All in Good Time (Booking It: June Update)

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Booking It is an online book club where we discuss what we’ve read over the past month as well as review a monthly assigned book. This month’s book is All in Good Time by Tara Kuczykowski and Mandi Ehman.

(Heads up: if you make a purchase through any Amazon links in this post, I do receive a small percentage of the sale.)

While the last month is mostly a blur, it appears that I did a lot of reading. That feels good. Like I actually accomplished something. Yeah!

Have you been reading? I was talking with a friend today who doesn’t really love to read. I couldn’t quite grasp it, but that’s okay. She goes to rock concerts and I don’t. I’m sure she can’t quite grasp that, either. We’re good complements to one another.

Over the last month I’ve done a fair amount of reading, some for practical purposes, some just because I was interested. Here’s the low down.

All in Good Time is the assigned book for the month. Written by bloggers, Tara Kuczykowski and Mandi Ehman, this book is your manual to, well, basically all of life as mom and homemaker. It tells you everything you need to know about when to buy certain things, how to approach certain household tasks, how to save money on regular household items and family purchases.

Reading it reminded me a lot of the Emilie Barnes books I devoured as a newlywed. I didn’t know much of anything about how to run a home. Homemaking books were essential to my existence.

All in Good Time is the updated, 21st version of those homemaking books I read so many years ago. It’s a helpful guide book to help you navigate everyday life as a grown-up. Definitely a great gift for newlyweds or students heading out to college or work after graduation.

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare is a book that we read in our homeschool this spring as part of our Ancient Rome study. It is the poignant tale of young Daniel’s bitterness and hatred for the Romans, his sister’s demons, and Israel’s yearning for freedom from the Roman oppressors.

Daniel meets Jesus, and of course, his world is turned upside down. In a beautiful, heart-rending way. I read this book aloud to my boys. My kindergarten daughter listened sometimes. Everyone enjoyed it. And I bawled my eyes out.

It’s a story of redemption and the love of God. A definite must-read.

The Story of the World, Volume 1 by Susan Wise Bauer was our family’s history text for the school year. It follows the history of the world (go figure) from the earliest nomads to the fall of the Roman Empire.

My younger kids and I enjoyed this as a read aloud this year. We just finished it a few weeks ago. It takes complex details and ideas and relates them in a way that kids can really understand. I’ve heard that the audio books are really good, so if you are pressed for time, or are looking for something to listen to in the car, this might be it.

We’ll be digging into Volume 2 in a few weeks.

My friend Renee sent me a copy of her ebook Nurturing Creativity: A Guide for Busy Moms. She was kind enough to send the Kindle version so I was able to read it in the bathtub. Oh yes, yes, I did.

It’s an easy read; I was done before I got too pruny. And it was fun and relaxing, a nice way to be encouraged in my “life as mom”. Renee discusses the importance of creative outlets in our lives. It’s in our nature to be creative, though that expression can take many forms. I love how she simplified it and made it real to a number of different circumstances, personalities, and life situations.

It was definitely the boost of encouragement that I needed.

I think it was the very first year of Booking It that we met Kathleen Flinn, author of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School. We talked about her first book, a memoir of her year living in Paris attending the Cordon Bleu. This second book is a memoir of what came after: teaching a rag tag bunch of home cooks to feel at home in their kitchens and to eat real food.

I can’t tell you how very much I enjoyed this book. It’s definitely in my list of TOP books for the year. Not only did it rejuvenate my kitchen experience, but it also clarified a lot of things in my mind about our food supply and the best ways to source our food. I was enlightened, encouraged, and educated. — and hungry by the time I was done.

Go read this book.

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer has been my road map for homeschooling for most of the last ten years of formal education. Our journey has had some ups and downs, and some major breakdowns on the side of the road. But, more than a dozen years since I read this book, I come back to it again and again to remind me that I can make it to the end and that there are plenty of ways to get to the destination.

Read my more complete book review here.

I was sent a copy of No Biking in the House without a Helmet by Melissa Fay Greene last month to review. I picked it up one day when I found myself with some free time. I found it hard to put it down.

Greene tells the story of how she and her husband added five children by adoption to their existing brood of four biological children. This memoir is an honest account of the ups and downs of life with children, life in a large family, life in a cross-cultural family, and just plain life. While I guess that the author and I have a fair number of differences over a variety of topics, I appreciated her candor and her ability to just shoot straight.

I laughed out loud — and I learned a lot.

So, that’s what I’ve been reading. How ’bout you?!

Have you been Booking It?

Tell us about the books you’ve read! If you read All in Good Time by Tara Kuczykowski and Mandi Ehman, be sure to tell us what you thought of it.

Check out the list of 12 books that we’ll be reading together this year. Next month’s book was originally scheduled to be Desserts in Jars by Shaina Olmanson. However, this book releases on June 26th, a tad later than originally expected.

To enable more people to get it and try out a few recipes before we discuss it, we’re going to swap it with August’s book The Hobbit. So, next month we’ll talk Hobbits and in August, we’ll eat dessert. Sound cool?

Disclosure: if you make a purchase through any Amazon links up there, I do receive a small percentage of the sale.

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  1. I am definitely going to check out the Kitchen Counter Cooking School…maybe a good vacation read? We’re going in a couple of weeks so I am going to see if the library has it. Thanks for the suggestions…as always! 🙂

    1. It’s a good vacation read as long as you have access to a kitchen. You’re gonna want to cook before the book is over.

  2. Thank you so much for letting us know about these books! I just requested almost all of them from the library. The 2 history ones will be good for us to read together during our summer and the others I can’t wait to read on my own. Now I just have to hope I can find the time to do some reading!! 🙂

  3. I too am excited about the history books. I’m sure I’ll cry too. My son always looks at me like I’ve lost my mind and asks why I’m crying.

    We are reading the Hobbit early right now. I told him he couldn’t see the movies until we’d read all the books. What’s your opinion on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Do you think he’ll understand the book better and notice the differences if he watches the movie first, or do you think that it’s better to read the book first since it came first, and then watch the movie? I’m going back and forth on this one.

    1. We were sticklers for reading the books and NOT watching the movies for several years. We got over it once we saw how good they were, especially the extended version, which we own on blu-ray. That’s how much we like them. My younger people have watched the movies and not yet read the book, so I guess I’m okay with it.

      (And yes, some folks would never let their babies watch those movies, but we did. I don’t think anyone is scarred for life, but we’re probably unique in letting younger children watch it?)

      1. yeah, that’s why they haven’t seen it yet. i loved them. but my son is going to be 8 so i figure he is old enough to navigate reality from fiction appropriately. and not too much seems to scare that boy. the girls 2 and 4 will have to wait for their chance at them. We’ll see about the Hobbit. That one might be okay for my soon to be 5 year old since I’m hunting down a theatre to see that one in.

  4. I read the Kitchen Counter Cooking School after you mentioned it a couple of weeks ago in one of your posts. I loved the booked as well. It not only offered basic and straight forward kitchen skills but it also made me think about how we get our food and the need to go back to the basics. I am already recommending it to my friends. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hello friend. 🙂

    You KNOW how much I loved “Kitchen Counter” and seriously, it has CHANGED.MY.COOKING.LIFE. Every night when I try something new, my husband and I each take a bite, look at each other, and say, “Oh.My.Gosh.” I still can’t believe this food is coming out of MY kitchen. {happy dance}

    I’ve linked up one of my “Re-Read” lists, the fiction list. I’ve highlighted children’s picture books, children’s chapter books, non-fiction, and fiction so far (books that I consider worthy of a re-read). I’ve got one more list to go (religious/personal growth). There’s no link to Booking It on the post right now, but I’m on my way to add one. 🙂

    Have a delightful day!

  6. I’ve got the Bronze Bow on my reading list, and after your recommendation, I’ll move it up.

    I also have a copy of the Well-Trained Mind, and I should read some of since we’re starting school for real next year (the first grade!).

    Thanks for your recommendations!

  7. I read The Bronze Bow aloud to my daughters last year and we all loved it!! Yes, I could hardly read the last chapter because I was crying so much!

  8. I shut down my old blog (Making My Own Luck) and started two new ones, and I must say I am so excited to get back to Booking It. I might even try The Hobbit which I have shunned since my Dad made me read it in 6th grade 🙂

    So many good ideas here, thanks!

  9. I love Mandi’s book. It’s such an easy read and I love how I actually need to use the tips and can browse for whatever I want.

  10. I am in the middle of reading “Kitchen Counter” and am loving it! For the past 4 years I have been working with women on SNAP (food stamps), teaching them basic nutrition and cooking skills and it has really been rewarding work. I am a self-taught home cook foodie and I love the wisdom I have learned from Kathleen!

  11. This month I intentionally tried to read some of the books I have on my Kindle and home bookshelves. I finished “Forget Me Not” by Jennifer Lowe-Anker – a memoir about her life with her rock climbing husband who died in an avalanche. This book was a great read although sad to see how her husband’s hobby/job took precedence over her family life. I followed this with lighter fare – “Bless Your Heart, Tramp” by Celia Rivenbark. She is a weekly columnist for our newspaper and gives an insight into Southern ways. She is hilarious!! Highly recommend all of her books. I read “Shem Creek” by Dorothea Benton Frank while on vacation and loved it… another Southern classic beach book. I ended with “The Kindness of Stangers” by Mike McIntyre – a Kindle read about his trip across the country with no money. It shows that America is still filled with good people and he luckily found them all along the way. Now I am entrenched in Steve Jobs biography and it is fascinating…

  12. We read “The Bronze Bow” at your recommendation… I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! It was a little harder for my 11 y.o. to maintain interest, but good, nonetheless. Thanks for encouraging us (me) to keep a book in hand. 😉