Monday, July 31, 2006

Book Reports

I finished "Baby Catcher," and besides crying at every other chapter, I came across another thought-provoking item about planning your birth. Much like other childbirth educators, the author, Peggy Vincent, suggests that you write a detailed description of your ideal birth. Then, she says, you should burn it.

I love it, and yet I do believe in the documented power of visualization, so I can't figure out if it's truly a good idea or not. But it reminds me of the first time I saw a birth plan, which is when my mom, a labor and delivery nurse, brought home the joke birth plan written by another labor and delivery nurse who was about to give birth. The nurse, making fun of patients they'd had, listed about 50 things she just had to have going on in the L&D room, including what video should be playing, what people in the room should sing, etc., ad nauseum. Vincent also claims that the more inflexible the birth plan, the more likely the woman will have a C-section.

I also just finished listening to Augusten Burrough's latest, called "Possible Side Effects." It's a welcome addition to the funny gay memoir genre (a la David Sedaris, Dan Savage). Since I listened to this book on my iPod Mini and it kept me from going insane while washing dishes, I was most pleased with how long it was. It's 10 hours long, and I have downloaded audiobooks, especially lightweight things like humorous essay collections, that run half that length. Since Burroughs already published the best story of his (or practically anyone's) life in "Running With Scissors," it's not surprising that his fourth autobiographical book makes a few swipes at the barrel's bottom, with anecdotes about book and speaking tours and going on vacation with his boyfriend, for example. The same thing happened with David Sedaris. But I'll still read everything either of them writes, because they're still funny and they still manage to pull some f'ed up memories out of their hats. One thing that raised my eyebrows, though: Burroughs comes out and admits at the beginning of the book that he embellished some of these stories and changed some of the characters. Well, at least he's honest about lying, unlike some memoirists we could mention.

Nutmeg is pestering me to go for a walk. Well, it's only 94, according to weather.com, not the 101* I was led to expect for today, so what the heck?

* Heat index of 106, but Nutmeg doesn't know about those yet. She's only 2.

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