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Book reviews from thissideofgaudy

Number of reviews: 5
Average review: star star star star

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Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Women's Health

by Gayle A. Sulik

Reviewed on Mar 14 2011

Finally, someone has dared to put in print what I feel. The whole pink ribbon "culture", as Ms. Sulik calls it, makes me feel as if people think those of us who have/did have breast cancer are children who need help instead of grown women who can make their own decisions and have their own feelings. I do not feel breast cancer made me a better person, consider myself some sort of hero or want to surround myself with pastel. I have long been offended by "Save the Tatas". It implies that my treatment was a failure or disappointment because all we managed to save was my life.In addition to breaking the code of the pink ribbon culture, Ms. Sulik also makes very salient comments about the motives of those companies who both support this lifestyle and make products that either treat or potentially cause cancer. Are these types of companies really committed to ending breast cancer or do they just want to get their names out there? If breast cancer is eradicated, don't some of these companies stand to lose millions?Finally, I feel this is a must-read for those who participate in pink ribbon activities, those who do not and those who don't understand why their loved ones are so offended. I intend to recommend this to my mother immediately.

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The Help

Reviewed on Dec 23 2010

Very rarely do I read a book straight through. Usually, I have two to six going at once. Not this time. I read the entire book in two days.Although I was born roughly in the middle of this narrative, the world described had mercifully disappeared by the time I became aware of the world around me. From the very beginning, I was astounded by the stupidity and pointlessness of many of the "taboos" believed in by the employers. These taboos not only covered the "help", but also constrained the women themselves in virtually all aspects of their lives. A person's qualifications and achievements seemed to be secondary to where they came from or what social group they were part of. I came away with a sense of both how far we have come and how some prejudices are still hiding even inside those of us who feel enlightened.

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Kosher Nation

Reviewed on Dec 15 2010

Although I thought I had a good idea of what kosher was, I was surprised to discover how complex fulfilling its obligations is. The author presented the process in a way that was both interesting and easy to understand. Another surprise was the reasons people who are not of Jewish descent have for using kosher products. Most interesting of all was the discussion of ways that kosher has evolved to include non-traditional dishes and recent debates about the ethical treatment of animals. I would definitely recommend this to those who want to know why kosher is important to those who observe it.

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In Cheap We Trust

Reviewed on Nov 25 2010

This book presents a brief history of thrift in America and why it was/is practiced. The author presents examples from people as diverse as Benjamin Franklin, her father and a former investment banker who now works as a dominatrix. Along the way we learn of motives ranging from a deep-seated hatred of waste of any kind to a temporary strategy for surviving a crisis. There is something here for everyone who is considering their impact on the world through their use of material goods.

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The Vertical Farm

Reviewed on Nov 8 2010

I am interested in small-scale backyard farming and thought this book would be helpful when I ordered it from the library. Instead, it is about commercial farming in skyscraper-like structures. I found the concept fascinating, if a little unpractical. I like the idea of gardening up to maximize space on inner city lots, but find it hard to believe that companies would want to lay out the money on an unproven technology in an economically disadvantaged area. I disagree with the author's contention that philanthropic groups and city governments would want to support this project. I think vertical farming may eventually become a reality, but it will, as usual, benefit those who have the money to pay first.

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