Wednesday, February 3, 2010

{book}worm wednesday

My husband brought home a book by Flannery O'Connor yesterday. This afternoon I read her short, dark, disturbing, but incredibly deep and profound story while my son read Make Way For Ducklings at my side.The irony of this made me think about the variety of books we have lying around; on bedside tables, coffee tables, dining room tables, dresser tops, beds, bedroom floor, kitchen floor, bathroom floor (and yesterday, the bathroom tub)... basically everywhere all the time. I try to clean them up but they just get taken down and spread out all over again. I should be grateful for this, and I am.

Today I had a fitted bed sheet spread over our couch like a tent in order to dry out quicker, and halfway through the morning I realized I had not seen little Ari for some time. As I stopped to listen I could hear the soft, rhythmic rustle of a page turning every few seconds and discovered he was sitting under that little tent, content as a mouse with a pile of books at his side.

I love to hear what other people are reading. Perhaps you do too so with Flannery and the Ducklings in mind, let's get on to the list! Here are a few books we are into these days. Maybe you'll be inspired, or find that our current reads are sitting on your coffee table as well!

what i'm digesting...
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
(delightful book about one family's attempt to eat local for one year. She's informative without boring you, evangelizes without preaching, and basically makes eating out of your own backyard farm look like the best thing you could ever imagine doing with your life)

The Hungry Soul by Leon R. Kass
(I adore the way this man thinks. He moves beyond health benefits or even environmental responsibility to thinking through the way human beings are unique among the animal kingdom and that eating, specifically carries social and personal ramifications... even for the soul!! love it)

The Joyful Christian by C.S. Lewis
(well, it's Lewis and he's talking about joy. What else is there to say? I need this book. Really, it's a collection of short essays covering the whole range of... everything. It's brilliant (imagine me saying that with a cute British accent).

the husband list...
A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O'Connor
(this is the disturbing short story... but apparently her best work on the death/salvation theme. If you're smarter than me you'll be able to read her work and appreciate it at first glance... but for the rest of us you'll want a slew of articles and such to help you think through all the themes and ideas she is playing with)

Jayber Crow by Wendell Barry
(my husband oohs and ahhs over Wendell. He (my husband) is the grandson of farmers from Maine and it runs deep in his blood... which sometimes leads to pining over things his profession doesn't allow for. I think reading Wendell lets him live in that idyllic world for awhile and also makes him think more thoughtfully in this one.)

the kids corner...
Over and Over by Charlotte Zolotow
(a sweet book about the cycle of the year and all it's exciting holidays from the perspective of a questioning little girl. beautifully sweet pictures, and the little girl is a redhead so what's not to love?)

Billy and Blaze by C.W. Anderson
(the whole series about Billy and his horse is wonderful. The pen illustrations are great... my 3.5 year always wants to know why Billy wears pulled up socks with dress shoes, shorts, and a button down the front shirt, so he's getting an introduction into little boy's attire in the mid 1930's! I also love books like this because for kids like mine who don't get a lot of exposure to animals and ranches and farms, they get to learn about bridles and lassos, stables and a horse's diet all while watching a boy be an adventurer!)

Goodnight Moon and Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
(They are classic and true to form my 15 month old is enraptured... as are her older brothers still. They somehow come creeping in and are hanging over my shoulders or scooching in under my elbows before the story is finished.)

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
(I adored this series like every other child when I was a girl and I am sooo excited to be starting it with my boys. I do have more questions this time around though... like WHERE IN THE WORLD IS BABY CARRIE when Ma is doing all her work?? Clearly she did not have legs to climb or crawl, nor lungs to cry or a belly that needed filling. Am I the lamest mom in the world? Ma Ingalls stands apart as an incredible woman of her time.)

keepin' it real (I literally scooped all the books off our coffee table and am giving you the as-is list)
The Complete Book of Running for Women by Claire Kowalchik
(great resource on upping your miles, racing, running workouts, nutrition... and just some motivation if you need it)

Not So Fast Songololo by Niki Daly
(Malusi, a little boy in South Africa goes out on a shopping trip with his Gogo or grandmother. A sweet and unusual story but one ever kid could relate to)

I'm Thankful Each Day by P.K. Hallinan
(great for little, itching, moving toddler readers)

Better Homes and Gardens
(fresh out of a package from home! Love this magazine. I know it's old school and there are better ones like Real Simple and Martha or something out there... but I love the house renovations, cooking ideas, and gardening tips (for that plot of land I pine for)

The Berenstain Bears and The Truth by Stan and Jan Berenstain
(Not your children's literary classic but they are fun in their own way. And how Stan and Jan ever came up with the idea to write an entire series based on their last name is a story I'd like to hear. Were they both on board from the get go? Was Stan as much of a loser as Papa Bear? Somebody write the biography)

Photography for Dummies
If you've seen any of my photos you'll know why I have this book.

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
(she's the daughter of Martin Lloyd-Jones so it has to be good, right? It is. It's incredible. It's the best Kids Bible out there these days. "Every story whispers his name" is the subtitle and she so creatively and in modern-day lingo makes that come alive on every page. It's really great for all ages. The illustrations by Jago (what kind of cool name is that??) are really fun and innovative as well.) A MUST HAVE.

There you have it my friends. Now, if you're not too shy... let me know what YOU'RE reading!!


  1. Hmmm... not too much time to read these days, but I just finished "Don't Make Me Count to Three", a really good book on Biblical, reaching your child's heart, discipline. I also took out "Homemade Home" from the library and when I get a chance I flip through it...

  2. oh, and I forgot to ask you about "The Jesus Storybook Bible" -- I have been looking for a Bible to read with my boys at bedtime. I have heard criticism that the "Jesus Storybook Bible" isn't terribly accurate. What do you think?

  3. hrrm... well, I'm sure there are inaccuracies but none that I stood out to me as out-of-control. It's not word for word anyway, so you're still using it as a platform to talk about the story. I guess I think other little kids Bible's are pretty inaccurate sometimes in their depiction of the flood (cute curvy boat with animals spilling out everywhere) or their moral interpretations of a story that wasn't intended for that purpose. So, in my opinion this one takes the cake. I would say it's not written for toddlers... so my younger ones just like looking at the pictures (and maybe listening to my voice!) but my eldest and even Ari (at 3) really get into it. thanks for replying Linds:)

  4. I am sporadically reading, but enjoying every moment, of East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Oh my this book is Steinbeck to the max. His ability to spend 120 of character development and never lose his audience (me and apparently Whoopi Goldberg)is unmatched. I am only 2/3 of the way through and already dreading the final pages. I dont want it to end yet I want to know the ending. . . huh. He is one of my favorite authors and this project has only solidified his predominate role of "Master Writer" in my mind. If you have a moment, or many many moments, take up the challenge; you will not be disappointed.

  5. Oh yeah, this challenge also reminded me of you reading 15 different books at once while we were there. "What are you reading now?" - does that bring you back:)

    And I meant to say "120 pages":)

  6. After inspiration from you and few others, I am reading Animal Vegetable Miracle and trying to wait patiently for my new home so that I too can have a great garden. I can already invision my new pantry with all my freshly canned goods from my own garden.

  7. Just finished reading Animal Vegetable Miracle (per your suggestion) and would have just said "I really liked it" But you verbalized quite well WHY I liked it. And I'm thinking about making homemade pizza on Friday nights.

    My book group just read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. A NYT bestseller. Fiction, about a young girl living in Nazi Germany. They all thought it was a great book. Not me. To be honest I thought it was a waste of time. But it did lead me to re-read he Diary of Anne Frank. Her ability (at age 13-15) to understand and express herself is truely incredibly amazing!

    Before that I read The Gurnsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Society. Epistilary historical fiction, once I got all the characters straight I didn't want to put it down and read it in a day. Not real "heavy"...just simply enjoyable. A delightful worthwhile read.

    Just what I needed after (re)reading Les Miserables...a powerful story. And then listened to Rosie's discussion of the book (check out and the book group). As always, she had some very interesting things to say in light of all the current talk on Social Justice. Actually quite gutsy! Thinking Christianly (vs sentimentally).

    Currently rereading Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret for the ???th time. Regularly needed reminders, examples, perspective and focus!

    Also on my table...Philosophy of a Christian Worldview, Introduction to Logic and Come Let us Reason...the ever wannabe student in me!

    But the best book of all, that I've been reading (and studying with others)over the past few months is the Gospel according to John. Beautiful Savior...Glorious Lord Jesus!

  8. If Wendell Berry is your taste, you should check out Sex,Economy,Freedom & Community...this is a collection of mind blowing essays that every thoughtful Christian should read.

  9. Funny you should mention it; we just picked it up in our latest Berry Buys this past fall!

  10. oh yes, can't do without goodnight moon!

    Myself I am reading mostly dutch books with my girl.
    Just wanted to say I liked finding your blog and reading some!