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September Reading

October 15, 2011

Even though it is halfway through October by now!

The Help

I was so excited to dive into this book that I carried it on my Mt. Whitney backpacking trip, where every pound matters!  Our days were so long that I barely got to read it on the trip.  In case you haven’t heard, The Help features the culture and relationships between black maids and their white employers back in the 1960’s.   The characters were interesting, lovable or hateable, and surprsiing.  I liked it a lot, but wondered at the tone – was it really like this?  What was derived from stereotypes, and what was more true?

Dreams of Joy

After Shanghai Girls, I was so super excited for this book too!  It was a really interesting read – I am continually fascinated by China’s deep and rich history.  It was an easy read, but as it went on, I kept thinking it was getting more and more far fetched.  I mean, Mao makes an actual appearance in the book.  Really?  Still, I was glad to continue to follow Pearl, May, and Joy as they ventured into China.

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Offers

While I read this whole book, it really isn’t a book you can just read and toss aside.  I thought it had a ton of useful advice and it was really just plain inspiring.  Whether we admit it or not, women and men are treated differently in the world, and we need to do what we can to present a serious professional image.  My favorite thought was that we should stop being such girls, and start allowing ourselves to be women.  It is so obvious – be a grown-up – but it really is something a lot of 20-something women need to think long and hard about.  I know it isn’t just me who still often thinks of myself as a girl rather than a woman.

The Short History of Nearly Everything

A well written synopsis of what we know about… pretty much everything (as it relates to science).  I liked all the insights into the lives and personalities of historical scientists.  Most people know that Einstein started out as a patent examiner, but did you know that Issac Newton was so reclusive he often did bother to share his revolutionary ideas for decades (or ever?).  This seemed unusually common for scientist back in the day.  It talks about scientific discoveries at a high and intuitive level.  I’ve taken a lot of science over the years, but I’ve never read it in such an accessible way.  The fact that humans are such a recent part of the earth’s history was shocking.  I mean, I’m sure I knew that at some point, but I’ve never really thought about it.  I really liked this, even though thinking about the beginning and end of the earth/universe/humans usually freaks me out.  No math required.

The Mask of Motherhood

This was an odd pick, but I’m trying to start to wrap my brain around what it means to be a mother.  I know how self-centered my life is, how much autonomy and freedom I have.  The fact that having a kid will turn this life I love on it’s head is, frankly, totally terrifying.  I’m trying to scratch the surface of understanding (although I know I will not really understand until I’m there).  The book was moderately informative, but there was a lot more ranting and raving and not enough simple useful information.  Which is fine – but the ranting and raving wasn’t very interesting or engaging.  It’s worth a skim, but not much more – maybe a mother would have a different opinion.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2011 1:43 pm was a pretty good summary of the issues I had with the book — “Something is ringing hollow about this heartwarming racial togetherness. Could it be, for example, that this film and the book it was based on had to invent a benevolent white protagonist and her tell-all expose to make this whole thing work for a modern audience?”

    It was an interesting read but I certainly think there were some issues with it.

  2. October 17, 2011 8:39 am

    I hadn’t heard of The Mask of Motherhood before, but that looks interesting!

    • SP permalink*
      October 17, 2011 8:41 am

      It’s not a popular book, i think i was specifically looking for something in that vein. Like I said, I didn’t particularly enjoy it, but I have a very limited perspective of this topic!

  3. beingirene permalink
    October 18, 2011 5:51 am

    You read such an assortment of books! I need to break out of my fiction loving rut and start browsing some other genres!

  4. the bachelorette pad permalink
    October 20, 2011 7:47 am

    I bought “nice girls don’t get the corner office” a couple of months ago, and I am dying to read it. Your review has definitely motivated me to pick it back up!

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