Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A blog about books

So, I haven't been reading as much as I usually do. Why? Because of my inability to stop reading a book before it is finished combined with how much of a slog I found reading "Women Who Run With the Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Most of it annoyed me - the language she used, a lot of the analysis that I just didn't see, just the book in general. That said, there was a bunch of chapters in the middle that did really interest me. I can see that maybe it is one of those books where if you read it at different life stages, you'd get something different out of it each time. However, I won't be reading it again - took me far too damn long the first time!

Then I moved on to "The Heart of Whiteness" by Robert Jensen. It was only 100 pages long, so my conclusion that while it was interesting and well-written, it wasn't very in-depth is not really surprising. The thing is, while it reminded me of things that I don't always focus on, in terms of white priviledge in North American society, I didn't feel it actually taught me anything new. But still worth a read.

I've been borrowing a lot of books from YunJin, including "The Heart of Whiteness" and when I returned that I picked up "A Million Little Pieces" by James Frey. I had heard all about the drama with it being a very unfactual "memoir" and the confrontation with Oprah and I was interested to read it for myself. I have to say that the dentist scene had me feeling decidedly queasy while reading and I am thankful to know it wasn't real. In general, I really liked it. It is one of those books where perhaps fiction can indeed hold a great deal of truth. I thought his description of addiction was fascinating and I read it in just two days. It brought up one issue I then wondered about - is AA and the 12 steps really all there is? He talks in the book about not being willing to accept God and hence unable to commit to the programme. And should I ever become addicted, I would have the same problem. I mean, give up on a lifetime belief, and a strong and well thought out belief, in the non-existence of God, or don't get cured? I have heard of secular treatments, though I am too lazy to google them and find out more.

I was in need of some lighter reading, so I read "Dancing in my Nuddy-Pants" by Louise Rennison. Yep, a young adult novel. I've read the first of the series, "Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging" and I now have to say that I'm hooked.

I am now reading "Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown. I am having the same problem that I did with "The Da Vinci Code", which is that I think his writing sucks donkey's bollocks. In both books, I love the basic idea of the plot, but I don't like the books. Thank god it is turning out to be a quick read - only one day in and I'm halfway through.

I think a little bell hooks next.

1 comment:

BlasFemmeity said...

sure- the heart of whiteness is more of an introduction to white power, supremacy, and privilege. i would hope that when white people read about their whiteness, it isn't to learn anything new- it is to internalize what it is in their identities and the way it shapes other people's experiences as well as their own, to acknowledge what already exists that they shove so far out of their daily thoughts. it is not a new thing to tell a white person that they have privilege. what would be new is an alternation in the way they negogiate themselves in the world- as full time socially conscious beings.