I was interested in learning more about this game with which all the teens in the library are obsessed. The actual story of the founder wasn't particuI was interested in learning more about this game with which all the teens in the library are obsessed. The actual story of the founder wasn't particularly interesting, but the psychology of Minecraft and how it has been embraced by players definitely was....more
This was both better and worse than I expected. It was better in that it was an enjoyable listen, with lots of funny stories from Chris Crutcher's youThis was both better and worse than I expected. It was better in that it was an enjoyable listen, with lots of funny stories from Chris Crutcher's youth. Think Bill Bryson's Thunderbolt Kid book. But, it lacked a coherent time flow and and he kept mentioning something interesting - his struggle with anger management, his work with violent men, his mother's alchoholism - and then not really talking about it. I admired the fact that this didn't turn into another "my childhood was more dysfunctional than yours" memoir, but, let's face it, dysfunction is more interesting than childhood tales of Iowa....more
This was a beautiful book about a woman and her relationship with her son, as expressed through their book club - books they read together while she wThis was a beautiful book about a woman and her relationship with her son, as expressed through their book club - books they read together while she was undergoing treatment for terminal cancer.
I have to admit, as I started to read the book, I had difficulty relating to the characters and their lives. The mom of the book was so accomplished - she had been admissions director at Harvard and Radcliffe, had been the director of a commission on refugees, and had traveled to several countries for humanitarian work. She was also very clearly independently wealthy from some unnamed source. All of her children went to boarding school. They were cosmopolitan New Yorkers who collected pottery. Just a very different life from what I've lead and what I continue to lead.
Their relationship with books was different too. Very intellectual, and not as much about the actual story as about the ideas. Which is fine, but it made me feel somewhat shallow as I get annoyed by books where people just hang about having revelations. Also, they read much darker stuff than I can manage to make myself do.
But, past all that, I enjoyed the book. I grew to really like the mother and admire how she handled her illness. I liked when they discussed books I had read, and I found several that I want to read.
Still, when I finished the book, and was sitting around feeling weepy, my daughters came in with a laptop and proceeded to show me several internet memes they found amusing. And then my husband called me downstairs to ask if I thought the rug in the basement smelled like cat pee (we don't have a cat). So, yeah. I live a very, very different life....more
I worry. Sometimes, a lot. It can occasionally keep me awake, make me feel tense, unsettled. When people talk about dealing with an anxiety disorder,I worry. Sometimes, a lot. It can occasionally keep me awake, make me feel tense, unsettled. When people talk about dealing with an anxiety disorder, I think, "I can relate."
I had no idea.
Well, that isn't fair. I do have some idea, but my anxiety is situational, generally short-term, and reasonably resolved. Daniel Smith lives with my kind of anxiousness (only worse) ALL THE TIME. It must be an absolutely exhausting way to go through life.
It was somewhat exhausting to read. Smith was constantly going down rabbit trails and off on tangents. I found my mind wandering a bit. Other people's minute thoughts are only so interesting. In fact, the thing about anxiety is that it is so narcissistic. People who suffer from real anxiety are so wrapped up in themselves, it is paralyzing. It must be difficult to be around, day in and day out.
The thing that makes Daniel Smith a good writer about this subject is that he can look at it, name it, and analyze it. At the same time, it's this gift of thinking and analysis that makes his anxiety so powerful. An inventive mind is able to come up with so many more things to worry about than a duller one.
I'm glad I read the book. I feel like I got some insight. I didn't really enjoy the reading though. It was too much like having anxiety myself. ...more