I’m late to the party for this month’s nightstand – and nearly all my books were actual read LAST MONTH. I’d checked them out of the library thinking I might have time to read while breastfeeding, but then I ended up reading them during that interminably long 2 week period between Beth-Ellen’s due date and when she actually showed up. Breastfeeding time has indeed ended up being quite fruitful on the reading front, but the reading has been almost entirely picture books. Tirzah Mae and Louis and I snuggle up and read five or ten or twenty picture books each day while I breastfeed Beth-Ellen (which is wonderful, but not so impressive for my nightstands :-P)
Books for Growing
- Honey for a Woman’s Heart by Gladys Hunt
It’s hard to categorize a book on books, but I’m going to call this one a book for growing. Hunt gives an apologetic for reading (and reading a variety of genres), but the real strength of this book is the mini-reviews on every page. I added quite a few books to my TBR list, particularly in the “Books for Seeing” (the world clearly) and “Books for Enjoying” categories – two categories that I often find myself struggling in (because I either get lost in fiction and feel it not particularly worth the time once I’m done or I get slogged down in “literary” reading that doesn’t fit well with my stage of life as a mother of very young children.)
Books for Knowing
- The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan
A fascinating look at the massive secret city built practically from scratch to enrich uranium for the original atomic bomb. As the title suggests, this is primarily a look at the women who traveled from near and far to live in and staff this giant government undertaking. I put this on my “To Be Read” list way back in 2015 after reading Susan’s review – but once I started it, I just devoured it. It’s an excellent story, well-told. Take a look at Barbara H’s review for a more fleshed-out description of the story.
Books for Enjoying
- Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits by Mary Jane Hathaway
I read this based on Barbara H’s review and was so glad I did. Ms. Hathaway manages to avoid the twin pitfalls adaptations of great literature often fall into: either slavishly following the original story such that the adaptation adds nothing or taking such liberties with the storyline and characters that one can only wonder whether the author of the adaptation cares anything for the original work. Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits pays clear homage to Jane Austen’s work while managing to be unique. I also appreciated how the author has the main character, Shelby, (who is a Christian) act Christianly. Shelby prays for wisdom (or, just as often, for forgiveness when she acts unwisely), relates her life circumstances to things she’s reading in the Bible, and wonders about God’s purpose in things. The characterization was authentic without being preachy, something I don’t often see. I am greatly looking forward to reading more of Ms. Hathaway’s Austen adaptations.
- All Natural by Nathanael Johnson
I couldn’t figure out how to categorize this book. The subtitle “A skeptic’s quest to discover if the natural approach to diet, childbirth, healing, and the environment really keeps us healthier and happier” made me think this would fit my “books for knowing” category. But, given that this was published by Rodale, I should perhaps have had a clue that the author is less skeptical than the cover would suggest – and that the content would be less science-based than I’d have liked. It was enjoyable to read about Johnson’s exploration of the “natural” arguments and the “technological” arguments on a variety of issues, but the book was long on feelings and short on evidence.
Don’t forget to drop by 5 Minutes 4 Books to see what others are reading this month!