A Literary Dealbreaker?


Today an interesting topic came up in a discussion on NPR: do a person's reading preferences determine whether or not they are dateable? Would it be a "deal-breaker" to enter a date's home and find a Clive Cussler* novel on his-or-her coffee table? Would whether or not you pursue a relationship with a person depend on their Amazon wish list? What do you think matters more, what a person reads, or how much they actually reflect on what they read? If the latter appeals to you more, the library offers several books with information on critical reading, and feel free to offer your thoughts on this topic in the comment thread for this post!

*Note: If you have a Clive Cussler novel on your coffee table, my apologies.

Life As A Polygamist's Wife

A friend of mine emailed me saying "You have to read this!" about Irene Spencer's autobiography Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist's Wife. Now that I've started the book, I too am hooked. Spencer's story of growing up in a Mormon fundamentalist family, and eventually becoming the wife of a man with nine other wives and 56 children, is a glimpse into a world that I can't seem to wrap my mind around. Her story traces her painful journey through life in a polygamous relationship and her choice to leave that situation, despite the teachings of the faith she had been raised in. Irene Spencer is currently in a monogamous relationship, which is also discussed in her book (obviously from an unique vantage point), and the honesty of her life story is intriguing, horrifying, hilarious, and ultimately a page-turner. I am near the end of the book now, and can't wait to see how she ends this novel.

Dawn Farm Education Series

Dawn Farm picDawn Farm pic

Dawn Farm invites you to attend the following free Education Series in January. Codependency will be presented on January 22, 2008 from 7:30-9:00 pm. “Chemical Dependency and the Family” will be presented on January 29, same time. For more information go to their website, it’s full of information about substance abuse & recovery, as well as the interesting impact they've had on the recovery culture in Japan.

What’s A Truax? Well I’m So Glad You Asked, Let Me Tell You!

In Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, an entrepreneur named Once-Ler sees his business grow from a one-room shop to a gigantic factory selling useless Thneeds made from tufts of chopped down Truffula Trees. The titular character, a small creature that speaks for the trees, pleads to Once-Ler to leave the trees alone, but alas and alack, the forest is destroyed and The Lorax leaves. Seuss chillingly bookends the tale in the idyllic forest-cum-wasteland with the now impoverished Once-Ler telling his story to a young man. In rare form, [Seuss, Dr|Seuss] adds a real subtlety to Once-Ler as the now remorseful enemy, and doesn’t pander—does he ever?—to kids with his message. So what’s The Truax? Why it’s the hardwood flooring industry’s delightful rebuttal.

An Economist holiday

Economist 12/22/2007 coverEconomist 12/22/2007 cover

If you've never read the annual holiday edition of The Economist, you're missing a rare treat. In addition to the magazine's typical insightful reporting and commentary, this edition includes several special reports on as sundry topics as professional poker to Mao Zedong's management style. Here are just a few articles that I enjoyed from this year's issue:

* Why humans' hunter-gatherer era wasn't quite as idyllic as we think
* The political sensitivity and power that comes from the Census
* China's attempts to encourage panda sex, and why we should care
* The political implications of electing a Mormon president.

Has your interest been piqued? Want to check out this issue of The Economist in its full-text glory? You're in luck! You can access it online in General OneFile, one of our great research databases. After you get into the database, just click the "Publication Search" link and search for The Economist. You will need to login to your aadl.org account to follow the database link.

What Science has Learned about the Human Condition

Older person imageOlder person image

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute presents the Thursday Morning Lecture Series #3 beginning January 10, through February 14, 2008 at the Best Western Conference Center on Jackson Road. Beginning with The Evolving World: Evolution in Every Day Life by David Mindell, author of a book of the same name followed in consecutive weeks by local professors Thad A. Polk, Ph.D, Elizabeth Petty, Dr. John Greden, C. Loring Brace and Jennifer Crocker. The series titled “What Science has Learned about the Human Condition” is pretty heady stuff. That’s why they named it Lifelong Learning, not Shuffleboard.

Resources for Students – Current Issues and Debates

Need some support for your side of the debate? Or just want to present a balanced view in your research paper? The Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center database can help.

Find viewpoint articles from both sides of current issues as well as background material, articles, and web sites.

Access Opposing Viewpoints in the Kids and Teens section of our Research page. Search from home with your library card!

Well-behaved women seldom make history by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

What a great title. A tribute to women ranging over centuries and cultures. The book was discussed last week on the Diane Rehm show.
Ms Ulrich is a Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University , past Pulitzer and Bancroft prize winner, MacArthur Foundation Fellowship , etc.

Interestingly the book title is popular on bumper stickers across the country. My mother was a Rosie the Riveter in WW2. I bet she'd like this book and the bumper sticker.

Is Consumerism Sustainable?

Kai RyssdalKai Ryssdal

Our consumer culture often produces several unfortunate side effects. Given all those negative effects, can we sustain our consumerism for much longer? That compelling question will be addressed by none other than Kai Ryssdal, host of the NPR business & finance program Marketplace, in a panel discussion next week. Kai will be joined several other notable folks at the event, which is co-sponsored by Michigan Radio and the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Interested? The panel will be held on Friday, November 16th, from 11.00a to noon at the Ross School of Business. Find out more on Michigan Radio's events page.

Aging In Place

Do you have an aging family member or friend who wants to age in place for as long as possible? Perhaps you are thinking about downsizing from your current home to a smaller house or condo to live in after retirement. Take advantage of the University of Michigan Housing Bureau For Seniors, a resource for housing and care options for anyone 55+.

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