What I Read: October 2014

I read 6 books in October, half of which were children’s books. 2 were non-fiction, 4 were fiction. 2 were in print, 4 were on the Kindle.

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny (2008).
This is an Inspector Gamache mystery – set at a lovely resort in Quebec. I’m still not sure where I stand on this series. I don’t LOVE it, and the sort of psychoanalysis of the characters annoys me (even though I generally like the characters), but I do keep reading, and I do think that this is my favorite book in the series so far, so I’ll probably pick up the next one at some point down the line.

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior (2014).
This book gave me lots to think about. It introduced me to the concept of flow, which helped explain why a lot of early parenting can be frustrating (hard to achieve flow with a newborn). Another thing that has really stayed with me is this idea of child-rearing as a duty. Yes, it is often a source of joy, but it can be pretty miserable at moments too and the idea that you do it because it’s your duty to do vs. it’s supposed to make you happy (always) was pretty freeing to me. I love my kid a ton, but sometimes parenting sucks and that’s okay.

The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale (2014).
I got this as a LibraryThing Early Reviewer book and read it to Frances that same night. It says something about the appeal of the story and illustrations, that a 2.5 year old was interested in reading a full 96-page chapter book in one sitting! In the book, Princess Magonolia leads a double life as The Princess in Black, the amazing superhero who vanquishes goat-eating monsters. Nothing mind-blowing, but good fun. It’s actually grown on my each time I’ve read it.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (1942).
The Boxcar Children was one of my favorite series as a kid. When I saw that the first book was available as an eBook from the library, I decided to give it a reread. I still love the creation of a little home in the boxcar. Some of the writing seems dated now (the way the girl children do the cooking and the cleaning), but nothing offensive.

Greenglass House by Kate Milford (2014).
I picked this up on a whim from the New Books shelf in the Children’s Room at MLK because I liked the cover and it was SO GOOD. A neat old house, eccentric characters, a mystery, just totally engaging and fun and GOOD. If you like children’s chapter books at all, this is well worth reading.

Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg (2014).
Wizenberg is a food blogger, but I mostly “know” her because I read her first book – A Homemade Life. This looks at meeting her husband, getting married, the publication of her first book, and opening a restaurant. I really appreciated how honest Wizenberg was about the ways in which she was not on board and the times in which she was not a good partner in the restaurant endeavor. I think marriage at its best makes us want to be better, but we are all still our imperfect selves, which is hard, and I appreciate that she did not gloss over or sugarcoat that.

What I Read: October 2014

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