Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Great Cuts, Great Reads

Cannon went in for a haircut the other day and while he was admiring his new look in the mirror, the stylist asked me a great question, "Read any good books lately?" She probably didn't know what she was getting into. Okay so, Cannon only had a little bit of hair and I had a lot to talk about. I only mentioned a couple of picks to her but then I remembered-- I have a blog! YOU readers are going to get the full account. Here are my favorite reads of the last few months:

1. Jane Eyre
Loved this book! Thanks to Ms. Bronte for a decades worth of romantic quotes to use inside my Valentines cards, and some of them in French!
Reading that inspired my next pick...

2. The Berlitz Self Teacher: French
I thought learning French would be easy; Isn't it just like Spanish except with way more letters and completely different pronunciation? Yah!--Exactly why it's not easy at all! I'm only on "Lecon 5" so don't expect me to have any conversations with you. But I'm going to keep at it because I just read...

3. Do Hard Things
This is written by teens for teens and I think for everyone, on not succumbing to the cultural plague of low expectations. We can do better! Learn more! Overcome our fears! Live the life that God wants us to live! Have I inspired you? The book inspired me. This next 2 books are about people that overcame HARD things...

4. Joan of Arc
Mark Twain considered this his finest work. I agree! (if it's out of this or Huck Finn) 12 years of research make this an outstanding resource for learning about one of the most amazing characters in history. It is beautifully written.

5. The Glass Castle
This is the true story of a girl who overcame a childhood with some very "eccentric and nomadic" parents (to quote amazon's review) Oddly compelling...I would recommend it to those who are curious about how other people live and the social worky types. (you know who you are.)
After that you might need some therapy of your own so here's the next book.

6. The Anatomy of Peace also The Bonds that Make Us Free
These were life changing books for me. The first is more succinct, in a nutshell, while the other one has a lot of stories of people to illustrate the point. " They both really gets into the science of relationships and how to make PEACE with everyone in your life-- from the guy who just butt in front of you to the guy that you married, even world peace--it hopes. Just a caution--don't read it at the same time as your spouse unless you want him to quote it against you, "So honey, it's sounds like you are in the 'better-than' box today?

7. The Richest Man in Babylon
If the above book is the best book on relationships then this is the best book on Money and Finances! It takes place in Ancient Babylon and through some cool parables and stories it shows you some common sense approaches to living well. But what are riches without health to enjoy them...hence the next couple books...

8. The Seven Pillars of Health; the natural way to feel better for life
Life Changing, seriously. This book is packed with info. from drinking water, to supplements, to coping with stress, living foods vs dead foods, chemicals and food additives to avoid. You'll definitely be checking labels after reading this.

9. Word of Wisdom; a Modern Interpretation
Another life changing book for me.
I'm obviously on a health kick lately, going to classes, etc. But during all of it I decided to check with the ultimate health code: the word of wisdom as found in the scriptures. After reading, I had to ask myself and Brandon who happened to be nearby, "Are we really living this?" There is more to it than just avoiding beer?! BD kindly deferred all my questions to this resource. The book is out of print so you'll have to check your grandma's bookshelves or find it online. The whole version is available for download if you google it. In case you think I'm going a little crazy in the health dept. I am. I also just ordered In Defense of Food. Now, are we ready to kick back with some good old fiction or what?!!!

10. Hunger Games
Looks like my photo disappeared but you know what it looks like. You've probably read it already and wasn't it such a thrill of a read?! If I'd had my way I would have finished the whole series in 3 days. But, as it was, I was constantly interrupted by requests for food, clean clothes, and other mommy duties.

11. Pilgrim's Progress
This one has been around forever--and not just on my bookshelf. I have my book club to thank for suggesting we tackle this one together.
Here is the whole gospel plan of happiness put together in a fun to read allegory. It was probably more entertaining to the pilgrims who didn't have TV to compete with. Brandon would tease me while he sat watching Alias, "How's it going with that Pilgrim's Progress? he he he" Well, I'm proud to say that I finished it AND enjoyed it. Actually I think it would make a great musical. And-- if I want to apply what I learned in Do Hard Things, I might just write one! In French!


T said...

your reading list is far more intellectual than mine this year...

okay, every year :)

I have read SOME of those though... but I think we've discussed them already :)

Sheree said...

I love the book reviews. I think I'm definitely needing the peace one after my frustrating day dealing with insurance companies.

I haven't read Mark Twain since high school. I'll have to read Joan of Arc!

Michelle said...

Wow, you do really read out the best books. I read to escape . I guess I'll have to start reading real books, now.

Megz said...

You're consuming all these oils and eating things only in season and sparingly...and your fun reads are very sparse! We're going to run out of things to talk about. Especially since you've probably passed my high school French in your Lecon deux.

stephanie said...

I am pretty sure diet coke and penny candies are part of the word of wisdom right?
I can't bring myself to read hunger games.
Where are the cheesy mormon romance novels? They didn't make the list?

cold cocoa said...

Hey- The Anatomy of Peace is great- I've read half of it and as I was driving down the road tailing someone going SO SLOW I was wishing they had read it too, so they would not be angry at me for trying to rush to pick up my sweet daughter from dance class. Is that the proper way to use that book?

Also, we should try talking in French together. I made the mistake of taking Spanish at BYU when I had 2 years of French in high school. I was all mixed up and didn't excel. Should have stuck to French...but I have no doubt that you could be tri-lingual.

Sher said...

The Bonds that Make us Free is one of the books that I am reading right now and I like it a lot. I enjoyed reading about the books you've read. I'm impressed. I tried to read Pilgrims Progress before starting college (since they told me to) but I got, at the most, halfway through. I'll have to try some of your favorites.