Shelved: What I've Been Reading March (Part 1)

There was a time when I was an obsessive reader

And then I went to college and got buried in school for the next five years. Like many students I was completely burned out and had no desire to read anything for quite a while. I made half-hearted attempts to start reading more, but for a while it seemed like I was never again going to read like I used to. Well, that seems to be changing.

The Versions of Us, Laura Barnett

This was supposed to be my Kindle book for the month, but I got the audio as well in a deal of the day and became completely consumed by it. I listened to it constantly. While cleaning, while taking Pasha for walks, while knitting. I've always loved the idea of diverging timelines, and this one really pulled me in because it set what is generally a sci-fi concept in a literary romance. The story centers around two protagonists, beginning with a specific moment in their lives and following the various paths their lives could have taken based on how that moment played out. The gothic romance-loving teenager in me was particularly pleased that there was no perfect version. Each had its joys and its tragedies.

The Pediatrician's Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers

For those of you not keeping track at home, Pasha is fast closing in on his first birthday, which means that we've started experimenting with solid foods. We began with the requisite smashed peas and banana several months ago and have slowly added in more and more foods. As a guide to when and how to mix more foods this book was ok. Mostly it dealt with allergies and how to deal with various health issues. Not really what we are dealing with, but it was nice to have our progress reaffirmed.

Getting to Yum, Karen Le Billon

I'll confess, I didn't read all of this book. I waffled on telling you about this one because I honestly did not like it. Some of it contained good advice -- give your kid healthy choices from the outset, teach them to try everything -- but a lot of it focused on "French parents are awesome, you Americans need to be more French." I'm sure there are a lot lessons we can take from French-style parenting, but I don't think anyone's time was well served by all of the stories of her French friend who served her kid elaborate and unusual foods that a lot of people cannot even access, let alone afford to feed their toddler.

The Turn, Kim Harrison

I devoured Kim Harrison's Hollows series, so when I heard that she had written a prequel I pre-ordered it without a second thought. There really is no way for me to explain the premise without spoiling large chunks. That, unfortunately, is the nature of prequels. I personally really enjoyed it once the titular event began to unfold. The protagonist is another strong female, but this time she is not a witch, which was a fun change from the previous novels. I don't know if it would be as fun of a read if you have no working knowledge of the world of The Hollows. I saw some reviews on Goodreads that asked why certain things were left unsaid, but which were plainly obvious if you had read the other books. So if you are a Harrison fan, give it a read. Otherwise start with the original series.

Homesick for Another World, Ottessa Moshfegh

Short story collections are something that I am starting to turn to more often. They are easy to pick up during nap time and drop when the dog goes crazy because the mailman dared to stop in front of the house. They also fit nicely in my purse for those times Pasha falls asleep in the car. I'm still trying to process this collection, because it was largely unsettling. Most of the stories were about unhappy people living what appear to be ordinary lives but with some sort of uncomfortable twist. And be prepared, they often end in medias res. It was good, just really weird and often disturbing. I highly recommend it. As long as that is your kind of thing.