Thursday, July 30, 2009

Juliane Recommends "It Sucked And Then I Cried"

Based on the title, I didn't know if I'd like this book or if I felt it was written for me. As a relatively new mother, I'm drawn to nonfiction memoirs from other mothers, but this one also tackles the heavy topic of post-partum depression and how the author struggled with major mental breakdowns. Even though I personally had a relatively easy pregnancy and post-partum recovery, I am so happy I read this book. The author's writing style is charming, self-effacing, and markedly real. She unabashedly discusses everything ranging from the sin of feeding your infant Pop Tarts to reconnecting with her dog after bringing home baby. She struggles with a fussy baby in ways that new mothers will easily relate to. One of my favorite passages is, "…I did consider parenthood a job. It was the most difficult job I ever had, a job where my boss had to approve my bathroom breaks, a job that required me to wipe my boss's ass. And not only was I really good at it, but I was also stupid enough to love it." Mothers and fathers alike will enjoy this book and will come to understand why the author, Heather Armstrong, was recently featured in the Forbes list of "The Most Influential Women In Media" for 2009. Her website and daily blog, is as equally enjoyable as her book.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jamie recommends "Suspense and Sensibility"

As a fan of Jane Austen looking for an Austen-related book to read before this year’s One Book, One Community program, focusing on the works of Jane Austen, when I stumbled upon this book. Author Carrie Bebris has written a set of mysteries that cast Mr. Darcy and Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy, favorites from Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, as newlyweds thrown into a mystery. This novel is the second installment of the series. My curiosity was piqued to see if Bebris would in fact take the characters from Pride and Prejudice and have them mingle with my favorite characters from Sense and Sensibility. She didn’t disappoint. Having Elinor and Marianne Dashwood come face-to-face and interact with the former Miss Elizabeth Bennet was interesting to read. This novel takes Jane Austen, mixes it with elements of the supernatural and is a fun read for anyone who wants the stories of Jane Austen expanded in the most unexpected ways.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Marilena recommends "Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone"

Eduardo H. Galeano, noted Uruguayan author, runs through 5000 years of history taking snapshots of moments in time from a slightly different angle than one might find in a history textbook, if at all. Easy to read, some funny, some sad, always ironic, the vignettes are half page each. Only the title suggests their purpose to be mirrors to who we are today.

Suitable for an adult audience or young adults with strong knowledge of world history.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lisa recommends "Kidzapalooza"

Kidzapalooza is the family-friendly portion of the Lollapalooza festival that takes place in Chicago and Los Angeles. The lineup highlights the best of the best kids’ music performers. This compilation includes favorites, such as The Jimmies, Ralph Covert, and Lunch Money. It is a great addition to any family music collection that will have all ages rockin’ out.

Recommended for kids, but parents will enjoy it too!