Recently, a friend asked me for books, preferably fiction, to help her understand the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I don’t think I can adequately cover that subject (ever, it’s just so big), but I can offer some suggestions regarding Israel, Palestine, Syria, and the changing face of the Middle East. I do want to offer a caveat that I had a hard time finding books by Arab authors, but I tried to include what I could. I also wanted to try to avoid books that came off as rabidly pro– or anti–Israel. I couldn’t find any fiction, but I did find some non–fiction that can hopefully offer some insight into what’s going on in an area that’s often misunderstood or underestimated. Continue reading
Last Saturday was gorgeous here – in the 80s and sunny, the perfect weather for putting a chair (or, if you’re as lazy as I can be, an air mattress) on the deck, propping your feet up, pouring a cold drink, and falling into a book. On sunny summer days, I don’t want my usual fantasy or romance, but I also don’t want something “literary.” For me, summer days call for a specific kind of literature, the kind with lots of money, long-range revenge schemes, constant fashion name-dropping, and sex between beautiful people. In short, summer calls for trashy fun. Continue reading
At the request of one of our illustrious editors, I decided to compile a list of books featuring unicorns. As a former horsey girl, I understand the attraction. But how can fiction feature a unicorn without it feeling played out? Here are some of the better unicorn books I’ve found. Continue reading
Hello, readers! It’s a gorgeous day outside in Seattle, but I am going to be inside, as being employed at the library means far too much time thinking up titles to request. I thought I had seven holds yesterday and walked out with sixteen items. I finished Hold Me Closer Necromancer last night, and I re-started Karen Marie Moning’s Iced this morning. What are you reading? What do you want to read? Bring it on! Continue reading
I really enjoy fiction books that are humorous, fantastical and absurd, with lots of interesting details and great world building, like everything by Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Eoin Colfer and Walter Moers (although he isn’t that well known in the non-German speaking world, I believe), as well as things like Harry Potter, The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede and the Howl’s Moving Castle series. I recently started reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde and am liking it so far, too. Continue reading
Spring always gets me in the mood for romance, but I often have a hard time finding romantic novels that feel smart, funny, and well-plotted. (I’m bored to death with Janet Evanovich’s series, and Sophie Kinsella’s books make me cringe.) I like some of Jennifer Crusie’s novels (Faking It, Agnes and the Hitman), most of Elizabeth Peters’ books, and paranormal novels with romance and humor mixed in (like Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series). Any ideas? Continue reading
You had some great requests last week, and hopefully my suggestions work for you! Please, keep asking! Continue reading
Hello, darling readers! Welcome to Persephone’s new readers’ advisory column. I’m a state-certified librarian, an inveterate bookworm, and I learned reader’s advisory from arguably the most famous reader’s advisor of all, Nancy Pearl. Continue reading
I have cried every day this week. Grad school, depression, and parenting are colluding to convince me that I will never be happy, that I am not the student or parent or partner I want and need to be, that I will always disappoint and fail those around me and myself. Continue reading
As the end of June creeps up on me, something else is creeping up as well: Gabe’s first birthday and the point where we discus weaning. While I adore my son and the benefits of breastfeeding, I am also looking forward to regaining my body as my own.
At one point or another, many of us will either have kids or have friends who have kids. Believe me when I say that your kid-bearing friends still want to hang out with you, despite constantly turning down your Facebook invites to parties, barbecues, and shows. We still want to socialize, it’s just that socializing as a parent is a bit more complicated. Continue reading
I’ve been lucky enough to stay at home with my son for the first nine months of his life, and will continue to do so until he’s a year old. This summer, however, we have to go through the great separation. Yep, it’s time for childcare. Continue reading
There comes a time when, if you have a baby, you’ll need to carry that baby somewhere. And that somewhere will be someplace that’s inconvenient with a stroller and is too far to carry them bare-armed comfortably. It’s at that moment when you’ll realize the value of a good baby carrier.
When I was pregnant, I was convinced that I was going to be a super hippie granola mom – I’d wear Gabe constantly, do skin-to-skin all summer long, and lull him to sleep in the carrier as I went about my day. When he arrived, I was armed with two MobyWraps and a wealth of good intentions. What I learned, however, was that despite my choices, the baby carrier would be chosen by the one being carried, not the one doing the carrying. Continue reading
I wish I could explain the urge in me to have another baby. In the past 24 hours, I’ve gotten less than three hours’ sleep, been bitten and scratched by my darling progeny, and spent hours sitting on the floor and pushing a wooden car over things for his amusement while my adult responsibilities went untouched. But I jump at even the half-joking chance to try for a second child. Continue reading
There are terrible things about babies, and there are awesome things about babies. What’s exceptionally awesome? Their inability to fake an emotion. Babies are the most brutally honest people you’ll meet. Continue reading