Nightstand (March 2016)

Thursday, March 31st, 2016 at 8:23 am

A number of my blogging acquaintances are switching their end-of-the-month reading logs to the actual end of the month rather than participating in 5 Minutes for Books’ Nightstand Blog Hop on the last Tuesday of the month. I am not one of them. I enjoy the Nightstand community and don’t have any problem having my log be on a semi-arbitrary date.

What I have been having a problem with is getting my Nightstands posted, though!

I have half-completed Nightstand posts for the past 5 (FIVE!) months sitting in my drafts folder.

Which is why this month, I decided to post my Nightstand, however late it may be!

So here’s what I’ve read in the past month…

Books for Loving:

  • Concise Theology by J.I. Packer
    An excellent book with 2-4 page summaries of a variety of theological topics. I can see using this as a jumping-off point for a high school theology class (or something like that.) I especially appreciated reading this when I decided to add application – spending a brief amount of time framing a prayer of response after each section.

Books for Growing:

  • Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley
    I’ve read this book by the “Flylady” before, but it’s always useful when I’m setting up a new household and in need of some motivation to get my routines in place. I don’t follow Flylady to a tee and I find her annoying whenever she starts getting philosophical – but the idea of setting up routines to keep your household running is a good one.
  • The Accidental Housewife by Julie Edelman
    A completely worthless home how-to manual. Basically, Edelman advises you buy lots of disposable junk for cleaning, turn on music and dance while you clean, and drink lots of wine throughout.
  • On Becoming Toddlerwise by Gary Ezzo andRobert Bucknam
    I know plenty of folk who swear by the Babywise/Growing Kids God’s Way approach – but while I didn’t find anything overtly objectionable in this particular volume, the thought of trying to follow their routine with my toddler (the whole day divided into 15 minute segments of activities) sounds exhausting. I am a woman of routine, but our household routines are arranged according to the time it takes to clean up after meals and exercise and fold a load of laundry and clean the bathroom. In other words, Tirzah Mae’s routines fit into the household routines rather than trying to run a household in between arbitrarily set 15-minute cycles.

Books for Knowing:

  • Beast in the Garden by David Baron
    Baron tells the story of the mountain lion, once only a threat to cattle, and the process by which mountain lions in Boulder, Colorado became habituated to humans, culminating in some highly unusual human deaths. A fascinating look at how humans and animals interact (and how we can’t just “return to the wilderness”). I had a hard time putting this one down.
  • When to Rob a Bank by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
    A collection of blog posts from the ever-popular Freakonomics authors. I enjoyed the randomness of this collection, as well as the smaller-than-a-usual-chapter articles, which allowed me to read them in bite-sized chunks. I did NOT enjoy the many articles about gambling (which I consider to be both boring and unwise).
  • Born in the USA by Marsden Wagner
    Wagner documents the deplorably woman (and baby) unfriendly practices of American maternity care and gives suggestions for how to fix it. Marsden deftly describes how obstetric care in the US pays only lip-service to evidence, choosing to experiment on pregnant women and their children in the absence of evidence (and even in the presence of evidence AGAINST certain practices such as Cytotec inductions). Marsden’s solutions were intriguing, but I had some definite quibbles: I don’t believe nationalized health care is the answer and I don’t think litigation is the answer. It was interesting to compare Marsden’s view of litigation with the Theresa Morris’s in Cut it Out!. While I agreed strongly with Marsden’s emphasis on the midwife model of care as a solution for the current system, I was disappointed that he did not also mention how primary care doctors are increasingly opting out of providing obstetric care (in part due to litigation, in part due to the scheduling demands of obstetric care.) I think that, especially in rural areas, this is a huge barrier to low-risk women receiving good prenatal and obstetric care.

Books for Seeing:

  • I made the mistake of trying to read Homer’s The Odyssey at the beginning of the year, while I was still in my first trimester exhaustion AND moving. Yeah. No.
  • Which is why I’m trying again with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I’m about halfway through.

Books for Enjoying:

  • The Dinner Diaries by Betsy Block
    As a memoir, this fits with my generally enjoyable reading. Except that this was a memoir about feeding a family and Betsy Block did it ALL wrong. I wrote up the two main things she did wrong (and some alternate advice) in my full review.
  • The Yummy Mummy Manifesto by Anna Johnson
    Basically about staying hip even though you’ve become a mother. Occasionally interesting but generally kinda annoying (What if I’ve always dreamed of being able to wear twinsets and khakis without someone accusing me of dressing for a different stage of life? Don’t tell me that now mom’s aren’t supposed to dress like that.)

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 (4):

  1. Barbara H. says:

    I had to laugh at you description of The Accidental Housewife. I don’t think I’ve heard of it before. I actually owned The Iliad and The Odyssey at one point but finally gave them away without having read them.

  2. Lisa notes says:

    It’s been awhile since I read Sink Reflections, but I do still practice my own version of Flylady practices (and have for years!). It really made a difference for me and fits into my natural personality to enjoy structure. :) Beast in the Garden sounds like a book I would pick up. I was surprised that I enjoyed Frankenstein when I finally read it a few months ago, but I did. Hope you will too. Glad to see your Nightstand post!

  3. Monica says:

    I actually enjoyed Frankenstein! Surprised since I hated all the movies. It wasn’t like them at all. No matter what day you posted! Glad to see you!

  4. Kym says:

    I could only take FlyLady in small doses, but I did learn some good tips and habits during my time with her. Haven’t read her book though.

    I really like Frankenstein! It surprised me how much, because it was different from what I’d expected based on the movies and stereotypes.

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