08 June 2012

May Book Group + This Month's List

Last month our reading theme was Mothers, since it was May. Much of our discussion centered around Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, as well as the controversial Time magazine cover, Are you Mom Enough? Incidentally, I really enjoyed Jill Amery's response at the Huffington Post: Yes, I am Mom Enough.

I found Battle Hymn very thought provoking. Chua details her parenting successes and failures, and compares and contrasts Eastern and Western attitudes and parenting practices. The picture she paints does not reflect well on Western parenting, although her application of the Eastern method also seems to have left much to be desired.

At one point she compares her relationship with her dogs to a western parenting relationship, where we give love, food, and shelter, and then we hope for love in return, and not much else. I found that insulting, but I think she did it on purpose to raise a little controversy as well as shame western parents into upping their game. Funny, this tactic is right in line with her method of shaming her daughters to manipulate them into doing what she wants.

I have to admit that after reading her book, I was motivated to try harder. If she can nag her daughters into two hours of playing the piano or violin every single day, maybe I should not be looking for the shortest bedtime story to read them on the nights when I am tired and just want to be done. Maybe I should be planning financially to include a few piano or violin lessons, and maybe I should make the kids practice when they enroll.

It was a great discussion. This coming month, our theme is Food, and here is our list, if anyone is interested, you can read more about each book by clicking through to Amazon, where there are extensive reviews. 

Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health; edited by Gene Stone;  foreword by T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr.

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
by Michael Pollan

French Women Don't Get Fat Mireille Guiliano

Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS

I am usually such a fiction junky, but there are so many of these titles that I really want to read. I have already read The China Study, and I believe it may have changed my life, but it is a little early to tell. I will post more about the book soon. 


Marie Says Yes said...

Thanks for posting that article... I have somewhat followed this debate (witch hunt) and felt very disturbed by it. This one made me feel better -- that there are other voices being heard.
I love her conclusion that if you are trying hard to be loving parents there is room for varied thought on the subject while still having happy, healthy, secure, and loved children.
I am amazed how much we want to force our way down other peoples throats. So thankful for those (uhem... like you) who can voice a strong, kind, affirmative opinion and allow others to have their own.

Your book club is a smart book club. I'm always so inspired by your picks... and convinced I need to expand my horizons.

Lisa said...

Ditto on the above comment :)