April’s Book Club Choice

March 19, 2011 By: Jenna Category: book club

April is my birthday month, and so I’m going to go ahead and choose the book without letting you vote on it. It’s entirely possible that I’ll be the only person to read it, but oh well, happy birthday to me, right?

I’m going to be reading Our Babies, Ourselves, as recommended to one of my closest guy friends who recently graduated with (I think) a Masters degree in Sociocultural Anthropology. He read this for one of his classes and told me he thought it would be something I’d really find fascinating while working to figure out how to raise T1.

If you are a parent, going to be a parent, or are interested in the topic of parenting I hope you’ll join me in reading this book during April!

I’ll put up a discussion post at the beginning of April, but I wanted to get this up now so that you can reserve it at the library if you are cheap like me. :)

P.S.-If you’re waffling on reading Henrietta Lacks DO NOT WAFFLE ANY LONGER. I cannot recommend that book enough, it reads like fiction and is absolutely fascinating. If you can’t get it from the library, ask your friends.

Book Club: Henrietta Lacks

February 18, 2011 By: Jenna Category: book club

I have requested every single form of Henrietta Lacks that my library offers. That includes the paperback, hardback, audio, and e-book versions, and after several weeks I still don’t have the book in hand. So I’m extending the date for when I plan to finish the book until the end of March. We’ll vote on an April book club choice in a few weeks, and if it’s a popular one like Henrietta Lacks I suggest we all get our booties in gear and request it ASAP! Lesson learned.

This is the discussion thread for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Comment below to join the conversation, no need to “sign up” as part of the book club to do so. If you comment on this post, you are part of the club!

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a story about science and so much more. Lacks died unaware that doctors would be using her cells to further advances in the scientific community and cashing in on such developments and never received a dime. In search of justice, Skloot seeks out Lacks s descendants to learn if they re aware of the famed cells and to see if they ve derived any benefit from the important contribution to science their relative made. A fascinating discussion of the enduring legal and ethical questions that human-tissue research raises, Skloot s debut is a gem.

I heard about this book on a Radio Lab podcast in May of last year. If you aren’t sure that the book sounds interested to you, listen to the podcast and I think you’ll change your mind!

Book movement has an excellent page on the book with pictures and discussion questions. The NCI-Frederick Scientific Library has some questions, as does this LitLovers page.

Book Club: Fear

January 15, 2011 By: Jenna Category: book club

This is the discussion thread for The Culture of Fear. Comment below to join the conversation, no need to “sign up” as part of the book club to do so. If you comment on this post, you are part of the club!

In this eye-opening examination of a pathology that has swept
the country, the noted sociologist Barry Glassner reveals why Americans are burdened with overblown fears. He exposes the people and organizations that manipulate our perceptions and profit from our anxieties: politicians who win elections by heightening concerns about crime and drug use even as both are declining; advocacy groups that raise money by exaggerating the prevalence of particular diseases; TV newsmagazines that monger a new scare every week to garner ratings.

A passionate and reassuring study, The Culture of Fear thoroughly debunks many of the predominant scares of our age. The author lays bare the frightening lies and half-truths told about: workplace violence, the Internet, airline safety, child abduction, gulf war syndrome, baby-killing mothers, suicidal teens and angry African Americans.

Whether by the promotion of dubious statistics about pseudo-problems like “road rage” and “husband abuse,” or frightening stories about “middle-class junkies” and “depraved adolescent murderers,” the peddlers of fear cost Americans dearly. Individually, we’re weighed down with needless worries, and as a nation, we waste billions of dollars combating minor or non-existent dangers. All the while, we neglect real problems that we could solve if we put our minds to them.

Barry Glassner’s book diagnoses a predominant pathology of our age and provides a rallying cry for a return to rationality in our personal lives and in our national sense of purpose. As such, The Culture of Fear offers a timely antidote that Americans cannot afford to pass up at the dawn of the new millennium.

Nurtureshock, The Culture of Fear, and Vote for February’s Book Club Pick

January 07, 2011 By: Jenna Category: book club

December is over, and that means I’ve published my thoughts regarding the book club pick for that month. Visit the comment section of the Nurtureshock post to learn why I liked the book, and what things I’ve decided to implement in my parenting techniques and practices.

The January book club pick is The Culture of Fear. It’s 10 years old, but I started it tonight and I can already tell it’s a great thing to read if you want to be a little more savvy in regards to what you read/see in the media (especially in light of the ridiculous reports on things like birds dropping from the sky (oh noes!)). I’ll put up the discussion post for it in the next few days.

It’s also time to vote on the pick for February. Click on any of the images below to be taken to the Goodreads site for that book, which includes a short description of the content.

Books of 2010

January 04, 2011 By: Jenna Category: Uncategorized

I used to read a lot. As in, hiding from my mom out in the storage container so I could read instead of doing pretty much anything my mom wanted me to do. Now I read blogs and check Twitter and edit photos and take care of That Wife, so reading doesn’t play a huge role in my leisure time any longer. I’m trying to change that a little bit though, and here is what I managed to read in 2010! I don’t have any confidence in my ability to review books (my critical analysis skills aren’t that strong), but I wrote a short note under each book to try to guide you toward what I wouldn’t recommend and what I wouldn’t.

Birth

I liked this history of birth because it gave me a better idea what it was like for my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, etc to give birth. A bit of an agenda (I think the author is a believer in natural birth) but she is a reporter and I think she was actively working to remain as neutral as possible. Very accessible.

Deliver Me from Pain

I was a bit annoyed by the closing argument/statement (then again, I think everyone knows where I stand when it comes to drugs and birth). Yet another awesome book that helped me better understand what the birth experience was like for my relatives. A bit harder to get through if you aren’t really interested in the material.

The Tennis Partner

I have a hard time with this sort of “flowery writing” (but my preference as of late has been non-fiction so that’s no surprise), but I plowed through it because it was a book club pick for a book club I was part of back in Dallas. If you like tennis, you’ll like it. If you’re a doctor, you’ll like it. If you’re a doctor who plays tennis you’ll LOVE it. I had a hard time getting through the sections that used a lot of technical terms when talking about tennis.

Fight club

Another book club pick. Did not like. Forced myself to finish because I was hosting that month.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Loved! Anyone interested in eating local throughout an entire year will want to read this. It’s full of recipes and ideas for how to make eating work, even without a grocery store. I both read and listened to this one and I am completely in love with Kingsolver’s voice. So soothing.

In Defense of Food

Loved it more! I posted about it here.

Food Rules

Love this one the most because it really changed TH’s approach and attitude as well.

Nurtureshock

The book club pick for December 2010. Which means I loved it enough to read it skim it yet again! Also we have this in audiobook form and I think I’ve listened to it three times this year. Read the section on language development, and then try using the techniques on your infant. I guarantee you’ll like what you see!

Eating Animals

Oh wait, yet another book I loved. I posted about this one here.

Purple Cow

I liked that this book helped me take the time to think about Jenna Cole and brainstorm ideas I can use as my own “purple cow”. A lot of the information only applies to big companies though, IMO, and I’m not even sure I read through to the very end. Worth picking up if you need a creative kick in the pants though!

The Dirt on Clean

A book club pick, you can see some of my thoughts/prompts in the comment section. Not the kind of book that “changed my life”, like some of the others I read this year, but an interesting read if you’d like to hear how our thoughts about personal hygeine

Cheap

If you are spending too much money on crap, read this book. Then you’ll stop. I feel like I buy a lot less now because I read this book. Book club discussion here.

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance

Reading through the reviews on Goodreads regarding this book, I apparently disagree with pretty much every mormon in the world when it comes to this book. I loved it, and TH did too. Yes, even TH read it, the first book I’ve ever seen him read in over 2 years of marriage. We loved it so much we want our teenage kids to read it (someday I’ll write why we want this). It’s an unflinchingly honest account of someone trying to come to terms with their faith, and I identified with Elna’s desire to be completely put herself out there when it comes to both her flaws and her strengths. Some of the stories will have you ROFL for sure!

For any LDS readers, it does swear (I was not a fan) and apparently a lot of people did not like her detailing of her sexual encounters but for whatever reason I wasn’t bothered by them. Maybe because I had my own naughty streak as a teenager/young adult. :)

The New Kings of Nonfiction

I finished this one a few days ago. I want Ira Glass to edit another book just like this one! I did not finish the one on the war or the one on poker. I found the one on poker to be particularly boring because I don’t know anything about poker, or care about it in the least. It was hard to follow. Favorite stories include Johnathan Lebed’s Extracurricular Activities, Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg, The American Man, Tales of the Tyrant (I kind of want to read an entire book on Saddam now!), and The Hostess Diaries: My Year At A Hot Spot.

13 books! Not bad. I’m hoping to hit at least 20 next year. I just started The End of Overeating and I love it already.

      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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