Monday, November 05, 2012

October Books

Not too much reading this month. Falling asleep immediately when my head hits the pillow really puts a dent in my reading time.

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
I loved Interrupted, so I was excited to read another book by Jen. This is written in a very informal, almost blog-like style that is quick to read. Jen embarks on a 7-month journey in which she radically simplifies 7 different areas of her life: food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress. At its core, the project is about getting rid of excess so we can focus on what is truly important. In month one, she decides to eat only 7 foods for the entire month. It is understandably very difficult for her. But the fact is, that is how much of the world eats. I think we often forget that we have an embarrassment of riches. The choice of what to eat is a huge luxury. This book was at once hilarious and inspiring. I highly recommend it.

Heroes and Monsters by Josh James Riebock
One of the strange things about reading on the Kindle is that it's not easy to read the book description. You have to be connected to Wi-Fi, so it's not a matter of just flipping the book over and reading the back cover. Since I often read books well after I've bought them, I sometimes have no clue what the book is going to be about. That was the case with this one. I thought it was fiction, but it is actually a memoir of one young man's spiritual journey. So, I was really confused for about the first half of the book. It's a strange book, full of metaphor and symbolism. What differentiates it from many other "Christian" books is that it is quite honest about the struggles of faith. Josh makes it clear that it is not an easy road, but it is a worthwhile one. The writing is a little disjointed at times, but ultimately it is an insightful look into what it means to live the full life God has called us to.

The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould
This is a book my language assessment teacher recommended I read and comment on for my comprehensive exam. Gould explores the history of mental testing in the 19th and 20th centuries, exposing the fallacies that lay behind early intelligence tests (which heavily influenced our current standardized tests, such as the SAT). It's crazy to read about the way "science" was used to prove inequality between races and sexes. It definitely caused me to question all of the things we accept as truth today. The chapter on factor analysis is a little dense, but otherwise it is very readable. I recommend it to any teacher. 

1 comment:

Ryan said...

If you liked Mismeasure of Man, you might read to read "The Big Test," which is about the history of the SAT and its relationship with university system in the USA. I read it for my 460 comp and it was really good. I learned a lot.