This book is important in that it provides a context for how we as a culture have come to view childbirth in the various ways that we do - our concept...moreThis book is important in that it provides a context for how we as a culture have come to view childbirth in the various ways that we do - our concepts of this important stage of a woman's life is framed by the society in which we live, as well as the societies that have come before.
Many people are happy to take their views at face value and proceed without questioning, but with something that has as far-reaching an impact as childbirth does, I don't believe women can afford to take this sort of attitude.
Although not as thorough as I would have liked, and not entirely of a neutral voice, this book does give the broader context and provide much food for thought, while at the same time allowing the reader to be appreciative for the knowledge that we have now and those that sacrificed so that we might have that knowledge.
An interesting and practical read, for any woman who has or will give birth, or anyone who will come in contact with pregnant women in their lives.
A major eye opener, even for those who are well versed in childbirthing practices.(less)
It was a memoir, in typical memoir style. It was vaguely interesting but didn't make me think very much, or challenge me in any way. I guess I'm not e...moreIt was a memoir, in typical memoir style. It was vaguely interesting but didn't make me think very much, or challenge me in any way. I guess I'm not enough of a foodie to have properly enjoyed this book, which, in my opinion, reeked of mediocrity.(less)
This book, if you can even call it that, was a load of politically driven gay-propaganda drivel. i am all for the message of "know who you are, be you...moreThis book, if you can even call it that, was a load of politically driven gay-propaganda drivel. i am all for the message of "know who you are, be yourself and love yourself at all costs" but the blurbs and pictures that belong more in a magazine than a book proclaim (falsely) that homosexuality is always inborn, never a choice (there are plenty of gay people who say the opposite) and that paints a partial picture that leaves readers with the wrong impression.
The content was cute, but suffered from a schizophrenic "be yourself and you will likely get bullied/beaten/be completely fine" message.
I was hoping for a book that contained mini-memoirs, and what I got was a booklet with a political agenda.
I hope the author was born with that little intellectual honesty so I don't have to hold him culpable for the partial (and therefore misleading) truth he's presenting.
The book earned it's second star through it's cute pictures and the few charming stories it contained.(less)
I know this author is held in pretty high esteem but my first impression of this book, which held to the very end, was that anyone who can publish a b...moreI know this author is held in pretty high esteem but my first impression of this book, which held to the very end, was that anyone who can publish a book criticizing their family members, especially their parents, without showing due cause and a drop of compassion for their position must be a pretty emotionally unhealthy person.
I feel bad for her. She suffered abuse that no one should have to suffer. But casting such a harsh light on her parents, especially on her mother, makes me want to scream "Put on your big-girl panties and quit your whining!" I hope her children are capable of viewing her more favorably than than she does her mother, because I'm not.(less)
My relationship with this book is a little complex - On the one hand I completely agree with the author that, generally speaking, Western eating habit...moreMy relationship with this book is a little complex - On the one hand I completely agree with the author that, generally speaking, Western eating habits are horrible and extremely lacking in nutrition. And her thesis, that this poor nutrition is affecting our minds, and especially brain development, makes complete sense.
However, she presents a lot of speculation as concrete evidence, at least on an emotional level, trying to manipulate her reader into agreeing with her without the hard science to back her up. I can respect when someone says "based on what we know, it's likely that this has an impact, and more research is needed." But Simontacchi frequently takes this one step further, saying that, even though there is not yet research to back it up, this damage IS taking place. And that is a leap of faith, not science.
Another criticism I have is the recipe/menu section in the back. After criticizing sugar, her recipes needlessly contain sugar, and she calls on a number of processed foods as ingredients for her meals. Although what she suggests is likely healthier than the average American meal, it is far from ideal. And there ARE plenty of recipes that compare in taste but contain none of these manufactured foods.
So all in all, I'd consider this book to be alarmist without evidence, and without giving the reader the tools that it claims to give in order to deal with this alarm. Disappointing.
Cute cover, though.
The one thing I DID get out of this book is that I started putting raw beets in my salad (which I didn't know you could do) and they are a delicious and nutritious addition. I'm debating whether this take-away benefit could drag this book up to 3 stars, but I don't quite think it qualifies, even with that.(less)
I actually didn't know this was a classic when I picked it up from a stack of books near the town-recycling. It was just an old, vaguely sticky book,...moreI actually didn't know this was a classic when I picked it up from a stack of books near the town-recycling. It was just an old, vaguely sticky book, and I picked it up because the title intrigued me. It then sat in a stack of books in my bathroom, virtually untouched, for almost half a year.
And then, when I finished the first chapter, I couldn't put it down.
The beginning was a bit slow and had trouble drawing me in, but once I was in, I was hooked. The language is absolutely gorgeous and poetic (though it might have been more typical of the time) and it brings the poetic out in me.
An enchanting journey of language and history...I highly recommend this book to any lover of literature.
One comment...how many times can one say the word "virgin" in a book? Is it immoral of me to think that was overemphasized?(less)