Here's a bit of what's been on my nightstand:
*Whiter Shades of Pale
If you've ever popped over to Stuff White People Like, then you know the basic premise of this book, which is that white people like a lot of the same stuff, some of which is kind of pretentious, so let's make fun of that. This book takes it a step further though and divides the topics by geographic places known for exceptional whiteness, like Seattle, San Francisco, and yes, Portland. (Some strengths of the Portland white person include "strong legs from bicycling; well read thanks to Powells; good taste in music.")
*Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined AmericaI was motivated to read this book after reading Daphne's incredibly well written review and of course I loved it. I had planned on doing a full review here, but it was due back at the library before I got around to it and now I don't remember all the key points I wanted to talk about. But, I do remember the last section really striking a chord with me because it was all about how positive thinking helped contribute to the real estate mess this country is in right now.
I know of a lot of people down in southwest Florida-mostly older business associates of my dad's-people who owned successful companies and who at one point were what I consider very wealthy. But when the real estate market was doing well, they got too caught up in it and refused to see that one day the bubble would burst. I know people who not only have a second mortgage on their house, but also a third mortgage. I know a man who owes upwards of a million dollars on a home that's now worth around $250,000. Sure this can be attributed to greed or bad banking practices but a lot of it boils down to people only seeing the positive and refusing to even think that the negative could happen.
As for me, I continue to be a realist. Anymore, I hope for the best but expect the worst. With that attitude, I'm rarely disappointed.
*Feminism and Pop Culture
I consider myself a feminist but I'll admit that there are times I forget that I should really be more outraged. Women have definitely come a long way since Donna Reed, but the fact that there is a totally naked Brooklyn Decker on the cover of the my husband's latest Esquire magazine proves that we haven't really come that far. This book addresses all the many messages we're assaulted with on a daily basis through television, movies, and books and magazines. It was an interesting read, but fairly simplistic. I certainly don't consider myself well read when it comes to feminist literature, but this book wasn't really breaking any new ground, even for me. That being said, the book quoted and made reference to a lot of other female writers who have written about the subject with a bit more depth, so it's definitely a good jumping off point that I would recommend.
Next up on the reading list: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
What have you been reading lately?