Friday, May 17, 2013

Blog Hop: What have I been reading?

The Open Adoption Bloggers thought it might be fun to also get to know one another in a more lighthearted way through a good old-fashioned blog hop! Each blogger answers a question, and we post our links. We then comment on at least three other people’s blogs. Fun! This hop's question is:

 What was the last book you read?
It's not uncommon for me to be reading several books at once, and such is the case at the moment. These normally cover a variety of topics and genres, but as you'll see from the forthcoming list, I've got something on my mind.

I just finished reading "Bitterblue" by Kristin Cashore. This is the sequel to a fantasy novel called "Graceling" which I read about a year ago. I really enjoyed "Graceling" except for one major thing--the refusal of the main character to commit to marriage because she felt like it would take away all her freedom and identity and make her beholden to her husband--despite the fact that the love interest never once displayed any traits to make that fear even remotely rational, and was clearly a fear of the author's made manifest. That kind of writing makes me crazy, so I was hesitant to pick up the sequel.

Finally doing so, I found Bitterblue an engaging read--but not for the light of heart. Bitterblue, made queen at the age of 10 because of the assassination of her psychopathic father, is dealing with issues far beyond what I thought I would be dealing with when I picked up the book. If you've read Graceling, you can imagine what kind of state Bitterblue's nation has been left in after 35 years of Leck's reign, and Cashore is not hesitant in dealing with the realities of that situation.

I picked up The Gift of Giving Life at the recommendation of my sister-in-law, and it's been...interesting. The book is all about pregnancy and childbirth, and I have enjoyed many of the thoughts and stories I've read so far. But a few of them have been very off-putting for me as well. The book is presented as a spiritual guide, but it is also very pro-natural/unassisted childbirth. Don't get me wrong, I believe in natural childbirth, but to a degree--for instance, my son was born at a hospital, but with a certified nurse midwife, utilizing no drugs. As I've been discussing these things with my husband, we will probably choose a similar route with our children. With regards to this book, I am all for women having the birth experience that they desire. But I'm a little leery of "all-natural = the only way to go" in order to have a spiritual birth experience. I'm appreciative of the sections that address how to have a spiritual birth experience regardless of circumstances.

I am still in the midst of Choosing Motherhood, which is a book about women with lucrative careers and education who each, through some remarkable circumstances, chose to become full-time mothers.

I strongly identify with the stories told in this book. Not because I'm hesitant to become a mother--something I've craved my entire adult life. But because of the choice involved. I don't like the attitude that motherhood is something to grit your teeth and get through, a necessary trial. I also don't like the attitude that full-time motherhood should be the choice for women of my faith and that women who choose, for whatever reason, to work while raising their children, are lesser mothers (a prevalent attitude in the area where I live). I'm in love with the idea of choice--of women who loved what they did before, but find even more, different, satisfaction in motherhood. That is what I'm looking for.

What have you been reading?


  1. Wow, BitterBlue sounds like an intense read!

    About the other two, sounds like in both cases, you are looking for some individualized middle place. The book I wrote about in my post for the Blog Hop is called just that - The Middle Place. A great read.