Books on my Bedside Table

I’ve been reading all sorts of things recently – but as always – mainly fiction.  Some fiction titles as you know can be a little more stressful than others…

I’m afraid that the book I’m going to be starting tonight will be like that:

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
It a ” thriller and close study of maternal ambivalence, and the role it might have played in the title character’s decision to murder nine people at his high school”… Let’s hope I make it through this one!

But also on my table is a few fun things:

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
I’ve heard this is her best book yet – so I’m really looking forward to it.

 The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
A family saga through the eyes of a dog – how great is that?!

I’ve also been listening to a series in audiobook format while I’m at work – it’s the way I get a lot of my Young Adult fiction in. I’m on book 2 in the I am Number Four series by Pittacus Lore. Book 2 is The Power of Six. I must admit – book 1 was really good – book 2… not as much – but I’m waiting to finish it before I draw my final conclusions.

So… what’s on your bookshelf?

Nini

A co-worker just passed me this book no less than 5 minutes ago and I must share it with you all.

It’s called Nini by Francois Thisdale and it is the most beautiful adoption story. Nini is a Chinese adoption story (as many adoption stories are) about the promise of love, family and home.

I highly recommend it (and I recommend that you have tissues as well).

Helping kids understand

I just came across a wonderful picture book about adoption. It’s called I’m Adopted and is by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly. The book is simply written to describe the whys, whos and hows of adoption and contains lots of pictures of children of all races. The nice thing about I’m Adopted is that it is not just written for children who are adopted, but also for children who are interested to learn about adoption. I think it would be perfect to help explain adoption to a child who has a new friend who has been adopted, or a child in their class is etc.

Books on Alex’s Nightstand

I don’t always share the books that Alex has been enjoying and thought I should try to get in more of a routine with that.  Today I returned a PILE of books to the library and pulled out three that he seemed to especially enjoy.

Papa is a Pirate by Katharina Grossmann-HenseI won’t say that this was  a book that either Matt or I enjoyed, we frankly thought it was rather silly – but in a cute way. Alex really enjoyed it though – and that’s all that matters.  If your little one enjoys Pirates, then they will like this book.

Pooch on the Loose by Steven KrollPooch on the Loose by Steven KrollThis book was a lot of fun. It’s about a little dog who is bored of his routine life in NYC and decides to take a run for it one day and explore the city at Christmas time. He checks out all the major attractions, and eventually he feels lonlely and hungry and decides to go home. It really made me want to go back to Manhattan… Alex loved the puppy and his adventures and as you know he LOVES Christmas!

Mooses Come Walking by Arlo Guthrie

Mooses Come Walking by Arlo Guthrie

This sort book was a hoot! It’s a poem written by Guthrie and while it may not necessarily be 100% age appropriate, Alex enjoyed it (and so did I).

On My Bookshelf

I just finished a book that was recommended to me… and feel I should recommend it to you!  It’s called “Please Look After Mom” and is written by Kyung-Sook Shin.  Shin is actually one of the most popular novelists in Korea, but this is her first book written in English.

In “Please Look After Mom”, Shin looks at the relationship of a mother and her children, as well as with her husband.  The mother goes missing at Seoul Station (we all know how busy the subways are in Seoul!) and the family is trying to find her, but they quickly realize they never really ever knew their mother.  It’s a very moving story and will make you appreciate your mother and all she does, even more than you already do.

Books On My Nightstand

Yes, I’m still here – just absent from the blogging world longer than I wish – but that’s life with a 3 year old! It’s busy! And after working on a computer all day, often the last thing I want to do at night is to hang out on my computer yet again. I am more often hanging out with a bag of chips and a glass of wine on the couch watching “How I Met Your Mother” or “Big Bang Theory”.

The one thing I still continue to do everything however is read. Books help me relax, and this working momma needs that.  I don’t read as much as I used to, but I still ensure I get a few minutes each night.   I am currently reading “Fear The Worst” by Linwood Barclay – I’m not far enough in it is tell if I’m going to enjoy it yet or not.

Recently I have read:

“The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” and “The Girl that Played with Fire”, both by Steig Larsson. I thought they were great!! They were (for the most part) fast paced and kept my attention – which caused me to stay up way too late more than once.  I’m going to be starting “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” shortly. I can’t wait to see how the trilogy ends.

The book I just finished was “Secret Daughter” by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. This book was one of the best I’ve read in a long time.  It is about a three women – one in India, and one in California, and the daughter shared between the two.  One of the reviews on Amazon described the book perfectly – “On the surface, this is the story of a child born in terrible circumstances, the twist of fate that changes her life, and her adolescent search for self that creates ripples with the people who surround her. Yet there are many more layers to this novel. There is great complexity in the relationships between parent and child, and husband and wife, making them both realistic and heartbreaking. There are the questions of class, education, gender and culture in our globalized society, so beautifully illustrated through two seemingly opposite families. The characters are imperfect, but they all learn and grow through their experiences”

I personally felt that Gowda was able to accurately describe many of the emotions with adoption – through many different view points.  The emotions of infertility, the pain of making the best possible choice for your baby, the feelings of being adopted, the fears of an adoptive mom, and the strength of a mother’s love.   At times I thought she was reading my mind. For that reason alone, I would love my friends to read this book – so they may understand some of the feelings I have had in the past – and may have in the future.  Well, that reason and the fact that it is  compelling, well paced, and a great story.  One of the lines that I feel really resonates is “the family you create is more important than the one you’re born into.” How very true.  If you are going to read this book – have some tissues handy – it’s at times a real tear jerker.

I was actually just trying to find my last book blog post – and it was in November.  November! Yikes! Other good books I’ve read since then included:

Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other” by Scott Simon (4 out of 5)
Little Bee” by Chris Cleave (4 out of 5)
Room” by Emma Donoghue (5 out of 5) – if you click on the link, be sure to watch the book trailer.
The Help” by Kathryn Stockett (5 out of 5)

So what are you reading? Any good suggestions? One I’m interested in is “Little Princes“.

Books On My Nightstand

I was just making a graphic novel book display at work (yes, blogging at work right now – don’t tell!!), and came across three books that I had to sign out.  They are a trilogy by Kim Dong Hwa,  set in 19th century rural Korea.  The books tell the tale of a young girl, her relationship with her mother and the changes into womanhood that occur with every spring’s rainy season.The books are described as “A sweeping trilogy of first love and second chances.”  They are romance, coming of age, Korean, and graphic – lots to love!

I cannot wait to start these tonight!

 

On my bedside table…

This just came over the counter at the library and I think it is a MUST read:

When Did I Get Like This? : The Screamer, the Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget-Buyer, and Other Mothers I Swore I’d Never Be by Amy Wilson

According to Harper Collins When Did I Get Like This? is the hilarious story of one mother’s struggle to shrug off the ridiculous standards of modern parenting, and remember how to enjoy her children. 

I’ll just add that to my beside table reads… which are as follows:

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book – the first in a trilogy. 

Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives. In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Wiener – A new book from one of my fav Chic Lit authors! If you have seen In Her Shoes with Cameron Diaz, this is the author who wrote that story. 

Written with an irresistible blend of heartbreak and hilarity, Fly Away Home is an unforgettable story of a mother and two daughters who after a lifetime of distance finally learn to find refuge in one another. 

Books on my bedside table

I haven’t updated you on what I’m reading in a very long time! Not that I’ve been reading much – I have a toddler – n’uf said.  I don’t know why I do this to myself – but currently I have quite a few books piled up – all pleasure reading, and a few of them are on the large side.

Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacob

I just started this one yesterday – it’s for my mommy chick lit book club.   It’s about a little yarn shop in Manhattan where a group of regulars start a knitting club where they talk about love and life.  I’ve read a review that says it is like the YaYa Sisterhood for a new generation.  So far – so good.

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

This is book 5 in the Outlander series, featuring Claire and Jaime Fraser – a true love story that literally spans centuries.  I adore this series – and have been pacing myself so that the story never ends – but now I just want to find out what happens so I’m trying to get this one read. It is  almost a 1000 pages, and considering I usually get 3-10 pages read a night before I’m fast asleep – it might take me a while.  In this book the American Revolution is about to happen and since Claire (a 20th century person now living in the 1700’s) she knows about it and tries to protect her family and property with her knowledge.  Will she? I don’t know.  I’m only 2 chapters in.

I highly recommend this series if you haven’t started it yet – I think it is up to 7 titles now.

To Die For by Linda Howard

I am a big Linda Howard fan – but sadly this book is not living up to many of her better titles (like Open Season).  It is a real predictable read – murder witnessed by a single woman, falls for the police officer protecting her… you get the drift.  I’m only about half way through – and think it will stay that way for some time.

World Without End by Ken Follett

This is the sequel to Pillars of the Earth (which is coming out in a TV mini series this summer!). In the story of the people in the town where the grand cathedral was built in Pillars, are now dealing with new technologies (1400 style) – medicine, justice etc, as well as the black plague.  The book is again over 1000 pages, so it will take quite a while to get through.   I highly recommend this series too.

And lastly…. hee hee hee…

What the Librarian Did by Karina Bliss

I’m saving this one for a hot day on the beach.  Love the title – love the picture – and the best thing is – is that the main character’s last name is Robinson – isn’t that too funny!!  Harlequins are pure and simple fluff – but so much fun. The stereotypes are just ridiculous – but I can’t resist.

So there you have it! What are you reading?