In search of some light 3 a.m. reading

I just finished reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was great, but I don’t think this is really the best stage of my life to really appreciate the beauty of the writing, the complexity of the story, the details, the characters. I’m just too tired these days. Too much of my brain space is taken up with monitoring David’s cheese intake to also keep track of feuds between dwarves and elves. I missed a lot of the story. If you’re an LOTR fan, this will put it into perspective: halfway through “The Return of the King” I asked Tom the difference between Sauron and Saruman.

After LOTR I switched to something a little lighter (it is summer, after all). I read “The Nanny Diaries” in about two weeks and, for the most part, I was able to keep the three main characters straight. Though sometimes I forgot that George was a cat and not a roommate.

After David was born I read nonstop. When you have a newborn you spend a surprising amount of time, several hours a day, sitting down feeding your baby, and I passed a lot of those hours reading.

A friend of mine, who is a mild-mannered adult, recently told me that when her mom was nursing her baby sister, she went to the bathroom and shaved her head. I’m taking that as a realistic warning, so I’m preparing for damage control during the day rather than quiet hours devoted to reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”

However, I also read while I nursed David at night; I read nearly 100 pages each night. It’s depressing to think of being up that much, but aren’t you impressed at the productivity!?

Reading in the middle of the night worked for me; it helped keep me awake and helped keep my mind off the clock. Before this baby gets here I’d like to stock up on some good books, so I’m looking for recommendations. I want to be able to enjoy them, to be able to follow the plot and keep track of the characters even if I’m sleep-deprived and reading at 4 a.m.

I read a range of books while nursing David — Anne of Green Gables, Gone With the Wind, Once a Runner, Blink, the Problem of Pain. Here’s a list of books I read when David was a newborn (I keep track of books using GoodReads).

Have you read anything that’s light, fun, interesting? I like a range of genres, but nothing super complex and nothing sad…especially nothing sad involving kids (my hormones wouldn’t survive it).

Let me know what I should add to my list. But promise you won’t get offended if, unlike David, this baby sleeps through the night before prom, and I spend the nighttime hours sleeping rather than reading.

Eh, a pregnant lady can dream.


  1. Lynsie May 20, 2013

    Have you read Sparkly Green Earings by Melanie Shankle? Very good. Also The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (not incredibly light, but when looking at your list of stuff you read when David was little I think it would fit in with some of those.)

  2. Meredith May 20, 2013

    Les Miserables. Light read? Check. Simple plot line? Check. Nothing sad? Check. Short list of characters? Check.

    Oh wait. Nevermind on all of those. I am 96% of the way through it though!!! I only started BEFORE CHRISTMAS. This has nothing to do with your post, just a chance to share my accomplishment.

    For real if I think of anything I’ll let you know! How in the world did you read 100 pages a night?!? I am pretty sure I was more asleep than she was when she nursed during night – my eyes wouldn’t even stay open!

    • Jenny May 24, 2013

      I was like, “seriously has this girl even heard of Les Mis?” Haha. Fantastic story…but definitely not for the hormonal of heart.

  3. Candace May 20, 2013

    Remember when I finished reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy on the plane ride home from Australia?

  4. Brenda Payne May 20, 2013

    Oh my goodness Amanda. I love your list of books. I’ve read several of the ones you cited and others are on my list of “to read” ( which seems endless). Here are some of my favorites:

    Peace like a River by Leif Enger

    What Alice Forgot by LeAnne (I think) Moriarty

    We are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg

    Lucia,Lucia by Adrianna Trigiani

    The Poisonwood Bible by oh, you know, shoot! Her name slips my mind…very famous

    All the best and God bless you and your family at this “way wonderful” time!!

  5. Lynsie May 20, 2013

    Oh Lucia Lucia is good … well anything by Adrianna Trigiani is awesome. Big Stone Gap series, I feel like though it is more southwestern Va, closer to where I am from, you would still appreciate being from that general region of VA.

  6. Kristie May 21, 2013

    I don’t think my brain can handle anything more complicated than Curious George or Winnie the Pooh, I can barely manage my fb newsfeed at night!!. You could try the Little House series. It’s a whole different perspective reading them as an adult and thinking about it all from the perspective of Ma Ingalls who at one point probably broke her foot helping Pa building their log cabin. My only other recommendation is that you try SLEEPING while you sit up (or better yet, lie down) at night nursing. Ain’t no naps during the day for the mama of two under two.

  7. Jenny May 24, 2013

    Okay, so I know our taste of reading material doesn’t ALWAYS dovetail but I highly recommend “The Mortal Instruments” series by Cassandra Clare. There is also a pre-quell series “The Infernal Devices” that is most excellent. It requires little brain power and is highly engaging. Just a suggestion. 😉


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