List five things you've been reading lately. Then tag five LiveJournal users to do the same in their own journals. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Oddly, as songdog is thinking about reading some (interesting, intelligent) fiction, I'm reading some (also interesting and intelligent) nonfiction. Still have my fiction in the mix, though. But it's ONE book, which is odd for me. Oh, and the reread.
1. Finishing up The Protector's War, which is a good read despite being a bit heavy on the SCA-becomes RL battle stuff. I only recently found out it's going to be a trilogy. I've already read the first book, Dies the Fire. It's a cool premise. Some unknown catastrophic event shifts the laws of physics just off-centre enough to prevent all modern technology that's run by power (electrical, gunpowder, etc) to not work anymore. Of course, Apocalyptic novels are my favourite kind, and I really like this one. The author could cut half the battles out and I'd be happy, though.
2. The latest edition of Heart and Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth by Elizabeth Davis, for my midwifery course. Much of it's a reread, since I read an earlier version for another course. Still, this is one of the best books on birth around, and it's an enjoyable read, required or no.
3. Judith Levine's Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping . This book is very good, and it's not what you think. Not preachy at all, the author describes her own experiences with boycotting shopping for one year except for necessities (although what she and her partner Paul consider "necessities" is up for debate). She goes into the pros and cons of the Voluntary Simplicity Movement without overly dumping on it or overly praising it. At the heart of it, though, it's a good autobiographical piece. There's a lot of wit in this book. And it makes me think when I buy (most of the time). The same author wrote Harmful to Minors: The Dangers of Protecting Children from Sex, which sounds like it will be VERY good. It's been on my "really want to read SOON" list for a while. It must be getting sorta close to Soon by now, right?
4. How Can I Keep From Singing: Pete Seeger by David King Dunaway. This is my bathroom book (no slight to Pete because of it--bathroom books do get read, but slower and in bite-sized pieces). I've only read the first couple of chapters so far, but I like the biographer's style, and he doesn't gloss over Pete's life or defer to his celebrity, which is most likely fine with Pete. It's a bit of a history book, as well, because Pete is an old man, and was involved with a lot of events, big and small, that spanned most of the twentieth century.
5. Unassisted Childbirth by Laura Kaplan Shanley. Only a couple of chapters into this one, too. It gets a little new-age-y, which can be a turnoff for me, but it's an interesting read. I've only recently started researching unassisted birth (not for class, but just because I'm a birth geek, and well, eventually someone's gonna ask me what I think about it and I should probably have an answer for them), and I'm finding that the more I read, the more I see UB as a very viable choice that can be as safe as any other homebirth (which is as safe as birth gets, btw)if the couple is well-prepared for the experience. This book isn't a DIY book for couples wanting to birth their baby on their own; rather it focusses on the experiences of the author and others, as well as Ms. Shanley's philosophy about the idea. I just found her website, Bornfree. Lots of readworthy stuff there. If someone's really interested in UB as a subject, though, I'd suggest another book that goes into a bit more nuts and bolts and not so much new-age jargon. Read this one after that one. Of course, like I said, I haven't gotten deep into the book yet. I think I'm going to get more out of the website and even more from Psalm and Zoya's birth video, when I get to see it.
Not part of the five book list, but I'm also going to be starting a reread (yes, a real, whole reread) of Stephen King's glorious Dark Tower Series, which isn't just my favourite SK story or my favourite dark fantasy story; it's my favourite story that's ever been written, ever (that I know about, of course. *g*). And since I really want to do justice to eddiecdean (and sai King, say true), I need to Refresh the brain. I've tried just reading the last bits of the last books. Not working for character study. It's a good thing that it's been long enough (has it really been a year and a half?!) that I actually CAN pick them up again. I've known these characters since somewhere around 1994. I know what it's like to wait years and years for the next leg of the journey and then all 700 and change pages in two days, only to wait again. Roland, etc. live close to my heart, aye, and the last part of the first read was so intense and heartwrenching (for joyful AND sad reasons) that I wasn't sure I'd be able to pick them up again (part of the reason was certainly that it was OVER, no book eight, nobody saying What Happens Next). I know I'll be able to do it now, though (mostly thanks to eddiecdean, so I'm all set to go. Now to find the time.
If anyone's ever looking for a story that has everything: humour, joy, tragedy, poetry, horror, romance, life, s/he should read this one. My heart is glad that it exists, although I'm entirely jealous of anyone who's about to read it for the first time. And really, if you don't like the first book, read the next one anyway. The first was started when SK was i_am_a_hannah's age (she'll be 19 this month, say thankya). The Gunslinger is bleak and dark and I like it, but not everyone does. The next books are in a different style, and not nearly as severe.
What I should really do is take the audiobooks out of the library. Woah. That's actually a great idea. SK doesn't read them, alas. I know some people are happy about this, as he's no Great Orator, but I like to hear an author read a book, with all the proper inflections and pronounciations (I mean, geez, I thought "Cuthbert" had a short U for years. It's key-youth-bert, people). Besides, I like his voice, as t00by and Maine-accented as it might be. The t00by and Maine-accented stuff is probably WHY I like it. SK is nothing if not Real, which is something that can't be said about quite a few of the rich and famous set. Apparently his neighbours adore him, and are fiercely protective of him. That says a lot, I think.
Okay, I tag...hmm. way2, robinhoo, mr_t00by, willysunny, and on_a_hill. And the bonus, because there seems to be an unwritten law that there should be one, phredlovesgoats. Also anyone else who'd like to have a go at it.
Now, off to bed. No double shift, it turned out, and I'm still up to the wee hours. Two days off, though (I think), so whee! Massive housework awaits inna morning.