What I’ve Been Reading

December 4, 2008 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

Endangered Minds: No, this isn’t Dangerous Minds, the actually pretty decent book turned bad Michelle Pfeiffer movie that may or may not have spawned the White Lady Teachers Are Saints genre of film. This is actually a 1990 book (with a 1999 introduction in my edition) on “Why Children Don’t Think–and What We Can Do About It.” In case you’re wondering about the subject matter, the cover looks like this: 1999 cover of Endangered Minds

Yup, that’s the glow of a TV at the top. I was extremely skeptical when I started reading this, as I think that unhealthy television habits are actually symptomatic of larger societal issues than necessarily causally linked to things like poor school performance. I’m definitely curious now to see if there’s an updated title on the topic, but on the whole, Healy gives the subject a pretty fair shake. She acknowledges things like how poorly working mothers are supported in our society, which I appreciated.

Bastard Out of Carolina: As promised to a friend (and colleague), I finished this before jumping into any of the other, oh, eight books on my pile at the moment. And it was a great read, so I’m glad she suggested it. Sort of a Southern Fall on Your Knees (sorry for the spoiler, but I think the topic is mentioned on the jacket, and certainly in most reviews) and beautifully written. If you like Southern writers and you have a strong stomach for, shall we say, the somewhat graphic and distressing, this one’s for you.

Look Me in the Eye: While a little low on the “My Life with Asperger’s” portion of the title, this is a really compelling memoir by a man who just happens to be Augusten Burroughs’ older brother.

Heroes: I think I left this one out in earlier round-ups. No, this has nothing to do with the TV show. And while I love Robert Cormier, I feel like some of his more recent titles don’t hold up nearly as well as classics like The Chocolate War. And let’s be honest–a good chunk of Cormier novels could just as easily be titled Something Bad Happens in Frenchtown.

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