A Couple of Other Books

I read Hands Free Mama and just didn’t really connect with it.  I’m not sure why.  The subject matter is something I thought I would like, but I guess ultimately the advice was stuff I’ve already thought about from other books so it didn’t feel that ground-breaking.  Really, the gist of the book boils down to its subtitle: “Putting down the phone, burning the to-do list, and letting go of perfection to grasp what really matters.”  There you go.  Work on those things.  If you need someone else’s memoir to inspire you to do those things, Hands Free Mama is one option.  Again, there’s nothing really wrong with this book, and I feel like if I had come to it several years ago or had read it as a blog (it feels like blog posts) it might have resonated more.

I’ve written about Lose Your Mummy Tummy before, because I own it and have referenced it every time I’ve had a baby.  If you have a diastasis (separation of the stomach muscles, most often after pregnancy, and something like 98% of post-partum women have it) this is a great book.  The exercises will show you (or remind you) how to help your stomach muscles recover.  I recently remembered the book and have seen some improvement since starting the exercises, but on the other hand last weekend someone put their hands on my stomach and asked if I “had news” so apparently it’s not working fast enough!

I tried reading Brideshead Revisited in book form but couldn’t get into it, so I gave the audio book a try.  I didn’t really care for it that way either, but I did finish it because it’s a classic and all.  Frankly, I didn’t like it.  It was bleak–lots of privileged people who weren’t at all likeable getting into completely avoidable scrapes and generally ruining their own and other people’s lives with impunity.  But, the fans will say, many of the characters were Catholic, and at the end of the book the light is on in the chapel so there is hope for redemption!  Indeed, there is hope for redemption, and no sin is big enough to overshadow that, but I didn’t see much evidence that any of the characters achieved redemption.  I also couldn’t agree with the theology presented in the book: for example, the male character who is unrepentantly adulterous with men is forgiven, while the repentant female character who is adulterous is deemed to be headed to hell and the respectable women won’t even be in the room with her.  This is probably cultural–at the time it was scandalous to be a divorcee and everything–but I just felt like the fact that there is a hint at possible redemption at the end of the book was not enough to justify my recommendation.

What are you planning to read this weekend?


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2 thoughts on “A Couple of Other Books

  1. I really appreciate your reviews. You get at the root of a book’s good and bad points. They are very helpful.

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