What I’m Reading…

I find it hard to read just one book at a time…it’s kind of like the potato chip thing. I’ve always been big on information. If I see something that looks like it might contain valuable information, I have to pick it up and at least give it the once over. This week, I decided that I should share some of what I am reading with you. Just for fun.

First off, I picked up a copy of Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. Obviously, it was the title that caught me. This book has been tauted as “a no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous.” Fair enough. From what I have read so far, with chapters titled, “The Dead, Rotting Decomposing Flesh Diet, You Are What You Eat and Don’t Be a Pussy,” I can see that these ladies mean business. They provide alot of good information about how different foods can affect the body, including explanation of how sugar is made. This is good to know if you are one of those people who needs to know the whole truth about things before you can make up your mind. As someone who rarely drinks milk, I had to appreciate their words about dairy products. For years, I have worried that I’m not getting enough nutrients because I’m not drinking milk. As it turns out, the ladies say, “Bullshit.” I’m dying to read more, but alas, there are several other books in the stack calling out to me. I’ll have to bring you up to date on the rest of this one later.

I picked up The Lexicon of Stupidity by Ross and Kathryn Petras simply because I thought it might be funny. The book is a collection of quotes that are less than brilliant taken from the mouths of some of our most famous celebrities. I figured I would go straight to the ones that had to be the best…the politicians. Unfortunately, I didn’t find one there that I felt like sharing here. The one I found that was an unlikely candidate for being held up in the spotlight was this, “We were disturbed by the ridicule because death, especially to the person who has just experienced it, is not funny.” A spokesman for a National Funeral Director’s Association is responsible for this one. I guess he would be the expert.

Moving on through my list to a similar book, The 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said by our friends, Ross and Kathryn Petras. They seem to be making a good living off of the ignorance of others. Why not? It is perhaps the only thing that is out there in overwhelming abundance. This book is more my style. My personal favorite is the quote by Bob Feller, Hall of Fame pitcher as he talks about the intentional lack of profanity in his autobiography, “You won’t find a single four-letter word in there, I don’t go for that bullshit.” You tell ’em, Bob. I like to hear the facts from both sides of the person’s mouth. As a former Human Resources professional, I could appreciate this one, “A review of your application indicates that you are not qualified because…you were not selected.” This was in an EEOC personnel memo in 1973. Cool. Just one more and I’m moving on to the next book. Being the nostaligic person that I am, I really enjoyed this one from Mike Ingham,an announcer on BBC-2 TV, “Thank you for evoking memories, particularly of days gone by.” I’m still scratching my head about this one.

The fourth catchy title that I picked up over the last few weeks is, 101 People Who Are Really Screwing America. This one by Jack Huberman intrigued me because I’m sure that there are thousands of people out there who are screwing America and I wondered how he could narrow it down to a sensible 101. In this book, Huberman provides the name of the “offender” and some details about how they are sticking it to America. For example, I was surprised to find country singer, Toby Keith on this list. Huberman says of the lyrics to Toby Keith’s Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue, “Too much crowing ‘proud to be American’ only makes one ashamed to be American, Individual or nation, a braggart is a braggart.” Well, clearly, he would rather hide his light under a bushel. Sounds like his problem to me. I read on, hoping I might find an example of how I, as a non-bragging American might be getting screwed. Right behind Toby Keith was Joe Francis, the Girls Gone Wild guy. I thought to myself, well, maybe this one is valid. After all, I hate Girls Gone Wild and most things associated with it. I agree that this is blatant exploitation of women and that it needs to be stopped. Huberman states that this type of smut is “well-suited for the conservative Bush era” because it is basically R-rated porn and is slyly winding its way through our culture because it isn’t actual sex, just nudity and skanky behavior. I’m still not sure what Huberman’s stance on this one was and how it made it into the book. I am not exactly sure if he was against GGW or if he just wanted to point out that it is out there.

The last thing from this book that I want to share is Huberman’s inclusion of Dr. Laura Schlesinger. I’m not sure if he has listened to Dr. Laura’s show or if he just doesn’t like people who call themselves Dr. He states that she spends “three hours a day on nearly three hundred stations” making people feel stupid, sinful and utterly ashamed of themselves. I’m not sure that is Dr. Laura’s aim. My personal take on her show is that she is one of the few people out there who is not afraid to uphold values that used to be taught in every household and in church. There’s nothing candy-coated about Dr. Laura and that’s what I like about her. As a feminist and as someone who was raised as a Baptist, I have no problem listening to Dr. Laura’s views on marriage, life, and family. She’s as entitled to her opinion as anyone and I don’t think it hurts for people to be exposed to a little bit of conscience if they don’t already have one. Huberman seems to hate all things that point out that it is ok to be human and that it is ok to take responsibility for our actions. Although I have had lots to say about this book, I’m not sure I’ll finish reading it. I can only stand to be disgusted for a small portion of every day.

Well, I’ve taken what started out as a well-intentioned rant and turned it into a bitch-fest. On that note, I’ll give it a rest. Though I could go on for days, I figure I’ll give this time to sink in. Be on the lookout for the next edition of the Rona Shively newsletter. It’s coming soon.

Until next time…