I cut my internet time down by at least half this summer. I stopped blogging (obviously), checked in with only a handful of friends’ blogs, stayed away from Facebook for most of June and July, and stopped tweeting completely. (Though I almost never tweeted to begin with.) It was important for me to step away from it all, give myself a mental break, and focus on other types of reading and writing.
There is a healthy balance for me, between blog reading/facebook and book reading. I’m still struggling to find it, but this summer, I surrendered myself to books.
Sh*t My Dad Says (Justin Halpern) I laughed until I cried. I’ve no idea how this is going to be made into a network TV show, when the profanity is the entire point.
Family History (Dani Shapiro) I just cried. But I also couldn’t put it down.
Blue Boy (Satyal) So touching, funny, original.
Orange is the New Black (Kerman) Not quite finished but I love it.
Screamfree Parenting (Runkel) Same old parenting advice but packaged differently with a catchy title to make idiots like me pick it up. Unfortunately, I still yell at my kids.
NurtureShock (Bronson) Kind of a cultural anthropological approach to understanding kids. I liked it but it hasn’t made me a better parent. (Still looking for that book.)
Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore (Rachel Brownell) Another memoir I couldn’t put down.
It’s Not Me, It’s You (Stephanie Wilder-Tayor) I really like the author’s voice but the book felt a little disjointed.
Red Hook Road & Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (Ayelet Waldman) Waldman causes me to lose sleep. I have to read her books in one day, until I’m finished. Her voice is so damn captivating, haunting, her characters are so authentic, her story lines gut-wrenching. I’m officially a groupie now.
Happens Every Day (Isabel Gillies) Another killer memoir I couldn’t put down.
Zeitoun (Dave Eggers) My favorite book so far of 2010. Eggers is a genius, but you knew that already.
Secret Daughter (Shilpi Somaya Gower) Quick, easy read, loved the story.
Making Toast (Roger Rosenblatt) I read the essay in The New Yorker a while back with the same title. I never remember what I read in The New Yorker, but I will remember the initial essay, and this book, for the rest of my life.
The Wednesday Sisters (Meg Waite Clayton) The perfect beach read, and the perfect book for mother-writers.
* * * * *
Crack-of-Dawn Elementary started yesterday, FIVE MINUTES EARLIER THAN LAST YEAR. Honestly, I don’t see the point of putting the kids to bed anymore. I should give them a few chocolate bars and let them stay up all night. I’d be easier than waking them in the morning.
We met the girls’ teachers last week, both of whom are lovely. My first grader’s teacher has a wicked New Zealand accent. I couldn’t care less if my child learns anything from her this year — as long as she picks up the accent.
Perhaps I should mention this primary education goal to the teacher on parent night?