Sorry for the mid-book-week absence. I had a much longer than expected ultrasound on Thursday (no worries; me and the little guy are fine, he was just not feeling cooperative for the sonographer), an up-all-night sicky toddler, and a bit more stuff to do than I had planned on before we left on Saturday for our camping trip (and as you know, there's no phone service or wi-fi anywhere near where we camp...such a blessing!). So I didn't get a chance to relay to you my awesome summer reading plans. Here's what we've got so far:
What I've Read:
Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes and Easy Tips by Ina Garten...In short, not as easy as I'd like it to be. The tips were ok, if a little obvious (only a few were truly clever and none mind-blowing), but the recipes were somewhat complicated for a woman with a toddler hanging off her leg and 15 minutes to make dinner. I wanted to like this book because I really like Ina Garten (and the book was even a WNYC member gift this year during their pledge drive!) but unfortunately, I didn't get terribly much out of it.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain I don't like Ernest Hemingway. I don't like him or his writing, despite what my husband or my freshman creative writing teacher think (I distinctly remember almost being thrown out of class for never having read Hemingway by my freshman year of college. By now I have; I don't think I missed out on too much). Now I know that this novel hovers around the "historical fiction" genre, but it's based on fact, and it gave me more of a reason to believe that I've always been right about the man, that he was something of a scoundrel. That said, I couldn't put this book down. Hadley Hemingway was such an endearing character that I really wanted her to be happy but obviously knew how the story ended beforehand. If you haven't read this yet, do it now.
Double Delicious!: Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives by Jessica Seinfeld I liked the recipes in this book better than Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious. I'll be making her pumpkin ravioli, cinnamon-maple quinoa, and and butternut tomato soup (def fall recipes though), and the carrot orange popsicles will be a staple in the house throughout the summer. I'm still not sure how I feel about her use of things like all low-fat tub margarine, super-low-fat and/or skim only milk products, and a ton of cooking spray, or how I feel about tricking those in my house into eating healthy, but some of the recipes seem worth a try (I'll stick to those that obviously contain fruits and veggies though, to steer clear of any produce-related feeling of treachery from those I feed).
What I'm Reading:
Homeschooling: Take a Deep Breath- You Can Do This! by Terrie Lynn Bittner I'm still on the cusp of organized homeschooling for Stenni, and I don't know if I can handle it myself. That said, this book gave me a good bit of info that I hadn't run across anywhere else (and admittedly, I thought that I could get almost everything I needed from the library and the internet. Silly V). It answered a lot of practical questions I had about building a curriculum and even what to do when met with resistance (and how to answer snarky questions). I'm glad I found this one and looking forward to finishing it.
The Art of Fielding: A Novel by Chad Harbach At the urging of hubs and the NPR book review, I finally picked this one up a few days ago and guys...I didn't want to put it down. Not to go camping or hang out with family or even see the sunlight. Like anything worthwhile, it's about life and baseball and the intersection of the two, but so much more than that. It's about the college experience that I didn't have, the hopes and expectations of so many people who are so different and being on the cusp of adulthood and all sorts of things. AND it's really well written. I have read the reviews though, and heard that the last half isn't as great as the first (I don't want to believe it yet, and will tell you soon if it's true or not).
What I Hope to Read:
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman I don't know much about this, except that I've never read any Neil Gaiman and everyone says I should. Oh, and it's a graphic novel. I think I'll stick to those for beach reading this year, since I can only sit on the beach for so long and not swim (I really hate sand) and my attention span is really short in bright light. Oh, and the word "nightmarish" keeps coming up in the reviews, and I'd be a liar if I said I didn't kind of dig that.
The Before Watchmen Series (they're pretty much a series of comic books that come before the Watchmen story, chronologically speaking) So when I was in the city in April for a Yankees/Blue Jays game, I stopped at Midtown Comics and picked up one issue from each series of this title (each series is based on a character). I don't know why I did that. I didn't get them in any order, and now I've read from the beginning, middle and end of a few different stories with no idea what happened as a whole. I'd like to read the rest. I should probably re-read Watchmen too, just to be on the safe side.
I like reading comics and graphic novels while I'm pregnant. Right before I found out I was having Stenni a few years ago, I got The Walking Dead Compendium and read it cover to cover while lounging in front of the fireplace. It's just a strange thing that comforts me while pregnant. I can't explain it, but I fully intend to keep doing it. Maybe it just keeps the menfolk around while I chub out (ha, you know, since comic-geek-girls are so well-loved).
I may also re-read Sin City before the new movie comes out this October (who am I kidding...I totally will!), since I will drag my 9-months-pregant self to see it whether my water breaks in the theater or not.
So what have you been/will you be/are you reading this summer? Anything worth mentioning? Probably not a bunch of comic books, but hey, we can't all have such short attention spans. Stay tuned later this week for the zombie-related book-to-movie review that I know you haven't been waiting for on pins and needles.