Sep. 13th, 2008

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Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal by Alexandra Johnson


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
I found this book very inspiring. Those of us who love the idea of journal keeping but have a hard time with consistency will enjoy Johnson's lavish descriptions of stationery shops and various types of journals, not to mention her numerous ideas and prompts to help you unlock creativity and start writing. She writes a book whose main premise is to sing the praises of keeping a journal, asserting that those who do are "leaving a trace" not only for the next generation, but for themselves. Johnson highlights the ways in which journal keeping assists in self-understanding. Not only is writing a therapeutic exercise, but it preserves your thoughts and impressions in a way that's impossible through means such as photography, videos, or mere memory. Journals preserve what you felt and what you thought, not merely what you saw.


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A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue by Wendy Shalit


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is excellent. I love the way Shalit confronts liberal ideologies about sex and turns them inside-out, exposing the destructiveness of our culture's "anything goes" mindset. Every woman who has grown up in the last 30 years should read this book. Even those of us who were raised in a protected subculture (in my case, homeschooling) can glean a lot from Shalit's exposure of the social norms in public schools (I never encountered the peer pressures she and many others faced). More importantly, this book helped me understand why there seems to be no dating culture outside of religious subcultures, and why the "free love" touted by 1960s feminists is anything but "free": on the contrary, it comes with the side effects of rampant divorce, abuse, abandonment, and emotional pain.


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