Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting

A friend recommended this to me when I was talking to her about not putting Stockton in preschool co-op this year even though "everyone else" is. I thought it sounded interesting and thought you guys might be interested, too. Here is the synopsis.
Wake up, America: We’re raising a nation of wimps. Hara Marano, editor-at-large and the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, has been watching a disturbing trend: kids are growing up to be wimps. They can’t make their own decisions, cope with anxiety, or handle difficult emotions without going off the deep end. Teens lack leadership skills. College students engage in deadly binge drinking. Graduates can’t even negotiate their own salaries without bringing mom or dad in for a consult. Why? Because hothouse parents raise teacup children—brittle and breakable, instead of strong and resilient. This crisis threatens to destroy the fabric of our society, to undermine both our democracy and economy. Without future leaders or daring innovators, where will we go? So what can be done?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-deficit Disorder

Last Child in the Woods
By Richard Louv

It has been awhile since we read last. I think it's time to get back in the swing of it. Amy selected this book, and I think it's one we can all relate to and enjoy. Mel, Amy & I both have it so get it soon so we can discuss as we go. Summary below:

In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.
Last Child in the Woods is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond—and many are right in our own backyard.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Child 44

Jen's pick for this month: 

This book has been recommended to me by several people, and I've seen it on several book lists in magazines. I am normally not into thriller books about serial killers, but I am interested in it because of the historical aspect. It is set during Stalinist time in the 1950s, but it tells the true story of the Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo from the 1980s. It is supposed to be very well written, so I hope everyone enjoys it.


Stalin's Soviet Union strives to be a paradise for its workers, providing for all of their needs. One of its fundamental pillars is that its citizens live free from the fear of ordinary crime and criminals. But in this society, millions do live in fear... of the State. Death is a whisper away. The mere suspicion of ideological disloyalty- owning a book from the decadent West, the wrong word at the wrong time- sends millions of innocents into the MGB, the State Security Force. And no MGB is more courageous, conscientious, or idealistic than Leo Demidov.
A war hero with a beautiful wife, Leo lives in relative luxury in Moscow, even providing a decent apartment for his parents. His only ambition has been to serve his country. For this greater good, he has arrested and interrogated.
Then the impossible happens. A different kind of criminal- a murderer- is on the loose, killing at will. At the same time, Leo finds himself demoted and denounced by his enemies, his world turned upside down, and every belief he's ever held shattered. The only way to save his life and the lives of his family is to uncover this criminal. But in a society that is officially paradise, it's a crime against the State to suggest that a murderer- much less a serial killer- is in their midst. Exiled from his home, with only his wife remaining at his side, Leo must  confront the vast resources and reach of the MGB to find and stop a criminal that the State won't admit even exists.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May Book: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

Arin's pick for this month is:

I have been bouncing a few books around, but for some reason I keep coming back to this one.  It isn't one I would normally choose, but I have heard only GREAT things about it, so let's give it a try and go for something new and different!  :)

The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaing guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).

Happy Reading!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

March Book: This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women

Amy's selection for March:

This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women
by Jay Allison, Dan Gediman

This is the first book Amy listened to on her ipod. She recommends that you listen to it if you can as opposed to reading it. Something about her the essayists  reading puts the emotion into the book. It can be checked out at the library.

Based on the National Public Radio series of the same name, This I Believe features eighty essayists—from the famous to the unknown—completing the thought that begins the books title. Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs but also the extent to which they share them with others.

Featuring a well-known list of contributors—including Isabel Allende, Colin Powell, Gloria Steinem, William F. Buckley Jr., Penn Jillette, Bill Gates, and John Updike—the collection also contains essays by a Brooklyn lawyer; a part-time hospital clerk from Rehoboth, Massachusetts; a woman who sells Yellow Pages advertising in Fort Worth, Texas; and a man who serves on the state of Rhode Islands parole board.

The result is a stirring and provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of people whose beliefs—and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them—reveal the American spirit at its best.


I am excited to get this family reading group up and going. I created this blog and a separate email to organize the communication about our books, thoughts, etc. We will each be administrators on the blog and everyone will have access to the email password., so we can all email and post as we want to.

blog address:

The idea is to all read the same book and then have some type of discussion about the book through blog posts. Each one of us will choose a book for the month. That's the fun part... everyone being exposed to something new and having a little insight into what the rest of our minds are doing. Whoever chose the book will make a post on the blog introducing the book we are to read and any other information about it. The person in charge for the month will also be responsible for asking questions, sharing insights, or leading online discussion. If you want to do a lot, then great. If you don't want to do anything, then that's fine, too. Hopefully, though, at the end of each book we will all be willing to post and share something about our thoughts on the book. Who knows what this might evolve into; I know I am excited to get reading.

Please feel free to post other ideas, suggestions, etc.