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Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: A review

What I love most about this book, Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine, is how easy it is to read. This, in my opinion, is crucial to Beck’s goal in writing it. He’s trying to get a very serious (in his opinion, and strongly felt throughout the book) message across to his readers, one that is immeasurably easier to feel and infer because of Beck’s diction and syntax. Plain and simple, his words are, well, plain and simple. To get an idea of what I mean, take for instance these few excerpts, which you can find like phrases to throughout the book, “Wake up America!” and “Open your eyes!” I simply find Beck’s simplicity perfectly fitting and ingeniously devised, and that’s not to mention the large print and the fact that the book’s fewer than 200 pages in length. (more…)

Way too sexy, way too soon: Levin and Kilbourne hit nail on head with book

I picked up this book because it covers a topic I’m very much interested in knowing more about. I’m planning on studying psychology next year in grad school, and the topic covered in Diane E. Levin and Jean Kilbourne’s book, So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids is what interests me more than any other topic in psychology, mostly because I have a strong motivation to help children and teenagers with developing into productive and healthy adults. It also fascinates me how much of a factor the human mind plays into every aspect of human life, sex and sexualization being two of the biggest motivators and of the most powerful influence.

As is this book’s main focus, our society is only becoming more and more sexualized as the days go on. Levin and Kilbourne use examples to demonstrate this assertion such as teenage girls wearing thong panties and padded bras to school, and barely-there Halloween costumes each year. They also mention t-shirts that read “Chick Magnet” sold for toddler boys. All of these examples are true, as I’ve seen them with my own eyes.

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A better read: “The Reader”

“I wanted simultaneously to understand Hanna’s crime and to condemn it. But it was too terrible for that. When I tried to understand it, I had the feeling I was failing to condemn it as it must be condemned. When I condemned it as it must be condemned, there was no room for understanding.”
The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink.

After reading this book for the first time, I only wanted to read it again. Of course, I just had to race to the nearest Blockbuster and rent the film as soon as possible. Unfortunately with the film version, I was sorely disappointed.

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Celebrity narcissism reaching public?

Though I didn’t know it when I first picked up the book from my local library, one of the most interesting facts to me about The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America, initially, came with discovering the author’s background.

Dr. Drew Pinsky is the host of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab, a reality television show, thus making Dr. Pinsky a reality television star. The focus of his book is describing to America its fixation on celebrities and how a narcissistic behavior can result from that. Essentially, Dr. Pinsky tries to tell us that we’re all narcissistic in one way or another, and that this “pathology” stems from the media constantly covering celebrities and their lives. It’s a “celebrity fixation,” as Pinsky terms it.

Right off the bat I was struck with the pangs of hypocrisy, and I hadn’t even read the first page of the book; just the back cover and did a little research online about the author. (Actually, there are two authors – Dr. Drew Pinsky and social scientist Dr. S. Mark Young – but the second plays a minor role, aiding Pinsky in the actual studies with his expertise, and does not star on Celebrity Rehab with Pinsky. Therefore, when I pass a judgment like this one, I do not mean to include Dr. Young.)

So, to say the least, I wasn’t impressed at the start with this book, but then I began to dig into it.

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Round review on “World is Flat”

Scary. That’s the best word I can think of to sum up this book in just one adjective. I don’t know whether I should jump in my car right now and drive up to the White House with a picketing sign or catch the earliest flight to India.

What might be funny, but is also true, is that what I was most impacted by in what I read in this book is how in some parts of the U.S., such as in Missouri, fast food companies like McDonald’s outsource to call centers hundreds of miles away. These restaurants don’t outsource jobs like creating the wrapper your Big Mac comes in, they outsource the job of the person who takes your order.

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Fresh look at Ann Coulter’s “Godless”

This is my second Coulter book, and, not surprisingly, I find myself again both entertained and amused by what I’ve read. The titles alone for her chapters, such as “The Passion of the Liberal: Thou Shalt Not Punish the Perp,” “The Creation Myth: On the Sixth Day, God Created Fruit Flies,” and “The Scientific Method of Stoning and Burning,” are interesting and witty. (No wonder the woman’s a lawyer.)

Essentially, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, is one giant argument against the concept of “American liberalism,” something Coulter considers without any scientific or factual basis whatsoever, and even goes so far as to call it a “primitive religion.” She bases this idea on how she sees liberalism in America possessing many characteristics that define religions around the world. She says that it has “its own cosmology, its own miracles, its own beliefs in the supernatural, its own churches, its own high priests, its own saints…” and so on. Basically, Coulter sees this “faith” as something like nature being god and men being apes, or monkeys.

In my opinion, a lot of what she has to say, what she uses to back up her argument here, makes sense.

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