Not sure why I had rated this as 3 stars, though I'm guessing it was the seemingly interminable middle 'wandering around England' section combined wit...moreNot sure why I had rated this as 3 stars, though I'm guessing it was the seemingly interminable middle 'wandering around England' section combined with the excruciating epilogue.
But the highlights make up for the boring slogs and I had forgotten how well-developed the world was. After seeing the movies a lot more than reading the books at this point, I had assumed that some of the more obvious plot holes were in the books as well. Oops, silly me, Rowling is much better than that.(less)
Just didn't get it. This was a short story that reminded me of short stories I would have to read in high school or college. Think too hard about a st...moreJust didn't get it. This was a short story that reminded me of short stories I would have to read in high school or college. Think too hard about a story that I didn't care about and leech symbolism for the purposes of writing an essay.(less)
I can't believe I'd never read this before, it's a pretty classic childrens book. Thanks to a daily Kindle deal I picked it up recently and read it al...moreI can't believe I'd never read this before, it's a pretty classic childrens book. Thanks to a daily Kindle deal I picked it up recently and read it almost entirely during a bath. Which was a pretty perfect way to read this.
Without any attachment from childhood, I can't say I LOVED this book. But it was enjoyable and fun in a way that I know I would have enjoyed as a kid. Sleeping in a museum! Mystery! And I really love the personal revelations that Claude has, it's sort of a cheesy message, but one I really appreciated.(less)
Alright, I didn't love this book as much as I loved the 2nd chapter, but I let it keep its 5th star. The chapter on DIY crafting and the Etsy culture...moreAlright, I didn't love this book as much as I loved the 2nd chapter, but I let it keep its 5th star. The chapter on DIY crafting and the Etsy culture was written FOR me, I loved it. I'm sure the other chapters were just as enlightening, but I've never had a desire to cook, garden, or farm so I couldn't relate to them in the same way.
This book tracks the rise in 'new domesticity' through DIY crafts, gardening/cooking, farming, and 'homemaking'/mothering. Mostly I appreciated Matchar's balance approach. She acknowledges the appeal of the ideas, but challenges the utopian view so many people espouse.
Other than the crafting chapter, the chapters on motherhood and parenting were pretty thought-provoking for me. My mother didn't work when I was a kid (though she provided in-home daycare briefly), and I have personally always felt that I wanted to raise my kids at home until they were school-aged. And some of the values and parenting approaches that I belive in (as someone without kids) are in line with some of the families profiled. However, I don't have kids, nor does it seem likely that if I were to have children that the economy or the workforce would allow me to be a stay-at-home parent.
The book also compares the theoretically diverse views from neo-con Mormons to crunchy liberal that are starting to converge into one mess of off-the-grid libertarians.
I appreciate that the book goes beyond just telling the stories of different people, and delves into the societal aspects of the movement. Matchar addresses class privilege (and within that, white privilege) and particular the risks associated with taking the educated upper middle class 'off grid' and focussed rather than agitating for greater societal change. People are making the decision to step back from corporate America in many ways, but they are the people who have the resources to do so, and ALSO the resources to make a real change for EVERYONE including those less-privileged. Very interesting point that is shown throughout the different chapters as she discusses herd immunity, workplace benefits, and food safety.
Awesome book, I am wishing I had bought a physical copy so I could share it with friends!(less)
I watched SNL during a very specific time and have some memories of earlier casts. Beyond the late eighties/early nineties timeframe I've found most o...moreI watched SNL during a very specific time and have some memories of earlier casts. Beyond the late eighties/early nineties timeframe I've found most of SNL crass and obnoxious.
However some of the history was interesting. As other reviewers have pointed out... you'd think that a book about so many funny people would have been funnier?
I didn't know Al Franken was with SNL for as long as he was, so that was interesting.
Unfortunately talking to cast after cast starts getting repetitive. A few stories are told from different perspectives, and you certainly get a feel for the outcasts of the show. In some ways the outside perspectives (hosts, musical guests, etc) provide some of the most insightful information.
Probably a more interesting book if you're a big fan of SNL, but it dragged long for me.(less)