Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hilary Levey Friedman

Hilary Levey Friedman is a Harvard sociologist and expert on popular culture encompassing childhood and parenting, competitive afterschool activities, beauty pageants, reality TV, education and more.

Her new book is Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture.

Late last month I asked Levey Friedman about what she was reading.  Her reply:
I am a voracious reader and always have been (in middle school when this became quantified through a program called Accelerated Reader I won “Reader of the Year” every year and made it onto the programs “International Honor Roll,” even writing reading comprehension tests for new books). So far in 2013 I have read 63 books, which means I’m averaging about two books per week.

This makes sense given that at any time I am reading a fiction book and a non-fiction book. The non-fiction books are almost always related to my work on parenting and childhood and afterschool activities. Right now I’m excited to read David Epstein’s The Sports Gene, as it relates to my interest in sports, the body, youth, and medicine. The book has been widely reviewed and I feel sure I won’t be disappointed.

In terms of fiction I love reading mystery/thriller series and as soon as a new addition to one of my favorite series—in this case Tamarack Countyis released I usually finish it in about a day (in fact, as soon as I finish writing this I am off to finish!). William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor books set in Minnesota resonate with me not because I am into the outdoors/law enforcement/Native American issues, but because they are well-paced, well-set, and well-drawn portraits of a community and characters vastly different from my own suburban Boston life. I always learn something even when I am just reading “for fun.”
Visit Hilary Levey Friedman's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: Playing to Win.

--Marshal Zeringue