It’s sort of rare thing when I don’t finish a book. But I think Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me about a Parent’s Expectations by Ron Fournier is going to be one of those books. This surprises me. I love the parts where the author talks about his son Tyler, who like Gray was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of twelve. It’s sort of impossible not to fall in love with Tyler. Unsurprisingly, Tyler reminds me so much of Gray. Also unsurprisingly, Tyler and Gray are very different in a host of ways. But the further into the book I read, the less time we got to spend with Tyler. For in actuality, the book is really about the expectations parents have for their children. But I hardly recognize these parents he speaks of/speaks to. The author is very much upper-middle class, as are most of the people he speaks to. I don’t mean to say that all wealthy people foist ridiculous expectations on their children, and I don’t mean to say that you have to wealthy to have these expectations. But frankly, I could only read so much of this. It’s a mindset I just cannot comprehend. Even though I know I’m far from perfect in being free of expectations, the things some of these parents said and the lengths some of these parents go to, well, it was almost nauseating. One hundred plus pages of this has just strained my annoyance level to the breaking point. I fully anticipate a turn around here, a point were the author will actually talk about how he’d been looking at things from the wrong perspective and how Tyler helped him see this. But life is short and there are just too many books that I want to read, so I’m just going to set this one aside for now.
I finally finished American Slavery, 1619-1877 by Peter Kolchin. This book sort of straddled the line between being an academic book and being a book for the everyday sort of reader. I fully admit that I tend to shy away from heavy academic books, both because I sometimes get impatient (I’m a slow enough reader even with a typically quick-moving book) and because I tend to not trust my ability to comprehend weightier sort of reads (this is a very bad habit, I know). Anyway, this book was extremely accessible, and while it’s tough for me to judge it against other works on the subject because I’ve read so little, it seemed a good overview.
13. Read 100 non-fiction books about human rights or social justice issues. American Slavery, 1619-1877. (1/100)