books & reading memes & carnivals

What's On My Nightstand: March

It’s time for What’s On Your Nightstand, my favorite book meme @ 5 Minutes For Books – this is a pretty open ended book meme for anyone unfamiliar with it – you can review the books you read this month, list what you are planning to read – take a picture of your nightstand, just list out the books – whatever you feel inspired to do this month basically. So here’s what I read this month:

  1. The Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart – Finished March 4, 2009 – I think the second book in this new series might have even been better than the first. I loved the whole thing for much the same reasons I loved the first. I think it’s such a smart, well written book and even better for kids expanding their vocabularies and showing all the different ways you can solve problems, make a difference and be smart. A truly inspiring work. – Full Review
  2. God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment by Scott Adams – God’s Debris by Scott Adams – Finished March 10, 2009 – Parts of this book kind of annoyed me with a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo that went completely over my head (like sitting in a room with two people talking about something you know nothing about). But other parts I LOVED – Adams has some great ideas about religion, gender, learning, communication and much, much more. – Full Review
  3. Waiting For Birdy by Catherine Newman – Finished March 18, 2009 – This memoir is about a mother’s experience in a second pregnancy – the author also had a 3 year old son at the time of her pregnancy – and so there are comments on pregnancy as well as hopes and fears of raising a second child and securing the relationship she has with her first child. There are a lot of memoirs and books out there on first time pregnancy but not so many on additional children – and this one was excellent to boot. It was the perfect book for me to read right now. – Full Review

And here are the books I have slated to read next:

  • Here’s The Story by Maureen McCormick – this is the memoir of the woman who played Marcia Brady in the Brady Bunch, so it has lots of behind the scenes stories from the show, but also deals with her own less than shiny past, what happened to her after the Brady Bunch and how she recovered from the bad roads she took during her life. I’m really looking forward to this book.
  • Operating Instructions by Ann Lamott – I have heard about this parenting memoir and it was just recommended to me again after I reviewed Waiting For Birdy by Catherine Newman – she is supposed to be fantastic and the few paragraphs I read definitely intrigued me.
  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer – I swear I’m planning to read this soon, I seem to be stuck in a memoir rut of sorts though – and I’m enjoying it, so I’m not too concerned about dragging myself out just yet.
  • And I haven’t picked any books for this yet but I’m planning the semi-near future to start reading about the different world religions, probably at least one book from each religion I can think of – we’ll see if I follow through on that / when I get to it. One book I plan to read sort of in that field is The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins – that should cover an atheist-esque standpoint anyway. But if anyone reading this has any book recommendations for this endeavor – feel free to share – I’m not necessarily looking for each religion’s bibles – I’d prefer something either opinion related or a factual / historical account – but interesting to read I hope!

What’s on your nightstand this month?

books & reading

Book Review: Waiting For Birdy

Grade: A+

I read a lot of books during my first pregnancy and shortly after giving birth to my son – but I found it was the handful of memoir-style books that appealed to me the most – real stories in all their imperfection helped me cope and deal and plan much moreso than the technical tombs like What To Expect…, etc. When I got pregnant a second time last fall, I began searching out similar books but based on a second or third pregnancy, etc. I already know what babies are like and how to go about raising them, for the most part – what I was looking for was a book about learning how to “stretch your love” so to speak – the feelings of this pregnancy are different than they were with a first pregnancy. You know the basics and understand why your body is changing, but the idea of a new baby coming into the world and competing for love and affection with your current brood can be daunting. Am I making the right decision? Will I be a good mother of more than one? Am I completely crazy?? (That last one usually gets asked when I find myself in the middle of not dealing terribly well with something my 2 year old is doing.)

There isn’t much out there – at least not much that I’ve found – so I lucked out that the one that I found – Waiting For Birdy by Catherine Newman – was perfect and exactly what I was looking for. Not only is she pregnant with her second child and raising a just turned three year old boy (dealing with potty training and typical toddler turned preschool mayhem) she is hesitant. Constantly – “Am I doing the right thing?” comes up a lot. Which for me is a godsend, because an entire book of, “I’m so happy and together,” probably would have driven me insane. Now I feel slightly better prepared – armed – she was just as scared silly and just as normal and she made it through okay – she loved her new baby and eventually her son came around and decided to like the new baby okay, too.

This book was filled with relate-able humor and I found myself laughing a lot. It was real – I found myself worrying a lot, too, but everything worked itself out in her life which makes me feel like maybe everything will work itself out in mine. Life is full of the occasionally seemingly insurmountable odds, but it’s full of laughter and kindness, too, depending on where you look. You’ll find all of that here. And Newman is a terrific writer – this book was originally a weekly column at called “Bringing Up Ben and Birdy” – learning this made me laugh hard, because I read all the time – heck I map my pregnancy by it, thoroughly week by week, as my regular readers well know. So this is also kind of pretty cool proof that this blogging thing can be more than just a hobby, can be real and fulfilling and for some of the lucky, can lead to bigger things.

In short, I loved this sweet, funny memoir on second time pregnancy and recommend it to any mother, new or old.