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The Adapt Me Podcast is Here!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi Everybody!

I launched the Adapt Me Podcast this week! It’s available on Spotify and Amazon Music as of now. It’ll be on more in the coming future. I plan on releasing episodes on a monthly basis.

If you want to be a guest, feel free to email me here!

What Am I Reading – Chapter Thirty-Eight

Hi Everybody,

I hope all of you had a great Labor Day weekend and a wonderful September! I certainly did, especially with my birthday being last week! I made schnitzel and spaetzle as well as went to trivia!

Anyway, it’s been awhile since the last chapter, and I’ve also spent last month reading plenty of new books. I would like to share those titles with you, so let’s begin!

No Country for Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne is the second book in “The Tales of Pell” series. The Skyr is a rich land that’s claimed by both the halflings and the gnomes. For hundreds of years, the former has worked to undermine the power of the latter and seize total control through legal means and an underground criminal network. The gnomes are desperate and ready to fight back. A group of outcasts that contain creatures like halflings, gryphons, and the aforementioned gnomes go to Gustave the Goat King for help with the situation. Can he bring peace, or will this lead to a civil war in the kingdom?

It’s been awhile since I read the last book in the series Kill the Farm Boy. For those who haven’t read that review, I’ll summarize it now: While the title is instantly memorable, and there were parts that I liked, I felt that the book overall didn’t live it to its expectations.

I decided to read No Country for Old Gnomes because I’m a completist, and I like novels that pay homage to Monty Python.

What do I think of it so far? Well, it’s definitely better than the first one even though I don’t think No Country for Old Gnomes is as awesome of a title as Kill the Farm Boy, but I still like it. The elements that worked for me in the first book are present in the second one. These include the map of Pell, the quirky characters that range from a halfling who’s obsessed with his toes’ appearance to a gryphon who kills for omelets that band together to restore peace in Skyr, and the relationships that they have with each other. I genuinely like Agape – a half-human, half-sheep who can’t trust people outside of her Piini Automatti (a robot) and steals stuff – and Offi – a goth gnome who wants to be his own person outside of being compared to his more perfect twin brother Onni.

The things that didn’t work in Kill the Farm Boy are thankfully minimized (including the bodily function jokes). Although the pacing is a bit slow in the beginning, it does pick up when all the main characters meet each other. Occasionally, there are bits that do come off as “Ha ha ha, this is funny,” particularly in the prologue with the witches. At the same time, that’s more on me because my sense of humor tends to be more dry. A lot of the book leans more towards the witty end anyway.

Of course, I have to mention about the what the book is making fun of. The satire in No Country for Old Gnomes is a little more broader than in the first one since it focuses on prejudice and how ridiculous is it in a multitude of ways. The novel does a good job with establishing how a certain group behaves and presents themselves and then, contrasting that with their outcast main characters. In addition, it plays on audience’s expectations. There’s a great scene, in which a teen witch-gnome named Kirsi stops by a house made out of candy and gingerbread. I won’t spoil it; all I will say is that she encounters a witch that Hansel and Gretel would warn her to stay away from.

Overall, No Country for Old Gnomes is better written than Kill the Farm Boy, and I look forward to seeing the payoff.

Now, let’s look at the second and final novel of this chapter.

There There by Tommy Orange follows twelve people from various Native communities as they travel to the Big Oakland Powwow. They’re all connected in ways they may not yet realize. These voices tells the story of the urban Native American, grappling with its complex and painful history, beauty, spirituality, communion, sacrifice, and heroism.

I’ve read about a quarter of the novel so far, and I like it. Each chapter is devoted to one character and how they deal with being an urban Native American. All of them have their reasons for going to the powwow. However, it’s a little hard to connect to them since once I’m into one person, the book switches to another perspective. The one I gravitate to the most so far is Edwin Black – an overweight half-Native and half-white man who stills lives with his mom and has issues with her boyfriend. He wants to begin his life again by working and finding his biological Native father.

It moves kind of slow, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it picks up when the characters get more intertwined with each other. I look forward to seeing how There There unfolds.

We have now come to the end of the thirty-eighth chapter of “What Am I Reading?”

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The Fountainhead Movie Review

Content warning: Suicide and toxic relationships will be discussed in this review.

Whenever a film adaptation of a novel comes out, there will always be people who will say, “The book is better than the movie.”

For a lot of the time, that sentiment is true. However, there are instances in which people will assert that the film is better. Various outlets on the Internet have done many lists about this subject. Flicks that appear on them frequently are The Shining, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Jaws. However, in today’s review, I’m going to discuss a movie that hasn’t shown up on the more recent lists, but I think it should be at least considered. That is the 1949 film adaptation of The Fountainhead starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal – a surprisingly well made, albeit imperfect, adaptation of the flawed novel of the same name by Ayn Rand.

For those who haven’t already read my review of the book, here’s my recap: even though I wasn’t a fan of the book and had issues with it, I could see the timelessness of it because it commits itself to the values of individualism wholeheartedly, and certain people will latch onto those ideals. 

The movie itself is a faithful adaptation of the divisive book. Many of the stuff that’s present in the novel made it into the film as mostly unaltered. This is so because Ayn Rand herself wrote the screenplay. Apparently, she had some previous experience in Hollywood as she worked as Junior Screenwriter for Cecile B. DeMille. As a result, there’s a sense that she knew that she couldn’t fit a 726-page book into a feature length movie, even though she wanted the speech that Howard Roark makes in court at the end to be in its entirety. The end result is about two hours. Many of the speeches, including the aforementioned one, are reduced. In addition, certain characters are reduced or expanded. Peter Keating’s presence is drastically decreased, while Gail Wynand is introduced much earlier in the movie than he is in the tome.

Other changes occurred due to the Production Code. One of them includes the marriages that Dominique Francon has with Peter and later with Gail. In the novel, she marries Peter first, divorces him, weds Gail, and Gail separates from her when the Cortlandt trial is going on. Since the Hays Office didn’t approve of divorce on screen, the film has Dominique already engaged to Peter in the beginning, and then Gail convinces him to break that off, so he could marry her. Then, at the end, when Gail loses everything with “The Banner,” he takes his own life (note: this shows up almost out of nowhere in the movie, but in the novel, his character introduction literally has the news mogul contemplating whether or not he wants to end his life).

The other major change brought on by the Production Code has to do with the rape scene in the book. The Hays Office was apparently concerned with people getting away with crimes, but the novel tries to justify Howard raping Dominique because she smacked him prior. Instead of that kind of sexual assault, the movie “solves” this problem by having him forcibly kiss her and then depicting her trip, fall, and crying on the ground with him smirking over her. 

As a film, The Fountainhead is visually appealing. Director King Vidor utilizes a lot of shadows, particularly on the backs of various characters, to show their ominous side. I also found the shadow shot in which Howard takes his mentor Henry Cameron back to his office to be very impressive because it displays the bleakness of the latter’s state and of the former’s future. In addition, the sets are mostly sparse to emphasize the characters. This is mainly done with wide shots, especially of Gail’s office. Moreover, the Quarry scene is wonderfully done. For those who don’t know, this is the sequence, where Dominique and Howard lock eyes for the first time. It’s an effective and explicit display of the female gaze, which was rarely done in Hollywood’s Golden Age, and I come back to it whenever I have the chance. Let’s just say, it involves a drill.

And of course, since the main character is an architect, someone will ask, “Emily, what do you think of the architecture in the movie?”

Well, it’s serviceable. Ayn Rand wanted Frank Lloyd Wright to design the buildings in the film, for he was inspiration for Howard Roark. However, Warner Brothers declined because they didn’t want to pay Wright’s fee of $250,000. Instead, Edward Carrere did this, and it’s fine. It would’ve been better if Wright actually agreed to contribute. At the same time, the bank model and the Cortlandt building were effectively ugly by combining too many styles.

The film certainly tries and mostly succeeds in selling Objectivism. Most of the cast like Kent Smith as Peter, Robert Douglas as Ellsworth Toohey, and Raymond Massey as Gail do a good job in portraying how one should not be following the philosophy. Smith portrays Peter in his various stages of success without one ounce of identity. Normally, this would be a criticism, but because the character of Peter is supposed to have no sense of self, this is effective. Also, the movie has Ellsworth dressed up to the nines and grasping a cigarette holder most of the time. Patricia Neal plays Dominique. Even though I thought she was a little too over-the-top at times (which can be unintentionally hilarious), she was aloof and emotional when needed. She sells her character as Dominique tries to destroy Howard because of her love for him. 

In addition, the movie has an interesting way of looking at Howard. Say what you want about the book, it clearly wants its reader to root for him even when he commits certain actions. The film uses a shadow on Gary Cooper’s backside in the opening sequence to display how much of a menace he could be to society if he doesn’t give in. Then in the confrontation sequence between Howard and Dominique, lots of dark shadows and suspenseful music, as if it’s a horror flick, are used. At the end of the scene, there’s a closeup of Howard smirking as he stares over Dominique. It’s almost as if the movie is saying that while it doesn’t approve of his actions, it gets where he’s coming from. 

Of course, the film has its problems. First off, alot of its issues mostly stem from the source material. The characters are exaggerated symbols for what Ayn Rand believed about society, and most of them go on philosophical rants. The movie wisely cuts down on most of those speeches, which results in good pacing. However, when it does include those lectures, they tend to slow the flick, especially right before the Cortlandt trial. In addition, the framing of Howard and Dominique’s relationship is still romantic even though it’s toxic and relies on set power dynamics. As mentioned in the last paragraph, the movie attempts to bring nuance to the confrontation scene, but it still can’t get away from the fantasy romance framework. I mean the music turns passionate when Howard kisses Dominique despite the forced nature.

Speaking of the soundtrack, that’s the second issue this film has. Max Steiner (the same guy who was the composer for Gone With the Wind) does the score for this film. Outside of the movie, his music sounds wonderfully bombastic, which would make for a great album listen. I’ve specifically had the musical motif for Howard stuck in my head since I last watched it. In the context of the flick, it feels too melodramatic and on-the-nose for a story that’s already histrionic and blunt to begin with. For example, when Gail (after marrying Dominique) invites Howard over to dinner, there’s a big dramatic chord and stops to wait for the latter’s reply. Along with Cooper’s nonchalant response, that moment becomes unintentionally funny. It would’ve been more appropriate if it went along with Gail asking Howard if he accepts the commission to be the former’s sole architect. 

Finally, the third problem with the movie is Gary Cooper. On paper, it seemed like a good idea to cast him as Howard since his characters often were the strong, silent type. However, on screen, it doesn’t quite work. For one thing, he is too old to play that character. The novel and the movie take place over a number of years starting from Howard getting expelled from school. This would make him about 20ish at the beginning, but Cooper was 47 at the time of shooting. This wasn’t the first time that a 40-year-old Cooper played a college student. He did that briefly in the 1942 film The Pride of the Yankees. In that section of that movie, he slouches and displays an “aww shucks” kind of attitude, and this worked because his character Lou Gehrig was kind of the person to do that. Howard Roark is not that type. 

Additionally, Howard goes on about enjoying the work that one does. Despite that, Gary Cooper doesn’t really communicate this in his performance. Most of the time, Cooper has a stoic and stiff demeanor and speaks that way too. It would’ve been better if Cooper smiled more, not just physically, but also in his voice.

Lastly, the biggest problem with Cooper’s performance is that it seems like he never fully embraces Howard’s values. I’m not saying that every actor should believe the same things as the characters they play. Yet, their job is to convince the audience that they have. It becomes more clear as the story progresses that Cooper is the type of actor who doesn’t fake it. In other words, if something doesn’t sit well with him, he won’t attempt to hide it. This is most apparent in Howard’s big speech at the Cortlandt trial. He delivers it like it’s a college lecture, and that’s serviceable enough. However, there are times where Cooper has his hands in his pockets and dots his eyes to the right like he’s reading off of cue cards, and this talk is the main selling point for Objectivism according to its fans. When I was doing research for this review, I found out that Cooper didn’t understand that speech. That checks out. The only thing that prevents me from deeming Cooper as a complete bust in this flick is that he looks like the perfect physical specimen whom Ayn Rand would’ve desired and that he speaks with a strong and assertive tone.

All in all, the movie version of The Fountainhead certainly tries to capture the spirit of its imperfect source material. It does this with effective results like the cinematography and the set designs and sometimes with campy ones like the score and some of the performances. Despite (and because of) this, the film is more entertaining than the book because it translates the story to the screen that feels most appropriate. In other words, it’s a well-made, but flawed, gateway to the imperfect book. I would recommend it to those who have already read the novel and to those who are watching movies starring Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, or released in 1949. And if one doesn’t like the Objectivism philosophy or other aspects of the novel and refuses to watch the movie, all I will say is to watch the Quarry scene on YouTube. You’ll love it!

If you haven’t already, go listen to The 300 Passions Podcast, where I discuss the film as well as the book with Zita Short!

Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates. Also feel free to email me here for any review suggestions, ideas, or new titles!

Valley of Shadows Book Review

Full disclosure: I was given a free PDF copy of this book by Books Forward in exchange for an honest review.

Within the last few years, there has been more attention on books written by authors of color. These often reveal perspectives that’s normally not highlighted in the mainstream, and they can find ways to connect with lots of readers. An example of this is Valley of Shadows by Rudy Ruiz – a good recontextualization Hero’s Journey story with a Mexican protagonist in 1883 Mexico/Texas.

Valley of Shadows is a visionary neo-Western blend of magical realism, mystery, and horror, and it explores the dark past of injustice, isolation, and suffering along the US-Mexico border. In 1883 West Texas, after the Rio Grande shifted course, the Mexican city of Olvido gets stranded on the northern side of the new border between the US and Mexico border. When a series of mysterious and horrific crimes occur in the divided town, a Mexican lawman is lured out of retirement to restore order and to save the lives of abducted children. In the face of skeptics and hostile Anglo settlers, Solitario Cisneros struggles to overcome not only the evil forces in the area, but also his own inner demons. He is burdened by a mystical curse that has guided his lonely destiny, until Onawa, a gifted and beautiful Apache-Mexican seer, joins his mission and dares him to change the course of both their lives.

There were many things that I liked about this book. First off, I thought the characters were done well. I like Solitario as a character, for he’s smart, stoic, and good at what he does. Readers can easily see why he’s so reluctant to assist the town with solving the crimes as well as wants to be alone. He yearns to do the right thing in the name of honor even if it tears him apart from the people that he loves. He’s also battling some demons due to a curse that his grandmother placed on the male side of his family. In addition, I like Onawa, who is half Mexican and half Apache. She possesses supernatural abilities and assists Solitario. Even though her main motive is to be with him, she becomes more confident and figures out what she really wants after spending most of her life with her father away from her tribe. Furthermore, I want to give credit to Ruiz for including a diverse cast of white, Mexican, and indigenous people. This reflects the real makeup of Texas as opposed to what other stories that involve the US-Mexico border depict.

In addition, it does an effective job with addressing identity, injustice, and discrimination in this time period. With identity, the non-white characters often ruminate on who they are and where their homes are. This is true both physically with Mexicans discovering that Olvido has suddenly moved to the United States because of the shifting Rio Grande and mentally with Solitario wanting a place to be loved, but without being reminded of his past. The injustice aspect is highlighted when Onawa acknowledges how if Solitario as the new sheriff arrests a white person for a crime, then he would be considered racist by the Anglo settlers, but if he apprehends a Mexican person, then other Mexicans would assume that he’s selling out his own ethnicity. Moreover, racial discrimination is constantly acknowledged in a multitude of ways. For example, while Solitario investigates, the town gets so restless that some of the white men decide to round up the Mexican and Apache men and boys and shoot them in order to execute their own version of justice. Luckily, he thwarts this crime by playing his guitar and putting those would-be murderers to sleep. This all works because Ruiz – a son of Mexican immigrants – understands that identity, injustice, and discrimination surface in many ways.

Furthermore, I love the recurring theme of never truly being alone. While Solitario (good name for a guy who wants to be alone) wants to live by himself away from others, he’s constantly reminded of the people around him like his family and his deceased wife due to the curse. Even his friend and sidekick Elias (as a ghost) sticks by Solitario as the latter encounters the trials and tribulations of searching for the kids and the perpetrators.

One thing that I observed is that the book likes to pepper in various Spanish words and phrases. It gives it more authenticity. I imagined the Mexican characters speaking to each other in that language even when the text is in English. While it does help to know a little bit of Spanish, readers will most likely be able to figure out what they mean through the context.

While reading the novel, I also discovered that even though it’s nearly 500 pages, it moves at a brisk pace. Outside of Spanish words and phrases, Ruiz mostly avoids using jargon in the text. Moreover, the pacing matches the urgency of the situation. This is especially true in how Solitario genuinely wants to solve the crimes and prove himself to the white settlers in Olvido in his own way.

One final thing that I noticed while reading it is that it perfectly fits with the Hero’s Journey template popularized by Joseph Campbell. Solitario gets the call to help the town to solve the crimes as the new sheriff, but he refuses outright. However, he ends up searching for the abducted children with assistance from Onawa, who has supernatural abilities. He goes through some trials, meets with a woman who knows about Aztec culture, (the kidnappers and murderers use that civilization’s rituals to carry out their crimes) who assists him with the murders and kidnappings (Meeting with a Goddess), and has an atonement with the Father (which results in a great twist). And of course, he experiences death and rebirth. Even though it felt a little too neat, I feel that it was done that way, so readers could recognize the template in other stories like Star Wars. Valley of Shadows does an effective spin on the Hero’s Journey. 

Finally, I want to point out that this might not be for everybody. There are some scenes, in which people are brutally murdered. For instance, its opening scene contains the first Olvido sheriff, his wife, and their eldest son getting murdered, and it’s pretty gory. Even I got squeamish at times. Additionally, some people might not like the talk about injustice and the plot being “woke,” thinking that’s too contemporary. I think it’s necessary because it feels natural to the story. Solitario faces plenty of bigoted Anglo settlers who feel entitled to many things like land in Olvido and being allowed to perform their own version of the law.All in all, Valley of Shadows by Rudy Ruiz is a good novel that features a diverse cast and acknowledges perspectives that aren’t usually recognized. Some people may be turned off by the gory bits or the talk of injustice, but the book is worth the read because it recontextualizes the Hero’s Journey into late 19th century Mexico/Texas, and it has very likable characters that readers would want to root for. I would recommend it for those who love westerns, horrors, and magic realism as well as want to read more titles by Latine authors. The book is out tomorrow, September 20, so get it at your local bookstore or library!

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The Fountainhead Book Review

Ever since I reviewed Rain is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith, I’ve been lowering my expectations when going into a new book. This has helped me tremendously to see the many facets of the novel in question and to be as neutral as possible. Today’s subject was a challenge because it came with plenty of baggage, and it still has a following even in the nearly eighty years since its publication in 1943. Now, one might ask, “Emily, what is this book in question?”

Reader, it’s The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – a novel that I see the timelessness of even though it’s not for me.

The Fountainhead tells the tale of Howard Roark, the extremely uncompromising young architect; of Dominique Francon, an exquisitely beautiful woman who marries his worst enemy despite loving Howard passionately; and of the society who tries to bring him down. This novel sowed the seeds of Rand’s famous Objectivism philosophy and presented the idea that man’s ego is the fountainhead of human progress.

Since this book helped popularize the philosophy of Objectivism, I will give my two cents on it as promised. Here are four tenets to this thinking:

  1. Objective Reality: Reality is objective. There’s a true reality outside of our own personal perceptions.
  2. Reason: Reason is all we had and all we need, and it’s absolute. Facts outweigh emotion and faith.
  3. Self-interest: The highest moral purpose should be the pursuit of your own happiness.
  4. Laissez-faire capitalism: The economy should be completely unregulated and separate from the government.

I’m going to be honest. While I understand certain aspects of Objectivism, I have some issues with it. With reality and reason,while  there are certainly people who view the world that way, there are others whose worldviews are impacted by their personal experiences. As a result, they can’t always see the world around them objectively. It’s not entirely their fault. Nonetheless, having objective reality and reason helps to put things in perspective. 

When it comes to self-interest, on one hand, people have been selfish in order to take care of themselves and achieve what happiness they want. That’s why self care has been highly important, especially since the initial Covid rise. On the other hand, selfishness has led to harming and exploiting others. Rand herself never really acknowledged that aspect of self-interest. In addition, I get that she grew up in a time where the Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian monarchy and replaced it with communism. I also comprehend that there are times, in which people have utilized compromise to use others for their personal gain. One can look at Joseph Stalin and how he ruled the Soviet Union to grasp that notion. However, that doesn’t always mean taking advantage of others nor the end of one’s dreams. In a way, compromise can allow for people to pursue their own goals using different tactics. 

Finally with laissez-faire capitalism, I get that having that kind of economy allows for free trade and lack of government interference. On the other hand, there have been plenty of issues caused by unregulated economies including inequalities in wealth and income, depressions, and monopolies.

For the content itself, I can see its timeless quality. Every generation will have people who are idealists, selfish, and/or rich. If they come across this book, it would be easy for them to form a personality around it, especially if they are teenagers who see it as a metaphor for creating art for one’s own happiness as opposed to doing it for the masses. This is so because the book is absolutely convinced of its ideals and has a clear distinction of what are the right and wrong ways to work and live. It also helps that most of the characters are more symbolisms than people for a certain way of living, so readers don’t have to think too hard on their personalities and can focus more on what is being said. In other words, I can see why people like big business CEOs, politicians, certain celebrities, and teenagers would be attached to the novel.

In addition, one can easily have a genuine conversation with another if the book is ever brought up. During the two months that I read it, I’ve chatted with people who’ve liked and disliked it. They would usually go into their own beliefs and values as well as their feelings on the novel itself. These are the kinds of conversations that I yearn to have with other readers, so I do thank The Fountainhead for opening plenty of doors.

However, the book is not intended as a metaphor. It’s basically a manual on how Objectivism, especially with laissez-faire capitalism, is the way to live life as a story. In that regard, it somewhat works. While it certainly discusses how self-interest is good; how altruism is bad; and how the main character Howard Roark uses reason and sees the world in a objective way, it barely touches upon capitalism outside a brief discussion involving Ellsworth Toohey and a group of people in the second half of the novel. I wonder if this is so because Ayn Rand wanted readers to see the first three tenets more than the fourth one in order to hook them in. If the book spent more time asserting the pros of that specific kind of capitalism, then it would be a better guidebook.

Moreover, the novel definitely would have benefited from an editor. It seems like every character, no matter how important they are to the plot, has a speech of some sorts that goes on and on. Granted, there are times where the detailed descriptions and long-winded ruminations are tolerated. For example, since architecture is an integral part of the book, Rand describes almost every characteristic of the buildings that are mentioned. Also, Howard delivers the speech of all speeches with a lecture on the unalienable rights of man in the courtroom to justify why he blew up the Cortlandt building (to be fair, Ellsworth gave a big speech defending a sculptor who tried to assassinate him early in the book, and the latter got off scot-free, which is a nice and hokey piece of foreshadowing to what would happen with Howard). Prior to that, he rarely went on rants. Personally, I would’ve cut out at least 100-200 pages to make it tighter.

However, there are some things that I liked about The Fountainhead. For starters, Rand does a good job with making her audience not like Peter Keating, Ellsworth, and Gail Wynand. Peter is the type of person whose self-esteem is determined by the people around him and has no personal values of his own. This is best illustrated with his relationship with Catherine, Ellsworth’s niece. Peter sees her every few months or so, but he promises to marry her. Then, when he is supposed to wed, he does it with Dominique Francon. Ellsworth is a man who preaches collectivism and how everything one should do is for the greater good. However, he does this as a way to dominate others by controlling their opinions (*cough Joseph Stalin). This is exemplified by his attempt to take over The Banner newspaper. Gail is a media tycoon who was self-taught and self-made, but he became the people whom he despised. He becomes Howard’s ally and friend because the latter reminds him of his younger self. Sadly, Gail betrays the latter at the end after the people turned against the former for his opinion on the architect.

Additionally, I find Dominique to be a fascinatingly complex character. I like how cold, distant, and witty she is, and how she uses them to shield her deep love of various things, including Howard, to prevent them from ruining her. She spends a good chunk of the novel trying to destroy him, while helping him behind his back. It’s clear that she’s the most developed character in the novel, which is saying a lot since it was published in a time, where complex women in literature were rare, and that the rest of the (male) cast are mainly symbols.

Now there’s one thing that I know certain people will want me to discuss in the novel, and that’s the rape scene. Before I started reading the book, I had a feeling that I was going to be frustrated by it because of all its philosophical rants and what it represented. Surprisingly, I wasn’t because I knew about these beforehand, except for the rape. I had a hunch about the assault after watching the 1949 movie version starring Gary Cooper (hey, I recognize that name) and Patricia Neal. 

It’s not the forced act itself that I have an issue with since I’ve read other titles that contain scenes similar to that. It’s more of how it’s reasoned and framed. Rand herself has defended writing this scene, calling it “a rape by engraved invitation.”

Now, I understand that Dominique striked Howard with the tree branch and that people have different perceptions of what consent looks like. My problem with Rand’s reasoning is that this is what a rapist would say to justify violating another person. It’s victim blaming. Remember, this book was written by a person who truly believed that white people were completely justified in stealing indigenous land because of the belief that the natives weren’t doing anything productive with it in the name of capitalism. Furthermore, it’s a fantasy rape, for Dominique falls in love with Howard even more because he drilled her without asking for her permission, and she wanted to be treated like a servant being punished by her master. Outside of the philosophy itself and how certain Rand disciples have acted, this romantic framing of the heinous act is the reason why the book remains controversial in some circles. This is also why I couldn’t root for Howard despite his objective reality, rational reasoning, and pursuit of his own interests.

Finally, if one decides to read this book, I want to warn them of how on-the-nose it is. In fact, I had to put the book down after the second sentence when Rand describes how Howard is butt-naked standing by a lake. She’s the type of author who wants to be as clear as whistle when it comes to interpreting her material. In fact, in the author’s introduction that was included in the novel’s 25th anniversary edition, she spends a lot of time clarifying its intent and certain statements like how the character Hopton Stoddard says, “You’re a profoundly religious man, Mr. Roark —in your own way. I can see that in your buildings” and Howard agrees (p. xi). In other words, Rand and subtly mix just as well as oil and water do.

Overall, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is a novel that will get people talking for good or worse. I liked certain elements, yet it can be cumbersome due to the philosophy that’s promoted, the writing itself, and how specific things are handled. It’s not that dense of a book, but it can certainly feel that way at times. Nonetheless, I see how truly timeless it is because it appeals to the idealists, whether they are teenagers, big business CEOs, politicians, and/or celebrities. So for that reason, I would recommend it to those kinds of people as well as to those who do not understand the former. If one doesn’t want to read it, I won’t force it on them. Despite my grievances, I came out of reading The Fountainhead with an appreciation for it because I lowered my expectations.

Before I go, I want to let you all know that I’ll be talking about the movie adaptation with Zita Short on her The 300 Passions Podcast! We’ll be discussing the baggage associated with the book and film as well as why the latter failed to make the cut on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…Passions list. It’ll be my second time on that podcast. I had seen the movie before, and it motivated me to read the book, so it’ll be a fun time talking about how faithful it is to the novel. Stay tuned for my movie review as well as for that episode!

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Outliers: The Story of Success Book Review

I’ve read plenty of nonfiction books, and I learn at least one thing from them. There are a few that I can call eye-opening. These include What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City by Mona Hanna- Attisha and today’s subject Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. Published in 2008, the latter details what makes the “outliers” aka the best, the brightest, the most famous, and the most successful different from the rest. Its revelations blew my mind, and it’s highly accessible. These make it worth the read despite the issues that have come to light since its release.

Outliers: The Story of Success discusses why the outliers succeed, but not in the way one would think. Instead of focusing on the qualities that successful people possess, Gladwell emphasizes where they are from. These include their culture, family, generation, and experiences from their upbringings. 

For a long time, I thought that the reason why certain people became successful was a combination of hard work and being at the right place at the right time. While Gladwell acknowledges this, he asserts that it’s more than that. He conveys through quotes from people like Bill Gates and graphs that show similar “coincidences” as to why some make it big, while others don’t. For example, in a section of a chapter entitled “The 10,000-Hour Rule,” Gladwell talks about how Gates was at the right age to take advantage of the 1970s and 1980s computer boom. He even seized the opportunities given to him like using a time-sharing terminal at his high school in 1968, which inched him closer to the famous rule (p. 50-54). In an earlier chapter, the author discusses the phenomenon of Canadian hockey players mostly having January, February, and March birth dates. He uses various graphs to display the birth dates of each player, for instance, from the 2007 Medicine Hat Tigers (p. 20-21). He explains that Canada has an “eligibility cutoff for age-class hockey is January 1.” 

If a boy turns 10 on January 2, then he would be in the same class as someone who wouldn’t be 10 until the end of the year, which displays differences in physical maturity (p. 24). Knowing how coaches are scouting out for more mature players, it’s not coincidental to see that bigger, more talented, and more coordinated ones are chosen, and they happened to have similar birth dates.

Another aspect that Gladwell discusses is how one’s culture informs their work ethic and success. In one chapter, he talks about how the descendants of Asian rice farmers tend to be good at math and hardworking. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Emily, that sounds racist.”

I know. I thought this too, but trust me, there’s more to it. With the math component, Gladwell proclaims that it’s easier to memorize numbers in Chinese than it is in English. He cites Stanislas Dehaene’s book The Number Sense. That book asserts that the Chinese numbering system requires less syllables to say the numbers than it does for the English one. Given how people store “digits in a memory loop that runs for about two seconds,” it’s not hard to see why Chinese children would have an easier time counting and memorizing numbers (p. 228). 

For the diligence aspect, that comes from what rice farmers have to do. Gladwell asserts that if a farmer in the West wanted to expand his yield, they would obtain “more sophisticated equipment, which allow[s] [them] to replace human labor with mechanical labor” and clear more fields (p. 232). 

As for Asian rice farmers, to do the same thing, they would find ways to become more adept “at fertilizing, and spend a bit more time monitoring water levels, and do a better job keeping the claypan absolutely level, and make use of every square inch of [their] rice paddy” according to anthropologist Francesca Bray (p. 233). This is so because of the limited money and land. China has proverbs like “No food without blood and sweat” and “No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich” (p. 238). As a result, Gladwell proclaims that this hard work mentality transferred to their descendants. 

All of this works because the book is accessible. Gladwell doesn’t use fancy jargon unless needed. All he really needs is language that anybody can understand from a mathematician to a janitor as well as cited sources, bibliographies, and graphs.   He even includes footnotes to clarify certain arguments and facts.

It has also come to my attention that Outliers has come across some criticism for its arguments ever since its publication 14 years ago. For starters, reviewers have noted that they’re not sure what to do with the information given. Some authors have a clear message with what readers should do after reading their work, but others like Gladwell in this case don’t. He wants readers to interpret the information for themselves, instead of being spoon fed. 

Another criticism is that there weren’t any female or non-American “outliers” used as examples. Outside of Gladwell’s own Jamaican grandmother, this is definitely true, especially with that he put that story as the epilogue. Now, one may say that this book was published in 2008, that was a different time. This is not true. Some Goodreads reviews from that year express the same concern. The reviewer Allie sums up her reaction about the lack of female “outliers” the best.

The final one of these involves the 10,000-hour rule. Gladwell asserts that 10,000 is the amount of hours that one has to put in to become an expert. He cited the article “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance” by K. Anders Ericsson, Rath Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Römer for his main argument (p. 288). However, there have been articles and videos like this one that discuss how it’s not about the quantity of hours to achieve expertise, but about quality as well as people achieving success even if they haven’t reached that goal. From what I read, Gladwell fails to acknowledge the latter aspect. Even Paul McCartney had this to say when the author used the Beatles as an example of this theory:

“I mean there are a lot of bands that were out in Hamburg who put in 10,000 hours and didn’t make it, so it’s not a cast-iron theory,” he says. “I think, however, when you look at a group who has been successful … you always will find that amount of work in the background. But I don’t think it’s a rule that if you do that amount of work, you’re going to be as successful as the Beatles.” 

There’s no doubt of the rule’s popularization through Outliers and how it has influenced the work ethics of people like Billie Eilish. At the same time, people shouldn’t hold themselves to a high standard like the 10,000-hour theory regardless of where they work.

All in all, I can see why Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell became so popular. Despite what has been left out and how the 10,000-hour rule has been debunked, its overall arguments and how they’re presented are its highlights. It’s definitely a book for those not looking for solutions. I would also recommend it to those who love Gladwell’s other works as well as those who are interested in how success works. In spite of its issues, I would still call Outliers eye-opening.

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What Am I Reading – Chapter Thirty-Seven

Hi Everyone,

Something very special happened to me about two weeks ago. I got promoted to being an archivist, a position that I’ve wanted to be for a very long time. I’m slowly transitioning into that role as of now.

In the meantime, I’ve reading lots of books to keep myself from stressing out from the new job. I’m almost done with I Let You Fall: A Romantic Drama by Sara Downing, and I started two new titles that I’d love to show right now!

Let’s begin!

Greetings From Nowhere by Barbara O’Connor is about finding friends even in the most remote of places. Ever since her husband Harold died, Aggie has been all alone with her cat, Ugly, and keeping up with bills and repairs at the Sleepy Time Motel in the Great Smoky Mountains have become next to impossible. On top of that, no one has stayed there in nearly three months. When Aggie reluctantly places a For Sale ad in the newspaper, she doesn’t know that a few families will come her way. These include Kirby and his mom, who need a room when their car breaks down on the way to reform school; Loretta and her parents, who are on a trip to honor Loretta’s birth mother; and Willow and her dad, who wanted to move into the motel to replace the life that was shattered when Willow’s mom left. Above all, Aggie and her guests eventually find the friends that they needed the most.

I like this book so far. It clearly spells out each of the character’s motivations, especially why they go to the motel. Each of the chapters focuses on Aggie, Kirby, Loretta, or Willow, but it doesn’t feel abrupt. Like with Salt to the Sea, they constantly interact with one another. As a result, readers get to see multiple viewpoints of the same incident and what the other characters are doing while the novel highlights a certain person. I look forward to seeing how they all become friends.

And now, let’s look at the second and final book!

Valley of Shadows by Rudy Ruiz is a visionary neo-Western blend of magical realism, mystery, and horror, and it explores the dark past of injustice, isolation, and suffering along the US-Mexico border. In 1883 West Texas, the Mexican city of Olvido is stranded on the northern side of the new border between the US and Mexico after the Rio Grande shifts course. When a series of mysterious and horrific crimes occur in the divided town, a retired Mexican lawman is lured out of retirement to restore order and to save the lives of abducted children. In the face of skeptics and hostile Anglo settlers, Solitario Cisneros struggles to overcome not only the evil forces in the area, but also his own inner demons. He is burdened by a mystical curse that has guided his lonely destiny, until Onawa, a gifted and beautiful Apache-Mexican seer, joins his mission and dares him to change the course of both their lives.

This book is not out until September 20, but I got an advanced reader’s copy from Books Forward. It’s a good novel so far. I like Solitario as a character, for he’s smart and good at what he does. Readers can easily see why he’s so reluctant to assist the town with solving the crimes as well as empathize with his personal demons. In addition, it does an effective job with addressing discrimination and injustice in this time period. This is especially true when Onawa acknowledges how if Solitario as the new sheriff arrests a white person for a crime, then he would be considered racist by the Anglo settlers, but if he apprehends a Mexican person, then other Mexicans would assume that he’s selling out his own ethnicity.

One thing that I noticed while reading it is that it seems to fit with Hero’s Journey template popularized by Joseph Campbell almost perfectly. Solitario (good name for a guy who wants to be alone) gets the call to help the town to solve the crimes as the new sheriff, but he refuses it outright. However, he ends up searching for the abducted children with assistance from Onawa, who has supernatural abilities. At this point, the novel is roughly at The Crossing of the Threshold phase. I’ll discuss the Hero’s Journey more when I get into the full review.

Finally, I want to point out that this might not be for everybody. Its opening scene contains the first Olvido sheriff, his wife, and their eldest son getting murdered, and it’s pretty gory. Even I got squeamish at times. Additionally, some people might not like the talk about injustice, thinking that’s too contemporary. I think it’s necessary because it feels natural to the story. Solitario has many reasons why he doesn’t want to assist with the case, including how Anglo settlers might perceive him (think Bart the black sheriff from Blazing Saddles).

Overall, I’m excited to see what’s to come in this tale.

We have now come to the end of the thirty-seventh chapter of “What Am I Reading?”

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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Book Review

We have our classics, and today, people debate about what should be regarded as a modern classic, as in something that should be remembered that came out recently. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers is one such book that some people have bestowed that title on. It’s a memoir that details the author’s time raising his little brother after their parents’ deaths. Its innovative ways definitely shook up that genre, but it got on my nerves at times.

Published in 2000, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is Eggers’s extraordinary memoir. At age 21, both of his parents died within five weeks of each other, and he became the legal guardian of his 8-year-old brother Toph. Along with their older siblings, Dave and Toph move to California, and they get an apartment. This is the story of how he raised his brother and of the love that held his family together.

Why do people consider it a modern classic? Well, it’s all in the writing style. It contains a stream-of-consciousness type, in which Eggers rambles on a variety of topics and seamlessly switches from one to another. I don’t know if another book contains this kind of style prior, but I’m certain that there have been novels that have followed suit. In a way, it’s the book version of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Some readers may find this refreshing from other memoirs, while others might get irritated by the digressions. Since the situation that he was in happened so fast, it makes sense that his thoughts could be scattered to display how confused he was. Even though I understood why, I started to become annoyed after a few too many ramblings.

I was also prepared for some sadness with this book. It’s heartbreaking to know that Eggers and siblings went through this tough time in their lives, and somehow, they made it work. In addition, he can also be pretty vulnerable. He expresses plenty of self-doubt, especially if he’s being the best parent he could possibly be to Toph. Eggers also writes with sincerity about his family, especially his parents. It’s clear that he loves them despite their flawed natures, especially his dad (part of it involves a broken door). On the other hand, he can come off like an egotist in the most Gen X way at times. This is most apparent when he and his co-workers at the Might magazine bash on The Real World, yet he ends up auditioning for the show. At least he gets called out for his egotism by various people including Toph.

In the meantime, I wasn’t expecting the funny bits. I loved the running gags of Eggers telling Toph to clean his hat because it smelled like urine and to stop saying certain words. Moreover, I enjoyed reading about his fantasies. These included how he would murder all of his enemies, how he would rescue Toph if the latter was every put in foster care, and what would happen to his little brother when he left him with the babysitter. They were all surprisingly hilarious.

This was mainly because of the audiobook narrator Dion Graham. There’s a reason why Graham is one of the most prolific ones around. He’s gotten a lot of accolades for his works, and he’s pretty versatile. He has recorded audiobooks for young adult novels like Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas to Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Graham has also worked on audiobooks by authors like Dave Eggers, and I can see why. He embodies whatever he’s saying. Even when Eggers digresses (he tends to do this a lot), Graham gives a reason to why those happen with appropriate tones. Also, his choking sounds left me in pieces. When Eggers becomes filled with self-doubt or narcissism, Graham vocalizes those. However, I wasn’t able to listen to the rest of the audiobook due to issues with some of the cds from that audiobook. 

The only thing I wish the audiobook would have done was include the preface, the acknowledgements, and the ways to enjoy the book all written by Eggers himself. They really set up the memoir’s tone and the awareness that not everybody will read all of it. I’m going to be very honest. I didn’t know about those aspects until I cracked open a physical copy of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. At the same time, when I read the book, I still had Dion Graham’s voice stuck in my head. That’s the power of a great audiobook narrator.

Overall, there’s no book like A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, yet it can get on people’s nerves if they don’t know what they’re getting into. It’s filled with humor, sadness, and sincerity. However, it’s also filled up with pages of rambling that can either delight or annoy people after a while. At the end of the day, it all depends on what the reader can tolerate. I would recommend it to those who want something different in their memoirs and are fans of Eggers’s other works. It’s up to the reader to read the physical copy, listen to the audiobook, or both. Even though it rubbed me the wrong way at times, I can see why people view it as a modern classic.

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What Am I Reading – Chapter Thirty-Six

Hi Everyone,

It’s been awhile since the last chapter, but I’ve been reading plenty of books. Recently, I finished No-Mod: Book 1 of the Mute-Cat Chronicles by Derek Porterfield and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand from two chapters ago. With the latter, if you betted that I wouldn’t finish it, you lost.

I’m currently reading I Let You Fall: A Romantic Drama by Sara Downing and Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline from the last chapter as well as an audiobook that I just picked up this past week.

Let’s take a look at it!

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is about the identical Vignes twin sisters. They would always be identical with their looks. But after growing up in Mallard – a small, southern black community – and running away at age 16, their lives as adults become different with their families, communities, and racial identities. Many years later, one sister with her black daughter returns to the place she once tried to escape from. The other passes as white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Despite their separation, their lives remain intwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

I’m about halfway through the novel, and I like it despite how much a slow-burner it is. I don’t mean this as an insult. I only notice that it takes its time with getting from one place to another. It sometimes goes back and forth between time in order to do so. I had to really pay attention whenever the third-person narrator recalls an event happening to one character in plenty of detail as that person has a conversation with another.

Some readers might be frustrated by the pacing, but it doesn’t bother me all that much because it’s a very interesting character study about a pair of light-skinned twins and how they chose to deal with the various aspects of colorism. Even though both Desiree and Stella appear white, they know, especially the former, that they will be still be black in the eyes of the white community ever since they witnessed their father getting murdered by a white mob. Years later, Desiree returns to Mallard to escape her abusive marriage, and her black daughter Jude experiences a lot of colorism in that community to the point that she leaves it for California to attend college. As for Stella, she pretends to be white so much that she demonstrates anti-blackness towards a black person who wanted to move in the white neighborhood.

This isn’t my first time reading about colorism and passing as I had read The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray in the past. Unlike that novel, The Vanishing Half shows that both aspects are still very much present in today’s society, still impact how certain people are perceived, and still can be passed down from one generation to the next. The town itself demonstrates this with how everyone is so light-skinned that they can pass off as white. At the same time, they exhibit a lot of anti-blackness, especially how the twins’ mom tells them to stay away from dark men. Only one of them listened.

As mentioned earlier, I’m listening to the audiobook now, and Shayna Small narrates it. Small has narrated several audiobooks like Red to the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson, Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi, and Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly. Small gives subtle, but distinct voices to her characters. For instance, she gives Desiree an assertive and defying tone, while she portrays Stella as more quiet and delicate. The men she depicts have their distinctions too. For example, Desiree’s boyfriend Early talks with a relaxed, independent, and kind tone. This is in contrast to Desiree’s ex-husband Sam, who speaks more quickly and aggressively.

Overall, even though it can be slow and jumps timelines a lot, I find the characters to be pretty nuanced. I’m definitely rooting for the twins to be reunited if they ever are.

We have now come to the end of the thirty-sixth chapter of “What Am I Reading?”

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A Life Well Bred, A Life Well Led: A Personal Memoir in Eight Psychosocial Development Stages Book Review

Full disclosure: The author of the book that I am about to review is a patron at a library that I work at. All of the opinions stated in this review are solely mine.

When I read Buy My Book, Not Because You Should, But Because I’d Like Some Money by John Marszalkowski about two years ago, it blew my mind because a. It was a memoir that was written by a “non-celebrity” and b. It was written in a non-linear structure to reveal his ADHD mindset and to give it more personality. I thought about this book recently when I read another book called A Life Well Bred, A Life Well Led: A Personal Memoir in Eight Psychosocial Development Stages by Robert Jones – author of the Richville series. That too was about an average person’s life, but it was told in a linear and predictable way even though it had a unique framework. There’s nothing wrong with these narratives, yet some things prevented me from connecting to it. 

The title A Life Well Bred, A Life Well Led: A Personal Memoir in Eight Psychosocial Development Stages describes what readers need to know about the book. Specifically, Jones looks at his life through the lense of Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development. This theory asserts that personality “develops in a predetermined order through eight stages of psychosocial development, from infancy to adulthood. During each stage, the person experiences a psychosocial crisis which could have a positive or negative outcome for personality development.”

The reason why I included the information about the theory itself is that Jones doesn’t. It’s even weirder that the second chapter has the title “Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development – Explanation” and that most of the chapter titles are the said stages.

Before I dive too deep into what bothered me, I will go over what I liked about the memoir first. I really liked the parts where Jones includes his articles from the “Senior Living” section of the Macomb Daily. With these, he goes into detail about his life, and it also promotes his work as a writer. My favorite is when he talks about his first date with his now wife of 50 years. He sets it to the tune of “I Remember It Well” from the movie Gigi. I can easily imagine Jones being Maurice Chevalier in that scene. Also, lots of autobiographies and memoirs include pictures and other visual content, but not as extensively as Jones does here. It feels like a scrapbook at times. Imagine if it was one. In addition, it was nice to read about his impact on his community. For example, he initiated a summer recreation program for special needs students. It really showed how much he cares about other people.

Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty. There were some choices that Jones makes in the memoir that simply baffled me. The first of these was including “Literature Background Notes.” These contained short story definitions, elements of a short story, the meaning of conflict and its types, the Aristotelian plot structure, general terms for literature, how readers get to know the characters, and the different kinds of genre. I don’t know why he included them other than to emphasize how to create a framework around one’s story that he stresses in the first chapter. What’s more confusing is that it’s in the “Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development – Explanation” chapter.

The next problem was the lack of conflict. Don’t get me wrong. There was drama so to speak, but it only popped up once in a blue moon, and it was immediately resolved by the end of the page or by the next one. For instance, on his very first day of school when he was 5, a car ran into him, which resulted in a tear in his pants and a bruised kneecap. He lied to his mother about the injury saying that he fell on a sidewalk by some stones. I wondered how he was affected by the situation, like if he developed some phobia in which he had to look both ways before crossing the street in order to combat it, or if he became so good at lying that he would even lie to himself. Nope, he just moved on, and recounted the other adventures while walking to school. And, that was that. Readers never get to hear that story and its impact again. I’m not saying that Jones needed to have some traumatic event that shaped his life for good or worse. John Marszalkowski’s life is just about as average as Jones’, but his memoir/set of informal essays is full of inner turmoil like whether or not he wants to have kids and the need to belong. It’s as if he doesn’t want to show more conflict than needed, or else it would not fit the framework that he devised to tell his story, and that’s a big no no. A good structure rises from the narrative itself, not imposed onto it.

My biggest peeve with this memoir is that it’s in third person. All of the other autobiographies and memoirs were in first person as a way for the readers to connect to their story and to get into the author’s mindset. Starting from the opening pages where Jones talks about how to tell one’s story, it felt like a 1950s instructional video in book form. If one ever gets their hands on a copy, try reading it out loud in that voice. It’s very uncanny. I couldn’t connect to it for that very reason. I wanted to hear more about how he felt about the important moments and people in his life and how he developed his opinions, but that point of view prevented me from doing that. In other words, I would’ve gotten to know him more if the memoir was in first person.

Oh, and another quick thing: the table of contents shows 11 chapters in the book. In reality, there’s 12. Did the editor see that? This is not me throwing shade; I’m only asking.

Overall, A Life Well Bred, A Life Well Led: A Personal Memoir in Eight Psychosocial Development Stages by Robert Jones should’ve had the more accurate title A Life Too Well Bred, A Life Too Well Led: A Personal Memoir in Eight Psychosocial Development Stages That Demonstrate How Well Robert Jones Lived His Life. There’s a reason why people gravitate towards memoirs and autobiographies that are so gut wrenching and heartbreaking, but are triumphant in the end. I’m not saying that Jones should’ve lived a less perfect life, but with what conflict there is in the memoir, it’s basically saying that he lived a good and fairly average one. I personally didn’t mind the Psychosocial Development Stages framework; it needed to be more clear for more like myself who are seeing that theory for the first time. It also doesn’t help with the third person voice. The only way that I will recommend this memoir is to those who love reading materials from local authors and to those who taken psychology and child development classes. 

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