Spring Break #1–Book Reviews

I had glorious plans of getting ahead in all of my class reading this week.  Unfortunately, spring break in one setting (grad school) but not the other (school-work) did not lead to an overabundance of energy.  I did do some work, but mostly I went to bed earlier, and I read other books, and at the end of the week I got a cold.

I do feel rested, though, which is a blessing.  Perhaps that is just the result of a cold, which led me to going to bed at 9pm on Thursday night, a 2 hour nap on Friday afternoon, lying in bed the rest of the evening, sleeping a full night’s sleep on Friday night, a 2 hour nap on Saturday morning, along with doing pretty much nothing all day Saturday.  I’ll take it, though!  I feel better today.  A cold always hits me the hardest on the first few days, where  feel exhausted.  Then, the residual effects are mild, and I can make it.

At any rate, reading for pleasure was fun this week.  Over winter break, I had a really hard time getting any reading done.  I couldn’t get into any book I tried.  This week, even with all of the work for school, I read several.  However, they were all nonfiction, a genre I enjoy, and I still couldn’t get into a fiction book.  Interesting.

Between Expectations: Lessons from a Pediatric Residency was first up.  For whatever reason, I love reading about the experiences of doctors or med students.  I briefly wanted to be a doctor somewhere in my childhood, but it was a brief stage, and even by high school never considered the field of medicine.  However, I still love reading about it!  I enjoyed Meghan MacLean Weir’s writing, and thought she did well conveying the difficulty and how she learned as well.

When did I get like this? was next on my list of conquered books.  This book, by Amy Wilson, is a collection of essays about parenting.  I found them interesting, and meant to be vulnerable.  I enjoy most parenting books, but recognize that most come from a very one-sided point-of-view, and will advance that view at all costs.  Books on Attachment Parenting (a parenting style to which I mostly adhere, by the way) will promote Attachment Parenting, at all costs.  Books on Homeschooling promote homeschooling, and so on.  This book provides a real-life take on many current issues in parenting (breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, even), and gives probably a more accurate picture of how parenting looks when done by real people.  Amy Wilson is vulnerable with her struggles, especially with her feelings of inferiority.  I enjoyed reading the book, and it went quickly.

I scanned two cookbooks: Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, which I had checked out once before, and Free for All Cooking, new to me.  I love the Gluten Free Girl blog and enjoy most of their recipes.  The cookbook includes a lot of dinner recipes that don’t work for my family, for various reasons, but it was still fun to read, and to look at all of the pictures.  It inspired me to put polenta on the menu for this week (though I make polenta often enough and don’t need a recipe).  I’m mostly excited for their next cookbook, which will likely be in the line of what is currently being shared on the blog: whole-grain, and without xanthan or guar gum.

Free for All Cooking looked like a decent resource for someone just starting out, but wasn’t too helpful to me.  Her flour mix is mostly starch and white rice flour, which is not how I do gluten-free baking.  Since, then, all of her recipes were tested using that style of mix, I didn’t have too much inspiration to try them out with a mostly-whole-grains mix like I use.

And then I started two more books.  The first, A Chance to Make History, is about Teach for America in specific, and education in general.  I also enjoy reading about education, and so far am enjoying the book.  It takes my mind off of the current mess of education here in Indiana, at least.  And finally, I started Run Like a Mother last night.  I am loving it, and it is providing just what I needed to get going on my running after a pretty much no-run winter.  In general, I love reading about running (hmm, sense a theme here on my chosen nonfiction?  I wonder if there’s any genre about which I wouldn’t claim to love reading?*), and this book is funny and inspirational.  I’m early in the book, but so far I haven’t really learned anything new.  It’s nice, however, to read from others who really get it, and think like me–I felt on the same wavelength from the opening chapter of the early-morning struggle between run and sleep; even with the knowledge that a run will lead to a better day it’s a struggle every morning.

It’s been fun, and I hope to keep going on the last two books this week, even as I immerse myself back into Dysphagia, Motor Speech Disorders, and Language Disorders.  Thankfully, I also love reading about speech-language pathology.


*maybe history?  I love reading historical fiction, but I’m not big on reading nonfiction history.  Unless it’s more biographical in nature, in which case I love it.  Oh, and money.  I really can’t think of many economics nonfiction books I’ve chosen to read.  Well, except maybe Freakonomics, which Carl and I “read” on audiobook.   I think there’s probably a qualification for any topic–I might not in general choose Economics, but the right book can pull me right in.  What’s your favorite genre of nonfiction?

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