Guest Post: Shh! Mommy’s Reading!

A Guest Post by Amanda Howells, formerly of Crabmommy

Hello, dear Coolmom readers. It’s been a while since my momblogging days (I’m writing other things now—more on that later). I do miss it, so it’s awfully nice to sit in for CoolMom this week.

Do you read much—as in books (books for grownups)? I know, I know, it’s a damn tall order to crack a book when the tots are wailing for Mama, requiring you to change a diaper/find a glue stick/draw a horse/slice an apple. What is it about children and sliced fruit, btw? My 5-year-old drives me bonkers with this slicing obsession—kids these days can’t bite into a whole piece of fruit…sheesh!

It is indeed incredibly difficult to train a mom-brain onto words on a page when the very act of child-rearing conspires to ensure you will never have another moment of silence again. But don’t let the wee ones colonize every inch of your body and brain, my friends! Protect your reading time, and I’m not talking those How To Be A Better Parent to Your Pain in The Ass Spirited Child -type books either. Read something you actually want to read. Don’t worry, I’m not about to pull a Goopy Gwyneth Paltrow and recommend you fall into bed with a nice cozy copy of Crime and Punishment (like you haven’t dealt with that theme all day as a mom). GMAFB, Gwyn. You read the Spark Notes. Fear not! Unlike Gwynnie, I won’t tell you what to read. I’ll just tell you what’s on my nightstand, just for the fun of sharing.

First off, this doesn’t even qualify as reading since it’s basically a novelty picture book but I had to get a copy of Regretsy: Where DIY meets WTF. Hil.ar.ious. Moving on to fiction, just finished: The Little Stranger – a perfect highbrow ghost story; The Forest of Hands and Teeth (wow, I had no idea zombies could be this compelling).

Gearing up for summer: Am I the only person in the world who doesn’t like Stieg Larsson? I read the first one and found it gratuitously grisly and otherwise overrated. So instead of being all excited for the new one that’s just out—The Girl Who Kicked The Cop in the Crotch or The Girl Who Smacked That Man in the Mouth (or whatever it’s called)—I’m tucking into the far superior Elizabeth George’s new mystery, This Body of Death. Clumsy title aside, I know this Inspector Lynley mystery will be as good as its predecessors. After that, I will complete my mystery/paranormal track with Carrie Ryan’s The Dead-Tossed Waves (this YA paranormal writer is oh-so-much better than You Know Who). Then it’s on to Red Hook Road (because I love everything Ayelet Waldman writes); Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’ Connor (I like to mix some bio in between the fic); and after that, The Summer We Read Gatsby, because it looks witty and fun and perfect for summer.

Speaking of “perfect for summer” [throat clearing here] may I timidly suggest my very own first novel for your reading pleasure? Just out, The Summer of Skinny Dipping is a bittersweet romance— a beach read with substance, if I do say so myself. Kirkus called it “a realistic and satisfying chick-lit debut,” School Library Journal said, “…this novel will live on for more than a summer” and I hope you will feel the same. Available here.

Want to win a copy? Leave a comment telling us what you’re reading/looking forward to reading this summer and a randomly selected winner will receive a copy of The Summer of Skinny Dipping. Yay! Competition closes Friday, June 11, 5pm PST.**

Thanks, Daph, for letting me guest-post and pimp my new book. Happy summer reading, everyone!

xx Amanda Howells

**UPDATE: Congrats to Sara for her comment. I’ll be emailing you to send you your copy of my book. Yay!

13 thoughts on “Guest Post: Shh! Mommy’s Reading!

  1. We just got an iPad and I just downloaded The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. With a seven month daughter, it’s the first non-baby focused book I’ve read in over a year so I’m really excited to dig in!

  2. Nice pick, Jennifer. Aimee Bender rocks. Her short stories are amazing and I am v much looking forward to Lemon Cake too. Enjoy! (And hey–so far you are winning this giveaway!) :)

  3. I’m kicking it old school for my current book with “War of the Worlds.” Love it. I’ve also got “The Great Bridge” by David McCullough…and I could use a good fiction book :-)

  4. I have quite a few books that I want to read this summer, but one of the ones I am most looking forward to reading is The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel by Brady Udall. Apparently this fiction piece is supposed to be enthralling – and I find the whole polygamy thing fascinating for some reason…and I can’t help but add that I’m also looking forward to reading the third book in the YA series by Suzanne Collins – Mocking Jay. Hunger Games was SO good (as well as the second one) that I have high hopes for the third title…

  5. I’m reading Hello Cupcake, Vegan Cupcakes Take over the world, and organic pastries cookbooks since I’m taking a pastry class with my mother for 2 months this summer. Looking foward to trip to the beach as well!

  6. Amanda, Thank you so much for guest blogging here. As I broke a sweat Tuesday running my various gigs I was so glad you were holding down the fort.
    Here’s a little bit of irony. this morning at JFK I bought Stieg’s, “girl with a tattoo” or whatever it’s called. After I demolished my People and the US mag the fight attendant gave me I finally cracked the book. I was getting into it. Sadly, after I had exchanged about 20 kisses and cuddles with Rex I realized I had left Stieg in the back pocket on the plane! 15 bucks down the tube. Well, guess I’ll read your book next.

  7. I am half way through “The Late Lamented Molly Marx” Surprisingly funny (in a dark way). I want to read “Sadness of Lemon Cake” next.

    Ahhh…love summer reading by the pool!
    -Molly

  8. And the randomly selected winner is…Sara! Sara, I’ll be emailing you soon for your details and you shall soon have a copy of my book. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks everyone for sharing your reading selections with us. And thanks, Daphne, for having me sit in. Happy summer reading, everyone. xo, Amanda aka Crabmommy

  9. Gone on vacation, so I missed all this fun.

    I just finished Diana Joseph’s “I’m Sorry you Feel This Way.”

    Fantastic read. Stayed up all night to finish it. BUt I can’t wait to dig into yours.

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