It is Midnight Sun’s book birthday! And…Beth and I are both still stuck in the first book of our re-read. Speaking for myself, my enthusiasm for these characters and this story has definitely waned since I first picked up the novels. Bella is kind of an unredeemable bitch. Edward is a creepy stalker. Jacob’s goodness drops off as the series goes on and he picks up some of Edward’s tactics in order to get in there with Bella. But, I plan on finishing them since it is the pop culture homework assignment (and since I did finish last year’s…in October…and then never wrote the reviews…because I am not the best blogger.)
With the announcement of Midnight Sun’s release this summer, Beth and I decided that this year we would read the same books. Yes, folks, we are revisiting the wonderful, terrible novels: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. This is the first time that Beth and I are reading the same books as part of the Pop Culture Homework Assignment! I am so excited! Please join us!
I feel the best way to express how I feel about this book and it’s content can best be summed up by this gif.
The way that women have been excluded in not just the medical fields but been excluded from the own knowledge about our own bodies is pretty disheartening and infuriating. How much knowledge have we lost because men didn’t like that woman were doing something that they could not or not willing to do themselves. Instead of learning from or trying to understand their knowledge they pushed them out completely. They accused them of witchcraft, they called them unnatural. They made people who would have benefited from their expertise afraid to use them. And for what? To keep power? It’s true that a lot has changed since when women were being burned for witchcraft and even more from when this book was originally published. However it’s 2019 and women are still not fully in charge of our own bodies. Every day a new law is passed that regulates our bodies and limit our medical resources. Lies about our bodies are shared as facts and all because men didn’t want to share space with women. We live in turbulent times but I have faith that the women today have learned from the women from the past and we have no interest going back and will not be excluded from the discussion again.
You know how often the book is so much better than the movie? Well this was exception to the rule because I have to say I like the movie better. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the movie multiple times and am fans of Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. I don’t know but the book was kind of blah. A lot of descriptions with not a lot happening. No wonder they made so many changes to the movie. They both follow sisters, Sally and Gillian Owens who both have had some bad luck in love. Sally is widowed early on in the book just like in the movie. She is also focused on being normal even though everyone else in her family are okay with being themselves. Gillian is still the wild spirit that runs away from home and ends up in an abusive relationship with Jimmy who ends up dead but that’s kinda of where the the similarities end. The book takes place primarily in Long Island then in their Aunt’s house in Massachusetts. Maybe that’s what I didn’t like it as much because the Aunt’s were not in it as much as they are in the book. Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing are kinda the best part of the movie and without them the book is kind of lacking. The urgency that is felt with the dealing the spirit of Jimmy isn’t there. There is no build up of the romance between Sally and Gary Hallet. He doesn’t even appear until the last 50 pages of the book. As for a book about witches there really isn’t much witchcraft going on. I was a little disappointed in it but at least I can always watch the movie.
Book 3 of My Pop Culture Homework.
Book two of my Pop Culture Homework Assignment.
The last book of my Pop Culture Assignment and I don’t even know where to begin. There is a lot going on and I think it needed a glossary for all the new terms he made up for this world. Our Protagonist Avice, is an immerser that knows how to control the immer but it was never really explained what that is but it has to do with space travel. Her ability allowed her to leave Embassytown and return but I’m getting ahead of myself. Avice is from a colony in the middle of nowhere. There lives an mysteries species called the Hosts that have a peculiar way of communication called language. Only few people know and few can speak it. The few who can are Ambassadors are two people modified to think as one. It’s complicated. Avice has a rare place in language as she was once used as a simile. The Hosts can not lie. They can only speak the truth so for something to be said it must has a place in the world so they make people or things a simile to help explain things. It’s very complicated. Anyway, Avice leaves Embassytown only to return with a new husband who is a linguist and seems more interested in language than Avice but whatever. As soon as they return things get crazy. The end of the world crazy. The nation that oversee them decides to bring in their own Ambassador and well, things don’t go as planned and all hell breaks loose.
It was an interesting read but it was very confusing. I felt like so many things that were left unexplained like the immer that we are just expected to understand. Language too is very complicated that it does take the whole book to understand but that also might have been the point. It took a while to get into because the world building was immense and once I got past that I really enjoyed it. I was still left confused on several things but still enjoyed it.
Final book of my Pop Culture homework assignment. Let’s do this!
My pop culture assignment from Kate is to delve into her world as a linguist. Linguistics has been referred to as a social science. What does that mean exactly? The first book, What Language is by John McWhorter was more of the scientific side of the linguistics, explaining what they look for when they study languages. How languages are built and how they became to be and continue to develop. The Last Speakers is the social side of linguistics by discussing why the study of languages are important to understanding who we are and the world around us. Both aspects are important to discover how we communicate to each other. K. David Harrison set out to study endangered languages because the knowledge of the natural world they contain that we have lost by no longer speaking them. He learns from indigenous people words that describes the world around us. How they can speak or sing to animals to get them do what they need them to do. Plant life that are now extinct. Medicinal methods that have vanished in the wake of modern medicine. If we lose these last speakers we lose more than just a language being spoken. We lose a great deal of our own knowledge of our world that we will never get back. The book reads like a travel memoir as he details his work around the globe but it’s also a plea to the world to not abandon these languages. He and his team document these languages and do everything then can to keep these languages alive long after the last speakers pass away but also bring to light new or remembered words of our past. I like that he isn’t to be the white savior. He goes to observe and document and help where he can. He defers to the people in how they want to documented. Not all people want their languages to be shared with outsiders and he understands their reasoning without judgment. It’s their language and culture and they should have the final say on who gets to know it and learn it. It was an interesting book, with some great stories and I’m fully support more documentation of last speakers from all over the world. We have so much more to learn.
I’m already into this book from the description of half travelogue and half journal.