Monday, May 23, 2011

One Good Book

I realize I’m late to this particular party but a couple of weeks ago I read Catherine Newman’s Waiting for Birdy. Is it any surprise that I loved it? As I turned the pages I was simultaneously cursing myself for not having read it much, much earlier (when I was pregnant with Michael would have been a good time) and feeling an odd sadness as I was reading it, that I would never again get to read it for the first time.

I loved everything about that book so much that I happily would have crawled inside and lived in those words.  While I read I wanted to BE Catherine Newman but, perhaps, with less tofu. (I love her writing but she’ll never be a kitchen muse for me, too many beans and nuts for our allergic household.)

Tofu aside, there is a lot to admire in those pages. I especially would have loved to carve out a life in which writing was my job – to earn money doing something I love, something to punctuate the space between laundry loads and bedtime stories, and to do it as well as she has.  Catherine Newman has a way of describing things that makes me recognize and feel my most ordinary and everyday thoughts as though they were remarkable revelations. I was struck, over and over, as I read, thinking, “Yes, that is it exactly!”

As much as I’m sorry I didn’t read this sooner, or when I was in the same position with one child at home and waiting for a second, I don’t think I’d hesitate to offer it to any mother, regardless of the age or number of her children. So if you are one of the probably five or fewer mothers on the planet who has not read Waiting for Birdy please go do so – right now!

P.S. I sprained my ankle AGAIN. I can't even begin to say anything else about that right now.

6 comments:

Swistle said...

I LOVE THAT BOOK.

Liz said...

I haven't read that book yet but now it is officially on my list. And I have to say that you are talented enough to make writing your job and if you decide to dive into books for children or even whimsical little short "stories" that you can frame and hang up in a child's room, I will be the first customer in line. That little "Seuss-ish" ditty that you posted a couple (few?) months ago I adored and would love to have that framed and hanging in a kid's room. *hint hint)

Chris said...

THANK YOU for reminding me that I want to read that book!!! So many times I have thought about it, and of course I then forget to look for it at the library or request it. Hope the ankle gets better soon!

CARRIE said...

One of the 5 right here. Thanks for recommending! I had heard of it numerous times but never got around to reading it.

tracy said...

Oh dear. Sorry about the ankle.

Do you remember loaning me that book when I was pregnant with Martha? You were so sweet to do so, especially considering that you hadn't read it yet. I loved it -- in retrospect, I almost wish I hadn't loved it so much, because I wound up devouring it in a very short period of time, and I think I would have liked to spread it out, think on it more, spent more time with it.

I love you!

Jill said...

wow. that book is not anywhere in any of our library system, which includes Saint Louis, MO. Seriously. Nowhere. Not under Newman, Catherine or Katherine either one. is that weird? i mean STL is a huge city and it's not anywhere in our system? hm...