43 Books – Battle Hymn of A Tiger Mother

As part of my 43 Things Before 43, I am reading 43 books.

Here is the list as it stands now.

1. Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother {finished November 2011} – I read this book in 3 days with a baby. Needless to say, I found it hard to put down.

I’m surprised because I didn’t think I would like it based on some of the talk on Twitter and book reviews. A lot of people clearly didn’t read the book and relied on pull quotes, when taken out of context, make the author sound like a crazy ogre.

What did I like about it?

Amy Chua is funny and quite direct in her approach both in parenting and in writing. I found her writing style to be engaging  and easy to read. Plus she’s pretty self-reflective and sees her ways as extreme. At least she’s not fooling herself. Plus, she’s not asking you to raise your kids the Chinese way.

Would I want to be friends with her if I met her?

Maybe. She’s a bit intense, but I can be too. She is funny and self-reflective and truly only wants what is best for her kids. Although she may be a bit harsh for my taste. I probably would end up telling her that “thoughts are for inside” – rough translation: dude, stop being so harsh.

Do I agree with all of her methods?

Absolutely not. In some cases she just sounds cruel.

On the other hand, I do agree a lot of parents take the easy way out. Nothing is more frustrating as a teacher than to be the only one seemingly invested in a student’s success. Somethings take practice and practice isn’t always fun.

Truth be told, I may have been a bit of a “tiger teacher” my first few years. While my actions didn’t measure up to Chua’s, these were my students, not my own children. We both shared high expectations for our young people and in the process aren’t very popular.

This book is definitely NOT a parenting or child care book, but a memoir.

I definitely recommend reading this book. Please skip the reviews (except mine, of course) and read it for yourself.

Have you read Hymn of A Tiger Mother? What did you think?

Do you have any books you loved and think I should read?

7 thoughts on “43 Books – Battle Hymn of A Tiger Mother

  1. funny enough she attended the same middle school that my son attends! and I think she may have graduated from Elcerrito high. With all the negative hype about my son’s middle school I think it’s odd that she attended there! Maybe we could get her as a guest speaker or get some positive publicity!

    • hannah: i wanted to see what all the fuss was about. i couldn’t imagine she was the ogre the press made her out to be. intense for sure, but i truly believe she is trying her best. a bit crazy at times, yes.

      also know i read it not from a mama standpoint, but with my teacher hat on mostly. boy, let me tell you, my job would be waaaaaaaaaay easier if everyone put this much emphasis on excellence. then i could put on my easy-breezy – let’s figure out how to chill hat on.

      i’d love to know what you think.

  2. I haven’t read it myself but it sounds really interesting. I was also initially appalled by the media portrayal of her methods, but I’ve also read a lot of defenders and clarification from Chua herself that they really sensationalized it a lot. She doesn’t sound too different from many of my friends’ mothers. I’d be interested in reading it because I was raised by Chinese parents (recent immigrants, no less), but my mom was nowhere near a tiger.

    Oh, and I just thought you’d like to know that I recently picked up The Happiness Project and plan to read it over the holidays. :) As far as recommendations, I’ve been reading a lot of funny ladies lately…Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, Samantha Bee. I like Fey the best, though Kaling is a fun read (albeit light), and I’m not too far into Bee’s book yet.

    • angeline: i would LOVE to know your take on it especially given your background. please let me know if you read it.

      i LOVED the happiness project so, so, so much. i’ve already read it 3 times and have highlighted my copy. it turns out, i have a lot in common with the author. she and i apparently are nuts in a lot of the same ways. both comforting and appalling. my bff – HATED it. so again, i’d love to hear your thoughts.

      thanks for the funny lady books. i have already read tina fey (liked, didn’t love. although snort-laughed-out-loud several times). hmmm, maybe i need to rethink my like versus love because of the laughing….

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