02 November 2010

books i've read lately

Thanks to getting set up with the local library here, I've been able to get back on my reading train. I usually only read books once, so most of the books I own were gifts. I heart my library.

Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim.  I read a wide variety of books, including non-fiction.  I saw this book on display at the library as a "new arrival," and I swear I heard it beckon to me.  And when I opened it up, there were tons of reprinted vintage ads that go back almost a century!  As a gal with an degree in Advertising, I took it as divine intervention.

The book was very well-researched, albeit a bit pushy on the 'feminazi' front at times.  But it also gave me a brand-new appreciation for my period and the means we have now to just be normal during that time.  It's weird to think that 200 years ago women were just stuffing whatever they could down there to soak it up...or they were just lying around in bed pretending they were dying.  I've never used birth control (and never will), so I never thought about WHY women actually menstruate while on the Pill, since it's not necessary if you don't actually ovulate.  I now call that anomaly the "red-headed stepchild" of my awesomely REAL time of the month.  Yeah, I'll take a few cramps here or there (none this month, I'm a lucky one!) to not be playing tricks on my body or have to shell out money to do something I can do myself (NFP works, I promise!).  This book also taught me a bit about menopause and pregnant horse urine used in estrogen pills (umm, ew?).  However, thanks to this book I've decided to give re-usable panty-liners a try and I have some on their way to me from this Etsy shop.  Overall, this book was pretty great for a non-fiction read, even if I did get a few weird looks from both my husband and the librarian.

The Sleeping Beauty Proposal by Sarah Strohmeyer
I like chick-lit, so it's a wonder I hadn't found this author sooner.  This book was pretty true to the genre, but it did raise a few philosophical/cultural questions about the weight we give to marriage.  The basic premise is that 30-something Genie's boyfriend proposes on a national talk show, but she knows it's not directed at her.  Instead of admitting defeat to everyone she knows, she decides to ride it out and pretend she's engaged to him.  And then her best friend decides to join in the fun and pretend as well.  I mean, why should these successful gals have had to wait for an engagement to get nice linens and a Kitchen-Aid mixer anyway?  Some parts of the book were predictable, and some parts weren't.  I definitely liked it and will be reading more of Strohmeyer's work in the future.  This book has inspired me to give a future daughter/niece a "welcome to real life shower" one day.  (Although right now I will thank my family for giving me kitchen appliances for Christmas and birthdays for the years between college and marriage!)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
I read this for a book club.  I've never been to a book club in my entire life and I rarely read from the bestsellers list, but I decided to give both a go.  The book is told from the voice of Christopher, a 15-year-old British boy who has some type of high-functioning autistic disorder.  (The jacket just said autistic, but one of the ladies in book club said it sounded Asperger-esque.)  I LOVED the main character and especially his aptitude at math and love for Sherlock Holmes.  However, there was only one adult in the book I actually liked (his teacher who provided him with some great coping mechanisms).  The rest just didn't have the compassion needed to deal with a kid like Christopher, and I think they were all too selfish to want to deal with him.  This book really got me thinking about how hard it is on families of special needs children (many marriages fail in this situation), and if B and I really have the patience for it.   I also questioned how the author was able to write this book -- on his bio he says he worked with autistic kids years ago, but he really didn't research much for this book.  That kind of annoys me, actually.  Something else brought up in the book club was comparing this character to Sheldon on my fave show "The Big Bang Theory."  Sheldon might have Asperger's?  Hmm, that puts things in a slightly different perspective now.

What have you been reading lately?


  1. Isn't the term aspergers ascribed to persons with autism who are highly functional if the book or the information the author was working with were older perhaps the term aspergers wasn't coined yet.

  2. Yes, I looked it up while writing this post. Asperger's is on the "autism spectrum," but it is slightly different. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_spectrum

  3. These seem like some interesting reads. I am always looking for new books, I a may have to look them up.