Sunday, January 17, 2010

What's on my bedside table

I've always been a big reader. However, I've got WAY too many books open and in progress at the moment. Here's what I'm reading:
It's quite a stack this time. This week is Book Club Week, but I didn't even include that book. I finished The Book of Negros before Christmas already. I hope the new material in my brain hasn't pushed all knowledge of that book out because stimulating discussion is bound to happen and I'd like to be a part of it.

A lot of what I'm reading has been reflected in some of my posts. These are the two homesteading and housewife books.
I quite like them both. The Homesteaders' Handbook can tell you how to buy land for $25 (!), build your own log cabin on it, make your own soap, sugar or stick your arm into a bee hive for fresh wild honey. Not terribly relevant to my life here in the city, but it's fun to read about how things have changed.

The Canadian Housewife goes through the ages from 1600 to 1950s, scattered throughout with quotes from diaries, magazine ads, recipes and pictures of the latest appliances to make our lives easier.

And two of these belong in the category of doom and gloom. Stuffed and Starved is a hard read for me, explaining how we've gotten where we are with food, stuffed and obese and yet starved of nutrients. Genetically modified foods, the over-use and oversubsidizing of corn and soy, blah, blah, blah. I don't think I'll get through it but it's interesting and reinforces my uninformed desire to return to whole foods.

No Impact Man is an easy read and at least it's about someone actually doing something on a personal level about the environment, not just whining about the way we're killing the planet.

Schmecks Appeal: I own one of her cookbooks and everything has turned out great. There are very few cans of soup, lots of sour cream and butter, nuts and cheese, garden vegetables. She doesn't worry about her weight or fat and carb content. And she has little anecdotes about the recipes and Mennonites who've passed them along.

And just because it's cold and dark outside:

It's time to start planning the garden for the year. I think I'd like to try a few heirloom vegetable varieties this year. And I need some good tomato stakes. It's great to look and relook over the pages and dream about green things growing again.

With all that reading materials, here are two items that I need to start opening more often:

The first has the lectionary readings for each week which we follow in church. When I read the passages during the week I get more out of the sermon, but I slack off and the habit breaks before it even properly forms. It's time to start up again. If you follow the lectionary for three years, you will have read the whole Bible through once. And it's got some good readings for reflection as well.

This book is just to lighten the load - the only novel in the bunch. And a children's novel at that! Beth thought I got it out of the library for her, but it was for me. Unfortunately I rarely see it upstairs because Beth is busily reading it in her room. So far it's a really good read and part of the Young Readers Choice nominees. Shannon Hale also wrote Princess Academy, which was also a great read. When I took that book out earlier, Beth already had it out from the school library at the same time. Great minds think alike!

Well, this great mind is falling asleep and I have a few birthday presents to wrap before morning.
And what shall I read before I collapse in bed tonight?


Coralee said...

I love the variety of books on your pile - it makes reading so enjoyable! I would love to be a part of a book club though I often wonder if I have the time, not to mention time without my very active Abigail yelling over conversation - ;) I often read children's novels - they're so full of imagination and a different perspective. Now you just need to brew a nice cup of tea and your set!

Coralee said...

oh and I meant to mention, you might enjoy my friend, Patty~Jean's blog - she's huge on the natural foods and sustainable living front! Not to mention she's got cute littles and I love her!

Evelyn in Canada said...

Thanks, Coralee. I've scanned a bunch of Patty-Jean's posts and you're right - there's a lot of interesting sustainable living posts. I'm glad she doesn't post every day because I've got too much to read already. :-)

Patty-Jean from LittleQuiver said...

Hi Evelyn - Very Nice to meet YOU! Some marvelous reads you have - WOW - I love love the homesteader and can.housewife ones - I'm always on the look out for some OLD OLD recipe books, there hard to find.

You will have to tell me about your rennet experiences, or maybe I can find them on your blog. That is our next venture - so far we just do rennet-less cottage/ricotta cheese, and yogurt cheese.
Very nice Blog!

Tamara Jansen said...

My bedside table is clean for now. Off to Germany on Saturday so I'll take something to read along in my carry on bag :)