Friday, January 24, 2014

Review Me Twice - Shouting Won't Help by Katherine Bouton

I always like it when my co-blogger puts a non-fiction book on our list.  She almost always picks books on subjects I probably wouldn't read on my own (Tudor England?  I'm all over it.  The epidemic of people losing their hearing?  Not so much.)

I was excited to read Bouton's book, because the truth is, I really know NOTHING about hearing loss in America, or anywhere for that matter.  And Bouton manages to make the book deeply personal and informative at the same time.  There are millions of people losing their hearing and here's the secret: most of them aren't what you would consider old.

I really like that Bouton addresses the fact that hearing loss is such a problem, such an underfunded problem, and all the stigmas that come with it.  Hearing is probably one of the only sensory losses that we try to sweep under the rug, giving the impression that there's something to be ashamed of.  Bouton points out that even the hearing aid companies propagate this idea, showing off all the hearing aids that you can hide.

While I liked what Bouton told me, sometimes HOW she told it to me was a bit much.  It got really facts heavy (not to mention every time she mentioned this guy from John's Hopkins she referred to him by his full, two line long title.)  Sometimes, I just had to skim because the information she was giving to me just wasn't that interesting.

My favorite part, however, were all the individual stories she got and put at the end of the chapters.  They were interesting and endearing and really allowed you to understand the different ranges of hearing loss.  Overall, I did enjoy the book and I'm glad Alex made me pick it up.

Non-fiction is - as you've probably realized by now - not my usual, but nice. (Dr. Horrible, anyone? Anyone?)

But every once in a while, I run across a book at the library while I'm helping a student find resources for their papers, and I decide that I should read it. This is one of those books, and I'm glad it jumped out at me. (Not literally... I've had that happen, but not with this one.)

I had the same problem Cassy had with the heaviness of the information sometimes, finding myself skimming. That really just means that - if you skim - it makes a good leisure reading book that doubles as a great resource for academic research on the topic. Those are pretty rare, I've found. (Another good example of one of those is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebekka Skloot.)

Definitely not a re-reader (but for me, most non-fiction isn't) but also definitely a book I'm glad I picked up.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Dr Horrible reference. And an interesting review. I don't really read non fiction much either but every now and then one strikes me.