Nightstand (July 2015)

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 at 8:20 am

After last month’s success with reviewing, it’s almost guaranteed that this month I’d be behind on reviews – but not too far. Mostly, I have lots to write about NARNIA.

Fiction read this month:

  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
    My in-real-life bookclub selection for the month of July. I’m going to review this someday (maybe) – but, for now, I’ll just say that it’s a powerful fictionalized retelling of the life of Sarah Grimke, a noted abolitionist and early women’s rights activist. It’s definitely worth reading.
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
    I’m in Narnia for the Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge – and was surprised at how little I remember from this book (it’s been, what, five years since I last read it?) I have lots of thoughts but haven’t written any up yet – which means you might be inundated over the next week.
  • 2 picture books author last name BROWN
    I’m moving really slowly through the “Arthur books” because, well, I rather despise them. Thanks to all those who offered some alternatives on that post :-)
  • 13 board books
    I’ll be talking more about these on Read Aloud Thursday – coming up in just a couple of days!

Nonfiction read this month:

Books about Children and Parenting:

  • Before Their Time by Daniel Taylor and Ronald Hoekstra
    A wonderful collection of stories from a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Minneapolis. I reviewed it, and wrote a few more reflections about our own NICU experience, in this post.
  • Your Child at Play: Birth to One Year by Marilyn Segal
    A month-by-month guide to your baby’s development with lots of activities you can do with your child. I loved it, but it’s a bit outdated and modern parents might notice some safety concerns. You can read my full review here.

Books about Essential Oils:

  • Essential Energy by Nikki Goldstein
  • The Essential Oils Book by Colleen K. Dodt
    Everyone and their dog is doing essential oils these days, so I figured I’d try to see what the buzz is about. So far, I see lots of unsubstantiated claims and frankly silly pseudoscience. Does that means there’s nothing to it at all? No, not necessarily – just that there’s a lot of opportunity for research, and that until the research has been done, it’s worth taking the advice of aromatherapists with a grain of salt. I have mini-reviews of these written, just not posted. So…one of these days.

Books about Health:

  • Lean Mommy by Lisa Druxman
    An excellent, balanced approach to establishing a healthy lifestyle after having a baby. Even if you don’t plan on doing Druxman’s “Stroller Strides” exercises, this is still a worthwhile book to have postpartum. I wrote about the book (and about my own postpartum body issues) here.
  • Eat This, Not That! by David Zincezenko and Matt Goulding
    The concept of this book is great as a column, not so great as a book – lists of the “best and worst” foods in more than a dozen categories (and healthier switches you can make.) I reviewed the book in greater detail here

Books about Houses:

  • Atomic Home: A Guided Tour of the American Dream by Whitney Matheson
    Sparse text. Lots of full-color pictures, generally from advertisements, of tract homes (and their furnishings) from the 1950s. Lots of kitsch. Lots of reminiscing (except that it isn’t reminiscing for me ’cause I never experienced the ’50s). Lots of fun.
  • Get Your House Right by Marianne Cusato & Ben Pentreath
    I skimmed rather than read this almost 250 page text aimed at preventing McMansions. It contains a lot of good architectural advice – and a lot of supercilious upturned noses.

Don’t forget to drop by 5 Minutes 4 Books to see what others are reading this month!

What's on Your Nightstand?


Reader Comments (4):

  1. I’m glad you liked The Invention of Wings. I didn’t do a review on it either, but I do recommend it for sure. I’ll look forward to your take on essential oils. I haven’t bought into it yet because I just can’t understand how they could possibly live up to the hype. :) But maybe I’m just cynical. I do know lots of people who seem to be genuinely helped by them. So do post your thoughts one of these days.

  2. Barbara H. says:

    So far I haven’t read anything by Sue Monk Kidd. I’m interested in your thoughts on essential oils as well. From what little I know about them, I felt the same way you described. I’ve heard some hyper-fans rave on about them and that automatically makes me wary.

  3. Joyful says:

    I love the diversity of your reads. :)
    Looks like you had a great month.

  4. Susan says:

    Your list brings back sweet memories of my reading when my girls were little :) (they’re now teens; it happens faster than you think …). I was never a big Arthur fan, either. I’m wary of essential oils too! From my list, yes, you’ll enjoy “Girls of Atomic City.” Atomic Home interests me … I need to re-read the Narnia books as well.

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