ASK Musings

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Daily Archive: December 21, 2017

Thursday

21

December 2017

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COMMENTS

Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding

Written by , Posted in Reviews

4 Stars

Best for: Those looking for some inspiration in a variety of voices.

In a nutshell: Leading feminist writers from diverse backgrounds share their thoughts on different aspects of what the election of Trump means.

Line that sticks with me: I’m writing this while on vacation, so I don’t have my book with me. But I underlined a ton and will be keeping the book to reread some essays.

Why I chose it: I saw authors I admire (Rebecca Skolnit! Jessica Valenti! Samantha Irby!)

Review: It’s impressive to pull together this many essays from so many great writers so quickly after the shit show that was the 2016 election. The authors look at a variety of issues, including moving to a red state, the failure of white women, the exclusion of trans women, the role of class, how black women were included in the Clinton campaign, and more.

My least favorite essay was probably from Sarah Jaffe – it seemed a bit off tonally and felt a little Bernie Bro-y to me. I think I get what she was going for, but the execution didn’t work for me. Meanwhile, Samantha Irby’s article about moving to be with her wife and not being entirely sure how engaged she wanted to be in figuring out what the white people she encountered thought of her was a great read.

I also enjoyed the final essay of the book, by Nicole Chung. The holidays are here, and I’m about to spend a week with some folks who may not have voted for Trump, but who tend to agree with a lot of his policies. Ms Chung looks at the obligations we have to talk to those who feel that way.

Even with the one essay that I wasn’t a huge fan of (and it wasn’t bad, I just didn’t enjoy it), I still highly recommend this essay collection, especially if you need a reminder that things didn’t just get bad on November 9, 2016 or if you need to some inspiration to keep fighting the good fight.

Thursday

21

December 2017

0

COMMENTS

The Happiness Hack by Ellen Petry Leanse

Written by , Posted in Reviews

2 Stars

Best for: No one

In a nutshell: Adviser to tech folks (I think) attempts to turn what must have started as a TED talk into a book.

Line that sticks with me: N/A

Why I chose it: I saw some tips from it in a magazine I was reading and it sounded cool. Lesson learned.

Review: This is a pretty short book, so I read it in a couple of evenings. Last night I was about 75% through and I said to my husband “What’s the music that builds and builds but never pays off? Is that EDM? Because this book is the EDM of books.”

Seriously, there is so much build up and explaining of why our brains might be easily distracted, and how that is keeping us from being happy, but she doesn’t ever get to the point. She doesn’t land the plane. I’m sold! I believe you that distractions and technology can have negative impacts and disconnect us from loved ones (although for some people it makes connection better): so what do you think I should do about it?

I don’t know. I’m not sure if the author knows. There are a lot of colorful pages with quotes from wise people, but other than reconnecting with loved ones, there’s no THERE there. And there are certainly no happiness hacks.