Category Archives: Books

What I’ve Been Reading

Now that we’re past Labor Day, I won’t have long drives up and down from the cabin and lazy afternoons on the deck to fill with reading.  I’m just guessing that this means the somewhat rapid pace of book consumption will slow down.  I just did a count of all of the books I’ve read thus far and I believe I’m at 52 for 2015.  I read 53 in 2014 so pretty much any page I turn from here on out is on the bonus clock.

The Hand That Feeds You by A.J. Rich

The Hand That Feeds You

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Where'd You Go Bernadette

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

In The Unlikely Event

What I’ve Been Reading

I don’t want it to seem like I’m reading ALL THE TIME since I only posted a list of books I read last week.  At the time that post went up, one of these books was already done, but I will also say that these four books are extremely fast reads.  I would also have to admit that I have been reading pretty much all the time as of late, so this isn’t wrong, either.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

The Royal We

The Seven Good Years by Etgar Keret

The Seven Good Years

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Water Knife

Night Flying Woman by Ignatia Broker

Night Flying Woman


What I’ve Been Reading

I feel like over the past few weeks, a number of books that I have been looking forward to reading have become available on my holds list at the library.  This is always a thrilling, yet terrifying conundrum because there are so many books to read and only so much time to accomplish this feat before they must be returned.  I cut it close with a few of these books, but I’m glad I finished them just before they came due!

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

A God in Ruins

Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin

Primates of Park Avenue

The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock

The Last Pilot

Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow


What I’ve Been Reading (Pregnancy Edition)

You guys.  Can we please talk about the amount of stuff that exists for pregnant women to read.  On the internet, in books, on message boards.  Everywhere.  There are so many things.  Also, if you want to know where all of the crazy people on the internet are, they are located on the What to Expect When You’re Expecting message boards.  All I can say about that is that I Have Seen Things.

With that in mind, y’all know that I am a reader and of course reading is a great way to gather some information about the great unknown of incubating a fetus for nine months and the subsequent eviction process.  But through all of this reading, I have noticed several things.

Apparently publishers/authors have decided that pregnant women are not readers.  I have yet to understand how, exactly, the information in What To Expect When You’re Expecting is organized.  I think it’s organized by trimester (or month…or something) but on the top of one page you are reading about body art for two and whether or not to get a tattoo while pregnant and the next thing you know you are reading about weight gain.  I’m sorry, but I just am not following.  The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy, while written like girlfriend real-talk, could be essentially summarized as: Don’t worry!  Everyone’s pregnancy is different and you are doing ok!

The book I had the highest hopes for was recommended to me by Paula and it is called Expecting Better.  While the idea behind this book was the most appealing to me (make decisions based on evidence, assess risk and decide what your risk tolerance is, know what is sometimes okay versus never okay), after reading the first chapter, I came to realize that I didn’t actually have to read any of the words!  I could just look for the different boxes in each section highlighting important information/findings.  If something in a given box was confusing, I could read back a bit in that section to understand the rationale.

The other thing that I have noticed is that everyone is trying to sell pregnant women things that they do not need and there are lots of pregnant women buying really expensive things which we know is not my speed.  Exhibit A: $1000 cribs.  One friend recommended the book Baby Bargains to me as a great way to save money.  It cost all of $9 so if I save more than $9, then it was worth it.  I am confident that I can accomplish this task.  But back to the book.  The purpose of this book is to walk women and their partners through all of the different things you might need to purchase for your child, discuss the cost, and they ultimately rate brands/products for different items based on safety/price/quality.  After surviving the section on the ratings for all of the different crib brands (many of them costing at least $500, but a not insignificant number sitting in the $1000 range), I realized that with my dreams of a crib from IKEA/Target I was maybe not the right audience.

To that end, in addition to recommendations from friends, I’ve pretty much decided that I will be working heavily off of the information that Kate and Jenna (who no longer blogs) shared about their pregnancies and subsequent decisions to breastfeed and cloth diaper (both things we plan on doing).

Oddly, the most useful book we have in the house right now is Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy for Dummies.  Melissa loaned this one to us (her husband is now a father and no longer in need of such advice) and Marcus has really gotten a lot of good information out of it.  It’s amazing how as women, we spend our whole lives gradually gathering more information about pregnancy and motherhood and men all the while are NOT gathering this same information.  I distinctly remember one conversation that Marcus and I had right after I found out Little Critter was on the scene and thinking I don’t even know how to explain this to you and I have no idea what valid source this information came from because I have literally known this for years and it is known by all women.  Which is not a bad thing!  He has not needed to know this information!  But it does mean that this book is a godsend because it’s sort of like a way to fast-forward through all of said information.

What I’ve Been Reading

Summer reading.  Not always the most lighthearted.  Some of these were on the Amazon best of the month list.  Others were actual hard copy books that were handed down to me and have been waiting to be read for years.  Also, as I was cruising through my drafts list, I realized I had overlooked a pair of books that I read back in May/June, so it was time to get those posted too!

Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of The Mandan People by Elizabeth Fenn

Encounters at the Heart of the World

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

The Year of Magical Thinking

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola


Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box

The Children’s Crusade by Ann Packer

The Children's Crusade

What I’ve Been Reading

I thought it would be good to get this sorted out because we all know that with a cabin trip coming up, there will be time for plenty of reading.

GI Brides by Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi

GI Brides

Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand


Knowing how much I love horses and horse racing, I have no idea as to why it took me a lifetime to read this book.  I loved it.  And now I need to watch the movie.

The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant

The Lessons of History

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins

What are you looking forward to reading?  I finally got The Girl On The Train so I am excited to finally be able to read that!

What I’ve Been Reading

Surprise, kittens.  I read more books.  A full day of pouring rain at the cabin definitely helped me in accomplishing this.  With the exception of hausfrau, I would recommend all of them

Codex by Lev Grossman


The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

The Sixth Extinction

hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum


Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Dead Wake