Michael Rosenberg: War As They Knew It: Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, and America in a Time of Unrest
A fabulous insider look at two of the greatest coaches of all time, Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler. This book chronicles not just their battles on the football field but the rapidly changing culture that surrounded them. Rosenberg is a remarkable writer who can not only cut to the core of what makes someone who they are but also turns a witty phrase with the best of them. He is also my friend and a fine human being himself. But I would like his book very much regardless.
Michael S. Broder: The Panic-Free Pregnancy: An OB-GYN Separates Fact from Fiction on Food, Excercise, Travel, Pets, Coffee, Medications and Other Concerns You Have When You Are Expecting
If you want a book to green-light almost any pregnancy no-no, this is it. The book is written is question and answer form and markets itself as a realistic, straight-forward guide to having a healthy pregnancy without worrying yourself silly. The basis of his outlook seems to be that we and our fetuses are resilient folks. A little or this or that isn't going to ruin anything.
Elizabeth Berg: The Art of Mending
I read this book in one afternnoon/evening this week. I keep going back to Berg's novels because they're quick, enjoyable, well-written and easy to relate to. She write about basic relationships -- mother-daughter, sisters, husbands and wives, mothers and children -- with a great amount of reality and insight. Her characters always feel authentic to me, and her plot moves along at a nice clip. Her stories never drag. It's not highbrow literature, but it's not chick-lit either. This story is about a woman who goes to a family reunion to find her sister is ready to share some secrets from their childhood, secrets she has no idea exist.
Khaled Hosseini: The Kite Runner
Of course, after finishing Thousand Splendid Suns, I had to run and read this one, the one that made Khaled a star. I think Suns was more powerful -- and more disturbing -- but Kite Runner was satisfying and suspense-filled and lovely, too. I whipped through it in a few days, caught up in the story of two childhood friends whose lives are forever changed when one can't find the courage to save the other from a terrible assault. A great book about the power of family and friendship, and more than anything, of redemption and forgiveness.
Khaled Hosseini: A Thousand Splendid Suns
As good as they say. Maybe better. Absolutely mesmerizing in an almost sickening way. You want to stand up and fight for the two main characters. You will read this and cry, assuming you have a heart. You will not put it down. And you will learn a lot about a culture and a people that have been given a bad rap here in the USA. Just read it. (*****)
Rebecca Odes: From the Hips: A Comprehensive, Open-Minded, Uncensored, Totally Honest Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and Becoming a Parent
All-around pregnancy guide with tons of little comments from real, anonymous women that cover absolutely everything. Birth plans, breast-feeding, weight gain, sickness, whatever. I like it because it does not profess any rights or wrongs when it comes to those subjective matters. It lets real women tell their opinions with casting judgments. Very refreshing and eye-opening.
Dana Bedford Hilmer: Blindsided by a Diaper: Over 30 Men and Women Reveal How Parenthood Changes a Relationship
More essays, this time by mothers and fathers. This deals more with how a baby changes marriages. It definitely doesn't shy away from the bad stuff. Very realistic, well-written, lots of diverse voices covering all aspects of relationships after new-parenthood begins -- sex, communication, role changes, expectations.
Leslie Morgan Steiner: Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families
Wonderful, diverse essays from moms on all sides of the debate. Really, what these essays prove is that the "debate" is not that at all. There is no right, easy choice when it comes to life after babies, and every mother must do what she needs to survive.
Lee Strobel: The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God
I've read most of Case for Faith and Case for Christ, but this one seems to be the most topical. It tackles issues of science, evolution, Darwinism and so on and interviews well-known scientiets and other respected authorities in an attempt to find what their fields really say about the prospect of a creator. Filled with lots of science that reads, to me, like goobletigook. I just hate science. Always have. But it's certainly worth trudging through.
Gary Chapman: The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
A book you skim. It's interesting, for sure. The premise is that there are five types of preferrences for how we want to feel loved. They all make sense to me, but supposedly we each have a primary love language, and if we don't get love in that manner, we feel hopelessly unloved. Threads of truth, but not something I'd say is a life-changing theory.