May 2010 Book Challenge Thread - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 93 Old 05-01-2010, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Happy Mayday! Happy Beltane! Or just Happy First of May! Hard to believe how fast the year is going by.

So, just by way of clarification (for comers both new and old), new and improved guidelines for the Book Challenge Thread are as follows:

1) Post the books you read ... or not
2) Post a recommendation ... or not
3) Number your book ... or not
4) Make a goal ... or not
5) Have fun with books (This one, unfortunately, is MANDATORY)



So, with that, avante, allons-y and a happy reading May to everyone!

2009's Thread can be found HERE
January's Thread can be found HERE
February's Thread can be found HERE
March's Thread can be found HERE
April's Thread can be found HERE

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#2 of 93 Old 05-01-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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Hi there I'm a newbie here.

I recently read Jubilee by Margaret Walker. This book will stay with me forever. It was incredible.

I just finished reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I looooved it.

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#3 of 93 Old 05-02-2010, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there I'm a newbie here.
Welcome!

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#4 of 93 Old 05-02-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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Welceom Bejeweled and Happy May Day everybody.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#5 of 93 Old 05-02-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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17. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

There are some scenes that stay in my mind - the boy's first taste of a Coke and that scene with the baby. I think if you can read Stephen King then this book won't be a problem. I had avoided it for a long time but now I'm glad I read it.

18. Island of Childhood by Elinor Fitch Griffin

I read this because I help college students in their classes and this was the textbook for one of the students. If you are a preschool teacher or just curious about the psychology and dynamics of a preschool classroom, this was interesting and had all kinds of real-life examples. It had a different approach towards classrooms, sort of viewing them as a place of psychotherapy. A lot of examples of helping children work through their anxieties through play as in Playful Parenting. Another similar textbook I like is Infants, Toddlers, and Caregivers by Mena/Eyer, which looks at infant and toddler classrooms that are set up completely outdoors where the babies even nap outside. There are very few parenting books that have anything interesting and new to say, but you can pick up textbooks like this and be exposed to some pretty fascinating ideas.

19. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

re-reading one of my favorites

20. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau decides to build himself a little cabin by Walden Pond and live off the land. I enjoyed all of his observations about nature and about the interesting people around him.

21. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

I didn't like this. Cowboys traveling through the dusty landscape drinking black coffee and smoking cigarettes and ranching just make me feel icky. There were lengthy conversations in Spanish that I didn't understand.

22. The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle

I adored this book. I could totally see myself reading it to my future son someday... All the stories about the knights were interesting and I liked the flow of the words. There were preachy little tidbits at the end of the chapters - stuff like, "So if you would become like to King Arthur, then you shall take all your triumphs as he took this victory, for you will not be turned aside from your final purposes by the great applause that many men may give you, but you will first finish your work..." There are so many Arthurian books out there and I don't know which ones are best, but I can recommend this one.

23. Atonement by Ian McEwan

I have enjoyed all of McEwan's books and hadn't read this one until now. I didn't like it at all. Part one: long description of someone's migraine Part two: long description of someone trekking across France and then after all that the end was a disappointment.
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#6 of 93 Old 05-02-2010, 09:40 PM
 
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#10 Kinky Gazpacho by Lori Tharps

I loved this book! It's a memoir written by a black American woman who grew up in the midwest surrounded by people who didn't look like her. Even as a child, she felt that she was meant to go to Spain for her destiny was there. During her junior year of college, Tharps spends a year studying in Spain and her life changes forever in wonderful and some not so wonderful ways. It's about her growth, her love affair with Spain, and coming to terms with who she is. It's a memoir and a very interesting one at that. She glosses over some things like her seizure disorder, the birth of her second child, her religious faith, etc. but I guess that's to keep the book more focused on its theme. The theme of the book is captured in the title. The title of the book comes from the combination of her black heritage and her new Spanish life. Really worth reading if you can get your hands on it.

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#7 of 93 Old 05-02-2010, 10:23 PM
 
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back for more
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#8 of 93 Old 05-03-2010, 12:11 AM
 
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Better check in for the new month!

I'm a little less than halfway through:

#84 The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Others here read this?
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#9 of 93 Old 05-03-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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A new month! And it's Sunday so it's time for another update from me with this weeks books

Already Read This Year
1. Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy, Gluten-free Children by Danna Korn
2. The Simple Guide to Having a Baby: What You Need to Know by Janet Whalley, Penny Simkin, Ann Keppler
3. A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen
4. The One Minute Teacher by Spencer Johnson
5. Damaged Angels by Bonnie Buxton
6. Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck
7. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
8. Unclutter Your Life by Katherine Gibson
9. Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Rooney Doland
10. Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus by John Gray
11. Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah Buckley


12. Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn

*This is my second time reading this book. I love his style of writing and I refer back to this book as one of my tried and trues for parenting whenever I feel like I need it again. His main focus is that it doesn't matter how we perceive what we do/say to our children, what matters is how they perceive it, and working to make that as unconditional as possible.

13. Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey

*A short, easy read about living with and loving your curly hair. I don't have curly hair, but my oldest son does and it was recommended on here as a good book for parents of curly haired children to read. I learned some things I didn't know about how to care for curly hair and I'm hoping that we will be able to implement her ideas and reduce the amount of conflict we've been having over his hair care. I won't likely read it again, but I would recommend it for those with or with children with curly hair.

14. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

*I read this book for the first time and I can see why so many recommend it. It is different from most of the books that I read, but I found myself able to get right into the world As much as I enjoyed it, and while I would recommend it, I probably won't read it again unless I read it with one of my children when they are older.

15. Concious Loving by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks

*This is the first of two books by this couple that I have signed out from the library to read. It was recommended to DP and I by a therapist friend of ours. The second (much smaller) part of the book is actually exercises to work through with your partner or by yourself to help heal relationships. It was very different from other relationship books I've read, a lot more of feeling your feelings as deeply as you can, and not hiding from them or hiding them from your partner. I enjoyed it.

16. Your Money or Your Life by Joseph R. Dominguez and Vicki Robin

*I read this book for the second time. We are Dave Ramsey followers, but still I love the principles in this book as well. I love the idea that time is valuable, and is life energy, and so we should be conscious about what we are spending it on.

17. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision by Paul Fleiss

*This was a school read for me and it is a must read I would say for anyone considering circumcision for their child. Even for those who aren't I think it has a lot of valuable information about the function of the foreskin and the the natural variations in intact males that anyone with an intact partner or child could benefit from. I am very glad I read it and in fact am getting DP to read it as well, minus the parts on actual circumcision as our boys are intact and I don't feel that most people who already have made up their minds to keep their children intact will need the level of knowledge that is there about the process of circumcision. It is written by a doctor who used to preform circumcisions and now is an intactivist.

18. View from the Bedpan by Beverley June Richmond

*This is a book about healing from a traumatic, life altering injury. The woman who wrote this book was hit by a van while crossing the street, thrown in the air, and then run over by the van... and she lived through the accident and the resulting multiple fractures, including skull, and internal injuries including a brain injury. She lived in the same city as me and worked at the local newspaper. Her writing style is now a little repetitive, I'm sure because of the brain injury, but it's an amazing story of triumph and she has great ideas for those who are healing from similar accidents.

19. House Works by Cynthia Townley Ewer

*This is a well laid out book on tackling the organization of your home. She covers everything from how to clean to how to organize and how to effectively store things. I follow the FLYLady emails and I found this was incredibly similar, right down to using the same terminology in a lot of places, but as far as I know there are no official ties between them.

20. Concious Living by Gay Hendricks

*This book is the follow up to Concious Loving which I also read this week. Unlike the first book this one can be read and implemented completely without your partner's participation. It would be ideal for someone without a partner, although I also think I gained a lot from this book as well even though I am partnered. I am glad that my friend recommended them to me to read.

Alison
Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
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#10 of 93 Old 05-03-2010, 03:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a little less than halfway through:

#84 The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Others here read this?
I haven't ... it's on my list though ... I even had it checked out from the library at one point a couple of months ago, but never got around to reading it.

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#11 of 93 Old 05-03-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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joining for the first time ever Currently finishing Perelandra by Lewis- there is a third in the series, but not sure if I want to read it, depends on the rest of the book. I will have to work on my lists- off the top of my head books for this month:

Fire
Wizard of Earthsea
Hero and the Crown
Howl's Moving Castle
Birthmarked
the Uglies Series
the Messenger and Gathering Blue
Maze Runner

non fic:
Keeping a Nature Journal
Primal Blueprint

I have lots of good recommendations that I am sorting through but we have a limited supply of books at the library- so I have to see what I can get ILL as well.

Happily Married to my : 11 yrs- Mama to wild-eyed monkey boy 7-04, fiery little girl 4-07, and the happy smiley baby that sleeps 11-09!
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#12 of 93 Old 05-03-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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Thank you.

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Welcome!

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#13 of 93 Old 05-03-2010, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#17 The Iron Man: A Story in Five Nights
by Ted Hughes
illustrated by Andrew Davidson

My review can be found HERE

(This is the book that Brad Bird' film The Iron Giant is based on ... and that is Ted Hughes as in Sylvia Plath's husband ... so, interesting to say the least ...)


#1 Tales from Outer Suburbia, #2 The Men Who Stare at Goats, #3 Under the Dome (Audio), #4 Benito Cereno, #5 Doctor Who: The Rising Night, An Exclusive Audio Adventure (Audio), #6 UR (Audio), #7 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls, #8 Shutter Island (Audio), #9 Watchmen, #10 The Darwin Awards II: Unnatural Selection (Audio), #11 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, #12 Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy, #13 Lovecraft: Tales, #14 Hellboy: Oddest Jobs, #15 Danse Macabre (Audio), #16 Doctor Who: Ghosts of India (Audio) #17 The Iron Man: A Story in Five Nights

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#14 of 93 Old 05-03-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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Welcome Bejeweled and Crunchy Mama! Fun to see more new faces!

#28 Didn't I Feed You Yesterday: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos by Laura Bennett

Very fun, quick, witty read by Laura of Project Runway fame. She has 6 kids and lives in Manhattan in a 2 bedroom loft with her fellow architect husband. She has a fantastically casual parenting style. Totally worth reading for the laughs alone. Finished it in a weekend.

#29 Blue Bird: Women and The New Psychology of Happiness by Ariel Gore

I LOVE Ariel Gore. And she does not disappoint in her new book. She analyzes how find happiness, how psychology has addressed happiness, etc, all with a feminist bent, since that's her modus operandi. I really love the book cover too. I'm a sucker for a good book cover.
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#15 of 93 Old 05-03-2010, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome Bejeweled and Crunchy Mama! Fun to see more new faces!
Hear! Hear!

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#16 of 93 Old 05-03-2010, 09:40 PM
 
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#28 Didn't I Feed You Yesterday: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos by Laura Bennett

Very fun, quick, witty read by Laura of Project Runway fame. She has 6 kids and lives in Manhattan in a 2 bedroom loft with her fellow architect husband. She has a fantastically casual parenting style. Totally worth reading for the laughs alone. Finished it in a weekend.
added to my holds list!
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#17 of 93 Old 05-04-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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15. The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
- about the founding and fast rise of Facebook, written by the author of Bringing Down the House. I enjoyed it, easy to read, fast paced, entertaining.
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#18 of 93 Old 05-04-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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I'll join!
For May so far:
Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (I REALLY enjoyed this one btw. I was completely expecting it to be awful and was pleasantly surprised!)
One for the Money by Janet Evanovich (audio)- first in the Stephanie Plum series, apparently it is going to be made into a movie.

Currently reading:
Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich
Wings of Wrath by C.S. Friedman (book 2 in the series)
House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Happy Reading everyone!

Mama to Ahnna-Bella (Dec 05) dust.gif, Harrison (Oct 08) kid.gif, and Kellan Wilder (Jan '12) baby.gif

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#19 of 93 Old 05-04-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

This is a memoir of the author, Josh (a former drag queen turned ad exec) and his partner Brent (health expert for Martha Stewart) who buy a old mansion in the country and try to make it in pay for itself by raising goats and selling goat's milk soap. This was both funny and sad, but always interesting. An enjoyable read.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#20 of 93 Old 05-04-2010, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll join!
Welcome!



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Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (I REALLY enjoyed this one btw. I was completely expecting it to be awful and was pleasantly surprised!)
Isn't that one great? I loved it too!

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#21 of 93 Old 05-04-2010, 08:49 PM
 
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#14 Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls- A true life novel

This is the fantastic story of Jeanette Walls' (of *The Glass Castle* fame) fiercely independent grandmother. I devoured this delicious tale.

I bet the *true life novel* will be an emerging genre. Part memoir, part storytelling. I imagine most great memoirs probably fall in that category anyway. Does anyone truly remember dialogue between family members at age 4? Thinking of *The Glass Castle*, *Angela's Ashes* & *Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight*

~traci

~Traci, wife to DH 4-88. Mom to 3 homebirthed sons, 22,20&17

The Blue Door Farmhouse & traci.mymomentis.biz

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#22 of 93 Old 05-04-2010, 10:04 PM
 
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The Graveyard Book, Gaiman

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

These are both recommendations from the thread over the past year or so, really liked both!
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#23 of 93 Old 05-05-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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I haven't ... it's on my list though ... I even had it checked out from the library at one point a couple of months ago, but never got around to reading it.
I liked it, but I think you will like it more.

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Howl's Moving Castle
Maze Runner
I really liked Maze Runner. Tons.
I tried to start Howl's Moving Castle this week and just didn't get drawn in, I'll be interested to hear if you think it's worth another try.
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#24 of 93 Old 05-05-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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I didn't know Howl's Moving Castle was a book? I loved the movie

And is anyone else having to login repeatedly? It's driving me nuts. Also, for some reason the mobile version keeps loading for me and it's an eyesore on a regular computer. Doh.

I'm reading Secret Son right now for my bookclub and it's also the Seattle reads library pick. Pretty good stuff.
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#25 of 93 Old 05-05-2010, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And is anyone else having to login repeatedly? It's driving me nuts. Also, for some reason the mobile version keeps loading for me and it's an eyesore on a regular computer. Doh.
I had the login problem until I switched to Firefox (for other internet-related reasons, not because of the MDC login) and then it resolved itself.

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#26 of 93 Old 05-07-2010, 08:39 AM
 
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I am so short on time this week- dh out of town- a baby not sleeping- sigh--- not much reading.

I finished Perelandra which was meh- tedious to me- I won't be reading the 3rd in the serious afterall. I liked the bones of the story but all the descriptors of where he was seemed superfluous to me.

Yesterday I finished Fire- I didn't like it nearly as well as Graceling. The story was not nearly as engaging and the lead character not nearly as likeable- I kept on thinking of her as weak- although certainly she wasn't but that is the impression I had. The action was slow to build and I thought the writing was not nearly as good for this book. It was an enjoyable rea dthough.

I think I will move on the The Messenger by Lowry next- it is a nice short book and it is a bit of a break after reading Fire.

Interesting reading everyone's choices and reviews- hopefully next week I will have more time to contribute and read!

Happily Married to my : 11 yrs- Mama to wild-eyed monkey boy 7-04, fiery little girl 4-07, and the happy smiley baby that sleeps 11-09!
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#27 of 93 Old 05-09-2010, 05:15 PM
 
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Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in the group!

Angel Time by Anne Rice

This was the story of a man who lost his faith in God when his mother murdered his younger brother and sister. He becomes a hit man . . . but an angel feels he still has good in him and gives him a mission to help a Jewish family in the past and see if it will bring him back to God. Like all Rice's books, this was packed with historical research and good writing.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#28 of 93 Old 05-09-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya

This book came up in one of my library certification classes as a book often banned from schools. It is the story of a Mexican boy questioning his Catholic faith. It was a great, great book with lots of Latino culture, family dynamics, mysticsm, and good storytelling.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#29 of 93 Old 05-09-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya

This book came up in one of my library certification classes as a book often banned from schools. It is the story of a Mexican boy questioning his Catholic faith. It was a great, great book with lots of Latino culture, family dynamics, mysticsm, and good storytelling.

I LOVE THAT BOOK! it is one of my all time favourites.
I think Anaya is a really underrated writer.
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#30 of 93 Old 05-10-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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Short list for me this week... I had extra kids here for part of it, was away for part of it, and was sick for part of it. I am going to try and make up for it this coming week because I feel like I didn't do nearly enough reading this week!

21. Put Your House on a Diet by Ed Morrow

*This book was I think the last of the decluttering type of books I had in my stack to read. I really liked the layout of this one, it was done by room but there were a lot more rooms covered than are usually covered. Easy to read and had comics in it on some pages too

22. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

*WOW I cannot say how much I loved this book. I need to own it now it was that good. It follows the author and her family on a year of eating local foods. It reshaped some of how I think about food and prompted us to take our own local food challenge. I love the way it was written and I will definitely read it again and again!

Alison
Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
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