Book Reviews and Babymoons

Photographed by Maria Del Rio, Styled by Ashley Birondo, for MOTHER Mag (
Photographed by Maria Del Rio, Styled by Ashley Birondo, for MOTHER Mag (

I’ve been reading a ton lately, I think in anticipation of a fast-approaching season when the time and mental capacity to sit around and read novels will shrivel up. I’m actually less worried than I normally would be about that change, I think because being a bookworm is such a deep and lasting part of me that I know I’ll start reading again when I can. Anyway, I thought I’d share with you a couple titles I’ve read recently and enjoyed. (If you’re more interested in the subject of babymoons, just skip on down to that heading!)

Astonish Me – Geez this was fantastic. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. If you are at all fascinated with the ballet world, this will hook you. The writing was exquisite, the characters complex, the story surprising, and it really stuck with me (in a good way) for about a week afterward.

The Year of Living Danishly – a British journalist moves to rural Denmark when her husband gets his dream job at Lego. Culture shock ensues. This is a fascinating memoir/report about Danish culture, focusing on what makes Denmark the happiest country in the world.

Bringing Up Bebe – OK, so some people take offense to this book and think it’s all about how the French do everything right and fat, sloppy Americans do everything wrong. Not so! I felt it was pretty balanced, and definitely came away inspired with some ideas of how I can avoid some American parenting pitfalls (which I already wanted to do, even before reading this book…American parenting is pretty insane, let’s be honest). Of course who knows what it will be like when I actually have the baby (as one of my sisters very cynically pointed out – “That book filled my head with such lovely ideas” or something like that…insinuating that it’s completely impossible). But it was still some great food for thought.

In the Unlikely Event – Judy Blume’s first novel for adults since the 90s! I’m still in the middle of the book but I grew up on Judy Blume and man, she is just such a fantastic storyteller. Her greatest strength is writing characters that are completely real and completely likable. The premise is about 3 plane crashes in the span of a couple months in this little New Jersey town (the plane crashes actually happened while Judy Blume was growing up there!), which is kind of scary, but the book is mainly about the people of the town and how they are impacted by the fear and loss, and also how everyday life just carries on in the face of tragedy.

Circling the Sun – this one is on deck, and I’m super excited about it because it’s by Paula McLain, the author of The Paris Wife, which I recommend to everybody. That’s pretty much all I know about this book and I’m super excited to read it.


So this talk of enjoying things now in anticipation of the Season of the Baby–which, according to most American parents, will include absolutely no enjoyment of anything ever until the baby is in school–has me thinking about babymoons. Robert and I were going to take one in Palm Springs when we are in California next week but decided against it because we want to use all our LA time seeing friends and family, and also because having a baby is not cheap, so we’d rather save the money, AND because I’m thinking–do we really need a getaway right now, when we don’t even have anything to get away from? Maybe save that money for a trip when the baby is like 6 months old and we’re dying for a break.

I guess we did end up doing a spontaneous babymoon a couple of weeks ago–what was supposed to be a group camping trip at the last minute became just the two of us, and we had a very peaceful weekend of quality time and togetherness in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was nice to just chat and to speculate about what our lives will be like when we add a third person to the mix.

What do you think? Did you go on a babymoon? Are you glad you did? Do you wish you did? Or are they completely silly, like push presents? (Not that I’d mind a push present). Is it even possible to rest or enjoy yourself in anticipation of a time of exhaustion and non-enjoyment? Do you think there’s anything you can really do to truly take advantage of time before the baby comes?

Share your thoughts–I love hearing them!


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