Thursday, July 27, 2017

Random Reflections: 2017 Reading

American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers.  We have teenage girls (now 18 and 20), and their lives have been shaped by the culture and media of the world in which we live in profound ways. We’ve watched it first hand and been witness to the devastating forces of mimicry in a culture of impossible achievement, sexuality, and acquisition. This book reflected what we’ve seen personally. I wish for a better world with better examples and exemplars for our teens (and our young women) - and for my daughters!

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.  I’m not sure that I found anything revelatory or remarkable in this text, mainly as I read in the subject area frequently.  As a single, accessible text full of good information, I enjoyed it.  We all have a “set-point” for our happiness that we return to.  We need to each understand what this is for us as humans and for us as individuals. I really should come back to read it, to be honest - and perhaps use it in my work in informing others.  I’d suggest a review of the book on any number of book sites on the web, for ample descriptive data.  A book I need to revisit and reread.

For Men Only, Revised and Updated Edition: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women.  Any book that helps us understand characterizations of standard gender roles - and how we live into them (or are askew from their standards) is a good book for discerning humanness.  This book tends to try to be “reader friendly” and is not clearly informed by unbiased studies.  As a result, while it has many truthful claims - it’s probably more specifically full of truisms and many biased truisms.  I was surprised the reviews of the book were/are as favorable as they are . . . though, that might reflect average readership.  

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.  I need to read more from this author, Daniel J. Levitin, and I need to not be consumed by our information overload culture.  The book is not written with a framework that gives the reader a “guide” for how to over come cognitive overload, which is a problem for the book.  And, the book tends to wax eloquent for too long on narratives to illustrate the point (which betrays the book’s “thinking straight” byline!!??!!) - and yet, intriguing bits all along the way.

Hellhound on His Trail: The Electrifying Account of the Largest Manhunt in American History.  Hampton Sides provides a remarkable collection of facts, stories, names, persons, and events in the history of MLK, Jr. and the “hunt” for his killer.  So many tidbits of history and facts that I had never studied elsewhere.  A great account of a horrible set of events involving James Earl Ray - and - a book that will inspire me to read more by Hampton Sides if he is this good in all his work.

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