Saturday, December 15, 2007

Book Reviews

A Little Bit Married by Debra Borden

Not particularly believable, but enjoyable and amusing enough. At times quite funny. Very quick read. Everything ends as you wish.

My main beef is it's hard to swallow that a woman whose lifelong dream was to be a housewife could so easily transition to having a job and being a single mother, but I guess having a live-in housekeeper would help things. I guess what really boggles my mind is how before the main character gets a job, she is a housewife and yet still has a live-in housekeeper.

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

The first half of the book is very interesting. Explores how a house, a city, the subway system would all gradually "return to the earth" if humans suddenly disappeared. The author then broadens his focus to look at what could happen to nuclear reactors, oil refineries, and the Panama Canal, among others. It's all quite intriguing and full of useful tidbits.

The chapter on plastics has really inspired me to be more conscientious about recycling plastic! Weisman looks at the disturbing and growing level of plastic in the world's oceans. Also how no one really has any idea how plastics degrade, how long it takes, what effects its presence can and will have on the ecosystems of the earth, and yet plastic is so ubiquitous.

You pick up the author's feeling that humans should stop spreading out, but it still doesn't prepare you for his proposed solution to humans harming the earth: each woman on earth only has one baby. He proceeds to paint in rosy colors a future world in which our descendants can look out their windows and see the good they are doing to the earth by limiting themselves to one kid per woman, and then ends the book. That's it. Absolutely no discussion of the catastrophic impact of a world population halving itself every generation. No discussion of the complete collapse of every economy on the planet. How very likely our descendants would not be able to look out windows peacefully, because civilization would have collapsed under a disastrous reproductive policy. But no matter to the author. He clearly feels that is a small price to pay for having a lovely unsullied earth. Personally I would like to find a way to have a lovely earth without resorting to what even the author admits is a draconian measure. Bad end to an interesting book.

1 comment:

BluBabes said...

I'm going to comment on both of these books without ever having read them, ha. No seriously, here goes. Your first one sounds like another fantasy of what a singledom is really like. I don't hesitate to say that it seems television and these types of books may make single motherhood (or singledom) sound like YSF's. Divorce is full of heartache, but hey if you've got a housekeeper - what's another stat?

The second book I think may have some valid points. We try not to use plastic bags anymore. Opting for cute vintage cloth carry-alls. I've noticed that the media is starting to circulate this one-child or no child theory - in order to preserve the earth. I find the notion to have a sort of underlying hostility towards those who continue to have their families grow. The earth is meant to be run on, worn on, tread on, etc. All the while with EQUAL care going to it's nourishment and cleanliness. Sounds a little too ideal to some, but doable.

Anyways on that note, went out to get that cheese thing that you recommended to me - at target. I stopped to get the mail and your Christmas card came, so happy to see that Baby E can sign her name. That boy name that you're thinking of does have a commonality with my brother, I think that's a good thing. BTW life is so much easier with that cheese thing.