Monday, November 18, 2019

January Mini-Reviews

So 2019 is almost over. And here I am, just getting started on my 2019 mini-reviews. But hey, I'm in the same calendar year, so that is pretty exciting, even if this is only a brief interlude before once again, I'm a year behind on reviews. Le sigh.

Also, I should really make an icon for these mini-reviews. I'm sure I'll get around to that right as I'm all caught up and done doing mini-reviews.

I can tell how much of a blur this year as been by the fact that I'm looking at the stuff I read in January and thinking about how I barely remember them. A lot was going on; I was just going back to work after being on maternity for 6 mos (and not an initially planned 6 mos leave). Figuring out daycare and work (when there were LOTS of changes there) took up a lot of brainpower.
Basically what I'm saying is, for the next few mini-reviews (this post and future ones) there's going to be a lot of guessing what the book was about and if I enjoyed it. I suppose it's not great for the ones I don't remember.

Let's get started, shall we?

Diary of a Hounslow Girl by Abreen Razia 
So this one I vaguely remember. It was an Audible Original (aka, with an Audible subscription every month you get 2 free downloads of an Audible Original that varies every month. Typically they are things I've never ever heard of but free is fun) so I can't say I was familiar with anything about it. Even the description says "You’ve heard of an Essex Girl or even a Chelsea Girl but what is a ‘Hounslow Girl’?" and I said "Nope, I haven't heard of anything of these because I, a dumb American, do not pay attention to things outside my country, apparently." But all of that was part of the appeal of picking this one up. It's about a bunch of stuff that is unfamiliar to me. In this case it's about a Pakistani teen in London. It's done as a play. Or I suppose a one-woman show, since there's really only Razia playing the part of Muslim teen Shaheeda, torn between wanting to be a modern teen in London and her family's traditional expectations. But the details I remember are vague, so I remember it being pretty good but clearly didn't leave too much of an impression.
Gif rating:


Lullaby by Jonathan Mayberry
Hey, another Audible Original. I really don't remember this one. Like at all. I vaguely remember listening to it and thinking "I know I just listened to this, but I already forgot what's happening." Something about a haunted house. A young couple with a new baby decide to leave the big city for a big quiet house in the Catskills and something weird going after the baby. I think. Maybe. Honestly, this seems like something I would enjoy and would really be paying attention to, and even skimming through some other reviews, nothing is coming to mind. It's super short (like 30 min) so maybe I'll try to listen to it again and see if it sticks this time. Or like...probably not.
Gif rating:

So. Those were some good reviews. Really doing my part here.

All books read in January
The Diary of a Hounslow Girl by Abreen Razia
The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
Lullaby by Jonathan Mayberry
World War Z by Max Brooks

Monday, November 11, 2019

Another DNF

I was going to start this post saying "Recently I wrote about a recent book I did not finish" except when I went to look for that post to link, I realize I posted that back in June. So not all that recent. That's just what happens when I don't post like I used to. Anyway, at some point within the last 6 months, I posted about DNF-ing a book.

That DNF-ing was for mental health because of LOTS of baby death and I could not handle it. This isn't that. This is just a regular ol' "This is boring and I don't want to read it" DNF. Which is not that notable as to warrant a blog post except 1) I don't post that often so try not to discourage me and 2) I very rarely DNF if something is boring me. I just slog through and try to find something to latch onto until the book ends and I can bitch about it.
Well, bitch about it when I was caught up with reviewing. Now it's more silently forget about it until I get around to a mini-review.

I think a few things have contributed to me stopping the book when I wasn't feeling it.

I didn't buy the book
Through most of my reading experience, I would buy the books I was reading. I would often buy them on sale but I would use my money rather than employing a free option. Which meant I felt more like I had to read the book to get my money's worth. Later, as I did end up with more and more free books, usually from things such as NetGalley, I wasn't spending money but the idea was the book was in exchange for a review and I can't review if I didn't read. But I have finally embraced the library and thus I can pick up books willynilly should I choose (provided they are available in audiobook which is how I consume like 90% of my books) and there is no risk. Which means if I'm not feeling something, I have less incentive to keep at it if I don't want.
So many choices
I have way less time
Oh man, toddlers. They take up SO MUCH TIME. Real needy and I swear, actively trying to cause themselves bodily harm so constant vigilance is key. My free time is limited to when he sleeps but that free time must also be used for base level house cleaning because toddlers are also tornadoes of chaos and zero cleaning can get done while they are awake. All this is to say that if I'm listening to a book that is 15 hours, those better be 15 enjoyable hours. Even if I'm listening to it while doing some of said cleaning because there are just SO MANY THINGS that I could be listening to instead.

I was recently listening to an audiobook that was 15 hours long. And I slowly found myself in a situation where I would normally turn on the book, but instead I was looking for something else. Like digging deep in some podcast archives rather than just picking up the book again.

I'm trying not to name names with the book but it was a genre I thought would be right up my alley (ha) and instead it was just so...annoying. Maybe it was the narrator, at least in part, but who knows. There was a lot of exposition and dropped in at weird points. Like in the middle of a tense standoff scene and suddenly we're getting UTTERLY POINTLESS background into the past dating lives of these characters and I may have yelled "Who caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaares??" while listening during my morning commute.
Maybe the book would have gotten better. I gave it way more of a shot than I intended, meaning I listened to a full 5 hours and at one point was like "I'm a third of the way through, I should finish." And then I yelled at myself about sunk costs and decided to cut bait and just pick up something else.

I know past me would have finished the book. Past me probably would have read the book in a couple days while on the train and then would have named names in a review she totally had time to write. But past me is not current me. Current me is being more selective with how my increasingly infrequent free time is spent. Perhaps future me will have more time and more inclination to finish these books but who knows? Can I go back to always finishing after I've crossed the line?

I still feel a little bit of guilt not finishing the book. Which is why I listened to 5 hours of it instead of like, 2. But I have accepted that I'm not going to finish the book. It's due back to the library soon anyway and it's def not getting finished before then. I only hope for my future DNFs I feel less and less guilt until I am dropping books once they no longer entertain me. Those of you who are already at that point, please teach me your ways.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

October Reading Wrap Up

I know I’m a bit late on this post. Did you know it was Daylight Savings recently? Or rather, the end of it. (I'm never entirely clear.) And are you aware that small ones do not understand this concept that they can sleep an extra hour? On top of that, the little one was sick, and then I got sick and now Tom is sick and I am just praying this doesn’t make a second round. So what I’m saying is the end of October/beginning of November has been a bit exhausting. But look, a little tiger so that makes up for a lot.
Hey, let's take a look at the stats, shall we?

Number of books read
6
Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan
Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez
Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear by Kim Brooks
Damn Fine Story: Mastering the Tools of a Powerful Narrative by Chuck Wendig

Number of pages read
1,635
Second highest for the year

Fiction
33%

POC authors
17%

Female authors
67%

US authors
67%

Classics
17%

Book formats
Audiobook: 83%
Paperback: 17%

Where’d I get the book
Gift: 17%
Library: 83%

Decades Published
1940s: 17%
2010s: 83%

Resolution books
50%
Evil Under the Sun – UK author and published before 2000
The Honest Toddler – POC author
Invisible Women – UK author

Monday, October 21, 2019

December 2018 Mini-Reviews

You guys, this is it. I'm done with 2018 mini-reviews. Now all of the books I need to review have been read within the calendar year! I mean, sure, 2019 is close to over so this cycle is about to start itself over again, but that is very much not the point right now. I don't know why you're such a downer. I'm feeling good about this, don't rain on my parade.*

Alright, let's see what I read in December 2018.


Becoming by Michelle Obama
Things politically are...not great, to put it in the most understated of terms. Reading/listening (audiobook. Which she narrated!) to this was conflicting because there was a lot of "She's so great. Remember when there were competent people in charge?" But this is about Michelle and the focus isn't really on politics (though they obviously come up). She talks about growing up in South Side, Chicago. She talks about her time at Princeton and what it was like to be female and black in this environment. She talks about being a lawyer and meeting Barack and their troubles starting a family and the strain politics can put on a marriage and times she was proud and not-so-proud of her country.
Gif rating:


Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets by John Woolf and Nick Baker, narrated by Stephen Fry
An Audible Original all about the Victorians and some of the more taboo pieces of every day life, including religion, sexuality, drugs. Ya know, all the fun stuff. I can't say I know a huge amount of Victorian history but this was a fun audiobook, and Fry is a great narrator. It's a bit melodramatic, but that makes it all that much more entertaining.
Gif rating:


Twain's Feast: Searching for America's Lost Food in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens by Andrew Beahrs, narrated (in part anyway) by Nick Offerman
I include the narrator here since that was part of the draw for this, another Audible Original. (The other draw is the free nature of these originals.) Anyway, this is a biography of Mark Twain, based around food. More specifically around certain dishes that were important to Twain at different points in his life, based on a list of meals Twain talked about missing during his year in Europe. I did zone out from time to time but overall it was an entertaining story/series of interviews about Mark Twain. And makes me think I should prob read more Twain...
Gif rating:


New Family Values by Andrew Solomon
Another Audible Original. Apparently I was saving them up for the end of the year. This one is a series of interviews about families, particularly about the changing nature of families from the traditional nuclear family with a mom, dad and 2.5 kids to gay families and adoptive families and child-free families and multi-parent families. I remember enjoying the book but honestly, I don't remember a huge amount about it. So good but bland, I suppose?
Gif rating:


*Looking at my last mini-review post, I dunno why I have cast you, the reader, in such an antagonistic role here. But I have. Go with it.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Changing Reading Habits

If it hasn't been clear by my significant decrease in posting, habits have changed over this way. Time to read and write have been reduced and my method of reading has had to change as well. I have fully embraced both audiobooks and the library, which really, is about time.

But it's not just the format that's changed, but also the genres. Or more specifically, one genre. Books that deal with parenting. Fiction. Non-fiction. Memoir. Advice. I mean, this shouldn't be too surprising given the whole reason for habits changing.
It's this fancy fella here
I didn't read much in the way of pregnancy books. And I didn't really start picking up parenting books until the last couple months. I suppose it happened when the parenting stuff started to seem more active/interesting because newborns are cute but man, can they be dull. Toddlers are far more active. Far more. The monster goes to a weekly gym class to try to burn off some energy and give him somewhere padded to run.

I haven't necessarily picked up a lot of advice books but more just wanting to read about other parents and the weirdness that is having kids. Kids are weird and parenting is simultaneously the most boring, common thing you can do and so unique and all-consuming. So what are those parenting books I've read? Well, I'm glad you asked, because otherwise this post would be very short.

Act Natural: A Cultural History of Misadventures in Parenting by Jennifer Traig
Parenting norms have changed so much over the years (people used to tie babies to boards and just sort of...prop them up in the corner and leave them there) and cultural histories are great so this was fun. I mean, also disturbing at times. As history often is.

Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool by Emily Oster
If there is one type of parenting book I love, it's data-driven parenting and I am being sincere here. The only pregnancy book I really read was hers (Expecting Better) and as soon as I finished it I immediately looked for anything else she had written. Alas, at that time, there was nothing else and I had to deal with those first months with NO science behind why parents do the things we do. Parenting advice that is more "here's the information, make your own choices using that" is the best kind of advice.

Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First Century Parenting by Drew Magary 
Parenting is weird and the thought of a 3 year old yelling something that sounds very much like "What's up, fuckface!" is hilarious. And other parts of the book are very touching or very emotional (NICU time, for instance). Listening to this as an audiobook was a great choice for all of the different emotions.

Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan
The library is great because I can pick up a book I may have otherwise passed over, because what do I have to lose? I'm not spending any money on this. And thus when I saw Jenny Lawson say this book was funny, I figured give it a shot. It was funny and cringy and did a good job highlighting how wonderful but also isolating parenting can be.

The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan
I didn't necessarily intend to read two books by Laditan, let alone back to back, but such is the way things go. The premise of this book started to wear thin near the end (a toddler answers advice column about parenting toddlers from his point of view) but for the most part it was funny.

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
I've watched a lot of Jim Gaffigan's standup. I like watching something to fall asleep to that I already know well (so I won't stay up watching it) that both Tom and I can agree on. Which means watching the same few standup specials on Netflix (Gaffigan, Mulaney, Oswalt, Wong are the main ones) an embarrassing amount. Like Netflix, please never tell me how many times I've watched these (or Planet Earth or Blue Planet or Great British Bake Off, which are other night time go tos). Listening to an audiobook of him talk about being a parent to 5 kids in a tiny NYC apartment was right up my alley. Even if a fair amount of the material here made its way into his standup. Or vice versa. Since I clearly don't have a problem with hearing the same jokes 1000 times, this was fine by me.

I didn't start out intending to write some (extra) mini-reviews, but there you go. A round up of recent parenting books. And I'm sure there will be more in my future.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

September Reading Wrap Up

September was a busy month, reading wise. I don't really know why, but I'll take it. Good thing audiobooks are a thing or else my reading would be zero. Plus sitting in traffic is far less painful if I'm listening to book (or a podcast, but this is about books. Focus.) Also really making use of the library. Finally. I mean seriously, about damn time, me.

Not only did I have a good reading month BUT I also THREE TIMES! Which given my writing trends, that's pretty incredible. I mean, sure, none of them were real reviews but still. Getting things done. Some things, anyway.
He's proud
Why don't we get to those stats, shall we?

Number of books read
6
The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First Century Parenting by Drew Magary
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan

Pages read
1,680 - most read in a month so far this year!
Fiction
50%

POC Authors
17%

Female authors
67%

US authors
83%

Rereads
17%

Classics
17%

Readalong/Book Club
17%

Book Formats
audiobooks - 100%
Where'd I get the book
Library - 83%
Kindle/Audible - 17%

Decades published
1930s - 17%
1990s - 17%
2010s - 67%

Resolution books
33%
The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson (published in 1991)
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (published 1937, by a UK author)
Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan (POC author)

Monday, September 30, 2019

November 2018 Mini-Reviews

I was doing well with these mini-reviews at one point. But I'm back to being almost a year behind. ALMOST but not quite. Also I got an actual, for reals review written, so get off my back, imaginary nagging reader.

Anyway, let's see what I can remember about these books I read back in November 2018.

I'm A Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson
As mentioned my last mini-review post (which was back in JULY so you're forgiven for not remembering this), I got an audiobook collection that included a few books by Bryson, including this one, Neither Here Nor There and Notes From A Small Island. I've read all of these books before. Multiple times. So it's surprising I'd never written about this one or Small Island previously. Surprising/disappointing, as it means I can't just link those old reviews. Sigh. Anyway, I'm A Stranger Here Myself also titled Notes From A Big Country (which is what my book copy is called) is a collection of columns Bryson wrote after moving back to the US from England and all the differences he found, the things he missed, the things he doesn't care for (there's much of that - read this if you enjoy a hilarious curmudgeon). It's a great book if you want to drop in and out of it, since the columns are stand alone. And I also recommend the audiobook, even though it was an abridgment, because listening to Bryson read this was great.

Where Should We Begin? The Arc of Love by Esther Perel
I had an Audible subscription and in addition to getting credits for audiobooks, you also get 2 free books every month out of their collection of some Audible originals. Sometimes these are great, sometimes they're disappointing, sometimes they're just sort of fine. This falls into that third group. This wasn't so much like a book. It was more like a podcast. Really, it's a series of recordings from various therapy sessions she's conducted, centering around love. Romantic love between spouses. Love between parents and children. But mostly it's the couples talking about their problems, love, adultery. As I skim through reviews from others and some notes I have, I remember that while listening I liked her advice. But this far removed, I basically don't remember most of it. It didn't stick with me and past me gave this 3 stars on Goodreads. So yeah, it was fine. And free which is important.

Full list of books read in November 2018
I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Tales from Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling
Where Should We Begin? The Arc of Love by Esther Perel
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

Friday, September 27, 2019

Raising a reader

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I would like Matthew to become a reader.
There have been lots of articles written about how reading to your children improves behavior and attention and that "reading also strengthens children’s social, emotional, and character development" and even make them "empathetic citizens of the world". And sure, I am a little skeptical of some of the studies done (trying to do Emily Oster proud*) but of course, I love reading so why not have some official sounding reasons to try to pass this on to the little one?

But ultimately, I would say my desire to instill a love of reading in Matthew is far more selfish and self-centered. I like reading (obviously) and I would like Matthew to share this hobby.

And thus I have been reading to him since basically day one. Or at least, day one home from the hospital.**

Now, that very early reading mostly involved me reading out loud what I myself was reading. Everything I had read that stressed the importance of reading to your baby, even a newborn, said what you read was not so important, but just that you were reading to them. I hope the content was not very important because the books I read those first few weeks included:
Working Stiff by Judy Melineck which was a memoir about her time as medical examiner in NYC
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell about presidential assassinations
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith which is about...well the title says it all, doesn't it?
I didn't give much thought to those titles beyond looking for something I had read before that I had a digital copy of so that I could easily read it on my phone.
I read to him a bit from other books I was reading, but after this I started expanding into actual children's books, thanks to generous gifts from many friends as well as my mom saving my own children's books from when I and my brother were younger. I read a variety of books to him, but it leaned heavily towards Dr. Seuss because I enjoyed them and I have to read them. And he isn't expressing much of an opinion just yet. Most of the reading time was done while he was laying on his activity mat or later in his jumper, so he was hardly paying rapt attention. But still.

As he got a bit older, and you'd think reading would pick, I actually started to dial it back. Not something I was intending but his mobility increased and the idea of sitting in one spot for any length of time was abhorrent. Books with normal paper pages (like 95% of the children's book I had) were in constant danger of having pages ripped out and reading from board books was difficult when they would instantly find their way into his mouth. He has a few soft books, which he's a big fan of, but I can't say the story in them is their main point of attraction. I would still try here and there to read to him, but it wasn't the same as before.

Eventually our collecting of board books, especially lift-the-flap board books, began to grow and the interactive nature of those lift books became more intriguing so I was able to keep his attention a bit longer when reading a book. And books were finally welcomed into the bedtime routine.

But the happiest book moment with him (so far) came when he grabbed a book off his shelf, ran over to me and plopped himself in my lap. Now he wasn't just tolerating me reading to him while he wanted to do something else, but actually wanted me to read to him.
And so, most mornings, I'll read a couple books to him. Sure, they're usually the same books every day but he enjoys them. I try to suggest others but the more successful way to have him branch out is when he pulls a different book off the shelf. Sure, he pulls a different book out cos it was sticking out slightly more. But I find he's slowly warming up to these.

Hopefully this early reading will mean a love of books later. And all of those other benefits wouldn't be terrible either. If he doesn't like books? Well, that's my disappointment to deal with.

If you're curious, these are his current favorites


*Oh, you're saying her name is NOT instantly recognizable? Ridiculous. Anyway, she's written books on pregnancy and early childhood that are all about looking into the various studies done, checking out which ones are junk, which are good but may have some problems and which are sound, and presenting all of the data so that you, oh dear reading, can make an informed decision. So basically, looking into the studies and trying to understand causation vs correlation is something I hope she appreciates.

**Given my hospital stay was a bit longer than initially anticipated, and my emotional energy tapped out at "vaguely staring at a blank wall" for a couple days, I didn't do much reading there.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

August Reading Wrap Up

Summer is over. It's crazy how fast time goes and I realize I have said that over and over again, but whatever, that doesn't make it less true.

I did manage to get one (1) review written this month. Like, an actual, for realsies review, (Kid Gloves, check it out) which is not something I have done in a long time. I'm hoping we're finally getting into a set routine that gives me a little bit of time to get more into blogging (and visiting more blogs. I miss all of you and I have been reading some if I haven't been able to comment as much). We shall see, but let's say being able to get that one review done has made me cautiously optimistic.
And I even managed to get some reading done this month, which I'm pretty happy with. Let's check out those stats, shall we?

Books read
5
Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leaves Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed and Sick by Maya Dusenbery
Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch
It's Not What It Looks Like by Molly Burke
Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley (Yes, I did just link to a review of this. And I read it twice this year. What's up?)
Cribsheet: A Data-driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool by Emily Oster

Pages read
1,437

Fiction
0% - crazy right?

POC authors
0%

Female authors
100%
US authors
60%

Book format
audiobook - 60%
hardback - 20%
paperback - 20%

Where'd I get the book
chain bookstore - 20%
indie bookstore - 20%
Kindle/Audible - 60%

Rereads
20%

Decades published
2010s - 100%

Resolution books
40%
Because Internet and It's Not What It Looks Like are both by Canadian authors (Gretchen McCulloch and Molly Burke).
Also, and this isn't a resolution category but given the idea is to diversify my reading, I figure I'd point out that Molly Burke is blind, which is what her memoir is about.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley: Pregnancy isn't easy, but it's pretty cool at the same time

I have started writing this review of Lucy Knisley's Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos several times. Since March, really, when I finished the book. Some of the delays have been trying to find the time to actually sit down and write it, which I've repeated a few times is not that easy these days. Other delays have been mental. But let's jump into the review first.

I've been a fan of Knisley's since I picked up Something New on a whim when I was trying to find a graphic novel I could get into. I like the memoir subject matter and I like her format. Plus she's funny which is always a plus. I follow her on Instagram and she posted that she was working on a book about pregnancy. And WHAT A COINCIDENCE, I was pregnant. Unfortunately, the book would be coming out several months after I was due, so I wouldn't be able to read it while I was going through everything the book was going to detail (and see what was coming) but still. My son was born in July and the book came out in February. But I did make sure to pick it up right when it came out. (For those looking for it, it's in the parenting/pregnancy section, at least at the B&N in NYC.)

Much like her other work, this is primarily a memoir, with Knisley detailing her history from deciding to have a baby to actually having it, interspersed with information about the history of pregnancy. A lot of it is funny because a lot of being pregnant is ridiculous. But she also doesn't hold back, talking about her miscarriage and her traumatic birth. The book has its humor but it's a lot more serious than I would have expected based on her other stuff I had read, which I think worked in the book's favor. Or honestly, I just liked that stuff because I related to so much of it.

While I haven't really reviewed a book in a while, when I saw this top panel, I decided that this is a book I should review.
Because as soon as I saw this panel I turned to Tom and shouted "It me!" probably with more glee than the situation called for, especially given Tom's reaction. It wasn't that I was reliving fond memories of what happened, but just seeing a depiction of something similar to what I went through was comforting in a way.

Spoilers, I guess, for the book. If you can consider a memoir to have spoilers. But turns out Knisley had preeclampsia, something she told her doctor she was worried about which he totally brushed off. She ended up having to have an emergency c-section and then had a seizure and a lot of bleeding and was unconscious for a couple days, ended up being in the hospital a week the first time and then another four days after being discharged before she should have been. This is not the majority of the book at all, but the part I was drawn to.

I didn't have the same experience but unfortunately there were similarities. I also had preeclampsia, which came on suddenly. My doctors were on top of things and I had been tested for it prior to giving birth (tests came back negative). I didn't have to have an emergency c-section but I was induced to get him out before there were complications. At this point it was unrelated to the preeclampsia since I didn't know I had it yet. I didn't lose consciousness but I did develop HELLP which is like eclampsia's bonus round. And THEN, unbeknownst to me or anyone at the time, my liver ruptured at some point during the delivery. I was going to say is like playing delivery on expert mode, except it's really more like there was a glitch and I have no idea what's going on with all of these video game metaphors. This is something that the doctors (my doctor I'd been seeing, other doctors in the hospital I was now introduced to. I met a lot of the hospital staff) had heard could happen but in their many combined years of practicing, had never actually dealt with first hand because it is super rare (they're writing a paper about me!) I ended up in the ICU for a few days and in the hospital for about 12 days, which is less time than they thought I'd be there so that's a win. I had a couple blood transfusions, multiple CT scans, was on some anti-seizure meds and a LOT of pain meds.

Luckily Matthew was fine and Tom was amazing, having to take care of both of us and learn how to do a lot of the stuff (changing diapers, feeding) and then later teach me.
Cute picture needed
My feelings on the book may be slightly affected by my own experiences but isn't that the case with any review? I still really like this and I think I'm going to read it again because this review makes me realize how much I enjoyed it.

Gif rating:

Knisley, Lucy. Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos. First Second, 2019.