There are two names that made me purchase and listen to this production: Oscar Wilde, and James Marsters. Should you get this particular edition, be aThere are two names that made me purchase and listen to this production: Oscar Wilde, and James Marsters. Should you get this particular edition, be aware that it's a recording of the stage production, which means it's pretty damn amazing. The laughter of the audience is particularly delightful.
I have actually read very little of Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray has been my experience so far, and I quite liked it), but I certainly want to read more. The characters really pop and are fun to follow. And the pre-Monty Python humor is fantastic. I'm sure I'd like to read the full thing, but the performances in this audio format were excellent. I'd love to see the production itself. The Importance of Being Earnest...more
I read this book because I know a lot of people who have experiences with foster care. (My mother was a CASA, who is essentially an advocate for a fosI read this book because I know a lot of people who have experiences with foster care. (My mother was a CASA, who is essentially an advocate for a foster child, and my best friend was a CASA, adopted one child, and is in the process of adopting another.) My partner and I have also kept in mind the idea of foster-to-adopt.
This is one of those books that is a necessary read and will make you so frustrated. There really are no easy answers to the multiple problems associated with the foster care system. You follow quite a few characters around (I totally lost track, but that's not crucial and perhaps just adds to the massive problem), and there's a lot of sadness and futility with the system. There are pockets of hope as well.
I like this resource because I feel like interacting with the foster care system (and maybe even fixing parts of it) requires full knowledge of all the problems. There's no one solution to the problem, but I got at least two lessons out of this book: 1.) As hard as it might be, don't demonize people and point fingers at them; it really dehumanizes them to make decisions easier, but these are still humans (flawed as they are) that are involved; and 2.) We need to keep trying things. We can't just be frustrated and sit in hopelessness. These people deserve better, and there are things we can do that will make this better. Or they won't. But we need to try....more
Overall this was a really intriguing read. I first saw the book when I was out of state and couldn't justify packing more into my suitcase. But I thinOverall this was a really intriguing read. I first saw the book when I was out of state and couldn't justify packing more into my suitcase. But I think it was in a deal on audible, so I purchased it there. It's not the most exciting thing, but it works.
I'm in general interested in food culture and history, so I liken this book a lot to work by Michael Pollan (The Botany of Desire and Bee Wilson (Consider the Fork, which is one of my favorites).
As you can tell from all of the other reviews, the book focuses on six beverages: beer, wine, spirits (brandy, whiskey, and rum), coffee, tea, and soda pop (emphasis on Coca Cola and Pepsi). There was a lot of fascinating information. Now, I can't speak to the arguments from others that this book looks heavily at Western culture, but I suspect one reason for doing so is that these are drinks that have had a wider impact, particularly due to colonization and globalization. And I think the author does a fair job of calling attention to the roles of slavery and oppression, not to mention allowing scores of people in China get addicted to opium so the British could get their tea.
Another complaint I've seen is that the epilogue doesn't really pull the drinks together again, which I think is unfair. What else is the author going to say that hasn't been said in the introduction? Just reread the introduction. The epilogue addresses water, which I think is pretty cool honestly, because it's a mark of civilization and is certainly a political factor in the world.
Overall the book met my expectations, and I sort of spaced out at times, but I learned a bunch and quite enjoyed it....more