I have found myself reading more lately. More like what I prefer to call, reading for fun. I tend to feel gulity when I read and it is not school related. But it is summer, and how can someone that is training to be a librarian not read? And, it is so very painful to see all those books get checked in not take them home with me. So, I am treating myself. I am trying to only check materials out that have just been returned and that I have checked in, this narrows my selection a bit, but you would be suprised how diverse the interests are in this suburban community near I94. This month I have read Everything Bad for You is Good: How Today’s Popular Culture is Making Us Smarter by Steven Johnson and Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah.
Everything Bad is Good for You finally made me feel like I am not alone. Johnson argues that TV programs, movies and video games are in fact raising IQs. Pop culture is enevitably challenging those who engage themselves. The Sopronos make you think a little, there deffinetly isn’t time to feed the viewer all the details, they leave it up to you fill in the blanks. Many of these programs we watch are based on facts. Mario Galaxy challanges you, makes you come back for more to get the next clue to get to the next level, and gives you confidence that maybe you will take advantage of outside of gaming. Gaming allows us to push ourselves, something we may not do “in real life,” makes us think.
Does My Head Look Big in This is a modern coming of age story with a bit of a religous twist. You know, parents are awful, everyone thinks they are fat, and your crush doesn’t know you exist. And then you throw in a little bit of to wear the hijab or not wear the hijab; what will everyone think? What would Allah think? Abdel-Fattah kept my attention, I really enjoyed her wrting style. There was an occasional reference to Justin Timberlake, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and Survivor. I happened to be really into the book, so much that while I was at the Winona Steamboat Days Parade, I decided to finish the book rather than watch as the clowns, Zor members, and marching bands passed by. This may have seemed rude, but I made sure to stand everytime an American flag went by so the citizens of Winona would not think there was a terroist reading a book with a woman wearing a hijab on the cover in their community.