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review 2017-06-26 01:44
35/100: Hypnobirthing - the Mongan Method by Marie Mongan

HypnoBirthing: The Mongan MethodHypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie F. Mongan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I might come back and give this book 2 stars after I actually give birth if I decide it's all bunk.

But for now, I like the Mongan method philosophy (on paper, at least!) of birth being a natural process that should be approached as such, with as little anxiety or drama as possible. I definitely agree that we need to move away, as a culture, from ideas of the stress of childbirth as being fodder for humor or hysteria as we so often see portrayed in sitcoms and movies. I also think that if changing your mindset about labor reduces your anxiety leading up to birth, even if the birth process itself is harrowing, you've saved yourself all that unnecessary stress in the preceding months.

This is a comprehensive, holistic book that goes beyond the hypnobirthing relaxation techniques, so that even if you don't practice the techniques (which I have been practicing, but I'm not very good at them) you can find value in the overall philosophy. A couple things that bothered me, though, were more typos than should have been present in a non-self-pubbed book (especially in the "new/updated" chapters, as if they'd rushed those off) and a total lack of acknowledgment about some of the special circumstances that make human childbirth different from childbirth for other mammals who suffer less through it, such as our massive heads/big brains.

Still, I'm glad I read the book and also that I took the class, and I would recommend both together rather than trying to get by with just one or the other.

View all my reviews

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review 2017-06-24 16:22
Truly, Madly, Guilty - Liane Moriarty 
Truly, Madly, Guilty - Signed/Autographed Copy - Liane Moriarty

It's not a thriller.

 

Imagine that line as spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger to his class in Kindergarten Cop. I start here because I saw a review saying what a disappointing thriller it was, and it would be disappointing if that was what Moriarty were shooting for. It's also not a romance, or a mystery, or a literary novel, although it does share some elements with those.

 

What it is is a book about regular middle class suburban couples who experience a trauma together, and how it affects their lives thereafter. It's not a big trauma, it's not newsworthy, but it affects them all, and their little kids, too. And because the author takes her work seriously, there is much more to it than just that, humor, and backstory, and a way through, and a future.

 

I love books like this about living in after some bad thing. Fairy tales are important because they teach us that the witch or the monster can be killed, these books (and I hope someone has a short, catchy name for the genre that isn't sexist, because I sure don't) these books demonstrate how to live through the bad things and still have a good life. I don't believe stories about people living through horrible events and being stoic and saintly and a good example. Pain doesn't make people stronger or better, it makes us angry, and short-tempered, and hell to get along with. And of course, we all have pain and most of it is garden-variety common and of no interest to others. And the older we get the more time we spend attending funerals, the more people we have to lose. These books remind us that we can still laugh at the wake, that there are many ways to comfort one another in our loss.

 

I'm on my way to a funeral soon 

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review 2017-06-22 20:32
What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty 
What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty

The mystery is what happened to Alice's marriage. Alice, suffering from a concussion and subsequent amnesia is the one trying to figure out who she is and how it went wrong. Another marvelous book full of kids and after school activities and how destructive it is for a marriage when gender roles make one person the breadwinner and one person the parent. And yes, it is also very white and heteronormative and upper middle class suburban, but again, Moriarty takes seriously the business of having and rearing children, and that is important. Plus now I basically see Reese Witherspoon playing the lead role in every one of the books and I like Reese Witherspoon, so that's okay.

I only have one Moriarty book left to read, and then I am going to be very sad for a while.

Library copy

 

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review 2017-06-21 01:44
The Hypnotist's Love Story - Liane Moriarty
The Hypnotist's Love Story - Liane Moriarty

This was my least favorite so far; it took me a while to really get hooked. And I still loved it. Erin who got me started on Moriarty has loaned me a Paula Hawkins, so I'm going to loan her a Carol Goodman. And walking out of my regular Tuesday meeting I got to talk books again with another coworker, who loved What Alice Forgot which I started as soon as I got home.

Like Saskia I had gotten out of the habit of talking to people, of having friends, of chatting. I appreciate having an example of how to get socially involved again.

Oh, hell, what I really love is the house on the beach.

Library copy

 

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review 2017-06-20 01:25
Christmas Wishes
Christmas Wishes - Debbie Macomber

I've had this book on my shelf because one of the stories, Christmas Letters, was part of the Blossom Street Series by Debbie Macomber. I've read it before but it had been so long I couldn't remember it and I am rereading the series starting from the beginning. I thought Christmas Letters was the better story of the two in this book and enjoyed the humor in it. The other story, Rainy Day Kisses was okay but I am not big on romance stories.

 

Mainly, I needed something light to read because I've been feeling bad and today I had another optical migraine so that made reading difficult.  I had to look up the audiobook so I could listen for a while until it passed.  I switched back and forth between reading and listening and actually realized I enjoyed the audiobooks.  This book consists of two stories and the audiobooks are separate.  I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook for Christmas Letters read by Renée Raudman.  She made it much more entertaining with her different voices.  I really felt like I was listening to different people speaking to each other.  The first time I read that book I remember that I didn't especially like it but I really couldn't remember it, which is why I was going to read it again.  I didn't want to skip anything as I reread the Blossom Street Series.  Well, the first time I only read to Hannah's List and never finished that book.  This time I plan to finish it and read the rest of the books in the series.  As I listened to the audiobook for Christmas Letters I started to remember some details but she made it so much funnier.  I will definitely look for more audiobooks read by her.  

 

Christmas Letters is about Kathleen O'Connor, usually called K.O. by her friends, who is currently working as a medical transcriptionist while looking for a job as a publicist. She also writes Christmas letters for people to make a little extra money on the side. She has recently been infuriated by her sister's decision to follow the parenting advice found in a book called The Free Child by Dr. Wynn Jeffries.  Her twin nieces have evolved into terrors and now, her sister has decided to follow his advice to "bury Santa under the sleigh" and isn't planning to have a Christmas tree or Santa this Christmas. K.O. is appalled and when she realizes he lives in her building decides to confront him. She also has an interesting older neighbor who has been taking classes at the community Center and recently took one on unleashing her psychic abilities.  While getting ready to scoop up her cats "business" in the kitty litter she saw the future for K.O.  Specifically, she saw love in her future and decided to set her up.  

 

The other story in this book, Rainy Day Kisses was, eh.  That's my review. for it  Eh.

 

 

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