Saturday, February 6, 2010

Reading and nursing

I've been ignoring the blog lately, if you couldn't tell. Having a brand-new baby is great for having plenty of time to read, with all the breastfeeding down time and all the hours in the middle of the night waiting to be filled, but writing anything down about what I've been reading has been a near impossibility. I'm barely getting a shower in every day, people, but I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here. A big drawback of all this postpartum reading is that I am crazy emotional and every single stinkin' book has made me cry. All of them. Even the stupid science fiction ones. I am not a crier. If a movie gets sad, I tilt my head and say, "Jeepers, that was sad." On occasion, a book will make me tear up, but gasping sobs and running nose? Nope. Shall I enumerate? Yes, I shall.

For some reason I've been reading a bunch of Orson Scott Card books but that's mostly because I have some at my house and extra trips to the library are not happening. I read Hidden Empire, which is the sequel to his Tom Clancy-esque book Empire. It's about a worldwide plague, government corruption and conspiracies. Card revisits characters who lost so much in the first book, but I don't remember being all that attached the first time around. So why would it make me cry? Not only did it make me cry, but it made me tear up later just thinking about it. Apparently I needed more punishment, because then I re-read the Ender's Shadow series of books by Orson Scott Card and cried through half of those too. My husband was starting to worry as I hiccuped my way through those stupid books.

I am a great admirer of David Small's illustrations. If I know a book is illustrated by him, I'm more likely to read it and seek it out. He published a memoir of sorts called Stitches. I say "of sorts" because it is written as a graphic novel. But this is no kids' story. David Small grew up in a seriously screwed up family who verbally and emotionally abused each other. His grandmother was a nutcase and his father gave him radiation treatments that led to David getting cancer, which they kept a secret from David until he was an adult. Oh man, it was a sad and horrible tale, but written in a riveting way that had me flipping pages almost faster than I could read. The true savior of this tale is a therapist that David eventually sees who tells him that he is worthy and good and a valuable person. Thank heavens for that therapist! David Small was able to make something wonderful of his life despite his parents' efforts to tear him down. Stitches was a fast read, but a tearjerker, mostly because of the stupid hormones. Stupid evil hormones.

Still not being adventurous enough to read anything too challenging, I started re-reading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Again, a book I own so I didn't have to venture out of the house to get something different from the library. I like to wait years between re-reads of favorite books because I want it to feel fresh again, but weighing my options of said library venture versus re-reading something I knew I liked, I went with Mistborn. My heavens, that's a good book and it's definitely been enough time for me to forget how it all goes down. I'm really looking forward to re-reading the other two books.

That's the sum total of reading I've done since my baby boy was born. Caren and I are doing a co-review of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte in February and I'm dragging my feet a little bit. I've never read it and I'm afraid it will trigger those stupid tear ducts again. Somebody reassure me that it's not that sad because honestly, I can't handle any more crying. Surely my system has worked all the post-pregnancy hormones out of my system by now, but you never know.


  1. I also adore David Small's illustrations but found Stitches to be intensely dark and creepy. And impossible to forget.

  2. I don't know if I can reassure you about Wuthering Heights. It's been a long time since I've read it though, so I could be wrong. I mainly remember being confused at various points because people had the same names. I can't wait to read your review!!

  3. 1.) Congratulations on the new baby.

    2.) Wuthering Heights is the one book that I have tried to read multiple times and have never gotten beyond the first few chapter. I try to just write it off but the fact that I haven't read it eats at my soul.

    3.) You can really just tilt your head and say "Jeepers, that was sad," and not cry? Tell me how! Because I'm the exact opposite. I tilt my head and a gallon of tears pours out. It's a curse.

  4. Ender's Shadow series makes me bawl like a baby every time.

  5. I'm impressed, Jenny! Not only at the amount of reading you've done lately, but that you were able to find time to write about it! I can't promise that I'll be as prolific when it's my turn in a few months.

    I was dragging my feet with Wuthering Heights too, but now that I've started it's going a lot faster than I expected. No tears so far, if that gives you hope!

  6. The Ender's Shadow series also had me in tears a lot, and I've just been rereading it as well. But you know that I am like the other Rachel, and tears are a way of life for me. I intend to reread the Mistborn series very soon. Amazon has the entire trilogy in paperback for 15 bucks. I'm just waiting until the next paycheck to order them. They really are fantastic. As for Wuthering Heights...As one who cries a lot, I can tell you, I wasn't sad as much as I was really annoyed and angry with several of the characters. It's about a bunch of selfish people. I'm looking forward to your reaction to it. And Jenny, it's okay to cry. Just keep a lot of Tylenol for the headaches and tissues all over the house.