The Belle Jar posted this comic on Facebook today, and I couldn't help but repost it. It's seriously so relevant, and so true. Original comic can be found at 'my little sketchbook' (Katarzyna Babis' tumblr).
Felicity is now at the ripe old age of one and half. She has opinions. She has desires. It's almost like she's a little person. (Yes, she is decidedly a tiny human).
Felicity, with her vocabulary of thirty or so words, hasn't quite grasped the subtleties of polite elevator interactions.
A woman stepped into the elevator after us. Felicity looked up from her stroller and in a small, sweet voice, said, "Hi!"
The woman smiled at her and greeted her back. Then the woman asked, "How are you today?"
Our downstairs neighbor probably wasn't expecting a response, or maybe she was expecting to hear a tiny, "Fine, how are you?" as is the custom to respond. Not so.
Furrowing her eyebrows, Felicity briskly held a rigid index finger to her bandaged, slightly scraped knee. She uttered a severe sentence or two, which we couldn't much make out besides the word "owee" once or twice.
Ian and I have been sick with the flu since Friday night. While we are finally starting to recover, Felicity has been feeling pretty miserable today. I took the baby out in the stroller this afternoon to pick up our CSA box, and she bravely sat quietly for most of the ride, only complaining a little when we walked past the playground.
After getting back into the building with the stroller and bags of groceries, I saw one of the MBA students, resplendent in suit and tie, coming into the building after us. Kind soul that I am, I held the elevator for him.
After the doors closed and we'd pushed our respective buttons, Felicity looked up at him and greeted him with a small and serious, "Hi."
He smiled, and said hello back. He then asked how she was. He was decidedly not ready for what she had to tell him.
Bear in mind that... some of what Felicity says is comprehensible to Ian or myself. Like I said, Flick has a small (but effective) vocabulary. It was apparently not large enough (at least in English) to express how bad she was feeling and what a terrible day she'd had.
In her tirade, from the lobby to the fifth flour, she told the young man in great detail about how it was to be a toddler and feel bad, how her (mean) parents wouldn't take her to the playground, expressly against her frequent requests, and who knows what else. Pretty much, a whole lot of baby-talk in an exaggerated, complaining voice.She sounded like a grandmother talking about her sciatica in an alien language.
Exiting the elevator, the MBA student said, "That's how I feel too. That's how I feel too."
Flaubert's Parrot has been on my "To Read" list for YEARS. To my delight, it was available on audiobook from the NYPL, and I downloaded it to my phone to listen to whilst walking about the city, riding the subway, and doing laundry in the evening.
I hesitate to even write that I hated it because I know it's supposed to be a great book. I'm sure it IS a great book. I tried. I really, really tried. I listened to just about half of the book before giving up completely in boredom.
Okay, okay, I know this book is about Flaubert, but I didn't expect it to really ONLY be about Flaubert. I usually find Julian Barnes to be an exceptionally interesting and engaging author that could make a housefly interesting, so I was disappointed to be increasingly annoyed at Flaubert, instead of, say, interested or engaged in his life and story. I feel that either this book should've had more framing (I did enjoy the little framing there was about the doctor who was interested in Flaubert and his story), or Barnes should've just written a biography on Flaubert. Random lists of quotes and dates just didn't do it for me.
If you're interested in Flaubert (I really am not) and don't mind more of a history lesson than a novel, you'll enjoy this, I promise. Please disregard my low-brow analysis and find a copy for yourself.
You've read the books. You've watched the movies (and are waiting with anticipation for the second and third American installments). A graphic novel series too? Yes, please.
The artwork is fantastic, the main plot is represented well, and Stieg Larsson's original magic is present. I highly recommend this to any fans (or if you're just too lazy to read the books - you know who you are...), just be aware that this is Part I of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and so does not represent the full book.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. It made me laugh and laugh - Judith Newman is an incredibly funny writer and has a wonderful way with words. While You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman is a humorous read, and it was evident that Newman was struggling with her new role as mother, with her finances, and her marriage, she never really went too deep below the surface. She allows you glimpses of her actual thoughts, but doesn't write with any depth. There is nothing wrong with this, necessarily, just don't pick it up if you're looking for a mothering memoir that deals with the meat of being a mom and how it changes your identity.
I originally read this for my thesis (I'm reviewing a number of mothering memoirs) specifically because she is an older mom, and there aren't many mothering memoirs out there dealing with age. I'm not sure I can use it though as Newman never really went to any deep emotional place. I'm not sure how I didn't know it wouldn't be more serious, certainly the title should've tipped me off!
This is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and you'll certainly have fun if you're a parent yourself, especially a new(ish) parent living in NYC.
I couldn't get through Why We Write quickly enough. Suddenly I find myself bemoaning the fact I'm working on a master's thesis and not working on a novel instead! Really though, this book is filled with such interesting essays and information. The editing is superb; the writers chosen are varied in genre, age, and experience, and I had such fun reading how they got started in their writing careers, their individual writing processes, and tips for writing well.
This is a fantastic book for a would-be writer (maybe something to help give the final push?), the discouraged writer, or the enthusiastic reader who would like to know more about the writing process.
I've been looking forward to reading Valenti's book for several weeks. This is a great little book (and a pretty fast read, I got through it in about three hours) for anyone that is just beginning to explore the concept of finding happiness in mothering (though Valenti prefers the term parenting, which I completely get, this book is primarily about mothering). Valenti is an engaging and interesting writer and is sure to make you think about why we have children, the idea of what it is to be a good mother, and how we're all struggling to make sense of ourselves as parents.
However, after reading many, many, many books and articles on feminist mothering, empowered mothering, and the state of mothering today, this book was much the same. See how I still gave it four stars though? If you haven't done the extensive (and ridiculous) amount of reading on mothering that I have (for my graduate work), give this book a go! Really, really!
My two actual complaints about the book: Valenti could be more thorough in her reporting/research. The example off hand is her breastfeeding chapter. While I've certainly mellowed in my fanaticism for breast-feeding, I still think she might've give more research going both ways. This is one example of where she is very one-sided with her research and doesn't give a true, full picture. I generally agreed with all of her overall analysis, I felt I was only getting one side of an argument in a few places in the book.
My second complaint is never really addressing two of the three themes on the cover - why people choose to have kids and finding happiness in parenting. She covers both of these topics (most women feel obligated to have kids as society pushes women to have children; and people without children are happier than those with children, and working moms are happier than stay-at-home moms), but she doesn't really fully engage with either topic. I would've liked to see more discussion on WHY people choose to have children (or is the only reason because we believe we must, or 'oops!'), and more about what it is to be happy and be a parent (or, in particular, a mother).
It was fun reading this after working on the 50th edition The Feminine Mystique for my book club; there are so many parallels and women are still facing such crisis, even a half a decade later.
I obtained a copy of Veganomicon months before making the switch over (hell, I wasn't even a vegetarian at that point), and really enjoyed the recipes even then. After becoming a vegan, Veganomicon was that much more valuable. The recipes in this cookbook are great - well thought through, easy to make (most of the time), and typically quite healthy. Isa and Terry write with humor and provide excellent information. And, of course, most importantly, these recipes produce GREAT food. Om-to-the-Nom-Nom good.
While I don't want to make it sound like this is a "Betty Crocker" cookbook of sorts (shows you how to make the basics), Veganomicon is quite comprehensive and has recipes and menus for all occasions (or un-occasions). The recipes are also sorted as well to fit specific needs: soy-free, gluten-free, low fat, fast (under 45 minutes), and "supermarket friendly."
Some of our favorites (and frequently-made): Banana-Nut Waffles (our personal favorite brunch), Cashew Ricotta, Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheezy Sauce, Simple Seitan, Chile-Chocolate Mole (out of this world!), Mushroom Gravy (referred to the "Thanksgiving Hero"), and Snobby Joes, to list just a few.
If you're a vegan or enjoy eating plant-based foods, this is a must-have for your cookbook collection.
This was the very first vegan cookbook I looked at after making the switch from vegetarian to vegan. While I haven't made many of the recipes, the substitution lists and suggestions are useful and accurate, and the recipes I did try were great. I won't lie, this isn't your healthy vegan cookbook, and I'm not sure how into veggies either of these authors are. But the recipes are full of soul and are good comfort recipes.