Books to curl up with: a librarian's musings

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Falling short of the mark

I recently checked out Taking Back Childhood by Nancy Carlsson-Paige. The book outlines how the media is taking away childhood. She explains how it effects play and cognitive develoment. The book is very well written. She avoids the textbook trap, which some scholars fall into.

Having said that, I couldn't finish the book. I agree with much of what she says, but it just made me feel like a bad parent for falling short of the mark. It wasn't her goal, but there you have it. However that doesn't mean that other readers wouldn't find the book to be great.

Monday, April 07, 2008

One more sip

Okay I've talked about several Starbucks based books lately and didn't mean to read another. However a patron recommended How Starbucks Saved My Life very vigorously, so I got on the hold list.

Gill was the archtypical adman - the travel, the big accounts, the pressure, etc. Then he got to old for a young man's game, at least in the eyes of the young men. Loosing his job, his marriage, etc in a short time, Gill found himself a broke and broken man. Stopping for an inexpensive treat that he couldn't probably afford anyway, Gill stops by a Starbucks for a coffee. Several managers were holding a hiring fair at that store. One comes over and asks the man in the Brooks Brothers suit if he wants a job almost as a joke. Gill is suprised to hear himself say, yes.

The book follows his course as he regains some confidence and learns to reprioritize his values. He mixes his privileged past with his present. It did seem like he indulges in a bit of name dropping, but overall it was an interesting book.

Cultures new

I am intrigued by Indian culture. I listen to BBC Asian from time to time. I own Bhagra CDs. I've turned my fair share of old sari's into curtains etc.

So when Michael Wood wrote a book called India, I had to give it a try. I really enjoyed it and now want to find some accesible translations of some of the poetry/oral histories he talks about. It covers a very wide swath of time and therefore can't give any one thing a lot of time. However it was a great survey. My only complaint is the map. Wood, next time get a better map/maps. I wanted to figure out where things were and they weren't on the sole map included in the book.