Friday, July 20, 2012

a book list {for you, grandma}

Dear Grandma,

I've got three letters to you started but none quite finished and mailed, which I do regret.  So in the meantime, while I either rack the stack up to 16 pages or trash the whole pile and start over with something short and sweet, I thought I'd send you my reading list via the world wide web for all to enjoy.  I don't spend a lot of time reading these days (my excuse: 90% of my reading time is spent with picture books); some of these took me FOREVER to finish, so it's not going to be an impressive list for a year's worth of reading.  (Maybe I forgot a couple; don't know.)

Anyway.  Here you have it.  Whatever it is... a little note about books.

The Chronicles of Narnia, by CS Lewis.

I read these last summer -- out loud to Owen in my womb as much as I could.  Don't think I've ever read them before; it was really fun and thought provoking at once.

On the Road, by Jack Kerouac.

An interesting read.  This one quote really stuck with me because I think I relate: "Well, now you know me.  You know I don't have close relationships with anybody anymore -- I don't know what to do with these things.  I hold things in my hand like pieces of crap and don't know where to put it down."

Bloom,  a memoir by Kelle Hampton.

Apparently some people love Kelle, and some hate her.  And most have probably never heard of her.  I guess if I have to choose, I love her.  I love her blog -- the photography is gorgeous and the writing is inspirational.  I do find that she paints a picture perfect world that can't possibly exist; but that's okay, it's her space and she can write whatever she wants; I balance it out with other reading.  As for the book, I knew I'd read it and I'm glad I did, but it seemed kinda, I don't know, self-indulgent?  And the metaphors were tireless.  And if there had been one more reference to cracking open a cold one I might have started ripping pages out.  But still, I like ya, Kelle.  And I liked your book.

Until I Find You, by John Irving.

Okay, my love affair with John Irving's writing started way back with A Prayer for Owen Meany (is "owen" a coincidence?  no.)  The World According to Garp absolutely consumed me when I read it junior year in college.  But by the time you've read all JI's books, or even half, you begin to realize that he's a little tweaked.  There was a lot of strange sex stuff in this one, to the point that I'm almost ashamed to admit that in the end, I kinda liked the book.

Unconditional Parenting, by Alfie Kohn.

"A provocative challenge to the conventional wisdom about discipline" or something like that is the subtitle.  Alfie's theory is, basically, that all forms of punishments and rewards -- from spanking and time out to stickers and even praise -- are detrimental.  Now, I can't say I agree with 100% of what Alfie says, but I found this book be extremely insightful.  I'd call it a "must read" for all parents of children.  Really interesting, and might make you change the way you think about some things.

Infidel, a memoir by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Just started it and already, wow.  Good, heavy, really sad but powerful to read stuff.  Makes me so incredibly thankful to be an American, a Christian, a woman in the 21st century and none of the centuries prior.  Makes KH's memoir seem rather petty (sorry, not hating, just saying).

That's where I'm at.

Love you, Grandma.

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