April 9, 2013

Good Read


We've never had a television in our bedroom. I used to have this list of ways to 'keep the magic alive' in a long term relationship. It was just silliness that only a twenty-two year old serial monogamist would put together; keep your shampoo and soap different from your partner's, use separate laundry detergent, and no television or electronics in the bedroom. Now of course I'm just thrilled if the laundry gets done, and we all use the same (unscented) detergent, and when I get the luxury of a shower, I gladly grab whatever shampoo or soap is hanging around. It's all gone out the window, but still no TV in bed so far... and while I'm not sure it always boosts the romance (6 hours of uninterrupted sleep generally does more for putting us in the mood!), it is probably better for my insomnia and also carves out some space in each day for a little reading.

I have always been an avid reader, and I'm embarrassed to say that ever since Little Smith came along (now too many years ago for that to be a proper justification), I really haven't been as committed to spending time with a good book. It's mostly magazines and articles and snippets of reference books for me, but James still sinks his teeth into novels... big books about infrastructure and CIA conspiracies that would put most of us to sleep. His side of the bed is perpetually loaded up with piles of books that Little Smith enjoys rearranging when the mood strikes. I do miss my own relationship with the printed word, and I'm hoping to polish off a few good reads this summer before we add a new little one to the mix and I have even more excuses to push books aside. Any suggestions for page turners are much appreciated!

21 comments:

  1. Love the belly in the shot! So cute. :) I have about a million books, and I still rarely read. I wish I had better news for you, but two kids makes reading difficult. :(

    Mind you, I could read at night, but instead I watch TV. (Mad Men is back on ;) Once I get going on a page-turner, I will keep reading though. My favourite page-turners recently are Rules of Civility by Amor Towles and The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay.

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    1. I'm a Mad Men fan too! I've never heard of either of those picks and will definitely check them out- thanks.

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  2. I was very anti-tv in the bedroom for a very long time and we finally decided that it might be easier to just all chill out in the big bed and watch cartoons some mornings, so we got one. And really, it hardly ever gets used except when the kids are hanging out and we don't feel like getting up yet. Otherwise, I think it is too much of a distraction.

    I used to love reading all the time too, and since I've had kids, I feel like I've actually gotten dumber because I hardly have time to pick up a book anymore. And at the end of the night when I finally settle down, I'm too exhausted to read more than 10 pages at a time. So it's a very slow process for me these days.

    This is technically in the young adult category, but I read "The Fault In Our Stars" recently and really loved it. It's a quick read too, which I find is essential for keeping my attention these days.

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    1. I get tires when I try to read too, but somehow that doesn't happen with magazines and blogs so maybe my attention span is just shot :) Looking forward to checking out that book, young adult category works for me.

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  3. So.. We never had a tv in the bedroom and were pretty opposed to it UNTIL we made this move. In our other homes we found with the tv in our main living space we watched more than we wanted to. We were also staying up later than we should because we're both small children that avoid going to bed. Now with it in the bedroom Gus rarely has screen time and if we decide to watch a show at night we never find ourselves watching until the wee hours. We always fall asleep before then. :) Moving the tv into the room means we watch WAY less and sleep WAY more. It was a really surprising positive result from something that I was certain was a bad move. And so far so good on it not affecting our magic. :) :) :)

    Books- I'm VERY SLOWLY making my way through The Happiness Project. I don't know if I would recommend it. I'm finding some of her revelations/research makes me think about better ways to approach my own life, but overall not a real grabber. A few months ago I read Gone, Girl. It was crazy! And I couldn't put it down. Before that I read my way through the Hunger Games series in about 5 days.. Sure, it's YA but I still found it to be really enjoyable. The Last American Man (Gilbert) and The Dirty Life (Kimball) are recently enjoyed reads. Old favorites: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Kundera), Beloved (Morrison), and if you haven't read it I urge you to pick up The Time Traveler's Wife (Niffenegger)....it's SO good. I love, love, love it.

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    1. I'm just enjoying these comments for my own personal reasons. I'm going to check out your list, Julie!

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    2. Hmmm, you make some good points there. We loved having a TV in our room when we were visiting my aunt- still not sure I'm ready to take the plunge though (and it would also be tough not to have the option in the living room since we have the bad habit of eating a late dinner in front of a movie).

      Some great suggestions, thanks! Looking forward to checking them out, and I love The Unbearable Lightness of Being... might need to reread that one :)

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  4. I am both the mother to two young boys and an English Teacher. I've kept literature in my life by focusing on Young Adult Lit. It's easy to hang onto the plot when I can only keep my eyes open for 10 minutes. This is also a great way to determine which titles you'll steer your own little ones towards as they begin reading. My 8 year old and I are reading Chasing Vermeer together. We also read From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and The Phantom Tollbooth. I also LOVE The Penderwicks series. John Green is a great YA author, as is Neil Gaiman. Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons is fantastic, but wait until the baby is born. Marcelo in the Real World. For adult fiction: Still Alice, The Book Thief, The Book of Lost Things, anything by Kate Morton, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Night Circus...all high interest. I've listened to a few on audio when I'm in the car as well.

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    1. Wonderful suggestions Lauralou. I love the idea of reading along with my kids- it still feels like my son is so young, but I know he has developed super fast and already is much more patient with longer stories than he was a year ago, so I forget that it really won't be long. This is a great list- thank you!

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  5. This one was really interesting and everything else that I´ve written: http://tinajoathome.com/2013/04/01/yet-another-book/

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    1. Thank you, looking forward to checking that out!

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  6. I read a lot. I don't always love what I read (just finished the Kitchen House--a little too pg-13 for me) and Orphan Train (a light read). I'm also reading Bonhoeffer. My favorite lately was Maze Runner, a young adult book. I like Kate Morton too.

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    1. Ooh thank you, I haven't heard of any of these. A light read sounds promising!

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    2. We're reading Maze Runner now too! Excellent YA.

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  7. I don't know if my reading habits would interest anyone but me LOL! Other than histories (I'm afraid grad school ruined most reading for me-- now
    if I'm not learning something I am somehow not as committed), I have a passion for obscure fiction. Have you ever come across Mervin Peake's Gormenghast trilogies? Really fascinating, bizarre & more than a little obscure. Still, it would keep you busy for a good long while (though the best by far is Titus Groan).
    He has quite the cult following. If you are curious, here is "his" website: http://www.mervynpeake.org/gormenghast/
    I actually hunted down a copy of Alice in Wonderland that Peake illustrated, that is how much I love his work!

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    1. Oh goodness, you and James both... always need to be 'learning something' :) I'm not familiar with Mervin Peake but it does sounds really interesting. I'll be looking at that website!

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  8. I read a lot too! But really, just before bed. It is kind of an obsession and I don't know if it's all mental, but I can't really fall asleep without reading for at least 30 minute!

    The strangest, most page-turner I just finished is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and I am in the middle of Eat, Pray, Love- which I found at Goodwill for 50 cents. It's a good one, too, but in a totally different way! Are you in the mood for fiction or nonfiction? Either way, that cute round belly in the first picture sure made me squeal! :)

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  9. I clearly didn't read over my comment before publishing it. Geez! I sound like a real gem!

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    1. That happens to me all the time, just wait until you get that smartphone, it's even worse :)

      Thanks for the suggestions! I'm generally more of a fiction fan, but a juicy biography or memoir can be tough to beat.

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  10. My relationship with reading can really ebb and flow thanks to my kids. I read ravenously when I was pregnant with Rowan, simply because Fletcher has always been a champ at playing by himself. Rowan is more of a "hands on" child, so I find I can't read as much. You'll get your stride back, eventually. I second Lauren's suggestion for Gone Girl- it was a quick but engrossing read!

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  11. Oh, and your belly bump! I just want to pat it like those little old ladies that feel like your belly is public property when you're pregnant!

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