Once Upon A Time

I used to read books other than Dr. Sear’s The Baby Book, The Nursing Mother’s Companion and the adventures of Gossie & Gertie. I used to post reviews of them, and read several books a month. Then I had Oliver, and while he’s very cute, he’s not conducive to free-time reading.

I have read a few books since Oliver’s arrival, but not nearly as many as I used to. Back in January I read Dating Jesus, mostly because we got it free via LibraryThing’s early review program. It was alright, I mostly read it to take my mind off things with Oliver and to fill time between NICU visits. Oliver came home about half-way through the book, and I found it difficult to pick up again. It had some amusing autobiographical moments, and interesting factoids about feminism and religion, but over all I felt it was sort of flat.

Sometime after days and nights became more distinct I started reading a little more. In-N-Out Burger was interesting, I picked it up at Costco (you’re going to see a theme with Costco books). It is a history of the company, very straight forward, rather dry in spots, and very informative.

I am still working my way through The Irregulars. I love Roald Dahl and think his work is fairly fantastic. I was particularly fond of Going Solo, and had hoped that The Irregulars would be at least that exciting. So far it has fallen somewhat short, although I suspect if Mr. Dahl had written it himself it would have been far more entertaining.

I did throughly enjoy My Life in France, although I am ashamed to say I got the movie-tie-in version (Costco again). I read Julie & Julia quite sometime ago, and figured I should read Julia Child’s book as well (I also picked up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking). I enjoyed My Life in France more than I enjoyed Julie and Julia. I think this is in part because Mrs. Child can write well, and she actually did something. My Life gets a little tedious in the middle when she talks about editing the Mastering the Art but over all it is an enjoyable read.

Occasionally I read books with no redeeming value, and Clive Cussler’s Dragon was one of them (yes, Costco again). Gavin saw it on my nightstand and asked why I was reading such garbage, well, I’m reading it precisely because it has no redeeming intellectual value and my brain needs a vacation. I remember very little of it, other than it was classic Cussler: formulaic, predictable, and it had Dirk Pitt.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies needed more zombies and less Jane Austen. If I had not seen the movie (thank goodness for Oxygen!) I would have been totally lost. I mentioned this to Gavin and he was quick to criticize my analytical reading abilities. I disagree, my analytical reading abilities are just fine, the problem is Jane Austen: my brain simply isn’t made to read chick lit, regardless of what century it was written in. The most chick-litty stuff we have is by Erma Bombeck, and she is far more amusing than Jane Austen.

I must admit I was most amused by the Questions for Discussion in the back of P&P&Z, they reminded me of essays for high school english, and the person compiling them seemed very hung up on the idea that Elizabeth might be a lesbian. Clearly all of literature really is about sex, even if/when it includes cauliflower eating zombies.

Most recently I have finished The Monster of Florence. It does not make for the best bedtime reading as it discusses the gruesome murders of young lovers in their cars in the hills around Florence, Italy. It is however, quite interesting, if not somewhat depressing as it discusses the epic failings of the italian justice system.

Currently I am trying to finish reading Marie Antoinette: The Journey. I last attempted to read it in February of 2008, and I agree with my previous assessment:

“Do not read the book unless you have to for a French history class (or a biography class studying women, even then I can suggest several better books about far more interesting women of that approximate time).”

Marie Antoinette does not get any better with time. Sadly, I fear this book may end up back on the shelf, only half read. If you want to read books about exciting women, I can happily recommend books on Kaiserin Elisabeth or Eleanor of Aquitaine.

I think I have summed up all the books I have read so far this year. I may have read one or two more (probably books on how to raise children), but none that were particularly memorable. I did get rid of a few books on how to raise children because they made me feel like a failure, I wanted to burn them, but Gavin convinced me that donating them was a much better idea.


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