Between the Lines Book Club: Stranger in Their Own Land

between the lines book club logoTomorrow (August 25) we will be meeting at Arden Dimick Library at 10:30AM to discuss Strangers in Their Own Land, by Arlie Russell Hochschild. On her webpage, Hochschild suggests the following topics to consider with regard to her book:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Faith
  • The Environment
  • Media

She also introduces the following topics:

The Empathy Wall: an obstacle to “deep understanding”

Deep Story: “a story that feels as if it were true”

Feeling Rules: a shared set of rules regarding to how to feel about certain topics.

Honor Squeeze: “The perception by the right that their identity as white Christian men or women is not seen as honorable.”

Structural Amnesia: “A process by which the distribution of power in a society—monopolized by fathers or controlled by big business, for example—shapes what is collectively remembered or forgotten.”

See you tomorrow!

August, by Dorothy Parker

Photo of Dorothy Parker
When my eyes are weeds,
And my lips are petals, spinning
Down the wind that has beginning
Where the crumpled beeches start
In a fringe of salty reeds;
When my arms are elder-bushes,
And the rangy lilac pushes
Upward, upward through my heart;

Summer, do your worst!
Light your tinsel moon, and call on
Your performing stars to fall on
Headlong through your paper sky;
Nevermore shall I be cursed
By a flushed and amorous slattern,
With her dusty laces’ pattern
Trailing, as she straggles by.

Between the Lines Book Club: Arlie Russell Hochschild

between the lines book club logoHello Book Clubbers! Our upcoming book is Strangers in Their Own Land, by Arlie Russell Hochschild. We will be meeting in person at Arden Dimick Library at 10:30AM on August 25 to discuss this book in person.

Arlie is the daughter of a U.S. Ambassador. She lived in several different countries and was often required to be present a diplomatic events. By observing these events and listening to her parents analyze the guests’ demeanor afterwards, she learned to analyze the difference between what people are thinking and what people are expressing.

Arlie coined the phrase “emotional labor.” She discusses this concept in detail in her book, The Managed Heart. The concept refers to the type of work in which a person is expected to regulate one’s emotions and present emotions that will be attractive to the consumer. Examples of people whose jobs include emotional labor are wait staff, daycare providers, and flight attendants. The term is also increasingly used to discuss labor divisions within the home.

She also coined the phrase “The Second Shift.” In The Second Shift, Arlie discussed the “leisure gap” between men and women. Her book showed that in general women still take on more of the housework and childcare despite working the same out-of-home hours as their spouses – essentially, leaving their workplace to come home to a “second shift.”

Today, Arlie lives in Berkeley with her husband, Adam. Adam Hochschild is a historian. The couple has two children (now grown).


See you at Worldcon!

UnknownI’m so excited to be attending Worldcon, which is in San Jose this year. If you are attending, please let me know. Would love to meet you – or, if I already know you, would love to meet up, as they say.

I have one presentation:

Women Who Outsteampunked Steampunk

Room 211C

Saturday Aug 18, 2PM – 3PM

Steampunk is essentially alternate history of the Victorian era.  But what about the real people in history, who were inventors, soldiers, travelers?  Throughout history, women have always found ways to circumvent social norms.  Come hear about some women who did!   Learn about adventurous and groundbreaking women of the 19th Century, including Madam C. J. Walker, Isabella Bird, Annie Londonderry, and more.




Between the Lines Book Club: What’s Coming Up!

between the lines book club logoHello Book Clubbers! Our upcoming book is Strangers in Their Own Land, by Arlie Russell Hochschild. We will be meeting in person at Arden Dimick Library at 10:30AM on August 25 to discuss this book in person, and comments are always welcome here online as well!

Because of how we arrange our books with the library, I have books tentatively scheduled all the way into next summer. Keep in mind that all of these are subject to change. Interested? Here’s the list:

September 22: My Antonia, by Willa Cather

October 27: The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair

November 17: 4:20 to Paddington, by Agatha Christie

December: our month off

January: The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weinar

February: North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell.

March: Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue

April: Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah (this one is especially subject to change since it’s in high demand)

May: Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan

June: Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande

We have a great year ahead!

Between the Lines Book Club: Strangers in Their Own Land

between the lines book club logoThis month’s book club pic is Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by Arlie Russell Hochschild. We will be discussing the book at Arden Dimick Library at 10:30AM on August 25, 2018.

What did you think of this book? While it’s been well-recieved on the whole it’s also been divisive.

The Washington Post found the book to be condescending:

When she lands in Louisiana, Hochschild realizes, “I was definitely not in Berkeley, California. . . . No New York Times at the newsstand, almost no organic produce in grocery stores or farmers’ markets, no foreign films in movie houses, few small cars, fewer petite sizes in clothing stores, fewer pedestrians speaking foreign languages into cell phones — indeed, fewer pedestrians. There were fewer yellow Labradors and more pit bulls and bulldogs. Forget bicycle lanes, color-coded recycling bins, or solar panels on roofs. In some cafes, virtually everything on the menu was fried.”

Dear God, no yellow Labs or solar panels? How do you live?

On the other hand, The New York Review of Books found the book to be descriptive and insightful:

The deep story that Hochschild creates for the Tea Party is a parable of the white American Dream. It begins with an image of a long line of people marching across a vast landscape. The Tea Partiers—white, older, Christian, predominantly male, many lacking college degrees—are somewhere in the middle of the line. They trudge wearily, but with resolve, up a hill. Ahead, beyond the ridge, lies wealth, success, dignity. Far behind them the line is composed of people of color, women, immigrants, refugees. As pensions are reduced and layoffs absorbed, the line slows, then stalls.

An even greater indignity follows: people begin cutting them in line. Many are those who had long stood behind them—blacks, women, immigrants, even Syrian refugees, all now aided by the federal government. Next an even more astonishing figure jumps ahead of them: a brown pelican, the Louisiana state bird, “fluttering its long, oil-drenched wings.” Thanks to environmental protections, it is granted higher social status than, say, an oil rig worker.

So what did you think of the book? Insightful? Inspiring? Discouraging? Condescending? Let us know in the comments below!