The stories are honest and open, going into a great deal of detail about exactly what the couples had been through – both in terms of their own experience, and in terms of each other. The stories are well-balanced and broad, exploring a wide range of stories from younger couples to older ones, a single parent, parents who struggle with the finances, parents who found IVF reasonably straightforward, and those who continue to struggle with unsatisfying outcomes.
One of the main premises of the book is that we can always change, and that we not only deserve to enjoy our lives and live creatively and powerfully, it’s our responsibility to try and do so. If that seems facile or new-agey, it certainly isn’t. It’s very easy to go down a specific career path and begin building up an image that is self-limiting and unsatisfying. Doing the exercises will take readers through a range of life areas including one’s career, one’s social life, one’s financial needs, one’s physical well-being, spirituality, and the community.
Could a full-length novel result from an accumulation of five minute exercises? Maybe an episodic one. Of the seventeen “Student Contributors” whose exercises Abercrombie includes, only two are working on novels; the others are working on memoirs.
The book is lucid, easy-to-read, and illuminating, even for those who already define themselves as secular humanists. However, at times, despite the warmth and underlying sense of humour that pervades the book, there’s a kind of knowing superiority that can be a little hard to give into wholeheartedly.
Overall, this new Kama Sutra edition is readable for most audiences. It offers ways that men and women can appreciate each other at all aspects in life.
Though all of the book is fascinating, uniting as it does, a travelogue with a history of science (and broader history as it moves through World War I and II – at one point even taking us into a fighter cockpit), scientific analysis, and a kind of New Scientist styled look at astronomy and astrobiology, the chapter titled “The Ultimate Journey” is one of the most beautifully written and poignant.
These are opportunities which alter the present and shape the future. The author further contends that if one is trained to recognize opportunities in a timely fashion, one can then recognize rich and productive opportunities while dismissing the trivial, short-lived…
By the Book brings the reader into the story right from the start, and envelopes us in a kind of shared conversation about ourselves. By the Book is all about conversation – and as we ‘converse’ with Koval through her own history, and…
Of particular concern is that, regardless of any potential damaging impacts, geoengineering solutions – the “quick-fix” appears to be politically easier to handle than emissions cutting and other much safer mitigations. In addition, our efforts to find an “easy” solution…
Most of the writers included have become, as Val Colic-Peisker puts it, reasonably domesticated. The displacement and bullying is mainly in the past, but the sense of self and how the settled adult relates to the life left behind, is something that continues to transform.