All about reading {7QT #27}

seven-quick-takes-friday-2

I have been meaning to write a “What I Read in ____________” post for, um, three months? Or at least two. So, quick version of what I’ve read “recently”

{Full disclaimer: I started this post a week ago…}

Linking with Kelly, etc.. for Quick Takes.

Before I start if I could just ask for prayers for my grandpa who is has begun his final journey here on earth. And also for my grandmother and peace for both of them. As well as for the family thats traveling to be with them during this time.

It seems there are many things to pray for this evening. A few family members live in France, a little outside of Paris, I haven’t heard anything from them one way or another.. continuing to pray for all.

And, on a slightly happier note, we’ll be finding out Baby #5’s gender tomorrow so if you want to guess, place them in the comments ūüôā Also prayers that all would be well are also appreciated.

Now, what I’ve read.

~1~
Outlander series… by Diana Galbadon

Dragonfly in Amber (book 2) and Voyager (book 3)

I mentioned in the last one of these posts I made that I really loved the Outlander book (first of the series). Probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve really enjoyed them so far. I am taking a little break from them for the moment because I can only read about two or three books of a series before I just need a change of pace. So I’ll probably pick the series back up in the new year.

~2~
Fluffy Summer Reads:

*Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
I finished this book right at the beginning of July and I’m pretty sure my pregnancy brain erased any deep thoughts I had about this book (which may not have been there in the first place). But, needless, I enjoyed it. It’s a story about love (obviously), just not quite in the way you’d expect.

*The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
I’m pretty sure this gets classified as “fan fiction”. And while I’m not normally one to jump onto the “All Things¬†Royal Family” bandwagon (nothing against them, I’m just not crazy into it), this was a fun read. Kinda fairy tale-esque but not too-too sappy, which I tend to enjoy ūüôā

~3~
Nonfiction:

*Teaching in Your Tiara by Rebecca Frech
I enjoyed this quick read about homeschooling. It’s set up in a super easy Q&A format and I think I finished in within two days. It would be really helpful for those considering homeschooling, but also it has a lot of great things for those that are already homeschooling…. like a way to refocus.

*The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith
I forget where I first heard about this book, but I’m glad I decided to pick it up. It’s all about making your home beautiful and being content, using especially those items you already have. It’s not quite a “how-to” but more of “here’s an idea” kind of book. It’s pretty much not overly religious, however she summarizes at the end with:
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need.” (Ps 23:1)
This struck me as so powerful. I’ve always taken that verse to imply that we have everything we physically need to survive (food, clothes, etc..), but I had never really considered it as applying to the “extras”. I think in this book she really does a good job of saying the extras, while, no, not absolutely necessary to survival are, or can be, a way to make a home a happy place and ultimately point towards God.

~4~
Memoirs

For both of these books, it was pretty much the same thing for me. I really just love reading other people’s memoirs. I may get a few good quotes our of the book (My Life in France) or I may just be too absorbed in the story of their life to remember to write anything down (Something Other Than God). Either way, I really enjoy seeing life through other people’s eyes.

*My Life in France by Julia Child

*Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler
Side note story about this one: I brought the book home from the library and set it on the window sill (something “urgent” came up so I took care of ¬†it). Katherine saw the book laying there a little while later and asked what it was called.. (I told her)…
She then replied:¬†But, there’s nothing other than God.
Me:…..ummm… yeah…?

 ~5~
Love Rebel: Reclaiming Motherhood (Multiple authors) Edited by Roberta Cottam
This was a short little review book I read. And let me just say it was so great. It’s a collection of essays, stories and a few poems and felt like just being wrapped in a cozy blanket. It brought a feeling of camaraderie in a very gentle loving way. Very enjoyable.

~6~
Reread:


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
 by J.K. Rowling

I’ve been wanting to reread the series forever. But once I listened to this podcast by Fountains of Carrots I actually picked up the book and started reading. Plan to reread the series over the next few months!!

~7~
Didn’t care for:

* The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand
This was totally a fluffy summer read. And while there wasn’t anything totally wrong with it, I just didn’t really like it too much. Maybe its because I¬†listened on audio book (which I’m finding doesn’t always work out¬†well for me). Or, maybe it’s because an address was referenced for here in RI that was just completely off, which made me feel that not enough research was done, which made me start questioning the realistic-ness of other aspects¬†of the book. Too picky? Maybe.
~
*
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
I just didn’t get this book. I tried. But I just didn’t get it. I heard somewhere it’s probably best to read this with a book club to discuss all the stuff that comes up. But…. I read it on my own and just… nada.

 

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What I Read: May 2015

What I read may 2015

Time for another edition of “What I Read: last month”.

I finally downloaded and printed Modern Mrs Darcy’s¬†reading journal (details here) and I have LOVED using it. I had a¬†few other¬†journals which I was using, but they weren’t working out the greatest, and this one is … SO nice! Mine did format a little weird, but, it’s still usable so it doesn’t bother me too much. ūüôā

What I read

Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall

Wrote a review for this book. In a nutshell, if you like desserts, check it out!

~

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

A futuristic spin on a classic fairy tale. Loved It! Yes, I guessed what would happen by about one-third of the way into the book. Cinder, the cyborg mechanic falls in love with Prince Kai (but she doesn’t fully realize it) In the process of running away from her “evil stepmother” she discovers valuable info that could possibly save Kai and the Commonwealth, if she only makes the right decisions…!

~

Belles on Their Toes by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

The sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen,¬†the story picks up just after the death of Mr Gilbreth (Father), and continues on the family’s adventures. It follows how they lived, and how they made do with their circumstances as they were, but mostly how they relied on each other. I laughed and cried.

~

Minimize the Mess by Rachel Kratz

I was really excited to get my copy of this book! It’s short, sweet and to the point. And filled to the brim with solid tips to get started on the decluttering process. I also really love how she ties in little aspects of the Catholic faith throughout!

{And I love Rachel’s blog, so if you have some time head over and check it out!}

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And that’s what I have for May. Not nearly as much as last month, and I didn’t actually complete a lengthy book with the kids, but, we’re working on it for this month!

I know people are putting out their summer reading lists left and right, but I don’t think I can make a full summer list at the moment. Pretty much the rest of this month is all I can manage. It’s short enough that I can actually finish the books that I decide to read and not get overwhelmed. Plus that leaves me free to choose whatever I want next month (and the¬†next¬†month) based on what I’m feeling like at the time.

So….

For the rest of June this is what I have lined up:

*Finish: Story of A Soul (need to return to the church library before we leave in July)
*Finish: Dragonfly in Amber (started, but put on hold to read all the library books that came in in May and that I’m trying to finish up – see above and below)
*Finish: Gaudy Night (due back at the library in two days, will probably have to renew – I like mysteries once they get into the thick of it, but getting their always has a hard time keeping my interest, and therefore has me dragging my feet to pick up and read)
*Read: Simply Ancient Grains (for a book review – also before we leave in July)
*Read: Backlands (currently on hold at the library, hoping it makes it here in time for me to read and return before we leave).

What I read: April 2015

what I read april 2015.jpg

Already May. Wow.

Ok.

~Outlaner by Diana Gabaldon~
Love me an epically long, full of detail, love story. ūüôā Set in Scottish highlands in the mid-late 1700s, follows the story of Claire and Jamie… What I especially liked about this book is, yeah, it’s a love story, but it’s real. Not in the sense that this story is historical fact (it’s not), but in the sense that it really portrayed a true love. There are lots of sappy romances out there, but this isn’t sappy.

~Capture the Moment~
Review is here. Photography book with many great ideas for improving your “daily life” photography skills.

~Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism by Scott and Kimberly Hahn~
On my 2014 reading list. This is another conversion story. And I’m pretty sure I mentioned last month that I kinda love these :). This was no exception. I thought at first that it was going to just be a “book form” of “the Tape” that he made to share his conversion, and that was there, but this went so much deeper than that. I especially loved being able to hear¬†Kimberly’s side of the story.

~Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery~
So, so sad to hear that Jonathan Crombie (Gilbert Blythe) passed last month. So since this book was started a while back, I just kinda picked it up after hearing the news and didn’t put it down until I finished.
(Also on my 2014 reading list)

~A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot~
This was an excellent book. It does primarily cover ordering your daily life, but it’s more than just “another schedule”. I think it really delves into the heart of the matter which sees motherhood as a vocation. As that vocation being where you and God meet. I’m still pondering my way through a lot of the book. There’s a FB group (link here) devoted to discussing it chapter by chapter. First discussion is tomorrow evening, but I’m sure you’d be able to jump in anytime.
(Also on my 2014 list)

~ A Homemade Life -Molly Wizenberg~
I picked this up because of the reference to France, etc… but I didn’t really feel like there was¬†that¬†huge of a connection to¬†France. However, this was a great foodie memoir to read. And I was really disappointed to return the book to the library. I have found myself multiple times in the past few weeks wanting to try a recipe from the book… but not having the book… so it’s going on my birthday list if anyone’s keeping track.

~The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsal~
Quick read, children’s book that I didn’t even know was out. So a big huge thank you to whichever blog it was that I saw it on!
This is the fourth book in the Penderwick series. This story is primarily about Batty and her coming to grips with various events in her life. And such a sweet story. The whole series is just lovely!

~Mama Maggie by Marty Makary and Ellen Vaughn~
Another book review

~When We Were Very Young – A.A. Milne~
Aloud with the kiddos at breakfast.

~~~~~

And I wonder why I felt like I didn’t do any “real” blogging last month…

January 2015: What I read

jan2015When I started this post I didn’t realize the actual number of books I finished reading last month. So, now that I look at it, I realize why this blog has consisted mainly of a few photo¬†posts and not much else. So glad you’ve stuck around.¬†ūüôā

From the 2014 Reading List:
Both these books I ultimately listened to on audiobook. Simplicity Parenting from the library using Overdrive (love, love, LOVE that service!) and S&S from Audiobooks.org (using the librivox recording by Elizabeth Klett)¬†{total side note, but Audiobooks has an app for the phone (the Cross Forward one is the one I use), and once I found that it was much easier than streaming from the internet – sorry I can’t link to it, can’t seem to find it on the regular computer…}

simplicity parentingSimplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross.

I absolutely LOVE the ideas presented in this book. Especially the overall theme of simplifying your lifestyle (clutter, screen time, activities, etc…) so that your children have time and space to explore and *be* children. {And indirectly so that you have time and space to allow them to *be*.}

I really wish that I had a physical copy of this book so that I could re-read it, mark it up and let the words really sink in, but alas I don’t. I will definitely be purchasing this book at some point though.

I feel like I’ve already been working on doing some of the decluttering that he talks about, but it’s a slow process. I am still¬†learning how to let things go…

~

sense and sensibility
Sense and Sensibility (Vintage Classics) by Jane Austen

I started this one a while back (maybe in November of last year), and just finished it up at the end of January. (I took a BIG break in December and most of January…)

Of all the Austen novels I’ve read so far (which is now all except for Northanger Abbey), this is the one where I felt I could relate to the characters the most.

Knocking Off of This Year’s List:

the fault in our stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene

So, ummm, wow. Bring your tissues.
This story is about love and loss and more specifically about learning to love yourself through that loss.

Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.

bel canto
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

A novel which had been on hold forever at the library. A fascinating story. It doesn’t follow the continuous timeline (well, it does, but it jumps around a lot) and somehow it works!

Set in the “host country” a group of dignitaries is captured by a rebel group looking for the president. Upon not finding him amongst the captives they decide to keep the remaining¬†captives indefinitely. The story covers that time.¬†Ultimately¬†its about relationships and shows people as being¬†inherently good.

hands free

 Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford

I liked this book to an extent. It has some good stories on living less distractedly (i.e. less phone time, less computer time) and more intentional time spent with your children.

There were¬†a few¬†things that didn’t really “mesh well” with me. One was that intentional time with your children, in the book seems to happen every waking minute. Nothing wrong with making the time spent with your children intentional, but at some point the laundry does need to get done.

Another was that the author’s personality is very different than mine, so a lot of what she was saying was to me, really extreme. Don’t get me wrong, I spend my fair share of time on the computer, but I’m not one for volunteering for every single group that comes asking… I also have no problem heading out somewhere in yoga pants and unwashed hair… and I’m not really a perfectionist… But that’s just me.

Finally, I listened to this book on audiobook (from the library) and I was getting irritated with the reader by about half way through.

husbands secret
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Picked this one off the library shelf because of the author. This was a very well written novel. About a woman who’s husband has a deep dark secret from his past (it’s not what you’d think). And how that secret has the power to drastically change not only her and her husband’s life, but the lives of many others that they don’t even know personally.

This is a great story of “what-ifs”. I love how in the epilogue the author goes so far as to “be God” (if you will) and tell you what would have happened if¬†this happened. Or what would have happened if that had happened.

This is not a Christian book (although the family is nominally Catholic now that I think of it), so there is the occasional sexual reference/escapade (they’re non-explicit). So, if you’re really bothered by that sort of thing, then keep this in mind before reading.

notes blue bike

Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider

Where to start? This is, to me the best combination of the “Simplicity Parenting” book¬†(less stuff, just *be*) combined with the few good points of the “Hands Free” book (minimal distracting devices, intentional time spent)¬†all wrapped up with budgeting,¬†living and cooking¬†local and¬†world traveling. Um, yup. That just about covers it.

I thought I had pretty successfully squashed my international-travel-bug, but then I read this book and it totally worked it’s way back into my thoughts…..

A few quick goals for February:
* finish Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage (The Crosswicks Journal, Book 4) by Madeline L’Engle
* finish (and review) 52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables by Bob Welch
* finish Northanger Abbey (Vintage Classics) by Jane Austen (this one I’m listening to also, so it’s my doing laundry, washing dishes book)
* hope that nothing else becomes available from the library. If it does than I’ll work those into the schedule.
* get to page 371 (or pretty close) in Les Mis. (I got a little behind while catching up all my library books last month)

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Linking with Jessica at HousewifeSpice for WWRW