I found this list this morning, when I found Esther’s blog (from a comment she left nearly a month ago but I didn’t see-I’m slow like that). I don’t know who compiled the list below, but it covers everything from 8th grade English class to very modern fiction. The kind of books I like, therefore, I rock this list (doees 40% constitute rocking?). But seriously, that’s why I’m so excited for Megan’s reading in Toddlerese below. I can’t wait for her to start reading some of MY childhood favorites, like Charoloette’s Web, or the entire Little House series (which somehow didn’t make it on this list–who do I talk to about that?).

Look at the list of books below:
*Bold the ones you’ve read
*Italicize the ones you want to read
*Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.
If you are reading this: tag; you’re it! Post this on your blog and link back to me.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)

2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)

29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible – most, but not all
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)

51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)

76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

mommy wars: a book review

That’s the title of the collection of essays I’ve been reading. What, do you ask, are the mommys fighting about? Why working vs. staying home, of course!

The book is a collection of essays, editied by Leslie Morgan Steiner. Most of the authors are authors, which is nice, because everything is well-written, but somewhat boring because a lot of their views are the same. They seem pre-disposed to working part time, from home, flexible hours, etc. Many were faced with finding “reliable help”, i.e.–The Nanny. The ones who stayed home talked about downsizing on the Upper East/or West sides of NYC. So while a lot their conflict is universal, it wasn’t very down to earth for the majority of America, IMO.

Things I would have liked to have seen:

1) More exploration into finding reliable center-based care, because most nannies are out of most working families price ranges.

2) More essays by women without MBAs, Ivy League diplomas and what not–again, a very small percentage of the population

3) Atleast one essay by a mom working for health insurance. I can’t tell you how many families I know with two wage earners because they need affordable healthcare.

That being said, there was a lot to chew on in the book. The moms who thought they would work but didn’t. The ones who didn’t think they’d want to, but did.

I’ve been reading this book for over a week, not going in any particular order through the essays. At first, I found the working-mom essays, for some reason. I thought the book was skewed in that direction. Then I started finding the at-home mom essays, and realized that no, there were about an equal amount of both. Some of the at-hom moms were VERY preachy–not taking into account that downsizing on the Upper East/ or West Side is not really downsizing at all. The at-work moms were all aware of the “pity glances” they get from the at-home moms. The at-home moms were a little resentful about having to take care of the whole neighborhood, classroom, whatever, while the at-work moms got a free pass.

A few quotes that I really like, in no particular order:

“I am old enough now to have known enough people making enough bizarre arrangements work (and making textbook arrangements fail) to persuade me that anyone who thinks she can judge what’s best for other people’s kids is either arrogant, psychic or high.” –Carolyn Hax

“…that make me more certain than ever that the definition of a good mother is ‘a woman who spends enough time with her children to know what the hell they are doing’ ” Iris Krasnow

And then there’s a whole essay by Susan Cheever called “Baby Battle” which goes on to describe the lack of support of working moms and at home moms–how the two sides are pitted against each other because only mothers seem really interested in the issue, when really society as a whole needs to take an interest in nurturing the next generation.

And that’ s just the tip of the iceberg. If you don’t have kids yet, read the book–it’ll give you some interesting perspective and things to think about. If you’re feeling good about the choices you’ve made, get the book–you’ll be able to see the point/counterpoint and be OK, I think. If you are feeling trapped by work or trapped by your children, you’d probably enjoy it too, at least some parts of it.

If nothing else, it’s a good exercise is realizing that the grass is always greener……

**if anyone has read it, please let me know if the “On Being a Radical Feminist Stay-at-Home Mom” by Inda Schaenen pissed you off. It REALLY rubbed me the wrong way.

More to Read

We’ve been going to the library ALOT lately–funny, since we have less time to read or watch movies than ever before. But since it’s free, there’s no risk, I suppose. So we are regulars now. Also, I want to preview any adoption books before purchasing them, for the Babe and for myself.

What we are currently reading:

L is FINALLY reading “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Harvey Karp, MD. He’s finding out that we did “everything right” (LOL). I thought he was on board with my suggestions because he had read the book. Turns out, no. But hey, he’s catching up now.

I’m currently reading “The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness” by Edward M. Hallowell,MD. It’s all about having a grounded, connected childhood–about giving your kids what’s really important–such as mealtime, traditions and time to just be a child. Now his oldest child is only 12, so who know if it really works, but it makes sense to me.

For the kiddos:

In my previous post, I already mentioned “Sam’s Sister” Love it, love it love it.

I’ve also checked out, “Let’s Talk about Adoption” by none other than the Mr. Rogers. It’s great. Very gentle, like the legend himself. Real pictures, real families, very general to apply to all situations. RIP, Mr. Rogers!

“You’re Not My Real Mother” by Molly Friedrich is another one I like. The main character is a little girl who was born in Vietnam, but I think it’s a phrase that all amoms will have to hear at some point in time or another.

“How I Was Adopted” by Joanna Cole is a good one too. It tells of a child who was adopted at birth, and picked up at the agency by his aparents. It might work very well for children who don’t know a whole lot about their hospital stay when they were born. The last page asks the reader if he/she knows the story of how he/she was adopted, therefore fitting any situation!

Next up for me:
“The Happiest Toddler on the Block” by Dr. Karp. We’ll see if he can get us through the next four years as well as he got us through the last 5 months. I’ll be sure to report.