Better late than never!
21. What I Thought I Knew by Alice Eve Cohen – I saw this book on some reading list somewhere (I forget), and the description intrigued me. The author wrote this memoir after her experience with infertility, adoption and finding out she was 6 months pregnant at the age of 44 (after being misdiagnosed with bladder disorders, cancer, etc.) Facing an unexpected and high risk pregnancy, she explores her options and shares honestly her experiences. It was an interesting read, but her values are totally opposite from mine, making it very difficult to relate to her and not as enjoyable of a book as I expected.
22. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman – I have intended to read this book for a couple years–ever since Thomas read it and told me all about it. (He wrote a few unpublished blog posts based on this book, I wonder if we can persuade him to post them?) The theme of this book is the replacement of the printed word with television, where everything–politics, religion, news, etc.–is presented as entertainment and the repercussions are a decline in society. There is much more, but I think everyone should read this book. It will change the way you view entertainment. From the author:
When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.
23. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – Another memoir, but this one about a woman who was raised by vagrant parents who neglected their children in favor of gambling and drinking (her father) and artistic pursuits (her mother). This book was fascinating, and one of my favorite aspects of it was that the author was not complaining as she shared her amazing story. I feel that many memoirs tend to have a whining tone (see #21), but though the author was neglected by her parents, forced to eat out of trashcans as a little girl, and live in a falling down shack without electricity, she does not complain. Rather, her love for her parents and her respect for their ability to make their life seem like an adventure is what shines through.