Soon to be cross-posted – a review of Humboldt

So I finally got around to writing another blog posting for a book I read not too long ago.  I wrote it originally for my library’s blog – because it’s a good book and it hasn’t been checked out very much.  I’m posting the review here first – it won’t show up on Pima County Public Library’s blog until late September. Continue reading

Procrastination 2013

Happy Belated New Year!

I started writing this a couple of weeks ago to post in mid-January – and it had been a while since I had finished the books then….  Some parts of my life just feel as though I am wading through quickly drying mud.  A couple of weeks ago, I was going to title this posting as un-commonalities.  I like procrastination better because it’s actually a word.

What do Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, Cleopatra: a Life by Stacy Schiff, Fair Game by Patricia Briggs, and Alien Proliferation by Gini Koch have in common? Not much – as far as I can tell. Continue reading

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: a Hmong Child, her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures

By Anne Fadiman

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997

Genres: nonfiction, social sciences, anthropology, cultural studies, medicine

ISBN: 9780374525644

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 341 (including Notes, Bibliography, and Index).

Setting: Mostly set in Merced, CA, but also includes places where the Hmong have lived – including China, Laos, & Thailand, and other cities in the US.

Time period: Early to mid 1980’s (but the book also covers different times in the Hmong’s history – including America’s secret war in Laos)

 

Description: When Lia Lee, a Hmong child, was an infant, her older sister slammed the door on her way out.  Immediately afterwards Lia suffered her first epileptic seizure and Lia’s parents took her to the hospital.  Thus began a frustrating and strained relationship between Lia’s parents and hospital staff.  Language barriers and cultural expectations prevented Lia from getting the right care for her, leaving her in a tragic state of being. Continue reading

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

By Susan Cain

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Crown Publishers, 2012

Genres: Nonfiction, psychology, personality

ISBN: 9780307352149

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 333 (including Notes and Index).

Setting: Various locations in the USA

Time period: Contemporary

Description:  Cain examines the differences between introverts and extroverts, including various roles played by both in society.  She also examines how culture influences temperament types for better and for worse and how Western culture undervalues introversion. Continue reading

Just Kids

By Patti Smith

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Harper Collins, 2010

Genres: Nonfiction, autobiography, biography, memoir

ISBN: 9780066211312

Audience: Adults

Number of pages: 279

Settings: Mostly New York City – Manhattan & Brooklyn – but also Paris & Charleville, France & Camden, NJ

Time period: The bulk of the story is set between 1969 – 1978.

Description:  Patti Smith describes her life growing up in NJ and aspirations to become an artist.  At a young age she moves to New York City where she meets a kindred soul, Robert Mapplethorpe.  The heart of this book is about their journey together as friends, artists, and lovers.  They support one another and each other’s work until they are both firmly set on their own artistic pathways. Continue reading

Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution

By Sara Marcus

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Harper Perennial, 2010

Genres: Non-fiction, social sciences, feminism, women’s studies, popular culture

ISBN: 9780061806360

Intended audience: Adults

Number of pages: 367

Setting: Mainly set in Olympia, WA & Washington DC (but also includes other locations in the US and Europe)

Time period: 1989-1994

Description: Punk rock + young woman  + DIY + feminism = riot grrrl.  “In the beginning, someone told a girl to start a band” (p. 31).  The book describes how the bands Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and Heavens to Betsy came into existence and how these bands and associated zines sparked  a riot grrrl movement across the county and world with girls creating bands and publishing their own zines.  The movement started in Olympia, WA but soon spread to Washington, DC and other areas around the US.  Once mainstream media became aware of riot grrrls, however, everything changed.  The book includes an extensive bibliography, notes, and index. Continue reading

Nobody’s son: notes from an American life

By Luis Alberto Urrea

Place: Publisher & Year: Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998

Genres: Non-fiction, autobiography, memoir

Series: Camino del Sol

ISBN: 9780816518654

Audience: Adults

Number of pages: 189

Setting: Various locations in Mexico and the US,  including Tijuana and San Diego

Time period: late 1950s – 1990s

Description: Urrea describes key moments of his life in regards to growing up as a child of both the US and Mexico.  Written in a non-linear fashion, the book is divided into chapters which focus upon places and themes. Continue reading