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text 2018-05-15 18:53
Stealing Buddha’s Dinner By Bich Minh Nguyen $1.99
Stealing Buddha's Dinner - Bich Minh Nguyen

As a Vietnamese girl coming of age in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nguyen is filled with a rapacious hunger for American identity, and in the pre-PC-era Midwest (where the Jennifers and Tiffanys reign supreme), the desire to belong transmutes into a passion for American food. More exotic- seeming than her Buddhist grandmother's traditional specialties, the campy, preservative-filled "delicacies" of mainstream America capture her imagination. 

In Stealing Buddha's Dinner, the glossy branded allure of Pringles, Kit Kats, and Toll House Cookies becomes an ingenious metaphor for Nguyen's struggle to become a "real" American, a distinction that brings with it the dream of the perfect school lunch, burgers and Jell- O for dinner, and a visit from the Kool-Aid man. Vivid and viscerally powerful, this remarkable memoir about growing up in the 1980s introduces an original new literary voice and an entirely new spin on the classic assimilation story.

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review 2018-04-03 15:48
Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? / Katrine Keilos
Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?: A Story About Women and Economics by Katrine Marcal (5-Mar-2015) Paperback - Katrine Marcal

How do you get your dinner? That is the basic question of economics. It might seem easy, but it is actually very complicated.

When Adam Smith proclaimed that all our actions were motivated by self-interest and the world turned because of financial gain he laid the foundations for 'economic man'. Selfish and cynical, 'economic man' has dominated our thinking ever since, the ugly rational heart of modern day capitalism. But every night Adam Smith's mother served him his dinner, not out of self-interest, but out of love.

Even today, the unpaid work of mothering, caring, cleaning and cooking is not part of our economic models. All over the world, there are economists who believe that if women are paid less, then that's because their labour is worth less.

In this engaging, popular look at the mess we're in, Katrine Marçal charts the myth of 'economic man', from its origins at Adam Smith's dinner table to its adaptation by the Chicago School and finally its disastrous role in the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.


If you are wondering what the answer to the title’s question, it was his mother. Adam Smith never married and was cared for by his mother and a female cousin. Without whom he would never have had the time to write The Wealth of Nations.

Very appropriately, this book was penned by a young Swedish woman. She is properly outraged by the assumptions of the field of economics that women and many of the tasks that they undertake really don’t count. She points out that the world gets split in two—male/female, logic/emotion, spirit/body, etc. and the female/emotional/physical gets short shrift in economic theory. Which is silly when you truly consider it, as we are all emotional and physical beings and we are all far from completely logical. Its this kind of deliberate omitting of important things that leads to environmental destruction (assuming it to be without cost) and the difficulty of getting food and medical care to those that need it around the world (because feeding & caring are “female” responsibilities, so they should be done for free and shouldn’t be a factor in economic systems or a worry of politicians).

Self-interest exists, we all have it. But we also have people that we care about and for whom we do things that don’t make sense logically. We also do nice things for people we don’t even know—give directions, hand over spare change, say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ It doesn’t make sense to run the financial world as though none of this exists or to act as though it only exists outside the financial world. While we are working to make the world a more equal place, maybe we can renovate economics to acknowledge reality?

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video 2017-12-31 21:44

I know I've posted this before, but it simply isn't New Year's Eve without it hereabouts ...

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review 2017-09-15 03:19
THE DINNER by Herman Koch
The Dinner - Herman Koch,Sam Garrett

Paul and Claire meet his brother, Serge and his wife Babette, for dinner one evening to talk about their children.  Serge is running for Prime Minister and wants to do damage control.  The other three have other ideas.


The story is told in flashbacks of the relationships and events of Paul's life.  I liked Paul but I never warmed to most of the characters.  I have a lot of questions for them. 


This is probably a book I would never have picked up on my own had it not been for my book club.  There is a lot to discuss and think about in this book.  How do people make the choices they do?  Very thought provoking and timely.

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review 2017-08-24 00:00
The Dinner
The Dinner - Herman Koch,Sam Garrett 3.5 stars

I don't know what to say about this book. Everyone in it seems to be crazy. I didn't know what was going on at first. Now that I've finished I don't know how to rate it. It's a weird story, but it's uniquely weird. I just don't know. This book is an experience for sure.
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