children. I am indebted to the friend who lent me this book. It is incredible. ...more
I feel like the content of this book deserves five stars, even if the writing sometimes falls flat. Words nourish the brain just like food nourishes tI feel like the content of this book deserves five stars, even if the writing sometimes falls flat. Words nourish the brain just like food nourishes the body, and babies need words, lots and lots of words, to thrive. This is a great reminder for the tired parent. I read this book in short segments specifically because it helped to motivate me to speak more when my natural inclination would have been to save that energy instead.
I also appreciated the great implications of Suskind's research and programs. She is trying to address social inequality by providing parents with the resources they need to build up their children from day one. I was shocked by the afterword, wherein she revealed that her husband was the man who gave his life to save two children from drowning in Lake Michigan. I remember that incident clearly, and somehow the connection between her story and her work made the book even more powerful for me.
I could go on and on about this book, but the thing is, no words can do it justice. I had never heard of Paul Kalanithi, but I now know to mourn his dI could go on and on about this book, but the thing is, no words can do it justice. I had never heard of Paul Kalanithi, but I now know to mourn his death. His brilliance, compassion, and sublime literary gift are all here in his last work. ...more
I can not say enough good things about this book. It turns out Dr. Scott from "Dinosaur Train" is not only likable and kid-friendly, but he's also anI can not say enough good things about this book. It turns out Dr. Scott from "Dinosaur Train" is not only likable and kid-friendly, but he's also an articulate, persuasive, often poetic writer. It was painful for me to put this book down.
This book introduced me to the concept of nature mentoring, and I took a lot of personal notes on how to apply the principles outlined in the book. This book is supposed to be about how adults can foster a nature-child bond within the children they mentor, but it's also so much more than that. I felt like I could ground my children's entire curriculum (assuming we home school) within the framework put forward by Dr. Scott.
I was especially drawn to the "coyote" concept of mentorship. The trickster figure who instructs without appearing to instruct loomed large to me. Good teaching often occurs when the student does not even realize she is being taught. Dr. Scott's coyote mentor teaches primarily through stories and questions. This mentor prompts the student to create their own stories, find their own questions, and seek their own answers. This pedagogical imagery has powerful carry-through to other areas of my children's education, including their spiritual education.
I don't know if Dr. Scott ever has time to read his Goodreads reviews because it seems as if he would want to spend any free time unplugged and outside. But if he ever happens on this review: A huge thank you for writing this book! I am sure it will change the trajectory of my children's childhood. Thank you!...more
I hadn't heard of Laurie David before, but it seems as if she is a famous environmentalist. This beautiful book is one of her solutions to climate chaI hadn't heard of Laurie David before, but it seems as if she is a famous environmentalist. This beautiful book is one of her solutions to climate change. She believes caring, involved, articulate citizens are necessary to address this issue. The way to create such a citizenry? Family dinners! The book is filled with delightful anecdotes, recipes, and even research to help families bring this tradition back.
Even though we already have family dinners in our home, I found this book to be an invaluable resource to make this time more meaningful and fun. The book also helped ground our meals in purpose and vision. I am now able to see more clearly what we are actually accomplishing (and hoping to accomplish) by investing in time together at the table.
Before reading this book, our family dinners were daily occurrences, but often they did not optimize the opportunity of having time together. My husband and I would be trying to tell each other about our day, and our kids' constant interruptions felt trying. Now I see what was probably already obvious to every other family: The children need to be included in conversation! The ideas for fun family engagement are endless and exciting. In fact, there were so many good ideas that they necessitated the creation of a spreadsheet to make sure we rotate through all of them regularly. Ever since I caught the vision of this book, my husband and I save our one-on-one conversations for other time and reserve meal time for one conversation that includes everybody.
I feel almost evangelical zeal about this topic and will be gifting this book to loved ones....more
This book opened my eyes to certain aspects of immigration that I did not know before. I did not know anything about the perilous trains in Mexico orThis book opened my eyes to certain aspects of immigration that I did not know before. I did not know anything about the perilous trains in Mexico or what a journey would be like for a central American migrant coming to the U.S.. I also did not know about all the issues surrounding the separation of immigrant mothers from their children. Frankly, I did not know that mother-child separation is common enough to be an issue. It turns out this type of separation constitutes an epidemic that underlies a host of other social ills. This was an eye-opening, heart-wrenching read....more
I read this because I could not take the suspense of the TV series. I wanted to know what happens to Ross and Demelza. If anyone else is in the same bI read this because I could not take the suspense of the TV series. I wanted to know what happens to Ross and Demelza. If anyone else is in the same boat, this is probably the book in the series that answers those deep, burning questions: Did Ross cheat on Demelza? Does Demelza cheat on Ross? Do any of their kids survive?