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Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl CultureCinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture , Peggy Orenstein attempts to justify her feminism with the of raising a daughter in realities of today's "princess culture."

Ever noticed how childless individuals always seem to be experts in raising everybody ELSE'S children? After giving birth to her first child, a daughter, it would seem natural for feminist researcher and author Peggy Orenstein to put her politics to the test. She laments,

"Walking around the streets of Disney, I found myself in an odd juxtaposition between intoxication with the sparkles, jewels and tiaras on the one hand, and disbelief that I was an active participant in what I had so proudly balked at in my former life. My former life being my life BEFORE children."

She cleverly wages war using clearly examined research on the culture of the color pink; magnified and invented gender differences in marketing, the value of toy guns in childhood pretend-play, childhood consumerism beginning at age eighteen MONTHS, and the role Disney Princess play in children's gender-driven behavior as the Princesses evolve from the seemingly harmless Cinderella to the adult version of a Disney Princess, the shockingly sinister Miley Cyrus.

Orenstein ask the million dollar question: “Is all this pink really necessary?”

The answer?

“Only if you want to make money.”

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The Bell JarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved everything about this book. I especially loved The Bell Jar's symmetry... the electrocution of the Rosenbergs, and Esther Greenwood's electroshock therapy; the bird coming out of the egg in the fig tree and Esther's witnessing "a baby coming out of a woman"

Such a Pretty FatSuch a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is NOT a feminist memoir.

Or is it?

I'm a fan of reading books on women's issues and feminism, and I generally shy away from books that attack less-empowered women, but I have to say; Jen Lancaster's bitching definitely works in her favor.

I've just finished re-reading Such a Pretty Fat, and, just like the virgin read, by the time I closed this book's cover, I felt both a vicarious giddy, ridiculous self-acceptance, and a also little smug.

Such a Pretty Fat is a memoir chronicling the author's struggles with her own body image and weight loss. Jen makes repeated conflicting statements about her comfort with her own body weight, yet, throughout the book, she hypercritically projects her insecurities onto other women- women she encounters who more closely resemble the idealized feminine form. Whatever flaws she may have, this great memoir reads to some degree like a pissy note passed in high school.

Jen Lancaster feels like best-friend material. She's a myriad of inconsistencies; she somehow manages to come off as both dainty and foul, self-indulgent and overly-critical of herself. It was a pleasure to share her journey through weight loss, and easy to root for her, even at her worst. I feel the need to defend her, to push the point that she is NOT a hot mess, only deeply insightful and multifaceted. This book is worth reading. TWICE.

Besides, in the end, even Barbie redeems herself.

Life just doesn't get any better than that.

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A Great Sage and A Rascal Named DokuA Great Sage and A Rascal Named Doku by Vivek Rajan Vivek
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I shelved this book under "books too stupid to finish reading."

A Great Sage and A Rascal Named Doku by Vivek Rajan Vivek is the author's first attempt at a novel, and is full of pseudo-eastern mysticism, only he totally got it wrong. I didn't read the whole book. I didn't even read HALF of it.