An irresistible read-aloud picture book, in which a little odd-duck-out discovers her unique strengths
When these ducks go to the pond, it is Bim, Bam, Bop . . . and Oona, always last. They’re all ducks, but Bim, Bam, and Bop are runners, and Oona’s a waddler. “Last is a blot on my life,” she says to her frog friend, Roy. “I don’t feel as big as a duck should feel.” But she’s good with gizmos, Roy reminds her. So Oona tinkers with things, scraps, and strings, and eventually creates just the right gadget to get her to the pond first.
Spunky Oona will inspire and delight all who see her final triumphant creation. With its fun read-aloud words (from Brrrrrring to OOO-hoolie-hoo!), her story is wonderful to hear. Its charming illustrations invite readers to imagine our own new gizmos, and her victory reminds us to look for our own special gifts. A tale about being true to yourself, building confidence, and finding friendship, Bim, Bam, Bop . . . and Oona is sure to bring smiles to readers and listeners of all ages.
Many people dream of "someday buying a small quaint place in the country, to own two cows and watch the birds," in the words of Texas ranchwoman Amanda Spenrath Geistweidt. But only a few are cut out for the unrelenting work that makes a family ranching operation successful. Don't Make Me Go to Town presents an eloquent photo-documentary of eight women who have chosen to make ranching in the Texas Hill Country their way of life. Ranging from young mothers to elderly grandmothers, these women offer vivid accounts of raising livestock in a rugged land, cut off from amenities and amusements that most people take for granted, and loving the hard lives they've chosen.
Rhonda Lashley Lopez began making photographic portraits of Texas Hill Country ranchwomen in 1993 and has followed their lives through the intervening years. She presents their stories through her images and the women's own words, listening in as the ranchwomen describe the pleasures and difficulties of raising sheep, Angora goats, and cattle on the Edwards Plateau west of Austin and north of San Antonio. Their stories record the struggles that all ranchers face—vagaries of weather and livestock markets, among them—as well as the extra challenges of being women raising families and keeping things going on the home front while also riding the range. Yet, to a woman, they all passionately embrace family ranching as a way of life and describe their efforts to pass it on to future generations.
Through a sociological analysis of the countercultural print culture of the 1970s, Sam Binkley investigates the dissemination of these self-loosening narratives and their widespread appeal to America’s middle class. He describes the rise of a genre of lifestyle publishing that emerged from a network of small offbeat presses, mostly located on the West Coast. Amateurish and rough in production quality, these popular books and magazines blended Eastern mysticism, Freudian psychology, environmental ecology, and romantic American pastoralism as they offered “expert” advice—about how to be more in touch with the natural world, how to release oneself into trusting relationships with others, and how to delve deeper into the body’s rhythms and natural sensuality. Binkley examines dozens of these publications, including the Whole Earth Catalog, Rainbook, the Catalog of Sexual Consciousness, Celery Wine, Domebook, and Getting Clear.
Drawing on the thought of Pierre Bourdieu, Zygmunt Bauman, and others, Binkley explains how self-loosening narratives helped the middle class confront the modernity of the 1970s. As rapid social change and political upheaval eroded middle-class cultural authority, the looser life provided opportunities for self-reinvention through everyday lifestyle choice. He traces this ethos of self-realization through the “yuppie” 1980s to the 1990s and today, demonstrating that what originated as an emancipatory call to loosen up soon evolved into a culture of highly commercialized consumption and lifestyle branding.
A telling look at today’s “reverse” migration of white, middle-class expats from north to south, through the lens of one South American city
Even as the “migration crisis” from the Global South to the Global North rages on, another, lower-key and yet important migration has been gathering pace in recent years—that of mostly white, middle-class people moving in the opposite direction. Gringolandia is that rare book to consider this phenomenon in all its complexity.
Matthew Hayes focuses on North Americans relocating to Cuenca, Ecuador, the country’s third-largest city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many began relocating there after the 2008 economic crisis. Most are self-professed “economic refugees” who sought offshore retirement, affordable medical care, and/or a lower–cost location. Others, however, sought adventure marked by relocation to an unfamiliar cultural environment and to experience personal growth through travel, illustrative of contemporary cultures of aging. These life projects are often motivated by a desire to escape economic and political conditions in North America.
Regardless of their individual motivations, Hayes argues, such North–South migrants remain embedded in unequal and unfair global social relations. He explores the repercussions on the host country—from rising prices for land and rent to the reproduction of colonial patterns of domination and subordination. In Ecuador, heritage preservation and tourism development reflect the interests and culture of European-descendent landowning elites, who have most to benefit from the new North–South migration. In the process, they participate in transnational gentrification that marginalizes popular traditions and nonwhite mestizo and indigenous informal workers. The contrast between the migration experiences of North Americans in Ecuador and those of Ecuadorians or others from such regions of the Global South in North America and Europe demonstrates that, in fact, what we face is not so much a global “migration crisis” but a crisis of global social justice.
Have you ever wondered what it was like to attend a one-room school, to be in the same classroom as your older brother or younger sister, or to have your teacher live with your family for part of the school year?
In One Room Schools, Susan Apps-Bodilly chronicles life in Wisconsin’s early country schools, detailing the experiences of the students, the role of the teacher, and examples of the curriculum, including the importance of Wisconsin School of the Air radio programs. She describes the duties children had at school besides their schoolwork, from cleaning the erasers and sweeping cobwebs out of the outhouse to carrying in wood for the stove. She also tells what led to the closing of the one room schools, which were more than just centers of learning: they also served as the gathering place for the community.
Susan Apps-Bodilly drew from the research compiled by her father Jerry Apps for his book, One-Room Country Schools: History and Recollections. Apps-Bodilly has geared her book toward young readers who will learn what students and their teacher did on cold mornings before the wood stove warmed them up. They also will find out how to play recess games like Fox and Geese and Anti-I-Over and will learn the locations of 10 former one room schools that can be toured. Apps-Bodilly also encourages readers to ask themselves what lessons can be learned from these early schools that have application for today’s schools?
One Room Schools will transport young readers back in time and make their grandparents and others of that generation nostalgic—perhaps even prompting them to share memories of their school days.
In all societies, the main causes of environmental degradation are resource extraction and the generation of wastes by households and industries. Realistic strategies for mitigating these impacts require an understanding of both the technologies by which resources are transformed into products, and the lifestyle choices that shape household use of such products.
Structural Economics provides a framework for developing and evaluating such strategies. It represents an important new approach to describing household lifestyles and technological choices, the relationships between them, and their impact on resource use and waste. In this volume, economist Faye Duchin provides for the first time an authoritative and comprehensive introduction to the field, including its social as well as its technological dimensions. The presentation is accessible to non-specialists while also including a substantial amount of new research.
Duchin's primary achievement is to integrate a qualitatively rich understanding of technologies and lifestyles into a flexible, quantitative framework grounded in established principles of input-output economics and social accounting. She uses tools and insights from areas as diverse as demography and market research to conceptualize and describe different categories of households and their lifestyles. She also draws on the expertise of engineers and physical scientists to examine the potential for technological change. The framework Duchin develops permits the rigorous and detailed analysis of specific scenarios for alternative technologies and changes in lifestyle. The author uses the case of Indonesia for illustration and to refine new concepts by testing their relevance against factual information.
The new field of structural economics represents an important step forward in the effort to apply the power of science to solving the problems of modern societies. This book should prove invaluable to students and scholars of economics, sociology, or anthropology, as well as environmental scientists, policymakers at all levels, and anyone concerned with a practical interpretation of the elusive concept of sustainable development.
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