Since the new year, I have had a renewed interest in reading. At first it was to help encourage Ewan to read more often, by seeing me reading for pleasure. But very quickly my book list has grown and I have fallen back in love with reading. It has actually been so long since I have read several books back to back. Usually it takes 6 months to finally finish a book.
I have been focusing more on self care and I feel like reading really helps to renew my energy. Since having kids and running a business, if I was not reading something ‘educational’ it felt like it wasn’t worthy of my time or that I was wasting my time when I should be doing something productive. But, reality is, I will never have my to do lists complete. And the list of books that I wish I could read, will never get read if I do not start making self care a priority in my own life.
So, here is a run down of the books that I have read so far this year as well as a few on my list.
Lindsays 2016 Reads
Hands Free Mama and Hands Free Life, by Rachel Macy Stafford-
I really enjoy the Hands Free Mama blog and both of her books are full of inspiring stories to help you focus on the important things in life – slowing down and focusing on the people in your life and the things that bring you joy. My preference is the Hands Free Life book as it is a smoother read and so many inspiring quotes that I now have posted everywhere. Hands Free Mama is broken into monthly goals – more of a step by step guide, still great, but I felt guilty reading it all at once!
Notes from a Blue Bicycle, by Tsh Oxenreider
This book is about a family who moves overseas to live / work as expats and how they learn to simplify their lives as a result of this experience. Obviously I could relate to this!!! I really loved this story and although, I have not had the culture shock as this family did, there were still many parallels that I could draw between our experiences. It was also very interesting to see the challenges this family had adapting back to their North American lifestyle. This was an easy and enjoyable read, I would probably even read this book a second time – lots of great ideas on making priorities and living intentionally.
The Shopaholic to the Rescue, by Sophie Kinsella
I have read almost all of the previous books in this series and they are fun, easy reads. I enjoy the characters and the humour. It was a page turner and I finished this one within a week. My dad was also in town, so I had more time to spend reading as he was playing with the kids! I felt really great when I finished this book. The first fiction book of the year, it was so satisfying to read a story that really would not improve my life in any way except offering some entertainment. I must find more fiction books – let me know your favourite series – I am open to any genre, I haven’t read fiction in so long that I am out of the loop!
Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
This is also an interesting read on how she lets creativity enter her life and also how she celebrates others creativity around her as opposed to feeling envious. I like the idea of finding your own strengths and passions and pursing creativity for the sake of creativity not for an end goal.
Illustrations School – lets draw plants and small creatures
This is a book that I picked up from our last visit to the art gallery. The kids have been interested in drawing and I also really enjoyed drawing as a child. It is a really cute step by step guide for little doodles and easy pictures. The kids now think I am an artist!
Meditation, by Christina Rodenbeck
This was a birthday gift from Alan along with some yoga classes – apparently he thinks I need to relax! I am kidding, he is trying to help with my goals to remain calm, focused and fun while surviving with three young children. And he says this is the thing that the most successful people in the world all have in common. I am still not convinced that I will find the moments I need to meditate, but it has many good suggestions.
Read aloud novels for the kids for the month of March-
We are able to read quite a few novels a month with the kids for several reasons. The first, we have a fair amount of time on our hands since we homeschool – and a world of learning is opened with every book. Second, we rely on public transit and we always have a book to enjoy while we are on the go. Third, the kids could listen to stories ALL DAY LONG!! This is a list of our novels, not all of the early readers books, story books, poetry books, art books, etc that we read – I will save that for another blog post .
Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls
Ewan and Isla cannot get enough of the the Little House series! They found Farmer Boy a little harder to get into, we started it in the Fall, but then stopped as it didn’t hook them like the previous books. So we tried it again after the plum creek book and they did really enjoy Almanzo’s story.
The House at Pooh Corner, by, A.A. Milne
We have the big collection of Winnie the Pooh stories, but we had not read this chapter book before. It was lovely as all of the Winnie the Pooh stories always are. The poems, the language and humour used is loved by all ages. It also made us cry at the end as it is the last story written about Winnie the Pooh as Christopher Robin is transitioning to going to school. So very sad that it is eluded that he will no longer have the time to spend in his imagination.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle, by Beverly Cleary
The kids are loving this book and we have finished it within a week. It is a nice short read and the kids loved Ralph! Ewan also loved that this book was my book (I kept all of the Beverly Cleary books from when I was a child). He likes all the sentimental stuff!
Book list –
Other books on my list to get to over April include –
The Gifts of Imperfection : Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brene Brown
Shopaholic to the Stars, by Sophie Kinsella
For the kids-
By the Shores of Silver Lake (Little House-the Laura Years), by Laura Ingalls (for the kids)
Charlottes Web, by E.B. White (We have read it to Ewan, but it is so great we want Isla to hear at this age too)
Please let me know what your favourite books are right now – I am on the search for new series and not sure where to begin!