NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

Hard for me to say it, but it's been a while since I tried any psychology book at all, leave alone a child / teen psychology one. All I have to say – a gripping read. First time ever I have a book like this on the beach and don't want to go into the water until the end of the chapter.

Leaves far too many questions open for me, but still – gives extremely valuable advice and sets mind to work on how to bring a child better. Sad I haven't got my hands upon it earlier, say, a year ago or so – actually, it was my wife who found it and put me on course – we would've done a few things differently, I guess.

Set with a purpose of understanding on how to improve parenting experience and get better results in upbringing, the authors do little but summarize in plain “christian” words tons of different research on how to praise a child, stimulate speech development, instill fairness, resolve sibling conflict, teach a child how not to lie etc etc. For me personally, it was a much more useful read than, say, Kindergarten is Too Late – a great book as well, but it gives only concepts that you have to apply in an inexplicable way – but here, some tools as well. Good read.


The Cryptogram by David Mamet

Can't say I truly understood what this book was about. I didn't read it as child's coming of age or betrayal related to family breakup, as some reviews claimed.

It seems I am falling out of grace with Mamet – second play in a row that I don't like much. Frankly, Keep Your Pantheon one was funnier and easier to dig.

I reckon I should stop reading his drama and start hitting the theater more often – sad no Mamet available in Moscow though.

Or audio books. Downloaded Speed the Plow for Kindle – will see how it goes.

P.S. Am reading Bambi vs. Godzilla in parallel – also, not an easy read, though it's non-fiction – but it has it's moments, I guess.


Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown

Imagine a comic book on the story of Stepan Razin or, I dunno, the Decabrist movement. This is what this Louis Riel comic bio is – a story of a renowned Canadian freedom fighter, statesman and politician, hanged by the neck at the end.

Chester Brown has always claimed it to be his masterwork – maybe so indeed, but I prefer his autobio books like Paying For It much more.

Truth be told, Brown must’ve studied quite a few books on Riel – as it shows him with all the weaknesses and controversies. Ah, whatever – not the worst 1.5hr read I’ve had in my life.