February 2010 Reading List

1.   Birthing from Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz:  I didn’t really care for this childbirth book.  It was a little too “kumbaya” for me (for lack of a better description).  Between the multiple quotes from Zen masters and the extreme metaphors (why can’t they just say you need to face your fears instead of referring to them as “tigers” constantly), I found myself rolling my eyes A LOT.  I didn’t even try to read the section on the importance of “Birth Art”, on which one of the authors did her Master’s thesis.  And while they somewhat acknowledge that every woman is different, they really advocate that women in early labor should be active baking cookies and cleaning house or it’s an indication that something’s wrong with them.  They comment that they’ve never known a woman who liked lying still in bed during labor, well, it’s because they never met me.  (I don’t like lying on my back per se, but I prefer either sitting up or lying on my side in the bed and being still than walking around.)  I’m not saying that they don’t have any good information in the book, but it’s basically a book written by psychologists in very “therapeutic” terms.  Just not my cup of tea at all.

2.  Damia’s Children by Anne McCaffrey:  This is the third book in the Rowan series.  As the title suggests, it follows the story of Damia’s two oldest children as one takes over her own Federal Teleport and Telekinesis tower and the other becomes the first Prime Talent on a military vessel trying to hunt down an extraterrestrial enemy in deep space.  All the military stuff starts to lose me in this book.  It’s OK, though.

3.  Lyon’s Pride by Anne McCaffrey:  This fourth book in the series follows the four oldest Lyon children as they continue to find their places in the universe.  Again, the military stuff has me skipping multiple pages.  When I read this book the first time, I couldn’t help thinking that the series kept getting worse and worse in quality.

4.  Austenland by Shannon Hale:  Jane Hayes is a closeted Jane Austen fan who has been letting her fairy tale hopes and love of Mr. Darcy sabotage her love life.  When she is given a trip to a three-week immersion vacation to Regency-period England she must learn to distinguish between reality and fantasy once and for all.  This was a cute little novel.

5.  Atonement by Ian McEwan:  This book really reminded me of Eveyln Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, more in style than content.  I liked parts one and three, but not two so much.  I’m just not really into descriptions of war/battles/soldiers in the field.  Overall, I liked this book OK but didn’t really love it.

6.  English from the Roots Up by Joegil Lundquist:  After waiting for close to a year for inter-library loan, I was finally able to get my hands on this book for teaching Latin and Greek roots.  I’ve had the card set that goes with the book, but I was kind of at a loss for how to implement them last semester.  Now I’ve got a better idea of what I might want to do with them next year.

7.  Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin:  I LOVE this book.  I think it helped me more through my last labor and delivery than any other pregnancy book I ever read.  It really looks at the mind body connection, especially during labor.  The first half is birth stories, and they help you see all the different possibilities for a pleasant birthing experience.  During the second half, Ina May goes into more technical aspects.  Part of it is warnings about the common issues of hospital policies and doctor mindsets that contribute to high Cesarean rates and traumatic birthing experiences.  Then she talks about how she and her colleagues have dealt with common issues like stalled labor, breech birth, large babies, and shoulder dystocia without having to turn to surgery or forceps or pain medications to extract the baby safely.  Every time I read this I walk away with a new bag of tricks to have a more pleasant and medication-free natural birthing experience.

8.   Star Wars:  Darth Bane #3: Dynasty of Evil by Drew Karpyshyn:  In this final book of the Darth Bane series, Darth Bane Bane and his apprentice play a cat-and-mouse game to determine who will be the master, and they both seek a new apprentice.  Entertaining enough.

9.  IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea by Stephen Murdoch:  I’ve always been kind of skeptical about IQ tests.  I am sure I have probably taken some in addition to the usual standardized tests, but I have never been informed of what my IQ score was.  Since I became involved in homeschooling I’ve become skeptical of any kind of standardized testing in general.  The book explains some of the important reasons why all people should be skeptical about the concept of IQ.  For one thing, psychologists don’t even really know what IQ tests measure.  Secondly, the concept of IQ has been used to justify some horrible things in recent history, mainly in the name of eugenics.  And the book makes you realize that eugenics is still alive and well today.

10.  Twilight by Stephenie Meyer:  OK, I could not bring myself to request this from the library, but I have been curious after all the hype.  So, when my library  happened to have it on the shelf I grabbed it.  I must admit that Edward started getting on my nerves with his wishy-washiness.  “I love you, but I should stay away from you.”  I was like, “Make up your mind and then stop whining about it.”  Overall, it was much better than expected, and I plan on reading the sequels.  I’ve seen clips from the movie, and I’m wondering just how much resemblance there really is between book and movie.

Explore posts in the same categories: Reading Lists 2010

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