Nightstand (March 2015)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 at 8:37 am

Reading through my list here in preparation for publishing, I see that I read quite a bit more this month than I had realized. Yay!

What's on my Nightstand in March

Fiction read this month:

  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    I read Heather’s pick for last month’s Reading to Know Classics Bookclub and wrote some reflections on what “the heart of darkness” refers to.
  • The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer
    I continue to enjoy Heyer’s books – they’re one of my favorite escape-novels. In this one, I rather fell in love with the ideal Miss Trent (and wrote about it, of course!)
  • The Battle for Skandia by John Flanagan
    I continue to very much enjoy the Ranger’s Apprentice series. This one goes to new heights of excitement when Will and company are called upon to assist the Skandians (Scandinavians) in fighting off the Temujai (the Mongol horde).
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
    I read this with my in real life book club and look forward to discussing it this Thursday. This is a readers novel, full of references to other works – although I didn’t notice the parallels with George Eliot’s Silas Marneruntil my husband, who is reading it on my recommendation, pointed it out. Read my full review here.
  • Tom Thumb: Grimms’ Tales retold by Eric Carle
    Very nice retellings of four of Grimms’ Tales, accompanied by Carle’s characteristic illustrations. I borrowed this from the library, but I’d like to own a copy.
  • The Barefoot Book of Mother and Son Tales retold by Josephine Evetts-Secker
    An interesting collection of folk tales from around the world. I was a bit disappointed with how the author retells the Grimm Brothers’ “Hans in Luck” (mainly, leaving out the very last few lines about how the boy recounted his great luck to his mother) and I didn’t at all like how the story of Moses was told (as a tall-tale with extrabiblical and anti-biblical details.) But most of the ten stories were entertaining.
  • 5 picture books author last name BROKAMP to BROWN
  • 4 board books by Sandra Boynton
    I like her. I like her a lot.

More on my Nightstand in March

Nonfiction read this month:

Books about Parenting:

  • Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
    Our library (Wichita’s Central library) has an abismal collection of audiobooks, and Jim Gaffigan’s Dad is Fat was one of the three that caught my eye before we left to visit our family in Lincoln. It was the one of the three that Daniel was interested in, so we listened to it on our way up (and down). In general, I enjoy Gaffigan’s humor and enjoyed listening to this book, although I’d heard many of the anecdotes already from watching him on YouTube. Gaffigan is widely considered to be “family-friendly” (something he makes fun of), but this book did include a few expletives.
  • The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rigt and Frans Plooij
    Discusses how infants and toddlers go through predictable patterns of fussiness associated with leaps in mental development – and how parents can assist their children through these leaps. I found this massively helpful – it kept me focused on development instead of frustration when Tirzah Mae went through her first three “wonder weeks” (at 5, 8, and 12 weeks corrected for prematurity – so 13, 16, and 20 for her.)
  • Retro Baby by Anne Zachary
    Written by an occupational therapist, this book is all about gear-free ways to play with your infant – along with literally hundreds of reminders to only put a child to sleep on her back in a crib, to give her plenty of supervised tummy time, and to avoid putting baby in a container (swing, bouncy seat, or carrier) for more than a half an hour a day. I think I would have enjoyed this a lot more if I’d have started reading it now (when I can actually do some of the activities with Tirzah Mae) versus three months ago (when only the aforementioned warnings were really pertinent due to her stage of development.) Very nice activity ideas, pertinent warnings – but probably unrealistic (For example – sometimes I place Tirzah Mae on her tummy unsupervised while I fold laundry. If she falls asleep in her swing, I’m not going to wake her up to move her to the bassinet. And if making dinner takes longer than 30 minutes? She’s going to spend more than 30 minutes in her bouncy seat. Also, yep, we’ve done the cosleeping thing.)

Books about Houses:

  • Tips and Traps When Building Your Home by Robert Irwin
    Helpful look at the process of building your own home – along with tips for getting things done right and warnings to avoid doing things wrong :-)
  • 500 Bungalows by Douglas Keister
    It almost feels wrong to list this among the books I’ve read – because, apart from the introduction, it contains only photographs and locations. The entire book consists of photographs of bungalows from around the country. Quite a few were from my hometown, Lincoln Nebraska – and I found it interesting that I tended to like those houses more than the ones from, say, California (the southern houses generally have flatter roofs, since they don’t need to deal with heavy snow loads – and I’m just not a fan.)

Other nonfiction:

  • Christmas in Canada and
    Christmas in France by World Book

    Who says you can only read about Christmas in December?
  • The VBAC Companion by Diane Korte
    I am reading all I can, hoping to have a successful VBAC the next time around. This was a good resources – and one I’d definitely recommend to others, but it didn’t quite meet my expectations (mostly because I already have a very supportive OB and midwife and don’t really need help finding ones.) Read my full review here.

Books currently in progress

Currently reading:

  • I was a Really Good Mom before I had Kids by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Noble
    A little different than what I expected – but overall a pretty good book along the lines of getting rid of mommy guilt and having reasonable expectations in mothering. I recommended it to my sister-in-law (who’s much more in the throughs of mothering than I, with a three year old, a two year old and one on the way!).
  • Sleep: The Brazelton Way by T. Berry Brazelton and Joshua D. Sparrow
    Because Tirzah Mae is 5 months old (3 once corrected) and it’s time to start being intentional about sleep.
  • Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessic Thompson
    Reading and discussing with my sister-in-law. At the end of the first section, I think some of the examples are on the sermonizing side – but I agree completely with the need to fall upon God’s grace in parenting, not on our wonderful parenting techniques. If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far, it’s that it’s only by God’s grace that our children will ever be “good” (or that we’ll ever be “good parents”.)
  • Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: The Smart Woman’s Guide to VBAC by Elizabeth Kaufmann
    One chapter in, it’s already obvious this author has a chip on her shoulder and is NOT pro-VBAC.
  • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman
    Newman is one of the foremost experts in breastfeeding medicine – and I love the way he lets his voice come out in this informative and practical book. It won’t be for everyone, but I did write up some comments on one passage here (regarding whether breastfeeding should be considered the norm or the ideal “best”.)
  • The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
    Reading for this month’s Reading to Know book club – I agree with Barbara’s liking AND Carrie’s disliking. (Oh my!) Will write more when finished.

Don’t forget to drop by 5 Minutes 4 Books to see what others are reading this month!

What's on Your Nightstand?

Reader Comments (8):

  1. Wow! Lots of good reading! I think I might need to read that mommy guilt book. :)

    I’m still reading Tozer, but all in all it has been a very encouraging read for me.

  2. Joyful says:

    Goodness you have done a lot of reading! Heyer is one of my favorites. I am working on reading certain authors and all their books then moving on to others. I am leaving space for an occassional gem that just must be read! :)
    Thanks for sharing this great list!

  3. Barbara H. says:

    I’ll be interested in your thoughts on Give Them Grace and the Pursuit of God. I might check into the Wonder Weeks – I had never heard of that connection, and I think it would help to explore that.

  4. I meant to re-read The Pursuit of God this month but I just never did. Now I’m curious as to why Carrie disliked it so heading over there. :) I’m so glad you’re continuing to read a lot even with Tirzah Mae around!

  5. Oh now I’m really curious for your thoughts on The Pursuit of God. :D

    It’s always a rather fantastic feeling when you look back and realized you read more than you thought you had!

    I’m grinning about your “I like her. I like her a lot.” with reference to Sandra Boyton. Is 15 Animals what you got? (Sorry. Had to.)

    Tom Thumb by Carle? I have to go look this up . . .

  6. Sharon B says:

    Love all that reading!!

  7. I meant to say that we LOVE Boynton here, too. Genius!

  8. I love Heyer’s novels for escape novels. I either choose her or a P. G. Wodehouse.

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