ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.

Daily Archive: September 5, 2016

Monday

5

September 2016

0

COMMENTS

The French Cat by Rachael Hale McKenna

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Five Stars

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This is a book. With pictures of cats. In France.

It’s a gift book; there is a much larger version that I must get my hands on. Normally I wouldn’t review a book like this, but come on!

It has:

1. Pictures of cats

2. In France

3. Coupled with quotes about how awesome cats are, from French intellectuals and artists.

I also learned something – did you know that in Paris cat owners are fined if their cats are found on the street? Explains why I don’t really recall seeing any cats wandering about when I’ve been in Paris.

I’ll be rereading this more than probably any other book. It makes me smile, it makes me want to snuggle my own cats more, and damn it, it makes me want to go back to France.

Monday

5

September 2016

0

COMMENTS

All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Reviews

Four Stars

This is a good book, but it is dense. I started it in early August and just finished it late last night because I didn’t want to carry around such a hefty hardback book, and also because I kind of just wanted to read puffy junk like “Nerve.” But I’m really glad I made it all the way through, because I think it’s an interesting and important work.

Ms. Traister breaks her book down into ten chapters that explore different facets of being an unmarried woman in the U.S., including politics and power, independence, activism, and the reality that it can be very challenging. She doesn’t spend all of her time focusing on well-off white women (as I sort of feared); instead she looks at the different ways being unmarried and a woman intersects with class and race. And these aren’t just young unmarried women – some are older women, some are young mothers, some are older mothers, and some eventually do decide to get married.

The parts that definitely resonated most with me were the sections that covered being in one’s 20s and 30s and single in a large urban area. I spent most of my 20s single, and I lived in NYC. It was mostly fantastic, although I wasn’t actively eschewing dating or staking out a claim as a singleton. I’d go through phases of dating and not dating, enjoying the solitude of being able to wander through Central Park all day on a Saturday and not have to adjust to anyone else’s schedule. And I appreciate that my family never put any pressure on me to meet a man and settle down (it probably helped that they knew I wasn’t having kids). The parts that I didn’t directly relate to – such as discussions of being a single mother, or wanting to go through fertility treatment without a partner – were still very engaging to read.

If you’re interested in some history and some current analysis of how the US treats single women, this is definitely a good choice. Just be prepared for it to take a while to get through.