I recently read and listened to on audio a book called “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” by Rachel Held Evans. Mrs. Held Evans is a young, married woman with no children who describes herself as an Evangelical Christian and modern woman. She lived for a year under Old Testament law. The book was interesting if you want to learn more about the subject matter. “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” is well researched and informative.
Rachel’s experiment was interesting. She discussed submitting to her husband, focusing on domestic duties, covering her head and not cutting her hair for the year among other thing. I don’t feel like she came to any profound conclusions at the end of the year. She didn’t reveal anything that I found to be particularly enlightening. Rachel seemed glad the year was over. The book is a fine way to pass time and I learned a bit but it wasn’t very meaningful and memorable to me.
Marry Smart is a relationship advice book for young, career oriented women by Susan Patton. I think it’s worth the read. It’s quick and Ms. Patton gives sound, practical and realistic advice to young women who aspire to marriage and motherhood.
Susan Patton is an HR professional and Princeton graduate who wrote a controversial letter to the editor of the campus newspaper of her alma mater. The letter advised young women to focus on finding a husband with as much or more energy as they do in starting a career. The letter garnered a lot of attention. Enough conversation was aroused by the letter that Susan wrote a book explaining her opinions on young women, careers, marriage and motherhood. I remember seeing Susan on morning TV programs like Today and The View when the book was released in 2014.
Susan was criticized in the mainstream and by feminists but what she was saying on the talk show circuit made sense to me. The author urges young women to be honest with themselves. If they want to marry and have children pursue that goal as they would any other. Be strategic. That’s the bottom line.
Susan states that the best time in a woman’s life to find a husband is while in college. She advises young women to make finding a spouse a priority while they are young and in school because that’s when youth, social surroundings and fertility are in a woman’s favor.
The odds of finding a desirable and compatible husband are in a young woman’s favor while she is on campus. She’s around men that are educated, career oriented, young, most likely single and childless. After graduation it’s nearly impossible to simulate that kind of social setting. The author advised women to remain active in alumni activities if they don’t find a husband while a student. It’s pretty simple and common sense.
Ms. Patton says that if you know you want to marry pursue it as a goal and be mindful of your time. Pop culture leads women to believe that they will meet the perfect mate by chance. Mainstream American Christianity preaches that The Lord will bring you the perfect spouse. I don’t think these romantic notions are fruitful.
I would encourage young women to be deliberate in their dating choices, have goals and be mindful of time . I think that Marry Smart offers great advice to women regardless of their educational and career goals. Any young woman can read this book and apply it to their own life and circumstances.
My criticism of this book is that it lasts a little longer than is necessary. Susan’s advice delves into some other areas that can help a lady be a success in life but it does get to be a bit superfluous near the end. It feels like Susan’s editor had a word requirement and she needed to stretch.
Generally speaking I think relationship advice is terrible. But Ms. Patton’s advice is based on simple biology. Women have been set up to fail by ignoring biology. The author is a bit harsh but I think it comes from a good, loving, maternal place. It’s worth a read. I listened to an audio book version which lasted about seven hours.
I finished a book called Precolonial Black Africa by Cheikh Anta Diop over the weekend. I was grateful to find this book from an online bookseller after not finding information at libraries and mainstream bookstores on the subject of precolonial Africa for years. I would recommend this book if you are interested in African history before European colonization.
Precolonial Black Africa gives readers a good over view on the topic. It covers different cultures in Black Africa and different facets of society. The book discusses religion, education, government, family structure, art, the economy, etc. The author did a good job of sharing information of a vast subject to readers that may not know much about African history.
The book is a little dry and I will attribute it to being translated into English. I didn’t have much background in precolonial African history so I dove into unfamiliar territory which is also a factor. There were parts of the book that I needed to push myself through despite the book only being two hundred and forty pages.
Nonetheless, I would recommend the book if you want to learn about African culture before European colonization. It gives you a good overview and jumping off point for further study. Precolonial Africa is a book that I will save for my personal library for reference.
Here are the few things that stood out for me:
Islam changed African culture before Europe did. Precolonial African leaders were political and religious leaders. Once Africans converted to Islam their traditional leaders lost influence and culture was lost.
Pre colonial African culture had a different relationship to land ownership than Western society has. They didn’t believe anyone could own land or hold a deed for it.
There were more checks and balances in African societies. There was a caste system but lower castes were empowered by social mores.
There was slavery in Africa but many slaves had agency and could move about society. American slaves were treated in similar fashion to the way European peasants and serfs were treated.
Family lineage was traced through mothers.
If you’re interested in learning about Africa before European influence Precolonial Black Africa is worth your time even though the language is a bit dry.
I finished ” For Small Creatures Such as We” by Sasha Sagan early on into quarantine. I spotted it in the library and thought it would be an interesting read. I don’t remember what I thought the book was going to be about but this wasn’t it. I didn’t care for the book at all. “For Small Creatures Such as We” isn’t terrible. I just have a completely different outlook on the world and I had a hard time relating to the author.
The author is an atheist woman with Jewish heritage that enjoys observing various cultural rituals, including religious rituals. Sasha feels that societal rituals add meaning to her life. I enjoy social activities, gatherings and decorating for holidays. To me it is just for fun and enjoyment so I would agree that rituals bring meaning to life. For me the rituals are not spiritual at all. That includes rituals and traditions inspired by religious holidays such as putting up a Christmas tree.
Sasha crossed my mind during the quarantine. Rituals mean a lot to her and all rituals that are performed outside of your own home and have more participants than a few people were cancelled. Easter, Mother’s Day and graduation rituals were all erased because of COVID 19. Just like that the things that gave her life meaning were taken away from her. I would be interested in hearing her thoughts on life during the 2020 quarantine.
Rituals are fine because they bring people together. I think that we all took a lot for granted before the COVID 19 quarantines. The rituals that we choose to participate in are more for the benefit of tightening social bonds which is important and enriches your life. I missed certain rituals but they are no substitute for having faith in Jesus Christ which isn’t a ritualistic act.
So “For Creatures Small as We” is interesting because it gave showed me a point of view that is very different from my own but I can’t say that I enjoyed the book because I couldn’t relate to the author because of her perspective.
I learned of about the movie “Bird Box” because of Twitter. I was minding my business scrolling through tweets and I read all the buzz about “Bird Box”. In the following days I saw “Bird Box” memes all over social media. The movie was a sensation. I bought into the nonsense.
I don’t use Netflix so the movie is not available to me so I got a copy of the book when I saw it at the library. I finished reading “Bird Box” by Josh Malerman over the weekend. The book is pretty short but it took me a long time to get through it because it was boring.
I was waiting for the plot to build and live up to the social media hype but it never delivered. Perhaps this is one of those anomalies where the movie is better than the book (like “Divergent”). I’ll never know because I’ll never spend my time watching “Bird Box”. I don’t even know how to describe this film; suspense, horror, mystery, science fiction, family drama. I don’t know because nothing happens. Seriously nothing happens.
The story is flat the entire time. The book blindly meanders to an anti climatic ending that just added to the confusion. I rushed through the ending of the book because I was sick of it but I was tempted to reread it because I couldn’t quite figure out what happened.
It seems like the writer was trying to leave things open ended so he can write a sequel. However the sequel to watching grass grow would be watching paint dry. I promise you that no matter where you live you will be more entertained by putting a chair in front of a window at your house and looking outside.
The premise is ridiculous. I don’t understand what Twitter got so excited about. I only saw three bad reviews of “Bird Box” one of which came from Cardi B. Cardi was as confused as I was by the story. I’m glad I wasn’t alone.
Warning: This clip contains expletives, racial slurs and general vulgarity. But she’s not wrong.
I’m mad a Twitter too for getting me to read that. This is the third time that the media has sold me on a book and it was garbage. Actually, probably more than that but I digress: 1. “The Host” by Stephenie Meyer. (It was an unoriginal snoozefest.) 2. “50 Shades of Grey” by E.L. James (The protagonist made women look stupid because that relationship should have ended very soon after she met Christian. And the sex scenes in the book are over hyped. Harlequin romances are kinkier than “50 Shades of Grey” and I was reading those in middle school) and now this.
I wish I could say I’ll never fall for this type of media hype again but I take book and movie recommendations seriously. What can I say? I like to stay on top of the trends. This won’t be the last time I have egg on my face due to buying into hype. It’s just how I live.