November 12, 2019

Books in 2019 (post #9)

To begin with, I read some really great fiction this last month, and then I quit some not-great non-fiction. I've noticed in the last year that I have no patience for non-fiction. I don't know that I've actually finished a non-fiction book in 2019. And don't get me started on self-help.

However, as of now, with this round-up of books below, I'm at 43 books read for the year and 9 books I considered did-not-finish.

And, remember, I started 2019 like this, so any books is progress. Also, I 100% credit the amazing library system in Pittsburgh. It's been so easy to find the books I want, not just browse for books I may want to try.

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella ebook c/o Netgalley

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn audio via Scribd

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser audio via Scribd

When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O'Neal ebook (cheap on Amazon one day)

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware audio via Scribd


Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First 3 Years Matters by Erica Komisar
I quit this after about 3 chapters because I realized it wasn't going to do anything for me. I've been going back and forth over the idea of looking for a teaching position when we move to our next location. That falls out of line with my initial "wait until Wells is in kindergarten" plan, but it's not because I want to climb the ladder or pad my resume or make a bunch of money. I truly just miss being in the classroom. And, in my defense, I can't think of a more mom-friendly job than that of being a teacher.
I saw this book recommended for someone in my position by a blogger I actually really like, but maybe can't relate to after all.
So, unfortunately, no. I would not read this book if I were you.
I hate throwing around the word privilege, but this private-practicing counselor/psychoanalyst who was able to take years off during her children's infancy/toddlerhood, while living in NYC, is coming from an enormous place of privilege.
She kind of lost me when she talked about how breastfeeding is best...and didn't follow it up with "bottles are fine though!" because that's normally the accepted statement/rhetoric: bottles are FINE.
She just said breastfeeding is best. Full stop.
Then, she really lost me when she threw in that adoptive parents weren't as good as birth mothers. Sure, birth mothers are important (and she included birth fathers in the same category as adoptive parents: good but not integral), but I would say that anyone willing to sustain the growth, development, and care of an infant/child is the best parent for that child.
And the one point that many readers I've seen on Goodreads take issue with: if you have trouble bonding with your baby or don't want to stay home with him/her, it's because you had issues with your own mother. No. My mom was as kid-friendly as a mom could be. ANYWAY. She also cited study after study after study for the entire book (or at least as much as I skimmed) so there was very little practical advice happening within the chapters. It was just data.

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp
Obviously there's a theme for my DNFs this month. I thought this would help me? It didn't. Part of the issue is that I'm not wishing desperately to go back to work to fulfill some fictitious lifestyle requirements of excess. I. just. like. teaching. The author makes the point that it's worth giving up the new car or the bigger house or the extra money if you can stay home with your children. I 100% believe this is true. I. just. like. teaching.
And part of the Christian perspective, I've found, is that by staying home with your children, you can teach them all that a school cannot. And that homeschooling is a more viable option to public school if you can at all make it work. But it's not something I've ever felt the drive/desire to do. I believe in traditional school. And I'm a product of the public school system. I would TOTALLY jump on board with sending my child to private school if that was the best fit at that time. But I don't like that argument that public school teachers don't know what they're doing with your children. If you feel strongly, get involved, put them in private school, etc. ANYWAY. I could probably revisit this book in the future, so I'm not saying it's awful. I am just not in the space for non-fiction (or parenting books) apparently.

When I feel strongly about why I don't like books, I could talk about them all day.

Also, I'm not counting these as DNF, but I took You've Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman back to the library unfinished and I took The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams back to the library unfinished. Not because I didn't like the characters or the stories but I just couldn't get into them. I needed more mystery I think. That seems to be what drives my reading these days. I'm historical-fictioned myself out this year already (with 2 HF books) and basic "funny" fiction or chick lit doesn't hold my interest.

My goal is to make it to 50 books by the end of December. I think I can do it. 
Did you hit a reading goal this year? Did you *set* a reading goal this year? I'm betting some of you readers already have 2020's goal in place :)

Linking up with Jana and Steph!


  1. I haven't read anything by Ruth Ware yet but I will try that one! I've heard nothing but good things. I am about 20 books away from my 2019 goal but haven't decided yet about 2020. I hope you make yours!!

  2. Lol - I had the same reaction to Alice Network - and I'm putting the Ruth Ware on my list!

  3. Not That I Could Tell sounds interesting and I'm adding it to the list. I'm VERY skeptical of Ruth Ware. I too hated The Woman in Cabin 10. Like, forced myself to finish it. The Lying Game was decent. But... if you're giving it 5, that says something so I'll give it a try and add it to the list!

  4. Ugh those parenting books sound terrible! I would have stopped too. Good luck with your decision to go back to the classroom. It's a very personal decision.

  5. I hate Ruth Ware after the first two books so generally avoid.

    I think I leave my goal at 120? 100? I don't know.

  6. I really want to read the shopaholic Christmas one but it's not in yet on my requests

  7. i really liked not that i could tell. the alice network is on my list, but saving it for when i feel like that kind of book. when we believed in mermaids is also on my list, i've heard such good things.
    i hit my reading goal - a small one - in like, february. so i kept upping it. now it's super high (not for 2018 kristen, but for 2019 kristen) and i probably won't meet it because i didn't really read a lot for like 3 months. i'm getting back into it, slowly, but i still don't think i'll meet the 'goal'.

  8. OOh Man I absolutely loved The Alice Network like literally raved about it for a year after reading it! haha just goes to show different tastes can be. I have no patience for non-fiction that doesn't pull me.

  9. Ha ha, your review of The Alice Network made me laugh--I haven't read that one, but I largely haven't read that one because I'm taking a nice long break from WWII stuff for awhile :)

    I set a goal of 50 books this year too, even though the last two years I've read more than that (66 and 68, if my memory serves me). I'm currently at 54 and will probably end up somewhere just above 60, but I'm also pregnant with my 3rd who should be coming sometime before the end of the year, guarantees :)

  10. The Alice network has been on my list for what feels like forever. Ill hopefully get to it at some point

  11. You giving Turn of the Key 5 stars reinforces that I want to read it!!!
    Amelia Bedelia!!! You made me smile with that reference. I loved her growing up!

  12. So I totally think the secret to Ruth Ware books is audiobooks! I have listened to most of hers and love her work! So maybe in the future try that and your mind might change!

  13. I detest Ruth Ware's books, and I have no interest in ever picking one of hers up again. That said, I'm glad people enjoy what she writes. I think.

  14. I'm happy to hear you loved Not That I Could Tell You because I own it and haven't read it yet!

  15. I'm not great at reading non-fiction works either though I am able to read and finish biographies and memoirs. I LOVED The Alice Network; so much so that I went and read the other books by the author. I just read All the Things We Cannot say which was another fantastic historical novel as was The Lost Girls of Paris.

  16. Wow,that first parenting book sounds terrible! Our plan was for me to go back to work after a year (my paid maternity leave would be almost up by now) because I actually like my job a lot and also enjoy having my own money, even though Jan probably could have supported all of us for a while. Insisting that staying home for three years is best is an extremely privileged perspective and will probably make those who can't feel even worse. And I'm 100% certain adoptive parents are better for a child than a mother who abuses or neglects them.

  17. Love that you compared a book as Amelia Bedelia-like lol! I loved her as a kid. I loved Big Little Lies and just finished Never Have I Ever and really enjoyed that one too, so I'll have to check out Not That I Could Tell. My Goodreads goal was set to 50 as well- good luck reaching it!

  18. I seriously dislike Laurie Gelman books. I could not get over the incorrect information given about Kansas City. One organization she mentioned was personal and she completely got everything about our organization wrong. Working on the Executive Leadership Team it bothered me to no end how she misrepresented us.

  19. I really enjoyed reading The Alice Network :) Also, I am with Jana, I cannot read Ruth Ware books. I tried but her plot lines and writing style drive me bonkers! :)


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