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review 2018-10-11 14:56
Men Explain Things to Me: A Ranting Review
Men Explain Things to Me - Rebecca Solnit

I'm a firm believer in the rights and empowerment of women.  I'm actually a firm believer in those things for any human which is why this "new classic" of feminist literature rubs me the absolute wrong way.  It is everything that I fear about modern feminism which is to say that it strays so far into generalizations that it devolves into men bashing. It actually doesn't stop there and goes on to bash entire political parties.  While it makes some legitimate points and has a plethora of statistics, they are not worth the effort to wade through the hatred that seems to bleed off every page.

 

Intellectually, I don’t understand how the new feminist movement has strayed so far from the original.  Take, for example, the three most oft cited legacies of the women’s movement: the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, suffrage, and prohibition.  Rose Schneiderman, who perhaps gave the most rousing speech regarding the Triangle tragedy in 1911, talked not specifically about women but about the atrocities of all factory workers, including men, women and children. It would help usher in labor reform in the US that still stands today.  The right for women to vote? It was actually initiated by a man in 1878. It was only 40 years later when women banded together (with men!) to make it a reality. And prohibition, perhaps the historical event most frequently attributed to women, actually started as religious reformation by rural Protestants.  When women took up the banner of prohibition, it was not merely for their own sake but for the sake of the the family unit as a whole and the perceived degradation of American moral values. My point being that feminism, in its original carnation, was about the rights and empowerment of all. Men and women worked together to impart changes that have altered the entire history of our country and changed the fabric of society into what we know today.  To forget that basic tenet is to cause a gender division that divides nations rather than accomplishing a lasting legacy that benefits all.

 

To generalize the genders as this book does only adds fuel to a simmering fire without offering any suggestions for solutions. Men are not all evil.  Women are not all saints. Respect for individuals and the empowerment of all individuals seems to have been forgotten in this new crop of feminist literature (including this book very specifically) and, sadly,  it's our society as a whole that will pay the price for that apathy.

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review 2018-10-02 08:53
The Golden Ratio by Gary B. Meisner, Rafael Araujo
The Golden Ratio: The Divine Beauty of Mathematics - Gary Meisner,Rafael Araujo

TITLE:  The Golden Ratio:  The Divine Beauty of Mathematics

 

AUTHOR:  Gary B. Meisner, Rafael Araujo (illustrator)

 

PUBLICATION DATE:  23 October 2018

 

FORMAT:  ARC PDF

 

ISBN-13:  9781631064869

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NOTE: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.

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DESCRIPTION:

The Golden Ratio examines the presence of this divine number in art and architecture throughout history, as well as its ubiquity among plants, animals, and even the cosmos. This gorgeous book features clear, entertaining, and enlightening commentary alongside stunning full-color illustrations by Venezuelan artist and architect Rafael Araujo.

 

From the pyramids of Giza, to quasicrystals, to the proportions of the human face, the golden ratio has an infinite capacity to generate shapes with exquisite properties. 

 

With its lush format and layflat dimensions that closely approximate the golden ratio, this is the ultimate coffee table book for math enthusiasts, architects, designers, and fans of sacred geometry."

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The Golden Ration by Gary Meisner is an exquisitely illustration, beautifully and clearly written introductory book about the Golden Ratio and related subjects.  There are lovely full-colour illustrations and photographs on nearly every page.  The book begins with the unique properties of the golden ratio and then continues on to its appearance in art and design, architecture (pyramids, cathedrals, musical instruments), nature (leaf and petal arrangements, fractals, spirals, facial proportions, buckyballs, quantum physics, golden DNA, the nautilus controversy), and many other interesting mathematical goodies such as tessellations, platonic solids, the Fibonacci sequence, Pascal’s Triangles etc.  The book also includes appendices that deal with critical thinking, notes and further reading, and “Golden Constructions”.  There are a number of equations and geometrical illustrations, but nothing particularly complicated.  In the author’s own words:  “not everything is based on the golden ratio, but the number of places in which it seems to appear is truly amazing and we are sure to uncover it more and more as technology advances and out knowledge of the physical universe expands”. 

 

This is definately a book I will be adding to my library.

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url 2018-09-28 08:40
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review 2018-09-22 20:59
Things A Bright Girl Can Do - Sally Nicholls

Book Blurb: 1914 The worlds stand on the edge of change. But women still have no vote. Evelyn is rich and clever, but she isn’t allowed to go to university. Life is set out for her, but Evelyn wants freedom and choice, even if it means paying the highest price alongside her fellow Suffragettes. Meanwhile, May campaigns tirelessly for women’s votes with other anti-violence suffragists. When she meets Nell, a girl who’s grown up in hardship, she sees a kindred spirit. Together and in love, the two girls start to dream of a world where all kinds of women can find their place. But the fight for freedom will challenge Evelyn, May and Nell more than they ever could imagine. As the Great War looms, just how much are they willing to sacrifice?

 

What I thought: It was a good read. You can tell that the book is well-researched. I did find it, though, a bit PC-ish that the book was trying to represent homosexuality, for example, and still managed to cotton-wrap the issue – I don’t think many people were yet as understanding in 1910s as the author makes it out to be. The book plot also missed the edginess for me with the issues it covers. It is written with YA in mind and yet I was taken aback that Nicholls describes sexual relationship of two fifteen year old girls. As an adult reading the book, it did make me feel somewhat voyeurish. There was no need for that at all in the story line. Overall, the book offers a wide range, perhaps somewhat lighthearted, introduction to subjects of the fight for women’s suffrage, the Great War and homosexuality.  Not bad, give it a go.

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review 2018-09-18 20:05
A year later...
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things - Jenny Lawson

So according to BL, I started reading this December 16, 2017. That means it took me 9 months to finish this wonderful book. Since Jenny Lawson discusses her struggle with depression and anxiety disorders at length (in the best, funniest way possible) I had to take several long breaks when my anxiety and depression were not putting me in the right head space to enjoy reading it. But really, this book is hilarious and just what I needed during these past two weeks of total chaos in my life. 

 

I am not exaggerating when I say my "vacation" was surrounded with nothing but Murphy's law. Car accident, cancelled concerts, delayed flights, stomach flu, etc, etc. All unrelated to this review, but whatever, I'll do what I want. Furiously Happy does remind us to laugh at the absurdity of our lives and most of all, to remember that the lows eventually get better. 

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