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October titles // 2017

cozy morning painting, fort building, and podcasts 

Oh, October. My favorite month of the year (minus the months I'm traveling, let's be real here) because the weather is cooler, and school + fun activities have coalesced into routine and the world outside is beautiful. 
It's a great time to enjoy the outdoors when it's nice, and to cozy up with a book in comfy clothes when it's not-which is exactly what I did. Here's what I read in October:

*Whatever Happened to Justice? by Richard Mayburry - This is another Uncle Eric book I picked up at my local homeschool library and I really am quite fond of these. I am learning so much. I was very studious through my school career but do not remember learning almost any of this history/economics/philosophy so I'm really clamping onto it now. It's changing the way I see government, freedoms, and what's happening locally and that is always a good thing. If I continue to find these books, I will continue to read them. 

*A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi-  This was our book club book for October and although I picked up the large print (600+ pg), I would rate this as a 3. It's a story about a traditional Afghani woman who gets put in jail awaiting trial for the murder of her husband, and the truth slowly comes out. It wasn't great, it wasn't terrible. A friend said it perfectly, "I could get through quite a bit when I sat down to read it, but I was never that excited to pick it up". 

*Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil de Grasse Tyson - I noted on instagram that this book has the best title of any other book I've seen in 2017. I've been waiting for the right time to introduce my family (kids especially, this is great homeschooling fodder!) to the series, Cosmos, on netflix, hosted by Tyson. This book is sort of that series put in 200 pages. It's a small, funny, and absolutely fascinating look at all things astrophysics. Like the title says, you'll get a good enough glimpse into what those scientists are studying, without it being overwhelming. 

*The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc -  This book is stunning. Full stop. Noroc set off to photograph real women in real (unfiltered) light to show the strength, beauty, and diversity, and the project grew and grew until it became this gorgeous 500 portrait book spanning 50 countries. With all the news about sexual assault within the film industry, this was a welcome distraction showcasing the resilience of women. I read every caption and studied every photograph of this large book.  It is well worth your time. 

Read Aloud with Kids 

*Ten Boys Who Didn't Give In by Irene Howat -  This is part of a series of 10 books (5 girls, 5 boys) about Christians throughout history, and they are fantastic for ages 8-9+. I love reading them, because I'm learning about so many historical Christian figures, and my kids like them because they are written for kids and are engaging. This set is one I got years ago and we've been slowly reading through ever since. I knew I wanted to read at least two (yay! did it in 1st term) this year, and now I want to read more, but we're onto Harry Potter, and no other book can compete with that series while we're in it. Honorable mentions of this book were the men included in this book were Polycarb, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Nate Saint. 

*The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill - I loved this short little early grade read aloud. I will now be looking up every book written by Hill, because this little novel about a school teacher in the North was excellent. It was well-written and so tender. It's about a small group of kids in the Alaskan bush who come together for school (though no teacher ever stays longer than 1 year because of the dark and the stink of fish) and their world is opened up by Miss Agnes. This book made me tear up quite a bit when reading the very last few chapters. It's a quick read, but so very worthwhile. 

*Ten Girls Who Didn't Give in by Irene Howat - We also read the girls' book of this set in the same month. Each book took us about 2 weeks to get through. Again, I love these books but the review here will look much the same as up top. Honorable mentions from this book were the stories on Perpetua, Lady Jane Gray, and Esther John.

*You're Smarter Than You Think by Thomas Armstrong, PhD - This will go down in my kids' elementary history as (I hope!) one of the most important read-alouds I did with them. It's a book about Multiple Intelligences, and I got the idea from Marianne Sunderland of Homeschooling with Dyslexia. If you have kids who either think they're smarter than everyone else, think they're dumber than everyone else, have learning difficulties, or are easily discouraged with school-y things, or really, just average kids this book might be VERY helpful to process with them. The idea behind MI theory is that there are 9 'intelligences' that everyone has to varying degrees. A few of them are very academic, but most of them are not. I wanted to read this to the kids so they would begin to process this information for themselves, about themselves, and take pride in that, and learn to develop understanding on how they are beautifully created and what they can do in their lives with those gifts. A very worthwhile read for all ages!

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