Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Back When You Were Easier to Love

Back When You Were Easier to Love is an cute Mormon YA romance. I didn't realize it was Mormon until a few pages in. I generally don't read Christian fiction, so I probably wouldn't have picked it off the library shelf had I realized. However, it was fun.

Joy, the main character, dated Zan until he dropped off the face of the earth, without a word of goodbye. She was having agreat difficulty in getting over him, so she decided to drive to his college to get closure. Noah, Zan's friend, tags along. Joy viewed Noah as a "Soccer Lovin' Kid" who was too stereotypical Mormon. On the trip, Joy realized how Zan was something she never had and how Noah has many more dimensions than she gave him credit for. 

Back When You Were Easier to Love is a very very G rated book. Joy even reflects on how kissing among the Mormon kids at her school was a really big deal. The book's cover seems too forward for the romance in the story. In any case, it was an enjoyable read.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking

My name is kenpen and I am an introvert.

My book club read Quiet a few months ago. While I missed the meeting, I'm glad that I read the book. It rook me quite a while to get in to Quiet. I probably would have put it down had I not spent $13 on the kindle edition. I didn't have much else on my kindle I felt like reading, so I kept at it. By the midway point (almost exactly) I really began to enjoy the book.

Introverts are those people who recharge by being alone. They aren't necessarily shy, but it's a common trait. At times in my life, I think I've been more introverted than others. I went to a boarding school in high school so I was never alone then and was fine, but since I've become an adult I've become more introverted. In the past year or two, I feel like I've moved a bit more to the middle of the spectrum. However, I still HAVE to be alone frequently.

The night Evan and I got engaged, he'd been out at a party while I stayed home by myself. I remember thinking that he was going to break up with me since I rarely wanted to go to parties and be around people I didn't know. And then he proposed. Ha. We recently took an online quiz to see how introverted/extroverted we are. He's 89% extroverted. I'm 78% introverted. I think the main thing is knowing how the other functions and what they need.

Quiet helped me understand myself a little bit better and it gave insight on how society views introverts. It gave me some ideas on how to fit into the social world a bit better, even considering how to (this sounds faker and ickier than it is, but I don't know how to word it better) create an extroverted persona when you need one.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rising from the Plains

I think it's easy to love books set in a place where you live. You can relate to the places in the books and in the case of non-fiction, may have a connection to the people. Rising from the Plains is set in Wyoming and covers the state's geology. It's a book that had been suggested to me as a Wyoming must-read.

At times the science got a little heavy for me, but other than that the book was fabulous. It was a very quick read.

I loved David Love, the geologist who McPhee traveled with. His family story was such a Wyoming story. It sounded a bit familiar to me. I realized I'd read about it in Lady's Choice by Barbara Love about ten years ago. If anything, Rising from the Plains is worth reading because of the Love family history. 

Wyoming's geology is fascinating. We've got really really old stuff. Vedauwoo (pronounced vee-da-voo) which is just east of Laramie, is approximately 1.4 billion years old. Evan and I rock climb and hike there. Vedauwoo is known for it's rock climbing. Wyoming also has lots of dinosaur bones. Love and McPhee had a wealth of material to share.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History

My book club chose this for one of our reads. We have several pregnant women in the group and a number of them were really interested in the info on breastfeeding.

I really enjoyed the book. One of the topics I found most interesting was the section on the chemical levels in our bodies. Williams and her daughter had urine tests done to determine those levels.  After the tests, Williams had a short detox period where she avoided things (plastics) that raise levels. Within a few days, her chemical levels dropped significantly. I wish that she had included a follow up on how to lower these levels in real life. She didn't drive, didn't eat anything that had been in plastic, and other non-realistic methods of avoiding plastic. The more I read about chemicals in our environment, the scarier the situation seems.

The section on breastfeeding wasn't anything earth shattering for me. I already knew that breast milk offers a baby valuable nutrients and is immune boosting. I also knew that the US has a very short maternity leave while other Western countries offer a more generous leave. These other countries have breast feeding rates that far surpass American ones. 

Another interesting section was the one on implants. Williams visited a plastic surgery center in Texas and had a pretend consultation. She spoke with women who were getting implants. One woman talked about how all her friends had them. Very odd to me.

I'm sure this is a book that most women would be interested in reading.