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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

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Suggested Reading #1

Here's a new regular feature! I read a shit-ton of books, so why not, I asked myself, share the ones I like? Why not?

This week I read more than usual because of my brain's decision to keep me from falling asleep. Thanks a lot, brain. I don't think these choices helped me, particularly. In the future, I need to choose more boring books. Which I will then not recommend to you. Unless you are also suffering from insomnia. I think that's going to have to be a different feature, however. This is getting really confusing. Or is it just my sleep deprivation?

Lovely. The moment I finished I wanted to re-read. It was 4 am. I decided to hold off for another day.

Sarah Silverman loves doodies and farts, and I love her.

Yes. Not as good as The Magicians, but still damn satisfying. You read The Magicians, right?

Reaffirming my decision to never ever climb anything higher than a few flights of stairs.

Aaand now I'm all out of books to read. So. What are you reading? Gimme. Ideas, that is. You don't need to send me books.

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Reader Comments (57)

New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani, translated by Judith Landry

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranon

I second The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. Wonderful read.

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

The Magicians looks fantastic. I love the reviews that strongly deny that it is a fantasy book. Going on my to-read list.

I'm reading Blue Nights by Didion. This is probably not a wise choice considering its subject is the death of her daughter and I have a daughter and I just pulled myself out of a whee bit of a depressed slump. So I read it only while I ride the exercise bike. Who can be sad when riding a bike? Me, apparently. I cried within the first 20 pages. Didion is so very, very good. I recommend everything she's ever written to everyone. (It's probably really annoying to do that.)

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTana

I am with Daddy Scratches on the Millennium Trilogy. LOVE. Of course, I don't get to read nearly as much fiction as I like, so maybe I was just excited to be reading a good mystery trilogy. (I read *way* too many parenting books trying to figure out my 9 year old son and seeing if, you know, parenting- am I doing it wrong. )

Right now I am reading and enjoying Joan Didion's Blue Nights. Her writing is so lovely.

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHolly

Liked the Magicians (it's going to be a TV series apparently) but really loved The Scorpio Races (actually had to hide it so that I could get work done instead of reading it all in a single sitting). Also enjoyed The Passage by Justin Cronin. Since zombies are all the rage (ha! ahem, sorry) I highly recommend Feed by Mira Grant which is about zombies and bloggers! And last but not least for family reading out loud (or to yourself) everyone needs to read The Very Particular Gappers of Fripp by George Sanders. All you need to know is that it is a McSweeneys publication and it is awesome.

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrosebengal

So many books so many to put on my to read Goodreads list. Also forgot how much unloved The Night Circus thanks for the reminder! And Joan Didion! How coukd I have not mentioned her? I came to her canon late, reading My Year of Magical Thinking and then Blue Nights. Such beautiful writing in both these books.
Liza I also read and "liked" Sense of an Ending but it was one of those curious books that I thought more about long after I read it. Curious about your theory.

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

So many good titles to add to my Goodreads list! Some well-written, engrossing books I've read recently include: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (life-changing), The Good Mother by Sue Miller, both Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk (I could not put either one down), and Plainsong by Kent Haruf (I actually read this about 10 years ago and it was wonderful).

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMariya

I really loved the Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.
Also, The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I usually don't like this genre, a vampire meets witch forbidden romance type tome, but I did get into the characters and history and plot.

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrancesca

What I want to know is...what exactly is a shit ton of books. Cause I read a lot of books, but have yet to figure out whether I read a crap ton of books or a shit ton. Perhaps a big ass bunch. Seriously. I want to find out how much the voracious readers out there are reading, so see if I'm really in the club...

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

At Home by Bill Bryson
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Them by Jon Ronson
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Ooh and a food blog called How Sweet it Is
The Bryson book is really good but intense... I dont know if it's the material or something about using a Kindle but I can only manage a few pages and then I fall asleep.
Err and if you want something that takes zero brain power but is fun the Riley Jensen series by Keri Arthur is great. Very... Ahem... Adult. But a good plot.

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTink

Who puts chocolate frosting on lemon cake? urk.

2 years before the mast (richard henry dana)

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermic

I have read two great books so far this year, though neither are new and you may have already read them:
1) A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore (about a midwestern college girl in the post 9/11 world; some amazing images and a very satisfying ending)

2) When the Killngs Done by TC Boyle (not the best TC Boyle novel, but a *very* good novel, especially if you like literary novels)

...also read...

Turn of Mind by Alice La Plante last year, which is a lovely, literary mystery-thriller in which the narrator has Alzheimer's and is totally unreliable.

If you can fancy easy-reading juvenile fiction, I can recommend When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

(btw, based on my own experiences, none of these titles will trigger PTSD or insomnia.)

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYolanda

Sorry, I don't have any book suggestions. I was wondering if you've ever taken melatonin for your insomnia? A friend suggested it to me for my sleep deprived (and sleep depriving) six-year old however I haven't talked to his pediatrician yet. Anyway, I was just wondering if you have and what your thoughts on it were.
Thanks for the book suggestions!

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

This is so timely! I was just hunting for book suggestions for my new book club. I just finished 1Q84, which I would recommend for sheer bizarreness and also for it's sleep-inducing qualities. It's interesting, but not in the kind of way that keeps you up turning pages.

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDani

just started reading Reamde be Neal Stephenson. The Hunger Games series were the last really good books I read

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRC

Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky.

Hey Liza, I received the Julian Barnes book for xmas. Currently reading Loose Diamonds by Amy Ephron, but will crack open JB's next.

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlori

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks= mind-blowing and educational all wrapped up into one!

Don't Let's go to the Dogs Tonight = (terrible title, but...) similar premise to the Poisonwood Bible but slightly more awesome

The new Euginedes was a nice read. (Middlesex was better)

I am the only person in the universe who thinks Freedom was overrated and I think the Dragon Tattoo series books are kind of cheese.

BUT- that's just me, and I set high expectations for everything that is hyped by the media and tend to be disappointed.

January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

A couple of books by fellow Brooklynites I am enjoying: Siri Hustvedt's "Summer without Men" is just extraordinary. Interesting story and luminous, precise language. You read a sentence and go "Damn I wish I'd written that sentence, it's PERFECT." (Also wondering how the author is coping with everyone walking around whispering her name into their new iPhones?)

And then there's Colson Whitehead's "Zone One", a deeply enjoyable, intellectual zombie story. I met Colson years ago at Sundance. He's a really interesting guy. But you probably knew that.

Also I'm sure you've already read Roseanne Cash's memoir "Composed" - yes? If not - what are you waiting for? (And although she's not a Brooklynite herself - lives in Chelsea - she's a friend of Colson's, so close enough.)

I'm writing this, of course, during a bout of (peri-menopausal) insomnia myself - so salud!

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVarda (SquashedMom)

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn is genius because as the book goes on, he stops using letters of the alphabet, one by one.
Here's the description from Amazon:
"Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal pangram,* ?The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.? Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island?s Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel."

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShosh

I don't read fiction hardly at all, so my recommendations may be a little different. My favorites from last year: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, The Other Wes Moore (by Wes Moore, of course), Just Kids by Patti Smith, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man by Bill Clegg, Area Code 212 by Tama Janowitz, Absolutely American by Dave Lipsky, The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens (saw him on Colbert so I bought the book, very good), and anything by Peter Hessler.

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPe

Tracy, you are correct about Freedom. CORRECT.

Pe, Just Kids was amazing. I'm going to check out some of your others. Thanks! And thanks, everyone! My list is getting longer by the minute.

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

Indeed all hail Bill Bryson - even better is to LISTEN to him reading his own work - he veers wildly between midwestern and British pronunciations, which charms me no end. Currently, I'm in the middle of his At Home: A Short History of Private Life. Educational AND Entertaining!

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMairsydoats

I've got some not new books to suggest that are wonderful. The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead (a nearly perfect book about crazy people). Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks (sad, brilliant and funny). Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks (a beautifully wrought historical read).

Could not get into the Dragon Tattoo books either...

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdf

One more thing Alice - did you notice the ad on your site about "Insomnia - 7 Mistakes"?

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdf

I'm about to start Rules of Civility, as someone else mentioned. Other than that, I've read a shit-ton of books last year....but sadly the only series of books I can remember were of the addictive/crap genre, and I'm too embarrassed to speak the name aloud. (The books were optioned this summer, so expect crap to visit a big screen near you in 2013. Personally, I can't wait.)

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJules

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