Jan 10 2013
“HOW do you have time to READ??” Whenever I mention a book I’ve read or am reading, this is usually the response I get from other mothers.
I assume this reaction of disbelief is because I have articulately/accurately described the chaos involved in raising four children/one relationship/one self.
But do you notice how no one ever says, when you mention Matthew and Mary, “YOU watch TV??? HOW do you have the TIME?” (on Sundays at 9 p.m. on PBS, FYI). And yet, I know for a fact that most of you parents out there watch non-kid-oriented TV. I have nothing against TV (particularly not if it is Downton Abbey, Homeland, Girls, Mad Men or Game of Thrones). TV is fun. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 9 2013
I’ve heard it said that you don’t know how good you’ve got something until it’s gone. This is a story about the opposite. How I didn’t know how lacking something was until I left.
As the Yiddish saying goes, change your location, change your luck.
When we picked up and moved more than three thousand miles away from our home in order for me to stay home full-time and be a better care giver to our son, who is on the autistic spectrum, I anticipated many positive changes. The most pleasant surprise, however, has been the school system. I now realize, with that ever-clear hindsight, that our old school system was lacking. Sorely lacking. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 13 2012
Sometimes, while all four children are seated at the table, shoveling cheerios down their o-shaped mouths, I have tried to limit breakfast battles by reading a book.
It does not seem to matter what kind of book I read in the early hour; they all listen and concentrate on the tale at hand. With my children ranging from teen, tween and post-tot, it fascinates me that each child is able to enjoy the story, no matter what their reading level is. This has led me to think about the power of picture books and early reading comprehension. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 12 2012
My husband Jon has frequently commented that my cooking might taste better if I did not regularly read novels while I cook. I tell him that this is a charming detail about me that will elicit loving laughter when he mentions it during his eulogy at my funeral. He finds this annoying, for whatever reason. He then says something like, “A smoke alarm should not be what makes you put down the book,” or that normal people do not have books in the drawers under the stove. Well, I never said I was normal, hon.
Here are some recommendations for those few-and-far-between moments you might snatch for yourself this summer. This list is both newer books and older ones, paperbacks and hardcovers, fiction and non, spanning various levels of intellectual rigor–though you will note that a certain bondage fantasy has conspicuously been left off the list!
Please feel free to add suggestions (along with a little topical blurb) in the comments. A friend of mine mentioned she was going on a no-television-summer…and now that Mad Men and Game of Thrones are over, I may join her. Kveller book club, anyone?
1. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn: This one is why my family’s dinner will be burnt tonight. I just bought it this morning and am riveted. It’s the story of a man whose beautiful wife, Amy, goes missing in a foul play scenario on their fifth anniversary. As the reader, you’re hooked as you go between the husband, Nick’s, retelling of what’s happening in the investigation, and journal entries from Amy. It’s not just a “whodunit,” though you’ll be dying to know, but it’s also an intelligent and piercing look inside the wildly weird and dysfunctional world of a marriage. Terrific.
Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 25 2012
Hey kid, put the book away!
My oldest son taught himself to read at age 4. This isn’t a boast. He didn’t speak until he was 3, we found out (way too late; bad Mommy) that he had hearing issues, and I figure the visual was just easier for him to grasp.
My second son, at age 4, didn’t just not read–he threw violent temper tantrums and flung books across the room at the mere mention of it. Not wanting a repeat of the bad Mommy hearing incident, I took him to get his eyes checked. And was told that his vision was 20/20, but that he might benefit from an untested therapy that wasn’t covered by insurance or guaranteed to do anything. You know, just to be safe. I passed. Read the rest of this entry →