I love reading about what others are reading and sharing what I'm reading with others.                      Here's my summary of the past month and what I'm reading now.  I hope you find some good titles to add to your own list and share with me what YOU are reading in the comment section below!

What I Finished in May

The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution:  A Proven 4 Week Program to Rescue Your Metablolism, Hormones, Mind and Mood by Aviva Romm    This book is  SENSATIONAL and definitely, in my opinion, the best source I've read yet.  Now while I'm waiting for my food sensitivity test to come back I don't know that I'll be able to follow Aviva's protocol for diet, but it is an optimal program and I am certainly gaining a ton of insight on other aspects of the protocol because, believe me, it's NOT just about food.  My husband is listeing to this book on Audible and while we haven't had a chance to sit down and really converse about it, I can tell by the few comments he has made that he is equally pleased with the book and the information we are gaining from this doctor.

Everyday Saints and Other Stories by Tikhon Shevkunov   This is quite the lengthy read and I've been working on it for some time.  There is a great number of stories in this work that you will find inspiring and occasionally humorous.  And you will certainly know that miracles do happen even today.

Stuart Little by E.B White  -  My son got to watch two of the movies for his birthday so he grabbed this book off of our shelves one of our many read alouds.  He  enjoyed pointing out the similarities and differences between the book and the movie and  thoroughly enjoyed it, though I think we were both disappointed with the ending leaving so much up in the air-  including the bird!

Murder In The Smithsonian by Margaret Truman  I broke out of my non-fiction mode a bit.  Sometime you just NEED a little fiction in your life.  This book was reminiscent of my youth which was filled with mystery fiction!  I love a good Agatha Christie....  This book was not Agatha Christie but it was a nice switch.  I only rated it a 3 out of 5 on Goodreads but I'm sure mystery fans would still enjoy it.  I found it unsuspenseful and felt like it kept hinting at other story lines that never completed themselves in any way so I wasn't completely taken in by it.

No-Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, PH.D.  -  I read an article on Facebook (yeah, I spend way to much time on there but...) and took the link to Amazon for this book.  I loved the article so much that I immediately put the book in my cart.  This was a great read, both for the simplistic and important approach to 'discipline' and important aspects of developing emotions and problem solving skills in our children, but also for the important message that we as parents should not beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make.  ALL parents make mistakes.  There are simply no perfect parents out there, including the 'professionals'.  I HIGHLY recommend this book.  While it's geared more for parents of younger (toddler) to say middle grade kids, I could easily apply things from this book to my older kids as well.

What I'm Reading                

 

A Beginner's Guide to Prayer: The Orthodox Way to Draw Close to God by Michael Keiser   I started this book before Lent and actually wrote a few posts in regards to prayer before Lent.   Being that I had promised myself to read my bible readings and a few pages of Thirty Steps to Heaven each day before reading anything else and my consumption of adrenal fatigue and other health related selections, I didn't touch this one all of Lent but it's to be included in my morning readings again soon!

A Woman's Walk with God:  A Daily Guide for Prayer and Spiritual Growth by Shelia Cragg   I know!  I told myself I was going to focus on the Beginner's Guide to Prayer after finishing the Thirty Steps to Heaven back in April but I grabbed this one instead, among others.  It seemed fitting as I packed for my weekend away and it really was.  It's not an Orthodox Devotional (see below for an Orthodox devotional by Sister Vassa), but it is certainly leading me in my search on how to fit prayer and devotion into my daily life.

Reflections With Morning Coffee - 365 Daily Devotions for Busy People by Sister Vassa Larin   -  Oh my goodness, it's Sister Vassa!  I asked in an Orthodox Facebook page if anyone had any good devotionals to recommend, Orthodox or otherwise (I'm not one to shun a non-Orthodox book but it's nice to at least get recommendations from Orthodox friends), and low and behold someone told me Sidter Vassa has one!  I LOVE Sister Vassa.  I used to listen to her on Ancient Faith Radio-- but I'm not an auditory girl.  I get too caught up in doing other things while listening and I have to listen to the same podcast about 5 times before I get it all.  And I've just always been a page in hand kind of person.  So having Sister Vassa's pages in my hand is a nice little uplift.

Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home by Elissa D. Bjeletich and Caleb Shoemaker    This is the selection my husband and I are reading together.  Blueprints discusses how we are to involve our children in the life of the Church from birth onward both in the church and at home.  I don't know why we have not found time to read together lately so I haven't made progress in this book but it needs to be a discussion topic soon!

The Whole-Brain Child (also by Siegel and Bryson)  I bought both this book and the No-Drama Discipline at the same time.  I wasn't sure which to start first and glancing through it seemed like both were relevant to one another but I went with the discipline book first.  Now I'm starting this one and I'm just a couple chapters in.  While I can relate what they are talking about from the Discipline book, I do not feel at this time that it's a total repeat, but simply a companion that explains the theory further behind the concepts in the book on Discipline.  I'm eager to continue my reading!

Delicious Blogging:  The Ingredients You Need To Create a Better Blog by Debi Stangeland  Debi is a book on my Kindle (I seldom use the kindle as I just can't resist a paper copy but it does come in handy ) some great ideas for bloggers, especially those starting out or with smaller blogs who want to have more success with finding readers and interacting with their public.  I haven't made progress with this book this month as most of my time is spent on reading about and taking care of my health and just getting a good handle on other things but I'm looking forward to a chance to sit down and soak up some of Debi's wisdom.

 

What I'm Reading With My Son

My son is 7.  He's techinically in first grade-  but I don't go by that.  We read what we think is fun and what I think he will be interested in or what I deem important.  I don't consider grade level.  It's more about age, interests and abilities.

Misty of Chicoteague by Marguerite Henry   While fictional, I chose to read Misty as part of our "history type" literature as it does talk about legendary history and the story behind the wild ponies of Asateague Island (where I spent my honeymoon incidentally).  I wanted to introduce him to the Marguerite Henry books and selected this one to see if he would like them.  We  made more progress with this one and I believe he is enjoying the story.

Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? The Story Behind Some of America's Patriotic Symbols by Teresa Bateman and John O'Brien     This is a charming little book to introduce youngsters to the symbols of our country including the Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Lincoln Monument and more. I've chosen to use picture books for the most part in our American History studies thus far but am looking to start on some nice biographies soon. In fact, I've just borrowed a few from a friend to let my son pick which he wants to start with.

Poppy's Retunr (Dimwood Forest, #4) by Avi     My son is loving this book as he did the first three.  I was totally enthralled by the first 3, not as much by this one.  I have an issue with the 'swearing'...   while they are not using foul curse words, there is much use of the term 'freaking' and such in a disrespectful tone from the main character's son to his mother.  Maybe I'm old fashioned but I'm not appreciating the 'humor'.  I simply skip over the words or substitute something more mild.  I highly recommend the first 3 for any age---  the porcupine 'swears' in all three, but really it's just a blend of really silly words put together as his form of complaining and both my son and I find that usage rather humorous.  This one, well if you are reading it aloud, it's still very enjoyable, but be aware you might want to be prepared to change some wording IF you feel the way I do about it.

 

What My Son is reading TO ME

Yes-  he has started reading to ME now.  This is his choice- his desire and I love it!

The Mystery at the Taj Mahal (India) by Carole Marsh    My sister got him about ten of this series for Christmas.  I selected to allow him to read them to himself at night while I sit and read in bed. He has read one on his own, is reading another and reads this one to me every now and then (his request).  However, I don't think we even put a dent in it last month and this month was slow.  We finally started it up again the other day. It's a little slow, not just because he has a little difficulty with a few of the words, but wants to stop and congratulate himself for each big word he reads and make commentary mid sentence if he knows a word, relates it to something else in his life or wants to point out how words are connected in other ways irrelevant to the story.  Sometimes I wonder if he really knows what's happening in the story because, frankly, sometimes I'm not real sure myself!  Hahaha!!

He also reads from his Children's Bible Reader to me on some days before our lessons.

I keep track of a lot of what I read on Goodreads.  And you'll see I usually have a LOT on my list at a time.  I used to be worried that this was strange.....then I started reading about Charlotte Mason and her methods and realized I must have been Charlotte in another life.... lol!  Just kidding!  But really, her homeschool methods teach about taking just small bits at a time from a book and giving the child time to think it over and ponder, if you will, and let it all soak in.  And she would have them read from various books each day - history, literature, nature, poetry, etc.  Some books a few pages or chapter a day, some only once a week.  So pretty much I've been doing 'Charlotte Mason' with myself all along.

Find me on Goodreads  HERE.

So--  that pretty much sums up what's on my reading list.

How about YOU?

I am eager to get back to doing book reviews again and have soooo many wonderful books to do!  But alas, I know I won't get around to doing too many very soon so picking one to start with was hard but not too hard because this book (the first we read in the series) was so utterly fantastic and my son and I both absolutely adored it-  so here we go!

Title of Book: Poppy  (Tales of Dimwood Forest)


Author:  Avi

Illustrator:  Brian Floca

Genre:  Fiction; adventure

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages:  176

Suggested Age Range:  8-12  but can certainly be a read a loud for a much younger age.  My son is 6 and has been enthralled by this series!

Why I Chose This Book:  This book came as a highly recommended read-aloud by Sarah Mackenzie.  I'm a big fan of Sarah's Read Aloud Revival and just about anything she's put out.  You can see some posts on her book Teaching From Rest here and here.

A Bit From The Back Cover:  At the very edge of Dimwood Forest stands an old charred oak.  A great horned owl, Mr. Ocax, waits there. With his piercing gaze, he surveys the lands he calls his own, watching for the creatures he considers his subjects. None dare disobey him, until the night a courageous deer mouse named Poppy, boldly defies him, only to find herself in terrible danger. To lead her family to a better life, will Poppy battle Mr. Ocax to the end?

My Review:  My son and I were quickly taken in by this fanciful tale about woodland creatures!  Poppy is a sweet, timid dormouse who suffers a great loss at the beginning of the story but, being protective of her family, gathers her courage to embark on a dangerous quest.  The story was simply irresistible.  The book is full of action and chances for discussion of how to handle various dilemmas.  Our favorite character was actually NOT Poppy, the heroine or the antagonist, Mr. Ocax, but the ever so funny Ereth, the porcupine!  He was a hoot!  My son just laughed and laughed at all of Ereth's antics and sayings.  It was so much fun to read a loud to him. The book not only held my son's attention captive and begging for more, but added to his desire to learn more about animals and add creativity to his drawings of such creatures!  If you love whimsical animal adventures, you will love this series.  I want to read it again!

Other Books by this Author:  Ragweed, Poppy and Ereth, Ereth's Birthday, Poppy and Rye, Poppy's Return (all from the Dimwood Forest series).  Crispin- The Cross of Lead (Newberry Award Winner), The Good Dog, Old Wolf, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, and many others.