Tuesday, March 29

booking it, vol. 2

I've been trying to read more and take advantage of my commute with audiobooks.  Here's what I've been reading/listening to lately:

Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
by Mary Roach

I listened to this while going to and from work over the course of about a month.  I really enjoyed it-- although there were a few times I had to skip a chapter (I'm a little squeamish).  Overall, I thought it was really interesting.  I was a little worried that the book would be dry and too scientific, making it difficult to follow along.  However, Mary Roach did not disappoint  in making science accessible.  She was funny, to the point, sometimes surprisingly bold, but always very human.  I wouldn't use this as a source, or partner it with other scholarly research on sex.. instead, this was a lighthearted (and at the same time scientifically solid) jaunt through some of the quirks and kinks of the history and development of sex research.

To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife
by Cailtlin Flanagan

This book came to me by way of Goodwill.  It was a yellow tag sale day. and the bright yellow cover and potentially snarky title caused this book to practially leap into my arms.  For those who know me well, you know that the Man and I joke about our stereotypical gender roles in the home.  You also know that a lot of my undergraduate (and some graduate) research was centered on gender-- specifically gender roles in romantic relationships.  I loved the dialogue (both inner and with the Man) that this book prompted. 

Granted, I didn't take it too seriously-- as some reviewers on Amazon seemed to, but instead appreciated Flanagan's writing style as an in-your-face and at the same time in-the-kitchen view of the challenges of being a modern woman.   Often I find myself torn between worlds and roles, and even find some guilt or shame in my enjoyment (and the fulfillment I feel) from being that sterotypical woman. But I embrace it, as Flanagan did.. or tried to as she meddled through her thoughts and feelings on marriage, parenting, chores and a carreer.  I really enjoyed this read, well worth the $1 I spent.

I am an Emotional Creature
by Eve Ensler

My bestie in the City sent over a few books to check out.  Included was the latest from Eve Ensler.  This was a quick but powerful read.  It really made me think about girlhood.. and about how my experiences growing up will be so drastically different than a girl hitting her tweens today.  Her account was a mix of poetry and short stories.  All of them poignant in Ensler's way.  I spent an evening or two reading it and although I may not be the target demographic, it without a doubt struck a chord on many occasions.

Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures.
by Robert Wittman (founder, FBI Art Crime team)

I still haven't finished this audiobook (I'm on Chapter 25 of the last disc) but I have enjoyed it completely. It has everything I had hoped from the title: intrigue, an inside look at the FBI, interesting crooks, a dash of art history, and a peek inside an undercover agent's mind. I found this fascinating. However, it's not an "action" styled tale.. the easiest way I've been able to summarize the feel or pace of this book is by comparing "National Treasure" to "The American". Although there is intrigue, much of the action is through meetings, phone calls, making arrangements. The intensity is not through bombs, or high speed chases. Instead, I found myself hanging on the words of the crooks as they negotiate deals. Waiting to see how Wittman manages to draw out a confession through applauding the con-man's brash boastfulness. This book works on a more beauracratic pace, but as Wittman reminds the reader-- patience is key when working undercover. I'm anxiously awaiting the last few chapters, and for the end of his story to unfold.

Up next are a handful of cookbooks to flip through, an audiobook titled "Waiter's Rant", a little dose of Dave Ramsey, and a dash of cheesy chick lit.

What are you bookmarking these days?

No comments: