Thursday, December 17, 2009

On the Bookshelf

Parenting, Inc. by Pamela Paul

A fascinating read which deconstructs the pricey world of premium parenting, largely from a New York City-based perspective.  She does rather tear into baby signing, BUT also to my great glee debunks the idea that Baby Einstein, et al, have any real educational value.  And I have always said that I didn’t believe signing with my baby would make him/her smarter – I was really just doing it to have something fun we could share.  For the face time, which she says may be the sole source of benefit to baby signing.  Anyway, a very amusing look at the lengths people will go to for their kids – and the price they’ll pay to have this year’s “it” stroller.

… and then there’s…

Candy Freak by Steve Almond (yes, that really is his name)

Initially also fascinating look at the “candy underbelly” of America.  Candy-obsessed author tours America finding small factories, mostly family-run, still churning out what could be considered “heirloom” chocolates… which most of us have never heard of.  (and which I don’t remember so I’m not going to name them here!)  Unfortunately, after a few chapters, the factories tend to blur together, and each chapter becomes slightly more tedious than the last until I skimmed through the climax which had something to do with a bunch of chocolate bars getting mauled in his luggage, closed the book, and told Ted he could take it back to the library… because  I was done!

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