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falling_dance
12-14-2009, 11:01 PM
Thanks; I'll put him on the list!

I've been reading Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-Sided and once again I find myself agreeing with Ehrenreich's basic premise (there is a harmful side to the American cultural insistence on optimism and positive thinking at all times) while finding myself unconvinced by her arguments and annoyed by her methods.

Would you say that the book's arguments are unconvincing mainly because they're underdeveloped?

Prancer
12-15-2009, 01:35 AM
Would you say that the book's arguments are unconvincing mainly because they're underdeveloped?

I'm not too far into the book yet, but so far, yes. She keeps stating conclusions that don't seem well supported by the evidence she's offering.

Part of the problem is her subject matter, I think; happiness and optimism are not easily quantifiable. But that means you have to work harder at proving your point, not less.

Are you the one who posted about the book on the last thread? I know someone did, which is how I came to get it, and I remember the person who posted about it said essentially the same thing--good topic, but shaky execution of argument.

falling_dance
12-15-2009, 01:41 AM
Are you the one who posted about the book on the last thread? I know someone did, which is how I came to get it, and I remember the person who posted about it said essentially the same thing--good topic, but shaky execution of argument.

cygnus (http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showpost.php?p=2436266&postcount=152) posted about it earlier.

Matryeshka
12-15-2009, 04:04 AM
My mother asked me for a list of books that I wanted for Christmas. I mined this thread for suggestions. If they all suck, I'm sending penguins after you people. Mean, vengeful penguins.

I also realized between this thread and the trends-you-don't-like in books thread, that I was really in the mood for a good (but bad) urban fantasy. And from the last couple of pages on this thread, that I've never read a book set in Canada, and I've read bookS!! set in Antarctica.

So, coincidence being what it is, I found Night Child by Jess Batits...the first book in an urban fantasy series set in Vancouver. :cheer2: And while it has many many urban fantasy cliches, I really like the main character, which is a definite plus. She's not overly tough, but she's not a complete dumbass. And I LOVE the fact that she dyes her hair--I don't know why, but that tickled me. The author has a tendency to give too many details about things that don't really matter. You get the feeling it's more about the author showing off what he knows rather than trying to further the plot, but so far, I give it a hesitant thumbs up.

Wyliefan
12-15-2009, 04:21 AM
My bookshelves are fast filling up with books I haven't read -- and, as book fanatics will, I just keep buying more. So I've set myself a challenge. I have two weeks of Christmas/New Year break -- 16 days total -- and in those 16 days I shall attempt to read 10 of my unread books. I'll keep track of my progress on my LiveJournal, and on January 4 I'll report back and let you all know whether Operation Book Binge was a success! :)

IceAlisa
12-15-2009, 04:32 AM
Thanks; I'll put him on the list!

I've been reading Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-Sided and once again I find myself agreeing with Ehrenreich's basic premise (there is a harmful side to the American cultural insistence on optimism and positive thinking at all times) while finding myself unconvinced by her arguments and annoyed by her methods.

That's is so interesting because as a rude Euro elitist I've been thinking the same for years although I acknowledge the benefits of the American optimism at the same time.

What were Ehrenreich's reasons for saying it's harmful? I wonder if they are the same or similar to mine.

Prancer
12-15-2009, 04:57 AM
My bookshelves are fast filling up with books I haven't read -- and, as book fanatics will, I just keep buying more. So I've set myself a challenge. I have two weeks of Christmas/New Year break -- 16 days total -- and in those 16 days I shall attempt to read 10 of my unread books. I'll keep track of my progress on my LiveJournal, and on January 4 I'll report back and let you all know whether Operation Book Binge was a success! :)

Good luck! I've been off most of this month so far; at first, I was chugging right along and getting through a book every couple of days, but the to-be-read file is growing faster than I can keep up with it.


What were Ehrenreich's reasons for saying it's harmful? I wonder if they are the same or similar to mine.

I'm still reading it; I'm fast but not that fast :P.

She describes her experiences developing the idea and writing the book here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/10/books/10ehrenreich.html

I have a feeling you won't agree with her on a lot of it. Just a guess :lol:.

Wyliefan
12-15-2009, 05:00 AM
Thanks, Prancer! At first I was VERY ambitious and was going to try for 14, but then I had to be honest and admit there was no chance. :lol:

rjblue
12-15-2009, 05:11 AM
And from the last couple of pages on this thread, that I've never read a book set in Canada, and I've read bookS!! set in Antarctica.
Oh dear.

The_Diviners (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Diviners) by Margaret Laurence (on a lot of banned book lists, my favourite of hers)

Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercy_Among_the_Children)(won the Giller prize, an Oprah book club type, but more of a man's book)

Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_Cry_Wolf) (Much of his stuff is an environmentalist's/animal rights activist's
dream, but they are enjoyable reading)

The Cornish Trilogy by Robertson Davies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cornish_Trilogy)(I must put this on my re-read list- 4 1/2 stars on Amazon)

Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculating_God)(science fiction author of Flashfoward)

The Shipping News (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shipping_News) by E.Annie Proulx (I liked the book better than the movie)

Evilynn
12-15-2009, 10:59 AM
I'm still midway through Kate Elliot's 'Traitor's Gate (http://www.amazon.com/Traitors-Gate-Crossroads-Kate-Elliott/dp/0765310570/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260874736&sr=8-1)'. *sighs* I put it down and just haven't picked it up since, it's not bad, I'm just...stuck. Then again, I always read a lot less in Nov-Dec. I'm also 4/5 done with China Miéville's Un Lun Dun (http://www.amazon.com/Un-Lun-Dun-China-Mieville/dp/0345458443/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260874604&sr=8-1), and I think I would've loved reading it at the age when I was reading a lot of Roald Dahl (of course, at the time Miéville would've been 16-17 :lol:).

Wyliefan
12-15-2009, 12:38 PM
Oh dear.

The_Diviners (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Diviners) by Margaret Laurence (on a lot of banned book lists, my favourite of hers)

Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercy_Among_the_Children)(won the Giller prize, an Oprah book club type, but more of a man's book)

Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_Cry_Wolf) (Much of his stuff is an environmentalist's/animal rights activist's
dream, but they are enjoyable reading)

The Cornish Trilogy by Robertson Davies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cornish_Trilogy)(I must put this on my re-read list- 4 1/2 stars on Amazon)

Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculating_God)(science fiction author of Flashfoward)

The Shipping News (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shipping_News) by E.Annie Proulx (I liked the book better than the movie)

Plus all of the Anne of Green Gables books (and the Emily books and the Pat books and all of Montgomery's other books!).

shells
12-15-2009, 04:34 PM
I doubt it's him, but if Canadian detectives and somewhat brutal murders interest you, try Giles Blunt. He wrote a handful of books featuring John Cardinal, taking place in a very loosely disguised North Bay, Ontario. Good books, well written and thoughtful, and very Canadian IMO.

Also (not that this matters one bit to the quality of his books) he is VERY nice to look at, and also just a nice man. If I recall correctly he used to write for TV too...Law & Order and...what was that legal show that was on before L&O started?? Can't remember. One of the more interesting author events I attended when I was a bookseller.


I also realized between this thread and the trends-you-don't-like in books thread, that I was really in the mood for a good (but bad) urban fantasy. And from the last couple of pages on this thread, that I've never read a book set in Canada, and I've read bookS!! set in Antarctica.

Kelley Armstrong is really good too. She is Canadian and her books take place here as well as in different parts of the US (Upstate NY features prominently). The bookstores here keep them in the horror section, but I don't know that I'd call them that. They're probably more paranormal than anything else - she writes about warewolves and witches and demons, etc... If it interests you at all take a look at Bitten. It's the first in her Otherworld Series.

Prancer
12-16-2009, 01:24 PM
Would you say that the book's arguments are unconvincing mainly because they're underdeveloped?

Well, now that I have actually finished the book :P, I wouldn't say that is the main issue. Some of her arguments are undeveloped; some of them are pretty well done.

I think the main problem I have with Ehrenreich in this book is that her own ideology is so clear in her writing. On one hand, that's honest; you know what you are getting with her and it's all right up front. The personal quality of her writing is a big part of what makes it interesting and easy to read. On the other hand, her biases are always very evident and I find myself wondering if everything she says is entirely trustworthy--not that I think she lies, but that her biases lead her to focus on certain issues while ignoring others. And she is sometimes guilty of the very things she criticizes others for (overextrapolation and overapplication of anecdote).

Overall, though, I thought the book was thought provoking and interesting; I know I've experienced some of the "no negative thinking allowed!" culture she describes and I expect a lot of other people have, too. And you can surely see some of the things she describes, even here on this board (especially in PI).

immoimeme
12-16-2009, 02:23 PM
I read some more of "Angle of Repose." It's still interesting but still has too many words. It forced me to read "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" to free up my mind: fewer words and simpler premise. At this rate I'll be back to reading catalogs again. :P

rfisher
12-16-2009, 03:01 PM
I'm in the middle of Jana French's (http://www.shelfari.com/groups/10092/discussions/6061/Favorite-NEW-mysteries) debut novel In The Woods. This won an Edgar award for best new mystery novel which goes to show all the stuff in how to write a good mystery or thriller books is bogus or winning a prestigious award is drivel. This is a classic example of telling rather than showing. I want her to just get on with things. I'm already bored with who dun it or why they bothered.

Apart from that, it's well written.