I had a good amount of reading time over the holidays, which doesn’t really make sense, considering the fact that I had both kids at home. But there was a long car ride to Vegas (Luckily, I can read in the car without getting sick) and a general effort to be in bed early to save my energy for holiday madness made for some reading splurges.
In any case, if you’re looking for book recommendations, here’s what I read in December / January
Room by Emma Donoghue
I uploaded this on my ipad over a year ago. I knew it was a dark tale and I just wasn’t in the headspace to dive in quite yet, so I let it sit there on my virtual bookshelf until I found myself in Las Vegas in December with some down time. I finished the book in two nights.
The story follows five-year-old Jack and his mom who have been held captive in a “room” one room his entire life. His mother has managed to create a stimulating, educational life for him. The story is told from Jack’s point of view and is an account of the re-birth of this child and his relationship with the world. This was a really powerful read highlighting not only the bond between mother and child but also the resilience and bravery of survivors.
Setting Limits for your Strong-Willed Child by Robert J. MacKenzie
Mr. P. is a passionate and insightful child. He is imaginative and kind, energetic and wise. He is also one of the most strong-willed beings I have ever met. Give him a minor discrepancy in your logic and he will plow through it like a bulldozer. He will get what he wants in this world, but in the meantime, I need a boost once in a while when it comes to parenting him. For me, this was a must-read and has given me the confidence I needed in dealing with his persistent character.
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
This story follows Madeline trying to find her way post college. She becomes tangled in a bit of a love triangle. Like Madeline, I am a fellow English major and I got a kick out of all of the discussion surrounding the “importance” of understanding Derrida. Reading this in my thirties, it does seem as though she doesn’t have so much at stake, but then again, that’s kind of what the 20’s are all about…finding your way in the world and feeling as though everything is at stake.
Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
This book exploded on to the parenting scene in 2009. I missed the boat (what’s new), but finally got my hands on a copy a few months ago. It essentially breaks down multiple assumptions about children and parenting to reveal truth behind our often times counterintuitive ways of dealing with our kids. The authors argue that many of the ways modern society “nurtures” children are actually backfiring. I took issue with some of the assertions in this book, but nevertheless it was definitely a provocative read which made me think more deeply about my own parenting methods.
The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern
As a young adult author, it’s imperative that I keep up with what’s going on within the YA market (or at least that’s what I use as my excuse to read The Hunger Games trilogy, for example.) After reading a review of this book in the L.A. times, I ordered it from the library. It is a whimsical look at a competition of magic and illusion between two affiliates of the circus who are in a battle that puts their lives at risk. I was enchanted by the world created in this text, but found the prose to be a bit frilly. It was quite a rich visual experience reading this novel and I am sure that we will be seeing it on the big screen in a few years.
What have you read recently?? I’m always up for some recommendations.