What I’ve read: January 2014

One month down, eleven more to go to work through The List.

In order of books read:


einstein never used..

Einstein Never Used Flash Cards – Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff

I saw this book at the library while waiting for the kids to finish something, can’t even remember what it was exactly. It grabbed me because the subtitle of the book is:

How Our Children Really Learn — and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less

Well, a book about letting kids play? Attention fully grabbed. The basis behind the book is that we spend so much of our time/energy/effort into pushing our kids to excel academically – while they’re still in preschool (or toddlers, infants, or even before they’re born). A majority of the book is spent detailing how kids learn through play. Simple play. Not the electronic “educational toys”, but simply blocks, books, or the play kitchen. While we as parents can and should guide and help that process along, there’s really not a lot of “sit down”-structured academic-type work that we need to be doing.

Overall, it was a dry book to read (lots of studies listed and spelled out). But, it was very eye opening at the same time. Well, maybe it was more “confirming” for me than eye opening. I tend to be telling my kids to “go play” a LOT, even before I read this book. It’s led me to a couple of thoughts about how we approach our “preschool”, which I’ll have to write up in another post as it would probably make this one much too long.

3.  (intentionally “out of order”)


Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

I read this one for the Motherhood and Jane Austen Book Club. I had read it last year and, I’ll admit, I was a little “lost”. I didn’t really connect with the story, much less have a clue what was going on. One thing that actually helped this was watching Downton Abbey. I know it’s set about 100 years later, but the culture is essentially the same, and at the very least it helped me to be able to visualize the setting. (I’m a very visual person, if I can see it, I’ll generally understand it, remember it, be able to relate to it, etc…).

The other thing that helped was taking notes. I know, this is supposed to be a “fun” read, but it’s still a piece of literature and taking notes really helped me to be able to process…. everything….

Anyways, super fun to read it through this time. I got a lot more out of it, even while getting odd looks from my hubby for the note-taking 🙂

And, I don’t have this version of the book, although it sure is purty… I mostly read in my all-in-one tome of Jane Austen novels, with a little bit of kindle-reading when I was out and about.

2. and 4.

fairyland 1 fairyland 2

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente

(This is why I listed them out of order, I thought it’d be easier if I did both these books together.) These are books one and two of a (so far) three book series. I’ll be honest, it took me a little while to get into the first book, probably because I was trying to read P&P at the same time. But once I did finally get into it…. What a gem!

I want to go to Faiyland. But I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s one of those places you can only get to if you’re under a certain age. I love the way the author writes. I love the descriptions of things.

Here’s a quote from past the end of book two, while the author is “giving an interview” to one of the characters from Fairyland:

A Book Is A Universe. A Book is it’s own universe and while in it, you must play by their rules more or less. Some of the more modern novels are lenient on this point and have very few policemen to spare… This is also why books along the walls make any place feel different – all those universes, crammed into one spot! Things are bound to shift and warp and hatch schemes.

The books are absolutely full of writing like this. Very literal, very imaginative, very make-you-think kind of books. I also found there were quite a lot of moral truths throughout. A very good thing for young readers. Will definitely keep on the lookout for these books so I can add them permanently to our library.


Dear Mr Knightley.cover

I did an “official” book review for this one. Click the image to go there.


lumen fidei

Another book review book. Click the image to find the review.

And that wraps up the January Readings. Not all of them were on my official list, but what are lists for if they can’t be changed? 🙂

Linking up over at at Housewifespice for What We’re Reading Wednesday


3 thoughts on “What I’ve read: January 2014

    1. To be fair, I should say “Finished” these books in January (two of them I started in December). I really enjoyed the Einstein book it’s a great “excuse” to let the kids play and not do preschool.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      ~Ruth Anne

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