Saturday, November 27, 2010

Uncharted TerriTori by Tori Spelling

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I read this book.

And maybe a little bit more embarrassed to admit that I read it in a day.

Tori Spelling lives a lavish lifestyle, and is really busy with work and raising her children. But she surprised me. What surprised me is that she seems pretty aware and conscious of the choices that she makes and doesn't make.

She also endeared herself to me because she has a big heart for rescue dogs.

Some of this book is fluffy and weird (she talks about seeking answers from psychics), but she mostly deals with very human concerns (raising kids, her relationship with her mom, wanting to slow down).

I'm not recommending this book, but noting that I read it. It made me think of Tori Spelling as more of a human, rather than whatever stereotype I held of her, and I think that it's helpful whenever we can think of others with more kindness.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ordinary People by Judith Guest

Was I supposed to read this in high school?

So here's a story about high school: As an incoming freshman, I guess I felt a need to get ahead, so I took a test to pass out of Freshman English. To prepare for the test, I was told to come having read Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. I was 12 when I started high school, I wasn't going to read Shakespeare. So luckily I found a Romeo and Juliet comic book in my sister's room. I could handle that.

I read the comic book, took the test...and passed! I passed out of Freshman English and was enrolled in Sophomore English. Thinking back, I wonder which books I missed out on, which is why I'm asking if Ordinary People was one that I should have read?

This is the story of a family grieving the loss of the oldest son, Buck. Each of them grieve in their own way, and try to make sense of the accident differently.

A deep, detailed, and nuanced look at a family, loss, and guilt.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School by Scott Turow

I once considered applying to law school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation. Furthermore, as an undergraduate studying Political Science, I was surrounded by fellow students who were planning on going to law school. It seemed like a reasonable next step.

Then, I thought about it. All I really knew about lawyers was that they seemed to work a lot and make a lot of money. I didn’t want to do either of those. And I didn’t think about law school again.

This book is about Scott Turow’s first year of law school at Harvard in the 1970s.

I was fascinated! So much pressure and competition…I actually found myself feeling nervous at one point in the book. I was also relieved that I decided against law school. I don’t think I would have lasted a day.

PS: My friend, Grace, who did go to law school says that the first year was stressful, but not as stressful as what Turow describes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Accidentally on Purpose: A One-Night Stand, My Unplanned Parenthood, and Loving the Best Mistake I Ever Made by Mary F. Pols

I'm not sure why I picked up this book. I thought it would be mostly about single parenthood, and I wasn't sure if I would like it.

So the writer does get pregnant because of a one-night stand, and she decides to keep the baby. What surprised me was how she was very certain that she wanted the baby's father to be involved. She wanted her baby to know his father. It's a struggle to define their relationship as co-parents, but I was impressed with how the writer changes herself and how learns to get along with the father, all because she knows it would be best for their son.

The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove by Cathy Erway

The author of this book writes a blog called Not Eating Out in New York.

This book describes her two years of not eating out and how it was to cook every meal for herself. I like that she did this for two years. It seems like it's trendy these days to do something (or not do something) for a month or a year and write a book about it. But for two years? That has to require a deeper change in lifestyle and more adjustments.

I liked the book. It encouraged me to finally get started on something that has always scared me: baking with yeast. This last weekend, I bought a cast iron Dutch oven and I just tried to bake my first loaf of bread. I don't think the water I used was hot enough and the dough did not rise. I baked it anyway, and I have a flat loaf of rosemary/lemon bread. It's my first try. I'm gonna try again today.