Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Book 1: How Children Succeed

I found this very interesting, both from a personal perspective (what can I do to help my own children), but in a larger, national context (what are some possible solutions for generational poverty and other socio-economic inequalities).

These issues are complicated and there are no easy answers, nor any answers that will solve every problem, but Paul Tough describes some programs and ideas that seem to be working.

As for me, I'll just go back to "licking and grooming" my little ones, because attachment matters.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Book 49: Dad is Fat

Jim Gaffigan may be the official standup comedian of parents. He still has more kids than we have, though we are trying to catch up! (Just kidding!)

This book was overall very funny, but there were a few times that I thought it was a bit too earnest to be funny. His standup is genius, though--we listened to a couple of recent recordings on New Year's Eve and laughed uproariously.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Book 48: Peony in Love

I've read a couple of Lisa See's other books (Shanghai Girls, Dreams of Joy, On Gold Mountain) and enjoyed them, especially On Gold Mountain. I thought I'd try this one as well.

Some of the "ghost" elements of the story were a little too wacky for me and I really didn't relate at all to the narrator. But it gave me some historical perspective on the Ming and Qing dynasties. Surprise surprise, the Chinese had a movement of female writers and poets long before the West did.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Book 47: The Fish that Ate the Whale

Who knew there was so much to know about bananas growing and banana sales?

Not that long ago, the banana was quite a mover and a shaker in world politics. In addition to helping me understand the ol' slipping-on-a-banana-peel gag, this was really fun to listen because it was so engagingly written.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Book 46: Debt Free on Any Income

Ironically, I can't really remember anything from this book.

Um, spend less, debt snowball, stop using credit cards?

Book 45: 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

This is one of those kind of gimmick-y life experiment books that I always say I'm not going to read anymore.

This one gave me a lot to think about, in terms of recognizing the overabundance around me, and how I might simplify and at the same time enrich my life.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Book 44: Gilead

This was a re-read for me, which almost never happens.

I first read this when it was first published, about 10 years ago. This time, I listened to the audio book. Some of it was wonderfully read, but some parts of the reading reminded me a little bit of Santa Claus or some other stylized "older man" character. The knowing chuckle got to be an irritating disruption in the beautifully written narrative.