Friday, February 18, 2011

The Battle Hymn For the Tiger Mother

Today is the 17th of February, 11 days left of my book-buying fast. I already have four books in my Book Depository basket, I am ashamed to admit: Paradoxical Undressing by Kristin Hersh, Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves us by Laura Van Den Berg and The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut. I am not made of stone, ok? There is a benefit from not being allowed to click 'buy' right away. I may even reconsider getting them.

Thanks to the kindness of my managers at work, I borrowed The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. It's definitely entertaining, not always for the right reasons. I think the same part of me that enjoys true crime enjoyed the extremism exhibited in her parenting style. But to my thinking, it's not so much a how-to book on parenting than a memoir about pride, ego, humility and the search for a third way. It is evident pretty early on that her one-size-fits-all 'Chinese parenting' model can't be applied to every child, let alone both of her children. Only one child responded well to it, while the other rebelled constantly, causing her to eventually concede that there had to be a middle ground between the 'Western' and 'Chinese' models of discipline. It's certainly written with a lot of humour, and in a very self-aware voice. It makes me think that all the controversy was drummed up to fuel book sales. And she is pretty extreme at times, so those wanting to read it in order to get angry at her will find what they're looking for to an extent. But it is by no means black and white.

Next up, I finally read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

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