Thursday, March 21, 2013


First, the latest Benism:

Upon looking into my mouth yesterday: “Messy, Mommy”.

What? I paid a lot of money to a very expensive orthodontist for my mouth to not look messy.

In fact, I very clearly remember the moment that Chris and I were identified as American by our teeth. We were in Mozambique in a crappy dive boat and the man across from us said: “You guys are from the States, huh”.  Turned out he was a dentist from South Africa. “Americans” he said, “they always have nice teeth”.

I remember being surprised but also slightly ashamed, and not knowing why.


Ok: books.

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” 
Groucho Marx,

Not your favorite reading quote? How about this one:

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis

After Ben’s birth, I took a year long break from reading. And it sucked. But I was also terribly sleep deprived and why read when you could sleep? That also was my outlook when it came to exercise, too, I might add. Probably not the best policy but anyone in my immediate family can tell you that I am a not a fun person to be around when short on zzzs.

Anyway, back to reading. I love that the Seattle Public Library has a great many down-loadable books. They have a system worked out with Amazon that lets me transfer them onto my ipad with just a few clicks. No trip down to the library necessary. Which is both good and bad.

I seem to be doing some crazy genre hopscotching lately, zipping from horribly, heart-breakingly sad tear jerkers (The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green.[highly recommended by the way]) to scatological jokes (The Bedwetter, by Sarah Silverman [crude, excellent humor]) and then back: The Postmistress, by Sarah Blake [fairly decent].

I also fit in The Secret Race: Inside the hidden world of the Tour de France, by Tyler Hamilton [basically: everyone doped in the TdF and, not surprisingly, Lance is an asshole.] Not exactly groundbreaking news but still a fascinating tale.

Also, I am determined to catch up on my pop culture reading: I just polished off Book 5 of Harry Potter and the third Shades of Grey volume.

Did I just publicly admit to reading Shades of Grey? eek.

In my defense, I’ll consume just about anything that takes place in Seattle although in this case it was laughable: You cannot merge left when entering I-5 South from the 520 bridge. Duh.

Looking for something of decent quality that is Seattle-based? How about the Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. A sweet, sweet book. I dare you not to cry.

I’m halfway through I Know This Much is True, by Wally Lamb, a story of a man wading through life with a paranoid schizophrenic brother. Here is a brief blurb:

On the afternoon of October 12, 1990, my twin brother, Thomas, entered the Three Rivers, Connecticut, public library, retreated to one of the rear study carrels, and prayed to God the sacrifice he was about to commit would be deemed acceptable. . . .
One of the most acclaimed novels of our time, Wally Lamb's I Know This Much Is True is a story of alienation and connection, devastation and renewal, at once joyous, heartbreaking, poignant, mystical, and powerfully, profoundly human.

I not sure I’m going to finish it. I can usually handle depressing but this particular tome is bleak beyond belief.

In my hold queue are the following:

How to Be A Woman, by Caitlin Moran

Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from the riot of adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother. With rapier wit, Moran slices right to the truth--whether it's about the workplace, strip clubs, love, fat, abortion, popular entertainment, or childred--to jump-start a new conversation about feminism. With humor, insight, and verve, How To Be a Woman lays bare the reasons why female rights and empowerment are essential issues not only for women today but also for society itself.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Imagines the coming-of-age story of young Julia, whose world is thrown into upheaval when it is discovered that the Earth's rotation has suddenly begun to slow, posing a catastrophic threat to all life.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers [life, death, and hope in a mumbai undercity] by Katherine Boo

From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century&'s great, unequal cities.   In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.  

Wild [from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail], by Cheryl Strayed

A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.

The Secret Keeper, by Kate Morton

During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy. Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy's ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades.

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick's wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife?

What must-read books are out there Peeps, just calling my name?!

I’d love some recommendations.