Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The W List: May Books 2011

When I was ten years old, I had a wonderful teacher named Mr. Wolters. My family knew his family from church and he mentioned at a parent-teacher conference that he had shared with his wife that I was a voracious reader, which led her to continually ask what I was reading. Mr. Wolters told my parents that he would walk past my desk to see what book I had on the edge so he could report back to his wife. I remember how flattered I was upon hearing this: that my teacher noticed me and placed value in my taste in books. Even today, I hold this memory dear.

I haven’t read much early this year and about a month ago I discovered our library had made their website much more user-friendly, so I've gotten back into the hang of requesting books that I would like to read. The following is a list of what I have read in May with a brief mention of what I thought of each book or what it is about. This list is especially for those of you who ask what I am currently reading. You know who you are.

Birth Day: A Pediatrician Explores the Science, the History, and the Wonder of Childbirth by Mark Sloan ~ Interesting coverage of the history of childbirth. This pediatrician walks the fine line between the arguments surrounding the c-section rate, circumcision, and midwives. Good read. NF

Found Style: Vintage Ideas for Modern Living by David Butler ~ Too many glass bottles for my taste, but this book did feature an old International Scout. Both the Scout and some of the cool “found” flair made me think of the E family, AM specifically. NF

Great Houses on a Budget by James Grayson Trulove ~ Lovely pictures, but Trulove’s idea of a “budget” is quite different from ours. This book had some excellent ideas that we can take away. NF

Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby by Anna Maria Horner ~ If you look up this book, the cover has a hexagonal quilt in the background of the cover photo and I totally want to make that quilt. Beautiful book and good instructions for making this quilt I’ve been thinking of for months. NF

Tiny House by Mimi Zeiger ~ A small book with a large impact makes you think about the space you really need to live and how close you want to be to nature and what exactly constitutes a building material. Great book to flip through and marvel at. NF

Atlas of the Unknown by Tania James ~ From L, C’s mom, who actually received it from C’s aunt C. Interesting storyline: essentially about sisters and family, secrets and what one has to do to get through. Ended short. F

The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage and My Family by Dan Savage ~ All about trying to figure out the marriage thing in the midst of America coming down on gay marriage/civil unions. The story of Dan and Terry trying to figure out if they should be married and what it means to them. Loved it – also own and love The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant: An Adoption Story by Dan Savage. NF

Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene Pepperberg ~ Not perfectly written, but I appreciated the sentiment of this book. Irene has been working with African Greys for decades to see if there is an intelligence beyond their vocalizations. She made amazing progress with Alex and the comprehension his "bird brain" displayed. Great information. NF

Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy ~ Good read that I definitely recommend to anyone curious, pregnant, or you know, wanting to propagate. Some similar information to Birth Day (at the top of this list). NF

Midwest Modern: A Fresh Design Spirit for the Modern Lifestyle by Amy Butler ~ David Butler's (from above) wife. She designs beautiful bright colorful fabric and clothing/items. Again, their taste and aesthetic aren't quite mine, but I appreciate her ideas and thoughts as a talented style-maker. NF

Blankets by Craig Thompson ~ a graphic novel that follows Craig's life: childhood, drawing, church, camp, one special girl, tough decisions, etc. Very cool format and subject matter. I've definitely witnessed similar battles within self that the author/artist draws. NF? Memoir?

Porches and Other Outdoor Spaces by James Grayson Trulove ~ Again, not exactly C and my style, but there were a handful of porches we enjoyed looking at. This book definitely showcases the diversity of porches. NF

Fire by Kristin Cashore ~ Awesome YA literature, a borrowed Christmas present from me to sister B. Also loved (and own) Graceling, by the same author: lots of strong female characters and good endings - I still appreciate those. A little bit of monsters, magic and men, and lots of fighting, while still having a positive message to present. YA F

I finished Fire an hour short of midnight on May 31st, so it counts! I'm hoping to keep us with a monthly list to keep all of you in the know and to have a handy list for myself! It'll be fun to tally the total next May - 13 books this month is a great start. Let me know if you have questions about any of the books I read: as a (hopeful!) future librarian, I would love to answer them!

*Posted from my mobile phone

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thank You for C

I very very much love this boy.

He is so special. And you know what? More than anything, his mom and dad deserve a thank you today. Thank you for having C and loving and cherishing him, instructing and guiding him, instilling him with morals and values, and for teaching him what it means to be a man, both in strength and weakness.

I highly value his heart, which began with you two. Thank you G & L for this man I so love.

Happy birthday, C.

*Posted from my mobile phone