This book is by Martha Beck--(now apostate)daughter of Hugh Nibley and Oprah Magazine columnist. I have to say I was skeptical when my neighbor lent iThis book is by Martha Beck--(now apostate)daughter of Hugh Nibley and Oprah Magazine columnist. I have to say I was skeptical when my neighbor lent it to me, but I truly liked this book. It is extremely well written, and made me laugh audibly on many occasions. Sure, parts of it are way "out there," but I just considered the source. I think she wrote this before she got really radical and accused her father of sexually abusing her. Whatever your feelings about her, it is still a thought-provoking book. Beck takes the reader through her pregnancy with her Down Syndrome son, Adam, all whilst she and her husband were trying to get their Ph.D.s from Harvard. This book will make you re-think your assumptions about faith, mental "handicaps," and the labels people place on others....more
One of the worst things about moving is having to find a new hair stylist! After I moved, I had some bad hair coloring jobs, and I decided it was tooOne of the worst things about moving is having to find a new hair stylist! After I moved, I had some bad hair coloring jobs, and I decided it was too much stress, upkeep, and cost to continue coloring and having root touch ups. So I decided to stop and let my hair go gray. It's been a year and half now since I made that decision. I have to say it was very liberating! This book really helped validate my decision, and helped me feel like I wasn't a freak of nature for letting my hair be it's natural color....more
Cute, funny essays on life, kids, and marriage by BYU English professor Tom Plummer. I have heard both he and his wife Louise speak, and they are bothCute, funny essays on life, kids, and marriage by BYU English professor Tom Plummer. I have heard both he and his wife Louise speak, and they are both crack-ups! It is easy to dislike Louise as she is portrayed in his stories--I think she must be nearly impossible to live with! But what I love about this book is that despite her cynicism, Tom is obviously in love with her and a wholly devoted husband. I got that sense from hearing them speak as well. They both know how to deflate the pressures of real life with humor....more
I liked this book even though it was a little slow at first. If you like to read about natural disasters and survival stories, you would like this booI liked this book even though it was a little slow at first. If you like to read about natural disasters and survival stories, you would like this book. It is extremely tragic what happened to the residents of Galveston, TX in this hurricane because they could have been warned. But because of one man's pride, over 10,000 people lost their lives. It was hard to read some of these accounts, but a good lesson of history to remember that no matter how many technological advances we may have, nature can obliterate us in a matter of minutes....more
Just Being Audrey has become one of my most favorite picture books. The illustrations and subject are simply adorable (who doesn't love Audrey HepburnJust Being Audrey has become one of my most favorite picture books. The illustrations and subject are simply adorable (who doesn't love Audrey Hepburn?). The message of this biography is that even if you don't fit in, "just being" yourself can make a big impact in the world. ...more
I enjoyed this collection of anecdotal life stories from the writer who took Ann Landers' place at the Chicago Tribune. Dickinson muses about her rootI enjoyed this collection of anecdotal life stories from the writer who took Ann Landers' place at the Chicago Tribune. Dickinson muses about her roots in small-town America, her quirky family, how her mother and sisters survived her father leaving them, and single parenting. Her main theme is about Home, and despite our anxiousness to leave, it is our soft place to land when times get tough. Dickinson provides a funny and often poignant look at mothering, family values, and finding love where you least expect it. It was an uplifting, quick summer read....more
I have heard Joanna on the radio, and I think she's articulate and thoughtful. I instantly liked her. I agree with her on many issues. When I heard abI have heard Joanna on the radio, and I think she's articulate and thoughtful. I instantly liked her. I agree with her on many issues. When I heard about her book I knew I wanted to read it. I thought, "finally, a well-spoken Mormon woman who thinks like me and doesn't resent the church." I was a little disappointed when reading this book because although she says she loves the Mormon faith, she still has that ever-so-slight tone of displeasure and mocking. Her memoir describes how she struggles to reconcile her faith with her personal politics. And like most other progressive thinkers, she would like the church to change to fit her attitudes rather than the other way around. I don't want to undermine all of her book, because I still agree with her on a lot of points. And I have to give her credit for wanting to find a way to make it all work for her rather than just abandoning her faith.
The main reason I read this book was to try to find some consolation about my own experience at BYU in the early 1990s. Like Joanna, I witnessed the firing of many of my most beloved professors over heated intellectual freedom battles. These scholars studied feminist theory and found it compatible with Mormon theology. They taught it in their classrooms, and it caught on like wildfire (BYU was decades behind the rest of the country when it comes to feminism). The university administration (i.e. church leadership--they are one in the same at BYU) felt this posed a threat, and began closely scrutinizing these teachers. Eventually, they were either fired or left the university on their own accord. So what does a faithful Mormon girl do when she witnesses this treatment within her own church institutions? If you’re Joanna Brooks, you return your diploma. I responded differently, but was upset by it all the same. I was hoping to read more about why she was drawn to these professors and how they inspired her, as they did me. Sadly, I only came away with more negativity about the whole affair rather than finding any kind of attempt at reconciliation.
Joanna's writings lament how she loves her Mormon faith, but feels exiled because of the church's treatment of gays and feminists. She states she can't be fully active because has witnessed too many things done by "her people" that she doesn't agree with. There are beautiful passages about the fiery faith of her Mormon pioneer foremothers. However, the majority of this book contains anecdotal stories about growing up Mormon in California and how different she was from everyone around her, not so much about the doctrinal foundations of her faith. Joanna does a good job of pointing out just how "peculiar" Mormons can be...to the point that I thought most of her family and leaders sounded like zealots. While I had some similar experiences growing up outside of Utah, Joanna had some very different indoctrination than I did. While she is respectful of sacred LDS practices, some things she says "we were taught" were not doctrinally sound and downright weird. If I had read this book as a non-Mormon, I would think the church was full of whack-os.
The book covers quite a bit of ground--everything from Marie Osmond's Guide to Beauty, Health and Style (a whole chapter, yawn…overkill) to food storage to California’s Prop 8. I think with some good editing this book could have been more powerful. While I respect the fact that this is Joanna’s story and her experience as an LDS girl/woman, it is not mine. Not a bad read, it just didn’t speak to me as a “straight Mormon feminist” (Joanna’s description of herself). ...more