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Harriet of Fire [userpic]
Girl with the Dragon Tatoo - discuss!
by Harriet of Fire (uutyper)
at April 2nd, 2010 (04:00 pm)

Ok, I'll admit I haven't finished, not even close.  I tried anyway, and I'm making steady progress.  It's not due to lack of desire.

Here are some questions to start.  Feel free to chime in with some of your own, or stream of consciousness thoughts.

Assuming the rare flowers thing is a metaphor: Was it effective?  What's the point of it?

what do you think of the multiple-partner relationship in the book?

Was there a pivotal moment in the book for you? 

Gayle [userpic]
by Gayle (aerdran)
at March 31st, 2010 (05:43 pm)
sick

current mood: allergic

Okay, I get to pick the next book we read, sooooo, I choose the following:

Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton, with Erin Torneo.

Matt [userpic]
March draws to a close
by Matt (innocent_man)
at March 30th, 2010 (06:58 pm)

So that means we're just about on point for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which I'm really enjoying, by the way).

Volunteers for April's offering? I need to have the book chosen and purchased by Tuesday so I can take it on my trip. :)

Becky [userpic]
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Becky (chrisondra)
at March 27th, 2010 (02:10 pm)
current mood: accomplished

Just a post to say that I really enjoyed this book... a *lot*. More than I thought I was going to, even. I'm anxiously awaiting questions! Excellent pick. I love Lisbeth.

Michelle Lyons [userpic]
The Imprisoned Guest, belatedly.
by Michelle Lyons (anaka)
at March 18th, 2010 (04:39 pm)

I'm so behind. I've had a lot go on, though, like finishing the quarter and getting into grad school, so I've had reasons. I did read it, though, so I'm finally answering questions. :)

Are you glad you read the book?
Yeah, I enjoyed it. Romanticism and the Enlightenment are my areas of specialty, so it was fun to read a biography from the period. It was nice to get a look at a major US city in the period, especially as it dealt with some serious Enlightenment philosophy and outlooks.

What was your favorite part of the book? It can be something as simple as how it was written or it can be one of the stories.
Um... really I think the photographs were a major portion of my interest, and seeing Laura's handwriting. Those were pretty cool.

Did you learn anything new?
Quite a bit. As I said, I wasn't familiar with Boston during that era, or much in the way of special education from that period. I'd heard of the Howes, but not in any significant way. I read Helen Keller's The Story of My Life as a kid, but that was the extent of my knowledge.

Has it changed your views on anything or piqued your interest?
Not as such, no, in regards to changing views. It does make me more interested in special education over the years.

What did you think about how Dr. Howe and Laura's relationship changed over the years?
I really think that Dr. Howe was shockingly superficial. This is probably not entirely a correct definition -- he was a shining example of the Victorian paternalistic worldview of the time, even as he challenged it by presuming that the disabled were, if not individuals with feelings of equal worth to his own, then able to live socially useful lives. The problem, of course, is that they couldn't fully enter society because they were kept too isolated from it to ever fully integrate, with no thought as to how they might maintain themselves as adults if this plan failed.

I don't think he ever cared for Laura in any meaningful way. He was simply pleased to view her as a successful extension of himself. Then again, I didn't see any evidence that he ever cared for anyone else in his family any more than he cared for Laura, and her relationship with him was arguably the longest and most successful of any.

What do you think Dr. Howe's reaction would be to today's world? For example: equal rights; LGBT issues; religious matters; today's politics; the wars overseas.
Equal rights he'd abhor, LGBT similarly. He was progressive in a number of fronts for a man of his day, but sexuality, racism, and women's rights were not among them. Religious matters he'd be pleased by to the extent that America seems less tied to orthodox religion in general, although the current neo-con movement would probably lead him to wage public war against them, especially in the current healthcare debate. He'd absolutely be a hawk as far as war went, as he was definitely that in his day. His ethics and philosophy would demand it. You can't be a cavalier and a knight errant if there's no military front on which to fight for the oppressed people of the world, can you? To tilt at windmills, one must have a lance and a horse.

Matt [userpic]
Imprisoned Guest
by Matt (innocent_man)
at March 7th, 2010 (03:24 pm)

Are you glad you read the book? What was your favorite part of the book? It can be something as simple as how it was written or it can be one of the stories.

I am glad we read the book. It's germane to my career, of course, and so I know some of the names that get bounced around, but it's also illustrative in how language forms and how views of disability have changed over the years.

Did you learn anything new?

Actually, lots of things. I had never heard of Laura Bridgeman (though I had heard of Howe in my studies), so her life and times were new to me. But mid-19th century norms WRT to same-sex relationships, even if it was just a throwaway comment, piqued my interest, as did the fact that evangelical Christian beliefs surged during that period, just as they've been doing in recent decades (which gives me hope that it's all cyclical and it'll go away for a while).

Has it changed your views on anything or piqued your interest?

I don't think it's changed my views on anything, but I reserve the right to alter that opinion after I let it sit a bit more. :) As for piquing my interest, didn't I just answer that? :)

What did you think about how Dr. Howe and Laura's relationship changed over the years?

Howe needed therapy. Good grief. If there was ever a dude who needed a primer in how to shut up and pay attention. I think Gitter does a great job of presenting him honestly - yes, he's kind of a jerk in many ways, but he was also instinctive and largely right in reacting to the injustices of the world. Just needed some focus and some humility, I think.

Oh, and a good dose of reason. A large part of his mistakes with Laura (IMHO, obviously) came from trying to teach the poor girl religion. It says something about the time period that the existence of God is a given, even by someone who considered himself a rationalist. Never did it cross his mind that the reason Laura didn't just spontaneously develop religious faith was not that she was already spoiled by dogma but because God is imaginary. That she approached Bible studies as literal is pretty telling, too - she had little understanding of metaphor, and so she couldn't really fall back on the old dodge of "well, it's symbolic" or "well, you just have to have faith." The question of "If Jesus can cure the sick, why does he let us get sick in the first place?" is an entirely appropriate question, especially coming from someone in Laura's position.

I'll quit after one paragraph before I annoy anyone. :)

What do you think Dr. Howe's reaction would be to today's world? For example: equal rights; LGBT issues; religious matters; today's politics; the wars overseas.

I think Howe would have plenty to keep himself busy, that's for damn sure (but then, we didn't start the fire, yeah?). I think that Howe would be frankly amazed by the strides that have been made in treating disabilities, and I think he might be pretty confounded by Deaf culture and everything that we've learned about language and its development. Hard to say what cause he might pick to champion; what, nowadays, would appeal to a self-styled knight the most?

Harriet of Fire [userpic]
March Book Choice!
by Harriet of Fire (uutyper)
at March 5th, 2010 (11:52 am)


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage) by Stieg Larsson and Reg Keeland   They seem to be very cheap on amazon right now.  Also, FYI, it's the first in a trilogy, so if you're jumping on this bandwagon, be forewarned that you may be sucked into a somewhat longer adventure.

Go!

Pirogoeth [userpic]
The Imprisoned Guest discussion
by Pirogoeth (av_chick)
at March 5th, 2010 (09:09 am)
current location: work
current mood: accomplished
current song: Across the Universe - Hey Jude

So, since I suggested the book, I have to start everything off. I've never had to do this before, so I apologize if the questions aren't the greatest.

Are you glad you read the book? What was your favorite part of the book? It can be something as simple as how it was written or it can be one of the stories.

Did you learn anything new?

Has it changed your views on anything or piqued your interest?

What did you think about how Dr. Howe and Laura's relationship changed over the years?

What do you think Dr. Howe's reaction would be to today's world? For example: equal rights; LGBT issues; religious matters; today's politics; the wars overseas.

I'm looking forward to reading people's thoughts on the book since it's non-fiction and we all are coming at it from different experiences and angles.
My answers to my questionsCollapse )So, what do you think?

Pirogoeth [userpic]
The New Avengers: Revolution
by Pirogoeth (av_chick)
at March 2nd, 2010 (02:57 pm)
current location: work
current mood: productive
current song: Queen - All Dead, All Dead

I picked this up at Barnes and Noble for $7. I'm not exactly up to this point in New Avengers, but it’s after the whole Civil War, so I had a good idea what was going on. I read it that night, but haven't gotten around to posting here about it until now.
If you're not up to this point in the series, I wouldn't read any further.

x-posted to book_worm and books

Matt [userpic]
I'm here, I'm here!
by Matt (innocent_man)
at March 1st, 2010 (08:02 am)

OK, so, we're all reading The Imprisoned Guest, right?

I'm reading it and enjoying it. It's a bio, yeah, and that's not everyone's thing, but it's germaine to my profession and that makes it interesting to me, at least. I'm not finished with it, not least because I didn't go to work Friday (snow day) so I didn't have my copy over the weekend. But I'm planning to finish it this week. So perhaps av_chick could give us some discussion starters on, say, Friday?

As for the March selection, consider this your notice: Anyone who wants his/her name in the hat, post here and say so.