Booking It: The June Update

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Reading is a way for us to learn about our world, ourselves, and the kind of people we want to become. It’s a way to share experiences with others. Reading aloud to our children or talking about what we’ve read with friends is a way for us to  see how other people think and interpret words.

And it can help us grow as moms and as women.

Since January we’ve been talking about being more intentional in our reading and sharing what we’ve read. I’ve found some great books thanks to my readers. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is probably the best book I’ve read all year, and I wouldn’t have ever heard about it, if I wasn’t “booking it” with you all. Thanks for reading along with me!

So, read any good books lately?

This past month, I’ve started several books and finished two. Not the best progress, but life has been busy. I’m hoping that our upcoming out-of-towner will afford me a little more time for reading. The FishChicks loves to feed Grampa’s horses, so I think they’ll be with him in the stable all weekend long. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the books that I did complete.

Great Family Read Aloud

The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbitt is a children’s novel that Carrie recommended awhile back. I love it that she shares books for kids. I was a total bookworm as a child, but somehow I missed so many stories that are considered classics. I’m not really sure how that happened.

Maybe it was a little too much Trixie Belden.

So, I’m making up for lost time. I still read them by myself and then share them with the kids. Or, I start out reading them to the kids and I get hooked and I read ahead, something I won’t let them do.

Ha! How’s that for inconsistent parenting?

The Search for Delicious is a delightful book, set in olden days of kings, castles, and messengers. The king’s prime minister decides to make a dictionary. But, he doesn’t use definitions, he uses metaphors and analogies to define words. (Great book for discussing grammar, this is!)

For instance, he defines bulky as “a big bag of boxes.” The king and his court have no problem with the A’s, B’s, and C’s. However, delicious throws them into turmoil. No one can agree on the meaning of delicious and the result is a debate that threatens to tear apart the kingdom.

Obviously, a wonderful springboard for discussing words and foolishness with your children. I’m reading it to the FishKids right now and everyone is enjoying it. And, yes, FishBoy13 has already read ahead.

An Encouragement Towards Consistency

Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood by Jamie Martin was an encouragement to me, just the right shot in the arm that I needed to reorganize my days. Despite all my planning sheets, I can very easily get kicked out of orbit. An illness, house guests, or a few too many bad days in a row can definitely knock me off my game.

Receiving a review copy of this book came at just the right moment — when I needed to get back on track.

Jamie’s message to moms is clear: approach parenting with the same purpose and priority as you would any other career. Amen.

The quick-read chapters in this book are designed to inspire you toward being more intentional in your life as MOM: establish routines, develop traditions, remember the goal, and redeem the days. Steady Days is about giving your children consistency and a grounded place to call home. That is huge motivation for me to follow through on things. Oh my!

Some might confuse Jamie’s intentionality with a regimented lifestyle. Certainly, hers sounds like an ordered household that might intimidate those with looser habits and routines. But, this works for her and her family and she clarifies that at the outset. She is very quick to say, “This works for us. Find what works for you.”

That, after all is the beauty of sharing our mothering experiences. While we might not do it exactly like the girl next door, we can learn from one another and then tweak it to fit our own personalities and families.

I was personally very encouraged by reading this book. It brought me back to the days of having “just preschoolers and babies” and reminded me of the different routines and activities we did each week, routines that my current littles have missed out on since I’ve also got school age kids and a teenager.

(If you’d like to win a copy of Steady Days, pop back later today to enter a great giveaway!)

So, read any good books lately?

Share your recent reading in the comments section below or bring the permalink from your post over here. Don’t forget to link to my post so that your readers know where our little book club is meeting.

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  1. Well Jessica, you totally made my day! First off, I’m so glad you like the book – it’s one of my favorites. Second, I went running into the kitchen to tell my husband my book review was linked to “the blog” – he just laughed and asked which one that was – “the BIG blog, with all the readers…FishMama’s blog!” Then the whole story of why you are called FishMama and blubbering on about how you had linked to my book review and he says, “Good for you. There’s a guy with the last name Fisher at work and we call him Fish too.” I’m truly am thankful I’m married to someone who can bring me back down to earth. 🙂 Anyway, thanks for making this day start out on a high!

  2. I had to post two links – I had already finished one update when I finally got my hands on The Help by Kathryn Stockett, so I had to throw that one in there too.

    Also – I’m looking for whoever first recommended the book The Reserve: A Novel by Russell Banks. I read it a few weeks ago and have a few questions for whoever read it! I went back through Mr Linkys but couldn’t find who I was looking for.

    Thanks again FishMama for hooking us all up!

  3. Trixie Belden! My older sister collected the entire series and I read them too. Haven’t thought about those books in years. 🙂

  4. So many good books, so little time. I may have to get some audio books form the library to keep up with everything I want to read this summer.

    1. @Jacky, that is a great idea! Especially for road trips with the kids. Speaking of which, we have a three hour drive coming up. Sounds like I need to find our Hobbit CDs.

  5. I’m currently reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett; highly recommend it. Did a bit of “no thinking required” reading during vacation a week ago which included Something Blue and Baby Proof by Emily Giffen.

    1. @Nancy, I just got it from the library last week. I better get moving on it because I’m sure there’s no renew option on that one. Thanks for the reminder.

      1. @FishMama, I was just going to comment about The Help. Absolutely phenomenal read. I had that book with me EVERY SINGLE TIME I would sit down to nurse the baby and I couldn’t bear stopping. I haven’t read anything as good for a very long time.

  6. I like getting the recommendations for kids books. I promised my daughter she could pick something off of paperback swap as a reward for helping me package and mail a whole bunch of books. Time to pay up!

  7. Just added my first contribution! I reviewed 3 books that I read last month: one nonfiction, one novel I loved and one novel I hated. Of the three, I recommend NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman for everyone.

  8. I have read two over the past couple of months. The first, The Help, was suggested by my mother-in-law. I loved it. Towards the end I could not put it down!
    The second, Sarah’s Key, I suggest to anyone interested int he Holocaust. While not true, it is based off of true events that happened during that time. It was interesting to read as each chapter switched to another persons perspective. It was also very sad at times, bringing me to tears.
    I am currently reading True Betrayals by Nora Roberts. I am half way in and really like it. My husband calls it a ‘book p*#@’… Go figure…


  9. I am always starting more than one book at a time, too. I think my favorite recent read was a picture book called The Seven Silly Eaters By Mary Ann Hoberman. Created For Work whish I read for my kids really chanllenged me about my work ethics.

  10. All of the stories I read had something in common: starvation! I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Peel Society; that was great! I also read an Amaerican Girl Mystery; I didn’t know they had historical fiction for older girls that were unrelated to their dolls. This one was called Betrayal at Cross Creek, and I really liked it as well. (Oh, and I guess I read another one this week, too, called Enemy at the Fort–no starvation in that one, though!)

    I read the entire Story of the World, Volume 2.

    I also read a fantastic book called Nory Ryan’s Song. It is about the potato famine in Ireland. I really enjoyed it, and I am going to request the sequel (Maggie’s Door) at the library this week.

    Reading Nory Ryan’s Song, I realized how much we have. I may still be living from my pantry, but I have food–and such a variety! I felt so grateful for all that we have; we are not going hungry! This book certainly helps us to see how rich we really are.

  11. I have a 10, 4, 3, and 2. I want to start reading the classics children books to my kids. I’m alittle worried the younger kids are still to young. Do you read these books to all of your children?

  12. I recently read “She Walks in Beauty” by Siri Mitchell….loved it! From checking out recs here I decided to check out “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”, I’m on page 77, so far, so good. 🙂

    This summer while on a break from school, I thought I would read some classics I have never read so I checked out “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get into it. 😉

    Along with those, I’ve been reading homeschooling books…looking forward to some more reviews!

      1. To Kill a Mockingbird is excellent. Keep reading. Another favorite for kids is George Washington Carver. I remember reading this to my sister when she was in second grade. Time to pull it out and read it to my own children.

  13. Our book club is reading “Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace” – gives an interesting perspective into motherhood. “Beautiful Boy” got out voted by a small margin, but this is supposedly an amazing book about a father dealing with his son’s addiction. And finally, my favorite read of the year, “Thirteenth Tale” – amazing!

  14. I listened to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society a few months ago on CD and I highly recommend it in that format. I loved the English accents and different voices for different characters!

  15. What great timing. I was just looking for a children’s novel to read for a college assignment that is coming up soon and “The Search for Delicious” looks perfect.

  16. I’ve only read 5 books since the beginning of june. 🙁 here they are:

    Not Buying it: my year without shopping
    Master your Metabolism
    The Profitable Hobby Farm
    The Killing Dance

    I have about 6(yikes) I need to finish before the end of the month. Hopefully I can get my rear in gear and get them done(so I dont have a library fines!)