January 2008 Book Challenge - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 287 Old 01-11-2008, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#3 The Series of unfortunate events #1 The Bad Beginning I was going to read this series because it looked sorta cute, but it was lame and I am not going to go on. I am sure there is a lot of people that read these a long time ago.
Don't give up on it. You have to get through the first four before things become interesting. Once you hit book five, the story really takes off. So, if you can, stick through books 1-4 ... the payout is worth it.

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#122 of 287 Old 01-11-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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#3 The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

The 2nd book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. Another page turner, featuring the further adventures of Lyra who meets up with a boy named Will. Will is from our world and they find each other in a crossroads type world. The whole story is building up to a huge climax of a battle against God (if I am understanding correctly?) and will set up another situation like Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge. Some are for everyone having knowledge, some are for keeping the innocence of the Garden of Eden.

I already have (oops, I wrote Golden Compass, I MEANT The Amber Spyglass ) from the library, I am starting it today. :
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#123 of 287 Old 01-11-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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Eeeek! Five of my holds came in at the library today! And I only get them for two weeks. I'm going to be ignoring my kids for awhile.
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#124 of 287 Old 01-11-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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#2) Levi’s Will by W. Dale Cramer
For some reason this book just jumped off the shelf for me. It’s about a boy who runs away from his Amish heritage and family. The book follows the boy to manhood and into old age. The story does jump from one time in the present to time in the past but it wasn't too hard to follow. It was a good book and I really enjoyed reading it.

-Rachel

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#125 of 287 Old 01-11-2008, 06:03 PM
 
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Eeeek! Five of my holds came in at the library today! And I only get them for two weeks. I'm going to be ignoring my kids for awhile.


Gotta love it when that happens!
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#126 of 287 Old 01-12-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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Hey Everyone!

Man - I go away for a week and the thread explodes!

Didn't get too much reading done on our trip (too busy skiing and sledding and playing Hearts) but did get to read a couple:

"Ahab's Wife" by Sena Jeter Naslund

This was recommended earlier this month I think. It's the story of the wife of Ahab from "Moby Dick" which was a cool premise. It's a very long book - but went fast until the last 100 pages which dragged for me. Once we found out what happened to Captain Ahab I didn't really care about the rest.

"Tallulah Falls" by Christine Fletcher

This is about a teenager who takes off to Florida to help her bi-polar best friend out of some kind of trouble. She gets robbed and abandoned in rural Tennessee and gets taken in by a vet who gives her a job so she can earn money to get to Florida.

Good writing but kind of an unbelievable premise - at least in my view.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#127 of 287 Old 01-12-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Bufomander - I just waded thru all the posts and you asked about me reading Stolen Child. I read about a third of the book but just hated the voice of the narrator so I returned it to the library without finishing it. I remember you were not happy with me about that. Maybe I'll give it another try one of these days.

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#128 of 287 Old 01-12-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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Don't give up on it. You have to get through the first four before things become interesting. Once you hit book five, the story really takes off. So, if you can, stick through books 1-4 ... the payout is worth it.
I actually really liked the 2nd one - The Reptile Room.

I haven't finished the series yet though. I'll really like one then hit a dull one and lose interest for a while.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#129 of 287 Old 01-12-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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Okay - just got on the library hold list for Know It All and Living in a Foreign Language.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#130 of 287 Old 01-12-2008, 05:56 PM
 
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Bufomander - I just waded thru all the posts and you asked about me reading Stolen Child. I read about a third of the book but just hated the voice of the narrator so I returned it to the library without finishing it. I remember you were not happy with me about that. Maybe I'll give it another try one of these days.
I heard this book club lady talking about how to choose books. She says she used to virtuously slog her way through every book till the end, no matter how much she disliked it. And it would take years. But she finally quit that, deciding that life is too short to read books you don't enjoy. She said it was quite freeing. Read a chapter or two, and if you don't like it, put it away and try something else.

But- if I'd stuck to this idea I would never have finished His Dark Materials (the beginning of Golden Compass was really slow), or Lord of the Rings (I was just too young when I started it) or even Harry Potter. I really didn't get into Sorcerer's Stone. There were too many very frustrating issues and I wasn't attached to the characters.

This is my second or third go at Sense and Sensibility, and I'm finally enjoying it.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#131 of 287 Old 01-12-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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#5 The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Okay -- I think I was supposed to love it, but didn't necessarily. Haven't seen the movie. 5 sisters commit suicide throughout the course of the book, to the fascination of the neighbors (especially the young male neighbors.)
Did you like Middlesex? I think most people like one or the other but not both. I thought Middlesex was fantastic and The Virgin Suicides was torture. I just SO did not care about the characters. I think it's supposed to feel that way because of the point of view, but because I didn't care about the people, I didn't care about the message.

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The Power of One is an amazing book. The beginning and honestly parts there after are depressing/sad, but if you can make it past, it is an amazing book. (I totally get the mothering sensitivities too. )
I really love this book. I wanted to take that kid home and be his mommy.

There is a sequel that was very hard to get my hands on (and then I lent it to someone who never sent it back!) that was less than stellar. In it, Peekay is just a little too perfect. You can read about it here: Tandia.
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#132 of 287 Old 01-12-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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The Society of Others by William Nicholson

I liked this a lot. It's one I'd have to read six more times before I could give it a fair review, though. Wow.
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#133 of 287 Old 01-12-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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Did you like Middlesex? I think most people like one or the other but not both. I thought Middlesex was fantastic and The Virgin Suicides was torture. I just SO did not care about the characters. I think it's supposed to feel that way because of the point of view, but because I didn't care about the people, I didn't care about the message.
Tandia[/URL].
I'm glad to hear someone say this, I really liked Virgin Suicides but could NOT get into Middlesex for the life of me. I actually just shipped it via Paperbackswap so I hope the receipient likes it.


Just finished #2 The Rapture of Cannan - Sheri Reynolds It came out quite a while ago but I just stumbled upon it and really liked it.

"Members of the Church of Fire and Brimstone and God's Almighty Baptizing Wind spend their days and nights serving the Lord and waiting for the Rapture--that moment just before the Second Coming of Christ when the saved will be lifted bodily to heaven and the damned will be left behind to face the thousand years of tribulation on earth. The tribulation, according to Grandpa Herman, founder of Fire and Brimstone, will be an ugly time: "He said that we'd run out of food. That big bugs would chase us around and sting us with their tails . . . He said we'd turn on the faucet in the bathroom and find only blood running out . . . He said evil multitudes would come unto us and cut off our limbs, and that we wouldn't die . . . And then he'd say, 'But you don't have to be left behind. You can go straight to Heaven with all of God's special children if you'll only open your hearts to Jesus . . .'"
Such talk of damnation weighs heavy on the mind of Ninah Huff, the 15-year-old narrator of Sheri Reynolds's second novel, The Rapture of Canaan. To distract her from sinful thoughts about her prayer partner James, Ninah puts pecan shells in her shoes and nettles in her bed. But concentrating on the Passion of Jesus cannot, in the end, deter Ninah and James from their passion for each other, and the consequences prove both tragic and transforming for the entire community.

The Rapture of Canaan is a book about miracles, and in writing it, Reynolds has performed something of a miracle herself. Although the church's beliefs and practices may seem extreme (sleeping in an open grave, mortifying the flesh with barbed wire), its members are complex and profoundly sympathetic as they wrestle with the contradictions of Fire and Brimstone's theology, the temptations of the outside world, and the frailties of the human heart."


The main character pulls you in and you feel for her and other key characters throughout the book. I truly enjoyed it, except for the very end. There were just one or two minor loose ends that I wish she had tied up but I can imagine what happened, I think she writes it but doesn't come right out and say it so the reader is left to assume what happens given the final remarks. I really got sucked into this very quickly. It's written in smal chapters, but they are more like page marks than chapters, that combined with how it's written make it a fast read.


Now I'm debating between The Time Traveler's Wife (just found at Goodwill for $1 today!) or finishing some of my non-fiction stuff related to breastfeeding. Wonder which I'll finish first....

One by one the days are slipping up behind you ~ One by one the sweetest days of life go by :
-Woodie Guthrie
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#134 of 287 Old 01-13-2008, 02:30 PM
 
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I reread One Thousand White Women: Journal of Mary Dodd by Jim Fegus. It reminded me of Memoirs of a Geisha even though they are set in different countries. Both stories are completely fictional but they're based on real events and therefore read like genuine memoirs. One Thousand White Women is based on the request by a prominent Northern Cheyenne chief who, at an 1854 peace conference at Fort Laramie, requested one thousand white women as brides for his young warriors. Their tribe is a matrilineal society and all children born belong to the mother's tribe. This seemed like a good way to for the Cheyenne to assimilate into the white man's world. Of course the one thousand white women did not come but in Fergus' story they do arrive and they are a motley crew of widows, former slaves, adventurers, women who didn't follow the conventions of the time.

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#135 of 287 Old 01-13-2008, 02:43 PM
 
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I heard this book club lady talking about how to choose books. She says she used to virtuously slog her way through every book till the end, no matter how much she disliked it. And it would take years. But she finally quit that, deciding that life is too short to read books you don't enjoy. She said it was quite freeing. Read a chapter or two, and if you don't like it, put it away and try something else.

That's exactly my story as well.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#136 of 287 Old 01-13-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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#2 Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
If you're already sold on the idea of natural childbirth, I highly recommend this! It talks about some things that I hadn't read about or heard about yet--like there being a direct correlation between relaxing your jaw and relaxing during birth. However, I wouldn't recommend this to someone who isn't already sure of the natural childbirth option. Ina May is very knowledgeable and obviously excited to share what she knows about birth. But a few times, the anecdotes or birth stories strayed so far from what is mainstream in the U.S. that I have a feeling they would set off some people's "weirdness" radar and they would dismiss the whole book, which would be a shame.

#3 Good Nights: The Happy Parents' Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night's Sleep!) by Maria Goodavage and Jay Gordon
I was looking for a co-sleeping book that included practical advice for making the transition out of the family bed. This book has plenty of practical advice on that topic and many other common co-sleeping concerns! I got it from the library, but I'm going to order a copy to own so we can have it as a reference if we need it.

My favorite parts are a FAQ with common questions about co-sleeping issues and advice on how to address them, a chapter about how to maintain intimacy with your partner, advice on coping with co-sleeping naysayers, and a chapter all about transitioning out of the family bed.

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

0***4***8***12***16***20***baby.gif***28***32***36***40

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#137 of 287 Old 01-13-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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#1. On Chesil Beach (McEwan)
#2. Twilight (Meyer)

#3. New Moon (Meyer)
#4. Eclipse (Meyer)
#5. Sold (McCormick)


Thirteen year old girl from Nepal is sold into prostitution by her family. I finished the book in one day, feeling sick and teary. It's not just a book, it's happening as I'm here typing. I feel grateful for the life that I had as a child, and I can't imagine the world some kids are growing up in.
The book itself is very simply written. Very powerful.
Doing some research to see what I can do to help to stop it...


New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#138 of 287 Old 01-13-2008, 09:39 PM
 
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#2 - Linger Awhile by Russell Hoban

83-year-old Irving Goodman decides he's in love with Justine Trimble, a pretty young actress he's seen in old westerns from the 50's. She's dead now, but he finds someone who (after falling in love with her himself), figures out how to turn a digitized image into a reconstituted Justine, with help from an acquaintance who also falls in love with her. The results are disastrous for all concerned.

I liked it (I don't think I've ever read anything by Russell Hoban that I didn't like), but in the end there wasn't really much to it.
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#139 of 287 Old 01-13-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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I reread One Thousand White Women: Journal of Mary Dodd by Jim Fegus. It reminded me of Memoirs of a Geisha even though they are set in different countries. Both stories are completely fictional but they're based on real events and therefore read like genuine memoirs. One Thousand White Women is based on the request by a prominent Northern Cheyenne chief who, at an 1854 peace conference at Fort Laramie, requested one thousand white women as brides for his young warriors. Their tribe is a matrilineal society and all children born belong to the mother's tribe. This seemed like a good way to for the Cheyenne to assimilate into the white man's world. Of course the one thousand white women did not come but in Fergus' story they do arrive and they are a motley crew of widows, former slaves, adventurers, women who didn't follow the conventions of the time.
1000 White Women is in my top 10 favorites!
It has probably been close to 10 years since I have read it, but it holds a powerful space in my mind.

~Traci, wife to DH 4-88. Mom to 3 homebirthed sons, 22,20&17

The Blue Door Farmhouse & traci.mymomentis.biz

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#140 of 287 Old 01-13-2008, 11:40 PM
 
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#3: Schulz and Peanuts, by David Michaelis

Wow. Despite what Schulz' family might have said about this book, it is great. Very readable (though some parts needed to be cut down or omitted...you will have to do a bit of slogging in the first 150 pages or so!) and fascinating. I had no idea what Charles Schulz might have been like as a person, but I could not have guessed. I won't give too much away, but he was teeming with anxiety, for one thing. And not at all self-confident. I also didn't realize he was a St. Paul (MN) native and lived in Minneapolis after he hit it big.

At any rate, if you have ever enjoyed Peanuts (or thought it was lame), or wondered how it got to be a worldwide powerhouse, this is also worth reading. But I liked it for its psychological bent.

---

I think the Eugenides theory is true! I loved Middlesex but did not like The Virgin Suicides. I remember being so disappointed because Middlesex was so good (IMHO).

And I usually read the first 50 pages or so of a book before I give up. I hung in awhile longer with Ahab's Wife, though, and was glad I did! But usually 50 pages (or less, if it's a smaller book) is enough to let me know. I'm not sure I believe in slogging through a book for the sake of some puritanical "good." Maybe before I had kids I'd do this, but now I don't have enough free time to submit myself to those kinds of experiments.

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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#141 of 287 Old 01-14-2008, 02:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#3: Curious George
by H.A. Rey

My review of Curious George can be found here.

#1 The Time Machine, #2 The Shining (Audio): Redux, #3 Curious George

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#142 of 287 Old 01-14-2008, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#4: Animal Farm: A Fairy Story
by George Orwell

My review of Animal Farm: A Fairy Story can be found here.

#1 The Time Machine, #2 The Shining (Audio): Redux, #3 Curious George, #4 Animal Farm: A Fairy Story

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#143 of 287 Old 01-14-2008, 02:19 PM
 
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"Ahab's Wife" by Sena Jeter Naslund

This was recommended earlier this month I think. It's the story of the wife of Ahab from "Moby Dick" which was a cool premise. It's a very long book - but went fast until the last 100 pages which dragged for me. Once we found out what happened to Captain Ahab I didn't really care about the rest.
That is exactly how I felt about it. I was skating through it really enjoying the story, but the last bit was a little plodding. I agree, once the events with Captain Ahab came to light, I wasn't ALL That interested in anything else. It felt like the end of the story arc.

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Eeeek! Five of my holds came in at the library today! And I only get them for two weeks. I'm going to be ignoring my kids for awhile.
I LOVE it when that happens. Jk
That actually happens to me a lot. I get excited and request a whole bunch of books, then I have all this pressure to read read read to get everything done in time. The worst is when someone else has requested the book and you can't renew it!

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I heard this book club lady talking about how to choose books. She says she used to virtuously slog her way through every book till the end, no matter how much she disliked it. And it would take years. But she finally quit that, deciding that life is too short to read books you don't enjoy. She said it was quite freeing. Read a chapter or two, and if you don't like it, put it away and try something else.
I do that. If I am not feeling the love for a book, I give it 50 pages at least. If I still dont love it at that point, I give up and move on. There are soooooo many books and so little time.

Almost done with #4 The Amber Spyglass. I am enjoying it b/c I wanna find out what happens, but then I think it's the weakest of the 3 books in the trilogy, so it's going a little more slowly than the others.
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#144 of 287 Old 01-14-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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1000 White Women is in my top 10 favorites!
It has probably been close to 10 years since I have read it, but it holds a powerful space in my mind.
You need to list what else you plan to read or have read recently so we can compare notes. It seems we both like the same types of books. We had this discussion another time too, didn't we?

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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#145 of 287 Old 01-14-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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#2 - Echos of Honor. The eighth book in the series. Working on the 9h now. Dreading reaching the end of the series....
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#146 of 287 Old 01-14-2008, 04:34 PM
 
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[
I think the Eugenides theory is true! I loved Middlesex but did not like The Virgin Suicides. I remember being so disappointed because Middlesex was so good (IMHO).
Well - it's not true for me. I loved them both.

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#147 of 287 Old 01-14-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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"Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City" by Kirsten ******

This was about 4 teens with unusual talents who discover a city under NYC and try to save the city from villians.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#148 of 287 Old 01-14-2008, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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a city under NYC
This is a motif (is that the right word? Not that I care ) in a lot of books I've read: The Relic and Reliquary by Douglas ******* and Lincoln Child come to mind, and I'm sure I remember some Jeffrey Deaver (The Bone Collector, et. al.) novels that deal with that idea ... seems to be the fashionable thing.

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#149 of 287 Old 01-14-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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I put away #4 Secrets of the Sacred White Buffalo: Native American Healiing Remedies, Rites, and Rituals by Gary Null for now, but I'm leaving it as my #4 because I'll be back to it. Being an anthropologist, it's very difficult to read something like this for pleasure... it feels like being in grad school all over again, and I was in the mood for something lighter!

So, #5 then, is one I'm really looking forward to, The Birth House I'm only about 20 pages in, but so far it's great! First fiction I've read for a really, really long while.
"The Birth House is the story of Dora Rare, the first daughter to be born in five generations of Rares. As a child in an isolated village in Nova Scotia, she is drawn to Miss Babineau, an outspoken Acadian midwife with a gift for healing. Dora becomes Miss B.’s apprentice, and together they help the women of Scots Bay through infertility, difficult labours, breech births, unwanted pregnancies and even unfulfilling sex lives. Filled with details as compelling as they are surprising, The Birth House is an unforgettable tale of the struggles women have faced to have control of their own bodies and to keep the best parts of tradition alive in the world of modern medicine."


ETA: All my wish listed books have been coming in lately at paperbackswap, so I've got quite the list piled up here... on the bright side, they're not library books so I can take my time; on the other hand, I'm out of credits at PBS !

#1 -Buddha Mom
#2 -When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution
#3 - Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs
#4 Secrets of the Sacred White Buffalo: Native American Healiing Remedies, Rites, and Rituals by Gary Null


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#150 of 287 Old 01-14-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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ok, i'm getting sad about my lack of reading (due to dd's 4th bday and a visit from my mum this past weekend), so let me post that tonight i will open my #2 Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcón.

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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