Monthly Archives: November 2013

Upcoming reviews

I realize I’ve been a bit MIA here. Between my new job (yay Children’s librarian!) and parenting, there is precious little time to sit down and read a book that isn’t a picture book that isn’t Lets Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy or Goodnight Moon.

Well, 3 big things have happened in the last couple of weeks.

1. I stopped drinking caffeinated coffee (the most pathetically sad 1st World problem day of my life)

2. The baby bookworm started sleeping through the night! And going to sleep without a fight at his appropriate bedtime!

3. I finished 3 books in the last 2 weeks. 3! Granted, I started them all over 2 months ago, but still. Once I find the time and mental capacity to sit down and write a review, these are the books you’ll hear about:

Starbucked : a double tall tale of caffeine, commerce, and culture Starbucked by Taylor Clark  

My 2 cents: Although well written and informative, this book doesn’t really tell you anything about Starbucks that you haven’t already heard or surmised. The book is also a bit dated, what with the crazy number of changes having taken place at Starbucks since this printed. They sell Butterbeer now (what the what?) and for some idiotic reason, stopped selling decaffeinated coffee after 12pm (you just lost one regular customer Howard Schulz) and they bought out the beloved San Francisco chain Le Boulange and now all their pastries are back to tasting bland and gross, but at least they have spiffy names.

Where'd you go, Bernadette : a novel Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

My 2 cents: Hilarious and witty. It makes me want to live in Seattle and be friends with Bernadette griping about all the silly little things in life. The ending didn’t sit too well for me, but the entire book is really, really funny.

Getting to 50/50 : how working parents can have it all Getting to 50/50 How Working Parents Can Have it All by Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober

My 2 cents: This is like a call to arms for pregnant women contemplating how to balance the work life/parenting spheres in their life. It’s very informative, but very repetitive. Although despite its very, very, very strong insistence that women return to work after having their babies, the book’s audience is indeed the male population. Asking that men do their fair share of housework, and parenting and letting mom’s work and pursue their careers rather than put it on hold.

(the mini reviews here are in case I never get around to writing an actual well-thought-out review).

Brain Rules for Baby – John Medina

Brain rules for baby : how to raise a smart and happy child from zero to fiveBrain Rules for Baby by John Medina
Age: Adult
Format: Book
Source: Library
Find this book at your local library

In this book, Medina offers up a scientific perspective on raising children and nurturing the minds of newborns and infants. His book follows and instructs parents on the best care for their babies, aged zero to five. Have gone through a number of lackluster parenting books both as a new parent and as a librarian, I can readily say that this is one of the better books out there. Medina’s points boil down to a couple major elements. His points, all scientifically backed by studies, are not all that much different from Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing Up Bebe. My inner Francophone feels justified.

Medina’s main points are:

  • Be authoritative.
  • Set your boundaries,
  • Set consequences for broken rules,
  • Stick to those consequences
  • Be empathetic to your child’s needs.

These are the elements that go into raising a well-rounded, well-nurtured child. Children thrive on routine and structure. Setting boundaries helps them feel safe. Being openly communicative with your child helps them feel involved and that goes a long way towards building a good relationship.

I have a small notebook full of notes from this title. Although I borrowed a library copy, I am tempted to purchase my own just to reread certain sections. I found this book to be well written, well-paced with just enough of the author’s own experiences to round out the science and studies for his explanations. This is a great book for parents of newborn children, especially those who are like me. Who want to push their children to their full potential, but don’t want to go overboard with it and turn into a tiger mom.