Saturday, July 31, 2010

15 Biggest Bestsellers EVER after the Bible

The Huffington Post just published a list of the 15 best selling books ever, after the Bible. You can check out their article HERE.

1. Quotations from Chairman Mao
2. The Qur'an
3. Xinhua Dictionary
4. The Book of Mormon
5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
6. And Then There Were None
7. Lord of the Rings
8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
9. The DaVinci Code
10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
11. The Catcher in the Rye
12. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
14. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabahn
15. Ben Hur

What? No Twilight?

Friday, July 30, 2010

What I'm Reading Now

A tinker is a mender, and in Harding’s spellbinding debut, he imagines the old, mendable horse-and-carriage world. The objects of the past were more readily repaired than our electronics, but the living world was a mystery, as it still is, as it always will be. And so in this rhapsodic novel of impending death, Harding considers humankind’s contrary desires to conquer the “imps of disorder” and to be one with life, fully meshed within the great glimmering web. In the present, George lies on his death bed in the Massachusetts house he built himself, surrounded by family and the antique clocks he restores. George loves the precision of fine timepieces, but now he is at the mercy of chaotic forces and seems to be channeling his late father, Howard, a tinker and a mystic whose epileptic seizures strike like lightning. Howard, in turn, remembers his “strange and gentle” minister father. Each man is extraordinarily porous to nature and prone to becoming “unhitched” from everyday human existence and entering a state of ecstasy, even transcendence. Writing with breathtaking lyricism and tenderness, Harding has created a rare and beautiful novel of spiritual inheritance and acute psychological and metaphysical suspense. --Donna Seaman

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Men Hurt by Sexism, Too

You can read the complete text of author Greta Christina's "5 Stupid, Unfair and Sexist Things Expected of Men" HERE (and I hope you will), but below is her list:

1. Fight, fight, fight!

2. Be a good husband/partner/lover -- but don't care too much what women think.

3. Be hot to trot. Always. With anybody.

4. Stiff upper lip.

5. Fear being perceived as gay.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Film on Friday

Summer's slipping past me, and I'm trying to enjoy the last few weeks of freedom. And even though I should have been working on my JASNA paper, I decided to take yesterday off and go to Little Rock, shop a little, have a nice lunch, and see a movie at Market Street. My choice was Winter's Bone, winner of the 2010 Sundance Grand Jury Prize:

Living in the Ozark back country, seventeen year old Ree Dolly acts as the primary caregiver to her mentally ill mother, and her two younger siblings, twelve year old Sonny and six year old Ashlee. Her father, Jessup Dolly, is generally absent from their lives, he who earns a living primarily by running a methamphetamine lab. Without money from Jessup, Ree is barely able to make ends meet, and depends on the kindness of their neighbor, Sonya, to do so. Ree learns that her father is scheduled for a court appearance for his illegal activities, and he has skipped bail, putting their house and property up as bond. No one seems to know where Jessup is. Ree has to try and find Jessup to make sure that he shows up for his court appearance, otherwise they risk losing their home. As Ree goes on her quest, she finds that people seem to know more about his whereabouts than they are letting on, including her uncle Teardrop of whom she is scared. Rumors abound that Jessup is dead, but a dead father without a body does not help her cause. But Ree's persistence in finding out what happened to Jessup makes her come face to face with the code of silence for which some are willing to kill.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Less is More

I've got a new cookbook, and I'm absolutely loving it. It's called Small-Batch Baking by Debby Maugans Nakos. I like home-made breads, but my husband doesn't; and we both like baked goods, but we don't often like the same things. So a regular recipe of pumpkin muffins or chocolate walnut brownies is just too much for me. Either I feel bad about wasting them, or even worse, eat more than I want/need simply because they are there. Even when we both want chocolate chip cookies, we don't need 24 of them. Two or three apiece will do. Now that I've found this cookbook, my problems are over.

The book has recipes for breads that are baked in a 3x5 loaf pan, muffin recipes that make only 4 muffins, a chocolate chip cookie recipe that makes 6 cookies, and a brownie recipe that makes just 3 brownies. Nakos included recipes for single-serving cakes, small pies and tarts, even some holiday treats. I've tried three or four of the recipes so far, and all of them were simple and delicious.

Another great thing about being able to bake only a few decadent brownies or moist muffins is that I've found that when I appease my cravings with something that's really delicious, I'm satisfied with much less. Also, knowing I can whip up another batch whenever a craving hits defeats that "gotta eat it all now because there won't ever be any more" mentality.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What I'm Reading Now

I know this one's been around for a while, but better late than never.

From Publishers Weekly

Schlosser's incisive history of the development of American fast food indicts the industry for some shocking crimes against humanity, including systematically destroying the American diet and landscape, and undermining our values and our economy. The first part of the book details the postwar ascendance of fast food from Southern California, assessing the impact on people in the West in general. The second half looks at the product itself: where it is manufactured (in a handful of enormous factories), what goes into it (chemicals, feces) and who is responsible (monopolistic corporate executives). In harrowing detail, the book explains the process of beef slaughter and confirms almost every urban myth about what in fact "lurks between those sesame seed buns." Given the estimate that the typical American eats three hamburgers and four orders of french fries each week, and one in eight will work for McDonald's in the course of their lives, few are exempt from the insidious impact of fast food. Throughout, Schlosser fires these and a dozen other hair-raising statistical bullets into the heart of the matter. While cataloguing assorted evils with the tenacity and sharp eye of the best investigative journalist, he uncovers a cynical, dismissive attitude to food safety in the fast food industry and widespread circumvention of the government's efforts at regulation enacted after Upton Sinclair's similarly scathing novel exposed the meat-packing industry 100 years ago. By systematically dismantling the industry's various aspects, Schlosser establishes a seminal argument for true wrongs at the core of modern America. (Jan.) Forecast: This book will find a healthy, young audience; it's notable that the Rolling Stone article on which this book was based generated more reader mail than any other piece the magazine ran in the 1990s.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Say What?

Shelf Awareness posted these customer comments twittered by book store employees. Enjoy!

Apparently, quite a few customers just didn't pay attention in school:

"Do you have (pause, consult reading list) Hamlet? It's by (pause, consult list again) Shakespeare?"

Overheard: "Can you tell me who the author of Shakespeare is?"

"Do you have Shakespeare in English?"

"I'm looking for a book but I only know the title, not the author. It's called Dante's Inferno."

"Who wrote Jane Austen?"

Watermarkbooks had a summer-long Jane Austen bookclub. I had someone ask when she would be there.

"Where do yall keep the true fiction?"

"I definitely don't want nonfiction. I like autobiographies and history."

Then there's those memorably weird (sometimes unsettling) queries:

"Do you have books on monkeys, monkeys doing things like people?" (turns out they wanted monkeys having sex)

“This is the only bookstore I've ever been in that didn't have a popcorn machine."

"I'm here for a Bible, not the KJV or anything. I'm looking for the original. You know the one that God wrote."

"My new girlfriend is pretty churchy. Would a Gutenberg Bible be a good gift?"

"Do you have any books with red covers? I'm redecorating my living room in red."

Cust asks about return policy so I ask her why.... "Well if I don't lose weight I should be able to return the book right?"

"I'm looking for white supremacy books. I tried to order them and they were stopped at the border. Can you imagine?!"

"What do you mean? Why can't I leave my 3-5 yo (unattended) in your shop while I go next door?!?"

Customer asks where 'nonfiction' is. I say it's broken up into history/bio etc. She calls us a bad bookstore. Really?

And that saying about how "the customer is always right"? Not so much.

My favorite mistaken title: The Glass Menage a Trois.


Woman asked for CRUCIBLE, I gave it to her, she said "not the screenplay. The REAL one."

2nd week as bkseller, lady looking for the KITE WALKER. Was pissed when I suggested that KITE RUNNER might be a quicker read.

Oooo Ooo - Tillers of the Earth. Was completely insulted when I suggested she might be looking for Pillars of the Earth.

"Do you have Atlas Rugged?". "Uh. No, don't you mean Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand?". "No. I need Atlas Rugged."

Sometimes, these experiences lead to rewarding moments of win:

"I'm looking for a book. It had a chicken on the cover & my sister really liked it." Total WIN. With no more info, we found it.

"Do you have those mystery novels by Angela Lansbury?" I said yes and showed him the books by "Jessica Fletcher." He was happy.

And perhaps my favorite:

Someone once told me that the US government classified ANGELS & DEMONS as fiction to help the Vatican with the cover-up.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My New Listen

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
By: Stieg Larsson
Narrated by Simon Vance
Random House Audio
20 hours 20 minutes

Publisher's Summary

The stunning third and final novel in Stieg Larsson's internationally best-selling trilogy.

Lisbeth Salander - the heart of Larsson's two previous novels - lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She's fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she'll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge - against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Still on Course

During the previous year, I posted a lot about simplifying. I haven't abandoned my quest for simplicity, even if I haven't been writing much about it. I have been moving forward, but only in stages.

I tried several strategies at first, and they really helped. But then work or life would interfere, and although I'd keep trying to do those things (with varying levels of success), I'd sort of hang there for a while. Then, I guess the muse would visit or the spirit would move, and I'd clean out another closet or implement some new practice on the path to simplicity. Two steps forward, one step back.

One of the main things I've been trying to do is to get rid of stuff. It's amazing how many possessions one person can accumulate, and sometimes it's hard to let go of even things I don't really like or hardly ever use. (But it was a gift! But I might use it one day! yada yada yada) But those extra things just weigh me down and stress me out. A lot.

But I've been on a roll again lately, and some advice in an article by Martha Beck titled "The Joy Dividend" has been very helpful to me. She offers this advice as a way to help you decide whether or not to purchase things. But it's also really great for helping decide which things to keep as you purge your possessions. Here's her plan, with my addition in parentheses:

1. Top Dollar Items: "I really NEED it, and I really LOVE it." (Definitely keep it)
2. Bottom Dollar Items: "I really NEED it, but I don't really LOVE it." (Keep it, but no multiples)
3. Remaining Dollar Items: "I don't really NEED it, but I really LOVE it." (Keep it)
4. No Dollar Items: "I don't really NEED it, and I don't really LOVE it." (Toss it)

Beck explains that she uses capital letters for need and love to push the definitions further than we usually take them. If I stay true to her heightened definition of the word, more and more items will end up in category 4, and I buy or keep only things that have true value for me.

I like this system. It certainly makes shopping easier, and I've found it especially helpful in streamlining my closet. It helps me get rid of everything I don't really love wearing--those gifts that don't fit well, those things that I don't really feel comfortable in but hang onto because I remember exactly how much I paid for them, those articles that hang there season after season but I never seem to get around to wearing.

I'm moving ahead. Progress, not perfection.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Movie Day Book Club

This past Tuesday was the monthly meeting of the Movie Day Book Club. Last month, we read Home by Marilynne Robinson, and we both really enjoyed it. Robinson's writing is just beautiful, and she explores complicated human issues with both wisdom and respect for the intricate relationship between reality and mystery. But as much as I enjoyed Home, it didn't come near the beauty of her previous book Gilead. Now that book is on my short-list of best novels of all time.

We weren't as pleased with our movie choice this time. It was okay, I guess, but not one I'd really recommend. Here's the synopsis:

ONDINE is a lyrical modern fairy tale that tells the story of Syracuse (Colin Farrell), an Irish fisherman whose life is transformed when he catches a beautiful and mysterious woman (Alicja Bachleda) in his nets. She says her name is Ondine, which means "she came from the sea". His daughter Annie (Alison Barry) comes to believe that the woman is a selkie, a magical seal/woman creature, while Syracuse falls helplessly in love. In the Celtic myth, a selkie is able to become human by taking off her seal coat, and can return to seal form by putting it back on. However, like all fairy tales, enchantment and darkness go hand in hand. Annie hopes that Ondine has come to live on land for 7 years and that she can use her selkie wish to cure Annie's kidney failure. Whenever Ondine is onboard Syracuse's fishing boat, she sings a siren song, and his nets and lobster pots are full of fish and seafood in tremendous numbers hard to believe. However, being Irish, Syracuse (or "Circus" the nickname he is trying to outlive, one he has earned for his previous hard drinking ways) is mistrustful of good luck, with it comes bad. Is Ondine really a selkie, will she stay, can love be trusted? What is Ondine's real secret? And who is the menacing man lurking around town spying on her? Is he her selkie husband come to claim her back to the sea?

Sounds like a beautiful story, right? And it is, in a way. The scenery is breathtaking, and the story, at least in the first half-or-so, is magical. But Farrell's Irish accent is almost impossible to understand, which makes it very difficult to follow the story, and the film has an abrupt change in tone. The end just doesn't seem to go with the beginning.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another Anniversary

One year ago today, I defended my dissertation and became Dr. Eddleman. I don't think I've quite recovered yet.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Today is the second anniversary of Pointed Meanderings. In keeping with a tradition begun last year, I'm re-running the inaugural post.

Just a glimpse

Last year, I took a class in Writing Creative Nonfiction at Ole Miss. One of our first assignments was to write a memoir; one limited in scope, of course, but covering an event of obvious significance in our lives.

When it comes to writing, I'm not usually a procrastinator. Maybe that comes from being a non-traditional undergrad student who was too afraid that if she put off writing a paper until the day before it was due, one or all of her children would wake up with projectile vomiting and uncontrollable diahhrea, or maybe I just realized that my brain works better if I allow myself time to let ideas take root and grow. Either way, I was always the student who started writing the day after the paper was assigned. (You can probably already tell I have control issues.)

I've written many critical analysis papers, even some fiction and poetry. But the thought of putting my life on paper for others to see left me reluctant even to turn on my laptop, much less to begin trying to find words and shape sentences that would lay myself bare to a classroom full of critics and a demanding professor. Then finally, after producing what I thought was a no-holds barred expose', the most often-repeated response to my memoir was, "You left out what we most want to know!"

This is not a new problem for me. I've started multiple diaries and journals only to either abandon them because the introspection required was too painful (you have to be honest with yourself when you are your only audience) or because I was afraid that someone would find my words and actually read them. Yet, all my life the words that others were brave enough to write have given me great joy. I have no illustions that my words here will illuminate anyone's life or bring joy to the multitudes. I simply want to gain the courage to speak, to reveal myself, but I must admit, at first it will probably be only in small glimpses. That's enough for me now.

Who Do You Write Like?

I Write Like...

Below are the results of analysis of my text. Analyze your text?

My Badge

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I've spent a lot of my time this summer reading for pleasure, and it's been fun. However, all good things must come to an end. Last Fall, I sent off a proposal for the 2010 JASNA general meeting, and it was accepted. Now I've got to write the paper. By August 1. Sigh.

The conference isn't until October, but if I hope to have them publish it I have to submit it for consideration early, and why do the work and not attempt to have it published?

Here's my proposal:

Henry Tilney: Austen’s Feminized Hero?

In Northanger Abbey, Austen praises the novel form as she satirizes elements of the gothic novel, particularly the female gothic: the castle; the atmosphere of mystery and suspense; the inexplicable events; the powerful, tyrannical male; the woman in distress. Jane Spencer and other critics have noted an additional element: the weak hero. These critics claim that, in the eighteenth-century female gothic novel, the heroine triumphs over male authoritarianism by marriage to a “feminized hero,” achieving a union “where womanly virtue and patriarchal authority are no longer in conflict” (Rise of the Woman Novelist, 207).

This paper will explore the character of Henry Tilney as Austen’s clever acknowledgement and rebuttal of this feminization of the hero. Austen does “feminize” Henry. He is well aware of accepted female behaviors—“their delightful habit of journalizing,” for instance—and is eloquently able to describe the contents of the perfect feminine journal entry (NA 27). He “understands muslins . . . particularly well” and has often been entrusted with the choice of his sister’s gowns (28). He’s an avid reader of novels, although Catherine assumes that women read novels while “gentlemen read better books” (106). Yet Austen, in her other novels, discourages even hints of effeminacy and champions virtuous masculinity. So, how should readers view Henry’s “feminization”? Austen’s other heroines triumph, not by acquiring weak, feminized husbands, but by securing one who is both manly and virtuous. Is this true for Catherine also?

It's time to put up or shut up, I guess.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Booking It--Discussion

Do you have friends and family to share books with? Discuss them with? Does it matter to you?

It does matter to me.

My oldest son is the only other reader in the family, and we do talk about books, but we are not often reading the same one. So, earlier this year a friend and I decided to choose one book a month to read. On a certain day each month, we drive to Little Rock to have a nice lunch and discuss the novel. Afterwards, we go to Market Street and see a film. Then, we discuss the film on the drive back.

It's a great system. We used to say, "We need to go see a movie sometime" or "We ought to have a book club," but it never happened Having a particular day set aside for it causes us to put it on our calenders and take it seriously. We're discussing our third novel this week--Home, by Marilynne Robinson.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My New Listen

The Girl Who Played with Fire
Steig Larsson
Narrated by Simon Vance
Publisher: Random House Audio
18 hrs and 38 mins
Lisbeth Salander is a wanted woman. Two Millennium journalists about to expose the truth about the sex trade in Sweden are brutally murdered, and Salander's prints are on the weapon. Her history of unpredictable and vengeful behaviour makes her an official danger to society - but no-one can find her anywhere. Meanwhile, Mikael Blomkvist, editor-in-chief of Millennium, will not believe what he hears on the news. Knowing Salander to be fierce when fearful, he is desperate to get to her before she is cornered and alone. As he fits the pieces of the puzzle together, he comes up against some hardened criminals, including the chainsaw-wielding 'blond giant' - a fearsomely huge thug who can feel no pain. Digging deeper, Blomkvist also unearths some heart-wrenching facts about Salander's past life. Committed to psychiatric care aged 12, declared legally incompetent at 18, this is a messed-up young woman who is the product of an unjust and corrupt system. Yet Lisbeth is more avenging angel than helpless victim - descending on those that have hurt her with a righteous anger terrifying in its intensity and truly wonderful in its outcome.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Been There, Done That

I don't teach history, but English teachers have days like this, too. Click on this LINK and enjoy. Thanks, Eddy, for sharing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


According to DC Comics, the 69-year-old Wonder Woman is getting a makeover. They said they are trying to "toughen her up, and give her a modern sensibility."

Well, I don't know about that, but she's certainly not showing as much skin.

You can read more about it HERE.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What's Good for the Goose

I had a post a while back on Barbie's 50th birthday that included a translation of the doll's size over to an average-height female body. Barbie, in real life, would measure 36-15-33, an unrealistic size that would require the removal of a bone and would have too low a percentage of fat to allow for menstruation and pregnancy.

But guess what? Guys are being hit with unrealistic standards, too. Rhodes reports in Beauty Bias that "GI Joe has grown increasingly muscular, and current proportions, translated in a man of normal height, would work out to a 55-inch chest, 27-inch biceps, and a 29-inch waist."

Guys, you'd better get to the gym. Like, yesterday.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Statistics, Education, & Women

These statistics come from an article by Hanna Rosin in the July/August 2010 issue of The Atlantic:

  • Earlier this year, for the first time in American history, the balance of the workforce tipped toward women, who now hold a majority of the nation's jobs.
  • For every two men who will receive a B.A. this year, three women will do the same
  • Of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the U.S., all but two are occupied primarily by women.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now hold 51.4% of managerial and professional jobs--up from 26.1% in 1980.
  • Women make up 54% of all accountants and hold about half of all banking and insurance jobs.
  • About 1/3 of American physicians are now women, as are 45% of associates in law firms--and both of those percentages are rising fast.
  • Only 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and the number has never risen much above that.
  • While female CEOs may be rare in America's largest companies, they are highly prized: last year, they outearned their male counterparts by 43%, on average, and received bigger raises.
  • Women now earn 60% of master's degrees, about half of all law and medical degrees, and 42% of all MBAs. Most important, women earn almost 60% of all bachelor's degrees.
  • In a stark reversal since the 1970's, men are now more likely than women to hold only a high-school diploma.
  • Women ages 25 to 34 with only a high-school diploma currently have a median income of $25,747, while men in the same position earn $32,469.
  • [Many colleges and universities are] tipping toward 60% women, a level many admissions officers worry could permanently shift the atmosphere and reputation of a school.
  • This is the first time that the cohort of Americans ages 30-44 has more college-educated women than college-educated men.
  • In 1970, women contributed 2-6% of the family income. Now the typical working wife brings home 42.2%, and 4 in 10 mothers--many of them single mothers--are the primary breadwinners in their family.
  • In 1970, 84% of women ages 30-44 were married; now 60% are. In 2007, among American women without a high-school diploma, 43% were married.
Very interesting . . .

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Latest Listen

Far from the Madding Crowd

By Thomas Hardy

Narrated by John Lee

Publisher: Tantor Media

13 hours 52 minutes

Publisher's Summary

Gabriel Oak is only one of three suitors for the hand of the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene. He must compete with the dashing young soldier Sergeant Troy and the respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. And while their fates depend upon the choice Bathsheba makes, she discovers the terrible consequences of an inconstant heart.

Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy's novels to give the name Wessex to the landscape of southwest England and the first to gain him widespread popularity as a novelist. Set against the backdrop of the unchanging natural cycle of the year, the story both upholds and questions rural values with a startlingly modern sensibility.

Thomas Hardy brings us an England that once existed but no more. It is rural, traditional, pastoral - a society of mannered conduct that flows like a deep river where powerful currents eddy and swirl. In this powerful novel of love and disillusion, Hardy's heroine is torn between the three men in her life. Passionate but capricious, her romantic involvements have fascinated generations of readers.

It was as a poet that Hardy wished to be remembered, but today critics regard his novels as an even more memorable contribution to English literature for their psychological insight, their instinctive delineation of English character, and their profound presentation of great tragedy.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

50th Anniversary

Happy 50th Anniversary to my parents!

Jimmie Franklin and Martha Duke Manley are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on July 3, 2010. The couple was married at the home of the bride’s parents in Marianna, Arkansas. They have two children: Stephanie M. (Terry) Eddleman of Searcy and Franklin (Shawn) Manley of Aubrey. Their grandchildren are Travis, Abby, and Trent Eddleman, Marci and Randal Manley, Mason Maynard and Tanner Henley. Mr. and Mrs. Manley have lived the majority of their married life in Aubrey where they have been active in farming and a laser land-leveling business.

The children of Mr. and Mrs. Manley invite all family and friends to attend a come-and-go reception honoring their parents on Sunday, July 11, 2010, between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00 at the Marianna Community House.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What I'm Reading Now

"'It hurts to be beautiful' has been a cliche for centuries. What has been far less appreciated is how much it hurts not to be beautiful. The Beauty Bias explores our cultural preoccupation with attractiveness, the costs it imposes, and the responses it demands.

Beauty may be only skin deep, but the damages associated with its absence go much deeper. Unattractive individuals are less likely to be hired and promoted, and are assumed less likely to have desirable traits, such as goodness, kindness, and honesty. Three quarters of women consider appearance important to their self image and over a third rank it as the most important factor.

Although appearance can be a significant source of pleasure, its price can also be excessive, not only in time and money, but also in physical and psychological health. Our annual global investment in appearance totals close to $200 billion. Many individuals experience stigma, discrimination, and related difficulties, such as eating disorders, depression, and risky dieting and cosmetic procedures. Women bear a vastly disproportionate share of these costs, in part because they face standards more exacting than those for men, and pay greater penalties for falling short.

The Beauty Bias explores the social, biological, market, and media forces that have contributed to appearance-related problems, as well as feminism's difficulties in confronting them. The book also reviews why it matters. Appearance-related bias infringes fundamental rights, compromises merit principles, reinforces debilitating stereotypes, and compounds the disadvantages of race, class, and gender. Yet only one state and a half dozen localities explicitly prohibit such discrimination. The Beauty Bias provides the first systematic survey of how appearance laws work in practice, and a compelling argument for extending their reach. The book offers case histories of invidious discrimination and a plausible legal and political strategy for addressing them. Our prejudices run deep, but we can do far more to promote realistic and healthy images of attractiveness, and to reduce the price of their pursuit."