I've always been fascinated with India, so I was excited about this book, but it ended up making me think twice about whether or not I wanted to visitI've always been fascinated with India, so I was excited about this book, but it ended up making me think twice about whether or not I wanted to visit. I've always thought of it as a fascinating place with beautiful things and people, and this definitely disabused me of any wrong notions. The author didn't always seem super likable, but in the same way India grew on her, she grew on me, and I found myself enjoying them both in the end....more
I got into reading about past Presidents around the time of the inauguration and became very curious about Eleanor Roosevelt when reading about her huI got into reading about past Presidents around the time of the inauguration and became very curious about Eleanor Roosevelt when reading about her husband. After reading this three-volume autobiography, I am no longer curious, but I have even more admiration.
If you're very curious about her childhood, then by all means read the first volume, but if not, read the wikipedia article for a summary and skip to the good stuff. The second volume covers her years in the White House and contains many observations about the world and the US at the time. She definitely transforms from a woman unsure of herself at the beginning of her family life to an insightful commentator on world events. Roosevelt spends more time in the third volume detailing her own worldview as a member of the UN delegation and Civil Rights committee. The topics on which she spends the most time are colored heavily by the mounting Communist threat at the time she wrote that volume (around 1961), but her convictions that all people deserve basic human rights and that we all have a responsibility to bring about a world in which possession of these rights are the bare minimum to be expected are still as prescient and important today as ever. I enjoyed getting to know Eleanor thoroughly....more
While the point of the book is definitely to make one less anxious about writing, it made me slightly more nervous only because I hadn't realized I had to decided to try writing until I actually checked out the book, took it home, and started reading it.
Still, everything in the book is designed to keep the reader/writer from building writing up to a point that it is difficult to write and judging herself. It seemed to be sensible advice, and I was never bored reading, but we'll see if it works if I actually get anything written....more
So before I decided to become a vegetarian I didn't read anything like this. While my decision was partially based on the constantly updated knowledgeSo before I decided to become a vegetarian I didn't read anything like this. While my decision was partially based on the constantly updated knowledge about the sophistication of animals and their communication skills along with the well-known cruelty of the food industry, I told myself it was mostly a reaction to the knowledge that feeding, keeping, and moving food animals is terribly detrimental to the environment. Horribly. And that's true. It is. I was fairly sure that reading about the cruelty in depth wouldn't have too much of an effect on me. I knew about it already and had rationally already chosen to change my behavior accordingly. I believed myself desensitized to actual strong feelings by my lifelong knowledge of the practice, but about half way through this book, it really got to me in a way that it hadn't before.
Of course, I also think it's incredibly important to read the book for the information about the unbelievably detrimental effect the meat industry has on the environment, public health, and biodiversity. The information about the sophistication of the intelligence of animals usually considered to be dumb can be pretty astonishing (fish learning!). I was frankly shocked to finally pay attention to how much weight the meat industry lobby has in government. All of this was balanced against stories of wonderful grandmothers who provide meat-laden foods and family farmers who fight to do what is right for the animals that they say they love. If the book doesn't encourage you to consider vegetarianism (or, gasp, veganism, which I am now considering), then expect it to cause you to seriously consider where you get your animal products. And I believe you should consider where you get your meat (if you don' want to stop), because 99.9999999999999999% of the time, it's been tortured, unless you know who you're getting it from and you've done the research.
And that's another thing that has changed. Before I read this, I was practically afraid to tell people that I'm a vegetarian. It makes my family and my coworkers uncomfortable. I want to make them happy to spend time with me. I want to make the time we spend sharing stories over food a happy time. But reading this made me feel like it's important to share this information with them. Whether they are ignorant of it or they are just choosing to forget because it's uncomfortable to remember, I feel like they should know what people are doing to the animals that they remember fondly from our childhoods feeding them apples, and how it's hurting not only the animals, but us as well....more
I am not a self-help fan. I read this for MLA 2010. I like some of the points and stories from it, and I would personally like to feel like more of aI am not a self-help fan. I read this for MLA 2010. I like some of the points and stories from it, and I would personally like to feel like more of a synthetic thinker, since I mostly think of myself as analytic. He's a dynamic reader and speaker....more
It was interesting to consider the inconsistencies in how we think about animals, but I didn't get a lot of new information. I suppose the informationIt was interesting to consider the inconsistencies in how we think about animals, but I didn't get a lot of new information. I suppose the information about research animals was mostly new to me. There are a lot of moral questions to consider in the text (I guess it's still text if you listen to it), but if our use of animals is something you've thought a lot about before then the questions asked here probably aren't so different than the ones you have decided on for yourself. I think it would be great for anyone who hasn't yet considered our relationship with animals and our use of them....more