Good steps, good exercises, good questions to ask as you go about writing your novel, but lots and lots of fluff to wade through to get to the stuff tGood steps, good exercises, good questions to ask as you go about writing your novel, but lots and lots of fluff to wade through to get to the stuff that's helpful. ...more
Westboro Baptist fascinates me. The first time I ever ran into them was pre 9/11 when I was a religion reporter for the Biloxi Sun-Herald, covering thWestboro Baptist fascinates me. The first time I ever ran into them was pre 9/11 when I was a religion reporter for the Biloxi Sun-Herald, covering the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans. WBC picketed the convention. They had their "GOD HATES FAGS" signs and it caused quite a commotion and media blitz. It was nuts. As they've gotten more high-profile, I've even had friends who have counter-protested their protests.
This wasn't the most well-crafted memoir - there's a lot of stream of consciousness connections and a lot of repetitiveness on how Drain felt inferior - but it works. WBC is a cult, and she had been brain-washed. Coming out of that is confusing and disorienting and circular, and the book represents that. I wish there had been more information on her life and adjustment after she was kicked out and how she got to this point, and how she now processes what she was taught and what she did and her views on things now. But I'm sure she probably doesn't still know. I imagine it would take years to figure that out, if ever. My heart broke for her. I found myself getting angry on her behalf. I wish her, and everyone else who has been banished or has escaped from this (or any) cult, the best.
Mostly, the take away for me is that the best course of action is to ignore WBC's antics. They love the attention they get and any time they are confronted, they take it as a sign that they are Right. Of course, they are so convinced that are Right, that even if they are ignored, they'd take that as a sign of their Rightness, too. *sigh*
While I got a lot out of the arguments against moral (we shouldn't eat meat because it kills life), political (we shouldn't eat meat because it's badWhile I got a lot out of the arguments against moral (we shouldn't eat meat because it kills life), political (we shouldn't eat meat because it's bad for the planet), and nutritional (we shouldn't eat meat because we don't need it) vegetarianism, the call to action was surprisingly weak. And ridiculous. I also thought she could have made her point, and appeal to more people, without the misandry and religious bigotry woven throughout the book.
So four stars. The loss of a star is for fighting radicalism with... more radicalism.
Definitely worth a read, though. The section on topsoil loss alone is worth it....more
Found this on the New Books shelf at the library. Joshua and I had just finished The 21-Day Sugar Detox, and so the title grabbed me.
The book focusesFound this on the New Books shelf at the library. Joshua and I had just finished The 21-Day Sugar Detox, and so the title grabbed me.
The book focuses mostly on what the author calls "diabesity," which isn't something that I'm struggling with, but he makes the connection between what we eat and how sick we are, offers a solution, and outlines a plan on how to change your eating habits. The idea is that people can reverse what are pretty much death sentences that most doctors would just tell their patients to take a pill for.
He covers nutrition, inflammation, hormone regulation, and several other factors' contribution to disease. Now I want to learn more about mitochondria. Pretty solid stuff....more
I was actually in the middle of reading Three Cups of Tea last year when this came out. At first, I chalked up KrakEverything about this is just sad.
I was actually in the middle of reading Three Cups of Tea last year when this came out. At first, I chalked up Krakauer's decision to do this take-down as nothing more than sour grapes: a former donor decides he doesn't like how the organization he gave money to spends it, so he writes a piece on how horrible it is. That's really what it sounded like. And then I read it.
It's hard to know what to believe. Three Cups of Tea, is in one part, memoir, and *personally*, I don't hold memoir to the same high standard of regular non-fiction. Memoir is memory, after all, and memory is individualized and not perfect. But TCoT is also in one part a fundraising vehicle for a multi-million dollar non-profit, and therefore has a responsibility to tell the truth.
It makes me think of something Kristin Cashore wrote on her blog after the expose on working conditions on Apple factories:
"If the story I'm being told is partly fictionalized in order to increase its dramatic impact, as seems to have been Mike Daisey's approach -- fine, but TELL ME. Don't present lies as truth in order to manipulate me into a particular emotional reaction that you think contains a deeper truth than the actual truth could. The actual truth contains plenty of emotional impact. Presenting lies as truth, you're not showing your listeners respect, and much worse, you're not showing respect to the people whose difficulties you're misrepresenting either."
From what I hear, Krakauer is no stranger to exaggerating facts himself. So there's that to take in. I was disappointed in the lack a detailed bibliography, of sources. This book seems to rely mostly on interviews and e-mail exchanges. If you're going to damage someone's reputation, you need to have source documents.
I felt like the issues Krakauer raises here are VALID. Mortenson and CAI should account for how they spend the money people give them and should strategize their approach more. Absolutely, But it also seems as if Krakauer has a personal axe to grind with Mortenson - part of Krakauer's issue is that Mortenson is an asshole. So what? You don't have to be a likable person in order to run a non-profit.
Mostly, I hope good comes out of this, and it seems like it has. An investigation has reached a settlement, and Mortenson is in the process of repaying CAI money. He's no longer running the organization and there is a new board in place. All good moves, I think. Hopefully the book will result in more transparency for ALL non-profits, which can only be a good thing....more
I used to follow Crystal's blog a while back, so when I saw this on the New Books shelf at the library, of course I had to pick it up.
I feel like I'mI used to follow Crystal's blog a while back, so when I saw this on the New Books shelf at the library, of course I had to pick it up.
I feel like I'm pretty on top of things with our budget, but I would like to be saving a little bit more (I'm trying to figure out how to save for replacing our vehicles down the road), so this came at a good time for me.
I like that this starts you off in reasonable chunks for learning how to set goals, budget, save, and use coupons. It can be very easy to dive right in full-force and get overwhelmed, especially reading her site, so it was good to hear that she advocates starting slowly.
Crystal can often come off preachy, and she doesn't leave a lot of room for nuance, but it's always good to get motivated to take control of your finances.
This was a quick read - I got through it in about an hour and a half, but I'm also pretty familiar with her approach to things.