Off Duty Mom

Thoughts from an exhausted mom who is NEVER really "off duty"

Shakespeare in the bathroom

If you are a parent of a child under age 8 and  you have read a book in the last year, please tell me two things:

1.  What was the book?

2.  How the fuck did you find time to read a book?

I never was very bookish as a kid.  I actually hated reading for a large portion of my life.  And, yet I became an English major in college.  Go figure.  I am a fabulous mystery.

Nevertheless, as an adult, and ever since The DaVinci Code (the book, not the movie.  The movie suuuuuucked), I have been on a quest for the ultimate page-turner.  And, by “quest,” nowadays I, of course, mean “wishful thinking that I might get ten uninterrupted minutes to read a good book.

Not Fifty Shades of Grey.  A GOOD book.

So, I am looking for suggestions so when I sneak a few minutes in the bathroom every now and again, I can fumble my way through a page or two of literature.  And, by the way, tell NO ONE of my bathroom secret.  No one has to poop that much, people.  Come on.  I am just trying to get some peace and quiet.  Some day, I fear they will catch on…

And, I should have you know that I am a total book snob.  Please do not recommend I sink my teeth into some bodice-ripper or junk novel written by a stay-at-home-mom.  No disrespect to SAHMs.  I am sure many of you are very literate.  But, I am looking for something to hang in there with my loves of Hamlet and Native Son.  I don’t mean to imply that working moms could fill this void, either.  AUTHORS of merit can do it for me, though.  Classics.  Enduring craftsmanship.  Art.  Well-themed wordsmithery.

So, suggest away, friends.  I am all ears.  Until I have to make dinner.  And by “dinner,” I, of course, mean “an order to the local Chinese takeout place.”

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17 thoughts on “Shakespeare in the bathroom

  1. I read “Of Human Bondage” by W. Somerset Maugham this time last year. It’s a wonderful novel. I picked it up mainly because the main character went into medicine but it’s his journey to find love that really got my attention.

  2. I read in bed at the end of the night. Also, now that my kids are 2 & 4, they actually play together without needing my constant intervention for 10’s of minutes at a time.

    • My kids are 4 and 1. I still can’t get peace, though.

      End of the night sounds good, but that is quality time with the hubby for me! And I wake up at 5:00 every morning so there isn’t much “evening” in my world! I try to go to bed by 9:30.

      Ugh.

      • We found that 2.5 years was the magic age where our youngest could play with her big brother and we could get some peace. You’re almost there!

        Ugh 5am! I guess I shouldn’t complain about our usual 6:15 mornings.

      • Yeah. 5 AM sucks. Big time. But, two-and-a-half is within reach for us. I think I can…I think I can…

  3. I commute by bus, so that’s my reading time. Right now I’m reading “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese. I’ve loved his nonfiction, and I am also enjoying his first novel.

  4. I read for an hour at the end of every night. It’s non-negotiable for me. If I don’t read before I go to bed, I go insane. End of story. I know it’s silly to be so militant about it, but it’s the literally the only way to turn off my brain and relax after the day.
    Have you read “Gone Girls” by Gillian Flynn? It’s become super popular. It’s kind of a literary thriller/mystery. But it’s really about the most dysfunctional marriage ever.

  5. I meant, “Gone Girl” (not plural)…

  6. workingmommawithababy on said:

    “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “As I Lay Dying,” “The Poisonwood Bible,” “The History of Love,” and “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”. I’m attempting to read a non-fiction book right now called “The Other Wes Moore” and so far that one is good, too. I read on lunch breaks at work sometimes or when my husband works out or when he wants to watch a movie that I’m not into. 🙂 Good luck! Reading withdrawals suck.

    • “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Poisonwood Bible” are two favorites of mine. I read the latter before having children, though, and I think that now I would find that one escape scene particularly difficult to read. I used to teach Advanced Placement English at a high school and I found those two books through teaching that course.

      I have heard wonderful things about “The Other Wes Moore.” He spoke locally here recently, too, but I didn’t get a chance to see him. I know others who have read it, though and have praised it.

      Good suggestions!

  7. I am afraid I am a fantasy reader, which is not normally classified as being on a par with Shakespeare, so I won’t bother recommending my favourites. But as for time, I go through a week or so where every evening I lie down to read, after the kids are in bed. Then when the husband starts to look a bit grumpy about being neglected, he gets attention instead. It’s impossible to make everyone happy, so occasionally I make me happy.

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