Has the time change leveled anyone else or is it just me? The boys were in a great routine, waking up at a respectable time (7:15am) and then BOOM…say hello to the 5am wake-up call. My husband just returned from a two-week trip to India which means I had morning duty. It was brutal. Luckily my mom came into town to lend a hand and every morning at 5am I’d bring the boys into bed with me and try to hold them off until a more reasonable hour, say 5:30am, before turning them loose and letting Grammy deal with them! All this to say I should be getting myself to bed at a sensible hour, say 9pm. But I’ve been pulled in by some great books lately, and so I stay up way to late and totally vow never to do it again the next morning (only to repeat my behavior night after night). That is the tough thing about juggling a packed schedule; my only downtime is at night, and the kids go to bed at around 8. So if I want a few hours to myself, it means staying up later than I should. Anyway, that was a super long introduction when what I wanted to say was that I am tired, but I have some great book recommendations :)
The Gates of Evangeline: I enjoy mysteries set in the South, and this Southern Gothic mystery set in Louisiana pulled me right in. A bereaved mother living in NYC begins to have dreams about children in danger. Only they are not just dreams. Following a premonition to the South, she begins to uncover the truth behind an age-old unsolved crime. A well-written and entertaining mystery with a great sense of place.
Fates and Furies: I can’t decide how I feel about this unusual book. It is the book of the season, topping every list, and yet I’m not sure that I loved it. I was certainly captivated and intrigued, but it left me feeling a bit cold, as though I never really connected fully to the characters. The story centers around the marriage of the two main characters Mathilde and Lancelot (Lotto): her enigmatic, him egotistical and self-absorbed. If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear what you thought!
Did You Ever Have a Family: The book begins with an unthinkable tragedy: the night before her daughter’s wedding, June Reid loses her daughter, her daughter’s fiance, her ex-husband and her boyfriend in a house fire. From there, the book delves into the lives of the community members in June’s small Connecticut town, and the stories of those she meets as she attempts to flee her despair. The story is hauntingly beautiful and will stay with you long after you finish.
Catastrophic Happiness: I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Catherine Newman’s latest book and I am already half-way through. It could not have come at a better time. It arrived last week at the end of my solo-parenting stint when I was completely burnt out. I cracked it open simply to give it a quick browse one night and quickly found myself pulled in, laughing to the point of tears as Newman absolutely nails the exhaustion, absurdity and joy of parenting. The prologue “It Gets Better” was my absolute favorite as it pokes fun at all the exhaustive qualities of early parenting, while promising that it will get better. “You know how you’re tired,” Newman writes. “So tired that you mistake talking in an exhausted monotone about your tiredness for making conversation? You won’t be tired. Or rather you will sometimes be tired, sometimes rested, like regular people are. You won’t look forward to your dental appointments just so you can recline alone for forty heavenly, tartar-scraping minutes.” YES- I actually remember feeling blissed out at a dentist appointment shortly after Vik was born- it was the first time I had been without a baby on me for a whole hour!!
The Thing About Jellyfish: This is next on my list. I downloaded the sample on my iPad and ripped through it (LOVE that you can sample e-books!). It’s a YA book about a girl who loses her best friend in a drowning accident and becomes convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. I’m already hooked.
That’s all for now folks, but please do share suggestions of your own! I’m planning a post devoted to podcasts soon, both for children and adults. Listening to podcasts has completely changed my life. Seriously, we listen to children’s stories now in the car, and it turns even a short drive into such a relaxing and enjoyable experience! I’ll share my recommendations soon!