Spring Has Sprung

March 28, 2007

And WonderBaby…
… sings…

… the body electric.

Also, she loves New York. Too bad that Her Bad Mother is only going to Kentucky.


I’m so sorry for being such a bad blog-citizen (blogizen?) this past week or so. What with preparations for this weekend’s conference and stacks and stacks of undergraduate political philosophy papers to mark and planning some super cool surprises (secret!) and working on some super faboo projects, I’ve had, like, no time to visit you all. But I’ll make up for it next week.

I will also, next week, fill you in on the fantasticness that no doubt was our panel on mommyblogging. (Also, I will report on whether I was able to resist tackling Joy to the floor upon our first meeting.) Remember, if you’ve done a post about mommyblogging and what it means to you (and/or answered the questions that I posed in this post the other week), leave me a link so that we can consult you as an expert during our panel, and give you (linky) credit next week when we report back. Need inspiration? Check out Mad Hatter’s epic series of meta-posts on mommy-blogging, or any of the prattle on BlogRhet.


Also, I need book recommendations. I’ve got some fourteen plus hours of round-trip air-travel time what with stopovers (Louisville ain’t no direct flight, y’all) and I can’t spend all of it marking papers on Machiavelli and Hobbes. (I am, as it happens, in the Super Coolest Book Club EVER, but the books that are currently under discussion are not my bag.)


(Contemporary lit, please. I’ve read everything worth reading prior to the 20th century.)

(I’m joking about that. Sort of.)

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    Jennifer March 28, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    I’ve read some great books so far this year. I have reviewed 13 of them on my teriary blog – 52 Books or Bust:


    Mamalooper March 28, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    My recommendation is The Girls by Lori Lansens. Canadian, not totally depressing, well written. It’s a fictional memoir by conjoined twins.

    Others to consider…Wicketts Remedy by Myla Goldberg – novel about the 1918 flu epidemic.

    What Do You Do All Day by Amy Schiebe. Chick lit but not braindead.

    Devil in the White City. About the Chicago World’s Fair.

    Have fun next week!!!!

    Laural Dawn March 28, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    This is sooo lame – but have you read the latest in the Travelling Pants Series by Ann Brasheres? It’s really really good. Actually, I’d recommend the whole series – even if it’s written for teenagers.(cheesy, and juvenile, but sooo good – when I read the others on the GO Train I cried). It’s definitely plane reading.
    Or, the Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult. It’s more mature. Also very good.
    Enjoy your trip :)

    Andrea March 28, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Book rec: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. One of my all time favorites.

    Also, Jodi Picoult has a new one out, Nineteen Minutes. She’s one of my favorite authors evah. No one can tap into a character’s psyche quite like she can.

    elise March 28, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Whew, what a daunting task, recommending books to someone who has read everything already.

    I’m sure you’ve read this too, but in case you haven’t (or maybe a fellow, lesser-read commenter hasn’t – hellow fellow commenters!) how about Haven Kimmel: A Girl Named Zippy or She Got Up Off The Couch?
    Those are both sorta chick-lit-y, but not really, as they are both memoirs of a David Sedaris nature. Except really original and not at all depressive. I heart Haven Kimmel.

    kgirl March 28, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    Middlesex is always my reco, but I bet you’ve read that one, like a thousand times.

    I just finished reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which is amazing if you’re willing to feel horrible about everything you’ve ever eaten. But it’s an important book, I think.

    Happy travels!

    Mad Hatter March 28, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. It’s a children’s lit/YA sci-fi fantasy and it ROCKS.

    Have fun in the blue grass.

    gingajoy March 28, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    I will be bracing myself for our meeting (!)

    I second the Middlesex rec, highly. And also The Time Traveler’s Wife (which sounds sci-fi, but is not at all). It’s thinky and it’s page turner. I adored it.

    radioactive girl March 28, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    “The Beggar King and the Secret To Happiness” is one of my favorite books. Have fun!

    Mouse March 28, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Trading on my knowledge of your Buffy fandom: Sunshine by Robin McKinley. Buffy comes up in many reviews, and one says that it, if I remember correctly, is something of a cross between Buffy and Chocolat.

    Not high literature, but a good, engrossing read.

    Gabriella March 28, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Here’s to a happy trip! I also answered those questions you posted a while back. Here’s the link;

    As for book reco’s I haven’t personally read this book yet, but have heard good things about it; “The End of the Alphabet” by CS Richardson.

    MetroDad March 28, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    :Special Topics in Calamity Physics”….You’ll love it, HBM. Guaranteed.

    metro mama March 28, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    I’ll third Middlesex and add Lullabies for Little Criminals (it’s wonderful).

    Her Bad Mother March 28, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Oooh, these all sound awesome.

    Elise – I emphatically have NOT read everything. In fact, pretty much nothing of (post-Hemingway, post-Fitzgerald, post-Judy Blume)contemporary literature that wasn’t written by Julian Barnes, Martin Amis or Umberto Eco. My contemporary cultural literacy is shamefully low.

    Anonymous March 28, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    In no order:
    Suite Française – Irene Nemirovsky
    Deafening – Frances Itani
    The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
    Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
    Atonement and Saturday – Ian McEwan
    Family Matters – Rohinton Mistry
    A Widow for One year – John Irving
    A Long Way down and How to be Good – Nick Hornby
    Disobedience – Jane Hamilton
    Blindness and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis – José Saramago

    slouching mom March 28, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    You and Joy have not yet met?

    That’s just so wrong.

    WonderBaby is as cute as ever, I see.

    Either Atonement or Saturday (Ian McEwan)
    The Plot Against America (Philip Roth)
    Amy and Isabelle (Elizabeth Strout)

    Lisa Giebitz March 28, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    My recommendations:

    “The Working Poor” by David K. Shipler (non-fiction)
    “The Overspent American” by Juliet B. Schor (non-fiction)
    “Waiting For The Galactic Bus” by Parke Godwin (fiction, fantasy/sci-fi)

    Oh, The Joys March 28, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I’m just a third of the way into the History of Love by Nicole Krauss – the writing is blowing me away.

    mek March 28, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I’ll second The Lovely Bones, third Atonement, and throw in Atwood’s Oryx and Crake or Blind Assassin. Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats, too.

    Mimi March 28, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    I’m reading David Lodge’s _Author, Author_. It’s a feictionalized treatment of Henry James and his friendship with George duMaurier. I stay up way too late reading it, and the hardcover is remaindered at Ch@pters for $8.

    Cute, cute WB!

    GIRL'S GONE CHILD March 28, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    My favorite contemp lit books of the last five years:

    People of Paper By: Salvador Plascencia
    The History of Love: By Nicole Krauss

    Amazing books for an amazing lady on an amazing trip!

    Robin March 28, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    I’ll second (or by now is it fourth or fifth?) The Time Traveller’s Wife (incredible) and Middlesex, and will add Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies (the second is a collection of short stories). Michael Ondaatje’s Anilh’s Ghost also made me think. Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is another excellent choice. Previous commenters have recommended Paulo Coelho, but personally I’ve hated everything by him that I’ve read.

    One of my all-time favorites though would have to be Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.

    Happy travels. Now that I’ve had kids and no longer travel for business I can only fantasize about having hours on a plane alone, to read in peace. I’ll be living vicariously through you.

    Elise March 28, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    HBM – Oh good. I feel less silly with my suggestions, then :)

    And since I’m commenting away, here’s another good read – Dave Eggers What is the What.

    Beck March 28, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Well, it’s a shame I’m not going. I’m a lot of fun to meet.
    As for books…. um, I’ve just been reading a lot of theological stuff recently. Should you want some of that, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll abstain from recommending for the time being.

    BOSSY March 28, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Some time to kill on the plane? What’s so wrong with a few dozen small vodka bottles and a can of orange juice? And, what – don’t you like watching Ben Affleck movies through broken headphones?

    Mary-LUE March 28, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    Here’s another vote for What is the What by Dave Eggers. His A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genious is good, too.

    I haven’t heard too many people talk about Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. That book is flippin’ fantastic and had me thinking for days on end after.

    Something obscure but excellent is A Different Drummer by William Melvin Kelley. A hint of Faulkner, but completely different with a scene toward the beginning that is so wonderfully described I still see it in my mind, years later.

    Holes by Louis Sachar. Fast read. Juvenile fiction but it is true literature. Wonderful reading.

    All Families are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland. Funny, twisted and heart warming all at once.

    Blood Ties by Jennifer Lash. (Trivia: written by Ralph Fiennes’ mom) I don’t know how to describe this one, but it is very good.

    Cherann March 28, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    I liked the Time Traveler’s Wife also–but let me tell you, people either love it or hate it. It bounces around too.

    Other Recent reads:
    I liked the Memory Keeper’s Daughter,The Other Boleyn Sister, and Prep.

    PunditMom March 28, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    I’m with MetroDad — I just finished Special Topics in Calamity Physics. It’s a long one, but really worthwhile. The writing is amazing!

    I love the topic for the session … I’ve thought a lot about the significance of all of us out here in the blogosphere. I think we’re changing the face feminism, regardless of what the “meany” feminists say!

    The Cat's Mom in SoCal March 28, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    I just finished Laura Kipnis’ “Against Love” (2003), a self-described “polemic” on contemporary love and marriage. It’s funny and thought-provoking, and although claims to be anti-love, I wanted to hug the husband all the more after I read it.

    Your panel sounds very interesting. Please update us afterwards!

    - Amy

    whymommy March 28, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    I did a bit of a post on mommyblogging recently — http://toddlerplanet.wordpress.com/2007/03/15/because-im-too-tired/. Good luck at the panel — can’t wait to hear the results!

    Lawyer Mama March 28, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    I can’t wait to hear about the conference. Books, books…I just finished 1 2 3 Magic, but somehow I don’t think that would be great traveling literature. I finished The Year of Magical Thinking last week and I loved it. It’s a bit depressing, seeing as how it’s all about death, but a good read nonetheless.

    Mamalooper March 28, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Philip Roth and Ian McEwan and Rohinton Mistry and Jose Saramago and Nick Hornby – thumbs up to all of them.

    Blindness by Saramago is AMAZING. Apparently a movie is being made of it – can’t imagine how they will do it.

    Momish March 28, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    I am still oogling the picture of WB. Suddenly, she looks so big, like a little girl. How did that happen??

    Have a great trip!

    Canuckedup mama March 28, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    I second Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – both amazing books.

    On the lighter side, How to Be a Canadian by Ian and Will Ferguson is laugh out loud funny (I did, repeatedly).

    I’m curious to see the results of your panel.

    Her Bad Mother March 28, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Momish – NO FREAKING IDEA.

    Mamalooper – I’ve actually read most of McEwan’s oeuvre. Likes me the bad brit lit boys some lots.

    Pgoodness March 28, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    Well, if you’re looking for some light, cheesy romance novel type reading (which is most of what I do lately) you can’t go wrong with Luanne Rice, Nora Roberts and the like. I have to 2nd Jodi Picoult’s 19 Minutes (not light, but very good) – and pretty much everything else of hers. If you haven’t read any of hers, don’t start with the Tenth Circle. I read a lot of Chick-Lit, but I can’t see my bookshelf without my glasses on, so if you want titles, let me know and I’ll send them your way.
    Have a good trip!

    mo-wo March 28, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    Yeah what MetroDad said.. Calamity….

    And, that black skirt thing. I love it but its Wednesday-ish; or is that just some on screen thing?

    ps.. I did leave you a supplementary recommendation on my blog because you stole my topic today! frig.. you owe me a visit lady.

    mothergoosemouse March 29, 2007 at 12:08 am

    Oh how I love WonderBaby’s outfit!

    Safe travels. If you haven’t read “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, I highly recommend it. Or “The Science of Good and Evil” by Michael Shermer. I loves me some non-fiction…

    Annie, The Evil Queen March 29, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Okay, I must be bumping into the other commenters in the book aisles, cause most of the suggestions are things I’ve read. I’d like to add:
    Bel Canto
    The Effects of Light
    The Shipping News
    The Robber Bride
    Corelli’s Mandolin
    Feast of Love
    Running with Scissors
    Invisible Monsters

    …just to name a few. Enjoy your flight.

    m March 29, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Absolutely must read The Girls by Lori Lansens. I read it this summer and I still think about those girls. Fantastic, fantastic book.

    You’ve probably already read The Cloud Atlas, but throwing it in there just in case. And I’ll also second The Namesake.

    Have you read any Lynn Coady? I loved Mean Boy and Saints of Big Harbour.

    flutter March 29, 2007 at 12:40 am

    oh have mercy that baby is cute.

    Read The Time Traveler’s Wife.

    Beth March 29, 2007 at 9:29 am

    I JUST finished reading “Nineteen Minutes” LAST NIGHT! And this is no small feat, because I began it the night before. It was that good. What I liked about it was that it kept my mind so engaged–I was continually thinking I knew what would happen next, and sometimes I was right and sometimes not. And both conclusions were satisfactory.

    My personal rec’s, being a former bookseller and now a library page, which means books are as essential to me as the air I breathe:

    Billie Letts “Where the Heart Is”

    Lorna Landvik “Patty Jane’s House of Curl”

    ANYthing by Suzanne Strempek Shea, but especially “Selling the Lite of Heaven”

    ANYthing by Ann Hood, especially “Something Blue” and “The Knitting Circle” (which I began reading last night)

    “Bread Alone” and “The Baker’s Apprentice” by Judith Ryan Hendrix (these are both about the same character)

    “Untold Millions” by Laura Z. Hobson (an oldie, her last work, and well worth the search)

    “Where Love Goes” by Joyce Maynard

    Don’t dismiss these as chick lit…there’s some serious, intense moments that every woman can identify with in these.

    Oh, and my ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOK since first read in 1979–the one I’ve given away hundreds, no exaggeration, of copies of–

    Anton Myrer’s “The Last Convertible.” Hands down. Will always be my favorite book. I mean, I’ll be buried with this one.

    Elizabeth March 29, 2007 at 9:30 am

    I might be getting in this comment too late, but I ALWAYS take the latest issue of Vanity Fair on airplanes. I read it from the back page forward so that I don’t have to suffer through 65 pages of ads before I get to the good stuff.

    I also just read Laura Lippman’s “What the Dead Know”, and it was really good.

    WonderBaby is New York Baby Chic at it’s finest!

    Bloor West Mama March 29, 2007 at 9:39 am

    Have a great trip!

    As for books, I too loved the Time Traveler’s Wife, Oryx and Crake and The Tipping Point. Another really good book is Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb. It was a beautiful story.

    My goodness WB looks like such a little girl, all grown up.

    pkzcass March 29, 2007 at 9:39 am

    I don’t comment much but just couldn’t keep it to myself any longer. You are such a great writer. And that WonderBaby is so flippin’ cute, especially with the snake boa and the pink purse.

    Have you read the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon (first book in series is actually titled Outlander)? Your writing is very similar to hers. It’s historical romance with some time traveling, but fabulously written and loaded with some good sex.

    Bon March 29, 2007 at 9:53 am

    it’s spring in TO? i’m jealous. we’re currently having a snow day in PEI. which, if i worked outside the home, would be quite snazzy. as is…not so much.

    tackle Joy. i think she’ll like it. my links on the meta stuff don’t go nearly as deep as i’d wanted, but they’re here…

    and books? i just read Mean Boy by Lynn Coady for my book club. very Maritime…weirdly like reading bits of my own history, as the protagonist is (like me) from PEI and (as i once did) doing an English undergrad at Mount A in NB. quite bizarre. if you like Milton Acorn’s poetry, it’s a refreshing book. if not…my other reading is all Richard Scarry and Boynton and Dr. Suess, so i’m coming up short.

    enjoy the conference, looking forward to the report back.

    Anonymous March 29, 2007 at 10:39 am

    the kiterunner by Khaled Hosseini is a great book. worth locking yourself away for a few hours!

    Anonymous March 29, 2007 at 11:05 am

    hi wow wonderbaby is moving from baby sweetness to toddler cuteness.well i’d recommend anything by ISABEL ALLENDE or LAURA ESQUIVEL(ie like water for chocolate)or IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES by JULIA ALVAREZ LAVENDULA

    CPA Mom March 29, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    Jodi Picoult: Nineteen Minutes, The Tenth Circle, The Pact, My Sister’s Keeper, Plain Truth, etc. Hands down the finest writer there is.

    Tracy Chevalier: Girl With A Pearl Earring, The Virgin Blue, The Lady and the Unicorn, Falling Angels

    for fun: Janet Evanovich (books 1 through 12 – Lean Mean Thirteen will be out in June).

    metro mama March 29, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Someone mentioned Oryx and Crake and Mean Boy–I’ll second those. I can lend you Mean Boy.

    You’ve probably already read it, but I just finished The Stone Carvers (Urquhart) and it was wonderful.

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