I’ve read a bit of Lesley Arfin’s Vice column as well as a number of her thought catalog articles, although she is not someone that I follow religiously. This is such an interesting project and it makes me wish I had kept a diary so I could do something similar.
Essentially Lesley Arfin includes entries from her diary beginning in middle school up until College graduation. She annotates her entries with updates, interviews with the people mentioned and expert hindsight regarding certain events. Her entries deal with everything from crushes to being bullied, first boyfriends to ugly breakups, as well as her descent into drug use and addiction. It’s a bold move to publish the things you wrote as an angsty teenager, but Lesley takes it in stride and provides a really insightful look at growing up.
While I cant’ really identify with a lot of Lesley’s experiences, I think that there are definitely some girls out there who do, and should read Dear Diary to know that their not alone. Arfin mentions that this is one of the propelling forces behind her deciding to publish this book, and it’s a good call. Throughout her diary entries Arfin often notes how alone she feels, and if there a girls going through the same things that Arfin struggled with, it would be reassuring to know that they’re not alone.
I don’t want to start any controversy or get into any arguments surrounding religion. I will say that while I’m not sure if I agree with everything that Richard Dawkins is saying in his book, he does a great job of ripping apart organized religion.
As a typical middle-aged British man, Dawkins writes in a dry snarky and sarcastic way that I love and identify with. He does not however, come off as being an “angry” atheist and merely prefers to point out the absurd things that people have done, often in the name of religion.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that his tactic was to use humour rather than to write a lengthy angry diatribe on religion. (He uses Fawlty Towers and Monty Python to illustrate examples and drive his points home). He included some of the hate mail he has received from religious extremists and responds to them with great even-temperament and humour, often times asking obvious questions, (If God is all powerful, why does he need you to defend him with violence?)
Whether or not you agree with Dawkins’ views, I highly recommend the book. It is a critical look at organized religion done in a very inoffensive way. (Although I know some people find it offensive, I fell like more moderate people would not). It’s funny and Dawkins does not take himself too seriously at all.