When You’re Expecting

Hello Ladies and Gents!

So, I’ve been on a bit of hiatus lately and I wanted to apologize for my lack of posts. I’ve been feeling under the weather, and it’s been all I can do to focus just getting through the day. Why, you ask? Jamie, what is this mysterious illness? Well….I’m pregnant!  And so, in honor of my….ahem….condition….here is a list of 5 reads for the expecting parent(s).





The Pregnancy Encyclopedia 

Pregnancy encycThe Pregnancy Encyclopedia is an engaging and accessible question-and-answer guide to some of the most commonly asked questions about pregnancy, packed with full-color photographs and illustrations.

The Pregnancy Encyclopedia has answers to all your questions—including the ones you haven’t even thought of yet. Top experts in the field offer encyclopedic coverage of the topics relating to pregnancy and birth, from fertility and family planning to nutrition and exercise to lifestyle changes, planning for the future, and more. In all, this comprehensive guide covers more than 300 topics of interest to expecting mothers and their partners.

The Pregnancy Encyclopedia is the only book that uses an engaging Q&A style with accompanying full-color photographs, illustrations, and infographics to help you understand what’s going on with your baby, your partner, and yourself.”


The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be

Expectant Father“We are expecting! The twentieth-anniversary edition of this thoroughly updated and revised parenting classic remains the most informative and reassuring book for expectant fathers everywhere. In addition to sharing the wisdom of the ages, Armin A. Brott, Mr. Dad, presents new insight into the emotional, financial, and physical—yes, physical—effects of impending parenthood on men. Thanks to this handy reference moms-to-be will know their partner understands and supports them during this anxious and exciting time, and that he has all the tools he needs to be a fantastic, hands-on dad.

This information-packed, month-by-month guide incorporates the expertise of top practitioners in their fields, from obstetricians and birth-class instructors to psychologists and sociologists. It also draws from Brott’s own experience as a father of three and from the real-world experiences of the thousands of dads he’s interviewed. With the humor of New Yorker cartoons and Brott’s gentle approach, The Expectant Father serves as a friendly and readable companion for dads-to-be seeking confidence, guidance, and joy!”


Your Pregnancy and Childbirth: Month to Month

Your pregnancy“Based on ACOG guidelines and written by the experts in women’s health care, this new edition of Your Pregnancy and Childbirth: Month to Month gives your patients the most accurate information available about pregnancy, childbirth, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and the postpartum period. Key features include the following: Practical, straightforward advice about diet, exercise, prenatal visits and tests, and handling the discomforts of pregnancy Evidence-based guidance in making important decisions about issues such as pain management during labor, VBAC, and circumcision Separate sections on special concerns and complications, including obesity during pregnancy, diabetes, preterm labor, and preeclampsia Comprehensive, easy-to-understand coverage of the latest prenatal genetic screening and testing options, including risks and limitations New chapters on preconception care, reducing the risk of birth defects, and medical and non-medical pain relief options during labor.”




Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5

Caring for baby“All parents want to provide the very best care for their children. This essential resource from the most respected organization on child health is the one guide pediatricians routinely recommend and parents can safely trust, covering everything from preparing for childbirth to toilet training to nurturing your child’s self-esteem. Whether it’s resolving common childhood health problems or detailed instructions for coping with emergency medical situations, this new and revised edition of Caring for Your Baby and Young Child has everything you need:

• a review of necessary basic care from infancy through age five
• milestones for physical, emotional, social, and cognitive growth, including red flags for preventing obesity
• a complete health encyclopedia covering injuries, illnesses, congenital diseases, and other disabilities
• guidelines for prenatal and newborn care, with spotlights on maternal nutrition, exercise, and screening tests during pregnancy
• an in-depth discussion of breastfeeding, including its benefits, techniques, and challenges, as well as nutritional needs and vitamin/iron supplementation
• updated safety standards: the very latest AAP recommendations, from CPR instruction and immunizations to childproofing tips and product and toy safety
• tips for choosing child care programs and car safety seats
• ways to reduce your child’s exposure to environmental hazards, such as air pollution and secondhand smoke
• the latest reports on cutting-edge research into early brain development
• updated content dedicated to sleep and allergies (including food allergies)
• new chapter on the effects of media and technology exposure on children
• special messages for grandparents and stepfamilies
• and much more”


Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

Mayo Clinic“Women looking for authoritative, accurate information from a reputable source will appreciate this pregnancy book from the world-class Mayo Clinic. It provides hundreds of pages of helpful information parents can use. Features include week-by-week updates on baby’s growth and month-by-month changes for mom, a 40-week pregnancy calendar, a symptoms guide, and a review of important pregnancy decisions. In this illustrated book you’ll also receive advice on how to get pregnant, meal planning, exercise, medication use and parenthood. Plus, you’ll find answers to difficult or embarrassing questions. This pregnancy book is the work of a team of pregnancy experts who find nothing in medicine more exciting and satisfying to experience than the birth of a child. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy is an essential pregnancy resource for parents-to-be.”

Dear Poet, Please stop writing in your library books!

I’m on the fence about marginalia. I love the insight it gives into the life of a book, and the people it may have touched. Please, continue to write in your books. Its fascinating. BUT, why write in a public library book? While it may be good for a giggle, I ultimately need to discard books that patrons write in. But, I found that one sadly discontented single person wrote a little prayer on the title page of a book called 51/50 The Magical Adventures of a Single Life.20160114_185033

So, to the poet who decided that their library book was the perfect place for their single ladies prayer: Maybe your single NOT because you’re overweight, wrinkly, or old. Maybe, just maybe, you’re single because you are the kind of person who writes in your library books ultimately destroying the chance for anyone else to read it. Karma is a bitch. What ever happened to wishing for things like World Peace? Sorry lady. I hope you find you’re soul mate. Who probably also writes in library books…..



Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my shape to keep.

Please no wrinkles, please no bags, please lift my butt before it sags.

Please no age spots, please no grey, and as for my belly, please take it away.

Please keep me healthy, please keep me young, and thank you dear Lord for all that you’ve done.


Reviewing Indie Writers

BookTastings has recently been added to the Book Blogger List, and I have been approached by several Indie Writers for reviews, so I thought I would do a short post about self-publishing before I dive in.

I want to preface by stating that all the terrible things we hear about the death of the print book, and consequently the death of the publishing industry and public libraries, is absolute nonsense. Just because these industries are changing, does not mean that they will cease to exist. In fact, I think the opposite is true. I think these industries will find symbiotic ways to thrive and create new and innovative opportunities for their respective communities. In fact, we can already see this happening.

Self-publishing, even with the advent of the e-book, still has some stigma surrounding it. And I get that. It is certainly ego-boosting to be vetted and promoted by others in the field, but it does tend to create some sort of “approval” vacuum for the self-published Indie Writer. The wonderful thing about Indie publishing, is that readers have a pretty big say in who and what gets promoted. We’ve seen it happen where the public launches an Indie Writer into the mainstream, and then they get picked up by a traditional publishing house. But, why would an Indie Writer decide to jump sides? It means more available formats for all readers. It means more security and copyright protection. It means better editing and marketing strategies. And, let’s not forget about the paycheck.

So, this is all great for the writers and the readers, but what about the publishers? Well, the public takes a lot of the risk out of publishing an unknown. Readers decide what they like BEFORE the publishing house begins the process and so for them, half the battle is already done. Win Win Win.

With that being said, there is still a lot of chaff to be weeded out of the self-publishing movement. However, I feel like Indie Writers need a leg up, as do I. So, I have decided to include a section on the site devoted entirely to Indie and self-published writers. Hopefully I will come across some amazing work and help spread the word.

Digital editions, self-publishing, Kindles…these are not the death of the industry. They are the catalyst for change. After all, just because we have electricity doesn’t mean we’ve stopped using candles.

The Moving Picture Words

Image by www.flickr.com/photos/cblue98/

Whenever I hear about people complaining that reading is unenjoyable, I’m always a little bit floored. I mean, to each his own, but I can never seem to wrap my head around it. When I read, it’s like watching a movie in my head. I hear the dialogue, I watch the scenes unfold. I’m not seeing the words on the page, the words transform themselves into something else entirely. Each word emits a color, a sensation, a tone, that I can see and hear on the great silver screen that is my mind.

I recently stumbled across this article from Scientific American that confirms that this is what is actually happening. As our eyes relay words on the page, the same part of the brain that is used for sight and sound is activated.  So cool. On the downside…turns out I don’t have super powers after all. How do you read?

When We Read, We Recognize Words as Pictures and Hear Them Spoken Aloud

Vampires, Hemingway, and Project Canon: the makings of a blog

When I first considered writing a blog I knew it would deal with books, I just wasn’t sure how to narrow my focus. After the recent release of Prince Lestat by Ann Rice, I went back and reread the entirety of the Vampire Chronicles. I had read them as a kid (and seen Interview with the Vampire about a gazillion times) and wanted to read them all again in quick succession. Prince Lestat as the end-all-be-all crowning glory on a series I thought had been completed long ago. O! Book loving people, let me tell you my thirst had been slaked. So good. And she’s not even finished! But, I digress…

After I had finished all 13 installments I felt…bereft. Now what? I could begin that blog I had been thinking about. So, I figured I would reread some books from my various levels of schooling, and see if my perspective had changed between then and now. I would begin with those books considered to be in the western literary canon. Aha! Now I had a plan. BUT, I really have an aversion to rereading books when there are so many great books out there that I haven’t even heard of yet. Why should I go back? I should be moving forward! I wanted to stick with my plan, so I figured I would begin with some that I haven’t read, and pepper my reading list with those that I have read in the past.

I began scanning library shelves at random and fell across Hemingway, who by some strange turn of fate, I had never read before. The Old Man and the Sea it was for me, to be followed by A Farewell to Arms then For Whom the Bell Tolls. Yup. American Lit. I can do this. It’ll be great….Not so great. I’m embarrassed to say that I knew, and still know, little to nothing about Hemingway. He was born in 1899, married four times, and committed suicide in 1961. His writing style changed the landscape of American literature. But here is the thing about reading literary pioneers; it’s rough!

The Old Man and the Sea was a good starting point for me. It was short, engaging, and I wanted to know what was going to happen with that giant fish. I was fairly heartbroken when (spoiler alert) the sharks ate it and all that was left was bones. When starting Project Canon I had planned to write down my thoughts and reviews and what have you, but I didn’t. I’m sure there are plenty of other places out there that can talk to the metaphors, analogies, and other literary constructs. I, however, jumped right in to A Farewell to Arms. I finished. I did it. But just know that I didn’t like it. I never even picked up For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Long story short, I will simply read whatever strikes my fancy at any given time, just like I always have. I’m also happy to take requests and suggestions though I’m not going to force anything. We want things as organic and fresh as possible. I think we will all enjoy ourselves much better that way. If anyone would like to school me on some Hemingway, I’d be up for that.

Pleasant Reading!