Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bookshelf, Bookshelf, Where'd You Get That Book, Shelf?

At any time, I am almost sure to be reading anywhere from two to six books. I love reading, and after a recent realization that since becoming a mother I hadn't read anything but The Baby Book by Dr. Sears and The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, I decided I must resume reading in order to preserve my mind, my sanity, and my passion for the written word. One library card later ...

On my writer's shelf:

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King

I'm loving this. I've never read anything by Stephen King until now, although I've watched a few film adaptations of his work. His style is so easy to read--not that it's simple-minded at all--it just flows. And his voice is very distinct without overpowering his content. While I don't agree with all his ideas, and his language is a bit colorful every once in a while, I'm finding this book motivating and interesting.

On my reader's shelf:

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

My Aunt Becca recommended this book to me, raving about how every sentence is pure poetry. I'm only on page 50 of 550, but I already know she is right. It's set in WWII Germany, and I find the different perspective refreshing. Narrated by Death, this book is lyrical. It's the type of fiction that I can read for fun but still feel enriched and inspired by. I would definitely not mind being caught by an old professor reading this.

On my parent's shelf:

Brain Rules for Baby, by John Medina

I just finished this, so technically it's on my "to return to the library bookshelf." Written by a developmental molecular biologist, this book approaches babies and young children from a very biological point of view. I really liked that the author vetted any studies mentioned in his book to those published in peer-reviewed journals and successfully replicated. No junk science or pop psychology here. What I really enjoyed was that all the advice in this book perfectly complemented my education as a family scientist--only this was the from the "brain science" perspective instead of the "social science" perspective. I loved that the two disciplines validate each other in this area. Another thing co-validated: the gospel. All the parenting principles outlined in this book were familiar to me, not only because of studying families and human development in college, but because of the church. The best parents are, in a word, Christlike. Very empathic and loving, but they also have high standards for their children. This book also comforted me as a new parent. How do I raise a smart child? Do I need all the bells and whistles of electronic toys and early reading programs? No. The best thing to do for your baby's intellectual development: talk to them, a lot. Also, no TV ... but that's another soapbox.

On my cook's shelf:

Make it Fast, Cook it Slow, by Stephanie O'Dea
Most of the recipes in this book don't meet my health standards (low meat, low processed foods, high in grains and veggies), but I am always looking for new Crockpot ideas so I was excited to find this cookbook at the library. There's also a blog. I've tried a couple of the recipes and they've been great. I love slow cooking. I feel like such a gold medal housewife when dinner is essentially done by 9 am.

On my brainless toad's shelf:

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, by Linda Berdoll
I saw this on the library shelf and thought I remembered someone somewhere saying something about how this was good. So I checked it out and brought it home, ignorant of the smutty content within. Like most things female, I love Pride and Prejudice, so I thought this would be a fun sequel, though I had my doubts about whether I even wanted to read it and thus replace my own imaginings of what happened after Jane Austen's genius novel ends. Thank goodness for Amazon reviews. Before even starting the book, I looked it up to see if it was any good, and I found so many tales of how sexually explicit and poorly-written this book was. So I didn't even read the first page. So I'm in search of another brainless toad book to entertain me--one I would feel embarrassed to be reading in front of a literature professor, but not my bishop.

What's on your bookshelf?


  1. my mom sent me this book "sisters of the quilt" its a trilogy. It was really really good! And you could definitely read it in front of your bishop... :)

  2. Well, I've started to convert the rest of your family to raging fantasy nerds, so I have a bunch of suggestions in that vein if you're looking for that avenue. I also have lots of terrible war books (not terrible as in awful things, terrible as in a fifth grader can easy handle all the nuances the authors are capable of writing), but the whole you missing a Y chromosome thing might get in the way of your enjoying gratuitous violence. Let me know either way -
    (and yes, I often have at least 5 books going at a time. Unless of course something important comes up. Then I'll procrastinate as hard as possible and either rapidly up my number of books, or try and knock off a few before doing the task)

  3. Kimber, have you read the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson, or his Warbreaker? I've read the first of his Mistborn books and Warbreaker and enjoyed them both a lot. Good luck finding a good light-hearted book to read.

  4. Oh, I am so glad you are reading Book Thief! And there is NOTHING wrong with being a fantasy nerd!!

  5. I finished a book too! Pride and Prejudice for the first time. The rest of the day, my thoughts sounded so educated. And British. It was awesome.

  6. Ok. We need to start a book club.


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