I'm giving this book four stars because I wouldn't recommend "Wild Awakening" for someone who hasn't connected with a teacher of either Mahamudra or DI'm giving this book four stars because I wouldn't recommend "Wild Awakening" for someone who hasn't connected with a teacher of either Mahamudra or Dzogchen. Many of these practices are meant to be esoteric, with the practitioner initiated into them after studying with a qualified guru that one can wholeheartedly accept. It's wonderful to have access via books like this to such knowledge and practices, but it's important to be aware of of the limitations as well. This is a potential drawback to practicing Vajrayanan Buddhism in general, as well as one of its strengths. In terms of content as it applies to practitioners of either of these paths, I give this book five stars. ...more
I kept going with the premise of this book--a pain free birth--thru the naivety of the author proclaiming that birth is better in Africa because of laI kept going with the premise of this book--a pain free birth--thru the naivety of the author proclaiming that birth is better in Africa because of lack of medical intervention (fistulas anyone? Highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world? Check and check), but the moment she suggested that you solve any money worries you have before the baby comes with the "Laws of Attraction", I decided to go no further. I grew up in a household that promoted that ethos and if you think someone is poor and not living their dream just because they didn't wish it had enough, well, I'll just smile at you and walk away. Not for me. Kudos if it works for you. ...more
I really wanted to like this book, but I was overwhelmed by the hippie vibe, which veered a tad too close to cultishness for my comfort level. My hatI really wanted to like this book, but I was overwhelmed by the hippie vibe, which veered a tad too close to cultishness for my comfort level. My hat is still off to Ms Gaskin as a pioneer in her field, however. ...more
I don't know why I read this, and kept reading it. Sometimes, the writing was pretty, describing nature and magic in lush prose. Yet nothing swept meI don't know why I read this, and kept reading it. Sometimes, the writing was pretty, describing nature and magic in lush prose. Yet nothing swept me into the world McKillip was trying to build. The story seemed both flat and forced, and I didn't understand why events that she deemed important were important. I guess the only reason I kept turning the pages was that it was my bedtime read, and the minimal interest I had in the outcome helped lull me to sleep. ...more
The reason why I wanted to add my 2 cents in here is that I found that I differed a lot from the other people who rated this book poorly. I have no quThe reason why I wanted to add my 2 cents in here is that I found that I differed a lot from the other people who rated this book poorly. I have no qualms with the way Rowell represented fandom. There is no one right way to be a fan, and those who pooh-poohed Cath's isolationist seemed a bit rigid in their definition of it. Nor do I see her as being pitifully underdeveloped for her age. The struggle of processing pain and instability at an early age means that there are certain aspects of a person's character get overdeveloped and others underdeveloped. Cath learned to be extremely high functioning in some areas, such as her academic work and in protecting herself, while having very poor methods of coping with anxiety and in forming relationships.
Where I found myself docking points from Rowell's entertaining coming of age love story is how fairy tale it seemed. Instead of shunning Cath because of her very nerdy and reclusive tendencies, her smart, worldly roommate/fairy godmother decides to take her under wing. Cath herself, instead of being deeply awkward around people as I would think a person with her level of social anxiety and nerd-dom might have, manages a large number of snappy comebacks and insightful remarks. A kind, handsome farm boy who is not a total nerd himself has endless patience with Cath as she overcomes her hang-ups and demands that he prove himself worthy of her trust. Cath herself is innately beautiful, smart and talented (which explains the farm boy's patience, just a little), and even though she is continually being pushed, kicking and screaming, out of her comfort zone, she is never forced to confront any ugly truths about herself. At the end of the book, she's still obsessed with Harry Potter and refuses to write about anything else despite a successful and incredibly forgiving creative writing professor who tries to mentor her; her party-girl twin sister Wren, who struggles to differentiate herself from Cath, comes around to seeing that Cath was right; she has no new perspective on her mother or father; and she finds a friend and boyfriend who validate her use of meanness and cattiness to hold people at a distance. In fact, that's why they like her. Wow.
It'd be nice if the real world constantly continued to cocoon us in ourselves. Unpleasant things happen around Cath, but rarely in a way that forces her to reconsider her flawed coping mechanisms. I kept thinking about how I would have been so swept away by the romance if I had read it when I was a teen, and what expectations it would have given me of being in a relationship. That disturbed me. Levi's constant giving, his sweet encouragement and support, and his unwavering devotion to Cath despite her difficult nature--as one reviewer put it, Prince Charming. I think we have to be more thoughtful and consider the images of relationships we put out there for teenage girls to consume. While Rowell touches briefly on Levi's constant craving for approval and reasons for being drawn to smart women, she doesn't allow it's shadow side to show itself for long, nor does she give us insight into what his deeper emotional needs might be and how Cath could meet them. That's unfair example to put on men and boys alike. I don't know. Maybe men like that exist. They are few and far between, however, and I think it behooves us to show our daughters from the time they first start becoming interested in love stories and romance that most healthy relationships are a bilateral alliance of give and take, where both sides have to continually prove that they can meet the other's needs.
Anyway. End of rant.
Oh, and I didn't care for the Simon Snow bits at all. ...more