March was, for me, a month of waiting, which plenty of time for reading. Although I can almost always make time for reading. I picked up a few after reading reviews at this blog, and some were just books I'd been wanting to read for a while.
MWF Seeking BFF
by Rachel Bertsche
This book has a catchy premise: a newlywed living in a new city challenges herself to go on fifty-two "girl dates" in one year to find her new best friend. I think we can all agree that finding new friends as adults is not always easy, mostly because everyone's so darn busy. But Rachel is determined to find at least one best friend through a series of blind dates, yoga classes, and whatever else she can get herself into. I wanted to love this book, or at least learn from it. But after the first twenty or so dates, they start to sound alike and, frankly, I was getting exhausted just reading about them. I would recommend it, however, even to just skim through. She has some great insights and stories which may make it worth flipping through umpteen brunches dates.
Sin and Syntax
by Constance Hale
I love reading and writing, hate grammar. Can anyone relate? Diagramming a sentence is, for me, like solving an algebra problem--next to impossible. And I wish so bad that someone had introduced me to this book years ago. It discusses fun things like syntax while weaving in a healthy dose of grammar. But it was actually, believe it or not, a page turner. I would sit down for a pleasant afternoon read and then an hour later be surrounded by piles of notes I took while reading. It's good stuff. Grammar will never be my thing, but I am now much less afraid of it.
Bringing Up Baby
by Pamela Druckerman
I mentioned this book in a previous post, but it's worth mentioning again. I've become turned off by the idea that my life will be over as soon as I become a mother; that I'll be covered in spit up and lucky to get a shower once a week. But, according to Bringing Up Baby, parenthood doesn't necessarily have to be that way. The author, an American living in Paris, observes French moms as they strut around the city in heels and makeup with their obedient toddlers in tow. She decides to take notes and glean from this much more sane version of parenting. I thought it was a great read and I will most certainly be revisiting it once I have kids.
My Reading Life
by Pat Conroy
Some people are all about Pat Conroy, some people just ain't. I personally like the guy. I wasn't sure what to expect with this book--memoir? walk through his favorite books? how he came to be a writer? It was an even mix of the three. I love when authors discuss how they fell in love with words and stories--makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. My favorite was the chapter on Gone With the Wind and how much of an influence it was in his writing. I would highly suggest My Reading Life to anyone who loves books, even if you haven't read any of Conroy's other work.
by Barbara Brown Taylor
I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about this book. Was it a page turner? Yes. Was it written beautifully? Yes. Did I like it? I don't know. I guess I was looking for a spiritual memoir that dove deep into the author's search for God both in and out of church. Instead, the climax of the book is her leaving her role as an Episcopalian priest to become a professor. Interesting, but not the leaving-church-and-finding-God story I expected. I just didn't quite get it. She is still a talented writer, though, and I would gladly read more of her books.
She Walks in Beauty
compiled by Caroline Kennedy
Have you seen this in those cute little stacks of books at Anthropologie? I've sighed over it every time I walked through the store, so when I randomly spotted it in the library I had to snatch it up. I've never been a poetry buff, but I've always wanted to be (ie, my angsty teen years when I wrote bad poetry and copied Edgar Allan Poe poems onto my jeans in Sharpie, much to my parents' delight.) This collection is perfect. Lots of well-known classics and newer works. You can read a poem in the morning while you sip your tea or gobble them up in big chunks. I recommend the latter.