Oct 072013
 

stack of children's books

Reading is a passion I have.  As long as I can remember, I have loved to read.  In high school it was not uncommon for me to read a 400 page book each week.  As I got older, life has become a bit busier and I have been reading less.  I realized this past fall that I hadn’t even read one book the past year.  What happened?  I began to analyze why my reading was declining and started to form a strategy to change it.  Here are the steps I took to finding time, and the desire, to read again:

  • The first step was to just read.  I needed to get back into the habit and what better way than with an old favorite.  I went to my shelves, pulled off a book I had read many time but which I will never tire of.
  • Next, I started paying attention to the ebooks on Amazon, especially the free ones offered.  I had realized that one of the reasons I had stopped reading was the cost of buying books.  It can get expensive quickly if you don’t pay attention.  Another reason I had stopped reading was that it was harder for me to go the the library or book store and browse for books.  The free ebooks on Amazon are special deals, usually, that last for an unknown amount of time.  This means they are constantly changing.  This solution solved two problems, I didn’t have to spend a lot of money out of pocket, for an author I didn’t know if I would like, and I didn’t have to add another trip to my week to get a book.

Things that fly big book ebook

  • As time went on I started finding that I was craving books again.  The problem?  It meant I had to be at the computer.  Solution?  My lovely husband got me an eReader for Christmas last year.  Now I could take my reading where ever I wanted to go.  (I’m starting to wonder if he is second guessing the brilliance of his plan.  He recently commented, “You even bring it to bed.”  My rebuttal, “I don’t get a lot of time otherwise, and no little people bother me here.” 🙂 ) There are several different kinds of readers you can get, the two most popular being the Kindle and the Nook.

A few months and a few hundred books later, I’m sure it is almost that amount, I feel like I have my reading groove back.  I now have such a long “to-be-read” list that I would be okay for the next year or two.  It is a different form of stockpiling you might say.  However, this doesn’t mean I have stopped looking for new books to add to my reading list.  It only means I can now be a bit pickier about what I read.

Recently I have also come upon an aspect of reading that I formally had not explored – rewards (for adults) for reading.

  •  Tyndale Rewards is a program of Tyndale Publishing.  They are the source of many good books.  Signing up is simple, as are earning rewards.  It only took me a few minutes to earn enough rewards for a free book.  If you want to get an even faster start to earning rewards, use this link and you will automatically earn 25 points.

 Read Across American book bag

Just as I find it important for me to read, it is important for my kids to read also.  Or, to be read to in the case of non-readers.  Not only can it be fun (taking you to different places), but you can also learn a lot from others who know more about something than  you do.  This is one reason I love summer – summer reading programs for kids.  There are a few reading programs during the school year focused mainly at homeschooling kids.  Even if  you don’t homeschool, if you start now your kids will be in the habit by next summer and ready to take advantage of the rewards programs at that time.

What was the last book you read?

The post contains affiliate links.

Feb 282013
 

Favorite gardening book of the month:

 

Favorite non-gardening books of the month:

 

Twenty-Five Cent Dinners for Families of Six

Yes, this is an older book.  It was written in the late 1800’s and was actually the author’s second book on the subject.  After writing “Fifteen Cent Dinners for Families of Six” the author found that some readers were a bit more well off but still not wealthy.  These readers were interested in being good at pinching pennies but had a bit more leeway in their budgets.  They could afford a few more indulgences, like coffee and tea with their meals.

I really enjoyed reading this book, not only for some money saving ideas and recipes (though I’ll pass on the brain and ___ pudding), but also for some of the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently reading:

 

Read this month:

Feeding Wild Birds with Garden Plants: 3 (Specialty Garden Series) [Kindle Edition] by Dave Sandersfeld

I so wanted to like this book. However, it only took a few pages to get the feeling that I was missing something.  I even went back and read the brief description of the book and checked the title page to make sure it all lined up.  The format just did not work for me.  There were too many quotes, links to other websites, and the beginning felt more like an advertisement for becoming an environmentist than a book on feeding birds.  I stuck it out hoping it would get better.  

Near the end I finally found what I was looking for – a list of plants and their benefits for birds.  There were several in the list that I hadn’t thought of planting for birds.  Once I thought of them, though, they made sense.  There were also a few that I would shy away from, but I tend to like natives more than non-native plants.  Even if those plants are not invasive.  I’m not a purist, so don’t check the landscaping in my  yard, but natives are my preferences. 

In the end, I’m not sure I would recommend this book if you are wanting a reference book.  It is not a bad read if you are starting out and wondering why anyone would want to feed bird.  Or even if you are just being introduced to the idea.

 

 

 

 

The How to Book on Creating a Beautiful Container Garden: The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Container Garden all will Envy / The Planting in Pots System … to Plant in Pots & How to Plant in Pots)

This was a quick read, at least for me.  A lot of the science was stuff I knew but didn’t necessarily know how to apply to containers.  Jonah seemed to cover all the topics well, with recommendations and comparisons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Make and Freeze Recipes (Eat Better For Less Guides)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Hearty Soups from the Stockpot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Simple Tips To Declutter Your Basement: From Cluttered to Clean (Happy House Series)

 

5 Simple Tips To Declutter Your Basement: From Cluttered to Clean (Happy House Series) [Kindle Edition]

This is more of a booklet than a full fledged book of 100+ pages.  In other words, it took me about 30 minutes to read through it, not several days.  The tips reminded me a lot of tips I’ve read elsewhere, just used in reference to your basement.  I liked the first question asked, “Exactly what do you want to accomplish?”  Basements are as varied as the people who own them.  They are used for different things, and even that can change over time. Knowing where you want to end up will help you start heading in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Organization Made Easy: Creative Kitchen Storage and Pantry Storage Solutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready or Not (Aggie's Inheritance)

 

Ready or Not (Aggie’s Inheritance) by Chautona Havig

This was a reread from last month.  I enjoyed going through it again as I was able to pick up on some details I missed the first time.  I also realized that I laughed at the same funny moments.  Am I really that predictable?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Keeps (Aggie's Inheritance)

 

For Keeps (Aggie’s Inheritance) by Chautona Havig

As with the first book in this series, this was a reread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here We Come (Aggie’s Inheritance) [Kindle Edition] by Chautona Havig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen for the Donkey Bells

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brother Enemy (Promise of Zion #4)

Feb 062013
 

January was a busy month for me in the reading department.  At the beginning of the month I received a Kindle as a late Christmas gift.  If you had asked me 6 months ago if I would use a Kindle, I would have say “no”.  I didn’t feel the need to have it as I had no ebooks to read.  Since that time, though, my collection of ebooks has grown to over 127.   Now, before you think I went out and spent a lot of money, these are all from books I have posted on here or similarly found for free on Amazon.  I had been reading them on my laptop, which was working out okay.  However, I started to see so many more opportunities to ready a bit here and there.  These were often times it would have been impossible or impractical to use a laptop.

Before you this becomes a sales pitch I want to make clear that I fully see the purchase of a Kindle as a “want”, a privilege.  It was defiantly  not a “need”. I am a strong supporter of only spending what you have and living below your means. I could have gotten along the way I had been doing it.  Please, don’t go buy one because you “need” it.  There are few things in life that we really need.  This isn’t one of them.

The gift of the Kindle was because the person knew how much I love reading and thought this would be the perfect gift for me.  They were right.

I tell you all this to help explain why my reading went from 1 or 2 books a month to, well, a lot more.

The variety of topics is what kept it interesting.  After reading a few books on the same topic in a row, my desire for reading greatly diminishes.  If I keep a nice variety going, I am more likely to keep reading.

This list is in no particular order.

Favorite gardening book of the month:

Blueberries in Your Backyard: How to Grow America's Hottest Antioxidant Fruit for Food, Health, and Extra Money (25-page Booklet)

 

Blueberries in Your Backyard: How to Grow America’s Hottest Antioxidant Fruit for Food, Health, and Extra Money (25-page Booklet) by R.J. Ruppenthal

 

I think they covered every aspect of growing blueberries.  As I don’t have blueberry bushes, but am looking to get some, I’ll let you know in a few months how things are going.

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite non-gardening books of the month:

This month I have two favorites as they are the first two in a series of three.

Ready or Not (Aggie's Inheritance)

Ready or Not (Aggie’s Inheritance) by Chautona Havig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Keeps (Aggie's Inheritance)

 

For Keeps (Aggie’s Inheritance) by Chautona Havig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently reading:

Homemade Muffins: 21 From-Scratch Homemade Muffin Recipes (Back Home Again Series)

Homemade Muffins: 21 From-Scratch Homemade Muffin Recipes (Back Home Again Series) by Linda Wilson

 

 Attack Your Day!: Before It Attacks You

Attack Your Day!: Before It Attacks You by Mark Woods

 

This is one of those books that I can not read in one sitting.  I have slowly been working my way through it while exercising.  It gives me time to then think through what I just read.  It has already had an impact on me though, in that I’ve gotten rid of some time wasters.  This was the encouragement I needed to deal with all the spam I was getting on this site.  I no longer dread looking over at the “comments to be moderated” section.  There are some other areas in life I am thinking of working on to make more efficient and less a waste of time.

 

 

 

 

 Read this month:

Who Gives Up Adorable Little Girls Anyway? The Search For Our Biological Father (Tales of Adoption)

Who Gives Up Adorable Little Girls Anyway? The Search For Our Biological Father (Tales of Adoption) by Janet Stephenson

 

This is a book written not as a novel, but as if you were sitting down flipping through someone’s journal.  In a way, I think it is a very fitting format for such a topic.  Life is not a book.  It never works out or flows the way a book does.  It is a very real read into the struggles and journey they took to find the answer put forth in the title.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Make Money Using Fiverr.com

 

How to Make Money Using Fiverr.com by David Szalontai

The author, David Szalontai, gives an overview of how Fiverr.com works and some ideas that are popular or doable to earn money on the site.  He also gives examples of some things he has done in the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Court Ordered Custody

Court Ordered Custody by C.S. Bennett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worm Composting - Woodworking Plans & Worm Bin Ideas for Use in Organic Gardening

 

 

Worm Composting – Woodworking Plans & Worm Bin Ideas for Use in Organic Gardening by Jack Pollard

 

If you are looking for plans with measurements and diagrams, this is the book you want.   There is very little, if any, talking or conversation going on.  The title explains the book very accurately – “Plans and Ideas”

 

 

 

 

 

Heaven Preserve Us: A Home Crafting Mystery (A Home Crafting Mystery)

 

Heaven Preserve Us: A Home Crafting Mystery (A Home Crafting Mystery) by Cricket McRae

A mystery novel and canning in the same book.  That right there caught my attention.  I enjoyed the mystery and canning part, but could have very well done without the sleeping/living together parts.  This was a bit slow to read, but I was curious who actually did it in the end.  Not to worry, I won’t spoil that part.  But it was definantly not who I thought it was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Fine Mess: Living Simply With Children

 

 

A Fine Mess: Living Simply With Children by Michelle Hogan

Or here for the NOOK version:

A Fine Mess: Living Simply With Children by Michelle Hogan

 

 

 

 

 

35 Chinese Recipes For Weeknights - The Easy Chinese Recipes Edition (Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes - The Easy Weeknight Dinners Collection)

 

35 Chinese Recipes For Weeknights – The Easy Chinese Recipes Edition (Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes – The Easy Weeknight Dinners Collection) by Pamela Kazmierczak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

47 Ways to Make $100 in a Day

 

47 Ways to Make $100 in a Day by Jonathan Cochrum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Complete Money Saver's Guide to Garage Sale Shopping

The Complete Money Saver’s Guide to Garage Sale Shopping by John Horstman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post contains some affiliate links.