Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pastoralia by George Saunders

PastoraliaPastoralia by George Saunders
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's hard to write a review when a novel is really good, and even harder when a short story collection is good. The first story felt a little long and depressing, but the stories get progressively better. The stories at the end in particular linger after you've put the book down and continue to demand your attention while you're doing other things. Now I'm looking forward to reading The Tenth of December.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

NurtureShock by Po Bronson

NurtureShock: New Thinking About ChildrenNurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is supposed to be about the application of science in child-rearing. It's basically about how science can disproves common sense all the time, and how it important it is to do control studies to test our beliefs. That part I like. The actual studies this book covered however, with the exception of one, weren't actually all that interesting.

The first study was the most interesting and important. It studied how praising children is not necessarily beneficial to their learning, development, and achievement. It also explained why. This one was major. I also found the chapter on helping siblings get along interesting and possibly helpful in the future.

The following studies interested me less: how hurtful even a small lack of sleep can be to children(duh); how ignoring race doesn't make children less racist- discussing it does; kids lie way more than parents realize and it's part of their development; testing kids in kindergarten is a poor measure of their future success (duh); why teens arguing with parents is a sign of respect; how to teach children self-control (interesting, but this seemed pretty difficult to implement on your own); why high emotional intelligence is not correlated with good behavior; and how to get babies talking sooner.

One thing that bothered me in particular is that each study dealt with a particular time period in the child's development but the book wasn't organized chronologically. It was strange reading about babies verbalizing after reading about teens in high school.

Anyway, the book is pretty good, but maybe just look up the study on praise and you'll be doing pretty well on your own.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy ChildHealthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If your baby does not just automatically sleep wonderfully on his own, buy this book. It's a reference book that will last you until your child is 6 and take you through all different developmental stages in a child's sleep. If you're a new parent, you might want to consider buying it before you do everything wrong like I did.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pledged by Alexandra Robbins

PledgedPledged by Alexandra Robbins
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Honestly, I'm embarrassed I even read this. Though I use the word "read" loosely as the book is largely unreadable. Considering that this was such a salacious treatment of the topic, it was really boring. And considering that the author claims to be attempting a somewhat academic treatment of the topic the book is extremely disorganized and scattershot. Terrible.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

The Day I Turned Uncool: Confessions of a Reluctant Grown-up by Dan Zevin

The Day I Turned Uncool: Confessions of a Reluctant Grown-upThe Day I Turned Uncool: Confessions of a Reluctant Grown-up by Dan Zevin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I personally did not find this funny. I also found it a little strange that while it focuses on how lame adulthood is, the author did not yet have children when he wrote this book. Nothing makes you less cool than having children.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

From Conception to Birth: A Life Unfolds by Alexander Tsiaras

From Conception to Birth: A Life UnfoldsFrom Conception to Birth: A Life Unfolds by Alexander Tsiaras
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This is a large coffee table book with photography of unborn babies throughout gestation. I really wanted to love it, but it left me cold. It offers virtually no information and the photography is very difficult to match up with my stages in pregnancy. Definitely not worth it, especially with all the great photography and video available online now.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Glade B. Curtis

Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th EditionYour Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th Edition by Glade B. Curtis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My insurance company sent me this book for free, as a way to "improve outcomes." I think it's definitely an improvement over "What to Expect When You're Expecting." The book is actually much shorter, which I think is a good thing (looks the same size because of big fonts and illustrations). It's true that there's a fair amount of scary information in this book, but I think most of it is information that is important to know in case a more serious issue arises. (It doesn't have tons of normal symptoms it discusses endlessly like WTEWYE.) One thing that I like better about WTEWYE is that at the end there's a section about after the baby comes, and this book doesn't have that, though it does have a small section on breastfeeding. Overall, I would still opt for books on what to do after baby arrives especially feeding and sleeping books. You can get most of your pregnancy information on Babycenter and The Bump.

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