Friday, July 23, 2010

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

I do appreciate recommendations from you all although sometimes it stretches me out of my reading comfort zone.

I don't usually read Mystery novels, but this one was recommended to me. This book takes place in the early 1900s England. It's the story of Maisie, whose mum dies when she is a young gal. She works as a maid where her intellectual talent is discovered and nurtured. There's also war, love, and grief.

It took awhile to get into it, but then I got sucked in, but I found the ending to be a bit shallow and disappointing. This is Book 1 in a series, and right now, I don't think I'm gonna pick up #2.

The Power of Pause: Becoming More by Doing Less by Terry Hershey

I picked up this book at exactly the right time as I've been more intentional lately about slowing down.

This book has 52 short chapters that could take you through a year if you read one chapter a week. But since it was a library book, I read it in three weeks. Talk about slowing down, huh? =D

Really though, it did cause me to slow down, to think about how I do things, and to notice more.

The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

This was recommended to me by my dear friend, Grace, who also happens to be one of the faithful followers of this blog. Thanks, Grace!

This is the story about a princess who was cursed (or blessed) by the Water Fairy when the Fairy pronounced, “You shall be ordinary!” And so the princess is ordinary all around, unlike her six other sisters, but she really doesn’t mind. She can go out into the forest and play the day away without caring about getting too many freckles.

I won’t say too much more because I really hope that you will read this book. The one word I would use to describe it is: Delightful.

I read this book all in one Sunday afternoon, and it was such a treat.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Keeping the Feast: One Couple's Story of Love, Food, and Healing in Italy by Paula Butturini

This book is about the role that food and place play in healing and restoration.

The author's husband is recovering from being shot while working as a foreign-correspondent, and then falls into a depression. Doctors, meds, therapists, and friends all aid in his recovery, but the simple routine of eating well, taking things slowly, and sinking into the moment and whatever it holds is also key in her husband's recovery and her own self-care as she cares for him.

This book was subtle and soothing. I appreciate her descriptions of depression and what it looks like, and how fragile someone can be while depressed. This is not something that is always talked about.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal by Julie Metz

The author's husband suddenly dies, and in the year after, she finds out that throughout their marriage, he had numerous affairs including one with one of her good friends.

This book was gripping, mostly because the husband led this double life that the author had no idea about (but looking back, she could see some hints).

Quite soon after her husband's death, she starts dating and sleeping with other men, so that part I didn't really understand or see how it was helpful to her grieving/ sorting out process.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Two is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice by Laura S. Scott

Last weekend, Boomer's family got together for his grandma's 90th birthday. As we were driving there, I made a deal with Boomer - for every time that someone asked me when we were going to have children, we would go out for sushi.

Within five minutes of walking into the restaurant, his uncle asked when we were planning on starting on family....Sushi Dinner #1! Two other people asked (Sushi Dinner #2 and #3!), so lots of sushi is in my future. I love raw salmon.

It is assumed that every couple will have children. The question I get is: "WHEN will you have kids?" not "Are you going to have kids?"

Hey, I haven't even been married for six months yet.

This book is about choosing not to have children. The author surveyed child-free by choice couples and she discusses the most common reasons people cite for choosing to not have children. She also talks about various reactions that child-free couples receive. It really is assumed out there that everyone wants and will have children.

A lot of my friends are in some stage of having kids - they are either trying to have kids, pregnant, or have just given birth.

There is a choice to be made about whether or not to have kids, and this was a helpful book for me to read.

Now, time for one of those sushi dinners.

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

Doesn't this book have a funny title?

It takes place in India where retired Mr. Ali decides to start a business arranging marriages. The people seeking his services are colorful and interesting.

A very pleasant book, simple yet delightful. I don't think I've read any books that take place in India, so this was a nice start.

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

I picked this book up because it was called "Commencement" and I had just graduated. =D

This is the fictional story of four ladies who meet during their freshmen year at Smith College. It follows them through their 20s, through their changing lives and friendships.

Some might consider this book to be in the Chic-Lit category whatever that might mean, I'm not sure. However, I found the stories to be much more complicated than the typically linear storylines found in those "Chic-Lit" books. I liked the book, and this surprised me, but there was some depth to the characters and what they struggled with.