Archive for December, 2009

What I’m Reading 2009

Even with baby number 3 I'm still finding time to read. Smile

January 2009 

The Diamond Age The Art of Extreme Self Care The Hummingbird's Daughter

1. Neal Stephenson: The Diamond Age
2. Cheryl Richardson: The Art of Extreme Self-Care
3. Luis Alberto Urrea: The Hummingbird's Daughter

February 2009

Bless Me, Ultima Siblings Without Rivalry Prodigal Summer How to Talk So Kids Can Listen & Listen So Kids Can Talk Animal Vegetable Miracle 

4. Adolfo Anaya: Bless Me Ultima
5. Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish: Siblings Without Rivalry
6. Barbara Kingsolver: Prodigal Summer
7. Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
8. Barbara Kingsolver: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

March 2009

Animal DreamsTravels with Charley The Gift Motherhood is not for Wimps Empire Falls

9. Barbara Kingsolver: Animal Dreams
10. John Steinbeck: Travels with Charley
11. Cecelia Ahern: The Gift
12. Elizabeth Soutter Schwarzer: Motherhood is not for Wimps
13. Richard Russo: Empire Falls

April 2009

An Irish Country Doctor The Places in Between Everyday Blessings

14. Patrick Taylor: An Irish Country Doctor
15. Rory Stewart: The Spaces in Between
16. Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn: Everday Blessings-The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

With the Arrival of Ethan in the middle of April my reading slowed down a little but what I've been reading I've been enjoying (except for Rory Stewart's The Spaces in Between). I found it a tedious read and felt that his presentation of the men of Afghanistan lacked dimension and I tired of all the testosterone and aggression that he described. He did not seem to truly penetrate this society of men on a personal level and it came across that he didn't really try. He is obviously well read but I felt he was showcasing this more than purely providing historical context. Most of our bookclub reported that they too didn't like it and many felt he was exploiting the people he wrote about.

May 2009

The Dante Club The Omnivore's Dilemma Little Bits of Wisdom: A Collection of Tips and Advice from Real Parents

17. Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
18. Michael Pollan: The Omnivore's Dilemma
19. Josie Bissett (Ed.): Little Bits of Wisdom: A Collection of Tips and Advice from Real Parents

June 2009

In Defense of Food To Kill a Mockingbird How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will Too! 

20. Michael Pollan: In Defense of Food
21. Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird
22. Sal Severe: How to Behave So You're Preschooler Will Too!

July 2009

Alanna The First Adventure         Shelter Me Left BehindTribulation Force

23. Tamora Pierce: Alanna The First Adventure
24. Juliette Fay: Shelter Me
25. Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins: Left Behind
26. Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins: Trubulation Force

August 2009

Nicolae Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child      The Art of Loving

27. Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins: Nicolae: the Rise of the Antichrist
28. Marc Weissbluth: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
29. Eric Fromm: The Art of Loving

September 2009

In the Hand of the Goddess An Uncommon Reader The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

30. Tamora Pierce: In the Hand of the Goddess
31. Alan Bennett: An Uncommon Reader
32. Tamora Pierce: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

October 2009

Lioness Rampant Cry, The Beloved Country

33. Tamora Pierce: Lioness Rampant
34. Alan Paton: Cry, the Beloved Country

November 2009

Mr Darcy Takes a Wife Soul HarvestThe Sparrow

35. Linda Berdoll: Mr Darcy Takes a Wife
36. Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins: Soul Harvest
37. Maria Doria Russell: The Sparrow

I'm absolutely loving Mr Darcy Takes a Wife. Usually I don't even consider sequels that are not written by the original author. However, a friend recommended this and based on her rave I took a chance. Wow! This is a racy sequel taking place after the wedding of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. It is very readable, humorous at times and well written (though occasionaly overwritten and unnecesarily wordy). However I'm enjoying it immensely and forgiving of the writing flaws. Berdoll captures the characters from Austen's novel very well and continues the story in a very believable manner. As for Soul Harvest, I've been slowly working my way through this for a couple of months. I'm running out of steam with this series that started off really well.

I read The Sparrow for my book club and it was an interesting reading experience. I really liked the characters and the suspense. I wanted to know what happened to the characters when they traveled to the newly discovered inhabited planet. I felt drawn to the characters, interested in their lives and intereactions with each other. I really liked the main character of Father Emilio Sandoz, perhaps because he was an amazing linguist and I love languages. I was struck by how well the author portrayed his strength before and during the mission and the broken man and his slow recovery when he returned. Here is the interesting part, I currently have mixed feelings about the ending. It is obvious from the outset that something horrific happened on the mission. This is the mystery that provides the suspense throughout the whole book. After the mystery was revealed and the book ended, I felt that the revelation gave lots of food for thought as Father Santoz discusses it's impact on his faith with the other jesuit priests conducting the inquiry into what happened on the planet. At the same time I felt that the end was not worth the wait. I felt simultaneously that the final event was both imaginative and unimaginative. (I'm not able to quite define this any further yet, it is so recent for me.) Even aside from the debate it fosters about faith in God in the face of such tragedy and horror, there is a little part of me that disappointedly wonders, "what was the point?" There is a sequel to this book but when I came to the end I knew I didn't want to read it. This story was enough.

December 2009

Twilight Basic Irish GrammarThe Story of the Irish Language

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a DayDarcy and Elizabeth Nights and Days at Pemberely        Julie and Julia

38. Stephenie Meyer: Twilight
39. Nancy Stenson: Basic Irish Grammar
40. Edward Purdon: The Story of the Irish Language
41. Jeff Hertberg, M.D. and Zoë François: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
42. Linda Berdoll: Darcy and Elizabeth Nights and Days of Pemberley
43. Julia Powell: Julie and Julia

It's the end of another year of reading. December has been a bumper month of good reading and inspiration for the New Year.

I decided to read Twilight this month just to get a feel for what all the hype around the series is about. I found the writing simple and compelling. I imagine I would have loved this series as a teenager (I was a huge Stephen King fan back then). While I was engrossed in the story by the end and could hardly put it down wanting to know the outcome, I don't think I'll read any more in the series. I see what the hype is about, it is strangely compelling. I do find the power play between Edward and Bella a little disturbing. He was very dominant over her at various points throughtout the book, as were some of the other male characters and she was consistently portrayed as clumsy and unable to take care of herself. I found that a little distrubing given that the audience for this book really is teenage girls.

I loved Basic Irish Grammar. A few events recently conspired to encourage me to delve back into my knowledge of Irish. It was intriguing to work through this book given that Irish is almost innate for me at this point. yes my ability to produce it is fading with lack of use, but as I read this book I realised that all of its contents are part of my knowledge base without me consciously understanding the details of the grammar structures themselves. Although Irish is not my mother tongue, learning it from the age of five has given it a presence in my brain similar to English. I can prduce the language but can't necessarily tell you how I construct what is produced, like I could for French or Japanese or even my little bit of Spanish. I loved that I could read this book as if I was reading an English grammar book. I had little dificulty reading all the Irish content (just some vocabulary here and there to look up in its glossary). It reassures me that my Irish isn't gone, it's just hibernating from lack of usse. I'm feeling inspired to approach Irish again int he way I have studied my other languages. I wonder what progress I could make with my new study methods that I'm finding so successful?

The Story of the Irish Language was a nice but brief little book. I enjoyed reading about the origins of Irish.

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day was a Christmas present from James. I know a couple of people who have been using this book and they have really liked the results (as have I when I've tasted their bread!). I read this from cover to cover in 2 days and can't wait to get started in the New Year. James also gave me a bkaing stone to go with it. I want ot get a pizza peel, an oven thermometerand a five quart plastic container that isn't airtight and I'll be away on my bread making adventure.

I am almost finished Darcy and Elizabeth and Julie and Julia. I decided that the first Berdoll sequel was fun enough to read the second sequel. Not as grreat as the first but I'm enjoying the read. She still maintains the character development of Darcy and Elizabeth in a believable fashion and I enjoy reading more about minor characters such as servants, but there is more repetition than I'd like and some tedious moments when I would just like to get back to the main action. I'm also getting tired of reading about Lydia, Elizabeth's moraless sister. I decided to read Julie and Julia before seeing the movie. I had to stop reaing it for a couple of days when I had a stomach virus because I couldn't even bring myself to read about food let alone eat any. I find my self loving the parts about Julai Childs and inspired to try some of Julia's recipes. I'm having mixed reactions to Julie. She comes across as a little to chaotic to me and somewhat disrespectful of her husband. Yet I admire her for taking on this cooking challenge.



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