The Week In Books

Since I am trying to keep a list of the books I read this year, with some notes of what I thought of each, I thought maybe I’d do a post now and then on the topic.

Like the other “When You’re Expecting” books, “Eating Well When You’re Expecting” had some bogus information, but it was better than the others in the series. If you’ve done your own research on nutrition and pregnancy, it will serve as a good reminder of what you need to have optimal nutrition while pregnant. Unlike the Brewer’s Diet (on which this seems to be loosely based), Eisenberg makes the good point that foods count in multiple categories, and so you can get the nutrients you need without eating 24 hours per day as I think you’d have to on Brewer. The recipes were a little hardcore – she advocates completely eliminating sugar in favor of juice concentrates, which, while better than refined white sugar, nutritionally aren’t a whole lot different than honey (added fruit, but not much, you’re really adding sweetener) or other natural sweeteners, and she bizarrely advises against eating pickles for no apparent reason. Whatever. As with most books, I’d advise you to take the good and leave the weird.

Potty Training Your Baby” is billed as being “a practical guide for easier toilet training” and I think it probably is. The author goes through the basic steps of potty training, and then describes the challenges and benefits to starting at different ages with different genders. She emphasizes keeping the process low stress and how to determine if your child has reached certain milestones or not. Throughout, the book is filled with useful tidbits and ideas. This is not a book on how to potty train little bitty infants, if that is what you’re looking for (although if you have that kind of time, more power to you), but it does help guide parents in figuring out what steps to take when in the training continuum.

Home By Choice” is an excellent read! Dr. Hunter is a developmental psychologist who specializes in women and children’s attachment problems. This book begins by reviewing the scholarship available about how mothers become attached to babies, and what happens when that doesn’t happen (to mom and to baby). Hunter makes a point of revealing her own biases based on her own upbringing, being a feminist single working mom herself, and then how she changed her mind about key mothering issues as she did her research at Georgetown. Most interestingly, Hunter also notes the biases of her peers in other sociological studies cited. I found the research to be illuminating and balanced in the first section, with the second section dedicated to compassionately and insightfully covering how moms in less than ideal situations can overcome their own history and give their children healthy environments. Even for mothers who come from secure, healthy families and who are providing secure, healthy family environments for their kids, this book is an interesting and engaging review of the psychology behind mother/child bonding.

My mother-in-law gave me “The Cool Girl’s Guide to Knitting,” which is subtitled “everything the novice knitter needs to know.” The writing is humorous, and the examples of yarn types and how to read patterns were helpful, but as I studied the pictures of different techniques (many of which seem ridiculously far above the head of THIS novice knitter!) I found myself lost and confused. Perhaps things will become clear if I can convince my mother-in-law to show me in person. The last section of the book includes patterns for a variety of projects, all of which appear to be far, far, perhaps impossibly far, above my abilities. But who knows, perhaps in time for Christmas I will have knitted Josh a big pouffy red sweater decorated with reindeer and bows and turkeys and whatnot. I’m sure he’d love that to bits and pieces, wouldn’t you??

Currently Reading:

“It Takes A Family” by Rick Santorum
Genesis, Psalms, Matthew, Acts
“Training Hearts, Teaching Minds” by Starr Meade (as a family)
“Hitty: Her First Hundred Years” by Rachel Field (to Hannah)
“My Mommy, My Teacher” by Johannah Bluedorn (to Hannah)

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