"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Monday, February 28, 2011

What are you reading (28)?

It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event now hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World Of Books. It's helpful way to take a look at what you have read and what you want to read!

I can't believe its been a week already.  Time is flying by for me.  I have two more weeks before I head back to work, and I'm certainly not looking forward to it.  On one hand, I miss the girls I work with and the pace of it all, but on the other hand, the thought of leaving Anthony for eight hours a day makes me a bit sick to my stomach.  However, I'm sure I'll be fine.  I know he'll be fine...he'll be with Grandma all day.

I'm excited to say that I actually got to read a book this week.  I finally have it down where I can sit and relax a bit each night after Anthony takes his final bottle and goes to bed.  He's sleeping almost six hours at a time now, so it makes it much easier to stay up a bit longer after he's asleep.  When he was only sleeping about 2.5 hours, you better know that I was in bed as soon as he was so I could get a bit of sleep before he was up again!!

This week I finished and reviewed Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat.  It was an absolutely beautiful and amazing read.  You can find my review for it HERE.

For this coming week, I have two books picked out that I'd like to read.  I'm being ambitious this week and setting my goals a bit higher. 

This week I'd like to read:

If I Stay - Gayle Forman (link to goodreads)
I've heard wonderful things about this book, plus the sequel comes out in April and I'd like to be ready to read it once it's released.  It'd be nice to be a bit caught up with something!!

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell (link to goodreads)
This one has been on my shelf for a while, and the cover intrigues me.  I'm curious to see what the secrets are that lie between the pages.

And of course this post wouldn't be complete without a new pic of my little bug :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: Breath, Eyes, Memory

Title: Breath, Eyes, Memory
Author: Edwidge Danticat
Pages: 236
Rating: 4/5

At an astonishingly young age, Edwidge Danticat has become a writer who evokes the wonder, terror, and heartache of her native Haiti—and the enduring strength of Haiti's women—with a vibrant imagery and narrative grace that bear witness to her people's suffering and courage.

Set in the island's impoverished villages and in New York's Haitian community, this is the story of Sophie Caco, who was conceived in an act of violence, abandoned by her mother and then summoned to America. In New York, Sophie discovers that Haiti imposes harsh rules on its own.

At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti—to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence, in a novel that bears witness to the traditions, suffering, and wisdom of an entire people (oprah.com).

I picked up this book for two reasons.  One, it was shorter and I needed something to get me back on my feet after having the baby that wouldn't overwhelm me, and two I thought the cover was intriguing.  However, I'm not sure why I thought this book was a memoir.  It wasn't until I opened the book and started reading that I realized this was actually a novel (I guess that the fact it said "A Novel" under the title didn't click with my overworked brain).  Despite my surprise, I still very much enjoyed this book.

I'll be honest in saying I don't know much about Haiti or its culture.  I'm aware that they are an impoverished country and many travel through the perils of the sea to arrive on our shores in Miami.  I was not aware of the violence throughout the country.  But, this is why I read.  To expand my mind and learn new things so I am not dumb to what is going on in the world around me.  It is for this reason that reading is important to me.

Breath, Eyes, Memory tells the story of Sophie Caco starting at the age of twelve when she is sent to New York to live with her mother.  Once in New York, Sophie begins to find out the secrets of her birth,  including the reason why her mother screams out in agony every night as she sleeps.  The story itself is haunting.  It gets in your mind and weaves itself throughout your body so that you feel every bit of Sophie's pain and memories.  It is an unforgettable journey to Haiti, a trip that is both troubling and healing.  It is because of these feelings that I recommend this book to all readers.

On top of all this, Danticat's writing is exquisite.  Her storytelling is moving and poetic, and creates a multitude of feelings for the reader.  Each line sticks with you, telling and re-telling the stories of Haitian women everywhere:
"I come from a place where breath, eyes and memory are one, a place from which you carry your past like the hair on your head. Where women return to their children as butterflies or as tears in the eyes of the statues that their daughters pray to (pg. 234)."

This is a beautiful journey, and one I am very glad I decided to take it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What are you reading (27)?

It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event now hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World Of Books. It's helpful way to take a look at what you have read and what you want to read!

It's been a few weeks now since I last did a "What are you reading" Monday.  Even this post is much later than I would have like it.  But alas, things certainly have changed in the household of this reader.  My life now consists of bottles, dirty diapers, and baby snuggles.  While I certainly wouldn't change it for the world, I do often wonder - when will I read again?

Anthony came home on January 25th and he's been a real joy.  He's doing extremely well, and eating like a little piggy.  We put him on soy formula to help with his tummy and he's gaining weight like a champ.  He was up to 8 lbs 3 oz when I took him to the doctor a week ago.  He had lost almost a pound and a half while he was in the NICU so its great to see him grow!!  He's a pretty good sleeper too.  He normally falls asleep between 10 and 11 and sleeps until 2 or 3.  After a quick bottle, he's normally asleep again until 6 or 7.  I certainly can't complain about that!!  However, even with his decent sleeping I'm still exhausted.  It's taken me every bit of the four weeks that he's been home to find a balance between home and baby.  And it's a very fine line...I have a very strict routine that I stick to now with housework and bottle washing and bedtime.  It helps with the stress knowing that everything is being taken care of, but it doesn't leave me with a lot of "me" time.  That's what I'm going to work on next...even if its just a half hour each evening that I take to blog or read.  Plus hubby loves spending time with the little one so I don't think he'll mind :)

Reading wise, I have so many great books that I'd love to read.  I'm going to start light this week and say I'd love to start and possibly finish one book:

This book has been on my shelf for ages and I've wanted to read it for a while.  Also, it doesn't seem to be too long so I won't be overwhelmed with reading it while taking care of the munchkin :)  Here's the link at Good Reads  (summary). 

So that's what has been going on in my life.  Many, many changes but I love my little man so I wouldn't go back!  I can't believe he'll be six weeks old on Thursday!  What kind of mom would I be if I didn't share a picture:

Isn't he just the cutest!!

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