Showing posts with label recommended reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recommended reading. Show all posts

reading lately. {july - august}


I'm late! September is upon me and I haven't had a book update.

(from l-r)

boy's life: a (book club) book filled with imagination, adventure, and mystery telling the story of a boy's coming of age in the 60s.

bringing up bebe: an American mother's tale of French parenting. several pieces of advice from this book will come in handy! others were taken with a grain of salt. a little more crass than the other french parenting book...

french kids eat everything: an in-depth look on why French kids are so not picky compared to their American counterparts. very, very interesting. we are practicing cutting out snacks as much as possible in order to maximize meal-eating because of this book!

the walk (series): the first four books of the walk series are very easy-to-read, friendly, but also thought provoking. a man sets out on a journey to walk across America. each book tells a section of his story. now I wait for the next book to be released!

too loud, too bright, too fast, too tight: an interesting book about the sensitivities to surroundings some people have. after reading the first few chapters i realized this wasn't as relevant as i thought it might be to myself, but gave me insight on other people. skimmed the rest of the book.

bags: interested in sewing a new purse or bag? i checked this book out at the library and the patterns are complete! a bunch of fun bag ideas in this book. gifts? cute bag for yourself? :-)

more to come for September! thanks for reading on, friends!

recent reads - American Wasteland


In honor of Earth Day this past Monday ...

I'm usually one to fly through a book in a day or two, but this one took at least a week. It's full of good info, but chock full of stats and information, it's a bit sluggish.

However, I'm glad I read it and have taken several things from it.

First, I am more aware of my waste - even though I have been careful, there are some things I've just been lazy about. It's nice to have a heightened awareness without feeling guilty. Creating a "game" out of using up leftovers or making new creations (heard of "ketchup soup" from the Depression era?) is motivating to me. 

Second, I feel more willing to ask for things that might go wasted (heard of reclaiming food before??).

And finally, he includes intriguing research on anaerobic digesters - machines that actually "digest" food waste and provide natural gas to live (cook/heat) on! How cool is that!?

Have a great weekend!

Reading about Food.


Lately, I've run across some resources for clean/organic/local/better eating and after our CSA experience last year, I've kept my eyes peeled for different ways of eating. Because, truly, something has to change

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser provided an in-depth look into the "dark side" of American fast food from its history to its modern day practices. Overall an informative (and yucky) read on fast food - something that I wasn't overly interested in eating in the first place.


Many, many of these types of books are very negative toward food, corporations, mass production, etc and understandably so! There is some junk going on in the industry that is controlled by only a very few and will probably not change. However, in presenting the same information, Barbara Kingsolver shared her family's year long eating experience in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and put a completely positive spin on it. I loved that! It was a long read, but well worth it.


Finally, The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan was also a very long but informative read about the author's journey through attaining four (very different) meals in the USA. First, fast food, then a supermarket organic meal, a completely local meal from Polyface Farm and finally a hunted and gathered meal. I have to admit that he pretty much lost my interest at the end with the hunting/gathering so I didn't actually read the last section of the book, however I read what I wanted to. This opened my eyes to the corporate organic companies and takeovers and solidified that local is probably the best. Currently, we're looking for the best organic/local/grassfed meat options for our limited budget ( I'll let you know who we find!

I'm looking forward to reading Pollan's follow up called In Defense of Food.


We're watching documentaries including Food, Inc., Tapped, Fresh and King Corn.

And I just came across another web resource for Clean Eating (Thanks Jess!). While I was disappointed at the misnomer ("clean" really only means less processed foods rather than truly organic foods) it was a great resource for substitutes and less processed food items in every day places. A great first step for people trying to eat better. 

Reading lately...


I've been reading ... and already have another book post forming in my mind, so I'd better get this one off.

Have you heard of or read In the Presence of My Enemies? It was free on Kindle so I got it awhile ago and just read through it lately. It literally made my heart stop. (When it got going again, all I could do was cry! And not many books make me cry.)

After my experience in Haiti, the story of Gracia and Martin's kidnapping was a very vivid picture in my mind. (Kidnappings/unrest have been a fairly regular thing in Haiti.) The very powerful story of their struggles during the year in captivity were all presented in such a real way - these were just people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Both struggled very deeply with bad feelings toward their captors (of course, who wouldn't!?) and it was such an amazing story of faith.

*On the flip side of Haiti, reading  this beautiful post and "room for one more", here.

I've heard tons about The Happiness Project and decided to see what the buzz was all about for myself. I love Gretchen Rubin's easy-to-read, humorous writing style and she made some really great points in this book. Overall a quick, yet thought-provoking, read.


Finally, another free Kindle book, The Rose Hotel. I'm not very familiar with Iranian culture, but the writing of this "true life novel" helped normalize Middle Eastern culture for me. It is a story of a girl and a tragedy in her family. It is a powerful story, yet no earth shattering endings. Another real life story from a different voice than I'm used to reading.

That's all for now! Share anything you've read lately and recommend in the comments - I'll see if I can pick it up!

Books I've Read Lately - 4/24/12


I've been reading some lately. Most of my books are either free Kindle books or recommendations from others that I reserve at the library. This, my friends, is reading on the cheap. There is no way on this earth that I could afford reading books that weren't free, nor would I want to store books that I bought and only read once.

Free is so much more worth waiting for - even if it's a couple of months through a library hold. Of course, you do come across duds that come here and there - especially free downloads. Some of these I simply delete from my Kindle or skim through and decide, "Well, I guess that's what I get for reading free."

But every once in awhile I read a good one.

Promise Me This
**Still free if you go and download it to your Kindle!

Promise Me This is a Christian novel - most Christian stories are either too predictable, too corny or just have bad theology for me to enjoy - but this one was actually pretty good. It wasn't a super intelligent read (these days I pretty much just need a "get-away" read) but it was good. Told the story of a gardening family affected by the sinking of the Titanic, a journey of love and forgiveness, with a bit of war-time romance. I though at first it might be predictable, but in the end it kept me guessing.

If you want a "get-away" read with some history and romance and a decent story line, this is a good one.

The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers is a really good read, too. I got it as a recommend from my friend, Jess, and loved it. It's the story of a foster child, Victoria, who learns the meaning of family and love through the language of flowers. It was a simple read, but at the end, I cried. (And I don't cry much when I read, so that was a good sign.) I was definitely attached to the characters. Highly recommend.

The Hunger Games

And, in true reading-fad style, I finally got my reserved copy of The Hunger Games from the library this month. I read it in a day. Once you get used to the slightly strange first-person voice, the rest is a pretty easy read.

I only had one hang-up -- believing the post-apocalyptic setting of the USA. If it would've been Europe, Asia, anywhere but here, I think I could've believed the story a bit more. For some reason, the location being here in the States threw me a little bit. However, by the end I was chomping at the bit to read the second book in the trilogy. Unfortunately, I am number 420 on 81 copies, so by the end of the summer, I may have read book 2.

That's all for now!