Friday, March 04, 2011

Books I Read in February: 2011 Edition

People often ask me how I read so much. Well, first of all, I don't read that much.  Second of all, that question ("How do you find time to read?") is a veiled accusation that I don't take care of my kids so I always ignore it. Like how I ignore my kids.

But seriously folks, here is an example of how I might spend the afternoon reading. It is, in fact, what I did today: I l rested in Ellen's bed and she put a doll on me. She wants to be a "baby doctor." She doesn't know all that it implies. She thinks the worst thing that could happen to her as a baby doctor would be delivering a bald baby. She hates bald babies. Nevertheless, she pats my stomach and I lay there and read a book until the baby is ready to "hatch." After it "hatches" I tell the doctor that I'm weak and need to rest up. I almost read a whole book today during my hospital stay. She rarely naps anymore; I have to improvise.

Early in the month I read The Passage by Justin Cronin. It's kind of like The Stand but with vampires and it is awesome and realistic--even with the vampires.

I got really into this book and was blown away that anyone could think of the story and the details. It made me think about society and what would happen if we were mostly wiped out and if the few survivors didn't pass down stories because they thought what wiped them out was too gruesome and awful to share. Those remaining people would really be at a loss. That happens in this book. It's quite popular among humanities-types like my self to value the oral tradition in theory but this book really made me understand the value of it (still in theory, I guess, since this book is fiction and, you know, about vampires). It also makes me worry about how valuable I would be in a post-apocalyptic-type scenario. I'm thinking, not that valuable? This book is the first in a trilogy and I'm happy to be on board.

Then I read Tim Gunn's Guide to Quality Taste and Style. This lightened the mood.

Tim's a doll. His books are always a treat.

Slaone Crosley is funny. Read her book.

She's the kind of person you want to be friends with in real life. Except, she's kind of a curmudgeon and would probably hate you. Like me! Just kidding.

I read I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron while we were in St. George. She's great. She says your neck goes wobbly at age 43. Yikes. Oh well. My plan is to go really gently into that good night.

And then I read the wonderfully quirky Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris.

It's weird. And funny. Bless his heart. He inspires me.

A very quick and very funny read is Stuff White People Like by Christian Lander.

It's funny because it's true.

I started The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child by Marti Olsen Laney a few weeks ago. But it was hidden under a bunch of stuff on my nightstand so I just barely finished it. Get it? This book is so useful to me in parenting my kids. I like to read parenting books of all sorts but often the approaches just don't apply to me or my kids. This is gentle and makes sense. My kids are introverted and they need much more encouragement then discouragement. Things always go worse with them when I decide to get hard core and focus on punishment. But then I feel guilty for being a softy. But that's what my kids need most of the time. So I like this book a lot.

What should I read next?

PS The Passage, How Did You Get This Number, and Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk all have some swearing in them--in case you want to avoid that.


  1. I'm thrilled (and validated!) that you liked The Passage! I had no idea it was going to be a trilogy- happy news. I'm definitely going to read "How did you get this number". Sounds like my kind of lady, too.

  2. I ignore my kid to read (and blog), too.

  3. I loved I Feel Bad About My Neck - didn't think I'd ever stop laughing. I could always find time to read - but now the book has to be compelling or I just stop reading and go read a magazine instead. I vowed this year to not buy anymore books because I have so many that I bought because someone - usually NPR - reviewed and sounded so positive - and decided that I can't buy anymore books until I read those - and I think there are about 20 of them!!

    So that's why I'm reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - which I am enjoying, but you've probably read it.

    I'm also reading the new Church Handbook - trying to find all the "chapter and verses" that everyone alludes to when they say, "The new handbook says you can't do that anymore."

    I'm curious. Have only found one.

  4. Good idea with the doctor thing. My best trick, which will only work for a bit longer, is hide-and-seek. My kids are really bad seekers, so if I pick a tricky spot, I can read for a good 15 minutes before they find me. Then when it's my turn to be the seeker, I read for a while before I go find them. They're proud when it takes me a really long time to find them because they think it means they chose a really good spot.

  5. Thanks for the swearing caveat. I only read books with swear words.

  6. I loved The Passage too, weird how such a giant book can be read so quickly.

  7. When people ask me how I read so much I usually make a joke about having a messy house. But mostly it annoys me because I don't read that much, and I think it's supposed to make me feel bad.

    I recommend A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller. I thought he was interesting to read and had some good insights.

    (Although when you are a writer, single and have no kids, it's a bit different to change your life than say it would be for other people.)

  8. I thought that Sedaris book was really weird, too. He is a crazy, crazy man. I just re-read a most of "Naked" which actually makes me LOL, but "Corduroy and Denim" is my all-time fave. It's so much like my life as the oldest of 13 children (that would have made me the Lisa character, which is pretty close) and it made me say, "Well, at least mom wasn't an alcholic!" There's that.

    I read Stuff White People Like and I Feel Bad About My Neck, too...the neck thing made me start exfoliating my neck and using anit-aging night cream on it about 3 years ago (I didn't want to be one of those ladies with a nice youthful face and a wobbly wattle!)and that good habit made my thyroidectomy scar disappear! Thanks, Nora! Man, KC, I wish we were neighbors so we could hang out and read books together.

  9. I like Sedaris, but I HAVE to read him, not listen to him. Drives me crazy to listen to him.

  10. This was so awesome. I don't admit to the real number of books I read because I get the implied "You must be neglecting your children" criticism, too.

    I am, however, kind of disappointed that you recommended so many books. I already have a stack I ordered from Amazon that I haven't read, and now I want to read more!

  11. YOU inspire me. And you weren't kidding about the thing you said you were kidding about. I'm comfortable knowing that and I feel sorry for the rest of your readership that doesn't know that. But I don't hate them.

  12. If you like Sloane Crosley, check out her other books and also Laurie Notaro. I recently read all of their collective memoirs. And I have 6 kids. How DOES she find the time? Well, do you ever ask people how they have the time to watch tv? I mean, come on!!


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