Books of March

It seems a bit lame to put up a "Books of March" post when we are half way through April but oh well. Here is it:

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
- Beth Hoffman

As a military brat, I'm not really from any area of the country but I have spent more time in Texas and the South than anywhere else. That means that when someone asks, I feel like I can say I'm from the South, but I cannot say I'm a Southerner. The distinction is big. This is one of those books that really makes me wish I was a Southerner. I just love the characters and the way they handle situations. The rapid change from being total real with those they love to putting up that southern hospitality facade. It is sweet but not too sweet. And despite the plot being about how a young girl deals with her mother's death and starts her life over again, it's a happy story. I like happy stories. Why do some people think that they only way a book can be good is to be filled with tragedy and end with everyone miserable? (Sidenote #1: I will never again read an Oprah Book Club book for this reason). The only problem with it was that I read it too fast.

Those Who Save Us - Jenna Blum

That doesn't mean a book can't be somewhat tragic and still be good either though. I found this at the library and picked it up because of the cover. That is a dangerous way to go about life but in this case it worked. Due to the subject matter, it contained a lot more violence and sexual scenes that what I typically read and I can't say I really enjoyed it for the same way it seems odd to say that one enjoyed watching Schindler's List, but I am very glad I read it. Flashing back and forth between the story of a young German women living through WWII and the choices she must make, to her now grown daughter's struggle to understand her childhood memories of the experience, it really captivated my thoughts for the several days I spent reading it. My heritage is German and I do wonder what my relatives experiences were and how they viewed them, what decisions they had to make and how they made them, and overall just how it was allowed to happen. This book didn't answer those questions but it did help me think it through a bit more.

A Walk to Remember - Nicholas Sparks

I was listening to classical music on Pandora while searching the library's website for books to put on hold when that Mandy Moore song from the movie came on. This was obviously a huge Pandora Fail but it did make me think to check for the book. I like Nicholas Sparks books for certain occasions, like on airplanes and when I finish a heavy read so this was great for after the last book as I knew just what to expect from it. (Sidenote #2 - If you want a good upper body workout, accidentally pick up the large print version. You will be forced to turn the page approximately every 30 seconds and bicep burning will commence shortly)

The Spellman Files - Lisa Lutz

A Rachel Recommendation, I was worried at the beginning I wasn't going to like the main character and I have a hard time enjoying a book if I don't feel the way I am "supposed to" about the main character. But I shouldn't have doubted Rachel, I did end up liking the character and this book, quite a bit. It's quirky and humorous and I can't wait to read the next one even though the estimate wait time at our library is 77 days. (Sidenote #3 - The author actually came to a nearby bookstore for talk about this series but alas, she spoke at the same times as the A&M/Purdue b-ball game so I didn't go. Seeing how that game worked out, I think I would have enjoyed her talk more.)

Some Amish book - some Amish book writer
I can't even remember what it was or who wrote it. Craig read an newspaper article about this genre (Amish romance) and its popularity and asked if I had ever read any. I hadn't but thought I would give one a whirl. I didn't like it very much and don't think I will ever read another but at least I can say I tried.

The Vaccine Guide - Randall Neustaedter

This one was better than the last vaccine book I read. It was still definitely anti-vaccine but more of a practical guide than a philosophical book. It goes through each vaccine and gives information about the disease and the vaccine as well as statistics so you could make your own choice. After Craig and I finished it, I think we felt more informed and closer to a decision on each but we still want to do more research.

Happiest Baby on the Block - Harvey Karp

This book made me feel a lot more confident in my ability to handle a newborn which is good because at this point I'm oscillating between feeling really ready for this pregnancy to be over so I can meet Nigel and sheer terror at the idea of being completely in charge of keeping a newborn alive. But I have to say right now that the first half is annoying. He basically talks about how smart he is for figuring out this idea when no one else in the world, except this one indigenous tribe that makes clucking sounds (!), has ever thought of it before and how if it doesn't work for you, it isn't because your baby may not fit into his box but because you as a parent are failing to implement his ideas correctly. Now to be fair, I think my annoyance at his being a know-it-all might be exacerbated by my own tendancy towards know-it-all-ness since Craig didn't seem to be nearly as bothered by the first part.

In the second part, when finally gets to actually describing the 5 techniques [Swaddling, Ssshhhing, holding the baby Sideways, Shaking and Sucking] and how to use them, I forgave him. I've heard a lot of new parents say his techniques work well, although they all mention tweaking them for their kid, so I'll take his tips and leave his snarky attitude. This week is our last Bradley class so we are talking about newborn care and I've heard we will watch the video that goes with the book. I look forward to it.

The Baby Book - Dr William Sears

Unlike Dr. Karp, I love love LOVE Dr. Sears. Even if you aren't into attachment parenting, I don't think you can fault him for his attitude. He has tons of experience, both as a parent and a doctor, but he still insists that you know your kid better than him so take what he gives you and adjust it to your life. I'm not really sure how he does it, but he manages to take stances and not be wishy-washy on important issues while still insisting that moms not feel guilty about certain things. This book covers pretty much everything from the weird sounds and fluids that might come out of a newborn and which ones you should and shouldn't worry about to the more standard baby issues like breastfeeding, sleep, starting solids, developmental stages. I think I need to it for a reference because as fascinating as the pages about the different types of diaper rashes were, I will not remember them 3 months from now.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - Ina May Gaskin

Ina May is one of the nations most recognized and respected midwifes and there is a reason. I mean, she even has a birth technique (the gaskin manuever) named after her. This book was "required" for our Bradley class. The first half is first hand birth stories. Craig got a bit tired of them after a while but it is easy to move on to the second half then go back and read the stories a little at a time. I think it's important to read about all the normal ways a birth can unfold and this is a great resource for that when the media overall fails miserable at portraying birth.

The rest of the book talks about more practical things like interventions and techniques. Some hospital birthers may feel like this book doesn't apply as much to them because her experiences are based on the births at "The Farm" (the commune where her midwifery center is located) but I think they can still gain a lot from this book, mostly the idea that you can trust your body. I'm not gonna lie though, she is a total hippy and some stuff is out there. There were parts that left me speechless and other that had me telling Craig to reread a section because I must have misunderstood, but considering she lives on a commune, what else can you expect!

1 comment :

  1. It's a relief to me that you like the Spellmans. My mom also checked out the first book, and she really really couldn't stand Isabel and couldn't finish the book. I guess I must just think the first-person narration is funny enough that I forgive her bad behavior.