Wednesday, August 14, 2013

a summer full of reading

i've always been a list maker. worse than that, if i do something that is not on the list i have to write it on the list just so i can cross it off the list. please tell me i'm not the only one.

for the first time in my life i have been keeping a list of the books i have completed. now you know i'm wishing i had started doing this ages ago. i want to go back and think of every book i've ever read just so i can add it to the list.

sigh. that's never gonna happen. let it go, rachel. moving on...

with the exception of two or three which i read last spring, these are the books i read this summer...

The Expats
What Alice Forgot
Sparkly Green Earrings
Where We Belong
The Fault in Our Stars
The Tao of Martha
Where'd You Go Bernadette
Bad Monkey
Salt, Sugar, Fat
The Silver Star
Dad is Fat
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Revenge Wears Prada

if i had to pick my favorites from the list they would probably be...

how does one describe this book? simply put, it's a story about a family. it's narrated by the youngest member of the family, calliope, who is born intersex. she was raised as a girl but grows up to become a man. it's a deep, captivating tale and i couldn't put it down. on a lighter, yet no less impressive note, i was amazed that a male author could so expertly describe what it's like to be a self-conscious adolescent female navigating the girl's locker room!

this is an inspiring, real-life story of one woman's struggle to find herself. i love a real-life story. and one that reads like a novel is even better! the author goes to extremes, stripping down to nothing except a too heavy backpack, too tight boots and a trail guide book; setting out on a journey that would force her to rely on only herself. you'll have to read the book to find out if she makes it to the end of the trail and what she learns along the way. my take away was this: i want to hike the pacific crest trail!


i found this book interesting because of the unique way in which the story is told, through correspondence (emails, letters, documents) between the different characters. it is an intriguing plot, about Bernadette, her family and their life in Seattle, that doesn't completely reveal itself until the very end.

a very touching story about augustus and hazel, teenagers who meet at a support group for cancer patients. the book is full of thought-provoking quotes like “I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary?"

i've recently read some great articles too...

i enjoyed this interview with claire danes whom i've loved since my so called life. when she so beautifully portrayed temple grandin i was completely sold on her talent. now in homeland, i'm just a goner!

this article, written by an "aspie" (someone with asberger's syndrome), eloquently describes the anxiety that often occurs in sensory/spectrum-y kids and how we can help. fortunately, with harrison, the times we've seen a very apparent fight-or-flight response have been few. one actually occurred just a few weeks ago at a rockie's baseball game. harrison + stadium full of people + loud unexpected noises + dust blowing in his eyes = melt down. that does not mean, though, that he doesn't feel anxious. it just means that he, for the most part, does a good job of managing anxiety without totally breaking down. sweet boy.

i related to this article. we had such a lovely summer and i definitely feel like i'm in the sweet spot.

"We don't realize it, but eating is actually one of the most complicated things we do as human beings." i have been studying up on feeding as we will soon have harrison evaluated and likely treated for feeding issues. this article by one of the feeding specialists at STAR center is very revealing.

i LOVED this video by jimmy fallon & friends. i originally saw it posted by bigmama but have to re-post here. and, listen, i'm not a big robin thicke fan but good grief that man's smile is stunning!

the end.