Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Good Reads

For me, pregnancy is a time when I like to read, a lot.  And this pregnancy, although only 15 weeks along is appearing to be no different.  

The first book I read was Atchafalaya Houseboat: My years in the Louisianna Swamp.  I loved it! I loved it so much!  This gal and a friend build a decent size house on an old barge.  They had raised garden beds, chickens, crawfish galore and the freedom to learn all sorts of skills, ones I certainly do not possess.  They were able to do all these things mainly because they didn't really have many financial obligations so their time was spent on surviving, but surviving with style.  Swamp style.  It inspired me, no not to go for a morning swim in the nude, although they did their fair share of that!  But to use what we have, where we are and make the most of it.  In our free time Clay and I watch countless videos on youtube of people living in Tiny Homes, converting a bus into a home, or how to build a cob house.  But right now we are in a normal home (pretty awesome still) in the city and that is okay, better than okay.  We have three chickens, a rabbit, two cats, and some raised garden beds that mostly survived my two months of morning sickness and the sporadic watering.  But...if one day one of our teenage kids says, "Mom, I just found an old school bus for $1,000...what do you think?"  I might just say, "BUY IT!"  Or if that doesn't happen maybe Clay and I will build something crazy when we are empty nesters.  Until then I will continue reading great reads like this one, and cultivating where I have been planted. 

Next, I read The Shell Seekers.  At first I wasn't sure I could get into it.  But then I just kept on and finally got to the point where I couldn't put it down.  I would tell Clay the story as I read and he didn't think it sounded all that interesting.  And I realized as I spoke it out loud it didn't sound that great, but it was!    For one thing, her characters are wonderful.  I could relate to the main character Penelope in some ways.  She was frugal, loved to cook, loved her children, loved beauty, her furnishings were old but well taken care of, her home always smelled good and possessed a sense of warmth.  Penelope possesses two paintings that her late artist father left her, now his pieces are going for absurd amounts of money.  What will she do? Sell, or keep her treasured paintings?  Her greedy grown children want to get their hands on them, will they?  It may not sound all that thrilling or interesting, but it is. :) I really enjoyed this book and recommend it.

The last book I just completed was  A Thousand Splendid Suns.  There were many times I did not think I could finish this book because the suffering and cruelty was so intense.  But I am so glad I did!  This is another page turner.  I read this one in three days.  My husband, who actually is more of a reader than I am but with his new job which is quite physical compared to teaching has a hard time staying awake at night to read when before he would easily read until midnight, said, "I wish I could finish a book that fast."  My reply, "The kids have a two hour nap time everyday where I lay on the couch and read...nothing else really productive takes place."  Whereas before I was pregnant I would have filled it will a to do list. Nowadays it is just the necessities, food, dishes, laundry, home school...and...reading. Bliss.  Anyhow, this book will take you through Afghanistan from the early 70s to 9/11.  I knew nothing of their history and misery of war year after year.  
Presently, I just started A Prayer for Owen Meany by: John Irving and I am already sucked in.  I think this is the book Simon Birch the movie is based off.  And just yesterday I received Redeeming Childbirth by:  Angie Tolpin in the mail.  I read the first chapter last night and think it will definitely be beneficial to help shape my heart and attitude in this pregnancy.  My main struggle in pregnancy is fear.  Fear is so dangerous and paralyzing.  You name it I can be worried about it or contrive some story in my head of a possible outcome to a possible complication.  Hopefully God will use this book to help me focus and say no to the lies that come swimming through my head.   

The kids have been speeding through books as well.  I will post more about the chapter books we have been reading together.  We had some really great weather for a couple weeks and now it is back in the 90s.  The other evening Ellie came in the house to get some water, I asked her if she doing okay?  Her reply, "Oh, it's just the hottest day of my life."  It was hilarious, I started cracking up.  But she pressed onward and returned to the beloved sprinkler.   Summer is almost over and I can barely believe it.  But Fall is always beautiful in the Ozarks.  And with the coming of Fall means the coming of winter and then the coming of Baby!! 

Have you been reading anything good?  Do you have any recommendations? I would really love some!