The book was engaging with short pointed chapters and unexpectedly (and perhaps unintentionally) humorous. I would have liked to have heard more from her husband's point of view. I didn't like how extreme her "Chinese parenting" seemed as a "Western parent," and how dismissive she was, but that very dislike made me think more about parenting styles and created discussion among friends.
Rated of 5
by Dorothy M. (Maynard, MA)
A Look at Chinese Parenting
Amy Chua begins her book on the value of Chinese parenting with a list of what her children were never allowed to do - including watch TV or play computer games, have a playdate, or not play the piano or violin. And it includes such parenting tactics as telling her young daughter "If the next time's not PERFECT, I'm going to TAKE ALL YOUR STUFFED ANIMALS AND BURN THEM!." While she seems convinced that Chinese children are ultimately grateful for this kind of parenting, her description of the relationship with her younger daughter doesn't bear this out. While this is an interesting look at a different culture (and they do say this will be the century of the Chinese), I think most American parents will find it more disturbing than prescriptive. But there are a lot of really wonderful Chinese musicians and mathematicians.
Rated of 5
by Cynthia B. (Puyallup, WA)
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
I'm torn on what rating to apply here - on one hand, I was deeply engrossed in the book and read it in one sweep which would indicate a high score - on the other hand, I am so vehemently opposed to the author's views that the majority of that score is negated. Objectively speaking, I believe that this book would evoke great discussions amongst reading groups. Having said that, I cringe while thinking of my own group who got into a heated debate over Marie Antoinette. Imagine what they would do over Eastern vs. Western practices of child-rearing. Holy cow, I'll have to hire security! In any case, I've started a fan club for Lulu - Go Team Lulu!
Rated of 5
by Katherine Y. (Albuquerque, NM)
Interesting Ideas for Book Group Discussions
While I disliked the author and her "Chinese parenting" techniques - I found myself ultimately sympathetic to what she was trying to do for her daughters. Some of the points made are simplistic (e.g. I am not sure that the children's book "The Five Chinese Brothers" is the best example the author could have cited on Chinese child-rearing techniques). I read many passages to my daughter as examples of how lucky she is to have sane, rational parent. While I would not recommend this book to a friend, book groups could have lots of interesting discussion about the benefits of pushing your children as the author does and it was an easy, engaging read.
Rated of 5
by Gwendolyn D. (Houston, TX)
Raising Children the Chinese Way
This book is Amy Chua's story about raising her daughters "the Chinese way." Chua explains how she was relentlessly strict with her daughters in order to get them to excel at school and music. She contrasts her method with "the Western way" of raising children. This contrast existed even in Chua's own family, as her husband Jed often disagreed with her methods: "I was already at a disadvantage because I had an American husband who believed that childhood should be fun."
Personally, I do not agree with Chua's harsh practices (including calling her children "garbage" and threatening to burn all their toys). Chua's descriptions of her daughters' punishing music practice schedules made me cringe. Fortunately, Chua learned to lighten up by the end of the book, but the first 150 pages are difficult to read. I feel sorry for Chua's children.
Rated of 5
by Vicky S. (Torrance, CA)
Keeping An Open Mind
I was at times fascinated and appalled by Amy's recounting or her parenting wondering at times if she suffered from OCD. I also had to constantly keep an open mind and not condemn her culturally different parenting. Book clubs could feast on this book with rich discussions of the Western vs Chinese or Asian way of raising children. Could we really achieve much more if we were pushed hard and would we appreciate it later? I've shared the subject of this book with many others who are interested in reading it. The writing was a bit awkward at times which is why I gave it a 3.
Rated of 5
by Sadie PDX OR
Who is the audience?
As I read this book, I found myself repeatedly asking, "For whom is this written?" Its marketing copy seems to suggest this would be a memoir hybrid of sorts providing readers with insight re: the cultural differences between Chinese and Western parenting styles. But really it's more of a detailed chronology of the author's values, her accomplishments, and what she demands of her children. There wasn't enough info re: the motivation behind the values described. I really wanted to learn something & I found myself first disappointed and then bored. As a bookseller, I don't feel there is enough of interest to intrigue readers.
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...