Murakami Sale
 
 

Find Books


Read the City


Win Free Books!


PowellsBooks.news


Original Essays | August 20, 2014

Julie Schumacher: IMG Dear Professor Fitger



Saint Paul, August 2014 Dear Professor Fitger, I've been asked to say a few words about you for Powells.com. Having dreamed you up with a ball-point... Continue »
  1. $16.07 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Dear Committee Members

    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138

spacer

Customer Comments

Amy Wachsmuth has commented on (18) products.

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer by Harvey Karp
The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer

Amy Wachsmuth, August 28, 2014

This book helps new parents comfort crying newborns and improve naps and night-time sleep. The advice is particularly relevant for the “fourth trimester” or first three months of life. There is nothing more bewildering than holding a well fed, dry, burped baby that won't stop screaming. There is help, and it is in this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor (Berenstain Bears First Time Chapter Books) by Stan Berenstain
The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor (Berenstain Bears First Time Chapter Books)

Amy Wachsmuth, August 15, 2014

This book helped both my girls through their scared-of-the-doctor phase that set in around the eighteen month mark. It is brilliant simplicity; it walks your child through a check-up and even tackles the scary vaccination issue by quantifying the pain rather than dismissing it.

“‘Will it hurt?’ asked Sister Bear. 'Sure, but not nearly as much as biting your tongue or bumping your shin. There all done.’”

I've read this book to them so many times that not only do I have it memorized, sometimes I can hardly stand to look at it. The doctor book again!? Ug!

Pair this book with a toy doctor kit and act out the story as it unfolds. Then watch as they use their new found understanding of check-ups to perform check-ups on you and their stuffed animals.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor (Berenstain Bears First Time Chapter Books) by Stan Berenstain
The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor (Berenstain Bears First Time Chapter Books)

Amy Wachsmuth, August 15, 2014

This book helped both my girls through their scared-of-the-doctor phase that set in around the eighteen month mark. It is brilliant simplicity; it walks your child through a check-up and even tackles the scary vaccination issue by quantifying the pain rather than dismissing it.

“‘Will it hurt?’ asked Sister Bear. 'Sure, but not nearly as much as biting your tongue or bumping your shin. There all done.’”

I've read this book to them so many times that not only do I have it memorized, sometimes I can hardly stand to look at it. The doctor book��"again!? Ug!

Pair this book with a toy doctor kit and act out the story as it unfolds. Then watch as they use their new found understanding of check-ups to perform check-ups on you and their stuffed animals.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The Lies of Locke Lamora

Amy Wachsmuth, April 16, 2014

If I were to do a one word review for this book it would be: Badass.

Feel free to stop reading now, the rest of this review is basically fluff, but since I have a particular fondness for writing fluffy book reviews I will proceed.

Oh good, you decided to come along.

Synopsis:
Locke Lamora is the leader of a gang of thieves dubbed the Gentleman Bastards. This group of orphaned young men were educated and trained to become masterful thieves by a man called Father Chains. Chains was the Eyeless Priest of Perelandro, the thirteenth of the twelve gods, Lord of the Overlooked. Father Chains was not eyeless.

The city of Camorr was built upon the Elderglass ruins of an alien race, interlaced with canals infested with wolf sharks and other niceties from the Iron Sea. Duke Nicovante reigned over the nobility and lawful citizens, and Capa Vencarlo Barsavi reigned over the lawless. A Secret Peace existed between these two men, the nobility were to be left untouched and Capa Barsavi would be left to manage his gangs--which he did--ruthlessly.

Locke: “So I don’t have to…”

Father Chains: “Obey the Secret Peace? Be a good little pezon? Only for pretend, Locke. Only to keep the wolves from the door. Unless your eyes and ears have been stitched shut with rawhide these past two days, by now you must have realized that I intend you and Calo and Galdo and Sabetha to be nothing less,” Chains confided through a feral grin, “than a fucking ballista bolt right through the heart of Vencarlo’s precious Secret Peace.”


YES!

And this is just the beginning. The first hundred pages ticked by, the next hundred flew, the next three hundred had me up late at night with burning eyes. It found me yelling, “Just a minute!!” as I stole time from Hillsboro to get back to the sultry heat of Camorr. Then in a flash, it was over. I set my book down and said something brilliant like, “That. Was. Aweeesome.”

One Complaint: Alchemy exists in Camorr--and boy does it ever. It is applied to everything. There are alchemical lights, alchemical fruits, alchemical liquor, alchemical drugs, alchemical formaldehyde, alchemical make-up, alchemical toilet paper that removes all poo leaving a scent of roses behind. Just kidding on the last one, but it felt like that.

The rest--golden.

With GRRM like brutality, we lose several favorite characters and favorite villains. I always admire authors who can expend so much effort building characters only to kill them off. It would be like spending months building an incredible sand sculpture, then sending some toddlers to stomp all over it. Then instead of lamenting the lost effort, the artist then goes ahead creates something even better.

The plot gets so tense at times I would audibly sigh with relief when it was over. “Are you O.K.?” I heard more than once. In idle moments, or sometimes not so idle moments, my mind would wander back into the story to figure out where it would go next, or to guess at the fate of a imperiled character.

Backstory is given in small digestible chunks that is relevant to current action in the story. At first the sojourns into backstory was annoying and a little confusing, but either it got better or I got used to it and I started appreciating the context it brought to the story.

Best of all there are more books! Second best of all--this book stands on its own. It did not end in the middle of a story, nor did it, in the last hundred pages, invent a dozen new stories then end… Unlike some other authors I know. (Oh yes, I'm looking at you GRRM and Pat Rothfuss.)

Just kidding, love you guys--beards rule!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber
Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too

Amy Wachsmuth, December 29, 2013

How This Book Works

Siblings Without Rivalry follows a set of parents in group sessions with the instructor/authors. At first, I thought it was a lazy way to write a book; after a short introduction the narrative reads like a dictation of parenting group sessions. It's not, of course, it's a thoughtful distillation of their experiences teaching sibling relationship sessions to many groups of parents. As I read, I found the parents' stories and conversations moving. The parents asked nearly every question that popped into my head, which was accompanied by a satisfying response. It was also comforting to read accounts of other parents making the same mistakes I have, and being just as clueless as I am about what to do.

The following is the outline and an example of the type of advice in that chapter.

Brothers and Sisters Past and Present
This chapter asks parents to record sibling conflicts, and sets expectations for what you can achieve as a parent.
Example: In response to one woman's statement about wanting her kids to be friends, the author replies with her own story, “‘Instead of worrying about the boys becoming friends,’ I explained, ‘I began to think about how to equip them with the attitudes and skills they'd need for all their caring relationships.’” Brilliant.

Not Till the Bad Feelings Come Out
Listening to your child complain about the troll that is their sibling, and acknowledging their feelings, is a very healing process.
“Insisting on good feelings between siblings led to bad feelings. Acknowledging bad feeling between siblings led to good feelings.”
Other emotional skills are important such as, naming feelings, and reflecting back to the child what they are feeling so they know you understand, for example, “You seem to be feeling angry that Gabi took your stick horse without asking.”

Perils of Comparisons
Even if you don't actively compare your kids to one another, “Why can’t you be more like your brother?” The water is murky, for example praising one child within earshot of the other can feel like a put down to the other child.
Another insightful example: when a mother praised one of her child's improvement in math, the other gloated about her even better grade. The mother could have responded by saying, “There's no report card contest going on here… …I want to sit down with each of you individually to…” Then follow through giving each child your full attention and focusing your discuss on that child’s individual progress.

Equal is Less
Personally, I have railed against trying to be fair, and right from the start didn't tolerate, “She has more!” and “I want one too!!” However, just because I didn't tolerate it, didn't stop either child from feeling slighted if I didn't provide duplicates of everything. Now I have some new tools for working with this. I have added, “Everybody gets what she needs. I'm not worried about what anybody else has, if you need more, you can have more,” to my parenting mantras. Or I might say, “Eat what you have first, then if you need more there is plenty here for whomever needs it.” I still don't count and measure, and the girls are more relaxed knowing their needs will be met.
This chapter was also important for answering the, “You love Gabi more!” accusation. Instead of angry rebuttals, I now reply by telling Danielle all the things I love about her, and how much she means to me. I don't mention Gabi at all. She glows. She hasn't said that since I read this book.

Siblings in Roles
How often has, “This is Danielle, my little artist, and this is my monkey climber girl, Gabi” rolled off my tongue? It's so easy to cast kids in roles. I always thought I was praising a strength, but in reality I'm limiting my kids' potential. By labeling Danielle “The Artist”, she thinks that art is the only thing she's good out and resists branching out. Also, it could also limit Gabi's interest in art. Or worse, what if by some freak of talent, Gabi becomes a better artist than Danielle? Then Gabi will have taken Danielle's identity as “The Artist”. I've re-trained myself to introduce them as my daughter, Danielle, and my daughter, Gabrielle. That's it. They get to decide who, and what they are. I also have to guard against other people labeling them; I try to always say, “Yep, she likes to climb, but can do so many other amazing things too, like, color, make funny faces, tell a funny joke… She told me this one the other day…

Out of their earshot, I love to compare and contrast my kids' abilities and personalities. It helps me get a handle on them as individuals.

When Kids Fight
The first piece of advice is to do nothing. Weird, but what a relief! If it escalates, in my house it usually does, then the best thing to do is describe what you see without passing any kind of judgement. Kids are notoriously self centered, making it difficult to understand a sibling's intentions or point of view. Add to that the heat of conflict… Kaboom!
A parent can come into a dispute, hear and reflect each side in a way that both kids can understand, and them let them work out a solution.
Example:
Me: “Wow you guys sound upset.”
Danielle: “Gabi has my favorite necklace, and she's going to break it!”
Me: “You're worried that Gabi will break your necklace. It is really pretty, Gabi must really like it.”
Danielle: *calmer* “Yeah, but it's mine. And she's going to break it.”
Gabi: “No, it's actually MINE!” (It is not, of course, but Danielle has programmed this one into her stock phrases cache.)
Me: “Gabi, that necklace belongs to Danielle. She's worried that it might get broken.”
Gabi: “I want to wear it!”
Me: “Danielle, what can we do here?”
Danielle: “That one is my favorite, but she can wear this other one.”
Gabi: “Thank you, sis-ter.”
This actually happened. REALLY.
When I come in and describe what I see, show respect for Danielle's property rights, she might unlock her position and shift into finding a solution that Gabi will be happy with too. Gabi is a bit little to understand the nuances of what went on, but I also try to coach her by giving her things to say and ways of asking that doesn't trigger Danielle's volatile temperament. It is no small feat, and takes a lot of self-control on my part, because something is usually cooking on the stove, or the phone is ringing, but as I'm teaching them, I'm also learning how to focus and respectfully interact with them.

Making Peace With the Past
One woman spoke of how she was continually compared to her sister in an unfavorable light, and how it still affected her to this day. Through these sessions, she began to realize that these comparisons probably caused some suffering for her sister too, and she decided to call her.
“Then she told me how sorry she was for the pain she must have caused me, and how much it meant to her that I had called, and that if I hadn't, we might have gone to our graves without ever knowing each other. Then I started to cry.”
I endeavor not only to avoid this sort of mistake in raising my girls, I also want them to know what potential they have in each other for a lifelong companion. No one will understand or know the essence of you like a sibling. No one else will witness the trials and triumphs of your formative years from a first hand perspective, one that can actually enhance your understanding of those times. Even your future spouse or children won't be able to know you in that level of unspoken understanding. It's why I psshaaw, whenever my husband tells me how lucky he got to have me… All the people I grew up with know that he is my good luck.

There's nothing I can do to make Gabi and Danielle become friends, nor would I try, but I can avoid deepening the rift between them, and I can give them the building materials they need to bridge the gap between them when they are ready.

I have hope.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



1-5 of 18next
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.