“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.
I just finished reading Sarah Shephard’s June 2016 release entitled “Kicking Off: How women in sport are changing the game.” As someone whose interest in women’s sports has been piqued lately, I went searching for books about the topic. There aren’t necessarily a ton out there, but this was the first I decided to pick up! My local library didn’t have a copy, but I requested it via interlibrary loan and got one from Waubonsee Community College out in Sugar Grove, IL, and dove right in.
Overall, I found this book to be informative and educational. It was a well-rounded read, in that it looked at a variety of components of women in sports and the challenges and stereotypes they face. From girls & women actually being allowed to play, to looking at media coverage and financial support of women’s sports, to delving into deeper issues regarding girls and sports and body issues – this book covered A LOT of ground. In the end, I think it’s an incredibly important read. I learned a lot from it and it certainly opened my eyes to some issues that even I didn’t really think of beforehand.