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What’s New on the Nightstand, Wednesday Edition: “Incantation,” by Alice Hoffman; “The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People,” by Jordan Reid & Erin Williams; “Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life,” by Tzivia Gover

May 24th, 2017

“Incantation,” by Alice Hoffman (Egmont Press, 2006, young adult readers, 173 pages): Estrella DeMadrigal, a young woman living in a small village during the Spanish Inquisition, falls in love, learns her family’s secrets, and tells us her story. This is a gem of a book. I’ve been carrying it around in my backpack for close to a year, reading a chapter or two at a time, feeling like a thief, glimpsing into someone else’s life. Not mine.

“‘We are leaving and that’s that. Never look at other people’s bad fortune,’ my mother said. ‘If you do, it will come back to find you instead of its rightful owner.'”

And my favorite quote from the book:

“You cannot disprove the ridiculous. You cannot argue reasonably with evil.”

And now, on to something really goofy. (How’s that for shifting gears?) Only, for real, there is no way to segue into this next book, cuz it’s nutty mcbuddy. Or, “Funny as hell,” says Amy Morrison, founder of “Pregnant Chicken.”


“The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People,” by Jordan Reid & Erin Williams (Penguin Random House, 2017, $16, 172 pages). It’s very…. “Free to Be, You & Me,” this book. If “Free to Be” mated with “The Joy of Sex,” which I guess it did, in the ’70s, and that’s my generation, and here we are, not running the country, man, because some orange clown is in charge.

You wave at clowns in parades, people, you don’t vote for one and let him run the country.

Where was I going with this?

This book is hysterical and weird and I must say, you should buy it for the pregnant mommies you know or new parents and let them go nuts and have a laugh. Coloring sheets! Puzzles! Mad Libs!

“The Pinterest Nursery,” yes, which makes us realize “that we are wildly inadequate in virtually every area of our existence.”

“some divine secrets about your baby”: astrological info gone somewhat wacky. ie — “Cancers love things that are old. They also love garbage and refuse to throw away anything, including grandmothers, which is nice.”

My favorite: “Welcome to the Land of Being Amazing”

Great book. I’m not even pregnant (I thank God for that, daily) and I still enjoyed it. Mazel tov, new parents. You can do it.

“Joy in Every Moment,” by Tzivia Gover (Storey Publishing, 2015, $12.95, 219 pages): Ahhhhhh… I’ve been loving on this book for about two years now, since it came out. Daily affirmations and a lot more.

It’s divided into sections on joy — all day long, at home, at work, on the go and so on. It’s a sweet book, I’m enjoying it.

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.” — Chinese Proverb

(That’s what I’m saying.)

Bon appetit, babies.


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