Monday, January 28, 2008

The Thirteeth Tale

Thirteenth Tale
Diane Setterfield
3 ½ stars

This book was totally not what I expected it to be. I have been eyeing it in the book section of the stores for quite a while and I finally was able to find it at a local library. I thought it would be better to give it a chance for free on a library card since I had never heard of the author and sometimes I tend to be picky with the literature that I read.

So, 13th Tale; Vita Winter, a famous author is dying and is finally ready to tell all for her biography. It is an interesting tale and much more of a mystery, almost ghost story than I expected it to be. I am not really sure what I expected, I tend to read more romance and love stories, so a story about finding peace with one’s life hardships wasn’t exactly what I thought when I saw the cover of the story.. It was a story about families, siblings, relationships, closure and finding peace.

I recommend it, it wasn’t bad. I’m glad I found it at the library and gave it a chance. I should have read more online reviews before reading it and then I would have been more in the mind set for the story. I read it in 2 days so I have to say it drew me in and captivated me from the very beginning. In fact the only reason I’m not giving it 5 stars is because I can’t give it the same ranking as Harry Potter, or a Shannon Hale book. It was a great captivating read but I’m not sure I could read and reread it over and over again. I think it might make a pretty intersting movie.

Why Gender Matters

Why Gender Matters
Leonard Sax
3 ½ stars

This book was recommended to me by a mommy friend I have at a local library story time. (Our boys are similar ages and we meet there each week and let them play together after story time while we chat).

I loved the first few chapters. It was very informative and had very good information. Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D. is a family physician and psychologist. After having a parent tell him once at his office that he should write a book about some of the differences between boys and girls he decided that it should be done, but he only wanted to do it if he could prove every point that he wanted to make with scientific background.

I didn’t agree with everything he had to say on his chapters dealing with sex, drugs, discipline and the chapter regarding lesbian, gay, bisexuals and transgender. Perhaps I am old fashion, or maybe naive, but I truly believe that if I teach my children what is right and to follow the spirit that they will be guided to make good decisions and not always follow the crowd or do things just because they have been scientifically proven. There are exceptions and the author agrees. He points out that families who eat dinner together every night almost never have as many problems pointed out in these chapters then families who do not eat dinner together. Score one for me!

On the other hand, I did really love some of the information in this book. For instance he points out that boys and girls brains develop differently and at different speeds. He points out many different outcomes because of this – the information about coloring was fascinating to me – boys tend to use black, grey, silver and blue and simulate action in their coloring. Girls tend to use red, green, orange and beige and color more objects. There is a whole section devoted to hearing and the differences in tones that girls and boys can hear. The chapter on school and aggression were very interesting. Girl bullies have lots of friends, boy bullies don’t. Girls fight and never speak to that person again, boys fight and are best friends. Boys learn totally different than girls. Girls ask for more help. Leonard Sax is a big believer in same sex schools. I’m not sure that is the answer, but I believe that teachers should be aware of the differences. Most good teachers are.

If I hadn’t got this book at the library, the entire first few chapters would have been marked up, underlined and tagged. I enjoyed it and find it very interesting. I think any teacher or parent should read it. Boys and girls are different. Men and women are different. We have different roles here on earth and I am very glad for it.