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Back to the books…


I’m finally getting back to the book reviews.

I just finished “So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids”, by Diane E. Levin and Jean Kilbourne. I’ve been a big fan of Jean Kilbourne since college, having read all her other books regarding advertising, the media, society, and our views of ourselves as human beings.

“So Sexy So Soon” does it’s job in explaining the difference between sex, sexuality, and sexualization, and how the current consumer culture is forming the youngest generations to focus on the sexy without explaining sexuality. As most Jean Kilbourne books do, it hits the nail on the head several times in regard to the issues. However, I feel this book is missing something. The examples were so transparent, so obvious in their portrayal of the crisis that is created when young children are continually bombarded with images of sex without guidance for interpretation that I feel the authors didn’t go deep enough. They didn’t find the more underlying and deceptive methods of advertising that we wouldn’t normally recognize as a problem, something I usually find so intriguing in Kilbourne’s analysis.

Perhaps this is an influence from the other author, Levin, who I have not previously read. If it is, however, I am happy with what I see as her other big influence in the book – a very open and careful guide of how to deal with the situation of sexualization of children – both your own and others. What to do next, other than be aware of the problem, is something that is lacking a bit in Kilbourne’s past writings. This book is certainly not lacking in options of what to do next. Because of this, I feel it will be used as classroom reading in more than just women’s studies classes. It will apply especially to educators and classes involving childhood development.

As a side note, most of the examples used in the book were found on the East Coast, perhaps a few on the West Coast. One thing I pointedly remember from my human sexuality class is that differentiation between the sexes and sexuality are more drastic, more outwardly visible and identifiable on the coasts of the United States. It would be interesting for Kilbourne and Levin to look at the middle of the country – Appalachia, the Mid-West, and the non-coastal West to find what might or not be working as a counter to commercialization and sexualization of childhood in these areas.

Coming up next: “Tyrannosaur Canyon” by Douglas Preston

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Plans for the year:
Run a marathon  – training started; debating on Las Vegas vs Tucson Marathon – they are on the same day
Finish school
Finish all my unfinished crocheting and knitting projects  – some has been done; more has not
Redo my entire yard and fence  – started; menacing trees are gone, and I’ve done some planting. I just don’t have money to do the fence, though. That’s the biggest problem with this one.
Finish painting the inside of my house – oh dear…this one looms over me.

Other goals:
Lose weight and get in shape
Cook at home more; eat out less

Watch TV less; read more – this should come with the being done with school. In fact, I’ve read a book and started another since finishing school less than a week ago!
Keep my office cleaner :)

I would also like to feel stable enough (and have a good enough yard) to get a dog. – This will wait, pending a fence. There are external factors (i.e., a friend may come to live with us next year, and she has a dog) which could postpone this for a few years.

Thoughts? I’ve certainly finished a few things, and a few things will be much easier to finish now that the big item (finish school) is completed.

Also read in the last year…


Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. If you’re a science fiction fan, or interested in science fiction, you should definitely read the Ender-series.
The DaVinci Code, and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, both very good books which I highly recommend.

I know, I don’t say much about books when I do mass entries like this. I’ll try to work on that.

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A whole year…


So, it’s been a whole year since I wrote about any books. Don’t think that means I haven’t been reading.
I read several Darkover Novels. All good, nothing exceptional.
I read, by MZB, in this order: Firebrand, Fall of Atlantis, Ghostlight, Witchlight, Gravelight, Heartlight. I highly recommend that order. The books are all excellent, and they all start fitting in with each other. I’m very excited for Ancestors of Avalon, which Ethan has waiting for me…
Recently, I reread the Mists of Avalon. It’s such an amazing book every time I read it. This is one book I think everyone I know should read. It’s an entertaining, intellegent, and completely enchanting book.
I recently discovered the author Bernard Cornwell. He has a series of three books about the Arthurian legend- The Winter King, Enemy of God, and Excalibur. I also read a novel of his called Stormchild, which is very good. It’s kind of a mysterious thriller…I guess. Anyway, he’s written a whole bunch of stuff, and I was surprised I had never heard of him before I saw the Arthur series on the book-on-tape shelves in the library…
Right now, I’m rereading The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk. I had to read it for my senior sociology seminar in college. It is a ecofeminist utopian novel. It has some very strong ideas that appeal to my ecofeminist sense, but I don’t think it would necessarily sway someone who’s not already inclined in that direction. But it is an entertaining work as a fictional story…and has some interesting perspectives on our current culture.
I’m sure I read some other things, but I don’t know what right now…

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the perks of being a wallflower, by stephen chbosky


This is going to be one of those important books for every person to read someday. It will be required reading. After every person who reads it tells every other person they know how great it is. I was told by a friend (thank you Kerri!) that Chris and I would enjoy it. Wow, I wish I would have read it sooner.
The book is a series of letters by Charlie, an incredibly intelligent ninth grader who just needs someone to talk to. The letters are to a person who Charlie doesn’t know, but whom he heard about in a conversation to which he probably shouldn’t have listened. Charlie just tells what is going on, what he thinks about, what experiences he has, and he is totally and completely honest in his letters. This is something I’m sure everyone had problems with when starting high school– being honest, not only to yourself, but to someone else. We may know who we are, or what we think. The question is, do we have the courage to tell someone else.
As Charlie finds friends and love, and becomes closer to his family, he shares experiences and thoughts so many of us had, and makes us remember how alone we felt. (Okay, I have been informed before that not everyone felt like a reject during high school, but I think she must have been the one person in the last century.) But read it! READ IT!
Another incredible thing is that this is the author’s first novel. He has had several screenplays produced (all Sundance films), and he has a serious future as a writer.

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