I haven't done a 7QT since last May, but I've got a lot rolling around in my head, and this seems like the best way to sling it out. Much of it revolves around my only real "hobby" or "interest" or "activity" these days - reading and books. (It's possible I've been doing a little too much "killing time" at "this blog.")
1. First of all, I need your help! My next Simple Mom column is coming up next Wednesday which also happens to be (sniff sniff sob sob) Dacey's first day of school. I'm going to write an article on children's books that deal with transition. I need book recommendations! I will, of course, be including Audry Penn's The Kissing Hand, but I need lots more suggestions. I'm looking for books that deal with any kind of transition - moving, new sibling, divorce, death . . . anything that fits that category. If you have an idea, won't you pretty please share? I'll be sure to credit you. Thanks, sweet friends!
2. Okay, so one of the best parts of my job is that from time to time, I get free and unsolicited books from publishers/publicists who are hoping I will write up glowing reviews. Usually I don't simply because I don't have just oodles of free time on my hands that would allow me to donate free publicity on behalf of random authors and random books. However. Last weekend a new in paperback fiction book showed up for me, and I have to tell you, I absolutely inhaled it! I cannot remember the last time I read fiction, but this book was just captivating: Keeper and Kid by Edward Hardy. It's a take on the archetypical kind-of-wandering-but-mostly-content-single-guy-"inherits"-kid and the way his response to this plays out, but the writing is just so crisp and so accurately portrays what life with a three year old is like that it doesn't feel old or worn out at all. LOVED IT. If you are looking for a quick and enjoyable late summer read, I highly recommend.
3. I finished another book this week. Two books in less than two weeks is a new (post-children) record for me! This one needs a lot more room to discuss than will fit in a 7QT post, but I'll go ahead and mention it today: Lenore Skenazy's Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children The Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts With Worry. LOVE IT. I am wondering how many of you have read it. Maybe we could have an informal book talk here? Or maybe at Simple Kids? I don't know. I would love to hear your responses to this book. (Laura wrote about an encounter at the car wash inspired by a chance discussion of this book. I hold that no matter what your response to Skenazy's philosophy, this book is a great conversation starter!)
4. I accidentally left a Google search off of my sitemeter post, but this one was so cute, I have to mention it: "how to become more crunchy." Awwwww! I love it! Isn't that just the sweetest thing? I cannot tell you how frustrating it can be to see what people are searching for through Google and not be able to interact directly with them! (One time someone right here in this tiny little town searched for "delayed vaccination schedule." I about jumped out of my chair, tempted to wave my hands like a crazy lady and say "Hi! Here! Right here! Let's talk! You can borrow my copy of The Vaccine Book! I'm RIGHT HERE!") ANYWAY. For those who would like some guidance in "how to become more crunchy," I would recommend Stephanie of Keeper of the Home's e-book Healthy Homemaking: One Step at a Time. Sweet Stephanie is awaiting the arrival of baby #3 any day now! I know it would make her day if you got a copy today.
5. And speaking of e-books, for those who are interested in improving your photo taking skills but are starting from a novice level of experience (ME!), I wanted to direct you to the creative mama's Project Photography e-book. The subtitle is "Better photos made simple, for the non-photographer." See? Don't you need that?
6. Okay, so this doesn't have anything to do with a real book, but I'm running out of things to say. Earlier this week, I told Kyle if this whole parenting book thing doesn't work out, I'm gonna start shopping around a proposal for a book I might call But I Like Wine! And Other Dilemmas Faced by the Southern Baptist Under Forty. Half-kidding, of course. Kyle was more enthusiastic about the idea. He understands my conflicted feelings about the Southern Baptist (mostly culture, not so much doctrine) Convention. My complicated spiritual state was made more complex last week when a Facebook quiz I took confirmed that, theologically speaking, my denomination should be Presbyterian. And since we all know that Facebook quizzes are absolutely, unquestionably, categorically, 100% accurate - well, you can understand my internal upheaval.
Yet I am pretty sure that a book with "wine" in the title isn't going to fly off of the shelves at Lifeway (unless perhaps the book title was Wine: Why I'll Judge You If I See You Drinking It), so that will probably just get tossed in the "Great Book Ideas I Once Had" pile.
7. And that's it. All I've got. Tell me - what have YOU been reading lately?
And don't forget, yo, about those children's book recommendations. I really do need your help!