Skip to main content

What I Read in October

View from the Amtrak train ride from Seattle to Bellingham

I didn't think I'd finish much in October, but I actually surprised myself. My best friend from Nebraska came all the way out to see me and stay for a week, and then we had guests after that, much less just settling in for the past 5 weeks; it was a busy and full month. Here are the books I read and enjoyed in Ocotober.

Hope Runs by Claire Diaz-Ortiz was a side-by-side memoir between an American tourist and a Kenyan orphan. Throw in the mix a non-profit helping kids get started running their first marathons, and you've got a really good, under 200-page book. I enjoyed Claire's book and won a beautiful hard-back version on a blog contest earlier in the year. I know just the woman I'd like to pass this onto, as well, whom I think will also enjoy it. This story follows an American tourist around the world, landing, very surprisingly, in a Kenyan orphanage for a night. From this one night comes many months, and years, of supporting the children and staff of Imani, and presenting one amazing young male student with a great opportunity--studying the rest of his high school years in America and also becoming a foster-son of sorts with said American girls. It's a bittersweet memoir in many ways, but also a story that encourages you to do what you can, with what you have, where you're at.

The first memoir I finished this month was actually by the long-time president of MOPS (Mothers Of PreSchoolers), Elisa Morgan. Her book is called The Beauty of Broken and it was a tear-jerker. This was Morgan's memoir about so many things: her relationship growing up with her parents (divorce, addiction, perfectionism), the relationship between her and her husband (infertility, etc.), and then her children, who've fought demons of their own, starting with each of them facing the biggest wound of a life-time, being given up for adoption. I had also won this paperback in a blog giveaway, and already sent it to it's next home, where I thought it might be enjoyed. I'd definitely recommend this book to someone who doesn't need cheering up, necessarily, but needs to know they're not alone.

The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma is (SURPRISE!) another memoir. This is getting a little funny. I had never heard of this book or the author until hearing an interview with Alice on one of my favorite podcasts, The Read Aloud Revival hosted by Sara Mackenzie. This book is the story of a single dad reading aloud daily to his little girl from the age of 11 until her first day of college. It's the story of growing up, good books, a librarian father, and an audacious promise. I really enjoyed this book, though I found it a bit slow at the beginning. It's also got a pretty great bibliography in the back, and I won't lie--I see myself as Mr. Ozma, nightly reading aloud to my kids from the treasury of good books to enrich their lives. I truly connected with this idea.

Lastly, I finished YA fantasy-novel Re'and by budding author Victoria Wilson. You can find a full review here, but I read this book quickly. It comes with great description, tons of characters, and a fast pace, so I enjoyed it, even though I don't read fiction much.

Current Read:  The Giver by Lois Lowry // When I saw that Lowry's acclaimed book was going to be turned into a movie, I knew I needed to start in on the cover-less copy that I owned. I'm really enjoying this anti-utopian, futuristic novel about a boy named Jonas and his perfect commune.I just got to the part where Jonas becomes the new Receiver, so I'm excited to just sit with this book for another hour and finish it up, before I see the movie, of course.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How To: DIY Sand/Water Table

How To: Build A Sand/Water Table for Under $30!
Sorry this took me so long to blog, but I had to have a tool list and full instructions before I could do so.
A little history on my love for the sand/water table. I love the idea behind tools for tiny hands, i.e. the Montessori Method, and like to have Lukka 'figure things out for himself', even when he is playing. I try to have the most simple and basic toys available for 3 reasons: a) simple toys generally have less parts, which means less of a hassle for me
b) simple toys inspire way more creativity and imagination than do 'exact replica' toys
c) they are much more aesthetically pleasing to look at, therefore, not making every nook and cranny of our house an eyesore!
I know the last reason is just for me, but it's true. Plastic things don't generally last 1/2 as long as wooden or fabric toys, and they are unattractive. For this reason, I started to look for a wooden sand/water table as opposed to a plastic one …

Subscription Boxes as Homeschool Curriculum

Ani painting her first diarama
The subscription service business sector is exploding the online retail market. You can now buy toys, pet products, clothing, stationary, beauty products, eco-cleaning supplies, and even organic snacks all in monthly packages with excellent branding. While print magazines are slowly fading away, a new type of subscription purchasing is taking place in droves--for those who are too busy or depleted to run one more errand (hand raised here), you can get a fun surprise on your doorstep for a decent price. These are excellent as curriculum because all the work of planning and gathering has been done for you! Now it's just up to the child to execute and enjoy the process. 
I have tried a few subscription services as either birthday gifts or a trial run for homeschooling, and let me tell you there are some awesome businesses going up! I want to highlight a few of them for you that can be used as homeschooling curriculum for elementary grade kids. With each…

What Takes Time

Our 17 footer, hitching a ride
Two weeks ago, we bought a canoe from Craigslist. It's nothing fancy. It's green, with mildew on the bottom from being unused, and it came with a solitary wooden oar. We'd been scouring craigslist with little luck under the $300 limit, and finally came across this one and joy of joys, they took $150 because they were putting everything in the moving truck the day we came. They didn't want it -- cash looks better than a canoe sitting by the curb. 
We'd squirreled away about $15 a month for the past year or so, just to put towards this little goal, and with a few life jackets, and 3 more oars to boot, we were out for our own little family adventure. The first time we took it out, we saw so much wild-life we couldn't believe it: a diving bird returning from his catch down under just a few feet from our boat, a Bald Eagle, and some sort of seal who popped up, stared at us, and promptly went back underwater. I didn't even know seal…