Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September Books

I've been able to do some reading the last week or so. I'm not a great reader, but I am trying to do it more, because I think it's better for my brain then hours and hours of HGTV (it's so addicting!!). Plus being able to download books onto my iPad and read them even at night makes it very easy.

Here's what I've been reading:

After watching Anderson's talk show about the FLDS Church, I decided to finally read this book by Carolyn Jessop, who escaped the FLDS community in Arizona in her mid-30s with all of her 8 children, managed to create a life for herself and win custody over her children. 

The book is good if you're curious about the FLDS, but it is quite sad, as it is literally a story of persistent and cruel abuse, on the part of her husband, her sister wives, the church leadership, and even at the hands of her children and stepchildren, who were encouraged by their father to "report" the misdeeds of their mothers. It is also an interesting account of the rise of Warren Jeffs, and how his leadership completely stripped away what was left of the community's connection with the outside world.

Triumph, the follow-up to Escape, is certainly a different book. Half of it is commentary on the raid of the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Texas, when state officials took all the children out of the community and placed them in foster homes, and the successful public relations campaign on the part of the FLDS community to convince the public that the children were wrongfully seized solely on the basis of religion. It is clear that Carolyn Jessop is frustrated that the children were, for the most part, placed back into that community with deficient education, and put at risk for abuse, early marriage, or for the boys, being kicked out of the community without life skills. After reading both books, I agree with her.

The other half of the book talks about her life since the last book, and how she and her children have recovered from their experience in the FLDS community. She also speaks at length about her eldest daughter, who at age 18 returned to the FLDS, having been her father's favorite child and could not reconcile her religious beliefs with life on the outside. Although this book was not nearly as interesting as the first, I think it was good that she did a follow-up to complete the story. She is now engaged to be married to a man she met not long after she left the FLDS, and he sounds like a wonderful man.

On a lighter note! I've been working my way through the ESPN Book - Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN. Many of you know that my dream job is to be a sportscaster on ESPN, but this book is probably the closest I'll get. These authors also wrote a book about Saturday Night Live, which I might end up picking up after this. It's an unusual format, in that it's essentially a compilation of oral memories from people in the company, from the beginning of ESPN to now. The authors occasionally interject with background information, but it's essentially a compilation of stories.

I decided to start by reading the last two chapters, which deal with ESPN during the last 5 years. Now I'm at the beginning, which has been more interesting than I expected. It's a slow read, but I should finish it while on the plane to San Francisco this weekend. I've enjoyed reading the accounts from reporters and sportscasters that I regularly watch and listen to, and often it involves incidents that I wasn't aware of or occurred before I because a fanatic.

I still have several books I've been meaning to read, which will now probably go by the wayside as I start work, but I have a few that I've already purchased: A financial planning book by Suze Orman, Decoded by Jay-Z, The Wave, which I've read half of, and a physical book - Jillian Michaels' Unlimited. Plus I'm sure there are a few on my bookshelf that have yet to be read.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

I absolutely loved "Unbroken" -- it's about a USC alum (and Olympian athlete) and his experience as a POW in Japan during WWII. I couldn't put it down!