Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The One Upside of the Stomach Flu...

... I finished my book and read another!

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel
Seeing this book on my darling friend Carie's recommendations list bumped it higher in my queue. I ordered it online last year after hearing Esther Perel interviewed on the Dear Sugar podcast.  You can download the episode here - it's a great conversation and will give you a very precise thumbnail view of Esther's philosophies and her general awesomeness.

In Mating in Captivity, therapist and erotic intelligence genius woman Esther Perel tackles the question "How do we desire what we already have?" It was empowering/realistic and filled me with lots of non-flu related feelings to be reading about the inevitable challenges of long-term relationships at the very very less-than-three-months beginning of my own marriage.  My only criticism of this book is the same one I have with nearly all non-narrative social science books - once you're on board with the thesis, the actual chapter-to-chapter unfolding can get redundant, even as it takes on slightly different angles of the issue at hand.  But still, an essential read, will definitely be forcing it on my husband, and let's all breathe a sigh of relief that functional relationships come in every imaginable stripe. *SIGH*

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
I grabbed Liar & Spy after reading Rebecca Stead's winding and interesting When You Reach Me last year.  I was super interested in her unique voice as a writer of YA fiction, and curious to read more. While ultimately I found When You Reach Me to be a slightly more satisfying read, I'd definitely give L&S the thumbs up to any grown-up humans who like young adult books, or to any actual young adult humans.  My suspicion is that it will not remain tremendously memorable in my brain, even as the moment-to-moment experience of it was quite pleasurable.

The story's protagonist, Georges (the S is silent), is twelve years old and living in a new apartment in Brooklyn after his father got laid off and the family was forced to sell their house. Stead is particularly gifted at capturing the moment of early adolescence where we are still too young to fully face the world, but have outgrown the innocence of true childhood - and the nostalgia and empowerment that comes with that crossroads.  Georges befriends the unusual Safer, his upstairs neighbor, and together they embark on a mission to spy on the mysterious Mr. X. But, as always, not everything is as it seems.

The passage that won me over for good: “Here’s a piece of advice you will probably never use: If you want to name your son after Georges Seurat, you could call him George, without the S. Just to make his life easier.”

Next up..... 1984 for my January theme book and Creativity, Inc. for my heart!


  1. Consider Liar & Spy added to my list! Does it feel Harriet the Spy-y at all?


  2. I would say no. There are many non-spy related subplots that I actually found more interesting than the spying... But I can see a similar HtS vibe in the coming of age aspects of the stories, and some learning of lessons. Awww now I wanna read Harried the Spy...