Monday, December 8, 2008

Books I Recommend

The Beauty Myth- Naomi Wolf
From Publishers Weekly
This valuable study, full of infuriating statistics and examples, documents societal pressure on women to conform to a standard form of beauty. Freelance journalist Wolf cites predominant images that negatively influence women--the wrinkle-free, unnaturally skinny fashion model in advertisements and the curvaceous female in pornography--and questions why women risk their health and endure pain through extreme dieting or plastic surgery to mirror these ideals. She points out that the quest for beauty is not unlike religious or cult behavior: every nuance in appearance is scrutinized by the godlike, watchful eyes of peers, temptation takes the form of food and salvation can be found in diet and beauty aids. Women are "trained to see themselves as cheap imitations of fashion photographs" and must learn to recognize and combat these internalized images. Wolf's thoroughly researched and convincing theories encourage rejection of unrealistic goals in favor of a positive self-image.

Third Term: Why George W. Bush <3 John McCain- Paul Begala
"With deadly accuracy, wit and fearlessness, Paul Begala demolishes the Myth of McCain. Once a political reformer, McCain has hung a For Sale sign on his most cherished principles and morphed into the second coming of George W. Bush. If you are an admirer of all that George Bush has done to America, you are going to love John McCain. If not, you need to read this book. Give it to anyone you know who is even thinking of voting for John McCain." -- Arianna Huffington

"If you're one of the 20 percent of Americans who love George W. Bush, you'll love John McCain. If you're one of the 80 percent of Americans who don't love President Bush, you'll love this book. It's a must-read for anyone who wants change." -- James Carville

The Republican War Against Women-Tanya Melich

From Library Journal
Melich, who has spent most of her political life as a Republican feminist, recounts 23 years of party politics that, she postulates, has fought against the women's movement and issues important to equal opportunity. She takes us through her struggles as a delegate to the Republican National Conventions of 1968 and 1992, describing in painstaking detail every platform, rule, and committee meeting that resulted in documents rejecting the Equal Rights Amendment and calling for a constitutional ban on abortions. Clearly, from what Melich outlines, the Republican party was completely out of sync with her views, leaving one to ask why it took so long for her to leave the party (as she finally did in 1992). Her reasoning after each defeat was that she thought it would get better and that it was better that the GOP feminists work with, rather than against, the party to see if some ground could be gained. Although the book's alarmist title may turn some potential readers off, the text is not hyperbole but a step-by-step account of how the religious right and conservatives have taken control of the Republican party.

How To Win A Fight With A Conservative- Daniel Kurtzman
This is political satire! It's meant to be humerus. Great add to any coffee table.

Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture- Ariel Levy
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. What does sexy mean today? Levy, smartly expanding on reporting for an article in New York magazine, argues that the term is defined by a pervasive raunch culture wherein women make sex objects of other women and of ourselves. The voracious search for what's sexy, she writes, has reincarnated a day when Playboy Bunnies (and airbrushed and surgically altered nudity) epitomized female beauty. It has elevated porn above sexual pleasure. Most insidiously, it has usurped the keywords of the women's movement (liberation, empowerment) to serve as buzzwords for a female sexuality that denies passion (in all its forms) and embraces consumerism. To understand how this happened, Levy examines the women's movement, identifying the residue of divisive, unresolved issues about women's relationship to men and sex. The resulting raunch feminism, she writes, is a garbled attempt at continuing the work of the women's movement and asks, how is resurrecting every stereotype of female sexuality that feminism endeavored to banish good for women? Why is laboring to look like Pamela Anderson empowering? Levy's insightful reporting and analysis chill the hype of what's hot. It will create many aha! moments for readers who have been wondering how porn got to be pop and why feminism is such a dirty word.

Howl and other Poems- Allen Ginsberg
Everyone needs a little "beat" in their life.

She- Saul Williams
My favorite excert from this book:

I presented
my feminine side
with flowers

she cut the stems
and placed the gently
down my throat

and these tu lips
might soon eclipse
your brightest hopes

No comments: