A Month In the Life of a Book Glutton

The past few weeks have been great for reading, not so great for blogging.

Have you ever gotten that feeling of anxiety that comes with not knowing what to read next?  That sneaking fear that maybe there aren’t any good books left?  You know it’s an irrational fear, but you can’t quite dismiss it?

I’ve had the opposite problem lately.  So many fun books, most of them good, all of them enjoyable (not terribly deep, you’ll have to go elsewhere for that).  Its been like pigging out at an all-you-can-eat buffet minus the indigestion and bloat.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

1. Oxygen by Carol Cassella.  Sort of a John Grisham medical malpractice/mystery story told from the doctor’s perspective rather than the lawyer’s.  A bit too Jodi Picoult-ish in its metaphor after metaphor after cheesy metaphor (Hallie and I will have to agree to disagree about Ms. Picoult).  Still, a real page-turner.  Recommended.

2. Following Polly by Karen Bergreen.  I picked this out on the recommendation of Jenny McCarthy via Jim Gaffigan.  I’m glad I did.  It’s chick-lit but ten times funnier and wittier than most.  Also not as dirty.  A really really really fun read.

3. Perfect Is Overrated, the author’s follow-up novel, was also entertaining but not as funny.

4. Speaking of Jim Gaffigan, I read Dad Is Fat.  It’s laugh out loud funny in parts.  In other parts the jokes are not so fresh.  But my takeaway is that I love the Gaffigans.

People treat having a kid as somehow retiring from success. Quitting. Have you seen a baby? They’re pretty cute. Loving them is pretty easy. Smiling babies should actually be categorized by the pharmaceutical industry as a powerful antidepressant. Being happy is really the definition of success, isn’t it?

This by the supposed author who explained, “My wife and I, we write everything together.”  So yeah, I’m pretty sure Jeanne wrote that.

5. Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo.  I tried to read this with an open mind.  It’s an interesting story, short and easy to read.  Well, easy to read except the heart-wrenching account of what the little boy and his parents went through when he was deathly ill and repeatedly misdiagnosed.  (They had to sit in the doctor’s waiting room, with their dying child on their lap while the doctor finished his lunch.  My stomach clenches up just thinking about it.)  As for the rest . . . did the little boy really see Heaven?  Are his parents telling the truth?  Does it matter?  I don’t know, but I rather hope it’s true.  Regardless, it’s interesting and told in a simple, narrative, non-preachy way.

6. Kate: The Future Queen, by Kate Nicholl.  This book led me on a journey of self discovery.  I discovered I’m not as big a fan as I thought I was.  At least, not a fan as needs all this information.  Too much who vacationed on which secluded island when with whom.  Blah.  I skimmed a lot of it.  Just tell me what she wore.  Also, I like William less and respect Kate less for the way he led her on forever and ever and ever.  Still, I wish them well and hope they stay fabulous.  Also, Kate’s mother, Carole Middleton is a self-made millionaire who started out putting together children’s party favor bags in her garage.  You rock, Carole.

7. Cheap: The Shockingly High Price of Discount Culture, by Ellen Ruppel Shell.  An interesting title, no?  It’s written like a dissertation, though.  Way way too much information.  I skimmed.

8. When You Eat At the Refrigerator Pull Up A Chair by Geneen Roth.  Sort of a lite version of Women Food and God.  Just okay.

And most recently, I’m working on How Children Succeed by Paul Tough and When Hell Was In Session by the recently-deceased, Vietnam War hero Col. Jeremiah Denton.  It’s taking some effort to get motivated to read the latter, since I’ve been attached too more . . . bubbly . . . subject matter.  But I shall persevere.  (Or not, and crack open The Rosie Project, which I just picked up at the library.)

I’m linking up with Jessica the Spicy Housewife for What We’re Reading Wednesday and Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy for Twitterature.  And, I’d like to link up with Hallie for Five Favorites Wednesday.  I’ll make books #1, 2, and 4 my favorites.  Plus Rules of Civility, that I wrote about last week, is my fourth favorite.  And having lots of books to read is my fifth favorite for the week!  There, five!

How about you?  What have you been reading?



19 thoughts on “A Month In the Life of a Book Glutton

  1. I love Dad is Fat too, but now after having tiny twins, I’m sad that smiling babies weren’t as strong an antidepressant as I had hoped. They definitely make me feel happy now, but unfortunately, I have had to get Prozac in order to get to that point.

    • Hi Jeanne. I had PPD too, so I totally understand. . . . I think possibly if my babies had smiled more and cried /fussed less their antidepressant qualities would have been stronger. Possibly. Who knows. Anyway . . . That quote isn’t so true on a literal level. I liked it because often I think about the career beginnings I had and how successful and wealthy I might have been. And then I think, “Yeah, but I wouldn’t be happy.” Sometimes I’m depressed but overall I’m happy with my life right now, which wouldn’t be the case if I pursued “success” as the world defines it.

      • I’m sorry, in case anyone was worried about my babies, I’m taking Zoloft, not Prozac. I really don’t know whether that is safe or not, I just could remember the Z in the name. Zoloft is safe for breastfeeding.

  2. Thanks for the book rec.s! I really do get that feeling! I loved When Hell Was In Session I read it years ago and found it so inspiring. If you stick with it you won’t be sorry. If you do end up liking it you might also enjoy To Hell and Back by Audie Murphy he enlisted in the military at age 17 became the most decorated combat soldiers of WWII. He later went on to become an actor who starred in a movie based off of the book.

  3. Glad you review books, Laura. I have purged a ton of books from my own bookshelves – discarding trash, really. But even still, I don’t want to pick them up and find out 50 pages into it that I hate it, so if they look suspiciously stupid, out they go…most of them I impulsively bought at thrift stores and garage sales.

    I went to the library and got “Rules of Civility” and started it yesterday – I’m liking it! I will keep looking to you for recommendations. I also read the “heaven for real” book and kind of liked it – but it made me think “getting there” is a bit too easy as per this book. From what I’ve learned, it’s more difficult than that.

    Maybe there’s a Protestant Heaven and a Catholic Heaven. Who knows.

  4. Wow, I feel as if I read 8 whole pages this month- way to read 8 books! And I love multiple book recs. 🙂 Also, if there IS a book about Kate’s outfits I would definitely read it.

    • You know, it might have been more like two or more months. I didn’t look back to check. But I’ve def’ly been reading more than usual lately. It helps that a lot of these have been fun, easy reads.

  5. Number one – my husband NEEDS to read that book. He is all about those authors. Maybe as a surprise beach read? If you recommend it, it’s good enough for me.

    Number two – I NEED to read that book!

    Okay, enough caps lock. Yes, I totally agree with you on Kate and William. I try not to look too closely. Plus, her fashion got waaaaaay better once they were engaged. I went to a Princess Diana dress exhibit once, I hope in twenty years or so, they do one of Kate’s… just sublime. Why don’t they sell such tailored clothes at Target?! Or even Ann Taylor Loft… I totally concur about Carole. You go, girl! That is true innovation.

    • Oh, I forgot to mention in my post: Carol Cassela, the author of Oxygen, is a practicing anesthesiologist. The book is about an anesthesiologist, and I think that insider’s perspective makes it more compelling. . . . If you husband (or you) reads it, let me know what you think.

  6. Wow, I totally skipped a thought in the middle there – I went to Diana’s exhibit once, and I was really impressed by the elegance and durability, and they way she embraced her feminine side – even when she was in Africa on the AIDS tour.

  7. From one book glutton to another, I hear ya. Following Polly looks really good! When Hell Was in Session is definitely going to my son for his 18th birthday. Glad to know I’m not missing any Kate fashion mantras by keeping to the grocery store magazine covers. I stand with you on the Jodi Picoult issue. I’ve only read one of her books, and it had one ridiculous suprise ending after another.

  8. Wow, you have been busy! I haven’t read any Kate Middleton books, but my husband did bring a Hello! magazine back from the UK for me last time he had a business trip, and it had an articles about their Mustique vacation and their country house that Kate is redecorating. Frankly, after reading about all that opulence, I was kind of turned off. I don’t believe they completely mooch off of the tax payers in the UK, (the articles even said that the country house was a gift from the queen and the money to restore it was from Diana’s legacy) but it seemed like too much. For a family that is supposedly “trying” to be more like “the rest of us”, their lifestyle is a little over the top. I will forever love her style though. 😉

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