Wednesday, July 13, 2016

On the Bookshelf: Fiction & Memoirs to enjoy in the newborn days!

In this blur of life recently, I've spent a lot of time sitting around. After all, when I frequently have a tiny baby literally attached to me (either eating or sleeping in such a way that he'll wake up and be super fussy if I put him down), it's hard to be my typical "bounce around all the time" self. And being stuck sitting down is a perfect excuse to read. I have been swallowing up books voraciously in the past month of newborn life, so let's chat literature!

Manalive, by G. K. Chesterton. This book discusses the life and adventures of Innocent Smith, an individual who stumbles across of disillusioned people at a local boarding house. As Innocent Smith is accused of attempted murder and some other rather unsavory things, he twists and turns the worldview of these people upside-down. It's hard to explain Smith without giving away the entire book, so I'll sum it all up with this: He's very similar to Mr. Blue in his approach to the world. I wholeheartedly enjoyed this little book, and one of these days I hope to go back through it and dive deeper into the issues that Chesterton brings up within the story. I highly recommend it! 

The Anne of Green Gables series, by L. M. Montgomery (books 6-8). After reading Anne's House of Dreams, I was not sure what I would think of the rest of the series, since I am a huge fan of how adorable Anne and Gil are in the earlier books. To my surprise, I found myself really loving books 6-8! I would not approach them as Anne books necessarily, since they are about Anne's children, and she only plays a background role. It was neat to see Anne's playful spirit be passed on to her children, and their mischievous antics were so much fun to explore! I want to give a special shout-out to book 8, Rilla of Ingleside. I think this book in particular is amazing. It is really neat to see how frivolous Rilla is completely transformed through the self-sacrifice of motherhood. I recommend these books to fans of the Anne series, but keep in mind that they really aren't about Anne. 

Learning to Love with the Saints, by Jean Heimann. I first met Jean a handful of years back when I began attending her parish, and always saw her with her husband at daily Mass. It was neat to read this, her memoir, and see how God has been working in her life-in ways I never would have imagined as I glanced over her in the other pew! This book reminded me that God is working in and through all of us, and that we may have more in common with "that one person in church" than we realize. It was also really neat to see how different saints have played a meaningful role in Jean's life! 

Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Volume 3, by North & Henderson. This book further confirms just why I love Squirrel Girl. Continuing to be filled with the rollicking adventures of the part-girl, part-squirrel superhero, hilarious moments, friendship, and fights for justice fill the pages. One of my favorite parts is getting to meet Squirrel Girl's mom (love her!!!!). This is a great comic in general, but I have a new appreciation for it: during the postpartum period, when one is battling a bad latch, sleep deprivation, or just feeling gross and overwhelmed in general, having a genuinely funny comic book that makes me laugh is fantastic :) 

French Kids Eat Everything, by Karen Le Billon. Ah, the French. I love what they've said about parenting. I love what they've said about underwear. And I love what they've said about food. This book follows the journey that the author's family took when they moved to France for a year, and began discovering-and implementing-the way that many French people approach food. Then, the book documents their journey back to North America, and how they have tried to realistically apply elements of the French approach to their own family culture here. I loved this book for so many reasons! I enjoyed all of the information and research that was given and backed up by many sources. I loved reading about the high expectations that French people hold their children to in regards to eating. I loved reading about how it's important to have the expectation that children should try a variety of foods, and not simply be relegated to overly-processed, starchy foods like they often are in America. This book has made me more mindful about what I eat, as well as why I eat (the book speaks against the emotional eating that is all-too-common in America). I highly, highly recommend this book, even if one does not have kids-it's just a great way to learn about another culture's perspective, and to see different ways to bring this method of approaching food into our lives. 

Finally, along with all of these, I just read another quite spectacular book which I am soooo excited to share with you! The Mermaid and the Unicorn, by Elizabeth Hajek, is a simply delightful fantasy novel. I read the entire 300+ page book in one weekend, and I enjoyed it immensely. The book is officially being released on August 15, 2016, so stay tuned for my official, spoiler-free review! Elizabeth will also be stopping by this blog at some point to chat with me about the book, which I am very, very excited for. In the meantime, you can check out a small synopsis of the book at GeekHaus Press, and you can read more about Elizabeth's exciting adventures as an author on her blog. 


  1. Rilla of Ingleside is honestly one of my favorite books in the entire Anne series. It's probably the one I've re-read the most. :)

    1. That's so neat! I think it definitely makes my top 3 favorite, and I really want to re-read it soon.