Book Review- The Stanford Law Chronicles

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Title- The Stanford Law Chronicles, Doin’ time on the Farm
Author- Alfredo Mirande
Published-  2006
Genre- Non-fiction
Length- 352 pages
Rating- 2/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- In the midst of a long and distinguished academic career, Alfredo Mirandé left his position as professor of sociology and chair of ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside, to attend law school at Stanford University. This book is both an extraordinary chronicle of the events in his life that led him to make this dramatic change and a comprehensive, first-person account of the law school experience, written by a person of color. Mirandé delivers a powerful and moving critique of the obstacles he encountered and of systematic attempts to strip him of his identity and culture. He also reflects on the implications of an increasing number of women and minority law school students for law and legal education.

Covering all three years at Stanford, Mirandé describes the elitism and rigid hierarchies he encountered in the classroom and his resulting alienation and frustration. He also discusses law review, the Immigration Clinic where he successfully represented his first client, and the alternative Lawyering for Social Change curriculum that became a haven in an otherwise hostile environment. Interspersed with his account of law school are autobiographical snapshots and experiences, including that of the death of his brother, Héctor, which was the catalyst for his decision to pursue his childhood dream of attending law school and becoming a lawyer. This controversial book is certain to spark lively debate.

Review- I actually gave up on this book about 40 pages from the end because I just couldn’t take the whining anymore. The first few chapters were ok, hence the 2/5 rating rather than something lower, but as the book went on it just got worse and worse until it became unbearable. Read More »

August Reading Wrap-Up

So, I have had a better month this month and have managed 6 books, I am also nearly done with another book. I have read a good variety this month in terms of genre too. One book took me quite a while to finish but not because I wasn’t reading, it was a long book and I started reading a second one sort of by accident when I was in the middle of it.

My ratings have varied quite a lot but thankfully the lower rated ones haven’t put me off reading like they have in the past.

I have been good about reviewing too, see the links!Read More »

Book Review- What They Teach You At Harvard Business School

4306637Title- What They Teach You at Harvard Business School
Author- Philip Delves Broughton
Published-  2009
Genre- Non-fiction
Length- 283 pages
Rating- 3.75/5
Synopsis (Amazon)-  When Philip Delves Broughton abandoned his career as a successful journalist and enrolled in Harvard Business School’s prestigious MBA course, he joined 900 other would-be tycoons in a cauldron of capitalism. Two years of Excel shortcuts and five hundred of HBS’s notorious business case studies lay ahead of him, but he couldn’t have told you what OCRA was, other than a vegetable, or whether discount department stores make more money than airlines.

He did, however, know that HBS’s alumni appeared to be taking over the world. The US president, the president of the World Bank, the US treasury secretary, the CEOs of General Electric, Goldman Sachs and Proctor & Gamble – all were bringing HBS experience to the way they ran their banks, businesses and even countries. And with the prospect of economic enlightenment before him, he decided to see for himself exactly what they teach you at Harvard Business School.

Philip Delves Broughton’s hilarious and enlightening account of his experiences within Harvard Business School’s hallowed walls provides an extraordinary glimpse into a world of case study conundrums, guest lectures, Apprentice-style tasks, booze luging, burn-outs and high flyers. And with HBS alumni heading the very global governments, financial institutions and FTSE 500 companies whose reckless love of deregulation and debt got us into so much trouble, he discovers where HBS really adds value – and where it falls disturbingly short.

Review- So, this is not the type of book I would normally read and I only picked it up because my husband left it lying around, I have no desire to ever get an MBA! I did however, enjoy the book.Read More »

Hidden Figures, Book Vs Movie

So, I have recently come back from holiday and on the plane I watched the movie Hidden Figures. Now if you have read my review of the book, you will know that I was a bit disappointed by it. In general, I find books to be better than their movie counterpart, but not always, Lolita is an example of the movie being better than the book in my opinion, and Hidden Figures is another one.

With the book Hidden Figures, I felt there was too much maths for someone who isn’t a mathematician, and it made things just drag a bit. In the movie however, it was more limited and what was there was sort of romanticised. Read More »

June Reading Wrap-Up

June has been another not so great reading month for me. I haven’t had any less time to read lately, I just haven’t been doing it is much as before, I haven’t even managed to get to my book subscription book from June yet. Technically I have still been reading, but I have been reading blogs more than books.

Unfortunately none of the books I actually did manage to read really stood out. I think that is part of the problem really, I keep ending up reading books that are just meh, so I’m less enthusiastic about reading in general.

Read More »

Book Review- Hidden Figures

25953369Title- Hidden Figures
Author- Margot Lee Shetterly
Published-  December 2016
Genre- Non-fiction, History, Science
Length- 349 pages
Rating- 3/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space.

Among these problem solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly these overlooked math whizzes had shots at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia, and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black West Computing group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the civil rights movement, and the space race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades as they faced challenges, forged alliances, and used their intellects to change their own lives – and their country’s future.

Review- I think how much you enjoy this book will depend on how many sittings you read it in. I think most people would struggle to read it in one sitting, but three or four would be ideal.

The book covers parts of history that most people know nothing about, despite the entire world knowing about the moon landing. The story itself is interesting, and eye opening in terms of the extent of segregation, and particularly the behaviour of the Virginia school system. Personally I wouldn’t have dealt with things as well as these women! There is a lot of discrimination where I work and it makes me incredibly angry but these women just got on with it and managed to change things!Read More »

Book Review- Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between

30253864Title- Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between
Author- Lauren Graham
Published-  2016
Genre- Biography
Length- 205 pages
Rating- 5/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

Review- I loved this book!

Whenever I consider reading the biography of an actor it is because I really like them in one particular role, so I basically ignore the fact that it’s the actor, and not the character writing the book. In this case I love Lauren Graham in Gilmore Girls obviously, because I’m not a weirdo. Who doesn’t love her? My fiancé that’s who! “Why do they talk so fast?” Err, because they’re amazin!! Anyway………although the stories in this are those of Lauren Graham, in terms of style, this book might as well have been written by Lorelai Gilmore! I guess Lauren and Lorelai are similar and that’s why the character is so great! Read More »

March Reading Wrap-Up

So, there is still another day of March but I am not going to finish my current book in that time so I thought I would do my wrap-up today.

I feel like it hasn’t been the best month for reading. Some of the books were pretty good, but none were amazing. I feel like most of the books have dragged a lot and I haven’t enjoyed reading as much this month. I still managed six books but that’s not as much as previous months.

I have been very good about writing reviews this month however, and have already reviewed all of the books!Read More »

Book Review- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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Title- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Author- Maya Angelou
Published-  1969
Genre- Biography
Length- 317 pages
Rating- 4/5
Synopsis (Goodreads)- Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Review- This is one of seven books that make up Maya Angelou’s biography, but it is not a typical biography. If you weren’t told that it was a biography you could believe that it was a work of fiction given the writing style. Read More »