Exceptional work that deconstructs the stories told by the "canon," that is, the familiar photographs that we all know about the American Civil Rights...moreExceptional work that deconstructs the stories told by the "canon," that is, the familiar photographs that we all know about the American Civil Rights struggle. I found Berger's take on the importance of depicting black activists as powerless, attacked, vulnerable to whites' violence fascinating. He points out that these classic photos are usually taken from the point of view of the whites -- allowing the viewer to distance her/himself from the violent white racists while inspiring altruistic, Good Samaritan impulses and confirming whites' sense that they can use their societal power to help. These classic photos were often taken by white journalists who quite understandably wanted to support and further blacks' struggle and use their skills to that end -- yet, their own biases filtered through and now have been enshrined in our cultural understanding of race. Berger offers other photos which show blacks as resisting, angry, powerful, joyful, self-actualized. It was an excellent book that I'd like to own. (less)
I loved the personal narrative also, about their goal of a creating a duplex "nest" to which they might hope to attract the women of their dreams. It all worked out! I loved the urban thrust of this book -- most permaculture tomes assume endless access to land, which is contrary to the trend of more and more urban dwellers in our world. So much remains possible on the very small scale!
With the words "Plant Geeks" actually in the subtitle, I'm surprised at some other reviewers' surprise that this is a detailed examination of urban growing by two extraordinarily learned individuals. It's not an introductory text. If the word "ecosystem" is not used in your daily life, this book probably isn't for you.
I loved this book. I adored how Gussow told the truth about the defecits in her marriage. I so admire a truth teller. As one who has been in a 25 year...moreI loved this book. I adored how Gussow told the truth about the defecits in her marriage. I so admire a truth teller. As one who has been in a 25 year marriage, I understand the urge to "prettify" all the places where struggles reside -- and how deleriously happy is one supposed to be throughout a life, anyway? "And they lived happily EVER AFTER" is true only in the books we love here on Goodreads.
Another thing I love is that Gussow involves All Her Relations in this life story. Like her, the players in my life aren't just humans. They are dogs, trees, flowers, herbs, honeybees, insects, yeast, and many others. Her approach feels true and right to me in this regard.
The book itself was like taking a short walk with Gussow thru her late seventies and projected up until her Obituary. I related to the mortality thoughts that have begun to creep in as I traverse my fifties. It's so good to learn strategies for active engagement with the land as I contemplate aging. THANKS SO MUCH, Joan! (less)
Thought this was an excellent popular read and I appreciated the tone of Ms. Cain's writing. Much scientific research was covered on the introverts am...moreThought this was an excellent popular read and I appreciated the tone of Ms. Cain's writing. Much scientific research was covered on the introverts among us. It was helpful (having worked in a research lab) to have all the academic jargon and in-speak translated into something enjoyable.
This book helped me understand the complexities of my intro/extro marriage -- and why so many people gasp with shock when I cop to being an introvert. I already understood the basics: that large gatherings drain me, that I recharge in silence, that an intense conversation with one person is many hundred times more enticing to me than small talk with a group. But Cain's book took my understanding much deeper. Much like Brian Little, I am able to play an extrovert in the service of my heart's work: agriculture, sustainability, community building. She helped me see why I am so overstimulated by the end of a day at the office. Why I have a history of others asking in exasperation, "why are you getting so upset?!"
And better, she offered strategies for surviving and thriving in this extroverted world. I'd love to own this one...(less)
The comparison of this book to other classics such as My Side of the Mountain Trilogy, Little House on the Prairie and Hatchet is a good one. I believ...moreThe comparison of this book to other classics such as My Side of the Mountain Trilogy, Little House on the Prairie and Hatchet is a good one. I believe this book to be as good or better at involving us in the lives of those living close to nature, in this case the Ojibwa. 7 year old Omakayas' life through the round of the year on an island in Lake Superior is fascinating! I studied Ojibwa in college as a part of my anthropology degree and enjoyed encountering the familiar words in this book. (There is a nice glossary at the end, though all the words are skillfully defined by context.)
I have always been interested in how one lives sustainably and in harmony with nature, so this type of story has always been my favorite. I was already a fan of Louise Erdrich, so imagine how thrilled I was that she had written this series! Erdrich not only tells an engaging story about Omakayas and her family but also writes it beautifully. I bought them all immediately (used, of course) so that I may read them to my grandchildren. (less)
Interesting short book. Alice has been a staple of our family's reading life and learning a little about Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgeson) and Alice Li...moreInteresting short book. Alice has been a staple of our family's reading life and learning a little about Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgeson) and Alice Liddell was superb. Although the book contains just the one (cover) image of Alice, many other photographs by Dodgeson were described. Google provided visuals for these, many equally intriguing. Hers was indeed a provocative and captivating face. Loved the descriptions of early photography, the Victorian cult of child purity, and Dodgeson's Oxford career. Looking forward to reading a biography of Dodgeson sometime soon. (less)