Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mini reviews

OK, it's mini-review time. If I don't do these soon, they won't get done before the end of the year, so here goes.

The Secret Life of the Unborn Child by Dr Thomas Verny
I tried reading this all year (honestly, I started when I was pregnant) and I still didn't manage to finish it. I bought it because I liked the idea that unborn Baby S understood more than I tended to think. But the author really pissed me off. He kept talking about how if a mother is sad/stressed etc the baby suffers. And how if the birth is induced the baby suffers. And although he did also say that he's talking about higher-than-normal stress, that normal levels are ok, it still made me feel guilty. And what about things you can't do anything about, like an induced birth? That would make me feel guilty too. Basically, I was on the defensive the whole time I was reading this so I decided that I got the general idea of what he was trying to say and left it at that, about halfway through.

A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen
This is a chraming little book about simple happiness. I read it during the October read-a-thon because it's super short, but I think I'll leave it on my nightstand and will read it again from time to time, when I'm in need of things being put in perspective. That's what Anna Quindlen does, she makes you look at the world differently. A lovely book to give as a gift, I would think.

The Borden Tragedy by Rick Geary
Another one I read during the read-a-thon, this is a short graphic novel. It's based on the apparentlt famous (though I'd never heard of it) 19th century double murder of Abby and Andrew Borden. Lizzie Borden, their daughter, was accused, tried and later acquitted and she remained under suspicion for the rest of her life. The story is interesting, especially as it's based on fact, and Geary's illustrations are wonderful. The Borden Tragedy is part of A Treasury of Victorian Murders, which also includes Jack the Ripper and The Murder of Abraham Lincoln. I understand that Geary's series is very well researched (The Borden Tragedy includes the text of original press clippings), which pretty much means that I won't be able to stay away from the rest of the series.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Who knew that this book, which I argued my way out of reading when I was a kid, would be so charming? I didn't really read adventure stories as a child, I much prefered Judy Blume and the like, and it seems that I missed out on a lot! Tom Sawyer is a great character and a charming little rascal. The stories were fun and I was surprised at just how trouble Tom got himself into. Although I'd never read the book, I must have seen the film when I lived in the States, because I kept getting flashes of Becky in a frilly dress at some picnic. Has anyone read the one about Huckleberry Finn? Is it just as much fun?

That's October's books done, now only November's books are left to do and I'll be all caught up! :-)


Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I think I need a few pages of A Short Guide to a Happy Life today...

If I ever get pregnant I'll come to you to avoid books like that one. It seems the perfect book to make you feel guilty, no matter what you do!

Thoughts of Joy said...

So glad you enjoyed this one, too. I love ALL of Geary's Graphic novels.

joanna said...

Alex - oh I can definitely help you with pregnancy books, I bought soooo many!

Joy - I'm pretty sure you're why I got that book - thanks! :-)