Thursday, December 27, 2018

"Educated", on the NYT best seller list for 44 weeks...

Curious about this book, it was finally picked up.  Now I am still curious.  This memoir has become one of those best sellers that won't let go.  Is that because it is a straightforward and easily accessible narrative that delves into a seldom seen world?  This story is about a survivalist family in rural Idaho, estranged from society by choice, attempting self sufficiency with home schooling and herbal medicines.  Rough behavior is the norm and women often come out on the short end of that.  The family is Mormon, but seemingly taking basic premises to mind boggling extremes.

Various reviews have been looked at post reading, and some seem apologetically to like the book while others fawn over it.  One commentary by Bill Gates was well written and interesting, and it put a human touch on the author, Tara Westover.  That was needed here, but still there are lingering thoughts.  The book often seems scripted, too much of a roller coaster ride, haunting beatings to school in Paris, desperate poverty to an education at Cambridge, binge watching the Walking Dead to hours spent reading Hume, Rousseau, and Mill.

This must all be accurate on the surface, but somehow I wonder.  Is the fact that J.D. Vance is the lead blurb praise on the cover saying something.  Did everything in "Educated" happen to somebody in a tableau of a life but is the memoir completely true.  It ends with what feels here like a "new age" take on psychology that makes perception of the self true by definition.

That's the question here, unclear.  And with that, the book was interesting, cringe worthy, and thought provoking.


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