Sunday, November 20, 2005

Mojo Mom's Australian bookshelf

I've loved exploring Sydney. My favorite part is the ferry system. Freeing transit from one-dimensional roads into two-dimensional boat travel is exhilarating, especially on a warm spring day zooming across Sydney Harbor.

We ferried to Manly beach yesterday, a resort town "seven miles from Sydney, a thousand miles from care." It was brilliantly sunny and just warm enough to swim, so Little T and I jumped in the waves while Michael and Grannie watched. Litte T would definitely be a budding surfer girl if we'd stayed in California. She is at home in a rash guard shirt and board shorts. I'm sure someday she'll give me a hard time about how cool it would have been to grow up there, but I personally think it's a great place to discover in one's twenties.

I nabbed 15 precious minutes to browse in a bookstore the other day and I came across two very cool books that are not available in the U. S. It is humbling to think that even with Amazon.com's selection available to us, we aren't even getting a global representation of English-language works, much less other languages. It makes me realize what a powerful tool the web can be to bridge these gaps, if only we can find each other in the first place.

The first book I came across is A Mind of Its Own by Cordelia Fine, which describes the distortions our brain makes in constructing reality and presenting it to our consciousness. I can't wait to dive into it. It's the kind of book that rekindles my interest in neuroscience, at least on a spectator level. The book will be out in hardcover in the U. S. in July 2006.

The second book is Motherhood: How should we care for our children? by Australian social commentator Anne Manne. I have just begun the first chapter, but it resonates with the issues in "Mojo Mom," with a focus on sociology and policy. My first impression is that it's akin so "Perfect Madness" from a more balanced, academic point of view. If you've read my Amazon.com review, you know that I thought that Perfect Madness was much to overwhelmed by the problems of the current state motherhood, leaving little room for solutions.

My only regret for the trip is that we are being utter tourists and I haven't had a chance to talk to many Australians. But everything is going very smoothly and we're having a wonderful time, so I can't complain!

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