Sunday, March 17, 2013

The week in Books and Juice Cleanses

My dad is doing the three day Dr Oz juice cleanse.  I never thought the day would come when I'd say the words "my dad" and "juice cleanse" in a sentence together.  This is the man who loved cheeseburgers so much that, when he married my stepmom, their wedding cake was in the shape of a cheeseburger.  He used to drink beer and smoke cigars every night when I was a kid.  Now that man is doing a juice cleanse, and tomorrow will be drinking kale smoothies.  Actually, if I wasn't pregnant, I'd probably do it too - if it's good enough for my dad to try, it'd be good enough for me, and it's only for three days.  You can do almost anything for three days.  Maybe after the baby comes we'll try it.

So we find out on Thursday if we're going to have a boy or girl (as long as the baby cooperates and strikes a pose conducive to being able to tell).  But in the meantime, I did the old wives tale pendulum predictor today.  I thought it would be fun to test it out before we find out for sure.  Both J and I did it, before checking what the results meant, so as not to influence them.  And when I did it he was outside, so he couldn't see what my results were.  Both of us got the same results: a boy.  I really don't care.  I just want a living baby.

The past two weeks I've only read two books, which is a bit slower of a rate than I would like.  Unfortunately, the books I'm reading right now also don't read really quickly, so I suspect I will stay at this rate for at least another week.  But it's ok because I'm getting a number of books crossed off my list that have been on for a while, and just because they take more time and effort to read than a Sophie Kinsella book, that doesn't mean they aren't worth the effort.

So the past two weeks I read:

The Last Letter from your Lover:
by JoJo Moyes

This would be a simple fluff novel if it wasn't so compelling, and didn't make you think so much.  The first novel of hers I read, "Me Before You" was about a girl who, when she loses her job at a coffee shop, becomes a caregiver for a man who had been a high-flying stockbroker who dated models, until his motorcycle accident left him paralyzed and back home living in a guest house attached to his parents' home.  They wind up falling in love, though he is still determined to end his life, because it's nothing like what it was before, and he can't go on living like that.  That book was incredibly emotional, and left me a bit numb for days afterwards.  This book was similar.  In 1960 a woman and man begin a whirlwind romance and fall deeply in love.  The problem: she's married.  He wants her to leave her unloving husband and come away with him.  It's a love story and a mystery that go unsolved for over 40 years until, in 2003, a reporter at a newspaper finds a love letter and starts some investigative work to find the lovers.  The back jacket had a review from the Independent that said it was "partner-ignoringly compulsive" reading, and J would agree with that, I'm sure.


Waiting For Sunrise:
By William Boyd

The novel starts in the year before WWI began, in Vienna, where a British actor is seeking therapy.  He gets caught up in the libertine atmosphere of the artists and writers there, and when it all goes wrong, he needs to be smuggled out of the country by diplomats.  But then, since he owes them, he gets wrapped up in the war, and in a mystery to find out who is putting Britain's secrets at risk.  This was a bit of a thriller, with amazing descriptions and writing that was like chocolate that I didn't want to rush through, but wanted to savor each word.  I had never read any William Boyd before, but I will be reading him again, I know.  He was delicious.

This week I'm reading two nonfiction works - one by Ian Mortimer (who wrote the Time Traveler's Guide to the Middle Ages) about medieval intrigue and mystery - I think it specifically revolves around the murder or Richard II, but I've just started it, so I'm not sure.  Second, is a book of essays about the growth of Los Angeles in the 1920's.  It's very academic, and taking me forever to get through, which is why I've interspersed some medieval history in there as well.



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