Last night while watching the "30 Greatest Women in Music" countdown on ABC-TV*, I kept thinking how did we get here? How did we move from the women musicians of my youth - Cher, Karen Carpenter and Pat Benatar to the stars of today Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Katy Perry? It seems like I missed something along the way. Am I beginning to show my age and - gasp - become irrelevant?
Speaking of missing something along the way the books I am selecting for my January book club help fill in those gaps. I was born in 1962 and am roughly the same age as Debora L. Spar the author of the book Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection. In her book Spar explores how women's lives evolved since the 70's (remember that Enjoli commercial where the heroine struts home from work in a tight skirt singing, "I can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan. And never forget you're a man. Cause I'm a woman. Enjoli") to where they are today - spinning in an endless quest for perfection. This book is guaranteed to lead to some interesting conversations.
My next selection is George Packer's The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. I mentioned in a previous post I've been reading this book and continue to be amazed how the lives of American citizens have changed over the past three decades. I'm still not completely sure I've gotten my arms around the message of this book or how I want to write about it, but I feel it is an important book to read. Here is a blurb from inside the book's cover:
The Unwinding portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer working, its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation.
* You can find the complete list of "30 Greatest Women in Music" here.
Have you read any of these books? If so, what were your thoughts? Do you have any recommendations to help better understand how the world has changed over the past 40 years?