Monday, May 03, 2010

Books I read in April: 2010

Many people think watching TV cuts into reading time. This is simply not the case. Reading books interferes with computer time but TV time is hands-free time (folding clothes) or too-tired-to-type time. So you see, I only watch TV when I'm too tired to read a book or need to have my hands free for clothes-folding. So for those of you who might be scared that I am reading too much and will forget to watch Lost, don't worry. The thing to worry about is that I will be doing online research about Lost during my not-too-tired-hands-available time and I will forget to blog about it. Because if I forget to blog, this all goes away.

The first book I read in April was Suprised By Joy : The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis. Like all other Mormons, I love C.S. Lewis. And there is absolutely much to love. But here's the truth about C.S. Lewis: He's an erudite grump. But I still love him. This book explains the roots of his conversion to Christianity. It's less interesting than you might think, but wonderful and charming nevertheless.  He tells a lot about his childhood and boarding school. He mostly says, "I read this and thought this and then I got really into this and it slowly made me come around to this idea which jived with this and eventually I decided there was nothing left to think but this." Substitute "this" with something you've never read or even heard of in a language you don't speak. It kind of reminded me of a lot of college textbook reading but it was such a pleasure because I didn't have to "get it." Does it even matter what C.S. Lewis says or does? He had us at, "Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmond, and Lucy."

If this were a book club (and why shouldn't it be?) I would say, "Do you think he ever really appreciated his father?"and "Do you think the fact that he knows he's an intellectual elitist makes him less of an intellectual elitist?" It has certainly worked for me.

Then I read Simple Home Solutions: Good Things with Martha Stewart Living Martha Stewart is also a bit of an erudite grump. This book is like reading a magazine. It was there. I checked it out. I read it. And then I lined some drawers with rubbery shelf paper. Good for me.

Next in April, DogPerfect, Second Edition by Sarah Hodgson. You probably think I have a wonderful dog because I read so many dog books but I don't. I hate my dog and she is horrible. That said, this book has some really helpful and practical advice. I love Cesar Milan but if you aren't a dog Svengali and you never walk your dog, his method doesn't work. The stuff in Dogperfect really works.

And since I'm not a tween Svengali either, I read Talking to Tweens: Getting It Right Before It Gets Rocky with Your 8- to 12-Year-Old by Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer. This book contains good advice and it is British, which makes the advice easier to take. Be nice to your tweens. Listen to them. Pick your battles. Teach them to be good. Appreciate them. Give them pocket money. They're young, but also old. That sort of thing. For more specific advice, read the book.

Simply Sane: Living Outside the Fast Lane by Debbie Bowen. This book is short and affirming for low energy-not-very-good-housewives like me. You know--Simplify your life and be happier.

More Diners, Drive-ins and Dives: A Drop-Top Culinary Cruise Through America's Finest and Funkiest Joints by Guy Fieri. Ever seen this show? I checked this out because we are going on vacation to San Diego when school gets out. We're planning the trip around places to eat. It was Maggie's idea. I'm going to eat this!

And the last book I read in April was Read My Pins by Madeleine Albright. Do you know about her pin fetish? What a COOL lady. Talk about a firecracker. I want to be her when I grow up. But I'm kind of behind since I haven't advised any presidents yet. I just gave up on that goal. But I still might get a lot of jewelry.

Read anything good lately?


  1. I read Fablehaven book one and I'm going to read book two - four. I'm aiming for intellectual books these days.

  2. I love grumpy old elitist men. They don't apologize for it.

  3. City of Thieves. It grew on me and now looking back I liked it quite a bit. The Hundred Secret Senses. I'm starting Mrs. Dalloway and also Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I also reread Peacegiver which is a terribly written book but always makes me a better person for a while after I finish it.

  4. I'm inspired to pick up the DDD book . . . we do the same thing. Just went to Hodad's. Worth the wait in line.

    There is nobody like CS Lewis... ever see the movie Shadowlands?

    I'm reading The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan.

    Your blog is fun. I'm a fan.

  5. You might like Stumbling on Happiness. I've been reading it lately and it makes me laugh and teaches me things.

  6. After reading your list of books I think you might fit right in in my book club. We take turns picking books. "Suite Francais" and "Wide Sargasso Sea" were my picks and I think when it's my turn next I will choose "The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night". I can't say I'm really looking forward to "Freakonomics" which was someone's pick this month but hey, we have dinner too, so I'll show up. (Also, it is at my house so what choice do I really have?)

  7. I finally got around to reading Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. That was good. Only took me a couple hours to read as well, so, bonus.

    This month I'll be reading The Constant Princess, East of Eden, and some other things I haven't yet decided. Atonement?

  8. Curious Incident is GREAT! Ditto for Atonement, Suite Francaise, and East of Eden.

    I'm reading a bio of Edith Wharton - not especially a page turner, but very insightful.

    Our book group did Sargent's Daughters - if you are a fan of art, you will love it. It's a nice glimpse into a time and a place.

    Now we are reading Cry the Beloved Country. Can I just say it is beautiful and lyrical and so timely - even though it's 63 years old!

  9. I just finished Half the Sky and now am all uppity.

  10. I don't want "all of this" to go away. Don't forget to blog! (You defend a healthy tv lifestyle that is complementary to my lifestyle. I shant be taking it for granted.)

    I read a book called Dangerous or Safe? about all the hype of what's good for you, what will kill you and your children. It's obviously had quite an impression on me, because I haven't changed any of my eating routines, but, there you have it. (It's always good to feel validated, though--that never gets old!)

    I read The Blunderer by Patricia Highsmith. I loved it. It's like an uncomfortable episode of the Office twisted with an Agatha Christie mystery. Delightfully uncomfortable and character driven.

    I read a book about the early music industry. It was boring. I blame my lack of attention for names and dates of people I don't know for that.

  11. Um, off topic...have you tried out the deals to meals program on your sidebar? I would love to save $ on our groceries, but am allergic to coupons, multiple stores, checking ads, etc. If you've used it can you share how it works? If you need to keep quiet cause they're an advertiser that's cool too.

  12. I love the movie Shadowlands.

    Freakonomics is very good and interesting. You'll like it, Lisa.

  13. For our tenth wedding anniversary we went to Denver. Everyone was perplexed; Denver seemed like such a random choice. I didn't tell anyone that we chose it based on a travel channel special about the best places to eat, because I was a little embarrassed about it. No more.

    I'm totally planning our next vacation around food, too. Have fun on yours!

  14. I've been on an Angela Thirkell kick. She's a writer from the 1930's-40's who wrote about upper class English people who sit around and talk and don't do much and they are HYSTERICAL.

  15. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has planned trips around places to eat.

  16. I read Belong to Me (from your prior recommendation) before going on vacation... loved it. So I picked up Love Walked in (by same author) to read on the beach. Loved it too... I just wish I had done my homework and realized that LWI came before BTM, so I read them in the wrong order. I'm still gald I read both books, though!


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