I made a more modest goal of reading only 30 books this year because of the upcoming baby of doom which will explode my reading schedule into a million pieces come July. All my star ratings and books I’m currently reading can be found on my Goodreads page. All links on this page and other reading list pages are Amazon Affiliate links. All other reading lists can be found by clicking this category called “Reading Lists.”
25. Half a Life by Darin Strauss (10/15/12)
24. Rumors by Anna Godberson (10/11/12)
23. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin (10/9/12)
22. The Baby Sleep Solution by Suzy Giordano (10/5/12) I don’t think I’m strong enough to do this method. It seems much easier if you’re exclusively bottle feeding.
21. The Underneath by Kathi Appelt (10/2/12)
20. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (9/28/12) LOVED this. It took me two tries to get into it and when it was over I was a little annoyed at the to be continued ending, but yeah, I can’t wait to read the sequel.
19. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Melinda Blau (9/3/12) I totally disagreed with a lot of the advice in this book. Like A LOT of it. Just read Happiest Baby and you’ll be fine.
18. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (8/22/12) Well. It is kind of good? But totally needed an editor. A professional editor.
17. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp (8/9/12) Pretty much you should just watch the DVD. The book is way over written and all you really need are the techniques to calm your baby. And in truth we really only used them for 2 difficult weeks (4-6) and after that Moses was pretty happy without swaddling or shushing or swinging, etc.
16. You Take if From Here by Pamela Ribon (7/3/12) I basically inhaled this book in one sitting. Even though the book has an inevitable conclusion, I sobbed. SOBBED. So well written and well realized. LOVED this book.
15. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (6/10/12) I loved when she wrote actual stories about her childhood. The cow insemination story made me cry I was laughing so hard. The conversations with Victor? I just don’t love them and her blog and this book were FULL of them.
14. Hynobirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie Mongan (5/14/12) Ha. NO. It’s pretty much The Secret for giving birth and yeah, I’m WAY too cynical to believe that if you change your vocab about labor and delivery, you’ll change how you feel the pain. I’ve had cramps, lady, you can’t visualize that pain away. BELIEVE ME, I’ve tried.
13. The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain (5/6/12) This reads like the person who wrote it really wants to get into infomercials. It’s not well written, it’s very rah rah change your diet and your life will be so much better! I am curious about the science behind it. He talks about all the research his team has done and then never footnotes the actual studies. I’m not saying he didn’t do that research, but um, I’d like to see all this “evidence.” All that said, I will probably give this a try because a woman I work with has gone from 29% body fat to 19% with Paleo and Crossfit in 3 months.
12. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (4/15/12) Seth loved this book as a kid. Loved it so much that he was furious when the movie came out and “ruined” Mary Poppins. I read it and was like, woah. Mary is kind of mean and weird and vain and the kids are afraid of her, but love her anyway. I so did not love this book. Give me my Disney Mary any day.
11. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (4/2/12) I found myself really liking this book and learned a lot. I wrote about it here, here, and here.
10. What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel (3/25/12) Ugh. This book is maybe good if you have it lying around and no access to the internet and need to look up some random symptom, but other than that, I did not like it. Thankfully, it was a free kindle Amazon loan, so I didn’t pay a dime for not liking it.
9. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott (3/14/12) I was surprised how it seemed such a 2004 time capsule, I don’t remember her first book on faith to be so “of a time.” But it ended up not bothering me. I really liked it. Even though I have no spirituality or faith, myself, I find it oddly comforting to read about others’ faith and spirituality.
8. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey (3/13/12) I got a creepy Christian vibe from the book, not sure why that stuck with me, but there you have it. (Maybe it was the common thread of first person stories that mentioned church and the women giving up their jobs to stay home with her kids mixed with the random Bible passages throughout? I don’t know.) I sort of knew everything he had to say and he really drags it out. It could basically be written on a pamphlet. Have a budget. Stop using credit. Have an emergency fund that you only use for emergencies. Pay off your debt using the snowball method. Save a bigger emergency fund. Invest 15% of your income towards retirement. There, now you don’t have to read the book.
7. The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier (3/11/12) So, given the fact that it took me 9 months to finish this book… it’s OK. I love her writing style and think her book Woman: An Intimate Geography should be required reading in high school health class, but this book was a little tough for me to get through. (Ha, obviously.) The book covers everything from Chemistry to Astronomy and covers them all in the way you wanted your high school teacher to teach you, but for some reason I would start reading a new section, be all excited and then sort of blank out until about 2/3’s of the way through the section. You’ll like it if you were a science nerd in Junior High.
6. Fire by Kristin Cashore (2/29/12) This is not a sequel to Graceling but it is part of the same world, with only a little crossover in terms of locations. I liked it, it has strong female characters and a decent love story, but it’s pretty predictable and sort of draggy in places where you’d expect it not to be draggy. That said, I will definitely read the next one.
5. Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor (2/20/12) My sister’s friend Cassie gave this to me and I really liked it aside from a couple of weird semi-racist moments, which may or may not have been super in your face sarcasm? (Chinese kids will turn into bad drivers! And be good at math! Busboys were labeled as “Mexican busboys” because then you’d know they work hard and don’t get paid very much? ANYWAY.) It’s a fun and funny read and will come in handy when I’m sobbing at 4am because the baby has decided he’s up for the day.
4. Cruddy by Lynda Barry (2/5/12) This book is relentlessly dark, but I found the main character so likeable and awesomely bad ass that it made it a really griping read.
3. Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein (1/28/12) I read this because I’m feeling woefully unprepared for labor and after watching their documentary The Business of Being Born, I thought maybe I’d feel a little better about the whole thing if I did some further reading. But, I feel like even though they claim to want the best for you and your baby, they do a lot of fear and shaming towards women who are interested in epidural and non-midwife births. That said, there is some good information about what to ask for should you want an all natural birth.
2. Crossed by Ally Condie (1/15/12) Eh, it was OK. I kept getting the plot mixed up with Divergent for some reason and could not remember the world established in Matched very well. She didn’t do a great job of re-establishing that world for people like me who forget details the instant the book is returned to the shelf. I guess if I read them back to back that wouldn’t be a problem.
1. Murder in Italy by Candace Dempsey (1/7/12) I don’t read a lot of true crime because it always reads like someone’s 6th grade research project, but this case fascinated me. I only knew a little about it, because it broke around the time when I really didn’t watch TV. And I recently watched the Lifetime TV movie about it starring Hayden Panitierre which was laughably bad. The book definitely helped clear up some of the questions I had about their changing stories, the evidence chain, etc. But it’s about 100 pages too long. Also, I checked it out from the library and about a quarter of the way through mysterious blood colored stains started appearing on the pages and that kind of freaked me out.