Monday, October 08, 2007


77. Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
This book is about some girls who get into another London (UnLondon, get it?) which is much like our world but twisted around. Adventures ensue. I really recommend this book. I don't think I have ever described anything as delightful before, but this book is delightful. It is smart, so imaginative, and has a great lead female hero. Also, an extreme librarian, a sentient milk carton, and living words. Seriously. You should all read this.

78. Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein
The subtitle to this is "A tale of two continents, three religions, five infertility doctors, an Oscar, an atomic bomb, a romantic night, and one woman's quest to become a mother". Whew. Anyway, I type it out because it is very descriptive of the book. This was also a good book. I liked Orenstein's tone and voice a lot, and appreciated her honesty in how she dealt with infertility, and perhaps waiting too long to have a child. She also does a good job of not drawing broad conclusions from her experiences. She doesn't really say that you should have kids early or you'll regret it, or that you should or should not spend money on reproductive technology, or adopt, or whatever. She does present her experiences honestly, leading you to draw your own conclusions. One thing she does well is to show how a lot of these issues are bound up in greater societal issues. Like workplaces could be more family friendly to men and women, so that women don't have to choose so much between family and their career. She also has a critique of the business of fertility medicine, which may be a little more about making money now, then helping people have babies. Anyway, a well-written and thought provoking book. I liked it.

79. Intuition by Allegra Goodman
This was also a good book. I've had great luck lately! This is the story of a lab at a research institute. It follows what happens when one of the post-docs makes a discovery that could have implications for cancer treatment, and what happens when others question these results. I don't want to give too much away, but I thought it was a really good and honest look about research, what is the line between letting research speak for itself and the need to be competitive for grants and funding, etc.

80. The Birth House by Ami McKay
One more good book! Although when I began this book I at first thought the language was a little too flowery, and that I would get tired of it, but it grew on me. This book is about a young woman in Newfoundland during WWI. It follows her as she learns to be a midwife, navigates as an unconventional woman in a small town, and deals a little with the medicalization of birth. I liked the characters and the story, but did think it went a little overboard with the "doctors and childbirth=bad, midwives and homebirth = good" message of the story. But I really enjoyed the book overall.

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