I’m back to work after 7 months and my day routine has some resemblance to what it was, so I’m finally feeling grounded enough to re-start blogging (and commenting as well).

During my hiatus I’ve actually read much more than I expected (26 books – uuUUUuuu), but I’m going for a clean slate and talk only talk about books I’ll read from now on. No pressure that way.

Still, for posterity, here are some random thoughts about the past reading period:

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  • Hurrah, I’ve discovery Shel Silverstein!
  • What Mothers Do: especially when it looks like nothing took a chuck of weight off my shoulders when I read it two months into my maternity leave. It should be required reading, but there’s a conundrum: at the time when it would be a real life-saver (a few weeks after birth) most mothers don’t have the brain power to pick up a book and if they’d read it before the baby was born or long afterwards it would lose part of the impact. The solution might be to condense it into a 5-minute video.
  • Confession: The Lightning Thief was the first book I’ve read after seeing the movie and though it was better than the movie (e.g. I’d vote for The Painted Veil’s movie over the book anytime).
  • I’ve already had proof that being a new mom will change how books affect me. The first was with Dan Simmons’ Hyperion. I don’t want to spoil it, but just to say that “The River Lethe’s Taste is Bitter” part of the book haunted me for weeks. Another example was while listening to The Moral Landscape. At some point Sam Harris reads a quote from a psychopath describing how he tortured his stepson. I think something that horrible would always affect me, but not with the violence it did, physically. Still, it was such an interesting book, and one I’ll need to re-read soon.
  • The Enchanted April was a disappointment (not bad, just meh) after the amazing Elizabeth and Her German Garden, but I’m determined to persevere with von Arnim. Christopher and Columbus is up next.
  • How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between) by Mei-Ling Hopgood is my favorite parenting book so far. I’m fascinated by parenting across cultures.

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  • Maria Dulce Cardoso’s O Retono, was the best Portuguese book I’ve read in a long, long time. I need to recommend it to everyone there. Reminded me of Jorge Amado at its best.
  • I’m afraid I’m not as enthusiastic about Code Name Verity as some (most?) book bloggers. A bit predictable, very contrived.
  • To Lie with Lions (The House of Niccolo, #6) by Dorothy Dunnett is the highlight the year so far. Please stop me when you’re tired of hearing me pray at her altar praise her.
  • Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom was also fantastic. Such a page-turner.
  • Oh The Master and Margarita, I tried, swear I did. Oh The Historian, I also tried… although not very hard. Sorry it didn’t work out between us.
  • The Pleasant Surprise Award is a tie between Where’d You Go, Bernadette and We Have Always Lived in the Castle (should have saved it for Halloween!).

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