What I Read in April

As part of my plan to ease back into “real life” gradually after college and avoid the shell-shock that I’ve heard comes with graduating (saying things like “Sorry I can’t go out, I have homewor—wait, nevermind, let’s go!” for the first time in 5 years won’t feel natural at first), I began to read books for fun again, a few in March and even more in April. It was glorious–like being lost at sea for 5 years and finally being rescued! (Yes, after Christ and my husband, books are my true love. Ha!) I had to stop reading for fun during college because textbooks and assignments ruled my time, and it was not an easy thing for me to do. Glad that’s over!! Here’s what I’ve read this month.

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I picked this up after a quick cover reading at the library, and I’m so glad I did. Carolyn Weber’s story of her conversion to Christianity while at Oxford is so uncensored and real, and she shares thoughts and feelings all of us struggle with at some point in our lives. It’s refreshing to read. She earned a Master’s in Literature, and her allusions to classic works of literature are fun to read! I haven’t finished this one yet, but I’m very curious to find out how her story ends.

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Yes, even though these two are pregnancy books, they count as “fun reading” for me! I found I love the positive affirmations provided in Pregnancy Health Yoga almost as much as the poses. When I begin my practice, I settle into my breathing while reading a few of them, and I can see how they’ll come in handy during labor. Many of the poses are selected to increase space within the body and elongate the spine, making room for baby and helping mom stay comfortable. They’re really working for me–I’ve done those poses 2 times in 2 weeks, so a little goes a long way. Improved posture can also make for an easier birth and help baby get in the right position, so I’m all for it! There’s even an app that goes with the book. (I haven’t tried it yet, nor have I listened to the CD that comes for free with the book.) The chapters are grouped by breathing, creating space, strength, relaxing, common ailments (I was happy to see this one!), labor and childbirth, and getting back into shape. I loooove the chapter with poses for specific ailments–it’s empowering to know what to do to prevent collapsed arches, for example.

Kathleen Huggins’ book on breastfeeding is also incredibly helpful. I’ve had the privilege of being around many moms who breastfed their babies (including my own mom, who had 4 kids after me!), and I find myself nodding along with Huggins’ advice as I read, because what she’s saying is true to what I’ve seen and heard from my mom and other friends. She gives practical, technical information, along with “troubleshooting” for when things don’t go so smoothly. Just reading this makes me so much more confident I’ll know what I’m doing when Baby H comes along.

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I only read part of this book for about half an hour in Barnes & Noble on a Sunday afternoon while I was waiting for the rest of the mall to open, but I want to thank Susan Cain for writing it! As a (social) introvert, growing up I had a lot of friends who misunderstood me to be a party-pooper or a study-holic. I am not those things! I am a thinker, and I’d rather write to express myself than talk to you over the phone (or, sometimes, in person). I’m much more effective at communicating that way. Cain’s discussion on how American society has changed in the past 100 years from character-based (those with good work ethic, morals, etc. were the ones to get hired and become successful–these are traits anyone can perfect) to personality-based (those who can “sell” themselves best in an interview or are passionate communicators are more likely to be hired now–traits that are harder to acquire for those who are introverted) was fascinating to me. I can’t wait to read the rest.

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Ignore the terrible picture, I couldn’t resist because the cookie is smiling!

 

Finally, A Train in Winter was a tough one to read. It’s a non-fiction account of over 200 French women who, in punishment for their varying degrees of involvement in resisting the Germans who occupied France, were sent to Auschwitz. A handful of them survived. I love reading about WWII, and this book was a captivating one that was hard to put down. Honestly, it took a few days to recover afterward. Well worth reading.

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Question of the Day:

What are you reading now? What do you want to read next?