On the whole, I think this book's big problem is that it's a memoir about a spiritual journey, which means it has two very different things to talk abOn the whole, I think this book's big problem is that it's a memoir about a spiritual journey, which means it has two very different things to talk about, and both of them get short-changed because she's not a good enough writer to pull it off. The anecdotes about her life and the trajectory of her life feel scattered. She doesn't give me great faith that she could even pull off a straight memoir. Additionally, for someone who is so intellectually oriented, her discussions of religion feel very superficial....more
I'm a bisexual woman-born-woman who came to sexual awareness relatively late, so the idea of growing up knowing that there was something "different" aI'm a bisexual woman-born-woman who came to sexual awareness relatively late, so the idea of growing up knowing that there was something "different" about oneself on a sexual level is fairly foreign to my personal experience, so I don't particularly _resonate_ with these stories, but they're well-written and interesting....more
I hated this book so much. It's a decent enough autobiography (though it was the first Lewis I read after rereading the Narnia books, and I so wantedI hated this book so much. It's a decent enough autobiography (though it was the first Lewis I read after rereading the Narnia books, and I so wanted to like Lewis but this made me rather dislike him), but it's billed as a conversion narrative, and the resolution is basically: "And then I converted. The end."...more
Reading a lot of the early portions of this book (about Beatie's childhood) I felt somewhat bored -- I'm not a big reader of (auto)biographies and wasReading a lot of the early portions of this book (about Beatie's childhood) I felt somewhat bored -- I'm not a big reader of (auto)biographies and was primarily interested in the development of his gender identity, which turned out to be in a lot of ways a very minor part of his story (which certainly makes sense in some ways -- my gender identity comes up almost not at all when I tell stories of my life, and this would remain true even were I to tell The story of my life) -- though as the story progressed, the relevance of some of the childhood stories becomes clearer.
I'd been oblivious to most of the media frenzy around this story, but after a coworker talked about with some mixed feelings (early December 2008, after 20/20's "Most Fascinating People of 2008") I ILL-ed a copy of this book to better equipped to participate in discussions about this specific situation (beyond broad philosophical arguments like "No, really, the fact that their kid might get harassed because of who her parents are should not be a compelling reason for them to not have a child"), so I appreciated having a clearer understanding of the trajectory of their decision to "go public."
While I didn't personally find the story all that compelling, I'm also not one of the people who need to be convinced of the "okay-ness" of any of Beatie's choices. It's hard for me to say how convincing I think this would be to people who would need to be "convinced" -- though his relationship with his wife and their desire to have a child come across as so natural and good.
I also really want to read Eric Carle's Mister Seahorse now -- from p. 312: [[ Recently, I found a book called Mr. Seahorse by Eric Carle. It's a delightful and colorful children's book that explains how a pregnant male seahorse travels around the ocean, meeting other male fish who carry their own babies: the stickleback, tilapia, nurseryfish, pipefish, and bullhead catfish. I've already begun reading the book to Susan. Page by page, I point to the growing male seahorse and explain to her that I, her father, did just that with her. On the final page, I show her all of the babies Mr. Seahorse gave birth yo, but let her know that all I had was one special baby--and I point to her. Susan will always know the truth about where she came from. ]]
Chapter 17 ("What People Say") included various reader comments from various blogs on their story, and this is possibly my favorite (from p. 288): [[ We as women so often curse and say, "If only a guy could give birth for a change, so he can tell other guys exactly what we go through and the hardships that come with making a beautiful child"--[and now we're:] complaining that finally one can do just that. ]]...more