Monday, March 27, 2006

At my nerdy best

I enjoyed reading Robin's post about what she was reading. So much so, that I thought I would share the books which I am currently enjoying right now. I have started a bunch of books and am now just finding the time to finish:

(1) Dog Days by Ana Marie Cox.

The author is better known by her blog moniker, Wonkette. I read Wonkette while I was in law school, so I bought it out of curiosity. Cox includes a bit of funny political commentary within a tepid, barely fictionalized story of August 2004 Washington DC. The clich├ęd characters evoke little besides disinterest and annoyance, especially when speaking. Cox excels when parodying the Swift Boaters with the 'Citizens for Clear Heads'. Honestly, I have been slogging through this book for a month or so now, and can't seem to finish. I think she is better off sticking to the blog.

(2) Don't Get Too Comfortable : The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never- Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems by David Rakoff

This collection of essays by the author of Fraud (another favorite of mine!) is a well executed satire of our hyper-indulged, self-entitled, over-consuming society. Rakoff rails (rather articulately!) on everythin: elitist varieties of salt, twenty-day fasts, the Log Cabin Republicans, and foraging in Central Park. A great read - I highly recommend it!

(3) Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities by Alexandra Robbins

Robbins' investigation into the life of sororities is an interesting one. I am a former member of a sorority. I de-activated after about a year and a half, as my major at the time, music education required a great deal of evening and weekend responsibilities, which overlapped with the sorority activities. For every sorority activity I missed, I was fined at least 20 dollars, even though my reasons for my absence were related to academics. I enjoyed the sorority experience, I just couldn't afford it. But I digress.

Because I had been exposed to sorority life,I was very fascinated to see an outsider's take on the institutions. Robbins' exploration is fun to read, but for that reason, I believe certain things are sensationalized. For example, Robbins is absolutely appalled that sorority sisters do not discuss charity at charity events. Further, in revealing sorority secrets, she shows no respect for her subject. Perhaps to those reading who are outside of the Greek system, these sorority secrets seem trivial and dumb, but they actually do mean a lot to those who are in the group. She forgets that just because it doesn't mean anything to her, does not mean it is not meaningful.

Overall, however, I enjoyed this book greatly. It is an easy read - I finished it in a couple hours. I think if you are Greek or even a GDI (I was a bit of both!), you will enjoy the stories of the four sorority sisters, as well as the statistical and anecdotal information Robbins includes in each chapter.

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