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Booking It – Monthly Check-In

Posted By Jessica Fisher On September 11, 2011 @ 12:17 pm In Booking It | 29 Comments

Are you Booking It [4] this year? Yesterday we discussed the “assigned” reading of the month, Organized Simplicity [5] by Tsh Oxenreider.

Today, we’re sharing all the other books we’ve read over the last month. I’m pleased to share with you some books for you and the kids as well as some deep reading for parents.

Kid Stuff

My “baby” boy is 7. He now reads, though he didn’t realize that he could read until quite recently. I think he was so used to having others read to him, that it wasn’t until words started popping out at him that he — and I — figured out that he had “arrived” in the land of readers. So it was great fun to expose him to the new Imagination Station series of books [6], based on Adventures in Odyssey, that I received for review earlier in the summer, courtesy of Tyndale House.

There are six books in the series so far:

They tell the story of cousins Beth and Patrick who travel through space and time on exciting adventures, via, you guessed it, the Imagination Station. [6] Those of you familiar with Adventures in Odyssey and Whit’s End will know all about Mr Whitacre and his amazing machine that transports people to other worlds.

The books are easy to read as well as intriguing to kids and adults alike, making for a fun family read aloud. We’ve read the first five in the series so far and FishBoy7 is very eagerly awaiting the sixth book.

Digging Deeper

I also spent a good amount of time reading The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O’Brien [13]. Like In Defense of Food [14], the book is an expose of sorts, sheds light on the food industry, revealing information about how government agencies and corporations present food, chemicals, additives, and food safety to the United States public.

She makes the case that many, many countries do not allow the same chemicals that we do here in the US. They operate from the position, “show us that it’s safe,” whereas the US government has adopted a policy of “show us that it’s dangerous.” Unfortunately, food manufacturers fund much of the research, creating a conflict of interest and perhaps inaccurate data.

Of the author’s own volition, this is a controversial topic causing rifts within her own family. No one wants to know that our government isn’t making the best choices for us. And there can be much disagreement, especially where Science is concerned.

Thinking More

While I am not going to say everything she says is spot-on, gospel truth, I will say this book made me think. It made me consider my food sources more carefully. Like the Michael Pollan book I reviewed last year [14], it’s made me think more carefully about the food I buy for my family.

For instance, I’m very careful to buy hormone-free milk and liquid dairy products. However, I’ve never thought about checking to see that my ice cream, butter, cheese, and yogurt were hormone-free. {smacks head.} I’m reading labels a little more carefully and not just grabbing what’s on the shelf in front of me.

While there was some very disturbing information about the current state of the US food supply, there was also a lot of encouragement to glean from the book. And while The Unhealthy Truth [13] is only a few years old, I think things in the US have probably improved since then, at least in terms of better food being more readily available. And I feel hopeful for more change, both personally and as a nation.

However, I strongly disagree with some of the author’s solutions, ie bigger government control. She spends quite a long time explaining how government entities got us into this mess in terms of excessive, and potentially unsafe, additives and chemicals. It makes little sense to me to give these same agencies bigger control. I’m a firm believer in the power of the people — in their pocketbooks as well as with their polling booth choices.

Not all Gloom and Doom

Don’t worry; I’m not suggesting you read a book that will stress you out. But, I think it’s good for us to consider a variety of perspectives. The Unhealthy Truth [13] helped me think a little more carefully about the foods I feed my children. And Robyn O’Brien testifies that she was a junk food mama who can’t cook.

(Do not take her cooking advice. Seriously.)

However, she does give lots of helpful suggestions for transitioning your family away from processed foods. Chapter 8 is a wealth of knowledge! We were already on this path of reducing the amount of processed foods. I was worried that this book would push me over the edge. But, no. Her help is very practical, in line with the baby steps idea. Make small changes that matter.

One thing I loved was her 80% target. She tries to make 80% of their meals as good as they get. But, she’s not opposed to allowing hot lunches, some fast food, or what have you. I love this! Ever the good grade junkie, I can settle for a B!

Read this book — with a grain of salt — and then think through what best fits you and your family.

So read any good books lately?

Tell us about the books you’ve read this past month. Share your links or lists in the comments section.

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[4] Booking It: http://lifeasmom.com/category/joyful-womanhood/booking-it

[5] the “assigned” reading of the month, Organized Simplicity: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/09/a-review-of-organized-simplicity-booking-it.html

[6] Imagination Station series of books: http://go.focusonthefamily.com/imagination.aspx

[7] Voyage with the Vikings: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1156075&item_no=976276

[8] Attack at the Arena: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1156075&item_no=976283

[9] Peril in the Palace: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1156075&item_no=976290

[10] Revenge of the Red Knight: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1156075&item_no=976306

[11] Showdown with the Shepherd: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1156075&item_no=976313

[12] Problems in Plymouth: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1156075&item_no=976320

[13] The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O’Brien: http://www.robynobrien.com/

[14] In Defense of Food: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/booking-it-april-update.html

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