librarianreadseverything:

When I was 10, I helped my older sister teach a computer class for kids at my local public library. This was the second we had done, and essentially we’d choose an educational computer game for kids, show them how to play, work as a group through it, and then give them a chance to play themselves. It was for 9-10 year old kids, and ran for a few weeks each summer. My sister, 16 at the time, did most of the teaching. I was only there because I knew the games and how to play them.
The game we were using for this session involved traveling through the human body to get to certain destinations. But at any point you could be zapped and sent to a random body part. We were in mid-game, using the female body, and were suddenly zapped. My sister turned to me to get us back to where we needed to be, only to find me blushing bright red, since I, a 10-year-old boy, most definitely did not know how to get us out of the vulva.
This is a very long way of saying that there was so much about this book, that, even as a 34-year-old, I could not identify with and had difficulty even understanding. Cortney Davis did capture very well the human connection and her attempts to put her patients at ease, and the discomfort so many of us feel visiting the doctor and the sense of power imbalance. But honestly, words like cervix and labia still make me blush.
Book 38 of 189

librarianreadseverything:

When I was 10, I helped my older sister teach a computer class for kids at my local public library. This was the second we had done, and essentially we’d choose an educational computer game for kids, show them how to play, work as a group through it, and then give them a chance to play themselves. It was for 9-10 year old kids, and ran for a few weeks each summer. My sister, 16 at the time, did most of the teaching. I was only there because I knew the games and how to play them.

The game we were using for this session involved traveling through the human body to get to certain destinations. But at any point you could be zapped and sent to a random body part. We were in mid-game, using the female body, and were suddenly zapped. My sister turned to me to get us back to where we needed to be, only to find me blushing bright red, since I, a 10-year-old boy, most definitely did not know how to get us out of the vulva.

This is a very long way of saying that there was so much about this book, that, even as a 34-year-old, I could not identify with and had difficulty even understanding. Cortney Davis did capture very well the human connection and her attempts to put her patients at ease, and the discomfort so many of us feel visiting the doctor and the sense of power imbalance. But honestly, words like cervix and labia still make me blush.

Book 38 of 189

Reblogged from librarianreadseverything

librarianreadseverything:

Some people have fame thrust upon them, some seek it out. I’m not sure which side Malala falls on. And, caveat, I’m not suggesting she was actively seeking fame, but rather seeking to spread her message far and wide. She certainly was beginning to achieve that, and who knows to what levels she would have soared without the defining moment. But she has certainly used that moment to the best of her ability to further spread the message of education for girls and women to all ends of the globe. Education of women will make an ENORMOUS difference in many “third-world” countries, unlocking the potential of so many societies, as eloquently discussed in “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. So absolute applause to Malala for furthering that message.
If I had to find a drawback in this book, it’s the style itself. Through no fault of Malala, she is only 16, and her strength is not writing, despite the efforts of her co-author Christina Lamb. Thus the book meandered sometimes between the fight for education and living amongst Taliban-influenced Pakistan, and being a kid. I think if the book were a straight biography as opposed to autobiographical, it would have been done better.
One man’s opinion.
Book 37 of 189

librarianreadseverything:

Some people have fame thrust upon them, some seek it out. I’m not sure which side Malala falls on. And, caveat, I’m not suggesting she was actively seeking fame, but rather seeking to spread her message far and wide. She certainly was beginning to achieve that, and who knows to what levels she would have soared without the defining moment. But she has certainly used that moment to the best of her ability to further spread the message of education for girls and women to all ends of the globe. Education of women will make an ENORMOUS difference in many “third-world” countries, unlocking the potential of so many societies, as eloquently discussed in “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. So absolute applause to Malala for furthering that message.

If I had to find a drawback in this book, it’s the style itself. Through no fault of Malala, she is only 16, and her strength is not writing, despite the efforts of her co-author Christina Lamb. Thus the book meandered sometimes between the fight for education and living amongst Taliban-influenced Pakistan, and being a kid. I think if the book were a straight biography as opposed to autobiographical, it would have been done better.

One man’s opinion.

Book 37 of 189

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librarianreadseverything:

Stephen Colbert is right, “I share a healthy skepticism of the printed word.” And, in light of that, I am going to make a momentous announcement:
You should not read this book.
Do not buy this book, do not borrow it from a socialist structure (aka library), don’t even steal it from someone else’s bathroom when you’re at a dinner party.
Do not crack the cover of this book.
INSTEAD, spend the extra bucks and get this book on CD. I initially heard this book when it first came out, as read by Stephen Colbert, and revisiting it in text format was a joy hearing so many of my favorite passages in his own voice. But as funny as this book is, it just pales to hearing Stephen reading it. His chapters on sex as well as pets (particularly his dog Gipper) are so good because not only are the jokes fantastic, but Colbert has a perfect sense of timing, so he delivers them dead-on.
Now, if it’s read the book or nothing, then definitely read this book. It’s awesome. But if you can and have the time, definitely listen to him read it!
Book 36 of 189

librarianreadseverything:

Stephen Colbert is right, “I share a healthy skepticism of the printed word.” And, in light of that, I am going to make a momentous announcement:

You should not read this book.

Do not buy this book, do not borrow it from a socialist structure (aka library), don’t even steal it from someone else’s bathroom when you’re at a dinner party.

Do not crack the cover of this book.

INSTEAD, spend the extra bucks and get this book on CD. I initially heard this book when it first came out, as read by Stephen Colbert, and revisiting it in text format was a joy hearing so many of my favorite passages in his own voice. But as funny as this book is, it just pales to hearing Stephen reading it. His chapters on sex as well as pets (particularly his dog Gipper) are so good because not only are the jokes fantastic, but Colbert has a perfect sense of timing, so he delivers them dead-on.

Now, if it’s read the book or nothing, then definitely read this book. It’s awesome. But if you can and have the time, definitely listen to him read it!

Book 36 of 189

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librarianreadseverything:

This is the second book I read by Jodi Picoult, and like the first, I felt the plot missed but her spotlight on an issue was dead-on. In this one, she focuses on Aspergers, and her writing from the three main perspectives - Jacob (Aspergers), Emma (mother), and Theo (brother) - do a great job showing what the world is like for someone with Aspergers as well as how it impacts the family. I read a work last year, “The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night” by Mark Haddon (not positive on title or author) whose protagonist also had AS, but I think Picoult’s work gets at it much better. Both being a longer book, which gave her the capacity to showcase more of Jacob, and also allowed her to give a first-person perspective from the family.
A very interesting work and one I’d highly recommend checking out for those interested in an insider-style treatment of AS.
Book 35 of 189

librarianreadseverything:

This is the second book I read by Jodi Picoult, and like the first, I felt the plot missed but her spotlight on an issue was dead-on. In this one, she focuses on Aspergers, and her writing from the three main perspectives - Jacob (Aspergers), Emma (mother), and Theo (brother) - do a great job showing what the world is like for someone with Aspergers as well as how it impacts the family. I read a work last year, “The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night” by Mark Haddon (not positive on title or author) whose protagonist also had AS, but I think Picoult’s work gets at it much better. Both being a longer book, which gave her the capacity to showcase more of Jacob, and also allowed her to give a first-person perspective from the family.

A very interesting work and one I’d highly recommend checking out for those interested in an insider-style treatment of AS.

Book 35 of 189

Reblogged from librarianreadseverything

librarianreadseverything:

Oh, Jared Diamond, or Dimey, as his friends like to call him, you’ve done it again. No, not put out another masterpiece that combs human history to give us a better understanding of where we came from and how we got here, and how to use that while we look forward. I mean, you did that too, Dimey, but what I’m talking about is you put together another ginormous book chock-full of Dimies, aka Diamond Facts, that dilute the flow of you book and its overall narrative.
The points Diamond makes, as my father succinctly put it, are that “four factors are responsible for all historical developments: 1) availability of potential crops and domestic animals, 2) the orientation of continental axis to facilitate the spread of agriculture, 3) transfer of knowledge between continents, and 4) population size.” This way of looking at human development is absolutely unique and totally enlightening.
But when you bury a diamond in a sty of pig shit, it just ain’t gonna shine.
Book 34 of 189

librarianreadseverything:

Oh, Jared Diamond, or Dimey, as his friends like to call him, you’ve done it again. No, not put out another masterpiece that combs human history to give us a better understanding of where we came from and how we got here, and how to use that while we look forward. I mean, you did that too, Dimey, but what I’m talking about is you put together another ginormous book chock-full of Dimies, aka Diamond Facts, that dilute the flow of you book and its overall narrative.

The points Diamond makes, as my father succinctly put it, are that “four factors are responsible for all historical developments: 1) availability of potential crops and domestic animals, 2) the orientation of continental axis to facilitate the spread of agriculture, 3) transfer of knowledge between continents, and 4) population size.” This way of looking at human development is absolutely unique and totally enlightening.

But when you bury a diamond in a sty of pig shit, it just ain’t gonna shine.

Book 34 of 189

Reblogged from librarianreadseverything

librarianreadseverything:

Honestly, getting through all three of these books was a bit rough, and involved quite a bit of eye-rolling. I just found these books to be written at a level obviously below my own, but to a point that frequently prevented me from being able to access the broader themes. Oftentimes I don’t enjoy a book, but I can grasp the larger narrative. Here I had that difficulty.
I did like the idea of parallel worlds, the second “Fall” through knowledge, and the treatment of the soul as an external creature attached to humans. But these were brief features of the story, like saying the CGI in a Michael Bay film were cool, leaving out the absolute waste of two hours that is the rest of a Michael Bay film.
I don’t know, I really want to temper my criticism of the book, and part of the attraction I’m sure comes from the age of the reader. But I think I’ve gone too far past that corner to be able to look back and read through my younger version’s eyes.
"Book" 33 of 189

librarianreadseverything:

Honestly, getting through all three of these books was a bit rough, and involved quite a bit of eye-rolling. I just found these books to be written at a level obviously below my own, but to a point that frequently prevented me from being able to access the broader themes. Oftentimes I don’t enjoy a book, but I can grasp the larger narrative. Here I had that difficulty.

I did like the idea of parallel worlds, the second “Fall” through knowledge, and the treatment of the soul as an external creature attached to humans. But these were brief features of the story, like saying the CGI in a Michael Bay film were cool, leaving out the absolute waste of two hours that is the rest of a Michael Bay film.

I don’t know, I really want to temper my criticism of the book, and part of the attraction I’m sure comes from the age of the reader. But I think I’ve gone too far past that corner to be able to look back and read through my younger version’s eyes.

"Book" 33 of 189

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librarianreadseverything:

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read (struggling to come up with a comparison book, in terms of written beauty). The plot is navigable and mildly compelling. The book’s strength, in my opinion, lies more in the writing than in the plot. Not being as strongly knowledgeable of Indian culture made me feel that I was missing some of the many levels of this book. But the top few levels were definitely worth the read. I also have to give this book an extra half-star, as no less than 6 students stopped me while I was reading it to tell me it was one of their all-time favorite books. My favorite recommendation was, “The year I read it, I gave it to every one of my friends for their birthday. I would’ve done it a second year, but I couldn’t remember who I had already given it to!”
Book 32 of 189

librarianreadseverything:

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read (struggling to come up with a comparison book, in terms of written beauty). The plot is navigable and mildly compelling. The book’s strength, in my opinion, lies more in the writing than in the plot. Not being as strongly knowledgeable of Indian culture made me feel that I was missing some of the many levels of this book. But the top few levels were definitely worth the read. I also have to give this book an extra half-star, as no less than 6 students stopped me while I was reading it to tell me it was one of their all-time favorite books. My favorite recommendation was, “The year I read it, I gave it to every one of my friends for their birthday. I would’ve done it a second year, but I couldn’t remember who I had already given it to!”

Book 32 of 189

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librarianreadseverything:

If a student can recommend trilogies, then I can take the prerogative when a student specifies a particular short story within a collection. While I intend to go back and read more when the project is complete, in the interim I focused on “The Holiday” alternatively translated as “The Vacation.” While less focused on Bengali culture, it explores a broader coming-of-age narrative. The lines regarding the transition period of young adult/teenage boys rang true. But in recent “seeking an Identity” novels I’ve read, including this one, I’ve found more relatable themes than in the past. I don’t know if it’s the literature itself or more closely noting my own life changes. But I appreciate being able to find my own, and seemingly contrary, universal messages. I think, at least with this short story, others will as well and it’s worth the brief read.
Book 31 of 189

librarianreadseverything:

If a student can recommend trilogies, then I can take the prerogative when a student specifies a particular short story within a collection. While I intend to go back and read more when the project is complete, in the interim I focused on “The Holiday” alternatively translated as “The Vacation.” While less focused on Bengali culture, it explores a broader coming-of-age narrative. The lines regarding the transition period of young adult/teenage boys rang true. But in recent “seeking an Identity” novels I’ve read, including this one, I’ve found more relatable themes than in the past. I don’t know if it’s the literature itself or more closely noting my own life changes. But I appreciate being able to find my own, and seemingly contrary, universal messages. I think, at least with this short story, others will as well and it’s worth the brief read.

Book 31 of 189

Reblogged from librarianreadseverything

librarianreadseverything:

"Abandon hope, all ye who enter here."
I spent three days reading this 700-page book, and my eyes have sort of glazed over. When you get into this book, the world around you takes on a dream-like state, and the only reality exists within the pages. Trying to describe the book to those who haven’t read it is like trying to explain three-dimensions to someone who lives only in 2D. There’s just no way to explain without experiencing. The closest I’ve come to an experience like this is watching Requiem For A Dream. Again, describing the movie is just flat. Only when you see it for yourself does it make any kind of sense.
Which is funny, because making sense of anything is totally lost in this book. Everything happening to Johnny Truant becomes totally understandable as you divest yourself from physical reality. Reading this book is the non-drug users’ acid trip.
Book 30 of 189

librarianreadseverything:

"Abandon hope, all ye who enter here."

I spent three days reading this 700-page book, and my eyes have sort of glazed over. When you get into this book, the world around you takes on a dream-like state, and the only reality exists within the pages. Trying to describe the book to those who haven’t read it is like trying to explain three-dimensions to someone who lives only in 2D. There’s just no way to explain without experiencing. The closest I’ve come to an experience like this is watching Requiem For A Dream. Again, describing the movie is just flat. Only when you see it for yourself does it make any kind of sense.

Which is funny, because making sense of anything is totally lost in this book. Everything happening to Johnny Truant becomes totally understandable as you divest yourself from physical reality. Reading this book is the non-drug users’ acid trip.

Book 30 of 189

Reblogged from librarianreadseverything