Reading Addict

Easy Bake Ovens & Funny Ladies by Laura Raphael

Perhaps you’ve heard of the 8th grade girl’s recent (and successful) petition to Hasbro to make a “gender-neutral” Easy Bake Oven so her younger brother can use it without being embarrassed by its sparkly pinkness. Yay for busting gender stereotypes!

However, I can’t help but being surprised that such an obvious gender stereotype still exists. Another hoary old bit of sexist horrible-ness is “Women aren’t funny.”  It’s an idea bandied about in the media occasionally, usually by men who – surprising! – aren’t particularly funny themselves. (Adam Carolla, I’m looking at you.)

Nick's 2012 Picks

1.      Underworld by Don Delillo

Science Fiction by Rebecca Howard

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Barbara Kingsolver’s latest novel Flight Behavior is about climate change.  It is also very much about beautifully flawed humans and the lengths to which we will go to connect to one another and to something larger than ourselves.  It’s both earthbound and ethereal.  It’s Barbara Kingsolver at her finest. 

Gift Me, Please by Laura Raphael

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I am one of those aunts who gives mostly books for Christmas and birthdays – on par with underwear and socks as Worst. Gifts. Ever. in the cultural mythology of gift-giving. Fortunately, our niece and nephew love to read, and they are generally happy to get books from us every year. (Indeed, on more than one Christmas, one or both of them have chosen to read a new book than playing with whatever Nerf Blaster/Teeny Little Puppy/My New Helicopter toy they’d just received.)

Breaking the First Rule of Book Club by Rebecca Howard

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I want to talk about book clubs.  I’ve been involved with several over the years and have found them to be deeply rewarding—each in their own ways.  There are a few dangerous pitfalls that book clubs have to strive to avoid, though.  In no particular order, here they are:
1) The book club becomes a wine club
2) The book club becomes a whine club
3) Not everyone reads the book
4) One individual (who typically has not read the entire book) dominates discussion
5) The same person selects titles each month

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