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Friday, August 29

Bibliophile

What I'm Currently Reading (heaven forbid I keep to one book at a time):

Birth: The Surprising History Of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy
So far I like it. It's fascinating! If more textbooks were written like this I think I might have actually enjoyed my classes more often.

Mothering The Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth by Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus
I love the pictures that all seem to be from the 70's/80's/maybe early 90's...but hey, the content is interesting.

What I'm Looking Forward to Reading (as soon as I get my hands on copies):
(I know Loree (my doula) has at least one of my "need-to-reads" in her personal lending library. Hopefully she has the rest because the library does not have most of them.)

Birthing From Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by England and Horowitz

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Interesting tidbit: my doula actually trained at Ina May's center in Tennessee! ETA: Read and LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Goer and Wheeler

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Seventh Revised Edition by La Leche League International I started reading this while I was still working at Good Earth in Provo (we cashiers were allowed to read when we weren't otherwise occupied). But then we moved so I didn't get to finish it. The cover features a really sweet picture of a nursing baby. One of my male co-workers asked what I was reading so I showed him the book. You could almost hear his embarrassment when he saw the cover. It was kind of funny but it was also sad. Why? This (and this) is why.

What I Have Already Read or Purchased and Partially Read (some books are more for reference rather than sitting down and plowing through)

The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two by Sears, Sears, Sears, and Sears
If I was filthy rich I'd buy a copy for every expectant mom.

The Breast Feeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning
by Sears and Sears
Man! The things you learn in this book are amazing! You really gain an apprectiation for your body (I make milk, what's your superpower?)!

Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block
LOVED this book! Really, REALLY loved this book! It's definitely an eye-opener!

Johnson's Mother and Baby by Cooper, Moorhead, Holland, Godridge, and Griffey
Not bad, not bad at all. It's certainly better than a lot (I'm talking about YOU What to Expect When You're Expecting). And it has some really beautiful pictures of some really beautiful babies. But I'd recommend saving your cash and buying the Sear's Baby Book instead.

Speaking of books...I visited one of my favorite places last night: THE LIBRARY! You'd think a bibliophile like me would have checked out the library in town the second we arrived. But somehow I just hadn't gotten around to it. I must say I'm very pleased. And me saying I'm pleased says a lot considering the libraries I'm used to (nationally recognized libraries in Centerville, and the Provo Library and Harold B. Lee Library (HBLL) at BYU which is one of the best college libraries in the US). While the Medicine Hat library may not have the sheer size of the HBLL, the old beauty of the Provo library, nor the extensive movie collection of the Centerville libraries it definitely deserves a lot of love!

A library card runs you $5 a year. I'm not used to giving the library money for anything other than my late fees (which I accrue more often than I'd care to disclose and in amounts that probably function as a larger revenue source than taxes). But I can't complain. $5 is nothing considering the services provided (which I will discuss hereafter) and is still probably going to be less than my yearly late fees.

In addition to the normal library perks (such as a large collection of books which one may borrow) they have free children's programs (which isn't uncommon I suppose) including one for babies who are a mere 4 months old. They also have movies on Thursdays and Saturdays. Now...Provo had a movie night. Adam and I went once. We stayed for about 5-10 minutes. Why? Because I'd rather watch a movie on a tiny little screen in my own home than sit on uncomfortable metal chairs surrounded by kids whose parents don't even attempt to quiet them while straining to see the image projected on a wall in a room that is too brightly lit to be using a projector in the first place and with speakers that are mostly useless. Last night was one of the Medicine Hat Library's movie nights. We stayed for the whole movie. Why? Because they had an actual screen with actual movie theater seating. We will most certainly be going back (free date night!). The library also has workshops and reading programs and is a nice-looking place with really helpful staff. They also have a paperback exchange (bring in a paperback you don't want anymore and take one home to keep). So here's an A+ for the Medicine Hat Library. Oh, and this is the same place with the giant chess board. Still haven't managed to get pictures of the pieces though (they were putting them away for the night by the time we got there).

As for the movie we saw...no A+ there. We watched The Golden Compass. Now I had heard all kinds of things about this movie (anti-God, anti-religion, blah blah blah). But I'm a thinking adult and I'd rather decide these things for myself than have my opinion dictated to me by the hysterical masses (I tend to roll my eyes at any dire warnings received via e-mail forwards). Had it been rated R I certainly would have passed. But seeing as it was a children's movie I was willing to give it a shot (plus it just seemed interesting).

Now, I will say that after we got home I did a little digging. Turns out the books upon which the movie is based are quite anti-religious. The author happily admits his personal opinions on such things. But the movie was so convuluted that it's hard to say what, if any, theme it was trying to portray. Knowing the controversy over the film and being a more astute film watcher than most (my film major husband is training me well) even I had a hard time picking up on any sinister or even merely snarky jabs at religion. Maybe some things could be conveyed as somewhat anti-Catholic...but even that's a stretch.

When it comes right down to it my biggest complaint about the movie is that is simply wasn't very good. The visuals and design were great (loved the wardrobe and the architecture of the world in which the story takes place). But it was obvious that the makers of this movie had tried to cram far too much book into one movie. When adapting a book you either have to sacrifice enough material that the story won't confuse your audience (like dropping Peeves from the Harry Potter movies) or you have to be like Peter Jackson and make some seriously long films (Lord of the Rings). You can't simply try to include it all only to end up barely touching on story lines and barely introducing characters and then expect your audience to know what's going on and to care about the players. So I'm going to reccomend skipping this movie, but only because there are so many better movies to spend your time on.

Now, am I going to read the books? Probably not. I will admit that I'm curious to see just how strong the athiest overtones are, but not curious enough to bump the books to the top of my reading list (which includes far more than the birth and baby related books mentioned above). But who knows. Maybe some day my curiosity will get the better of me. Never say never, right?

I must say I find the tenants of athiesm hard to relate too. Agnosticism I totally get. But seeing as it's pretty impossible to "prove" the non-exsistence of God just as much as it is to prove the existence of God it would seem to me that athiesm requires just as much faith as any religion does. The main difference between the two being that one creates an awfully lonely universe. Of course, I will concede that my opinion is obviously tainted by the fact that as a Christian I most certainly do believe in God.

The other thing I find interesting is that someone would take the time to write an entire series of children's books "about killing God" that are meant to "undermine the basis of Christian belief" (author's words, not mine). For one thing I think young children aren't exactly the best audience for such an argument. One wonders if such themes wouldn't be totally lost on such readership. After all, as a child I totally missed the Christian allergory in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardobe by C.S. Lewis (and if you haven't yet read the Narnia series believe me, the Christian themes are hardly what you'd call subtle). Yet, I suppose, as Adam pointed out, that the aim may be to subconsciously preach your message to a young mind.

My other problem is this: it just seems rude. I mean, really, am I the only one who thinks it's awfully negative to set out to undermine some-one else's beliefs just because one doesn't hold the same beliefs? I don't believe in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam, etc. but I sincerely appreciate just about every religion. You know why? Because I appreciate people who are spiritual, and earnestly trying to do good in the world (that doesn't mean I don't have a total and utter dislike for hypocrites who claim religiousity as the impetus for wrong-doing). My World Religions class was one of my absolute favorites. And I'm pretty much a "You're fine. I'm fine. Let's Hug" kind of person.

It's one thing to write books arguing FOR your views (a' la C.S. Lewis). It's an entirely different matter to write books meant to tear down that which so many people hold dear. It's not even that the author is painting the religious as mistaken, or foolish but that they (and religion itself/God) are painted as the evil villain. And when that's the tactic you resort to I have to wonder if you're either just very bitter about something or have an argument too weak to stand on its own.

And finally, some good news! We have a working phone! Yup, that's right, incoming calls and outgoing calls are now possible. However...we had to be assigned a new number to fix the problem. My Facebook friends can find that number here. It is actually a Calgary number. So apologize to anyone who doesn't have unlimited long distance. You're always welcome to drop me a line via e-mail or Facebook and request that I call you. And if you need to get in touch right away you can call and ask me to call right back.

3 Stubborn Stains:

imemary said...

This post amuses me. How has your judgment of Phillip Pullman changed?

Holly Noelle said...

At this point I've decided to reserve judgment until I read the books. I don't think it's fair to judge w/o actually reading what he's written.

imemary said...

Smart. I agree.

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