What I am Reading and Doing


Chicken’s first letter, written to Granny. This was entirely her own doing, and is extremely cute. Translation at the bottom.

Last month I had a loose goal to stay off screens in the evenings. Or something like that. See- I don’t even remember the exact goal, because that’s how seriously I took it. (Not at all).

My idea was to read more books. And I tried- I really did. But, honestly, finding good books that I looked forward to reading (instead of watching New Girl or reading blogs/fb) was hard.

I tried a few books that friends had recommended. I read about 50 pages of “Daring Greatly” and then had to return it to the library. And- honestly? I don’t know if I’ll go back and check it back out. Similar to “Quiet“, I feel like I read my 50 pages and got the gist of it. I know that really doesn’t give credit to the book in its’ entirety. But when I read “Quiet”, I feel like I learned the main point in the first little stretch, then relearned it again in different ways until the end. My thought with “Daring Greatly” is- did I already learn the main point in the first 50 pages? That vulnerability is a seemingly counterintuitive good thing? Great! I agree! And I’m not sure I need to read the rest of the book to be even more convinced. Hence, book abandoned at 50 pages.

I also picked up “Quotidian Mysteries” again. A friend gave me this book when Chicken was a baby and I marked it up, underlining and starring so many portions. (Then I gave that copy away, which I have regretted ever since. Mostly because the newer copy I just purchased has a horrible cover. And I wish I could see all the underlining I did the first time I read this, with my first little baby in tow. Boo.) Returning to this short book (really a lecture that Kathleen Norris gave once, in print form) has been great. One of those that I read and keep thinking “hmm…yes!”.

So, now that I have complained about two bestselling books that have changed people’s entire lives for the better- any book suggestions for me?

(And I’ll give you a big old eye roll if you think I can muster enthusiasm for the classics or something like that, at the end of the day. That is just not where I am these days. Minimal brain power required, please.)

Moving on:

Here is something I read today, and I liked it. My husband and I had this sort of conversation a few times around the topic of brain surgery and the emotions that came with that. How much of those emotions (namely sadness or fear) do we show to the kids, and how much do we try to keep hidden, to deal with in private? We didn’t want to alarm our kids, and certainly we set a strong tone for how everyone is going to feel about the hospital visits and tests. But I don’t like the idea of being stoic and brave all the time, either. Because a) that’s wildly inauthentic at times and b) it’s okay for our kids to see us sad or worried, and see how we handle that. (Right? Where’s the “How to Walk Your Family Through Brain Surgery” handbook?). Anyway. I thought this post about arguing was good food for thought in terms of what we show and do not show our kids.

Lastly, I read this a few weeks ago and have been on the oil-pulling train ever since. This should come as no surprise, given that I also tried washing my face with oil (success! Still doing it!) and going shampoo-free (abandoned long ago) and going antiperspirant-free (please let’s never talk about that again. It makes my armpits hurt, just thinking about it).

I hope you have a good time and I hope that you come back someday.

That is how I feel about you, reader.


13 thoughts on “What I am Reading and Doing

  1. Love the sweet letter to granny! I just started reading a book yesterday. It’s called If I Perish by Esther Ahn Kim. I am really enjoying it. It’s engaging and challenging. Perhaps, you should give it a whirl? 🙂 One of my favorite books I’ve read as of late is called Loved Does by Bob Goff. Enjoy!

    • i’ve heard a lot about Love Does- i’ll try it. i’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that “If I Perish” is not the light and mindless read i am gravitating toward at the end of the day…

  2. I loved “Where’d Ya Go, Bernadette?”
    Loved “The Alchemist.”
    Love the Flavia de Luce mysteries
    Pretty much love anything that Modern Mrs. Darcy recommends.
    I added on Facebook my list of books on hold that came in, but here it is for all of your dear readers as well: “Wonder,” “The Husband’s Secret,” “The Goldfinch,”, “How to Steal Like an Artist.”

    • oh yeah! i read “Bernadette” and like that a lot. haven’t read the others, but man i’ve heard a ton about “Goldfinch”. thanks keely!

  3. What kind of oil? Sesame? Or coconut? How many minutes? I’ve read about this and the thing I read gives sesame the advantage…and I’m considering trying it. Though I’m no shunner of deodorant or shampoo…so that kind of subculture would be a walk on the wild side for me. 🙂 I’ve got Love Does if you want to go the borrowing route on that one. (Lots of YL love in that one.) I’d have to think of what else I’ve liked recently. I loved History of Love when I read that a few years back. That’s been my go-to random fiction recommendation for a while.

    • i want to borrow Love Does! thanks!!

      coconut oil for about 20 minutes. my cheeks hurt from the stretching out for the first few minutes, but then they don’t after a while. i don’t know why. try it try it!

  4. I had the same experience with Quiet. Never did finish it. I’ve been trying to read more myself. I miss it. Because of my new job, the only things I’ve been reading are YA and kid lit. If you like fairy tale/fable-ish things, I recommend Far, Far Away by Tom (?) McNeal. It’s light, but has some heft (and darkness) to it. Thinking back to my parenting-young-kids brain, it would have been just right.

  5. I was in the same boat as you, no time for anything heavy or challenging in my reading, I wanted it to be fun and “little brain power” required. I recently finished the last installment of Bridget Jones- Mad About the Boy. It was HILLARIOUS, and while it is no classic, or self help book, I literally laughed out loud until I cried. It is about her now being middle aged and having kids, and screwing it all up hillariously. So, for a light, fun, easy, “something you look forward to” I recommend this fabulous ‘Chick-lit.’

  6. I enjoyed “Bossypants” and “Dad is Fat” for short chapters, laughability & their kindness to my end-of-day mush brain.

  7. Pingback: All Those Precious Memories… | Ye Old College Try

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