Monday, January 16, 2017

What I've Been Reading Lately

My best book recommendations often come from other people. These are the books I read in entirety recently.  I used to regularly finish books, whether I liked them or not. But sloughing through to the end is not fun when you're not enjoying the book.

About five years ago, I realized that my "don't be a quitter" mentality was exceedingly stupid. Life is too short for bad books. Since that time, I've abandoned many, many books. I guess you could say that I've become a serial book dater - if the book doesn't show promise early on, I am unwilling to commit.  Conversely, I re-read my favorite books often and nothing makes me happier than finding a new favorite.

Here are the books I read lately, from cover-to-cover.

American Heiress, The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin - Like most people, I knew bits and snippets of Patty Heart's kidnapping by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) but I didn't know much more than that. This book is full of interesting details. For example, one of the SLA's ransom demands was that the Hearst family do a massive food giveaway for people in need in San Francisco and Oakland. Not only is the book enlightening, but it has pictures. Double score!

Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos - This book came out a few years ago and I'm not sure how it slipped past me because it's on a topic near and dear to my heart: adoption. Vardalos is the actress who wrote and starred in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. (Even though the book is primarily about adoption, it's worth a read just to learn how she took it from one-woman screenplay to box office hit.) The book chronicles Vardalos' journey to motherhood, which ultimately culminates in her and her husband adopting a preschooler from the foster care system. If you're unfamiliar with adoption, the book will be fascinating. If you're already familiar with adoption - domestic or international - you'll nod along and say, "Yup. Yup. Been there and done that" (minus the paparazzi and Hollywood parties).

Product Details

How To Talk So  Kids Will Listen &  Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish -  I bought this book at a used book store many years ago and it's been one of my best used book finds ever. Shortly after I bought it, I read it and implemented many of the communication techniques with success. But, as time passed and people got bigger, a lot of the communication skills have fallen by the wayside. So, every so often when things start coming apart at the seams around here, I re-read this book and we begin all over again (and try to figure out why we ever stopped to begin with).

My favorite take-away from the book: Love kids uniquely, not equally.

Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy, from whom I get many book recommendations. 


  1. I so enjoyed Instant Mom. I think I read it within the first year of bringing our son home via adoption. Even though we got him as an infant and didn't go through foster care, I could relate to so much of what she wrote about!

    1. I don't know why that book hasn't gotten more attention. It's very relateable for anyone who has adopted. The chapter on sleep alone had me shouting, "Me too!"

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