March/April 2015 Book Reviews

In an effort to not end up with a huge long post of books like this one from last year, I am doing book reviews every 2 months on the blog this year. Check out January/February here.

And now for the books I finished in March and April:

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The Secrets of Midwives – This was a great novel! It fed my love of childbirth stuff with my love of story. Well written, kept my interest, quick read. It really had everything. Birth, love story, family relationships. Loved it.

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers – I really like the premise of this research. Such a good look at the way our culture puts peer interaction on a pedestal while forgetting the importance of adult attachment. It was recommended by some attachment parent friends, and I definitely jive with the principles. The actual writing was a tad repetitive.

Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together – Listened to the audible of this short book. I really like how this author talks about ALL of our experiences, jobs, careers, hobbies as “ingredients” for our body of work and how experience from seemingly very different backgrounds can dovetail nicely into a career or path. Coming from someone who has a very Eclectic ‘ingredients’ that resonates with me a lot.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
– Since pretty much the whole internet seems to be reading this book, I figured I’d give it a shot. I was skeptical, mainly because I’d heard so much about it from blogs and podcasts, I wondered if there was more to learn. Turns out yes, there was! And I also wondered if it’d be similar to Joy of Less that I’ve also been reading, but they definitely have had different ideas.

My main takeaways –

-Only keep items that spark joy
-You will find a clickpoint where you have just the right amount of items
-Let unread books GO. They have served their purpose. Same with half finished books. Gave me the freedom to do that!
-Loungewear – don’t downgrade your regular clothes to loungewear (i totally do this) and some people have more loungewear than regular clothes and that’s okay. (I.e. work from home mamas!)
-Don’t leave your shampoos and stuff in the shower indefinitely. Only bring them in when you are using them. Helps with the slime factor.

All in all, great book, makes you really think about your relationship with your stuff and was a quick read.

Still Alice – This was a very vivid portrayal of what it’s like to be someone living with early onset Alzheimer’s. Now that I’ve finished the book, I’m looking forward to seeing the movie version that Julianne Moore won the Oscar for.

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination – This is a very short book form of JK Rowling’s 2008 Harvard Commencement Speech. Eloquent as always, I love how she is always fighting to help those less fortunate.

As of this writing I just finished Buddhism for Mothers, am working on Raising Your Spirited Child, am almost done with Better Than Before and have a whole slew of books on deck for vacation next week.

What have you read lately?

**This post contains amazon affiliate links, if you chose to buy a book from amazon based on my recommendation, Clare’s diaper fund gets a few cents.  Thank you for supporting my creative endeavors!

**If you want to try out Audible, please support my podcast by going to http://www.audibletrial.com/postpartum  where you can get a free audiobook and 30 day trial.

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Book Reviews Jan/Feb 2015

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Instead of a massive Book Review post like I did at the end of 2014, I’m going to try and do them every few months instead. Here are the four books I read in January and February and corresponding reviews. Please, if you are a fellow book lover, add me on Goodreads!

I am always looking for new books to read, and it always causes me a little bit of anxiety when it comes time to pick the next one to read, because there are just so many good ones! I have over 150 on my Goodreads “To Read” list. Yikes.

January/February 2015 Books:

Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta By Ina May Gaskin – This is Ina May’s most recent book, and it really is different than her Guide to Childbirth or other books. It’s more a call to action of what we need to do to change our maternity care system. I found myself getting simultaneously angry and feeling empowered by it. Some of the ludicrous policies and procedures in our healthcare and insurance systems still boggle my mind. While talking about elective surgery, it doesn’t only discuss elective c-sections, but also breast enlargement and reduction and the dangers. I always joked that when I was done having kids that I would get a reduction, but this definitely opened my eyes to the dangers of those procedures.

The Girl on the Train: A Novel By Paula Hawkins – Look at me, reading Fiction! This was a great novel. I heard it described as Gone Girl crossed with Rear Window and that’s definitely an accurate representation of it. This was a debut novel for Hawkins and she’s a great author. I would definitely read more by her. Being that Chris drives trains, the whole concept of someone seeing something from a train window that drastically alters things really resonated with me. Because who hasn’t wondered about the families living in the houses that you see the back of while passing on a train. Definitely recommend!

Big Little Lies By Liane Moriarty – I really like Moriarty’s style. This is her most recent novel, though she has several. Her writing is ever readable and yet descriptive and you really feel entwined with the character’s lives. This one is told from the viewpoints of three different women and how their lives intersect. I guess I’d call it a contemporary mystery? It’s not a “who done it” but full of twists. Just like the Husband’s Secret.

The Husband’s Secret By Liane Moriarty – After I read Big Little Lies, I decided to tackle her book from last year which I already had on my kindle but had never gotten around to reading. I have heard mixed reviews on this one, but I personally liked it. Sure, there were things that the characters did that may not have been believable. And I especially liked the epilogue because I’m always a fan of the idea that everything happens for a reason, and thinking about paths that “could have been.”

I am currently reading: The Secrets of Midwives, The Joy of Less, and Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. I tend to always have one going on kindle (on my phone so I can read while rocking Clare to sleep) one in hard copy and one on audio. I have a problem, I know.

What are you reading? Please share your recommendations!

The Current Six: What I’m…

Reading – I just finished listening to the audiobook of Emily Giffin’s latest “The One and Only.” She’s one of my favorite authors, but honestly I just wasn’t feeling this one. It didn’t keep me hooked or feel like as in depth of a story as most of her other ones. We read “Maternal Desire – On Children, Love and the Inner Life” for our new mommy book club this month. I confess, I didn’t finish the book. It’s an awesome concept – maternal desire is not as valued in this society as it should be. Care in general isn’t, whereas acquisition is. But, she wrote it in such an academic way, it made it really hard to get through. Admirable book, but at this time in my life Ain’t nobody got time for that! Especially since I have a huge list of childbirth educator books I need to get through. I also finished the “Sweet Poison Quit Plan” on the heels of “A Year of No Sugar” Both were very eye opening to the damaging effects of sugar, and I’ve definitely cut down my intake since reading them. I also have to say I read Peggy Vincent’s “Baby Catcher” in June and it was wonderful. I think every woman and especially every pregnant woman needs to read it. So good. Our book for next month’s mommy book club is “Momfriends” by Arielle Papa and I just started it and already can relate! I am also reading “Mindful Parenting” and just started the audiobook of Rob Lowe’s second memoir, “Love Life.” The amount of books in my Goodreads “To Read” list is topping 130 these days, so often I am overwhelmed by all the choices! I usually tend to have one fiction, one non-fiction and one audiobook all going at the same time. Ah! I love books.

Watching – “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Call the Midwife” Clare and I’s little morning routine has included watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. We started with season 1 and only have a few episodes left until we’re done with all 10 seasons. Looking forward to season 11 in September. Everyone has been telling me that I need to watch Call the Midwife for a long time. Chris and I finally have started it once Clare goes to sleep at night. We just started season 2. It’s great, albeit a bit sad in pretty much every episode.

Eating – These lactation cookies, a whole lot of the Mediterranean Feta Salsa from Whole Foods, and a lot of baked sweet potatoes with blue cheese. No, I am not pregnant again. When I find something I like, I tend to just stick with it. I.E. I pretty much have oatmeal with almond butter, cinnamon and bananas for breakfast everyday.

Listening To – The One Bad Mother podcast archive and current episodes. So funny. So relatable. Highly recommend.

Looking Forward To – FALL! I am so sick of the heat and summer. I was cleaning out my closet for our upcoming clothing swap and it made me sad to look at my whole shelf of boots just waiting to be worn. Scarves, boots, leggings, fall TV, Apple Hill, Monterey Jazz, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, I cannot WAIT.

Thankful For – Mommy friends. In this season of life, getting through the hard days would not be possible without these wonderful people. I read some buzzfeed article recently about the different type of mom friends you should have and I totally think I have all my bases covered! I’m so happy to have made so many new ones in the last 6 months, and so happy to journey into parenthood with some really great long-time friends. Because when you’ve been spent hours trying to get your crying baby to sleep, or you’ve just been thrown up on for the 10th time today, you need someone you can call, text, rant to, and someone who can say “I get it, I’ve been there, you’re doing a good job.” ❤

What about you? Reading, watching, eating anything great lately?