Thursday, 10 March 2011

Hare with Amber Eyes & Tiger Mother

Just read two books on Kindle and found it a pleasant experience. However, I should like to have had a paperback of the non-fiction The Hare with Amber Eyes as I could then check back to the family tree and the photos which were too small in an electronic version.  Using a set of Japanese netsuke as a link, potter Edmund de Waal traces his family history and tells us how Jewish traders, the Ephrussi from Odessa, became rich, grand and cultured bankers in Paris and Vienna, but then Hitler came to power.  Full of memorable characters, it's a must read for anyone interested in art history and indeed European history.
Here's a Guardian review.

Like many Western (and Chinese) readers I was stunned and appalled by Prof Amy Chua's ambitious parenting techniques when I read The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Her daughters were not allowed to play with other children as they had to practise the piano and the violin almost all day long from the age of 5. Only straight As were acceptable in proper subjects and they were removed from school during art classes as Amy considered this a waste of time. Unrelenting and unrepentant, Amy's redeeming features are that she has a good sense of humour and likes dogs (for whom she is not ambitious) and her daughters are highly successful, charming and still love her.  Though none of us would dream of going to Amy's seemingly insane lengths, it makes an interesting read. Allison Pearson reckons some contemporary British mothers might need a bit more tiger in their tank.


Anonymous said...

These both look like fascinating books. I have a paper version of the de Waal (though it's up with my daugher right now!)and am now really glad. Think Tiger Mother sounds equally terrifying and exhausting! You have to admire her for making such a success of it though. Wonder how her daughters will be as mothers?

LindyLouMac said...

These both sound interesting but I have forbidden myself from adding any new titles to my Wishlist for now. Mind you if they ever come my way sure I will read them.
I have a Sony Reader at the moment but my husband is toying with the idea of getting a kindle. I am trying to find out if it will be worthwhile as not sure what will be available to us in Italy for downloading.

Debs Carr said...

I haven't read either of these books, but they do sound interesting.

I'm enjoying my kindle far more than I expected to, which is a relief as it'll mean far less packing when I go away.