Update: Even after all these months I can't get this book out of my head. Yesterday the tragedy was brought up in class and I felt my throat tighten u...moreUpdate: Even after all these months I can't get this book out of my head. Yesterday the tragedy was brought up in class and I felt my throat tighten up. When I was reading this I was addicted to this one song and now whenever I listen to it I think of Harris and Klebold. This shaky feeling comes over me. It really impacted me. All I watch is crime shows, so it's not like I've never been exposed to this -- it's just that I can relate to Columbine. I mean, I don't remember it, but I was alive when it happened. They were my age. They lived in the typical American suburb. My review seems shallow now, but it really did sink into my skin and stayed there. It's heartbreaking.
I'm not saying don't read the book because you're gunna have emotional trauma afterwards. If anything I think that makes it more important to read the book. I think it's important for us to realize how real this was.
This book was amazingly informational. You get a detailed picture of the day of the tragedy, the killers, and the aftermath. What happened with the survivors and how the families of the thirteen murdered (and Eric and Dylan's parents) dealt with everything. It's disturbing how much the cops tried to hide and the media screwed up so that even today people don't know the truth about the killers.
I devoured this book. If I'd had time I would've just sat and read it until I'd finished. The writing comes right to the point and doesn't give you any fluff (thank you journalist Cullen, I'm sorry you have to share your name with that sparkly vampire).
In depth and absolutely stunning, even in its terrible way.(less)
This is the first Capote book I've read. I watched the movie on his relationship with Perry Smith and the times he spent writing this book (it's calle...moreThis is the first Capote book I've read. I watched the movie on his relationship with Perry Smith and the times he spent writing this book (it's called Capote, 'case you was wondering) last December and thought it was intriguing. So I've been meaning to pick this book up for a while. But enough with the rambling, unimportant, introductions...
It took him a while to set everything up. The place, Kansas. The family, their relationships, the whole town. But after reading all that you feel like you kind of know them, and it makes everything even more real and severe. I feel like in some instances we didn't need all the information that he gave us, mostly about minor people. He also repeated information. For instance these cats that walked around town picking dead birds out of car grills -- I read about them twice, thrice? And parts of Perry's childhood. And what an old bat the postmistress was. It all made the book drag a little.
But I did like the book. A lot more than I'm making it sound, but not as much that it quite makes four stars. (There's something impersonal in there I can't place, in addition to what I already mentioned.) We know who's done the murders from the beginning, so basically the only buildup was for the gruesome details of how they did it, and why. Which I don't think there was any particular conclusion on the latter. He spreads all the evidence out on the table and lets you decide.
I applaud how thorough Capote's research was. He was basically there right after the murders happened and stayed with the case until it was over.
For school. Written by one of the head honchos, specializing in social science.
The material was very interesting, but it was equally hard to read. The...moreFor school. Written by one of the head honchos, specializing in social science.
The material was very interesting, but it was equally hard to read. The wording, the sentence structure. I'd have to read sentences over and over again to make sure I understood them. The reports, which were supposed to be simple, seriously took me hours and hours. Ugh. Not a book I want to visit again.(less)
So last semester I did a research paper on William Wallace. This book turned out to be a great resource. I feel like Morton did a good job in separati...moreSo last semester I did a research paper on William Wallace. This book turned out to be a great resource. I feel like Morton did a good job in separating the myths from what's provable. Very straight edge business. But, after other research, I feel like there's more that he could've included. His writing is easy to read and understand.
The thing I didn't like about the book was how it unfolded. I felt like I was getting pieces, chunks, in different chapters. I think I would've liked it better if he had laid it all out and then went into Blind Harry, entertainment -- myth factors.
But, overall, an excellent book, especially for the reader who just wants to get an idea of who Wallace was without going into all the wordy history books.(less)
This is one of those rare books where you can feel the author writing because they need to write, they need to pour their soul out, sacrifice, let us...moreThis is one of those rare books where you can feel the author writing because they need to write, they need to pour their soul out, sacrifice, let us mangle it, because what they're writing about is that important. They aren't trying to pull any stupid bullshit or impress anyone. This isn't some dry academic book. It's very colorful, especially when you get past the first 100 or so pages and Muscio starts to find her voice. It's personal. It's very positive: we can change things. I don't know how anyone being open minded could not see the truth in a lot -- but not all -- of her reasoning.
That said, luckily I acquired the 2nd edition of this book, which has a long afterward that should have been a preface because of the ignorance in gender generalization throughout the book. If this afterward hadn't been included at all I'm sure I wouldn't've rated this book so well.
In said afterward Muscio basically apologizes for her ignorance about the flexibility of gender and talks about what she's learned in the decade since the book was published, not only about gender and generalization, but politics and environment and abuse. It made me happy to see how her mind expanded. It made me want to read some of her newer books.
Rewinding, I devoured the first 2/3 of this book in probably a day and a half before getting worn down by the gender generalization and chummy, "yee haw"/"deedle dee-doo" narration. A few months passed, and I made myself continue reading it. Reunited with Muscio's excellent, blunt, common-sense, reasoning I remembered why I liked this book so much to begin with.
So, acknowledged: this book has flaws. Not all ladies have cunts; gender isn't black and white. "Men" shouldn't all be lumped together. I'm not going to stop reading people like Derrick Jensen and just read all female authors. I'm not going to buy art from a female artist over a male artist. That's sexist. I'll give my money to whomever isn't a douche and I like the art of. It would have been cool to have more referenced information on the origin of the word cunt. Whatever.
But I feel like the positives outweigh these flaws. Even the flaws are positive because they challenge why one might disagree or be offended... anything that makes you think is a positive.
People are alarmed by the vulgar language, grossed out by menstrual blood, distraught by the author's abortions (three! she had three! it's very important to include the number!), offended by her view that there's something fucked up in our medical world when we swallow whatever we're given, et cetera, et cetera.
I have very little patience for such people. I never find them to be thinking people. Rather, I find them to be fearful, useless people because they refuse to think about change and instead stubbornly sit in their ways because, even though they may not be right, they lie to themselves so they may stay comfortable. They diss someone like Muscio because they can't bear to see the truth. They try to drown out voices like hers with nit-picking comments about her language and personality, try to make her and others look foolish because what they're saying is challenging their tiny, fragile, disgustingly comfortable little worlds. Do you see this? This is exactly what she's writing about. It should terrify you.
Why: The book could be a lot shorter; a lot of things that have already been talked about get repeate...moreSkip this one. Read What's Up Down There? instead.
Why: The book could be a lot shorter; a lot of things that have already been talked about get repeated. The writer talks like she's your bff, in this girly, cutesy way which can be rather exasperating. There's also a lot of "Put your breast self forward," which would've been fine a couple times, but not every other sentence! It does a good job of covering basics, but it was all stuff I already knew. If you're going to get a book about the body for your daughter don't you want one that will answer ALL of her questions?(less)
Review in progress: It's idiotic to write disdainfully of the decisions or thought processes hooks goes through in this book. She's writing of a perio...moreReview in progress: It's idiotic to write disdainfully of the decisions or thought processes hooks goes through in this book. She's writing of a period of growth in her life. Of course some of it is going to be "harmful". But she explains her motives behind such decisions in much detail - it's the point of the book, after all.
I also disagree with the reviewer who said the last third of the book wasn't so hot. It's the part I enjoyed the most. Rather, I think at first it was a little hard for me to get into the book. But once I was, phew!
I have never read such a descriptive, whole, well-written work about a relationship.
I don't even know how more to praise this book I'm so floored. I couldn't go to bed, I had to finish reading.
The only criticism I have currently is that she repeats information quite a bit, and that is tiresome. But not even something that makes me want to lower my rating.(less)
I need to stop writing reviews right after I finish reading a book, but fuck it.
This should have been 50 pages instead of 200-some. I'm positive abou...moreI need to stop writing reviews right after I finish reading a book, but fuck it.
This should have been 50 pages instead of 200-some. I'm positive about the content of this book -- in general. (If you decide to go with gender norms you're gunna leave minorities out.) But this book is just reiterating the very basics that you can easily find on any feminist labeled websites. Its basically a lot of quoting of basically the same thing said by different people over and over again, the book slowly progressing through subtopics but often getting side-tracked and requoting and restating the exact things that have already been said!
It was extremely repetitive and poorly edited. I enjoy snarkiness, but Valenti's isn't appealing to me. Especially when she decides to put her wit in notes at the bottom of nearly every page so the dull college essay style can be held more intact...
In its defense I guess there had yet to be a book of this nature. But we have new technology. If you're going to write a book it's okay to bring the obvious issues to the table. By I think it should be in a condensed fashion so new ideas can be voiced instead of just repeating the same old thing.
I also, unfortunately, have to agree that there's a lot of self-promotion in this book. It feels like half of the quotes the author agrees with are from their own work, their co-editors, or website.
Also I don't think it helped to keep referring to feminism, particularly when it didn't add to anything. And they said this about feminists... who gives a shit? what does that have to do with what youre discussing? Same goes for making fun of religious organizations/purity supporters. We should see people as humans... And now 200 pages of how purity/abstinence supporters are foolish and hate on feminism... And now remember to see everyone as human!(less)
I want to get this book for everyone for Christmas. Including my bible-thumping Obama-cursing grandfather.
At first I felt bombarded with too many und...moreI want to get this book for everyone for Christmas. Including my bible-thumping Obama-cursing grandfather.
At first I felt bombarded with too many undefined terms and ideas, but I quickly got into it and everything started to make a shitload of sense. It's altered my perspective and given me a lot to think about, past just what's on the page. Though there's a lot of talk about it being a self-help book, it didn't feel like one to me. It just felt like hooks sharing her experiences and beliefs.
There are quite a bit of Christian overtones and mentions of god and the bible, which is obviously based on hooks' spiritual experiences in her childhood. But I wouldn't label this a Christian book. I don't really understand how people could get that impression when it seems to me that hooks -- though definitely influenced by Christianity -- takes from different religions and resources.
I also feel like I should argue the point that she's "anti-atheism", as another reviewer was uncomfortable with. Mostly because I don't see how anyone can believe atheism isn't a religion itself with how much feeling and opinion goes into such arguments. It's definitely a belief. But also because hooks barely mentions it -- the main time I remember is when she's stating how it's unpopular for someone in her group to not be an atheist, and so how hard it was for her to start talking about her spirituality.
Though not a major issue, at times she writes how difficult it can be to talk to men about love and the issues they have with it as though she is only writing to women. She talks a lot about gender and traditional roles but I wish she had made room for those that don't conform to either gender norm. If I wasn't a woman, especially one not in a hetro relationship, sections of this book would have had trouble speaking to me. It was off-putting either way.
So there are some flaws but there's a lot to learn. Highly recommend it.(less)