Free Reading Time

This year I set out to read books for myself, not just for my toddler, or to glean new parenting insights. So far, I am doing well, I have completed three and have started on my fourth. The toddler has been going to bed between 6:45 and 7:15 most evenings which leaves me a nice bit of free time once the house is tidied up for reading.

I honestly can not remember the title of the first book I read, it was by a romance-novelist-turned-mystery-writer and it was lacking in both. It was a fun, unmemorable read. I went on to read The Apothecary’s Daughter, and The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. I am currently reading The Emperor of All Maladies.

The Apothecary’s Daughter was, at best, bland historical fiction. It was not gripping, or compelling, or a page turner. I found I had little sympathy for the main character, her situations, or any of the drama surrounding her. It reminded me a bit of a prime-time PBS mini-drama.

I found The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother far more entertaining, in places it was down right funny. I could sympathize with the stubborn toddler (not the out-in-the-snow part, but the blatant bribery), and found the last third of the book quite compelling. I gained new perspective on the book after listening to the KQED interview with the author. While I do not totally agree with her exaggerated parenting style, I found myself agreeing with several of the points she made.

Currently I am about a third of the way through The Emperor of All Maladies. Both The Economist and Entertainment Weekly gave it good reviews so I was curious. So far, it is fascinating, although I am tempted to draw myself a flow chart and a timeline so I can keep track of the various doctors and scientists, their discoveries and what was happening when.

I am looking ahead to new books I may want to read and I have found myself looking at more non-fiction choices. Cinderella Ate My Daughter is top on the list after a biography of Cleopatra, which will go nicely with my other biographies of interesting historical women. I am hoping to get as much free-reading time in before May when 2.0 arrives and my sleep schedule and the concept of “free time” become heavily modified.


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