After a slow start to the reading year, I’ve been doing some major catching up on my “to read” list. Here are a few new books I’ve finished or am working my way through at the moment. As always, the book links earn me a penny or two. Thanks for enabling my book buying habit.
The only book I finished in January was One Thousand Gifts. Every time I finished a chapter, I had to pause for a few days to let it sink in. There was SO MUCH to digest. I mean, grace + gratitude are pretty simple topics, but also so deep. Plus the author writes in prose poetry. It takes some getting used to. Then there were the issues with theology: I don’t subscribe to some of the beliefs she holds, which means I had to adapt some of her “truths” and lessons to align better with my beliefs and values. The book got me working harder mentally + spiritually than I have in a while. I took a lot of notes and will be pondering them for a while.
The Alchemist is one I’ve heard so many people talk about, yet I had literally no idea what it was about before diving in. I finished it in a day and now I get it. I totally understand why people love it. It’s simple and profound and lovely and is now on my “books to buy” wish list.
Half Of a Yellow Sun was slow to start, but once it got going I was completely sucked in . It reminded me again how very little I know of the world’s history. I’d never even heard of Biafra or the war and starvation and massacres that took place in Nigeria in the 1960’s. Reading this one sparked some really great conversations with David about the effects of colonialism, tribalism/nepotism in Africa, and our own white privilege. Lots to think about. I need to read more stories like this, that get me outside myself + my experience and help me develop a wider, more empathetic perspective of the world and humanity. We all do.
Continuing the Game of Thrones saga, I finished A Storm of Swords last week. Don’t judge me. It’s infuriating and everyone keeps dying and I’m totally addicted. For what it’s worth, I’m team on team Dany at the moment. Khaleesi for the win.
David is, at my insistence, reading Essentialism right now. When he finishes, I’ll plow through it so we can discuss. I started reading it last year but, despite being really interested in the premise, I never finished it. Then I checked it out again in December and had to renew it a million times because I never got around to reading it. Finally I just bought the dang book. I know there’s some good stuff in there about setting boundaries and acknowledging our power to choose (and that each choice we make brings certain sacrifices or trade-offs) so I can’t wait to finally get through it. Here’s hoping it helps both of us get our stuff more in order.
Then there’s the kiddos’ books.
I don’t always love reading picture books (mostly because the girls always seem to beg me to read the loooooongest books at the most inconvenient times) but I adore the clever stories and brilliant illustrations. Between a few new ones from Mila’s school’s book fair last fall, a few more from Christmas, and our old favorites, we haven’t browsed the children’s section of the library in ages.
…which is probably best, since Ryan hasn’t quite figured out how to be nice to books. We’ve had to repair several lately. At least he likes looking at them, even if he does sometimes tear the pages.
I had a hunch Mila would appreciate the silly antics of Amelia Bedelia, and I was right. Plus now she understand why people call her that when they first meet her. Virginia Lee Burton can do no wrong, and this collection of her stories is fantastic. I adore The Little House. I’d heard of Mem Fox but somehow had never read anything by her until my sister-in-law sent us Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and Koala Lou. Both are darling. And the collection of “Great Children’s Stories” shown above includes classics like “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” and “Chicken Licken” as well as some I wasn’t familiar with, like “The Straw Ox” and “Little Tuppens.”
Both my girls are fascinated by anatomy and how our bodies work. They have a very simple book about bodies, but I knew they’d enjoy something more in depth. My mom was getting rid of this one so I snagged it. Good call on my part. They pull it out at least once a week to look at different systems and ask questions about skin or eyes or digestion. Mostly it’s been great. It’s only a matter of time, though, till they ask about the private parts on the page about reproduction. So that’ll be fun.
Other favorites lately: Mother Bruce, Frog On a Log, Mirette On the High Wire, Pierre the Maze Detective (this one is SO MUCH FUN!), and my eternal favorite, Green Eggs and Ham. It’s the first real book Mila read all by herself and I am so proud of her.
What are you reading these days?