soviet union opposing viewpoints

Pros and Cons of the Soviet Life

The Soviet Union
Opposing Viewpoints
Bender and Leone, ed.
1988

All of a sudden I have a bunch of Soviet Union material from the 1980s. The opposing viewpoints series of books is practically a staple of youth/teen nonfiction collections. In 1988, this would have been a great choice. The Cold War dominated news of the 1970s and 1980s. Brezhnev’s death in 1982 marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. So this little book was published at one the most interesting times in history. For the most part, there is a discussion on policies such as human rights, women’s equality, and government.

As this is a collection of essays exploring the pros and cons of Soviet life and government, curated for young people, this doesn’t need to be sitting in a modern youth collection. It might have some value to researchers, it is not original source material, so the information could be culled from other sources. Also, the condition of this book isn’t so great. It is already on life support. I think it is time to go. Actually, it probably should have left in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Mary

air force officer's guide

Air Force Officer’s Guide

The Air Officer’s Guide
The Military Service Publishing Co.
1957

Another Swedish Death Cleaning Find

My dad was a ROTC during college and grad school. This was around 1958 to 1964 or so. This was one of those items from my mom that was in a pile of other stuff. Why it is in my personal library is a mystery. Part of this is my mother can’t abide throwing things out. I have a feeling there is “Mary is a librarian, she would probably want this” type of a discussion. I’m not so sure my sisters have similar random books in their library.

In all fairness, this is kind of interesting. I was obviously too young when my dad was serving so I don’t have much first hand knowledge of military family life. My mom loved the time when my dad served. They were posted in California for about 4 years. No Midwestern winter awfulness.

cover

Blanket Fashion

Quilted Clothing
Laury
1982

As a half-baked fan of sewing and quilting, I can appreciate the skills that these examples show off. I can also appreciate that they are warm enough for the toughest winters. I recognize that my uniform of dresses and cardigans for work hardly make me a fashionista, even among the librarians. I still have to say no to wearing a blanket.

Actually, some of these patterns and color choices would make interesting quilts. However, a nice quilt doesn’t necessarily translate into a great fashion choice. This is right up there with my dislike of remade sweatshirts. (Type sweatshirts into our search box and behold the numerous examples of questionable clothing.)

baby and child care

Alphabetical Baby Care

The Modern Encyclopedia of Baby and Child Care
From Prenatal Care to Adolescence
Vol. 6
Le-Nu
1966

Another find from my Swedish Death Cleaning project

I was in first grade or kindergarten when this was published, so I am pretty sure this wasn’t a book I picked up. I am guessing it was from my mother’s death cleaning and since she can’t abide waste, it probably ended up in a pile of stuff she gave me. For clarity, during my mother’s death cleaning she would shove random boxes of stuff into our hands any time she saw us in person. It was always a surprise.

gettin up when you are feeling down

Down in the Dumps

Getting up when you’re feeling down
A woman’s guide to overcoming and preventing depression
Braiker
1988

Okay, I think we can agree that a book on depression from 1988 is not going to be a helpful choice for a patron in 2020. Like many books from this time, the term depression was used in a less clinical way. Words like the “baby blues” or “feeling down” softened what could be a major depressive disorder. The feminist in me says, of course women are depressed, they have no help and no matter what choice they make with respect to food preparation, child rearing, work in the home, work out of the home, etc. No matter what choice a woman makes it will be criticized. Of course the result is depression and or wanting to kick someone’s ass. Add in the extra helpings of racism and sexism, it is a miracle that most women get up and go to work. (Rant over, thank you for listening.)

power of the pyramid

Mysterious Pyramids

Mysterious Pyramid Power
Ebon, ed
1976

The power of the pyramid is ready to help you manage your life. Pyramid power can do so much: preserve food, sharpen razor blades, and improve health. Really.

Most of the book is a combination of archeology and Egyptology and some notes or diary of a guy sticking stuff under a pyramid to see what happens. Evidently he was able to sharpen his razor and dehydrate organic material. There was also some talk about “orgone energy”. I had no idea what that was but I had a lot of hits from my google search. I actually enjoyed reading the Wikipedia article on Orgone.

This book is a paperback and is holding up pretty well, given its age. I could not read the title given the weird font and color contrast.

when living hurts cover

Teen Depression

When Living Hurts
Gordon
1994

This book is geared to teens facing depression. Because of the age, I would weed this without a second thought. Treatment of depression and other adolescent mental health issues are better understood today. In any material geared to teens and their parents, it is important that this material be as current as possible. Cultural references and technology can age a book very quickly, making it effectively inaccessible to those who need it.

girl talk

How to be a great teen girl

This is basically “how to be a girl” advice for teens. The book is divided into sections such as make-up, hair, hygiene, diets, etc. Once you get all these requirements in place, you are sure to be a successful teen girl.
The book takes an “ABC” approach to organizing topics. I really hate this kind of organization unless you are talking about ABC books, a dictionary, or an encyclopedia. In order to make this work, we have a brief articles (very brief) on topics such as “Xenophobia”, “No-No’s, and “Zest”. My personal favorite was the entry on Menopause. Obviously, this is an important topic for teen girls.