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
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
By Anne Fadiman
Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997
Genres: nonfiction, social sciences, anthropology, cultural studies, medicine
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
By Susan Cain
Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Crown Publishers, 2012
Genres: Nonfiction, psychology, personality
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
By Patti Smith
Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Harper Collins, 2010
Genres: Nonfiction, autobiography, biography, memoir
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
By Sara Marcus
Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Harper Perennial, 2010
Genres: Non-fiction, social sciences, feminism, women’s studies, popular culture
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
By Luis Alberto Urrea
Place: Publisher & Year: Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998
Genres: Non-fiction, autobiography, memoir
Series: Camino del Sol
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