Moving: Week 7 (A reading list)

July 20, 2009

We survived last week. 4 days of moving trucks, some heavy thunderstorms, one car breaking down on a busy road, one call from the police about a break-in (all turned out fine), 2 days of frantically getting the house ready for renters, realizing that the movers forgot to open one cabinet, and finally turning over the keys to our renters. Needless to say it feels as if we are still exhaling (although poor Adam really hasn't had the chance to do that yet with his crazy work schedule).

And here's the strange thing about last week: in the midst of all that the chaos I read more than I have in weeks. Prior to last week I had been in another reading slump. Everything I picked up just didn't click. I am sure it was my distracted, stressed state. I just couldn't seem to finish anything or get into anything. Until I picked up Unaccustomed Earth. Those tasty chunks of stories sucked me in and offered the perfect escape from the stress. I enjoyed The Namesake, but these stories hit me in an even more profound way. Themes of transition, identity, crossing cultures, relationships (building/maintaining/ending), and just plain humanity are interwoven with a memorable mix of diverse characters. The perfect collection for moving.

I started making this blog list in my head a couple of weeks ago. I was focused on finding books for the kids related to moving. Checked out the library selections and picked our favorites, but then in the past week the list evolved to include what I was also reading. Felt so good to get out of that slump when I least expected it. So here's our list for any and all who might be moving in the near future:

The Berenstein Bears' Moving Day

Annabelle's Big Move
It's Moving Day
Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I mean It!) Going to Move
Piper Reed: Navy Brat
Leon and Bob

In addition to Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth, I have also returned to two of my favorite mystery series. Both good beach/summer reads and as it turns out good for me in this moving state of mind (ie short attention span, craving escape, fun, adventure, and resolution):

Ayelet Waldmen's Mommy-Track Mysteries (also highly recommend her most recent work)

Laura Jow Rowland's Sano Ichiro series.

And one final recommendation: Material World: A Global Family Portrait. Nothing forces you to examine your "stuff" quite as much as moving...sorting through the clutter, dividing it up, packing it and finally watching it loaded up on the trucks. And just as moving gives you a unique glimpse at yourself via your belongings so does Material World. Intimate photos of families around the world with their belongings and images of their daily life. Truly fascinating for all ages.
Dawn said...

So happy that all is going well... with your state of mind. What a wonderful time to get out of a reading slump. Funny that I was just at the library this weekend checking books out thinking that I will not have time for these... as we are moving this weekend and I don't have a box packed! Cross town move is just a wee bit different...
Happy to see that you have made time for yourself in such a stressful time!
We have Material World... it is amazing!
Best in these weeks to come!

Emily said...

Thanks for the book ideas! When do expect to arrive in Sicily? We'll have to meet for coffee once you're settled.

Emily said...

thanks for the book list! i added several to my goodreads list, but am particularly interested in Material World. reminds me a bit of a national geographic article that i always thought was very cool where all a family's belongings that contained plastic were piled outside their house. one of the hardest parts of living abroad for me is not having access to a library...

morninglight mama said...

What a great combo post-- these things certainly go together, and reading can help restore some sanity in such a stressful time!!

Chinazhoumom said...

We are going to miss you so much ! And yes I am soo thinking a trip abroad would be spectacular! So how long to learn the language? Glad the crazyness has calmed down...and soon a new leaf will turn over..I hope the kids do ok - and that you guys find your nitch quickly!

I read the Material World at your house - it is AMAZING - a big reality - Americans have so much stuff!

Anyway travel safe - big hugs and hope to see you soon!
Carol & Kimberly

Lost in Sicily said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful reading list and congrats on such progress on the move as well as getting out of your reading slump!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on surviving and even thriving. Good job!

Jan

Maji said...

Will we still have time to see you before you leave?
We will miss you.
If you have a hard time getting to books in English let us know and we will send them to you.
Madi

Betty Sleeth said...

Good luck in your move to Sicily...I think you are totally ready for new adventures!

Cami said...

I totally agree. Every time I move I wonder why I still have some things, and find things I didn't realize I had. It really makes me look at exactly what I have (like 20 boxes of books) and realize what I really need (like 20 boxes of books). I often read more when I am in high stress/busy situations. Depends on the book! I made a book for my kids when we moved cross country, showing where we lived, and where we were moving. It's called "The Big Move" and it's still a favorite.

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