Booking It On Your Own

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This week on LifeasMOM is all about Loving Life — finding ways to help each of us enjoy life a little more. And one way to enjoy life more is to READ.

Yesterday, we talked about The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It was the first of the Eleven List, the assigned reading that we’re going through together in the Booking It reading program this year. I’m looking forward to catching up this weekend and reading all the reviews you wrote!

Today, we’re discussing the independent reading we’ve done over the last month. I’m pleased to say that I got two books read. Yeah me!

Clutter Rehab by Laura Wittmann

This pint-sized book packs a powerful punch when it comes to dejunking, organizing, and otherwise battling clutter. Also known as The Organizing Junkie, Laura Wittmann, gives 101 quick and easy tips for simplifying your life and getting your act together. I’m all over that!

At first I was a little distracted by the one-idea-per-page design. This can squeeze a meaty idea into one page while a simpler idea has lots of room to roam. But, as I continued through Clutter Rehab, I realized that the compact design allows for easier portability and a lower price, two really important ways to get the organizing message across.

This book gives you all the basics you need to putting order into the chaos you call home. Laura’s style is easy to read and the tips are practical and doable in just a few minutes or an afternoon.

Some of my favorite tricks from the book:

  • Create a donation station.
  • Purge clothing at the end of the season, not the beginning.
  • Utilize an “I’m outta here” shelf

This book is so easy to read and apply, there’s really no excuse for not going into Clutter Rehab.

The Fiddler’s Gun by A.S. Peterson

Some of our family’s favorite read agains are The Wingfeather books by Andrew Peterson. So when I saw that his brother, A.S. Peterson, had written a book for young adults, I decided to give it a go. The reviews were good, and if DNA had anything to do with it, The Fiddler’s Gun promised to be a good read.

And it was. While I am not sure I would call it “young adult” due to some themes that I think are too mature for my thirteen year old son, I can say that it is a beautiful story. There’s adventure, there’s love, there’s death, yea, even some romance. And it’s all good clean, romance, love, death, and romance.

The Fiddler’s Gun is the tale of a young girl, Finn, during the days leading up to and during the American War for Independence. As the thirteenth girl born into a family, she was abandoned at an orphanage as a baby. She was a rebel from the start. The story follows Finn as she gets caught up in sailing, piracy, and yea, even fighting the Red Coats.

I’m actually afraid to say too much. It’s more than pirates and adventure. There’s sin and failing, love and redemption. Like his brother A.S. Peterson has crafted a tale that goes beyond the simple pages of the story.

The story doesn’t end at the end of the book, but concludes in The Fiddler’s Green. I’m waiting for that one.

Read any good books lately?

Link up your Booking It post or tell us about your latest reads in the comments.

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  1. I read The Secret Garden. I’ve seen the movie several times, but this was the first time I’d read the book. I was shocked at the treatment of both Mary and Colin by their parents. They were just abandoned. I know things like this still go on all over the world, but it made me so thankful that I have caring, loving parents.

  2. I read House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. I loved the internal stuggle the main character goes through since I think it speaks to what many first world people do have to face in themselves. I must say it wasn’t the ending I had been hoping for, but it was the right one. Overall, it was a well written and engaging novel.

  3. As I made my list for a trip to the library this afternoon, I realized I haven’t finished many books this year because I’m having the eyes-too-big-for-my-stomach problem: I’m starting books than I can get to!

    But I did finish reading Charlotte’s Web to my baby girl today (she doesn’t understand of course, but I think it’s a good habit to develop), and LOVED Radical by David Platt last month so much that my husband and I reading through it together as a study. 😀

  4. Reading Bible in 90 days with Mom’s Toolbox. Have never read cover to cover straight through before and it is challenging but rewarding! We are at day 40 and I am right on track. Dtr and I also read together & finished The Magician’s Nephew. She read Sarah Plain & Tall and is now reading The BFG by Roald Dahl. (She says she is Booking It and can I please report her books too).

  5. I read three different books, one about the Reagan’s, one about an ex-Planned Parenthood employee and her life, and one called “The Book of Tomorrow”. All were interesting, and pretty good page turners.

    I really think I will read Clutter Rehab this month, it looks really interesting! 🙂

  6. I certainly could use some help with my clutter, so I may check out that book. I also plan to add Fiddler’s Gun to my wish list at Paperback Swap. It’s hard to find good (re: clean) fiction.

  7. I have not read Clutter Rehab but I did read something similar–Unstuff Your Live by Andrew Mellen. His 2 rules–*one home for everything* and *like with like*. Those 2 ideas have really stuck with me. The *one home* rule explains why places like my dining room table are always cluttered–that junk doesn’t have a home or the junk is not getting put back in its home! An excellent easy read with do-able ideas. I’d highly recommend it.

    My other reading has consisted of books about President Taft, #27. For almost 2 years now, I’ve been working my way through biographies of the presidents. It sure gives an interesting perspective of US history.

      1. @Rena, The American Presidency series is pretty good. But some of the obscure presidents, like Taft, don’t have a book in that series. Sounds strange, but I’ve found that a great starting place for the lesser known presidents is actually in the juvenile library at our branch. I’ve used that as a starting point for most of the presidents so far; they have a couple different series. Then I can take more time finding adult books. I’ve also gotten side-tracked and read books about some of the First Ladies & First Families. I probably spent about 5 months on Lincoln, Johnson & Grant between the bios on them plus their wives and the Civil War! Theodore Roosevelt also took awhile! If you’d like any more recommendations about specific presidents, let me know.

      1. @Samantha, Thanks, Samanatha! The idea came to me when I was chaperoning a high school orchestra trip to Washington, DC. We visited Mount Vernon and I decided to read something about George Washington. Why stop there? I’ve always loved US history so it’s been an enjoyable venture for me. 🙂

  8. After reading The Happiness Project, I was inspired to pull out a couple of my favorite L.M. Montgomery novels — Jane of Lantern Hill and The Blue Castle. I love meandering through a favorite book, especially those of L.M. Montgomery. Her characters take such delight in the world around them.

    After reading several booklists last month, I decided to read The Scarlet Pimpernel (Janell and Carrie both said it was a favorite). It was a fun read. I spoiled myself though by reading the Introduction. I know better. I knew who the Scarlett Pimpernel was from the beginning. It would have been more fun to discover his identity with the main character.

  9. Thanks for doing this…having the accountability of making a public list of what I’m going to read has helped me do the reading I always want to do but never make time for!

  10. Thank you for having this online book club this year. I’ve been participating in my local library’s 50 Book Challenge for two years now but it’s really fun to link up and talk with others about books. I also really like having a reading list to follow from you. I’ll be reading some books that I would not have picked on my own but will enjoy. I particularly like being “forced” to try some new cookbooks!

    I’ve linked up with my reading list – at the time that I wrote the post a few days ago I had finished 6 books so far this year, now I’ve finished 8. I finished reading “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” today during our read-aloud time and both my 14 year old daughter and myself were choking back tears at the end. My boys (12 and 9) enjoyed the book very much as well but they weren’t crying!

    Thanks again for hosting Booking It in 2011!


  11. I love seeing what others are reading. After reading your reviews and the comments, I’m adding three books to my reading list! Thanks all.

  12. I did read through, and skim the recipes, in the Fix It and Forget It Cookbook, and started 3 other books, two of which are still in process.

    I finished Too Small to Ignore by Wess Stafford, audiobook yesterday and have many thoughts in my head right now. Too many to try and pen down a review.

  13. I read The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. It was amazing. She writes about how to life a wholehearted life. Wholehearted is my word of 2011, so this was perfect for me. This was the perfect book to read at the same time as The Happiness Project because Brene Brown’s discussion of joy perfectly put my search for happiness into the greater context of life’s sorrows. I highly recommend it.

  14. I read “Keeping Faith” by Jodi Picoult. I have enjoyed several of Jodi Picoult’s books in the past and this one also did not disappoint. It is about a young girl to starts to see God (who she calls her guard) after her parents divorce. It is an interesting twist on stigmata and other religious themes, as well as a look at the differences between the Catholic and Jewish faiths. It is also a pretty quick read. I have already passed it on to my mother who enjoyed it as well. It is now on its way to my best friend’s house, so I guess I would say that I recommend it 🙂

  15. I read and review alot of books and write about them on my blog often. One I read most recently was called “The Seamstress” and was a story of a Jewish seamstress who survived the Holocaust.

  16. I read “Real Food Has Curves” by Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough. They cover a lot of information about the many “additives” that can be found in our food and how they affect us. There are lots of recipes and advice for moving step-by-step toward eating real foods. A few of my take-aways:

    -Fake foods make us think we are eating what we want but they fake us out, leaving us wanting– and eating– more because fake doesn’t satisfy.
    -Moving toward eating real foods is a process (not immediately going through the pantry/fridge, tossing everything that isn’t completely real and starting from scratch) beginning with learning to distinguish real from fake.
    -Eating should be an experience, enjoying flavors, textures, using all 5 senses…not just shoving food in, adding another bite before we have fully chewed and swallowed the first one.

    All in all, I really enjoyed this read and look forward to going through it more slowly now that I have the overview…and trying some of the recipes!

    I’ve also read aloud “The Magician’s Nephew” and “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” to my kiddos. We are loving them! (Although they say I read funny because I can’t help but pick up a British accent when I read them!)

    Thanks for the accountability to keep reading!

  17. I’m reading Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos. It’s a funny story about a man who walks around with Jesus, not knowing he is an imposter until Pete (apostle) shows up and socks his fake Jesus in the mouth and chases him out of the coffee shop. The author causes us to look deeper into our walk with Christ by introducing us to several fake Jesuses that were all created to fit the needs of our Christian’s life, as we embark on a quest to find the real deal. The kindle for PC version of this book is available for free on amazon.

  18. I read Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus Borg. I must admit, it challenges a lot of the faith I grew up with yet I think there is a LOT to glean, whether one agrees with him or not. It is not a light read by any stretch.

    I am currently in the middle of Transforming Congregational Culture by Anthony Robinson. I know, it doesn’t sound very exciting but it is a pretty interesting examination of church culture (then and now) and of our country’s move to a more secular society and what the church needs to do in light of that. I would definitely be a great read for anyone in church leadership, clergy or laity alike.

  19. I read “Her Daughter’s Dream” by Francine Rivers. It is the second part of a two book series that follows five generations of mothers and daughters. I don’t think I have read a book by Francine Rivers that I didn’t love, and this one is no exception. Love her writing! Would highly recommend this book and any of her others as well, especially Redeeming Love!

  20. I am so excited about “Clutter Rehab”!!! This book has gotten me inspires to keep working on the clutter in my house. I have enjoyed seeing what others are reading and this has given me a shot in the arm for a year of good changes in lifestyle.

  21. Love what everyone else is reading.. Am so inspired to add a few books to my reading list. I read The Well-Fed Writer and am excited about making a few changes to my professional life, thanks to the book:-)