July 19, 2017

My Summer Reading List (part 2)

Yesterday, I posted the first half of my summer reading list. If you missed that post, you can find it here.

Today, I give you the rest of my list:

Cookbooks

I feel like I am stuck in such a rut when it comes to cooking. I love food--preparing it, eating it, discovering new things--but sometimes I feel like my efforts are wasted on a family that would seemingly be just as happy if I served noodles with butter (my kids) or quinoa with a spicy sauce (my husband) every night of the week.

It's hard to stay inspired when your "customers" are indifferent. That said, I keep trying! I'm always looking for new favourite recipes that are quicker and easier to pull together, so I have several cookbooks out of the library right now. I'm trying a few recipes from one book each week, and I'll let you know if I discover anything wonderful. I'm most excited about the vegetarian dinner parties book, because the pictures in it look simply amazing.

Adding to the cooking dilemma, though, is the fact that we're hosting Chinese and Japanese international students throughout the summer, and while they're mostly open to trying new things, a lot of my go-to recipes are not such a big hit with them. Hence, I have some Chinese cookbooks out too, and I'm foraying into the cuisine of that region for the first time.

Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Hello App Inventor!

Other Non-Fiction

These are a few of the books that I'm most looking forward to reading. Two of them are re-reads; favourites that I keep coming back to. The other three are new to me, and I am very excited to read them.

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: This is one of my favourite books, and I come back to certain sections of it over and over again. (If you've read it, you are probably thinking that I missed the point of the book if I need to keep using it, but I find that, as homeschoolers with four kids in the house most of the time, there's always a deluge of new stuff ending up on my kitchen counters, bookshelves, and--let's face it--any other available surface). This book takes an extreme approach to decluttering one's house and life, so that joy has a chance to shine through. I'm in the middle of going through the complete process for the second time, and it feels great!

  • The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling: Again, a perennial favourite. I always refer to this guide over the summer when I'm working on our homeschooling schedule for the upcoming year. Debra Bell is a genius when it comes to homeschool planning, and I've learned so much from this book. Since I began using her method of planning, our homeschool has greater purpose and I'm able to choose and stick with curriculum more intentionally.

  • Anyone Can Create an App and Hello App Inventor: I've recently developed an interest in app development and, coincidentally, happened across these two little gems on a display at the library. While both are published by Manning Publications and boast equally attractive layouts and styles, the first deals with creating apps for Apple products, while the second demonstrates the use of App Inventor to create Android Apps. I set up a mini computer lab in our living room and my two oldest kids and I are working our way through the App Inventor together. So far, it's fabulous.

  • Pass It On: This book was gifted to me on my birthday last month, and I'm saving it for the end of summer so that I can savour it a little longer than some of these other books. It is a guide to building a legacy of faith by developing meaningful traditions (or rite of passage) with your kids at each age.

  • Surviving Your Preschooler: I have this fantastic, exuberant, and completely overwhelming soon-to-be three-year-old daughter, and I'm having a hard time keeping up with her. I feel like I should know what I'm doing, having done this twice before, but it's been a long time since my older kids were at that stage, and it seems that I've forgotten how to survive my preschooler. On a particularly desperate day, when we'd taken a long walk to the library just to keep her strapped into a stroller and occupied, I found this book, and I hope to get some good tips that I can use in the fall when we get back into our regular routine.
Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling
Pass It On

Fiction

And finally, I come to fiction, the cherry on top of my summer reading list sundae. You will probably notice that there are no fiction books in the stacks above. That's because I've got the new summer releases on hold at the library, and it's going to be a long while before I get them.

But that's okay--about a month ago, I promised myself that I would not read any fiction until I finished the novel I am writing. This promise, akin to torture as far as I'm concerned, is the motivation I needed to get through my first draft last week. Once I've done my first major edit, I will reward myself by sinking into Elin Hilderbrand's The Identicals, the newest novel by my favourite summer book author. I love me some Nantucket  drama when the weather gets warm.

So, there you have it--my overly ambitious to-do list for the next seven weeks. How about you? What are you looking forward to reading this summer?

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