June 2010 home page

  Kit’s Picks
Sherryl L. Parks | Kalamath Drive


Kit Wells.  Photo Caitlin Weil

The Sandpiper editors asked representatives from local book clubs to suggest some good books to read over the summer months. Kit Wells provided us with so many interesting and varied selections we decided to highlight her picks this month.
Kit’s book club is called the Del Mar Gals Book Club. It is made up of thirteen moms who have children ranging in age from five to fifteen.

The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine is a scientific exploration of the changes in the female brain from utero through and beyond menopause. It’s fascinating to explore the effects of estrogen and progesterone on the teenage female brain (they truly ARE crazy) and sobering to understand how the loss of estrogen and progesterone hinder the menopausal brain. My favorite fact: Up until eight weeks, every brain is female. In males, just after eight weeks, a huge testosterone surge hits and kills off cells in the communication center of the brain, and grows more cells in the sex and aggression centers. So ... I guess that means my husband is off the hook.

Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy is the nonfiction account of a mom who let her nine-year-old son take the subway home alone in NYC, and received a lot of criticism. This book is the extension of the blog she started to commiserate with other anti-helicopter parents. She debunks a lot of urban myths. For example between 1996 and 1999, four children per year drowned in toilets, not two a week as one professional baby-proofer once asserted on the CBS Early Show. Additionally the author suggests perhaps we should give our children more opportunity to enjoy some privacy and practice their own, much-needed in adulthood, good judgment when the chances of their being abducted and murdered by a stranger in the United States are 1 in 1.5 million. Skenazy tackles all of these issues with humor that is sound and never unkind to those who might disagree with her.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer is an utterly charming fictionalized account of the occupation of the Channel Islands by the Germans during World War II. The book centers on the correspondence between a London writer and the inhabitants of the island whose stories she hopes to tell. The book at first reads as a fluffy, funny, but superficial “he said / she said.” But as trust between the writer and her prospective subjects grows, so too do realizations about the brutality of the Nazi occupation and the perseverance of the human spirit.
Next month we will offer more reading suggestions from a different book club in town.



© 2007-2015 Del Mar Community Alliance, Inc.  All rights reserved.