Les livres de 2012: round 3

My latest purchase. We'll see how this goes. 
Alright. This has gotten out of hand. You know how there are things in life that pile up (like bills or old veggies in your fridge or laundry) and they stress you out? And even as the piles get bigger, you think "I gotta handle this" but then you don't. You don't for a few months. And every single day you think about how crazy it's going to be when you DO tackle it.

That is what this book review post has been to me! I don't know how, but I have read a quadrillion books since I last posted book reviews in May. I know. Maybe I ate my reading Wheaties? (Maybe I've read a few children's books and YA books, so they're shorter?) I dunno. But here we are with a billion books to review. So I'm going to do this short-style. A sentence or two per book.


17. Preemie by Kasey Mathews
This is independently published, so it might be hard to find. A touching, beautiful memoir about a woman who gives birth at 25 weeks. A REALLY interesting read that touches on the ways we raise our kids, whether they're premature or not.

18. It's a Boy! by Andrea Buchanan
Not going to lie, when we found out Tiny was a boy there was part of me that went "Say what now?" I hadn't imagined him as a boy. So when I saw this collection of essays by women writers with sons, I devoured it. My favorite essay is the one where it describes little boys writing stories in elementary school and include things like "then he punched the monster's neck off. Then he got a sword and punched his ears off." Etc until you laugh at how crazy boys are.

19. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
I tried to read this several years ago, but it wasn't until my trip to Chicago that I was able to make it through this. It's split into two stories: a serial killer and the World's Fair. I was less thrilled about the murderer and more thrilled about reading about architecture! And awesome World's Fairs! Whyyyy do these not exist anymore?! Great book.

20. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
This is one of my positive-labor-reading go-tos. I haven't re-read it again, but I have definitely re-read sections. Ina May is the queen of midwives and she seems to have magical baby delivering powers. A definite must-read for people who are sick of reading terrifying labor stories.

21. How to Rock Your Baby by Erin Bried
I barely remember this book. I think I read it in a plane? Pretty sure it was short essays about how to not damage your kid. Meh. 

22. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch
This book wasn't particularly well-written, but wait until you hear the project behind the book. This lady read ONE BOOK A DAY FOR ONE YEAR. I mean, what? She was dealing with grief when her sister died and made time in her schedule to read a book every day... she also wrote a review of each book the morning after she finished them. What. The. Hell. I want to do this so bad.

23. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Ok, this book started a little kick of reading some very modern fiction which is based in the future. Chris read this last year and loved it... I liked it okay. It's a world where everyone lives in a video game, they all have avatars, they have to fight a big corporation. On the plus side, I liked it better than the other futuristic books I read recently... such as...

24. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
Gah. My Muhlenberg buddies and I formed a little book club and read this together. I had a hard time getting through it. I know everyone in Brooklyn thinks Gary Shteyngart is the shit, but I really couldn't empathize with the characters. To me it was an interesting setting for a short story (the future, your credit score flashes on screens as you walk down the street, everyone texts and tries to look younger, etc) but it got boring over the length of a novel.

25. Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin
Evolution is INSANE. Insane. I have no idea how I found this book but it was a super-fascinating read and I polished it off in a weekend. I barely remember it now but it was one of those books that made me keep interrupting Chris with "holy crap, listen to this!" facts about fish. 

26. Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie Mongan
Hypnobirthing, you rascally rascal. I wanted to love this class so much... but it was so full of propaganda that we never went back after the second class. I read this book to prepare for the class and... meh. I mean, by all means, read this book before you spend cold hard cash on the class. But it's pretty slanted.

27. Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel
THIS book, on the other hand, I want to snuggle with and tuck under my pillow at night. Holy empowering! Holy practical. So, so awesome. A great perspective for people considering a natural birth in a hospital or birthing center.

28. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
I got it in my head that I wanted to read something old-school... and by that, I mean something that I hadn't read in 20+ years. I think I read this in 3rd grade and it was so cool to encounter something in text form that I last encountered so long ago. I wondered how Meg (and Calvin and Charles Wallace!) influence me, my personality, and my childhood while I was reading this time around. Great re-reading experience.

29. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Hello Young Adult Fiction. Reminded me of the Hunger Games... a decent read. Entertaining. 

30. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Ramonaaaaaa! Inspired by A Wrinkle in Time, I wanted to dive back into my old bookshelves yet again. I remember Ramona as one of the quirkiest and funniest characters of my childhood. Once again I spent the re-read wondering about my relationship with characters in childrens' books. I think there's a whole blog post to write about being the oldest child in the family and yet looking to characters in fiction as my role models. That's totally what I felt towards Ramona, especially as she gracefully managed herself when her parents were fighting. Interesting stuff.

31. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Oh, sequels. This is the follow-up to Divergent, which was also entertaining but also slightly slow. I knew she would be saving some juice for the third one of the trilogy, which has yet to be released.

This book scared the crap out of me but was SO good. I don't know why you aren't going out and buying it right now at your local independent bookstore. It's the story of a teenager who travels back and forth in time and finds an orphanage of sorts where magical children live. You should read this book for the amazing photos, if nothing else. I can't WAIT for the sequel.

33. Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel
Annnnnd had to read it again, now that laboring a baby out of the birth canal is impending. So, so good the second time. In fact, I used this book to make motivational labor flashcards

34. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
One of the guys at work recently started an Arc90 book club (be still my heart!) and this was the first book we read. It's another one of these futuristic ones and I wasn't really a fan. I guess it's neat that the book is organized by A and B sides (like a record) and that each chapter is kind of like a different song, but honestly it read more like a book of short stories to me. The chapters were very loosely connected and it made it hard to follow. Meh. (You may remember that I read another one of her books two years ago... still not impressed.)

35. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Someone recommended this to me. Erica? Was that you? This book was really interesting, reminded me of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children in a way. Chris even read it! It's about magic and a circus and it reminded me of Audrey Niffenegger's style and habit of writing slightly creepy fiction. Definitely worth a read.

PHEW. That was a lot, right? And there's going to be more where that came from. As you can see in the picture above, my very first e-reader arrived last night. Also, in honor of my maternity leave, I got a library card for the Brooklyn Public Library in addition to my New York Public Library card... so now I am bringing books home by the sackful. 

What are you reading? Anything good?


EricaRW said...

oh DEAR.

1. Good move re-reading old childhood favs. I loved Wrinkle in Time, will have to revisit. I'd probably go with 'Summer of the Monkeys' and 'Where the Red Fern Grows' and maybe even 'Are you there God, it's me, Margaret?' if I can stand to cringe that much.
2. Miss Peregine's sounds right up my alley, will check it out.
3. Likely me that recomm'd Night Circus, I loved it. It was a bit slow at times but I just adored the characters and how the magic evolved. I just want to read about magic all the time.

Rachel R said...

I felt the same way after reading Devil and the White City! Although I enjoyed both aspects of the story. What can I say I like me some serial killers. :)

I never thought I'd want a Kindle until I realized the NYPL has Kindle books as well! Plus you don't have to worry about returning them on time, because they just automatically expire.