books and podcasts - october


Gen's Podcasts for October:

The Birth Hour by Bryn Huntpalmer: This is the second podcast I ever heard. There are so many wonderful stories which touch on almost every type of birth you could imagine. Hearing other women tell their stories gave me courage when I was approaching my first labor experience. I’m not kidding when I say it helped me to power through unmedicated childbirth. There are lots of tips on how to cope with labor and postpartum recovery, but the support for birth in whatever form in takes is what really makes this a special podcast. I ate up these episodes like Skittles while I was pregnant.

What Should I Read Next? by Anne Bogel: This is my absolute favorite podcast. When a new episode shows up in my feed, I hoard it until I need a pick- me- up or until I can’t wait any longer. I love Anne’s voice, her almost game show-like format, and of course, her book recommendations. HAVE I MENTIONED THAT THIS IS MY FAVORITE PODCAST? I love it so much that I’m almost possessive about it, but if you like to read, you will love it too.

The Pitch: This show was just picked up by Gimlet Media, so the second season is better produced. It’s very like the ABC TV showShark Tank, but in podcast form, so if you enjoy that show, you’ll likely enjoy this podcast. You can’t see the products or services that are being pitched, but that’s what Google is for.

Bonus pick- Myths and Legends by Jason Weiser: This was my first introduction to podcasts. My husband and I listened to Jason’s thoughtful and hilarious retellings of classic tales while we painted our baby’s nursery. Whether you’re looking to become more familiar with world mythology or you just want to hear a good (often bizarre) story, this is your podcast.


Gen's Books for October:

Dracula by Bram Stoker: I first opened these pages in college. It was October, I was drinking coffee and eating a lemon bar, and all the world was good. Every fall I attempt to recreate that feeling by rereading this book. It has the obvious vampire-Halloween connection, but there’s also something chilly and atmospheric about the prose which makes it feel like fall to me even though it’s still 90 degrees in Louisiana as I type this. As an aside, I would like to grow up to be Mina Harker. As another aside, if I could roll Van Helsing and Atticus Finch into a ball of a man, that would be my ideal husband (second only to my actual husband, of course!)

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn: I heard about this nonfiction book from my favorite podcast, but I never would have chosen it by the cover. This is about a chef who goes through some random women’s pantries and judgmentally throws out all of their macaroni and cheese. She then teaches them the basics of cooking (recipes included!) and changes their lives forever. It’s basically reality television, but EDUCATIONAL reality television, because it’s a book.

The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt: I usually don’t read this much about food (just realized that even my non-food book recommendation references food, oh well), but I bought this book, so I needed to mention it. It’s actually a cookbook, but it reads like good nonfiction. The author runs experiments on food and cooking techniques to provide the best possible version of a recipe. He hates on Italian grandmothers a little, but I forgive him because the man knows how to cook an eggplant perfectly, and now so do I.


Kat's Podcasts for October:

Stuff You Missed in History Class —For anyone who enjoys reading history or hearing about history, this podcast is for you.  I love history, and I think the women who do this podcast are funny, have easy-to-listen-to voices, and give good insight into events in history about which people may have heard before but may not know tons of details.  For example, in the “The Eastland Disaster” episode, I learned not only about the Titanic and how it sunk, but I also learned about the laws that were made after its sinking which ultimately led to even more boats sinking.  Wow.  As I write this I realize how boring that sounds.  But it was actually a really good episode, and the women behind the podcast do a good job of making it sound interesting (which it actually is!).

Happy Mum, Happy Baby — This podcast is probably my favorite right now.  It’s hosted by Giovanna Fletcher, who is a British author, wife, and mother of two boys.  I read her book, Happy Mum, Happy Baby once it was released because it was right after I had Miriam and I was excited to read a book on parenting that actually interested me and that I figured wouldn’t stress me out about being a parent.  I enjoyed the book, and since I’m so into podcasts lately, I figured I would try the podcast. And I really like it!  I don’t know the women she interviews (they’re celebs in England), but their experiences still really interest me.  The podcast is full of encouragement about how every mom is different and no one should judge another mom based on her decisions.  

Serial, Season One - Okay everyone knows of this podcast, and if you don’t, you seriously need to jump on the train because this podcast is incredible.  It discusses whether or not a man named Adnan Syed is guilty of the mysterious murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.  It’s suspenseful, interesting, and very thoughtfully written out.  If you haven’t listened to it, do it.


Kat's Books for October:

Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods-and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater by Gill Raply and Tracy Murkett

 I started reading this book a few months ago when I wanted to get Miriam started on solid foods.  It helped me understand what kinds of foods she needs when she starts eating solids, and it taught me that babies are a lot more capable of eating solid foods than we often realize.  It’s also helpful because she learns to decide for herself when she’s full or if she even wants to eat solid food that meal at all.  It takes the pressure off of both of us to have prepared food and to finish it at every meal.  More about this concept to come on a future post!

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

I am in the middle of reading this - so don't tell me what happens!  LOL JK I already know what happens because the sleeve of the book gives away the ending - SPOILER: the guy dies.  So far I think it's pretty interesting.  It traces the tracks of a young man named Chris McCandless, whose idea to leave all of his money and possessions behind in search of the wild outdoors leads to his death in Alaska.  I read Into Thin Air by Krakauer and couldn't put it down.  So far, I like Into Thin Air better, but I still have five hours of listening to do for this.  (I'm listening via audiobook on this app called Libby that Gen introduced me to.  It allows you to rent library books on your phone if your library is partnered with the app.  It's amazing because it gives you so many titles right at your fingertips.)   I've started to listen to books and podcasts while I run, and since this book is interested, it's a good distraction from my crabbiness while exercising.

The Love That Keeps Us Sane:  Living the Little Way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux by Marc Foley, O.C.D.

I think St. Thérèse gets a bad reputation because of her flowery and seemingly syrupy language, and admittedly, that made me want to stay away from her writing.  I couldn’t relate to how happy and sweet she always sounded.  The author of this book actually begins the book by explaining that St. Thérèse writes that way because that’s how everyone wrote at that time.  He also uses examples from her writing to show just how real and vulnerable she is in her letters and autobiography.  This helped me feel better about St. Thérèse and allowed me to open up to what she had to teach by her life.  Anyway, the book is SO insightful about the human psyche and it shatters categories of what the average person things is important (e.g. being known, knowing everything, etc.).  It’s such a humbling and thought-provoking read, and it’s actually pretty short, which allows the reader to take time to think about the content.