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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Seminal Books

Kammah had a fun idea for a blog post: list your favorite childhood books. I feel like I’ve written this before, but a hunt through my archives says that I haven’t.

So here are my favorite books as a child…let’s say through grade school (which means there will be no Harry Potter on my list because OLD).

  • The Poble Who Has No Toes, by Edward Lear. This is a poem, but we had an illustrated book version of it as a kid and my mom read it to us ALL the time.
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • The Tillerman Family Series (particularly Dicey’s Song)
  • Harriet The Spy
  • The Secret Garden
  • A Little Princess
  • Little Women
  • Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (and all others)
  • Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing
  • Cricket in Time’s Square
  • Caddie Woodlawn
  • Roar of Thunder Hear My Cry
  • Hatchet
  • Babysitter Club (because I was a cliche even at 10).
  • American Girl (I was partial to Felicity and Samantha)
  • Matilda
  • Diary of Anne Frank
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Polar Express
  • The Giving Tree

Ok, this list is getting somewhat out of control and these are just the ones off the top of my head. If I started researching books from certain years/grades I’d never stop.

What tops your list?

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So I went and read 50 Shades of Grey.

I had no intention of doing so, quite honestly. At all. I’m more of a YA, chick-lit, non-sexual-fantasy sort of reader. (SPOILER ALERT: if squeamish, stop reading.) But everyone was reading it, and then there was controversy over it and the way it was marketed to moms, and I’m not one to back down from poorly written popular fiction (hello, Twilight) NOR a fight that lets me unleash my inner feminist.

But.

Oh. Em. Gee.

One, these books make Twilight look like high literature. I mean, that’s impressive.

Two, I am a wimp, and the hot and steamy scenes I scanned/didn’t read because I was blushing. BY MYSELF. I mean, it’s totally fine, in a way. The books are marketed for adults and are about consenting adults and whatever works is none of my business closed doors we’re all grown ups but LA LA LA LA HAPPY PLACE.

(Am a prude.)

But the real problem is here, with Issue Number Three: these books romanticize violence against women. No, really. They do. I’m not talking about the In The Bedroom Naughty Stuff They Do For Fun. That’s something else all together. I’m talking about the She’s Afraid He Will Physically Punish Her For….fill in the blank. For wearing a sleeveless dress, for taking a call from a male friend, for getting drinks with her girlfriend, for not replying to his email, for….whatever, does it matter?

I know it’s fiction, and I know that it’s written by a mostly inexperienced writer. But there is a HUGE difference between what happens between consenting adults and what happens when one person in a relationship extends physical/emotional control over another person against her (or his!) wishes.

This does not make Christian mysterious, sexy, romantic, tortured, jealous, insecure, insert-placeholder-euphanism-here.

It makes him abusive.

Abusive is not hot. Is not sexy. Is not okay. And I hate that a work of popular fiction is making it seem okay and normal and something to desire and fantasize about.

I have no idea if this is the norm for this genre. I have honestly never read any erotic fiction before (see above: am prude).  I may not be the one to come to on analysis of erotic fiction. But gah – for the love of Pete. Stop making it normal for a man to hurt a woman against her wishes, OK? Can we at least agree to that?

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29 Weeks, 3 Days

The third trimester, so far, has progressed like this: (1) Wow! The final stretch! Exciting!  (2) OK, slightly uncomfortable over here. Hey, kid, stop break-dancing and lemme take a nap. (3) OUCH! That’s my LUNG!

The other night I had these incredibly sharp pains across the top of my abdomen. The internet told me I was dying, if not already dead, so I closed my computer, drank some water, and went to bed. The next day, the pains were still there, off and on, though not as bad. So I called the doctor’s office and learned: yeah, pregnancy hurts. I guess, being a somewhat shorter person, there really just isn’t much space for Ziggy in there, so I have to grow out at an alarmingly rapid rate.

I’m back to spending a bit more time on the couch than I would like. Nothing like the First Trimester of Marathon Hurling, thank GOD, but still. My long walks with Tonks are now very slooooooow strolls down the block and back. And even THAT taxes my stretched out ab muscles (this will not stop me from my final pre-baby Disney trips this month, though). I may be hungry all the time, but if I eat until I’m full, I have waves of heartburn so bad I almost wonder if I should time them, ala contractions. And his kicks? His kicks that I love and coo over? They HURT sometimes. Like, a LOT. Especially when he gets one of those Velociraptor talons under my ribs and really goes at it.

Anyway, it’s not all bad, despite all the bad. His daily hiccups are adorable. JS likes to press his ear against my belly and listen to them. We still enjoy Guessing That Body Part, for the most part. Although, this had led to some disturbing dreams where I can make out individual toes, or even a face, underneath my skin.

Also on the plus side: I’ve rediscovered my love for the library, so when I am forcing myself to rest, I’m totally stocked up on awesome reading material. Like The Hunger Games books – I devoured those in about a day, only to learn that the third and final book doesn’t come out until AUGUST. That’s just rude.  I also just read A Homemade Life, which I’ve decided I have to buy, because oh my lands, the recipes in there are amazing. It’s part cookbook, part memoir.  I especially love the library feature where I can go online and request books to be held; I don’t even have to comb through the shelves. I just pick up my order and leave.

Anyone out there reading something fabulous I should add to my To Read list?

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