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url 2017-10-31 12:28
En läsande hjärna formas i tidig ålder

Är det någon gång i livet du bör läsa böcker är det mellan sex och tio års ålder. Då är hjärnan som mest formbar. Men hjärnans språkliga funktioner kan utvecklas ända in i pensionsåldern.

Source: www.dn.se/kultur-noje/en-lasande-hjarna-formas-i-tidig-alder
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url 2017-08-16 17:40
My Previous Book Reviews

I started by own book review blog on blogger.com as my New Year's Resolution before I ever found out about this website.  I plan to share all of my reviews on both platforms now, but I would LOVE to have people check out my previous posts.

 

nerdybookshelf.blogspot.com

 

Here's to many more books, many more reviews, and sharing the joy of reading!

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url 2017-07-22 00:31
The Seven Books Every Woman Must Read: Must-reads that have paved new roads, broken glass ceilings, and redefined female sexuality.
A Room of One's Own - Virginia Woolf
Fear of Flying - Erica Jong
Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi
The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation - Melissa Rivers
#GIRLBOSS - Sophia Amoruso
Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead - Sheryl Sandberg
Source: www.readitforward.com/bookshelf/the-seven
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review 2017-06-27 01:28
Looking for Palestine
Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family - Najla Said

I was not aware of Edward Said before reading this book, so I went into it without any expectation on the part of his daughter. I had originally found the book when searching for memoirs about non-celebrities, for books about the human experience and was drawn to the way that the description of this book included her cultural confusion.

I have experienced cultural confusion and appreciate reading about how others have dealt with it and what they have gone through. Being cultural confused here in the States isn't necessarily a bad thing, and strangely a topic that was also deeply covered in the book I read directly before this (Black White and Jewish). For me, it was being both white and Hispanic. As if being mixed wasn't confusing enough, there are the great many countries that Hispanics can be from, though we are often confused for each other, and the in-fighting that happens among us. I totally identified with this part of the book since the Middle East can apparently cause the same identity issues. Everyone that you meet can't wait to tell you what your culture is like but you, who are supposedly living it, can't quite figure it out. Yep, that was my childhood too.

That said, I loved reading about every moment of Said's confusion over why she couldn't just be like other girls and why she couldn't quite understand who she was supposed to be. I loved that there were so many elements of a typical American childhood mixed in with those differences. I loved the way she talks about feeling like the other mothers loved their daughters more by demanding special dietary concessions while her mother didn't do that. I loved the way she dealt with having to revise her place in the world as the conflicts in the Middle East made different parts of her heritage hard to explain to the New Yorkers around her. More than anything, I loved the way she changed paths and forged a new place for her in her chosen career path. She wasn't going to let people tell her where she belonged, she told them. Okay, she was a part of a group that started in on it and I appreciate that they wouldn't let someone else distort their narrative after 9/11.

My only problem is that I didn't totally understand the title. The subtitle makes total sense as you read the book but I kept expecting her to be doing something closer to Palestine or maybe for Palestine. The best I can guess is that she was looking for Palestine within herself because Said is both Palestinian and Lebanese. The Lebanese side she understood earlier.

I had seen some discontent with her disconnect with her father's work as a child but kids are not their parents and I would hope that anyone reading the book would see that. Maybe it's again coming off of reading Rebecca Walker's book because it can be so obvious to some and yet other expect some children to relive their parents lives. I found it endearing to hear about how she later figured out that all these people who had been guests in her childhood home turned out to be big movers and shakers in the political world.

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review 2017-06-15 20:38
Black White Jewish
Black White & Jewish - Rebecca Walker

Never before has a book so completely spoken to my heart. I originally found this last year when I was looking around for around for women's memoirs to be put into my Diverse Books Tag focused on that genre (a book with a biracial protagonist). I recommended it to my library but got quickly absorbed in a number of other books while I waited for it to be available or for the right time to pop up. At last, my library purchased it and I was the first one to get it when it came out.

I have to say that waiting for the right time worked out fantastically. Some books just seem to know when you need them. As I said, this one just spoke right to my heart. That's not to suggest that I "know" what it was like for Rebecca Walker to navigate her life or what it's like to be black and white and Jewish all at the same time. What I do know is that I am quite familiar with that sense of not quite belonging to anyone, but maybe belonging enough to be claimed here and there for this or that trait. I have drifted from one home to another within my family or neighborhood or group of friends and felt that change that Walker describes as "switching radio stations". I've felt the sting of being in one group while people denigrate the other part of you, the part that they don't claim, while they insist that it's not you but you know that it is, even if only in part. I've felt it on both sides of me.

We've lived vastly different lives in different times within this country and I couldn't possibly relate to all of Walker's experiences, but I had never known anyone to describe this being and not being so well, so beautifully. The idea of being a "movement baby" sounds terrifying, like for too much to live up to. Later, I found it far easier to relate to what happened when the ideas of the movement were gone and she was treated like her existence was half-oppressor and half-oppressed, when people asked her navigate those waters and explain what it felt like. I was never able to explain what it was like to be fragmented this way and now I have someone to turn to for that.

I loved Walker's style of writing and relating everything back to memory and the way that memory shifts, that way that it can be wrong and right at the same time and the way it shapes us and perceptions of us without ever asking for permission. I loved the poetic feel that accompanies most of the book. I peaked at some other reviews and it's not the kind of book that everyone loves, but I still find it an important book to read and discuss. Perhaps it would make a great book club memoir because it does bring in questions of race on several fronts and it could open conversations about sex in adolescence, the effect of divorce and/or neglect on a child's upbringing and other important issues that Walker goes through that still plague us.

The downside to that, of course, is that using the book that way invites criticism of Walker and her parents as people who were theoretically doing the best they could. I don't mean to sound like I doubt that anyone was doing their best but I also don't want to make it sound like I'm making assumptions about what could/should have been done. The point is simply that getting judgey about someone's life and story like this would miss the point of reading the book.

Despite what others might think, I found this book engaging, even at it's lowest moments. I appreciated the way it was a little episodic, moving through periods in her life and only stopping to fit in the moments that best sums up the time-frame for her rather than dwelling on incidentals. As mentioned above, what I loved the most was the way she relates what it is like to not fit succinctly into any single category of race, to be a part of something and not a part of it at the same time, close and yet removed from it. I have felt these things so many times in life when I am in Hispanic or not Hispanic depending on the way whoever I'm talking to feels about it and it rarely seems up to me to let them know who I am and how I fit into these categories and whether or not I even want to.

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