Has the political climate in the United States got you down? Wondering what you can do to help? Want to hear from diverse voices who are knowledgeable about the issues at hand and who are living alongside the rest of us, trying to make it one day at a time?
Read this book.
“Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America,” edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding, is a phenomenal read. I actually stumbled upon this book online a while back, and was excited for the chance to read it. My library didn’t have a copy on order yet, so I did what all good readers who don’t want to spend money at the bookstore do: I suggested it be added to the library’s collection!
Sure enough, it was. After ordering it back in October, I was able to pick it up about a month later and be the first to read this library copy. I am so glad I read this book. It made me feel, well… better. Less hopeless. Stronger. More fierce. More ready than ever to not give up and not back down.
“The average American household contains more than 300,000 possessions.”
Read that sentence. Now read it again and really consider it. Astounding, isn’t it?
It’s just one of the tidbits I learned in “Essential,” a book of essays written by The Minimalists. I known I’ve written about these guys before, but wanted to touch base on their book of essays, published in 2015. I requested my library purchase a copy and finally got my hands on it!
At its core, minimalism is about making you think. Rather than mindlessly buying more “stuff,” think about WHY you’re doing it. Rather than stashing things in your closet to collect dust for months, think about WHY you’re doing it. In a world of often-mindless consumption and consumerism, it’s nice to take a step back and think about WHY we own the things we own, WHY we do the things we do, etc.
What value is this [object/person/job/relationship/experience/etc.] bringing to your life?
That’s the question we should all be asking ourselves, and it’s definitely one I need to ask more often. The Minimalists look at that question from a number of perspectives, and in respect to various subjects, in the course of their essays in this book.
Having followed the hockey career of Edmonton Oilers prodigy Connor McDavid since his entrance into the Ontario Hockey League several years ago, I was certainly interested in picking up the book “The McDavid Effect: Connor McDavid and the New Hope for Hockey.”
Since my library didn’t own a copy, I put in an interlibrary loan request, and the book arrived shortly after from the library at St. Lawrence University. The really interesting thing about this book is how new it is; it was released in October 2016, making it less than a year old. It speaks on a lot of history, but also includes a lot of relevant, very recent information. I don’t know that I’ve ever read such an up-to-date book.
Although the title of this book starts with “The McDavid Effect,” it is not just about Connor McDavid. Instead, it is about McDavid and his path through junior hockey and into the NHL, even through his rookie season, yes; but it is also about the Edmonton Oilers franchise, then and now. It is a captivating story that discusses the history of the Oilers franchise, their glory years, their downfall, and now, the arrival of McDavid and the new hope that it has brought to the city & franchise.
Lately, this site has turned into “book review” central. But what can I say? I’ve been reading a lot of gems recently and have enjoyed writing about them, in the hopes that others will be inspired to pick them up themselves. Sorry – not sorry.
Funnily enough, that’s the title of the book I’m sitting down to review today; actress, singer, celebrity Naya Rivera’s autobiography: “Sorry Not Sorry.”
Before I delve into my review, I have to point out: I picked up this book largely because I followed Rivera during her time on the hit TV show Glee. I was a “Gleek,” as they called us, watched the show devotedly when it aired (and even after) and saw the in-concert show twice.
Seeing her book ready to hit the shelves absolutely intrigued me, and I knew I had to pick it up. I put in a request at my local library, and shortly after the book was released, it came into my eager hands.
To follow up on reading Sarah Shephard’s book about women in sport, I decided I wanted to keep going on the topic, so I went ahead and picked up Jaime Schultz’s 2014 title, “Qualifying Times: Points of Change in U.S. Women’s Sport.”
Having read both, I can’t help but be happy that I picked both of them up. While the topic seems the same, and certainly both books do touch on some of the same issues and both historic and current situations, they’re from two different perspectives. Shephard’s book focuses largely (but not exclusively) on women in sport in the UK. She does make reference to several points of US women’s sports, but by and large, a lot of what she’s focused on is overseas. Thus, in comes Schultz’s book, which focuses almost exclusively on the American side of things. Read one after the other, they seem to nicely fit together, fill in some gaps and have given me a better overarching perspective on women’s sports.
Alright – back to Schultz’s book.
I was hooked from the introduction of this book, which is literally titled: The Politics of the Ponytail. Have I ever thought of the ponytail in terms of sports? Not particularly, at least until now. Showcasing how this hairstyle ties into discussions about gender, age, sexuality, sexualization and femininity, Schultz does a phenomenal job of capturing the reader’s attention from the get-go. Boom. Let’s go.