Thursday, 20 May 2010

Recent books ~ books I've read so far this month

Unconditional Parenting - Alfie Kohn
A difficult read for anyone who has had a very religious or authoritarian upbringing because of the way it challenges the whole foundation of reward/punishment parenting and discipline. This book was thought-provoking, but Kohn spent chapter after chapter listing all of the ways NOT to parent without giving especially helpful alternate strategies. Practical solutions, when offered, appeared to me at least to be highly impractical: he describes how one of his children took ages to get ready every morning and made life difficult for the family. When asked to address this behaviour the child decided to go to bed at night already dressed for school. Anecdotes like this one provided the basis for Kohn's practical advice and while I did take on board much of what he said about unconditional love, I ultimately felt that he used scare tactics in many instances to convince parents to negotiate at every turn or risk children growing up feeling unloved.

The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
Interesting structure which works backwards to 'fill in the gaps.' An enjoyable read with some beautiful prose, but not as satisfying as I had hoped.

The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters
Another slow starter. Gripping in parts and very frightening in the middle section. Lovely first person narrative and excellent characterisation of individuals who are both likable and unpleasant at times. Beautiful, descriptive prose. The lack of resolution left me disconcerted and somewhat dissatisfied, but I have to concede that it’s probably too much to expect a rational explanation at the end of a ghost story.

Adrian Mole The Postrate Years - Sue Townsend
Alternately laugh out loud funny and sad.
An easy, entertaining read.

The Water's Edge - Moy McCrory
Lovely short stories about growing up in Liverpool with Irish, Catholic parents and the feeling of unbelonging that comes from being raised in England while not feeling English. Some very funny observations about superstition, gender roles and the way that religion can take over every day life. An enjoyable, linked collection of stories.

No comments:

Post a Comment