Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What I'm Not Reading*

Hey, this is post 101.

Lisa recently loaned three books to me, Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart series. I'd read the first, but forgotten I had, and never gone on to the other two. As Lisa told me, the first two were were good, but they were a critical foundation upon which the brilliant third had to rest. I finished The Tiger in the Well last night, and it was all she had promised.

Tiger had supplanted several other books which I've started, but then put down. Here are the books on my night table.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel.
by Susanna Clark
Has anyone read this? I wanted to, so my mother shipped her copy to me, but I just couldn't get into it. I haven't quite given up - it's still right there, by my bed, but I haven't tried in a long while.

Middlesex: A Novel

by Jeffery Eugenides
What, would I not otherwise know these are novels? Similar story - I've been wanting to read this, so our friend Veronique lent it to me. Started it, and...fizzled out. The character just didn't grab me. Thoughts, anyone?

Dirty Sugar Cookies
by Ayun Halliday
I've spent some quality time on the couch on lazy weekend afternoons reading this book, and I think that I've been reserving it for another lazy afternoon - it's an enjoyable book, and I always like her style of writing and her subject matter (that would be her, her kids, her husband, etc). Jesse's sister loaned The Big Rumpus to me, around Hazel's birth, and I loved it. I'd read her essay about Inky's birth and stay in the NICU somewhere else, and that's the one that really grabbed my attention and kept it. I enjoyed reading the virtual tour stops, especially those written by bloggers I read regularly: Finslippy, a little pregnant, So Close, Julia, and Dawn. Their opinions were all over the board, which I also loved. Lisa and Kris and I got to hang with Ayun when she stopped here recently (Ayun, come back soon! Hook up with Book People - you'll find there are many more fans here waiting for you!) and she was just as fun in person. So yeah, I'm going to finish it.


OK, I'm back. Miss me? I had to go back and get the stack, carefully tiptoeing past the sleeping yet clinging Hannah, so I could name the rest. Wow, there's more than I thought.


Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting
by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn
I bought this recently on the advice of Catherine. I've always loved reading about her children and the parent she tries to be - she is truly mindful. So far, so good, but then I got distracted by something escapist and haven't come back. I will, though. Here's a quote, one that I'd underlined, "Each time I choose to be kind instead of cruel, to understand rather than judge, to accept rather than reject, my children, no matter what their age,are nourished and grow stronger."

Parenting from the Inside Out
by Daniel J. Siegal and Mary Hartzell
This one was recommended to us by our friend Gwen, and by the school. The subtitle is, How a Deeper Self-understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive. I've underlined far more in this book - here's an example, "When tired, hungry, frustrated, disappointed, or angered, we can lose the ability to be reflective and become limited in our capacity to choose our behaviours." Uh-huh.

The Fourth Bear
by Jasper Fforde
I keep forgetting I have this, which is a bad sign, isn't it? I LOVE the Thursday Next series with a passion, but the Nursery Crimes series just doesn't do it for me. So while I've enjoyed this each time I pick it up, I completely blank it out once I set it down. However, I will finish it (maybe next) so I can return it to Kris.

The Omnivore's Dilemma
by Michael Pollan.
Well, I'm certainly eating a lot less corn (corn products, that is) and buying a lot more local food than I did before I bought this book. I am still stuck in the Joel Salatin section, but I feel like I've gotten the main points of the book. Michael Pollan does a great job of exposition, laying out the history and the interconnectedness of the industrial food chain in a captivating manner. I've also enjoyed reading his blog, his letters to John Mackey, and the replies. I'll keep it, read it eventually, and recommend it to anyone and everyone. Redneck Mother had some great analysis of his book - go read what she thinks.

Birds of America
by Lorrie Moore
I really am having a hard time getting past the short stories. I typically don't do short stories. It's a mental thing, I know. I'm not calling it quits yet.

The Knitting Sutra
by Susan Gordon Lydon
Whose book is this? Yours, Kris? Maybe my MIL's? I don't think I've read much at all. Anyone?

I've obviously got some good reading ahead of me. With which book should I start?

* Courtesy of the lovely Suse.


Lisa said...

Well, of course I'm going to say Lorrie Moore. I know you don't usually like short stories but she really is amazing. Her ability to conjure completely fleshed-out characters & situations in this genre is dazzling. I still think about these characters all the time and wonder what might have happened next with them.

meno said...

I tried to read Jonathan Strange, etc. i made it ove half way through and then just put it down one day and never picked it up again. I think'll i'll get ahold of the Phillip Pullman books next, i like him.

Bookhart said...

I loved loved loved Jonathan Strange and Mr. Morrell but I know several people who couldn't quite get into it. I'd be interested to hear what you think of the latest Halliday--I liked The Big Rumpus but didn't know another one was out.

I have a new stack of library books for the weekend and am rubbing my hands together in anticipation. Oh wait, I have kids.

Krispy said...

The Knitting Sutra is not mine. Although it sounds interesting.

I can add Job Hopper to your nightstand list. (willing to trade for Suga Cookies)

I have not heard of the Jonathon Strange, nor the Middlesex (other than during the name game.)

The second half of your list (after tiptoeing past Hannah --- "no one knows where a tippy toer goes!")
all sound lovely. Any of them would be great. I also encourage you to stick with the Lorrie Moore. I won't try to oversell it, but it really was a nice collection. It was a nice surprise for me. (and you do like David Sedaris short stories. so. getover it.)

Lisa said...

You've been tagged.

Suse said...

The Knitting Sutra - sounds intriguing!!