Sunday, October 18, 2015

Books read 2015 #3

#11 Elizabeth Jane Howard Confusion
#12 Elizabeth Jane Howard Casting off
Books three and four from the Cazalet Chronicles, which I really enjoyed. I was rereading Confusion after first reading it about 20 years ago, and I think it was my first time reading Casting off? These two take the family through the war years and then to the immediate aftermath, where everything is a bit of an anticlimax. Having survived those years, the ending of the war doesn't mean the ending of problems, and, indeed, causes several relationships to need to be resolved. I particularly like the way chapters are written from the perspective of different members of the family, so you get to see situations from different angles.

#13 Margaret Hebblethwaite Motherhood and God
A slightly dated look at spirituality and motherhood. I struggled to understand why she couldn't take the baby to Mass with her, as most people I know quite happily breastfeed/bottle feed in church, but 30 years seems to have made quite a difference to attitudes! I liked the way she dwelt on the practical aspects of motherhood, as well as the spiritual, and the connection between the two.

#14 Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff What to expect when you're expecting
This seems to be a pretty ubiquitous pregnancy manual, so I got it from the library, but thought it was awful. Although this is the British edition, so the spellings are (mostly) British (this hasn't been thoroughly checked) and references to medical care are to the NHS, it still comes across as overwhelmingly American. There are confusing bits where the information seems to be more from a US medical point of view, than a British one. It's written in a really twee style, that mostly made me want to throw up (and no, that wasn't morning sickness) and instead of having straightforward sections of information is written in more of a 'problem page' style. I didn't find it particularly helpful.

#15 David Lagercrantz The girl in the spider's web
This is a continuation of Stieg Larsson's Millennium series, which has been written by someone else. Often this kind of sequel can be excruciating, but this one got good reviews so I thought it was worth a try, and I'm glad I did. I found the Millennium series compelling, partly because of the intriguing characters, partly because of finding out more about a different counry, and this continued those themes. It's not as long or as detailed as the first three books, but it still has the twists and turns, the further development of the characters. Definitely worth a read.


Evelyn Hender said...

For pregnancy books I found Henci Goer's The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth very helpful, it sets out the risks of common procedures and whilst it does have a natural birth bias it's not as extreme as other books I've read and gives you the references she's used at the back

Mary deB said...

I think those "what to expect" books just give you lots of problems to think about -- not really what one wants! It is ubiquitous but you might want to look at William Sears' books, or Penelope Leach. And just talk to people who are a few months ahead of you in the game; they can be very reassuring!

liz h said...

There's quite a bit of controversy about the sequel to the Stieg Larson trilogy. His family inherited the rights because he died intestate. This means his partner, who wrote with him, has been denied any income from the books, or right to continue the series as he had planned. There's obviously more to it than that precis but it's made me reluctant to buy the sequel. Pity, because I love the characters. Glad you enjoyed it.

Have I told you about the book The Wonder Weeks? That was the parenting book that was most helpful with your goddaughter. The what to expect books are nice as a reference, but I've only looked at them a handful of times.

Iris said...

I never read What to Expect When You're Expecting, although I did hear that in the US it's THE baby manual.

Over the years I looked through quite a few baby books of course, but I never found one that I felt was completely right for us. Instead I read around and picked up bits that I thought fit in with us and with the boys (not everything worked with all of them). A lot of people seem to pick one style of parenting babies and stick with it, but it just never worked that way for us.

One book I found quite useful was the Baby Whisperer, because we really struggled with sleep routines and there are some quite good ideas in there. This is, I think, a problem that is quite specific to breastfed babies and I fed all of them until they were around 7-8 months old. Because they wake up often in the night to feed it takes them longer to settle into a routine of a) going to sleep without nursing and b) not waking up at all hours.