This is one of those times I wish I could rate a book with no stars. The Book of the Dead is that bad! I agree with other reviewers that since Blow FlThis is one of those times I wish I could rate a book with no stars. The Book of the Dead is that bad! I agree with other reviewers that since Blow Fly, P. Cornwell's books have taken a turn for the worse. This is not only the worst of her books but one of the worst books I've ever read. There was no real mystery, now the recurring characters are written as just arrogant and angry, the new characters are cliché in the most base sense, and in so many ways they were just tacky. I love a good mystery and I used to enjoy Cornwell's earlier novels but I don't think I will read another of her books....more
The first thing I want to mention is that this book should not necessarily be taken as a parenting how-to guide. Unless the advice really fits your peThe first thing I want to mention is that this book should not necessarily be taken as a parenting how-to guide. Unless the advice really fits your personal parenting values. However, this book is a necessity for all parents who just need a good laugh - and that's all parents. When you raise children, you need to take a break from all the work, worries and stress that parenting entails. Then read this book, laugh out loud, and wish you could do and say all the things that Elizabeth recommends in her book. It's written with advice and personal anecdotes from her childhood that she believes are useful tools to raise happy and healthy children.
Don't let the idea of guilt and manipulation scare you away from reading this book. Yes, it's full of guilt and manipulation tactics that I admit I've thought about but have never used. Now I feel embolden with the knowledge that these tactics can work. I've encountered many of the parents and their children that Elizabeth writes about in her book, especially the playground bully and moms who sexualize their daughters by dressing them like party girls. Admit it, we've all seen this.
The author sometimes spends a little too long on her personal experiences growing up in Las Vegas but I'm sure it was to add pages to the book, and very specific examples of how her parents style of raising their kids makes the case for guilt and manipulation to work. Her experiences in growing up in Las Vegas were often different than my Midwestern upbringing, but I enjoyed her advice just the same. I didn't just enjoy it - I laughed hard at many of her anecdotes and observations. Okay, I will raise nerds (because nerds rule!) but I'm not really going to work at raising my kids this way, though sometimes I wish I had the courage, or had Tony the Ant on speed dial....more
I occasionally revisit a piece of classic literature for a better appreciation of a novel at a more mature age than I did as a teenager or young adultI occasionally revisit a piece of classic literature for a better appreciation of a novel at a more mature age than I did as a teenager or young adult. That is how I came to re-read Sinclair Lewis' "Main Street." It seems at first a novel full of satire and criticism of the often narrow-minded life of small town America. It is however, much more than that. I have to admit that I enjoyed Lewis' astute observations of small town life and its stifling mediocrity, its inhabitants inability to change or improve, and the ignorance of their own importance in relation to other cities and towns. Through Carol, Lewis sharply pointed out how easy it is for a group of people to take the path of least resistance, and lazily accept conformity, religion, commercialism and lack of intellectual enlightenment. Whether this behavior is truly laziness or a fear of change has been, and will be, argued for decades.
The story's title isn't just "Main Street," but "The Story of Carol Kennicott." Carol, who is intelligent and formally educated, is frustrated by society's expectations where women were expected to be happy with marriage and motherhood. So Carol, with her her dreams, ambitions, creativity and flaws, proceeds to Main Street as a self-identified reformer. Without any knowledge of its citizens or traditions, she considers the people of Gopher Prairie to be in need of her help and erudition. Of course, she war right and wrong. Carol was unable to recognize a basic human need for security over culture, and civic importance over grand architecture, even if only at a small town level. However, the author was right in his assessment of the dilution of world culture as immigrants exchange the old ways for a new "American" culture. Lewis severely pointed out that we, as individuals and a society, loose something in our desire to make money instead of growing in intelligence, courage or love. In the end, both in novel and life, one must find the often elusive balance of our ambitions and of our place to call home. Really, this is why we establish a Main Street in the first place, and why we often move away to find a new one....more