5 Great Children’s Books about Love

5 Children's' Books about Love | Just Rhonda

It’s getting close to valentine’s day this week. Some people love the day and some hate it. I think it’s always a good idea to tell those around us we love them and to talk about love with our kids. I’ve heard teenagers using the word love quite freely about each other. And often it is mistaken for liking someone. Either way it is a good thing to talk to our kids about. What love really is and how we show people that we love them and that there are different kinds of love. Here are a few kids books that we are fans of that talk about love and loving those around us.

 

  1. Love you Forever by Robert Munsch. This is a classic kids book. Totally one that made me bawl whenever I would read it pregnant. It’s such a wonderful example of how much parents love their kids and especially a mothers love. I think it’s a great book for beginning a conversation with our kids about how they will always be our babies no matter how big they get.
  2. Wherever you are, my love will find you by  Nancy Tillman. A sweet loving story about a parent’s love for a child. A beautiful poetic book with sweet simple illustrations.
  3. Love you when by Linda Kranz. A simple and cute book about how something we see in our daily travels will spark our minds to think of those we love.
  4. The Kissing Hand by  Audrey Penn. We were first given this book when Alden went to school for the first time and we have loved it ever since. It is such a great book talking about how love can go with someone even if we are separated from each other. It’s a great book for the beginning of school.
  5. How full is your bucket?  by Tom Rath. A great book that teaches kids HOW to show people you love them. Using the bucket metaphor to teach kids that it’s how we act that shows love.

All of these books are really good for opening conversation about your own love with your child. Do any titles come to mind for you that you love to read about love? 🙂

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On the Bookshelf: The Fringe Hours

I love reading. And I in the past I have still found time to read for pleasure. The more kids we’ve gotten the less time I have found to do it. Although when my babies are just new I do a lot of reading while breastfeeding. That’s all done (and has been for a while) and this year I have found less time to focus on my huge list of to read books! One that I did make time for and love recently is this one called the Fringe Hours.

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I really really loved this book. Essentially she is talking about find time to do things. Making time for ourselves in our busy lives. I’ve been asked LOTS of times about getting it all done. Which to me is such a funny concept. If you’ve been in my home and around me a lot you’d know I don’t get it all done. I’m just choosing what I want to get done (as I think we all are doing even if we are unaware of our choices).

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This book has a section about finding the time to do these things. She calls them the Fringe hours; which are the little pockets of time when you can do something you are choosing. In the early morning (which really doesn’t work at our house unless I want to get up at 4am. Which for the record I don’t.) For me personally my pockets of time or “fringe hours” are sometimes in the morning (but my kids are awake if I am doing in then – and I would only really bake or do a blog post then) nap time (which is like gold for me – I get a lot of done in the two hours that Norah naps), night time (after the kids go to bed I try and accomplish things) and I find little pockets during the day. Like let’s say my kids are playing at the kitchen counter happily, then I will mix down  a batch of buns. Or bring something to the counter to work on too. Or set up painting at the kitchen table with Oliver so he can paint while I do while Norah naps.

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I think often women feel like they can’t choose those things they love. Like they have too much of their REAL responsibilities to do. But I choose to do things I love. She has a whole section in the book on guilt and how that often prevents women from choosing to do things they love. I don’t know if it was because my mom was always involved in creative things or what but I leave my laundry and choose to paint or to bake or to scrapbook. And I think doing that makes me a better mom. Now I don’t mean I always choose fun things. I still try and keep a relatively clean house and keep up on my laundry. Although my laundry is often way behind because I’m choosing to do other things. Sometimes that means I’m choosing to play with my kids or watch them play or baking cookies with them. But sometimes it’s because I’m choosing to do something I want to do too.

When someone asks me how I “get it all done” I usually have these  three things run through my head:

  1. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. You should come over and see the laundry pile at my house right now.
  2. or try and find pair or socks! hahahahahahaha
  3. How do you use your fringe hours?

I think you just have to have a conscious choice that this week I want to find time to work on my project life album. Then one day when i have 15 minutes free I am going to print all my pictures for 2 weeks of my album. So I do that. And that fills up all my time. Then the next day I might get 15 minutes to slip the filler cards in. Then that night or at nap time I might get time to add in my journalling. That is how I get a spread done. Or anything else that I want to do. My hobbies and passions. Finding small blocks of time in the middle of the day. Just like I try and do with my laundry or tidying up the kitchen or anything else. Because of that i usually have a few things on the go. Books, projects, etc. And then I just fit them in where there are my little pockets of time or fringe hours. I usually try and accomplish something big on the evenings that Regan is on call. He’s gone and the kids are in bed and so if I am focused I can have a good 3-4 hours of time to do something. When we first had Alden a mother older than me told me that she never did housework when her kids were in bed. And I do the same thing. Laundry and ironing are the only things I’ll do when my kids are in bed and that’s only because I watch TV while I do those!

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One part in the book kind of made me laugh. That was the section on finding your passions. Maybe that’s because I have a million. I could use a whole other lifetime just for the things I’d love to try. I have to work on balance in the other way. Seriously there are oh so many neat things in the world I’d love to try! Jessica has a list in the book to help you narrow down what you love to do. I could have circled most of them. Because for two weeks I’d love to try one and then I’d want to move on to another one. It’s how my mind is and how my personality is. There are a few things that I have loved for a long time (cooking, baking, photography, memory keeping) but then other  things my interest comes and goes. Like painting or pottery or calligraphy or gardening or a million other things.

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This book is encouraging and an easy read. If you live near me and want to borrow it, I’d lend it to you. If you’ve read it, I’d love to know your thoughts about it!

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My Top Ten Books

 

toptenfictionbooks I got asked a few weeks ago on Facebook to make a list of my favorite books. This was kind of a hard list for me to make. I love books. And I love lots of kinds of books: cookbooks, fiction, non-fiction, parenting books, photography books. So I went with an all fiction list. In the future I may make a list of another style of my 10 favorite.

1. The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis. I love this book so much. If you ask me for a book recommendations it’ll be the first one I say. I think it has many powerful lessons in it. And a lot of them having to do with a traditional Jewish community are similar in a small traditional Mormon town, like the one I grew up in (and the one I live in now). I love the way it is written in a collective mind set and how it slightly uses humor to teach her point. Love it.

2. Where the Heart is by Billie Letts. This one is purely emotional for me. It was the last book that my sister Kelly and I both read and then went to the movie about. It’ll always hold a special place in my heart because of it.

3. Streams to River, River to see by Scott O’Dell. I loved this book as a child. I mean really loved it. I remember reading it multiple times from the school library. I was in grade 5 or 6 the first time I read it and man I loved it. It was then that I realized how much I love historical fiction. Up until then I didn’t even know that was a kind of book!

4. The Harry Potters Series by J.K. Rowling. I loved these books. And  I loved see my kids read and love them too. I’ve read some of them more than once and I will again I am sure. I love them. Maybe I start reading the first one to Eli – he would love them!

5. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: The writing in this book is so wonderful. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to start from the beginning again. It was that kind of book that just sucked you in. Great characters and the plot is fantastic and leads in a lovely direction and you don’t really know where you are going until you are there. Love love loved it.

6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett: Such important lessons in here about racial differences and love and how we treat others. I think this is an important book with important (and entertaining) things to say.

7.  Summer of Monkeys by Wilson Rawls I found this book when I was not a kid but I loved it and bought it for my kids. I’ve started reading it out loud to them. It’s a fantastic story and just great writing. Perfect for boys who are 8-12.

8. The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin. Such a great love story with lots of action in it too. The things the main characters go through in the book and the lessons on love they learn through it, fantastic.

9. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I always thought E.B. White was woman ( I have no idea why) until we bought the CDs of this book read by the author. When a deep southern mans voice came on both Regan and I were surprised. If ou haven’t listened to this book read by the author, do it! It makes it magical and he gives a kind of insight with his voice into the characters that I didn’t get when I read it myself. This book has such great lessons in it about friendship and kindness and reaching your potential. It’s really a wonderful book. There’s no wonder why this book won an award.

10. Anne of Green Gables Series by L.M. Montgomery.  This year for her birthday (ssssh don’t tell her) we are getting Lucy this series. I know she will love it. And probably have them all read in a month. (She’s a bit rabid on her reading!) I loved these books as a child. And when we lived in Nova Scotia we went out to PEI and went to the place where these books were written and all the little places that inspired them. Yep, I’ve walked down lovers lane.

What books would you put on your list?

Just Rhonda

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On the Bookshelf

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you’ll know that I collect cookbooks. I am constantly getting them from the library and checking out them in stores or online. I try to get books that add to my collection. I love it when they teach skills and offer recipes that involve ingredients that are relatively normal. Like I could find them at one of the local grocery stores.

3 Cookbooks that are new(ish) to my house:

1. Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts.  You may or may not know that I also loooove Martha! Well I love her  staff 😉 I love the stuff they come up with and her cookbooks always rank high in my mind! Recipes I’ve tried in it: Chocolate Cream Pie, Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie, Berries and Cream Tartlets, Tarte Tatin, Peach Tartlets, Chocolate Almond Tart with Fleur de Sel, Banana Cream Pie, Key Lime Pie,  Ginger-Pear Hand Pies, Rainbow Puff-Pastry Tarts, Rocky Road Tart and the Leek and Olive Tart.

Pros: It has a very diverse collection of pies and tarts. It has lots of basic recipes and then some more advanced. It covers multiple purpose doughs and gives step by step picture instructions for each.

Cons: It had a few recipes with ingredients that are hard to find at your local grocery store (well at least in Southern Alberta.)

 

 

2. Bourke Street Bakery: This book is beautiful! I love all the beautiful pictures in it.  I’ve never been to the real Bourke Street Bakery but after reading this book I SURE want too! (Too bad it’s in Sydney, Australia…) The food photography is amazing in it. The recipes range from breads, pastries and other sweets. I’ve only tried a couple recipes. The sweet shortcrust pastry, empananda dough, pan au chocolat, beef and bean sausage rolls (sooooo good!), pork and fennel sausage rolls (sooooooo good), chicken and bacon sausage rolls, Goat Cheese and Leek Tarts, lemon curd tarts, chocolate ganache tarts, chocolate mousse tarts, and the apple galette.

Pros: Some really amazing recipes. Some that are so nothing similar to anything I usually eat. Some totally new recipes. Totally new and cool flavors. Great pictures and great explanations.

Cons: This book is not for a baking beginner! It has some intense recipes.

 

3. The Grilling Book:  I looked into a lot of cookbooks about barbecuing. I really don’t have a lot of experience cooking on one and we got a new one last summer. I wanted a book that would teach me all I didn’t know. This book is it! I was not disappointed. It teaches about gas and coals. I have only tried one or two of the recipes in this book but I’m looking forward to trying more this summer.

Pros: Step by step instructions. Great recipes covering sides, sauces, tacos, and all kinds of meat. Great flavors and fantastic sauces.

Cons: I haven’t found one yet!

 

All three of these books added a lot to my cookbook collection.

On the Bookshelf

I’ve been reading a bit again lately. A few books I really liked.

1. Things Come Apart by  Todd McLellan. This is a coffee table book and it is soooooo cool! It is a photographer that takes things apart and puts together all the pieces (as in every single little piece) and photographs it. So cool!! My favorite one is the accordion! (If you click on his name it’ll take you to some of his pictures. Such a cool book that I keep looking at again and again. My kids love it too!!

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Such a tear jerker. A little bit of bad language. But such a great story and you really care about characters. Loved it.

3.  The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais. I love a novel about cooking!! This one is no exception. Great book. Easy read and interesting the layers about family and food and culture. Love, loved this one. one of my day dreams is about opening a restaurant. And this book builds upon that day dream 🙂

 

Read anything good lately?

Read it. Loved it.

1. A great list of dos and dont’s for what to wear to a photo shoot here.

2. I love this series Kristin Duke does every time of decorating with portraits. I should share all the ways I decorate my home with pictures. I have LOTS hanging and lots more ideas in progress.

3. The new kind of camera bag I am currently in LOVE with!!! Check them out – SO CUTE!

4.  Try looking at the same old things in a new way.

5. Two easy great tips about taking candid shots around home of your kids. And I’d add keep your extra battery charged all the time too.

Read it. Loved it.

First up, if you haven’t entered yet, go enter my contest!!! Down two posts to here!

 

My friend Brooke links up articles that relate to photography each week and I really love it. I’ve thought about doing it for a while and well today I’m not just thinking about it, but doing it!

1. Love loved this lesson here about printing photos. SO true. In fact we got pictures taken when Eli was small and the DVD got lost and  then just recently found and guess what? It’s all scratched and it wouldn’t load in my computer. Totally makes me sad. I have some printed but I’d still love access to them!! Print your pictures!!’

2. Some great tips here about shooting selfies. Something totally scary and thrilling to me.

3.  Speaking of Brooke, she did a GREAT post about a topic I’ve thought a LOT about. I know I’ve taken some time off for my baby but I’ve thought about not shooting anything paid for a year. Taking a break from it all and just falling in love with photography. Saving the best for my family.

4. A free cheat sheet about family photography here.

5.  An interesting article about your about page, which made me think I need to change mine 🙂

 

 

On the Bookshelf

I’ve been on a reading binge lately…

Read these in the past week:

My favorite was probably book 2. But as a whole I loved them all! Great story (still a weird idea). After I while I was annoyed with Katniss and her silliness. But at the same time that made her more realistic and human. Funny thing while I was reading it I kept thinking of how there were “team”s of women fans for Jacob or Edward (I never thought that way but I know lots of girls and women did), so are there people in two camps about the main male characters in this series?

Have you read this series??

On the Bookshelf: Advent 2011

Since I am not keeping up with posting my books each day, instead I’m gonna list all the ones we have and reuse each year!

1. Snowmen at Christmas
2. Sam’s Snowy Day
3. Fluffy’s Christmas
4. Follow the Star
5. I spy a Candy Cane
6. Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Christmas
7. What star is this?
8. Russell’s Christmas Magic
9. Mary Engelbrett’s The Night Before Christmas
10. Merry Christmas Little Critter
11. I’ve seen Santa
12. My First Story of the First Christmas
13. Snowmen at night
14. The First Night
15. Christmas Trolls
16. Father and Son
17. This is the stable
18. The story of christmas
19. Gingerbread Pirates
20. Mr. Finnegan’s Giving Chest
21. Christmas Wishes
22. The Polar Express
23. When Jesus Christ was
24. Come and see

Other good ones we’ve got that go along with the season:
Usborne’s Christmas Activities
Usbonre’s Preschool Christmas Fun

Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe comes from a great cookbook all about baking from Sarabeth Levine called “Sarabeth’s Bakery”, From my Hands to Yours.”

It is a great cookbook that I want to buy now that I’ve made a few things out of it. A few recipes that have caught my eye already (besides the pumpkin muffins!) Pains au Chocolat, Chocolate Babka, Banana Streusel Muffins, Maple Muffins, Rosemary Focaccia, Mrs. Stein’s Chocolate Cake and Lemon Raspberry Cake.

Now on to the muffins! Here’s a snapshot of one in yesterday’s morning sunlight coming into my kitchen.
Pumpkin Muffins

3 2/3 cup pastry flour, sifted
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
One 15- ounce can solid pack pumpkin (which is almost 2 cups)
1 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup hulled unsalted sunflower seeds

Preheat over to 400. Brush insides of 12 muffin cups with softened butter, then brush the tops.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating, scraping the sides often until the mixture is very light in color and texture, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in eggs. Reduce the mixer speed to low, Beat in pumpkin, the mixture may look curdled. In thirds, beat in the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, and mix until smooth. Add the raisins. Increase the speed to high and beat until the batter has a slight sheen, about 15 seconds longer.
Fill muffin tins. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 375 and continue baking until tops of muffins are golden brown and a wire cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Note: I shortened the writing (since I’m lazy and a slow typer) the the basics. And using lots of softened butter on the pans gave a nice crispy outside to the muffins!

On the Bookshelf: I read a lot

I found this one facebook and thought it was interesting… so here it is!

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read an excerpt.


1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen


2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

14 The Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

19 The Time-Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graeme

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell


42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgommery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Inferno – Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince – Antoine St. Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

How about you?
Read many of these?
And if you like to read you should check out goodreads. You can add me as a friend and we can recommend books to each other. I like it! I look at them and then order them to the library!

Cookbook Review: Small Batch Preserving

Small Batch Preserving
by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard

This is one great book! I have really enjoyed this book on canning!! It covers how to’s. It covers jams, jelly’s, conserves, relishes and pickles. Lots of recipes that are unusual and totally good!
I’ve made Pear Raspberry Jam, Peach Pear Jam with Lime and Sweet and Chunky Apple Butter.
I bought the book at chapters for $19.95. If you like canning at all, go and get it!

On the Bookshelf: Books Read in 2009

A few friends have been listing all the books they read in the last year on their blogs. I have been using goodreads to keep track. I *think* this is them all.

1. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
2. One True Thing: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
3. Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
4. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
5. Unfeeling: A Novel by Ian Holding
6. Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman
7. Night by Elie Wiesel
8. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
9. They Came From Below by Blake Nelson
10. The Girls by Lori Lansens
11. The Birth House by Ami McKay
12. Covenant Hearts by Bruce C. Hafen
13. Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
14. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
15. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
16. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
17. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
18. Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton
19. The Tsarina’s Daughter by Carolly Erickson
20. Love and Logic Magic: When Kids Leave You Speechless by Jim Fay
21. Helicopters, Drill Sergeants and Consultants by Jim Fay
22. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
23. Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
24. Felt Jewelry by Teresa Searle
26. Well Preserved by Mary Anne Dragan
27. Well Preserved: Small Batch Preserving by Mary Anne Dragan
28. Return to Sullivan’s Island by Dorothea Benton Frank
29. Stuffed: An Insider’s Look at Who’s (Really) Making America Fat by Hank Cardello
30. The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë by Syrie James
31. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
32. Wave of Terror by Theodore Odrache
33. The Curse of the Good Girl: by Rachel Simmons
34. God Wants a Powerful People by Sheri L. Dew
35. The Weight of a Mustard Seed: An Iraqi General’s Moral Journey by Wendell Steavenson
36. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

And I am in the middle of these three.
Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts
The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs
No One Can Take Your Place by Sheri L. Dew

My favorites??
1. Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton – a funny and inspiring read about a food critic/chef stay at home dad and how he introduces his daughter to food. I wish I would have read it before I had Alden. There is a lot of stuff I would have done differently with feeding my kids! And a lot of great recipes to boot! My kind of book!

2. Stuffed: An Insider’s Look at Who’s (Really) Making America Fat by Hank Cardello – completely interesting and amazing. Stuff I had no idea about and it has made me more aware of where extra fat and unhealthy stuff comes into our home and mouths!

3. Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman This lady is a kooky-kook! Which makes her fun to read about.

4. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka – a great historical fiction!! Love Love loved it! Sad but so good.

5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer – best light read I’ve read all year. Easy and quick to read but still so good!

6. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah – You should read this. I have it. I’ll lend it to you! Amazing book. Can’t believe the life this boy had!!